yerba nomadica

Yerba Nomadica believes in the right to non-judgemental, inclusive, affordable health care for all.

 Carla in Austin, Texas ,   Photograph courtesy of Brandi Jo Perkins.

Carla in Austin, Texas, Photograph courtesy of Brandi Jo Perkins.

Carla Vargas-Frank, Herbalist

It has been nearly a decade since I became immersed in the practice of herbal medicine. 

I have been privileged to train under Karyn Sanders and Sarah Holmes at the Blue Otter School of Energetic Medicine in Fort Jones, California,  as well as Nicole Telkes at the Wildflower School of Herbal Medicine in Austin, Texas (where I also worked as an instructor and apothecary manager for close to five years).

In 2010, I began producing and retailing a line of bioregional herbal remedies under the name, Nomadica Apothecary, which I eventually chose to de-emphasize as my priorities shifted to community activism and the clinical practice of herbal medicine.

In 2012, along with Olivia Pepper of Lunaria Tarot & Tamara Bacerra-Valdez of Folklorica, I co-founded 'La Botánica Folk Healing Collective' in Austin, Texas in hopes of making folk healing modalities accessible to our local community.

My perspective as a Jewish Chicana and experience growing up in the grey area between cultural identities has profoundly shaped the lens through which I approach all of my work as an artist and herbalist. I view my work with the herbs as an extension of my activism towards environmental, social, and health justice.

Yerba Nomadica's tribe of medicine incorporates deep nutrition, botanical allies, & folk traditions in order to achieve healing and balance, with a focus on the medicinal plants, traditional food-ways, and folklore of Sonoran Desert. I give the utmost thanks and respect to my teachers Karyn Sanders, Sarah Holmes, Nicole Telkes, and Maria Elena Martinez (among many others from which I have gleaned insights into the herbs) for the opportunity to serve my community in this very special way.

Currently, I teach workshops at the Tucson Herb Store and elsewhere, and am in private practice in Tucson, Arizona.

Why Nomadica?

'Yerba Nomadica' represents the traveling seed, whether by bird, boot, or boat. It acknowledges and honors the cross-continental spread and naturalization, not only of plants, but of traditions of healing through the history of animal and human migration.

The name NOMADICA was initially chosen to reflect the apothecary's first real home - a 1970's Nomad camper trailer, as well as its founder's restless nature. A made up word, Nomadica reflects the common practice of "transwording," when bi-lingual cultures take their own creative license with their regional spoken languages (ie Spanglish), representing the mixed heritage and cultural evolution present in my own upbringing and personal approach to herbalism.