Herbal medicine can truly be a medicine by and for the people! One way to demystify herbal medicine and to empower folks to get more comfortable using herbs is by setting up HerbCare Stations directly in our communities. These stations are geared towards herbal self-care and dispense items such as fire cider, herbal cough drops, and other tonics based on kitchen medicine. We have installed HerbCare Stations (aka self-care stations) at community centers, co-housing facilities, occupations, shelters, refugee camps, and offices. We’ve pushed them around on carts and set-up pop-up HerbCare stations in city parks and at health fairs, festivals and gatherings.
These mini-health stations offer folks a chance to care for themselves with herbs and vitamins. It is a chance to both heal and to learn! If you are interested in creating an HerbCare Station in your neck of the woods, we have lots of packing lists and templates in the Toolkit to help get you started and a little guide book at the bottom of this page!
Due to the current corona crisis, there are important modifications to make to our HerbCare stations. Here is what we’ve done:
- Remove all shared pumps from permanent stations. In place, offer only individually bagged and packaged items for folks to pick up and take with them.
- If you want to continue to offer up single shots of things like fire cider, such as is the case in some soup kitchens, bring out the station when it can be manned by one designated person who has washed and gloved hands and allow them to pump and dispense all the shots.
- Switch over to offering HerbCare Packages! We now bag up herbal care packages and distribute them to folks so they have their own set of items with which to self-care. For lists and examples, please see the packing lists at the Community Care Center.
Important Considerations for your HerbCare Station:
- Let your HerbCare Station reflect the needs and desires of the community you serve!
- Use common remedies, such as items you might in a local grocery store or growing in the community.
- Use remedies that are considered safe with limited contraindications
- Make it easy to serve remedies in a hygienic manner (i.e. hand pumps on bottles or individually packaged remedies).
- Provide hand sanitizer.
- Create signage to help folks find what they need and learn more about the remedies and herbs.
- Use trays or boxes to contain the station, helping it to stay organized and clean.
- Have fun!