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!
Please see our new online resource: COVID-19 Community Care Center
We hope you will join in our mission of building community through herbalism!
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 Herb Bike (in Dublin), 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, 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!
To help folks wanting to build-up their own community’s herbal infrastructure, we’ve loaded this website with resources, including the online Herbalista Toolkit and several “how-to” manuals.
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