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Sunflowers

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PHILOSOPHY & PRACTICE

our mission

 

At bibi and ni, our mission is to nurture wellness as well as cultivate strong community connections for individuals and families through providing culturally-relevant, ancestrally-based birthkeeping and herbal care services and education.

What does bibi and ni mean?

 

In the Taíno language of the Antilles, the word "bi" (pronounced: bēē) carries two meanings: beginning and life.

The word "bibi" means mother.

"ni" (pronounced: nēē) means water.

Water is life, the first medicine—it connects us—bearing gifts of birth, nourishment, community, ritual, & healing.

indigenous taino birth bibi and ni llc boston

We believe in healing through natural, preventative, ancestral, and ceremonial holistic care.

The basis of health is balance, which is also to say, the basis of health is living in right relationship.

The development of physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual illnesses stems from imbalance in the body. 

Medicines help us to keep ourselves in balance. 

Many of our ancestral traditional medicine systems, which call upon all kingdoms of life as tools of healing,

support people in living in right relationship with ourselves and the Earth.

Plants, animals, fungi, minerals, rocks - all contain their own distinct healing powers.

Connection with the Earth and our ancestral healing traditions is our birthright.

How can we start to live in right relationship to the Earth on Turtle Island?

 

Fighting for Indigenous Land Sovereignty

 

Returning to our roots, as our ancestral plant traditions have much to teach us about cyclical living

Decolonizing our relationships with the land, nature, and consequently ourselves

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SARAH SERRANO

Sarah is a birthkeeper, urban farmer, ethnoherbalist, and educator. Her practice draws on Indigenous and Afrodiasporic plant and birthkeeping traditions from Turtle Island. She focuses on Taíno, Kalínago, African-American, and Caribbean folk remedies and birthing ceremonies. Her book, Ahiyakawo Ke (Land, Speak to Us): Taíno and Kalínago Herbalism, explores the botanical wisdom and ancestral plant traditions of the Taíno and Kalínago peoples of the Antillean islands.

 

Sarah holds a Masters of Arts in Education from Tufts University and is a certified fertility and postpartum doula by the National Black Doula Association, certified Childbirth Educator and Placenta Encapsulation Specialist by BEST Doula, and Nneka Hall certified PAIL Advocate (Pregnancy and Infant Loss). She has also completed end-of-life care for doulas and green burial coursework with ReDesigning the End. Sarah is a certified MassHealth (Massachusetts Medicaid) doula.


She has five years of experience in urban farming and garden education as well as one-on-one and group birthkeeping care, with a specialty in teenage and young adult pregnancies, poor and working class pregnancies, womb wellness, postpartum care, and nutrition in Eastern Massachusetts. Some of Sarah’s favorite plants include sunflowers, okra, cashew, cassava, and tobacco.

Workshops and Classes taught include: African Herbs for Children's Health, African & Indigenous Placenta Traditions, Taino Plant Dyes, Taino and Kalinago Fermentation, Beginner's Guide to Fertility Tracking, Placenta Tree Planting, Container Gardening 101, as well as various urban gardening and nutrition classes and workshops for students across Boston area schools, grades K-12. Sarah lectured an introduction to herbalism course for the 2024 Master Urban Gardener (MUG) series sponsored by the Trustees of Reservations of Boston.

NAOMI SPECTOR

Naomi is an ethnoherbalist, plant historian, and educator whose practice draws on Sefardi, Ashkenazi, and Mediterranean plant traditions. She provides holistic plant-based care (physical, emotional, mental, and spiritual) to those seeking root cause changes in their lifestyle, with a focus on ancestral plant medicine. She is the author of two books, 50 Illustrated Jewish Sayings and The Jewish Book of Flowers

 

Naomi is also an accomplished and deeply passionate educator, and has led courses and workshops through both bibi and ni and partnerships with other organizations including various synagogues. Topics have included introductory Jewish herbalism, Sefardi herbalism, Jewish amulets, infused oils, honey elixirs, and Jewish flowers. She holds a Masters of Arts in Education from Tufts University. 


She is one of the co-creators of the Jewish Herbalists Network, an affinity group within the Jewish Farmer Network, and was the keynote speaker at LimmudFest Atlanta 2023. Some of her favorite plants include garlic, pomegranate, chamomile, mulberry, and cedar.

Workshop and Classes taught include: Introduction to Jewish Herbalism and Introduction to Sefardi Herbalism (with the Aquarian Minyan), Jewish amulet workshops through various synagogues and organizations, Jewish honey elixir workshops through Kavod and Limmud, a Hanukkah Infused Oil Workshop (with Jewish herbalist Naomi Stein), a Jewish plant traditions for birth class, a Jewish foraging walk for LimmudFest Atlanta, a class on Jewish flower teachings through the Jewish Farmer Network, and a two-part class called Jewish Herbalism for Farmers, also through the Jewish Farmer Network. In May 2024 she taught a Sefardi Amulets and Plant Protection class through Rowan + Sage, and in June 2024 she taught a Jewish End-of-Life Herbalism class through the Ben Zakkai Institute.  

Writings and Interviews:

photo of herbalist naomi spector sitting on bench in park in boston reading her book the jewish book of flowers.
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