Please join us this February at the Big House for access to an array of health services, including Herbal Therapy, Yoga, Reflexology, and more.  Services are on a first come, first serve basis, but while you wait, please take part in the classes we will have running throughout the day or network with other friends.   All services are free and open to the public, but donations are most welcomed and appreciated!

 

All Services from 11:00 am  – 4:00 pm:

Herbal Aide

Reflexology

Hot Tea

Referral and Resource Services

Bonfire!!!

 

Open Class Schedule:

12:00 – 12:45 – Herbs with Gretchen

1:00 – 1:45 – Mental Health with Orion

3:– – 3:30 – Yoga with Lynn Brandli (no mats required)

 

Brought to you by Herbalista ~ Building Community through Herbalism!

It’s all about Atlanta today.  So earlier I posted a link to our foraging database, for medicinal plants around the atlanta area.   And now here is the link to a listing of Free and Low Cost Clinics in Atlanta.

This list is by no means all-inclusive and is quite literally a work in progress.  The information provided on this list has been culled from the internet, by word of mouth, and through personal contact. If I have personally interacted with a resource, it has been underlined, so I can better vouch for the information provided. Over time, we hope this list will grow and descriptions improve as we get better acquainted with the different providers and services.

If you have had any experience with these services and would like to suggest modifications to descriptions, or if you can recommend additions to the list, please notify us at Lorna@Herbalista.org.

You don’t have to live on a pristine mountainside or disappear into the wilderness to be an herbalist and have a meaningful relationship with your local plant medicine.  In our megapolis, we are surrounded by plantain and dandelion growing through cracks in the sidewalk, mimosa trees sprouting in abandoned lots, and honeysuckle and kudzu clambering up telephone poles!  Take a look around.  Discover what’s growing in your yard ?  Who are your green neighbors?

Check out our Forage page at the Herbalista website and see our month-by-month photo gallery and guide to the medicinals growing all around us in Atlanta.  You’ll be surprised by our medicinal abundance.

Never ingest anything you have not positively identified.  For practice with proper plant identification join us on guided plant walks throughout the season or use a reliable field guide such as, Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants by “Wildman” Steve Brill. Please harvest responsibly and review Wildcrafting for Beginners by Howie Brounstein who reminds us, “Wildcrafting is stewardship.”

 

The Herb Cart is the newest service project of the Herbalista Free Clinic. This little herbal first aid station on wheels aims to provide both care and education to underserved communities around the Atlanta area. It also serves as a training opportunity for herbalists and herb students wishing for more clinical opportunities. For more information on the Herb Cart Program and how you can be involved, click here.

IMG_1030We ran our first clinic yesterday at Woodruff Park (aka Troy Davis Park) alongside Food Not Bombs. The Food Not Bombs Movement finds inspiration in the words of Dr. Martin Luther King who said “A nation that continues year after year to spend more money on military defense than on programs of social uplift is approaching spiritual death.” They bring a hot meal and music to the park every Sunday.

IMG_1075We were happy to join them in their mission, and a little temporary community was formed for this brief afternoon. Food, medicine, and music for all!  We set up two consultation areas, with the cart in the middle to serve as our apotheke on wheels.  If you are interested in this type of work, please check out our photo album here.   You can see the evolution of what was once a wee shopping cart into the herbalistic vessel she is today 🙂

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I’m putting some final edits on the Herb Cart Manual and will be posting that to the website soon for your pleasure and use.  Here’s to hoping that this project is highly contagious, and we have herb carts breaking out across the country in epidemic proportions.

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A girl can dream can’t she…

~ Herbalista Lorna

 

Went down to Woodruff Park (aka Troy Davis Park) in downtown Atlanta yesterday afternoon to provide herbal care alongside the Food not Bombs crew. Worked with around 12 people over the 2 hours we were there. Most people were dealing with winter time ailments — chest congestion, sinus congestion, low energy, and the aches and pains the cold weather brings. But there were also folks who wanted help with chronic concerns, such as high blood pressure and diabetes. I make sure to bring non-alcoholic options (glycerinates, capsules, tea bags) in addition to my tincture kit as not every one can take medicines prepared with alcohol.

The gentleman in the picture is holding my log-in sheet, which I use to keep track of the conditions I see and the remedies I offer. It also has spaces to mark important information such as medications they might already be taking, allergies they have, and if they can take remedies made in alcohol. There is a copy of this form in the SEWHC First Aid Manual that is available for free in PDF form from the “Resources” page of the Herbalista website.

I want to thank the Food not Bombs volunteers for the great work they do. And I hope I can join them again soon.

Building Community through Herbalism

  • Grow a Row

  • Medicine Making Workshops

  • Herbalista Free Clinics

The days grow shorter and we will soon miss the abundantly warm embrace of our sunny, southern skies. The nights will grow colder, slowly slicing away at our skin, nipping and then biting our tender toes and ears. The barren branches will solemnly stand witness to the dissonant chord struck in our hearts, as the dimming light of winter threatens our primal need for security. Winter intimidates even the most finely housed of individuals.

To many the twinkling lights of holiday cheer are reminders of a home one doesn’t have, and the blanket that had offered a taste of rest will be unable to cushion against a frozen ground. What I am wondering tonight, is can this fading warmth actually stoke our abilities? Will we manage to take inspiration from the dying leaves burning in bright defiance against a cold, stark sky? Can the challenges of winter create champions of us all? I almost wrote that I hope it does, but I once read that hope is based on fear. And while fear is a strong motivator, it does not provide nourishment; action based solely on fear will be short lived. So even if fear be the initial spark, let us stoke our bonfires with compassion and sustain these flames on a love of community. And just to pour a little herbal fuel on the fire, please enjoy these recipes for herbal holiday gifts.

Herbal Holiday Gifts

May you be warmed by cinnamon and ginger from your hearts to your toes.

For full December Herbalista Happenings click here.

SnowJam 2014
Saturday, February 1, 2014

Atlanta was hit hard this past week. And before we blame the snow and ice, our current mayor and governor’s lack of salt, or the driving skills of Southerners, we must recognize the cause of SnowJam 2014 wasn’t a white flake, it was white flight. For decades now, the landscape of our metro area has been shaped by racial fear, an insidious fear that created a chronic disease called suburban sprawl. Sprawl is a truly devastating condition that siphons shared resources away from the heart, undermines vital systems, and creates pockets of stagnation, inflammation and infection. Unfortunately, due to the stigma of diseases that are bigoted in origin we have spent decades in denial. The epicenter of our recent health crises was along the smog-scented arterials of the northern commute– that daily migration toward Cobb county, Gwinnett county, Cherokee county, Sandy Springs, Alpharetta, and Roswell.

Wasn’t this preventable? Why did we avoid practicing preventative care and proper health maintenance, such as mass transit? Probably for the same reasons (racism, classism, etc.) we found ourselves susceptible to sprawl in the first place. When only 3 of the close to 100 counties and municipalities that make up the Atlanta metro area financially support MARTA (our mass transit system), when MARTA is THE LARGEST public transportation agency in the US that does not receive state funding for operational expenses, we have a serious disconnect with reality and little chance for survival. My hope is that this crisis leads to positive change. Let’s accept our shared responsibility as stewards of this land, and let us care for her, for our neighbors, and for ourselves. It’s time practice mass transit, nurture that infrastructure, improve circulation, and share in the beauty of what our region can become.

~Herbalista Lorna

A Note of Disclosure: Lorna has an obvious mass transit bias as she drives a bus, aka The Herb Bus. For the full story on this little bus that could, check out our annual 2013 Herb Bus Service Report.

The Bus and I are humbled and honored to be the recipients of the 2013 Community Service Award, presented by the American Herbalists Guild.  I am grateful that in my life I have had the chance to serve my community, that I actually had something I could offer to them.  I am also grateful to this herbal path, which has taught me so many lessons and surrounded me with amazingly creative and compassionate people.  Being an herbalist allows me to serve plant, person, and planet, and it is an honor.

Thank you, AHG, for having considered our little Bus for this award.  There has been so much community support to help this project succeed and now we feel yet another set of hands lifting up our work, that of the Guild.  Thank you.  We will continue to do our best to spread the health by putting herbs in the hands of the people.

~Herbalista Lorna

Standing at the crossroads where the fruits fade, the leaves begin to fall, and the bright air is tinged with chill, I see why this month is dedicated to our giving thanks. We need this warming of the heart, a chance to feed the flame that it can burn bright through the dark winter.

And as I quietly sit in gratitude for the many blessings my family, community, and planet have provided, I cannot help but be haunted by guilt and indignation– for these blessings are not equally bestowed. Many go without for the benefit of a few, their deficit the requirement of another’s bounty.

But we can use this incendiary truth to stoke our burning resolve to transform the status quo. I use it to fuel the Herb Bus, spreading health and wellness, one remedy at a time. I use it to warm the foot baths at the Harriet Tubman Foot Clinic soothing the feet of our friends on the street. And as I work towards this more loving and just community, the indignation is transformed yet again into gratitude– that I am able to give.

I am reminded of the lyrics of “Given To,” a song by Ruth Berbermeyer.

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I never feel more given to than when you take from me –
when you understand the joy I feel giving to you.
And you know my giving isn’t done to put you in my debt,
but because I want to live the love I feel for you.
To receive with grace may be the greatest giving.
There’s no way I can separate the two.
When you give to me, I give you my receiving.
When you take from me, I feel so given to.

Thank you friends and strangers, who fill my world with purpose and love.
~ Herbalista Lorna
(from her musings on a gold-rimmed and smoke scented autumn)

 

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