Photo by: Zoe Helene. Chris Kilham leads The Shaman’s Pharmacy.

The Shaman's Pharmacy
Shaman Ricardo

“Shamans possess knowledge that
can benefit all of humanity, and wisdom that can help to mitigate
the wholesale destruction of our fair planet.”
– Chris Kilham, Evolver

In The Shaman’s Pharmacy, Medicine Hunter Chris Kilham draws upon decades of personal experience with native healers from the Amazon rainforest to the remote mountains of Siberia, to present a breakthrough experience of personal and planetary healing. Informative, inspiring and engaging, The Shaman’s Pharmacy reveals the cutting-edge of plant medicines, and takes participants on a journey to rainforests, deserts, mountains and far-flung corners of the earth.

Additionally, The Shaman’s Pharmacy presents environmental and cultural challenges we face to create a healthier planet. Equally The Shaman’s Pharmacy offers a bridge between worlds, revealing a fragile and imperiled planet, whose natural environments and native people are being wiped out senselessly. This establishes the position that true healing can only occur when the entire global system of people and environments is sustained.

The Shaman’s Pharmacy is an over-arching concept that includes educational works on shamanism, The Shaman’s Pharmacy (Amazon Field Immersion Course) for college students, and The Shaman’s Pharmacy Workshop. These activities and programs are designed to further credible, intelligent knowledge of the role of shamanism in traditional cultures and in healing, and the value of shamanic knowledge and practices today.

Chris is recognized as a chief in Vanuatu, South Pacific, is known as “Maxipe” which means “black vulture” by the Macuxi indians, and has lived with and visited dozens of native tribes in Amazonia and in other cultures. Shamans in both Brazil and Peru recognize Chris as one of their kind and a bridger of worlds, and have engaged in numerous ceremonies to bolster his energy and support his work with medicinal plants and native cultures.


The shaman is the wise healer, the medicine man or woman who knows the preparation and uses of a vast array of healing plants, and works intimately with the forces of nature to effect cures. Shamans possess knowledge that can benefit all of humanity, and wisdom that can help to mitigate the wholesale destruction of our fair planet.

The Shaman’s Pharmacy Workshop

This lively experience takes the audience on a journey, through the world of shamans, and the plants, rituals and ceremonies that make up the shaman’s landscape. The shaman moves back and forth between the phenomenal and spirit worlds, acting as a guide, healer, doctor, therapist.

The Shaman’s Pharmacy“Amazon Shamanic Medicine provides a unique, intensive exploration of the plant-based medicines of Amazon rainforest, a body of knowledge derived from shamans who are considered among the most capable of natural healers alive today.” - Chris Kilham

Over the course of time, I have developed a tremendous love for the Amazon and its people, and an abiding sense of heartbreak at the demise of the forest and its native cultures. On an ongoing basis I work in the Amazon to help develop sustainable projects with medicinal plants. And I am deeply committed to finding ways to protect this rainforest and its indigenous people. Thus this story, The Shaman’s Pharmacy. I would like to share with you what I have seen and experienced. Let me take you on a journey to the great Amazon rainforest and areas nearby, to the land of the shamans, who carry vast medicinal knowledge, and are willing to share their secrets. This is a journey of mind, of heart, of spirit.

The Shaman’s Pharmacy multi-hour experience takes participants into the world of the shamans, where people, plants and spirits all merge into one integrated, lively whole. We’ll explore traditional, plant-derived medicines among various world cultures, backed by first-hand knowledge from field research. We’ll also view extraordinary images from the Amazon and other cultures, and consider environmental preservation, shamans, medicine men and women, and nature’s bounty of beneficial plants. Medicine hunter Chris Kilham has lived and studied with shamans, and brings a vast array of stories, wisdom and powerful ideas, along with spectacular slides of shamanic culture.

A shaman is a person who bridges the spiritual and phenomenal worlds, who possesses healing knowledge, and who enjoys an esteemed place in traditional Amazonian and South American native society. The shaman is a doctor, an herbalist, a priest, an advisor, a psychologist, a guide. In the course of many South American investigations into natural methods of healing, Chris has met and learned from many shamans. Visit Portraits of Shaman gallery for a collection of photographs Chris has taken of shaman taken around the world.

The Shaman’s Pharmacy Amazon Field Immersion Course

Our first Shaman’s Pharmacy Amazon rainforest course took place in January of 2010. Led by medicine hunter Chris Kilham, we had fifteen students from the Five College area, plus graduate student and co-teacher Zoe Gardner, plus Zoe Helene. Since that time we have taken several groups of wonderful students to the Amazon. The Shaman’s Pharmacy Amazon Field Immersion Course is on hold until further notice (UPDATE: June 2014).

We stay at ExplorNapo Lodge on the Rio Sucusari in Peru, and dove deeply into medicinal plant knowledge, the great Amazon rainforest, the Rio Sucusari and the Rio Napo. Through course work at the lodge, and in the company of native guides of exceptional knowledge and ability, we enjoy a stunning ten days. The students learn in a way impossible to achieve in a classroom setting in a college building. If you really want to learn about the Amazon, the only legitimate way is to go there. In The Shaman’s Pharmacy, we do exactly that. This is both a course and a trans formative life experience. The course involves three two-hour class sessions, and eight days of travel and participation in studies and rainforest activities, in the Peruvian Amazon rainforest.

“To the students he’s Indiana Jones. He’s got a dynamic personality. When you’re talking about ethnobotany, you’re talking about native cultures and the type of plant material they use. He’s gone to those places and lived with the people.” - Professor Lyle E. Craker, for U-Mass Magazine

The major portion of time in Amazonia is held at ExplorNapo, a lodge and learning facility set in primary rainforest along the Rio Napo in Peru. The ExplorNapo facilities include capable and experienced Amazon guides, boats for venturing deeper up rivers and into the forest, a medicinal plant garden developed by botanist Dr. James Duke, and easy access to the Canopy Walkway operated by Amazon Center for Tropical Studies. Facilities include excellent food, basic but good sleeping facilities, showers and sanitary facilities. ExplorNapo has beautiful grounds, direct access to the Sucusari River, and a large open pavilion for classes.

Visit The Shaman’s Pharmacy Gallery to see class photos, and to read what some of the students had to say about the experience.

“The Shaman's Pharmacy is a life-changing, soul-enlivening, awe-inspiring, deep jungle experience of a lifetime, with the forest, the rivers, amazing guides, strange places, shamans, the works. It is a bath in pure green energy, in the most astonishingly alive place on earth.” - Chris Kilham