The Sacred Science
The Sacred Science
The Sacred Science
Item#: TSA-1013
Choose License:  Format: 

Running Time: 77 minutes
Grades 10 - Adult
Scene Selection • Closed Captioned
Special Features
A Film by Nick Polizzi and Dan Bailey


"The Sacred Science" does not declare traditional healing superior to Western medicine or even, obviously, as successful in all cases. However, it does make a strong case for taking the knowledge of non-Western curing seriously, as well as for understanding health and illness as more than merely physical. Classroom showings will almost certainly generate some lively and provocative discussion."
–Anthropology Review Database

"The Sacred Science is a gem of a film about healing, a film whose many facets include herbalism, spirituality, psychedelia, energy balancing, social communion, and an abiding love for the wisdom of nature. It’s deep respect for the healing power of the shamanic traditions of the Amazon would be an excellent counterbalance to the hyper-analytic focus in American medical schools today."
– Dr. Rick Leskowitz, MD, ABHM, Harvard Medical School

"Even skeptics will likely be impressed by the way that old barriers between the physical and the spiritual seems to melt away here, and by the eloquence of the film's underlying plea to preserve Amazonian healing traditions increasingly under threat by deforestation, modernization, and eco-tourism. Captures the whole process beautifully…and the ambient sense of wonder in The Sacred Science is hard to resist."
-Starz Denver Film Festival

"Entering the heart of healing in the heart of the Amazon, we find that saving the rainforest really does mean saving ourselves."
– Mill Valley Film Festival


Official Selection
Mill Valley Film Festival
Starz Denver Film Festival
Environmental Film Festival in the Nation's Capital



All prices include DVD and PPR

• K-12 Schools, Public Libraries & Nonprofits $89
• Colleges, Gov't, & Businesses: $250
• Colleges, Gov't, & Businesses (with DSL): $550

The Sacred Science is a groundbreaking documentary that captures an unprecedented glimpse into the ancient healing practices of the Amazon rainforest’s medicine men, or shamans, whose unique knowledge of indigenous plants and rituals is threatened by deforestation, modernization and ecotourism.

The region’s traditional healers have knowledge of a vast catalogue of natural plant medicines and practices that have been time-tested for centuries, but are little-known outside the rainforests and may soon be lost forever. A large number of the synthetic medicines we know today were discovered in these rainforests. However, less than 5% of Amazonian plants have been examined for their healing potential.

The Sacred Science follows eight people from the developed world with a variety of common and serious ailments who embark on a challenging, one-month healing journey into the heart of the Amazon jungle. Working with a handful of shamans experienced in the harvesting and preparation of traditional plant medicines, as well as ritual exercises, these men and women seek to overcome Parkinson’s disease, cancer, alcoholism, diabetes and depression. Ultimately, five of the patients return with measurable improvements, exceeding the expectations of many.

Never before has such a candid, in-depth account of these traditional practices been caught on film. The Sacred Science is a provocative call both to look deeper into these traditional methods and their potential benefit to humankind, as well as to preserve the forests and ancient cultures for the treasures and knowledge they possess.


The disc includes:

• Interview with Jacques Mabit, owner of a renowned drug rehabilitation center in the Amazon that only uses traditional plant medicines and boasts a 70% success rate with crack and heroine addicts.

• Foray deep into the jungle with a Chazuta medicine woman who points out and explains a few extremely potent plants she uses to treat cancer, tuberculosis, and HIV.

• Overview of the permaculture techniques being implemented to reinvigorate decimated regions of the rainforest, and shows the dangers of slash and burn agriculture.

• Behind the scenes clip showing how the film was made.