Herbal medicine can truly be a medicine by and for the people. One way to demystify herbal medicine and to empower folks to practice herbal self-care is by setting up HerbCare Stations. We have installed HerbCare Stations (aka self-care stations) at community centers, co-housing facilities, occupations, shelters, 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!
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.
Make a Station!
WHO IS IT FOR?
- Does your station serve a diverse group of folks? Or is there a more specific population this station is for, such as rough sleepers, activists at an occupation, a community with many small children, etc.
- How large is your group or community? How many people move through the space where the station is? This will dictate how much to keep stocked at any one time, or how often someone needs to refill. (every day, once a week, etc.)
- How long will the station be there? Is it a pop-up for a day? Is this to remain embedded with the community for long-term use?
- Your station should have rotating remedies (i.e. more cold + flu support in winter like and allergy support in spring and fall.)
- What daily activities are folks engaged in? This will help you choose more appropriate remedies to care for their particular needs.
- Where will this station (or kit) be placed? Is it indoors, is it in a tent, is it near a kitchen, is there electricity? Run through the scenario, thinking about exposure to weather and access to facilities. If there is not any access to hot water, you might choose to offer more extracts or capsules as opposed to teas. If the station is exposed to the elements, you may consider keeping it in a waterproof container that can be kept closed when not in use.
- Is this kit in a secure location? Will there be 24 hour access?
SANITATION + SAFETY
- Hand washing – is there a sink close by? Can you post a sign reminding folks to wash hands before handling remedies? If not, provide hand sanitizer. See the Toolkit for our Handsanitizer Recipe.
- Waste Disposal – provide a bin to encourage folks to keep the station clean!
- Make sure everything is well labeled
- Who checks on the station, maintaining the stock and keeping it clean?
- Are the remedies donated? If so do you have standards (i.e. expiration dates, unopened, etc.)
- Can you hold community workshops to educate and create more of the remedies to replenish the station?