These are difficult times and we began this page in order to share the things we are trying and finding useful– safety protocols, recipes, handouts, etc. We hope they will be helpful to you and your loved ones.
This pandemic is revealing how torn the social and welfare fabric of our country is. Many, actually all of us, will suffer greatly due to this lack of public health policy, lack of universal healthcare, lack of housing, lack of food security, lack of so many things… maybe these events will teach us as a nation and a globe that health and happiness are not independent of others. They are collective pursuits. True healthcare is based on a foundation of mutual respect and mutual aid!
The Herbalista Free Clinic is preparing large amounts of HerbCare Packages for distribution to our friends on the street every week. If you would like to contribute to our work, please click here or on the button below to view our wish list.
DISCLAIMER DISCO: We are herbalists and not licensed medical doctors and do not diagnose or prescribe. The information here is based on a variety of sources, including the WHO, the CDC, and a variety of herbal traditions. Many of the recommendations are based on traditional applications for managing respiratory viruses in general. We make no claim regarding COVID-19, as this viral strain is new and so unknown to us. All folks are different, with different needs and different ways that their bodies respond to illness and to herbs. Please listen to your body and trust your experience. Hopefully you will have other support as well, from family and friends, from the medical community, and from our government. We hope that together we can all find the care we need in these difficult times.
COVID-19 Community Care Guide
Practical resources and protocols for the community herbalist and folks in general. This 11 page guide covers a range of topics such as basic COVID information; sanitation concerns (including how to make your own hand sanitizer); personal prevention; community living prevention; dealing with stress and anxiety; cold-care kitchen medicine; basic home care for mild illness; recuperation; clinical and apothecary concerns; and oh so much more.
Let’s keep each other safe and healthy!
Cold-Care Kitchen Medicine Handout
Our kitchens are literal medicine chests! These recommendations and recipes are based on traditional approaches for managing basic health, supporting the body and mind when under the weather.
Cold-Care Kitchen Basic Shopping List
Having supplies ready in the pantry BEFORE you get sick is a good idea. Here are some suggestions of items to have on hand:
Cold Care Tea
This tea blend is based on traditional blends used to support us when we’re down with a cold. The main ingredients are diaphoretics, which help our bodies modulate our temperature. The combination of Elder Flower, Yarrow, and Peppermint is a classic blend that has been used for decades, if not centuries, to support our bodies through the cold + flu.
Lung Re-Leaf Tea
This tea blend is a tasty way to support your lung health. Filled with lovely aromatics it is also an uplifting blend!
Sweet Soother Tea
A blend of mucilaginous, anti-inflammatory and vulnerary herbs, this blend is indicated for things like a sore throat, acid reflux, a dry cough, an itchy rash (topically and internally), etc. Not to mention, it tastes sweet and lovely!
Tonics, Extracts and Elixirs
BOTANICAL RESPIRATORY ANTI-VIRAL ELIXIR
This hot glycerite extract combines herbs that have traditionally been used to prevent and speed the healing from cold + flu, boost immunity, and support the respiratory system.
This hot glycerite compound is a tasty way to support your body and immune system. We made the first big batch to bring to Standing Rock and named it in their honor. Take alone or mix with other remedies such as Fire Cider or a cup of hot tea! Glycerine is a non-alcoholic solvent and is also safe for use by diabetics.
“Fire Cider is a popular traditional herbal remedy freely shared, made, produced and sold by hundreds of herbalists across the world. The remedy has taken on many different amendments over time, somewhat like chicken soup. The remedy is used to help warm up the body, and generally acts a stimulant and antimicrobial used during cold and flu season.” Rosemary Gladstar, Herbalist www.freefirecider.com
Public Health Resources
Vitamin D Recommendations by the Joint Committee on Health – Ireland
About this document
This report from the Irish Government’s JOINT COMMITTEE ON HEALTH published in April 2021, addresses Vitamin D deficiency as a public health measure in Ireland. Basic Summary: the government should encourage folks to take Vitamin D to reduce the risk and severity of COVID-19 infections. They should eliminate tax on Vitamin D supplements and also create an opt-out system for distribution of Vitamin D at all prisons, care homes, to front-line healthcare workers, and at COVID testing facilities. Welcoming the publication of the report, Health Committee Chairman Seán Crowe TD said: “As we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, international studies, and the experience of Finland in particular, show just how effective daily Vitamin D supplementation can be when it is implemented as part of an enhanced public health policy. This supplementation represents a safe, practical, and effective means of protecting human health. “The State needs to review preventative measures that might have led to fewer mortalities and lower morbidity. In that regard, the role of Vitamin D needs to be addressed as part of an enhanced public health policy to protect the population against respiratory infections and other illnesses.”
This report from the Irish Government’s JOINT COMMITTEE ON HEALTH published in April 2021, addresses Vitamin D deficiency as a public health measure in Ireland.
Basic Summary: the government should encourage folks to take Vitamin D to reduce the risk and severity of COVID-19 infections. They should eliminate tax on Vitamin D supplements and also create an opt-out system for distribution of Vitamin D at all prisons, care homes, to front-line healthcare workers, and at COVID testing facilities.
Welcoming the publication of the report, Health Committee Chairman Seán Crowe TD said: “As we emerge from the Covid-19 pandemic, international studies, and the experience of Finland in particular, show just how effective daily Vitamin D supplementation can be when it is implemented as part of an enhanced public health policy. This supplementation represents a safe, practical, and effective means of protecting human health.
“The State needs to review preventative measures that might have led to fewer mortalities and lower morbidity. In that regard, the role of Vitamin D needs to be addressed as part of an enhanced public health policy to protect the population against respiratory infections and other illnesses.”
Mutual Aid + Equity
NAACP: Coronavirus Equity Considerations
The coronavirus outbreak is officially a pandemic, according to the World Health Organization. Because of the racial and economic inequities embedded in our country’s systems, the effects of the coronavirus could be compounded for Black, Brown, Asian, and indigenous communities, as well as other population groups.
Mutual Aid Resources Hub by Paper Revolution Collective
Info on what mutual aid is; resources for building community and groups, listings of mutual aid groups around the US and the world; inspirational examples of mutual aid in action throughout history; etc.
Indigenous Mutual Aid Directory
Indigenous Mutual Aid is an information and support network with an anti-colonial and anti-capitalist framework. They exist to inspire and empower autonomous Indigenous relief organizing in response to COVID-19.
It’s Going Down (USA)
Autonomous Groups Are Mobilizing Mutual Aid Initiatives to Combat the Coronavirus
Street Medicine Practice during the COVID-19 Pandemic
“People experiencing unsheltered homelessness are at high risk of dying from COVID19…While people sleeping in shelters are at increased risk due to the impossibility of physical distancing, most people experiencing homelessness have chronic, severe medical conditions … that place them at high risk of death from COVID19. This document offers guidance for safety, scarcity of supplies, and special considerations for street medicine teams caring for rough sleepers.” Produced by the Street Medicine Institute
Mental Health + Self-Care
Viral Anxiety and Herbal Medicine
5 page handout by 7Song with herbal suggestions to support our mental health during this crisis.
The Icarus Project
The Icarus Project is a support network and education project by and for people who experience the world in ways that are often diagnosed as mental illness. We advance social justice by fostering mutual aid practices that reconnect healing and collective liberation.
COVID Resource and Information Guide
The National Alliance on Mental Illness (NAMI) is the nation’s largest grassroots mental health organization dedicated to building better lives for the millions of Americans affected by mental illness. NAMI has over 600 state organizations and affiliates across the nation. Find your local NAMI here. We hope this guide is helpful to the NAMI community and the greater public during this difficult period.
Taking Care of the Basics Poster
This poster is a comic Sophie Crumb made for the Icarus Project about being sure you eat good food, sleep, exercise, take your meds/herbs/etc., and have some kind of schedule. Helpful reminders.
First Aid for Emotional Trauma
“A two-page handout on what emotional trauma is and how to work to heal it, written by Will Hall and based on Peter Levine, Hakomi, Judith Herman, and Process-Oriented Psychology. 12-08 update: this flyer is in use by the Bay Area Crititical Incident Stress Management team.”– Icarus Project
Ear Acupressure for Homeless Shelter Stress Management
Color for Justice! Color for Calm!
Immerse yourself in a pulsating insect chorus in Borneo’s tropical rainforest, or climb the Himalayas and relax to the melodies of birdsong in an alpine meadow. Use Nature Soundmap to discover the wonderful soundscapes and wildlife sounds of our planet.
Relaxing Breathwork Mindfulness Card
Printable postcards with a simple relaxation breathing technique. We include these in our HerbCare Packs.
Tension + Release Mindfulness Card
Printable postcard with a mindfulness technique. The card leads you through a simple tension and relaxation exercise. We include these in our HerbCare Packs.
Herbal Language Tips During COVID
MaryBlue, Herbalist, Things Western Herbalist should be aware of when recommending herbs during the COVID-19 Crisis, with a focus on how we describe our remedies to avoid “practicing medicine without a license” or making claims to “treat”.
Treating Pandemic Influenza with Herbal Medicine
written during the Swine Flu by British Herbalists Christopher Hedley and Non Shaw. Straightforward advice on dealing with a flu from a holistic perspective.
Podcast 116: Herbs for Coronavirus
podcast from the Commonweath Center for Holistic Herbalism, featuring herbalists Katja and Ryn. More than just herbs, they cover other essentials such as sanitation, supplies, immune support, and more.
COVID Guidance by American Society of Acupuncturists
helpful recommendations for Licensed Acupuncturists as issued by this Society
Institute for Functional Medicine: Covid-19
IFM COVID-19 Functional Medicine Resources for both patient and practitioner. Guides to Nutriceuticals + Botanicals; Resilience + Lifestyle; Practice Considerations; Testing; and Vaccines.
N95 Mask UV Sanitation
Color for Justice! Color for Calm!
Harvest + Growing
Wildcrafting Log Sheet
We care deeply about the health of our planet and the plants, so please, only gather from clean and abundant sources! If you are not familiar with “ethical wildcrafting,” please spend the time to read this information made available by Howie Brounstein here. Do not pick protected, in danger, or at-risk plants. To learn more about this, please visit the United Plant Savers Species At-Risk Page.
Grow a Row Atlanta
The Grow A Row Program promotes herban-agriculture in the Atlanta area by encouraging seed and skill sharing. Now, more than ever, it is so important we establish a local herbal infrastructure! We welcome farmers, schools, and individuals!
United Way of Great Atlanta
Very succinct listing of resources — food services (food pantries, soup kitchens, grocery delivery, senior hours, free school meal distro, etc); housing services (eviction and foreclosure); health and medical (testing, mental health); prescription services; childcare services; employment; benefits; etc.
COVID-19 Community Care Brochure
2 sided google doc brochure written with practical advice for our friends living on the street.
Folleto de cuidado para el COVID-19
Foletto imprimible hecho por “Herbalista Free Clinic”, una clínica gratuita, para ser distribuido y con atención especial para los que viven sin hogar o con escasos recursos.
Multi-Lingual COVID-19 Factsheets
Now in 35 languages, All of these factsheets are “reviewed and vetted by physicians and medical school faculty members at the Harvard hospitals. These materials are created in collaboration with Harvard Health Publishing. These materials are freely available for download and distribution without copyright restrictions.” Fact sheets for adults and different age groups of children!
HerbCare Pack Ideas
When assembling a care pack, there are lots of options. Think about if your pack is geared towards prevention, or to help care for someone already suffering with mild illness. Here are suggestions for different categories of care and items you might consider.
Mercy Church Community HerbCare Packages
Example packing list for the HerbCare Packages we are distributing to our friends on the street via Mercy Church. Notice we also include HerbCare Packages for the Mercy Staff, and also herbs for use when they prepare food for the soup kitchen.
Packing List for Grocery Distro Location
Example packing list for the HerbCare Packages we are distributing to folks via the Free Grocery Distro at the South Bend Commons. We’ve included lots of kitchen medicine in these packs that can be useful to folks who have kitchens and can cook.
HerbCare Pack Insert Example
Courtesy of Dublin Airport, a simple graphic with hygiene and safety reminders.
Creative Commons License
* To promote growth, collaboration, and generosity, all work included in this toolkit is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 4.0 International License. This means you are free to share and adapt the material as long as you follow the license terms (i.e. crediting original source and if you decide to then distribute your material, it must continue to be free for others to ShareAlike!!)