Herbalista recognizes healthcare as a fundamental human right. We sponsor health services and herbal education through a variety of programs, empowering folks to care for themselves and their neighbors. We believe true healthcare is based on a foundation of mutual respect and mutual aid– solidarity not charity!
In 2013, Herbalista launched the first Herb Bus clinic in Atlanta and has since shared this model of mobile community care with herbalists across the US, Ireland and the UK! This website was built to document the Herbalista projects in real time and be a support to others looking to do this work in their neck of the woods.💚
Herbalista Projects Past + Present
Herbal Medicine is the oldest and most widely used form of medicine in the world! After 15 years serving East Atlanta, the brick and mortar Community Herbal Clinic has closed its doors and moved online. We offer online consultations on a sliding scale basis, helping bring people and herbs together.
For 5 years, our monthly community Health Fair brought together holistic clinicians and educators to offer free health services, wellness classes, and a spot of tea. This was true community healthCARE– by the people, for the people. Learn more about how you can bring this healing to your community!
The Harriet Tubman Free Foot Clinic offers integrative therapies to care for the feet of those experiencing homelessness. All services are free thanks to generous volunteers and donors. Although Herbalista no longer coordinates the clinic, we still love to spread the joy of herbal foot care!
Herbalista was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, home to Dr. Martin Luther King who said, “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health care is the most shocking and inhumane.”
For a city that prides itself on the egalitarian legacy of Dr. King, we have also become the city with the largest income inequality in the United States! This type of contradiction is all too common, with rhetoric often not matching the reality. Even within the Herbal Community, where we point to the failure of our conventional medical system to provide adequate and accessible care, we sometimes recreate the very same problematic model, where only the privileged few have access to herbalists.
The Herbalista Free Clinic was an attempt at a different way of doing things. Wanting to get herbs directly in the hands of folks who needed them most, Lorna Mauney-Brodek decided to expand her Herbalista family herb practice to include a free mobile clinic. She kitted out the old family VW camper van and hit the road. Nicknamed the Herb Bus, she had a vision of utilizing mobile medicine as a means of providing earth-based care to underserved communities. By freeing the clinic from the confines of brick and mortar, we effectively lowered our overhead costs, expanded treatment capacity and unleashed our creativity. Oh, how we love mobile!
We scheduled regular stops around town to offer free clinical care, a spot of tea, and herbal education. Over the years our services grew and expanded to include the Herb Cart, the Dublin Herb Bike, a Community Health Fair, and numerous pop-up HerbCare Stations.
We strive for a community-based model of healthcare that is based on solidarity and not charity. Our programming is crafted to share skills, keep costs down, and give us all the chance to share our love through service. Solidarity Medicine Making Workshops, the Grow a Row Program, the Fire Cider Brigade, and Plant Rambles not only keep the apothecary stocked and the clinics rolling, but have helped cultivate an extended community care network throughout the local area. We see improved health outcomes, stronger support networks, and a growing vitality that comes simply from working with plants!
We are appreciative of the support we have received from herbal colleagues and herbal organizations over the years. In 2013, the Herbalista Free Clinic and Lorna were presented with a Community Service Award by the American Herbalists Guild. And in 2021, the Herbalista Herbal Clinic was given an award for ‘Herbalism in the Community’ by the National Institute of Medical Herbalists Award.
We’ve put together this website to document our projects in real time, to help folks wanting to build-up their own community’s herbal infrastructure. We’ve loaded it with resources, including the online Herbalista Toolkit and several “how-to” manuals. We hope that it can help you build community through herbalism!
Herbalista was born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia on land that is the traditional home to the Muscogee and Cherokee peoples. They lived, traveled, and stewarded these lands until they were forcibly removed by the US government in the 1800’s. We want to acknowledge this history of genocide and also the present connection these tribes still have to their original homelands.
We acknowledge that this land is now home to folks from all over the world, migrants who have come here for a multitude of reasons – economic or educational opportunity, to be near family, to flee violence or persecution, to escape environmental disasters… too many reasons to list them all here.
We hope that all of us who call this land home will do our best to respect her and each other. May we be good stewards and honor our connection to this land.
By the People, For the People
While the Herbalista Free Clinic has a focus on serving the homeless and other vulnerable and marginalzed populations, we also recognize that under the current established models of healthcare in the U.S., we are all under-served! So long as the medical and governmental structures prioritize pharmaceutical medicine and surgical intervention, the people are being denied their right to health.
Herb and food based tonic therapy have always been a necessary part of human evolution and survival. Access to health care is a human right and our mission is to providing the tools, encouragement, and lived examples of how we can take back this basic right.
Inclusive Care (Non-discrimination Policy)
The Herbalista Health Networks welcomes students, volunteers, partners, patients, clients, guests, and friends of any race, color, national or ethnic origin, religion, economic strata, ability, sexuality, and gender-orientation to join us! We believe in diversity, not discrimination!
We are herbalists, not licensed medical doctors, and do not diagnose or prescribe. We work WITH our clinic guests and value an open, honest dialogue about their current concerns and health goals. We do our best to help them achieve those goals.
We are both thrilled and humbled by the opportunity to serve the people, the plants, and the planet. Much appreciation to the communities who welcome us into their folds, love to the friends and family who share our journey, and gratitude to the mighty crew who holds it down in the ATL and now Dublintown to make it all possible.
And the crew I speak of is larger than Herbalista. It is larger than the Big House or the Open Door Community or the Apollo House. Our crew rolls deep. We may not always know each other, but we are headed in the same direction. We may not have realized we had each other’s backs, but we defend the same rights and stand by the same ideals.
A big shout-out to the urban agrarians; the homesteaders and humanitarians; the craftsmen and caretakers; the teachers and radicals; the permaculturalists and pacifists; the wellness warriors and earth champions.
Thank you friends of the field, the forest, the street, and the subway. May we continue to rally together, for health and community!
💚 The Herbalista Crew
Herbalista and members of our crew are not licensed medical doctors and do not diagnose disease or prescribe medicines. We are herbalists and herbal apprentices who will work with our community to help folks achieve their self-identified personal health goals. Our services do not take the place of a medical doctor. Conventional care and herbal care are quite complementary of each other so it is important to be transparent with your chosen health practitioners about the different medications and herbs you take.
When choosing to gather and prepare your own remedies, please be careful! Some plants are poisonous. Some plants can cause allergic reactions. Some plants can be hard to properly identify. It is important to be absolutely 100% sure before you ingest something or give something to others. For more information on safe foraging, please visit our Forage ATL webpage.
We have loaded this website with many tools and resources and want to encourage you to explore the incredible world of herbal medicine. As health is a complex subject, it is important that we approach it with an open mind, but also put on our critical thinking hat! We are sharing what we have learned via our own direct experience and education, but all humans are unique and therefore what might be true for Herbalista, might not be for you. It is important you listen to your body and double check things for yourself. Move slowly when trying a new remedy for the first time. Take your time and enjoy the journey!