Image 12The final stop on the Herb Bus’s 2014 west Coast Tour, was at Ponderosa High School in Flagstaff, AZ.  This is my second year visiting this accomodations high school that is tasked with educating a diverse and underserved group of teens.  The Bus was hosted by the Terra BIRDS program, a local nonprofit that teaches kids stewardship and sustainability through gardening.  Together with the students they have turned what was once desert pavement, into an incredible example of permaculture in action.  

This Tuesday morning, we set up the Bus so the students could learn more a bit about what we do at the Herbalista Free Clinic.  After showing the medicine kits and describing the type of healthcare we provide, we stepped into their garden and talked about the plants they had already growing around them.  I was honored to get to share my work on the Bus with them and look forward to another visit!

Foot Care on Skid Row

On my final day in LA, before heading east, I visited the Los Angeles Catholic Worker “Hippie Kitchen,” located in the middle of the central city ghetto known as Skid Row. Founded in 1970, this Hospitality Kitchen is part of the Catholic Worker Movement, founded in the 30’s by Dorothy Day with the mission to “feed the hungry, shelter the homeless, care for the sick, clothe the naked, visit the prisoner.”

This center is more than a soup kitchen. In addition to meal and clinical services, they have cultivated a garden beyond belief, filled with artwork and heart, to provide a refuge from the harsh reality of living on the street.  
IMG_9392At the Open Door’s Harriet Tubman Foot Clinic we have been lucky to host, on occasion, workers from the LACW Foot Clinic.  I am so glad to now have the chance to work with their crew on Footcare Friday!  In the middle of such tragedy, the Hippie Kitchen shines like a jewel. The gardens and buildings are filled with mosaics and murals. A contrast to the encampments which line the streets of Skid Row each night.The foot clinic at the Hippie Kitchen, is held outside in the middle of the gardens.  What a healing experience for the wounded, to gaze upon flowers as their feet are tended.  And what an incredibly moving experience for the practitioner, to work in these magical surroundings.

I hope to return again next year, to visit with this community, so dedicated to caring for their brothers and sisters and friends on the street.  I look forward to getting the chance to once again, share skills and share in this uplifting work.  Big shout out to the folks of the LACW!  Thank you!



IMG_7453After a few weeks in England, where I had the honor of attending the Radical Herbalism Gathering (click here to check out some photos and stories from this truly radical event), I made a quick pit stop in Atlanta to pack up the Bus.  I am now slowly rolling west across this amazingly beautiful and bountiful country.  First stop is the CALM First Aid Station at the annual Rainbow Gathering in northeastern Utah.  This will be my 3rd year serving alongside and learning from the other wonderfully skilled practitioners who volunteer their efforts at this free-off-the-grid-clinic and keep this temporary village in most vital health.

The next stop is California, where I will spend a few weeks in the Bay area and LA to offer a series of workshops and Herb Bus events.  Check the Herbalista Calendar of Classes for events as they are added.

And no trip would be complete without plenty of time with the plants — botanizing and wildcrafting along the way as we make sweet, sweet herbal medicine to share with patients and friends.



The Bus had a busy month.  In addition to regular clinical rounds at our Atlanta stations, facilitating workshops in South Carolina, North Carolina, Virginia and Georgia, and the release of the new updates to the Herb Bus Service Manual, we also tried out a new project, oh-so-creatively named the Herb Cart!

The Herb Cart is our attempt to reach even greater numbers of those in need.  This April we set up a mini herbal first aid station at the morning soup kitchen of the Open Door Community.  While folks came through for morning coffee, sandwiches and clothing, we were there to provide herbal support, such as immune tonics, allergy remedies, and wound care.  We treated over 20 people in the hour we were there and hope to make this a regular part of the Herbalista Free Clinic offerings.  A special thanks to Anna Russ, of Anna Apotheca, for lending a hand!

The bus went snow-birding in early February, as we toured Florida.  The photo above shows our first aid station at the Florida Earthskills Gathering.  It is a privilege and pleasure to be able to offer support at events such as these, which preserve and promote a culture of earth protection and respect.  Working a station such as this is a chance to see herbs in action, learning by doing and by observation.  We benefit from noting our patients’ experience, from seeing herbs work and not work, and through skill-sharing of materia medica and clinical techniques with the other practitioners we serve alongside.

Next the Bus headed south to St. Pete’s to run a workshop and clinic practicum for the clinical students of the Acupuncture and Herbal Therapies Training Program.  Day 1 reviewing the Herb Bus Service Manual and making preparations for the next day’s clinic.  Instead of working from the Herbalista Kits, this time we custom built herbal kits on site. This was important for a few reasons. First, we wanted the kits to reflect THEIR style of herbalism and be filled with the tools the students are used to working with (this school practices from a chinese-western blended herbal perspective). Next, it’s just fun to build them. It makes you consider every aspect of your clinical practice– which herbs you use, in what quantities, what types of preparations, how you dispense them, how can you arrange them in an efficient way, and how can you add a little bling (it’s all about the gold duct tape). And what is really thrilling, is that when the Herb Bus rolls out of town, the kits will remain in St Pete’s, with the students, hopefully for many clinics to come! Day 2 brought severe thunderstorms, but in the style of good health we were flexible.  Instead of working out of the Herb Bus, under the elements, we held our clinic in the shelter of the center.  Click here for photos.

~Herbalista Lorna

Herbalista Free Clinic Service Report

Screen Shot 2013-05-13 at 8.00.20 PM


It’s hard to believe that our clinic debut was not even a year ago!  On Feburary 6, 2013 we pitched for the first time at the Open Door Community in Atlanta.  It has been a tremendously exciting year, and we hope this is just the beginning of a long and healing journey.

We wanted to share some of the highlights with you:

At our Atlanta hub we hosted 17 clinics, where we served gallons of seasonal tea blends, conducted 111 consultations, dispensed 2 1/2 gallons of customized tincture formulas (alcohol and glycerites), 8#’s of raw custom herbal and powder blends, and a variety of other remedies including essential oil sniffers, herbal capsules, and oil rubs.

We facilitated several pop-up first aid clinics around the country, including the Rainbow Gathering in Montana, the Firefly Gathering in North Carolina, the Southeast Women’s Herbal Conference in North Carolina, and the Georgia Organics Conference in GA, where we served hundreds more and put herbal healing in the hands of the people.

We spread the Herb Bus method and our love for plants and community at numerous classes and workshops.  Some of our hosts included  Ponderosa High School, the Blue Ridge School of Herbal Medicine, Warren Wilson College, Homestead Atlanta, and the High Museum of Art.

We created the Herb Bus Service Manual to help others start free clinic projects in their communities.  This manual is available as a free PDF download from our website.

The Herb Bus Service Manual

Lorna, the herbalista who drives this sweet ol’ bus around town, was awarded the 2013 Community Service Award by the American Herbalists Guild to honor her work with the Herbalista Free Clinic and the Harriet Tubman Free Foot Clinic.

The Bus drove over 10,000 miles delivering healthcare and herbal education around the country.

And, saving the best for last, we spent time with the plants– studying their form, learning their energetics and actions, and wildcrafting to prepare sweet sweet remedies to share with our patients and community.

Thanks  to our community who supports this work, our teachers who inspire us to grow and strive, the plants who heal, and the people who receive these gifts with grace. Viva la Herb Bus!

~Herbalista Lorna

Neither wind, nor rain, nor snow, nor downright COLD, keeps us from our appointed rounds.

January 8, 2014, Open Door Station, Atlanta.

This past year was an incredible journey.  As 2013 took her first breath, the Herbalista Free Clinic was merely a whisper in my head and a hope in my heart.  Since beginning our rounds that sunny and crisp February afternoon (captured in this photo by Jessica Horwitz), we now have two established regularly serviced stations in the Atlanta area, at which we have held 16 clinics, provided over 100 consultations, and abundantly dispensed sweet, sweet herbal remedies.  We helped to facilitate free first aid clinics at gatherings in states around the country.  We led plant walks, taught workshops, and ten trained other herbalists on our model using the Herb Bus Service Manual.

In December we welcomed a new apotheker to the Herb Bus crew!  Corinne returns to Atlanta after spending the last year homesteading in North Carolina.  During her stay in the mountains, Corinne helped wildcraft medicines for the bus, and now that she has returned to the city, she will be heaping to place those healing remedies in the hands of the people.

And as we travel these forbidden roads of free, earth-based medicine in a for-profit-pharma-surgically-controlled-country, we have discovered a most verdant underbelly.  For while forbidden, these roads are anything but lonely.  There is an ever growing number of dedicated healers, inspired teachers, generous medicine makers, and gifted facilitators, working to serve in their communities.  We are grateful for their company and inspired by this shared vision of collaborative care for all earth’s children.

Here’s wishing you a New Year filled with bliss, purpose, and herbalistic voyages!

~Herbalista Lorna

Each year the SouthEast Women’s Herbal Conference sets up camp at Lake Eden outside of Black Mountain, NC. Over 1000+ women and children attend this 3 day event in the early fall. Our First Aid Center is tasked with providing earth-based care for this temporary village. All of our services and remedies are offered free. For many, a visit to our clinic facilitates their first healing experience with herbal medicine, illuminating the vital link between true health and nature. We had over 100 visits to the center and also made a few “cabin calls.”

Our clinic is hostessed by graduates from the Appalachia School of Holistic Herbalism (ASHH) located in West Asheville, NC. I have had the honor both serving and coordinating this clinic for the past several years and share with you some pictures from this year’s clinic. I have also been working on a mini-manual filled with information on how we staff, stock, and provide this type of clinic for those who may be inspired to do the same in their neck of the woods. It is available as a PDF on the Herbalista website.

This June and July, the Herb Bus drove cross country to spend time with the plants and serve the people. We assisted in free clinics at both the Firefly and Rainbow Gatherings and also spent time in the field, botanizing and wildcrafting for medicines. The next voyage is planned for September.

Click the link below to see more photos from our trip.  Viva la Herb Bus!

This June and July, the Herb Bus drove cross country to spend time with the plants and serve the people. We assisted in…

Posted by Lorna Mauney-Brodek on Wednesday, July 24, 2013

1 2 3