Set to open in 2015, Rios Nete will welcome chronically ill patients from all over the world to receive medical treatment administered by Shipibo healers and overseen by western doctors.

The promise of Amazonian plant medicine

The Amazonian rainforest contains untold numbers of plants rich in phytochemicals, alkaloids, and bioactive compounds. When prepared and consumed in their whole form, these plants have the capacity to effectively treat a vast range of ailments. All kinds exist: antimicrobials, antibacterials, anti-inflammatories, antifungals, antivirals, and antiseptics.

A wealth of anecdotal evidence suggests Amazonian plant medicine is capable of curing diseases considered uncurable by western medicine, such as neurodegenerative disorders and advanced cancers. Despite this staggering promise and potential, no institution exists where plant medicine can be practiced and formally studied.

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Photography by Julia Pinter and Ben Blake