HEALTHCARE IS A HUMAN RIGHT
The Poor People’s Campaign Demands for Health  It’s been over half a century since the Poor People’s Campaign and if we reread these words we might realize that after 50 years our demands haven’t really changed. We still live in a country of great health disparity. Here is a list of the full demands.
Health is a Fundamental Human Right Article on the WHO (World Health Organization) website describes the basic tenet stated in the Constitution of the World Health Organization — “The enjoyment of the highest attainable standard of health is one of the fundamental rights of every human being without distinction of race, religion, political belief, economic or social condition”.
Dr. Martin Luther King on health care Injustice  Excerpt: “The Associated Press wire story below, dated March 26, 1966, contains the first known published reference to Dr. King’s famous quotation regarding injustice in health care, namely, ‘Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in health is the most shocking and inhuman.’ According to this AP account, Dr. King’s remarks were made at a Chicago press conference held on March 25, 1966, in connection with the annual meeting of Medical Committee for Human Rights. The AP story, which carries no byline, was published the next day in newspapers around the country.”
Beyond Berets: The Black Panthers as Health Activists “WE WANT COMPLETELY FREE HEALTH CARE FOR ALL BLACK AND OPPRESSED PEOPLE We believe that the government must provide, free of charge, for the people, health facilities which will not only treat our illnesses, most of which have come about as a result of our oppression, but which will also develop preventive medical programs to guarantee our future survival.”
BPP People’s Free Medical Centers (Article) An article by Elianna Goldstein for a class project at UNC outlining the movement by the Black Panther Party and others to create free medical centers across the USA.
Simone Leigh’s Free People’s Medical Clinic [2014, art installation, NYC]
COMMUNITY HEALTHCARE PROJECTS
Atlanta Herb Collective A new and emerging collective of herbalists, growers, tea drinkers, and plant enthusiasts in and around Metro Atlanta. Stay tuned!
Botanica Mobile Clinic [Charlottesville, VA] This mobile free clinic, staffed by graduates and students of Sacred Plant Traditions offers herbal consultations to the underserved populations in Charlottesville and surrounding counties. Every clinic has a practicing herbalist on site as lead, two recent graduates doing intakes and two herbal students working at the apothecary. All consultations as well as herbal teas and supplements are offered for free.
Botanical Bus [Sonoma + Napa, CA] “We are Promotora Community Health Advocates (CHAs) and integrative health practitioners coming together to provide upstream, culturally centered integrative health services to our Latinx and Indigenous communities in Sonoma and Napa Counties.” They offer bilingual mobile clinics and wellness workshops.
Bristol Herbalists without Borders [Bristol, England] “This community project is a collaboration between clinical herbalists, herb growers and the local herbal community. Their vision is to create a support clinic for asylum seekers and refugees that provides a programme of free herbal healthcare. They offer one-on-one consultations with trained herbalists, run a mobile dispensary, offer self-care workshops and herb growing projects that aim to improve general health and wellbeing, and teach basic herbal medicine.
California Greater Bay Area Chapter [Santa Cruz, CA] This local chapter of the American Herbalists Guild is doing community outreach at the Rebele Family Shelter and the Mental Health Community Action Network in Santa Cruz. One of the main organizers, Beverly, attended one of the early Herb Bus Trainings I gave in Oakland, in the summer of 2014. I visited them again in 2015 and was amazed to see how well they were able to utilize the Herbalista resources, such as our forms and kit strategies, and modify them for the needs of their clinics. They are doing great work and we are so touched that we could help.
The Charlotte Herbal Accessibility Project [Charlotte, NC] “The Charlotte Herbal Accessibility Project was created in March of 2018, and is a project that aims to educate communities in Charlotte, NC about the benefits, practical uses and history of herbal medicine…The CLTHAP currently occupies the Community Partnership Garden in North Davidson, and is currently growing over 60+ different edible and medicinal herbs! Our emphasis is to provide herbal knowledge and healing to low-income communities and people of color, ensuring that there is equal and affordable access to herbalism as a whole.”
Common Ground Health Clinic [Algiers, New Orleans, LA]. “The Common Ground Health Clinic started on September 9 , 2005 just days after hurricane Katrina devastated the Gulf Coast. The clinic started as a first aid station with the arrival of “Street Medics”, which are first responders that gained notoriety through mass mobilizations of the anti-globalization movement. The clinic was originally set up in a mosque, with space being generously donated by the Masjid Bilal. Nurses, physicians, herbalists, acupunturists, EMTs social workers and community activists came from around the world to volunteer at Common Ground Health Clinic. Since its inception, the clinic has served more than 60,000 patient visits – all at no charge to the patient.” Here is a link to their Volunteer Handbook from back in 2006.
CommonWealth Center for Holistic Herbalism [Boston, MA] “Herbalism is the people’s medicine, and as herbalists, we feel called to be engaged in our community to promote growth and healing. Here are projects that we are working on right now: Monthly Free Clinics; Coal River Valley Support; Herbal Study for Single Moms of Color; Herbalism for Incarcerated People; Palestinians & Isrealis for a Just Peace.”
Community Herbal Health Network [Southeastern US] “Community Health Herbal Network is a network of communities in the South that offer free herbal care, education, and wellness services that are geared towards the preservation and re-cultivation of the widespread and sustainable uses of herbs. Our resources are dedicated to our elders, our ancestors, our communities, and all those harmed by land and resource colonization, environmental racism, war, ableism, homophobia, transphobia, classism, sexism, addiction, the prison industrial complex, and the medical industrial complex.”
Community Apothecary [London, England] Set in the London borough of Waltham Forest, the Community Apothecary is a CIC (community interest company) facilitated by medical herbalist Rasheeqa Ahmad of Hedge Herbs, growers Jayne Kress & Izzy Vandergert-Wilson and garden coordinator Jonny Joseland, partnering with Organiclea workers’ coop. They work collaboratively with a loose network of healing herb growers, medicine makers, apprentices and users, with a three-focus structure of gardens, learning & medicines. Rasheeqa is a founding member of the Radical Herbalism Gathering, helped get Mobile Aopthecary London off the ground, and too many other things to count. She is a wonderful herbalist and friend.
Fleur + Forage Free Clinic [Atlanta] Fleur + Forage is the new home for the Herb Cart! This project is coordinated by Marie-Lies Van Asten, a longtime Herbalista crew member. Fleur + Forage is committed to providing local and seasonal workshops, including distillations, medicine making classes and plant rambles. Those workshops will raise funds for the Fleur + Forage Free Clinic. She is also offering an apprenticeship program.
Food Not Bombs [International] “Even though we provide meals and groceries to thousands of people, we are not a charity. Food Not Bombs is trying to inspire the public to participate in changing society and focus our resources on solving problems like hunger, homelessness and poverty while seeking an end to war and the destruction of the environment. We are also showing by example that we can work cooperatively without leaders through volunteer effort to provide essential needs like food, housing, education and healthcare. When over a billion people go hungry each day, how can we spend another dollar on war?”– FNB
- Food Not Bombs Atlanta – The Herbalista Herb Cart sets up on some Sundays alongside the Food Not Bombs Crew as they serve in downtown Woodruff Park. We are grateful for their service to Atlanta and for their comraderie.
Hawthorn Community Herb Collective [Asheville, NC] “Asheville area radical health collective aiming to make herbal medicine and other ‘alternative’ modalities of healing accessible while helping folks feel empowered to take healthcare into their own hands & hearts… Current project: community apothecary, trauma support for the community and recently the j20 defendants, Beloved House foot care clinic, self-care stations and free educational classes in the community and for the street medic team. One of our next goals is growing a free clinic in Asheville.”
Herbal Aide [United Kingdom] Non-profit organization founded to document and fund grassroots herbal health projects.
Herbal Unity Clinic [Glasgow, Scotland] “The Herbal Unity Collective was set up in response to restricted access to healthcare for people without papers. We run a free clinic for people in the asylum process and their allies. Our collective is made up of qualified & lay herbalists, grass roots campaigners and people in the asylum process. Our politics are aligned with the Unity Centre, and No Borders.”
Herbalista Health Network [Atlanta, GA and Dublin, Ireland] The Herbalista Health Network recognizes healthcare as a fundamental human right and works to protect health access through clinical services and educational opportunities. We strive for a community based model of healthCARE that is based on solidarity and not charity. We are a network of free mobile clinics supported by a web of herb growing projects, medicine making campaigns, and community herbal education. Clinical projects include the Herb Bus, the Herb Cart, and the Dublin Herb Bike.
Herbalists Without Borders [Worldwide] (Herbalistes Sans Frontieres) International Network of practitioners, farmers, health advocates, humanitarian aid workers, students, and more. Believes that health and wellness are human rights, not privileges. They sponsor local clinics and offer a plethora of resources to their members.
Herbalists Without Borders UK [United Kingdom] Herbalists without Borders UK serves as an umbrella resource for autonomous groups in the UK and Ireland who are connected by the desire to promote and deliver herbal medicine to individuals and in communities where there is little recourse.
Ithaca Health Alliance [Ithaca, NY] Integrated free health services (conventional medical and holistic), community health education, and community healthcare fund.
Mobile Apothecary London [London, England] The Mobile Apothecary supports underserved communities in East London with good-quality, homegrown and communally-made herbal remedies. They looked to Herbalista models and recipes to get this project off the ground and one of the organizers even put together this cool article “How to set up a mutual aid mobile clinic” This is a collaborative project with Phytology UK at the Bethnal Green Nature Preserve.
Mutual Aid Disaster Relief [National Network] Mutual Aid Disaster Relief is a grassroots disaster relief network based on the principles of solidarity, mutual aid, and autonomous direct action.
Occupy Medical Eugene [Eugene, Oregon] A no-cost mobile, integrative mobile health clinic serving the people of Eugene Oregon. They have a wonderful Document Resource Section on their website, sharing their Volunteer Orientation Information as well as Medical Protocols. Here is a direct link to their Herbalist Training and Protocol Manual.
Olympia Community Herb Clinic [Olympia, WA] Walk-in, sliding scale clinic offering herbal consultations and herbal remedies.
Orlando Grief Care Project [Orlando, FL] In response to the tragic loss experienced within the Orlando community on June 12, 2016, the Orlando Grief Care Project was started to provide holistic health services to crisis counselors, first responders, families of victims, and other members of community in need of support in the journey of trauma and healing.
Radical Herbalism Gathering [United Kingdom] Annual gathering in Shropshire, England focused on issues of the environment, social justice, harm reduction, mutual aid, healthcare access, and diversity. Definitely my cup of tea!
Rhizome Community Clinic [Bristol, England] The Rhizome Community Herb Clinic offers herbal care, classes, and community programing. Becs and Annwen are two fabulous herbalists who also helped create the Radical Herbalism Gathering in the UK each year.
Scottish Radical Herbal Network [Scotland] “A Scotland-wide collective of herbalists and health activists working towards a society and healthcare system based on principles of fairness, justice and environmental responsibility.”
Skid Row Free Clinic [Los Angeles, CA] One Friday Every first Friday of the month Zizia Botanicals offers a free mobile herb clinic to those living in the Skid Row community. The clinic posts up from 7:30-11am in the garden of the LA Catholic Workers Hospitality Kitchen (aka Hippie Kitchen). These services include a 30 minute consultation to address the individual’s health concerns, followed by resource suggestions and/or herbal preparations in the form of teas, capsules, glycerites, and tinctures.
Social Space for Health [Athens, Greece] Community center offering health services located in a squat in the Petralona neighborhood. Free primary care services, pharmacy services, herbal apothecary, and more. I met Eleni, a pharmacist and herbalist who contributes to this project, at the recent Radical Herbalism Gathering in England.
Solidarity Apothecary [England] “Herbal Medicine as Mutual Aid. The mission of the Solidarity Apothecary is to materially support revolutionary struggles and communities with plant medicines to strengthen collective autonomy, self-defence and resilience to climate change, capitalism and state violence.” This is a project of Nicole Vesper, an herbalist and collective member of the Radical Herbalism Gathering in England.
Solitary Gardens [New Orleans, LA] “The Solitary Gardens is a social sculpture and collaborative project that cultivates conversations around alternatives to incarceration by catalyzing compassion. This project directly and metaphorically asks us to imagine a landscape without prisons.” Growing from the Solitary Gardens project is the Prisoner’s Apothecary, “mobile healing unit ( or “Plantbulance”) that transforms the plants from The Solitary Gardens into medicine for communities most deeply impacted by the insidious reach of mass incarceration. The Prisoner’s Apothecary will produce natural medicine, tea, tinctures, steams, and salves. As the medicine is designed by folks who are incarcerated, incarcerated individuals will have a unique opportunity to heal the communities they are often accused of harming.”
Standing Rock Medic and Healer Council [Standing Rock] “We coordinate medical and healer supplies, human resources, and other types of medical/healing aid between the following groups:
1. All the camps who stand with Standing Rock (see Healing the Waters Within project to support all Water Protectors)
2. Standing Rock Emergency Services
3. Indian Health Services
4. Standing Rock Tribal Council
5. Mni Wiconi Integrative Health Clinic
6. The greater allopathic & healer community”
Stone Cabin Collective [Black Mesa, AZ] “The Stone Cabin Collective is an all-volunteer group of herbalists, massage providers, energy workers and laypeople who offer free bi-annual health services in the Big Mountain/Black Mesa area of AZ. This is a solidarity-not-charity project in support of the Dine (Navajo) people of Black Mesa as they continue to resist massive coal and uranium mining operations, and for those affected by the forced relocation policies of the US government. We organize two Elder Wellness Weeks a year, in the spring and fall. We call this Elder Wellness Week to honor the elders especially, but all ages are welcome!Please check out www.supportblackmesa.org to learn more about their decades-long struggle, current events, and ways to support.”
Third Root Community Health Center [Brooklyn, New York] A worker-owned Cooperative offering sliding scale services, self-care education, and recognizes views healthcare as rooted in social justice and vice versa.
Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism Community Clinics [Montpellier, VT] “Our clinics offer individuals personalized education in self-care with herbs. We offer consultations in our professional clinic in Montpelier and in our supervised student clinics in both Montpelier and Burlington, Vermont. In 2013, we offered over 1200 hours of service. Our clinical services and herbs are available through sliding-scale payment, time exchange and gift; no one is turned away for lack of funds. We look forward to welcoming you.”
The Community Supported Herbal Medicine Movement.pdf Article posted in HerbalEGram: Volume 7, Number 9, September 2010.
SOCIAL FABRIC AND HEALTH
When Blood Pressure is Political by Sandeep Jauhar This article appeared in the New York Times on August 6th, 2016
SAFER SPACE AGREEMENT
London Radical Herbalism Gathering Safer Space Agreement Created for the London RadHerb Gathering 2018, this safer space agreement is their attempt “to create an inclusive an atmosphere as possible that facilitates learning, growing and moving forwards together. We hope to build a community of trust and respect that supports all of us to challenge ourselves, to listen, and to participate.”
UNDERSTANDING POWER & PRIVILEGE
Overcoming Power and Privilege in Community Change – YouTube “As a community change maker, have you ever stopped to wonder where the power lies in your project? What are you trying to achieve, and for whom? How does your place of power (as a creator and an individual) hinder your ability to relate to those you are trying to help? We often use power unknowingly in the work of change. But, when we recognize the influence of our training, politics, access, and privilege we allow ourselves to understand our clients, communities, and abilities more deeply. During this intimate conversation, George Aye of Greater Good Studio will help us understand the mechanics of power and how to wield it with care as we move forward in our community change efforts.”
Diversity Toolkit: A Guide to Discussing Identity, Power and Privilege Created by the online MSW program from the University of Southern California. “This toolkit is meant for anyone who feels there is a lack of productive discourse around issues of diversity and the role of identity in social relationships, both on a micro (individual) and macro (communal) level. Perhaps you are a teacher, youth group facilitator, student affairs personnel or manage a team that works with an underserved population. Training of this kind can serve as the first of several workshops to provide historical context around the politics of identity and the dynamics of power and privilege, or to help build greater self-awareness.”
Terminology in AOP.pdf This list of basic definitions of terminology as related to Anti-Oppression practice comes from ReclaimingFutures.org, a model for improving juvenile justice through community integration. And what is Anti-oppression practice?
“Anti-Oppression Practice: a person-centered philosophy; and egalitarian value system concerned with reducing the deleterious effects of structutal inequalities upon people’s lives; a methodology focusing on both process and outcome; and a way of structuring relationships between individuals that aims to empower users by reducing the negative effects of social hierarchies on their interactions and the work they do together.” (Dominelli, 1994, p. 3)
White Privilege: Unpacking the Invisible Knapsack by Peggy McIntosh. This pdf is a 2 page excerpt from her longer work.
“DAILY EFFECTS OF WHITE PRIVILEGE I decided to try to work on myself at least by identifying some of the daily effects of white privilege in my life. I have chosen those conditions that I think in my case attach somewhat more to skin-color privilege than to class, religion, ethnic status, or geographic location, though of course all these other factors are intricately intertwined. As far as I can tell, my African American coworkers, friends, and acquaintances with whom I come into daily or frequent contact in this particular time, place and time of work cannot count on most of these conditions.” — Peggy McIntosh
Transnatural for Professionals by Kara Sigler This handout accompanied a class taught by Kara for the American Herbalists Guild “to support the trans body and spirit with herbs and nutrition, as well as diversity training for using inclusive, non-judgemental, respectful language and intake forms as healthcare providers for trans-bodied people. ”
Center of Excellence for Transgender Health “The mission of the Center of Excellence for Transgender Health is to increase access to comprehensive, effective, and affirming health care services for trans communities.”
Competent Care for Transgender, GenderQueer, and Non-Binary Folk An online resource for Herbalists and Other Practitioners Curated by Clinical Herbalists Vilde Chaya Fenster-Ehrlick and Larken Bunce
Holistic Health for Transgender & Gender Variant Folks by Dori Midnight — “This paper will cover basic herbal and nutritional support for transgender and gender variant folks specifically on the transmasculine spectrum.”
Purportedly Gendered Body Parts by Dean Spade
Trans 101 – Pronouns A short youtube video on gender pronouns.
Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Gender-Neutral Pronouns An article by Jacob Tobia on just that.
“There Is No Perfect Word: A Transgender Glossary of Sorts” by Julia Serano. The language describing gender identity is rapidly evolving and changing. This online glossary is a helpful guide to not only basic definitions, but to the broader concepts.
Trans Competency for Holistic Therapists “This unique course is written by Otter Lieffe, a trans woman, author and bodyworker and the director of Safer Healing. Complementary healthcare can be a lifeline for the trans community. Yet, as with traditional healthcare, there are often barriers in accessing this support. This course is designed for bodyworkers and holistic therapists, herbalists, yoga teachers and anyone else involved in complementary healthcare, to become more aware of the issues trans folk face and to make practices safer and more accessible for this community.
TRAUMA INFORMED HEALTHCARE
Trauma Informed Care: What it is and Why it’s Important by Monique Tello, MD, MPH This article explains the simple fact that many people we work with will have had traumatic events in their past and offers ways of providing care that is sensitive to that fact. She explains and demonstrates “important principles of trauma-informed care — including ways to ask permission, offer control, and find support.”
The Magic of Trauma informed Herbalism on the Girl Gang Conversations Podcast with Gwynnie Hale (fka Kirsten Hale) I first met Gwynnie in 2017 when we both did the herbal gathering circuit in Ireland and England, first the Herb Feast and then the Radical Herbalism Gathering. “[Trauma-informed herbalism] means that you very much understand and look at your own work as potentially harmful, as realizing you have the capacity to retraumatize in the way that you shape your services, in your blindspots, in either miseducation or not understanding trauma… [understanding] that the person I’m working with is doing the hardest amount of work and that they, no matter what, get to lead the journey.”
Herbs for Trauma Recovery + Resistance Podcast by CommonWealth Herbs Herbs as a tool to support processing trauma and building resistance. This podcast was recorded in June of 2020 while the Black Lives Matter Movement was surging and it reflects specifically on racial trauma.
Working with Conflict in Groups: A Guide for Grassroots Activists “This 40 page booklet, written by our sister co-op Navigate (previously called Seeds for Change Oxford) and published by EYFA is aimed at people and groups working for social change who want to develop an understanding of conflict and how to deal with it. There are sections on what conflict is, the benefits of addressing it, and tools to work though conflict and maintain healthy and effective social change groups.” Seeds for Change is a UK-wide network of training collectives. They offer training and support for groups organizing for action and positive social change. See their website for many free guides on organizing meetings and running campaigns! www.seedsforchange.org. This particular publication was made possible with the support of the European Youth Foundation of the Council of Europe.
A Note on Call-Out Culture “No matter the wrong we are naming, there are ways to call people out that do not reduce individuals to agents of social advantage. There are ways of calling people out that are compassionate and creative, and that recognize the whole individual instead of viewing them simply as representations of the systems from which they benefit.” – By Asam Amad
MENTAL HEALTH RESOURCES
Evolving Minds Video British video with Spanish subtitles. “What is reality? Who defines it? Evolving Minds offers radical perspectives on alternatives to the traditional mental health system. Rufus May also makes an appearance. I have had the opportunity to take part in workshops he led at the Radical Herbalism Gathering in Shropshire England the summer of 2014 and 2015.
The Icarus Project Navigating the space between brilliance and madness. A support network and mental health movement that looks at mental health disorders in a non-traditional way. This network is built by and for folks who identify with “mental illnesses.” They offer many resources such as A Harm Reduction Guide to Coming off Psychiatric Medications. There are also local chapters. Atlanta has one.
Navigating Crisis “This four-page handout was edited by Clarextina and Will and Icarus member contributors, drawing from material in Navigating the Space, and turned into a beautiful design by Clarextina. It presents key things to think about when you are dealing with mental health crisis.”
Understanding Psychosis and Schizophrenia A report by the British Psychological Society. One of the contributors to both this report and the original (2000) is Rufus May (see links above). Great list of resources and websites beginning on page 117.
The Crazy Herbalist A website by Kirsten Hale, a “trauma-informed herbalist geeking out on plants, herbalism, mental health activism, social justice, complex trauma and general kicking ass at life.” I had the chance to hear Kirsten speak at a couple of conferences over the summer of 2017 and find her an incredibly compassionate herbalist and articulate teacher. Many resources here.
Experience from the Front Lines: HEALTH at the Needle Exchange.pdf This article by Donna Odierna was published in the Journal of the American Herbalists Guild. It is a personal and informative account of the work at the HEALTH project in Oakland California. Includes herbal formulas and tips on providing “non-coercive, harm reduction-based treatment and health care.”
Atlanta Harm Reduction Coalition [Atlanta, GA] AHRC is a community-based wellness organization committed to promoting health and dignity by reducing the impact of HIV/AIDS, Hepatitis C, STI, and Substance Use within vulnerable communities.
A Herbal Approach to the Treatment of Withdrawal from Opioid and Benzodiazepine Dependence.pdf By Ally Hurkicova. Originally printed in the Student Herbal Thymes Winter Edition 2014/2015 at Lincoln University, England.
Harm Reduction during a Pandemic An article written by Trystero (the New Orleans Harm Reduction Collective) from Antigravity Magazine produced in April 2020 during the start of the Covid 19 pandemic. Contains a brief intro to Harm Reduction and then gives an example of their community response to helping folks during a pandemic where traditional access to care was severely limited.
Delirium Tremens on Henriette’s Website The page with search results from Kings’, Ellingwood, Scudder, and more.
Opioid Cessation with St. John’s Wort: An Interventional Case Series. Brief summary of case studies over a 10 year period using SJW protocol to assist folks come off of opioids by practicing herbalist Andrew Bentley.
Herbalista First Aid Resource Section Follow this link to the Herbalista Handout Resource WebPage and scroll to the First Aid section for our First Aid Printable Guides.
Herbal First Aid Handout by Dedj Leibbrandt. Dedj is an incredible first aid herbalist-acupuncturist-EMT practicing in England. This handout covers acute herbal medicine and offers straightforward advice and clearly articulated formulas to treat specific acute presentations.
Herbal First Aid by Greta de la Montagne. Contains sections on Red Flags, Trauma Strategies, Herbs for Common Ailments, Recipes, and more. “Greta is a radical environmentalist, herbalist and bodyworker who has specialized in herbal first aid for front-line activists for nearly 30 years, and has first hand experience treating a wide range of injuries & ailments in children, livestock, and large groups of people.”
Landmark Learning This is the school where I have done all of my Wilderness First Responder and Wilderness First Aid trainings. Located in Cullowhee, NC, they offer a range of wilderness medicine classes and have exceptional instructors.
7Song’s Website Filled with First Aid and Herbal Handouts.
Wilderness Medicine Resources This resource page was compiled by NOLS and includes practice Wilderness First Responder Exams, links to youtube video skill sets, case studies, and more.
NOLS First Aid Blog This page is filled with case studies and scenarios. Wonderful way to review or improve your assessment skills.
Managing Sexual Assault for First Aiders Settings + Herbal Preparations – A blog post written by Alex Crofoot, an herbalist I spent time working along side at Rainbow First Aid Gatherings. Alex is an herbalist and a full-spectrum doula.
Doctors without Borders Clinical Guidelines Diagnosis and Treatment Manual PDF file.
Event Safety Guide – Medical Section.pdf Excerpt from the British Publication, The Event Safety Guide (Second Edition) A Guide to Health, Safety, and Welfare at Music and Similar Events
- Check out this paper on Trench Foot. This overview on the signs, symptoms, and treatment strategies (both historic and contemporary) for Trench Foot (aka Immersion Foot) as found on PubMed. Authors: Bush, JS and Watson, S. This is an unfortunately all too common situation faced by many who live in the elements. We have seen this too often in refugee and homeless communities and hope to help folks find safe, effective protocols.
- CDC Trench Foot or Immersion foot Disaster recovery Fact Sheet
- Maceration: What is Trench Foot By Rebecca Rushton is a 3 part exploration of how to handle extremely macerated skin on feet as experienced by multi-day runners. Very thorough explanation of what happens to the tissues and different methods of treatment. Goes beyond the “keep feet elevated and dry” treatment strategy, as that is not an option for the multi-day runner… which is also what makes this text so valuable to us who work with populations that also do not often have the option of putting their feet up and changing their socks multiple times a day, etc.
STREET MEDICINE FOR SOCIAL CHANGE
Listing of Street Medic Collectives around the US and the world.
Atlanta Resistance Medics (ARM) Formed during Occupy Atlanta, ARM is a group of radical activists and health care providers who offer medical support at protests and in our communities. This link is for the Facebook Page. ARM also offers street medic trainings.
Activists Guide to Basic First Aid by the Black Cross Collective [Portland, Oregon] “In this zine, the Black Cross Collective out of Portland provides a basic overview of first aid and health concerns as they relate to militant protests. The zine includes a “protest fashion” section on what to wear and what not to wear to a protest, an overview of medical conditions you may encounter at a protest (and how to help folks), and dealing with pepper spray and tear gas.” Available for PDF download as single paged printout or booklet form.
First Aid for Emotional Trauma This informational handout (prepared by Will Hall) is accessible on the National Coalition for Mental Health Recovery website. It describes trauma responses, discusses signs of a “triggered” state, and gives some clear suggestions about what to do when someone has just been traumatized. It also offers keys to healing and resources for moving through trauma.
Herbal First Aid + Aftercare for all who have Experienced Street Violence “Bumps, bruises & burns, chemical weapons exposure, taser, handcuff injuries, & trauma. Plant Medicines for Resilience! Black Lives Matter. Native Justice Now.” Compiled by herbalists, street medics, herbal first aid specialists and educators: Dixie Pauline, Grassroots Apothecary, MASHH; Greta Montagne, Gentle Strength Botanials, MASHH; Dana Aronson, Wild Kin Botanicals; Ingrid Bauer, MD, Five Flavors Herbs; Jocelyn Laurel Pena, Paramedic, Blackcap Medical Collective, MASHH. Spring 2020. And here is a google doc version for printability.
The Herbalist Street Medic by herbalist 7Song who specializes in herbal first aid. “This handout is geared for ‘on the ground’ practitioners, meaning those herbalist’s who are in the fray of the protests, whether walking with the demonstrators or in a clinic set up for the event.”
Herbalista Street Action Care Kit A bit on kit creation and an example of Lorna’s packing list.
Nonviolent Strategies for Protestors Brief and pointed article by Heather Gray, former director for Coretta Scott King’s Center for Nonviolence. Mass mobilization and direct action are an important piece of the strategic nonviolent social change. But it is only one part. We also need to plan and strategize. We need concrete demands. We don’t look simply for victory, but for reconciliation and community building. This article explains Dr. King’s Method of Change and nonviolent strategies for protestors.
Protest Aftercare by North Star Health Collective. “We work in alliance with mainstream and anti-authoritarian organizations to create a safe and healthy events. We stand in solidarity with the need for diverse strategies and tactics. We will not denounce fellow activists or organizations. That said, we believe in harm reduction. We are working behind the scenes to reduce risks. We believe in maintaining open lines of communication.”
Resources for Accountability and Actions for Black Lives A live document compiled by Carlisa Johnson. “Seeking justice means putting in the work. Say their names, share their stories, but first and foremost, take action. We must help the families of Ahmad Arbery, Breonna Taylor, George Floyd, and the many other Black Americans unjustly murdered and abused by law enforcement and other protectors of white supremacy. Take action today.”
Safe Protest Tips “Resources for Comrades. This site aims to collect as many guides, resources, and other information on how to ensure your safety and the safety of others during protests, demonstrations, and other direct action. The goal is to provide accurate, easy-to-access information under an easy-to-remember URL.”
Stay Healthy So You Can Stay in the Streets Mini-Handout produced by medics from the BALM Squad (Boston Area Liberation Medic Squad) with suggestions on “what you do before, during and after a demonstration to stay well and keep fighting!”
Street Medic Guide By Paper Revolution. Resource pages and guide. Explores history of street medic/ action medic; street medic basics; and links to other information sites.
Street Medic Handbook by Chicago Action Medical. “Containing a large collection of highly esteemed first aid tips and tricks, namely: Spreading Calm, Patient Assessment, Not Dying, Buddy Roles. Selected by experienced Street Medics for the use of publicans and protesters in general, adapted from Rosehip Medic Collective and other sources.”
Street Medicine – Keeping our Movements Health and Safe An article exploring the role Street Medicine has played in social change and mass mobilizations. A look at the history and philosophy.
CLINICAL PROTOCOLS + FORMS (OTHER ORGANIZATIONS + HERBALISTS)
How to set-up a mobile mutual-aid mobile apothecary – A Shareable Article, written by Shumaisa Kahn, a wellness practitioner involved with Herbalists without Borders UK.
Starting a Mobile Clinic – “With resources and research pooled from a collective of over 700 mobile health clinics across the United States, Mobile Health Map can help you build a strong program.”
HERBAL EDUCATION PROGRAMS
The Southwest School of Herbal Medicine Online Program From the website: The Constitutional and Therapeutics course and the Materia Medica course are available for free. Once registered, each course may be viewed immediately by direct streaming or downloaded to create your own DVD. Taken together, they represent the last class taught by Michael Moore at the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine, in the spring of 2006. Michael chose to offer them as individual modules, to afford folks as many choices as possible.” Back in 2004 I moved to a little town along the Mexican/Arizona border to study herbal medicine with a man by the name of Michael Moore…
ONLINE (O) / In Person (P)
Asheville-Buncombe Technical Community College (P) [Asheville, NC] Education and training for the natural products industry, including GMPs, analytical laboratory skills, natural products business development, and continuing education.
Blue Ridge School for Herbal Medicine (P) [Asheville, NC] Foundational and Clinical Programs with a focus on Appalachian Herbs. Lorna teaches some medicine making and clinical skills classes at Blue Ridge. They also have an apprenticeship program.
BotanoLogos School for Herbal Studies (P) [Rabun County, GA] Certification program for Herbal foundations (Medicine Making, Wildcrafting, Chinese Five Phase Energetics, Clinical Skills). Director Patrica Howell is a wonderful teacher, well organized and has structured the program with thought and intention. At completion of their program, students have a clear grasp of the of both medical herbal medicine and energetics. I was their medicine making instructor for over a decade, so I’m am happily biased. The new medicine Making Teacher is Jen Stovall (awesome herbalist and comrad). Their programs are highly recommended.
California School of Herbal Studies (P) [Forestville, CA] “The California School of Herbal Studies is one of North America’s oldest centers for herbal education. Founded in 1978 by Rosemary Gladstar, and led today by School Director Rebecca Maxfield along with a fabulous staff of teachers, CSHS continues in the spirit in which it was created.”
Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine (O) [Asheville, NC] They offer several ONLINE herbal medicine programs including medicine making, growing medicinal plants, wildcrafting & foraging. Juliet, the herbal founder of this school, has a very green thumb so these courses will appeal to folks interested in herbal growing. Disclosure:Lorna was a contributing teacher for this online course.
CommonWealth Herbs (P/O) [Boston, MA] Offering training both in person and online. There are courses for all levels, from beginner to more advanced, including clinical mentorship.
Eclectic School of Herbal Medicine (P/O) [Lowgap, NC] Offering both ONLINE and onsite certification classes with a focus towards training clinical herbalists. Thomas Easley, director, has a focus on nutrition, functional medicine, and traditional western herbalism.
The Herb Patch Project [Ireland] An initiative of the Irish Register of Herbalists that places mini herb gardens in schools across Ireland to cultivate children’s relationship with the natural world and herbal medicine.
The Homestead Atlanta [Atlanta, GA] Know closed, they taught homesteading skills including herbalism and growing. They were our sister project and hosted all of Herbalista’s educational programming, including the Herbalista 50 hour Intensive (held each fall) and the Build your Medicine Chest Course (held at the start of each year).
Northeast School for Botanical Medicine (P) [Ithaca, NY] Foundational Herbalism with a focus on clinical, botanical, and first aid skills. 7Song is incredibly adept at herbal first aid, having worked the first aid station at the Rainbow Gathering for decades. He also is an herbal practitioner at a free integrative clinic in Ithaca. Apprenticeships available. I spent several years traveling with his school to the Rainbow and can highly vouch for his integrity and passion both as a teacher and practitioner.
The Plant Medicine School (P/O) [IRELAND, ENGLAND, SCOTLAND and ONLINE] The main school is located in Co. Wicklow, Ireland. This herbal school is headed by Nikki Darrell, a herbalist with years of experience both as a clinician, herb grower, and medicine maker. They offer programming for all levels of learning, from the academic to hands-on creative everyday applications. Coursework includes: in-person short courses, long-term apprenticeships, and online learning. They have additional branches that have now opened in Co. Cork, Ireland, Exmoor, England and in Scotland.
People’s Medicine School (P/O) [Ithaca, NY and ONLINE] “The People’s Medicine School was created to facilitate mutually beneficial healing relationships between people and plants. To serve all, by centering BIPoC, Queer, Trans and those with an liberatory focus, in finding their roots in plant medicine; accessing lifelong support from the healing powers of nature, and in turn, becoming more connected to the earth and more invested in themselves and their community.” They offer both in-person weekend trainings as well as an online course and mentorship.
Sacred Plant Traditions (P/O) [Charlottesville, VA] Three year training programs from foundational to clinical. Weaving conventional western medicine with energetic herbal understanding. I taught for their clinical level for a few years and was extremely impressed by their curriculum. The director, Kat Maier, is an incredible herbalist, steeped in energetic herbalism as well as western medical (she once trained as a physicians assistant.) Her book Energetic Herbalism is wonderful!
Terra Sylva School of Botanical Medicine (P/O) [Marshall, NC] “Terra Sylva exists to meet the growing need for environmentally and socially conscious herbalists able to support their communities as healers, educators, and emissaries of the plants. From basic energetics and botany, to medicine making and human physiology, all the way to herbal formulation and clinical skills, our programs impart the knowledge, skills, and experiences that best support the practicing community herbalist.” Teachers Dave Meesters, Janet Kent and Jen Stovall are all long experienced herbalists and health educators with a demonstrated commitment to community-based herbalism.
Vermont School for Integrative Herbalism (P/O) [Montpelier, VT] This non-profit offers educational trainings at all levels (from foundational to clinical) and free student clinics. The executive director, Larkin Bunce, is a fabulous teacher with a real dedication to the mission of the school and how community herbalism can become a more central part of every day life. Their campus includes herbal gardens for local attendees. However, they now offer an online option as well.
American Herbalists Guild An organization honoring diversity in herbalism while promoting the practice of botanical medicine. Georgia Herbalists Guild is our local chapter, meeting the 3rd Sunday of the month at the Atlanta Botanical Gardens.
United Plant Savers Dedicated to protecting native medicinal plants of the US and Canada and their native habitat while ensuring an abundant renewable supply of medicinal plants for generations to come.
LOCAL ATLANTA RESOURCES
CLINICAL SERVICES & HERBALISTS
Free and Low Cost Healthcare in Atlanta List of free and low cost options in the Atlanta area. Listings include primary care, women’s health, mental health, dental, HIV/STI resources, chiropractic, herbal, meditation, yoga, etc.
Herbalista Sliding Scale Clinic [now online] After 15 years, the brick and mortar community herbal clinic in East Atlanta has closed its doors. Lorna Mauney-Brodek offers online consultations at a sliding scale to help bring herbs and people together. Learn more about the online community clinic here.
Fleur + Forage Community Clinic [Kirkwood] The Fleur+ Forage Community Clinic was created to offer herbal consultations on a sliding scale basis. The clinic is located in downtown Kirkwood. We are offering in-person and online intakes depending on the client’s preference. The remedies will need to be picked up from the location in Kirkwood. Marie-Lies Van Asten has been a part of the Herbalista Family, working with us as an herbalist, teacher, and medicine maker for many years!
Living Well with Cancer (Terry Apt) [online consultations] Terry and I went to herb school together back in 2007. She is an Oncology Nurse Practitioner with 46 years experience in the nursing profession. She offers stand alone coaching sessions as well as a 6 week course that is designed to “fill in the gaps” of current medical treatment plans.
Pamela Gould, Herbalist [Clayton, Ga] Herbal Wellness Consultations and Lyme (and Coinfections) Guidance.
Susan Kramer, RH(AHG), Registered Herbalist and Homeopath [Woodland Hills]
Oscar Sierra, L.Ac, Herbalist and Acupuncturist [Buckhead] Combining Traditional Chinese Medicine with Functional and Oncological Support.
MEDICINE MAKING MATERIALS AND REMEDIES
Hearthfire Farm & Nursery With a mission to help people grow their own herbal medicine, there is incredible heart in the herbs grown by farmer Timothy Hayes. Fresh & dry herbs available as well as plant babies!
Sevananda Largest bulk herb selection in town! Cooperative dedicated to providing quality nourishment for the hearts, bodies, and minds of Atlanta. Located in Little 5 Points.
Health Unlimited Largest essential oil, homeopathic, and health book selection in town. Also large selection of quality tinctures, chinese and ayurvedic blends, and bulk herbs.
Little 5 Points Pharmacy Wonderful independent pharmacy in Atlanta that carries US Pharmacopeia Herbal Preparations and other useful gadgets such as eyecups, etc… They have long had the tradition of employing herbalist-pharmacists.
Mama Bath + Body Craft store in Avondale Estates with a bulk herb section (most herbs are organic from Mountain Rose Herbs), handmade soaps and body products, small select tincture section, and more.
The Funny Farm Duane Marcus has been organically gardening and teaching soil arts for over 30 years. He runs educational programming on his 3 acre suburban permaculture demonstration site in Stone Mountain.
Food Not Bombs Atlanta “Food Not Bombs serves free vegan/vegetarian meals to anyone who is hungry as a protest against consumerism, militarism, and waste, and also serves as a direct action which demonstrates alternatives to the current social system. Rain or Shine. Every Sunday we re-occupy Troy Davis Park to share food, music, and community. Join us downtown to reclaim public space for public use and to practice mutual aid and solidarity!”
Showing Up For Racial Justice ATL [from their website] “SURJ Atlanta seeks to achieve collective liberation by ending white supremacy, recognizing that this can only be accomplished within an intersectional context. We envision a world where all systems of oppression are dismantled and all are truly free. Within the context of a multiracial movement we work to end white support for white supremacy through:
- Education: Helping people develop a better understanding of white supremacy and how to interrupt systems of oppression in our daily lives
- Policy change: ending white supremacist policies and legislation
- Amplification of oppressed voices: showing up for actions, sharing their words and thoughts, and trusting their lived experiences”
GROW A ROW RESOURCES
GROWING and DESIGN
Funny Farm – Regular growing and harvesting classes. Duane Marcus is a founder of the Grow a Row program and has many years experience growing medicinal herbs.
Hearthfire Farm & Nursery With a mission to help people grow their own herbal medicine, there is incredible heart in the herbs grown by farmer Timothy Hayes. Fresh & dry herbs available as well as plant babies!
Shades of Green Permaculture Design – Permaculture design, consultation, installation, and Permaculture Design Courses
NC Alternative Crops and Organics YouTube An outreach tool for Jeanine Davis in the Department of Horticultural Science at North Carolina State University to share information from her agricultural research and extension programs on organic farming, medicinal herbs, hops, truffles, and other alternative crops.
SEED and NURSERY RESOURCES
Bed Head Nursery Selling quality medicinal herb starts in the Atlanta area.
Strictly Medicinal Herbs (formerly Horizon Herbs, large selection of medicinal species seeds)
Miss Tizzy’s Weeds and Seeds (local heirloom and organic seed)
Southern Exposure Seed Exchange (heirloom seed varieties bred for southeast climate)
Crimson Sage Medicinal Plants Nursery (woman-owned organic nursery in California)
Sow True Seeds (heirloom and organic seed, Asheville, NC)
Fedco Co-op (organic herb seed, gardening supplies, etc., Maine)
Johnny’s Selected Seeds (Employee-owned Co-op, great farmer resource)
High Mowing (mostly veggie seeds, some herbs)
Roundstone Native Seed (huge selection of native seed for restoration, bulk pure live seed available)
Useful Plants Nursery (many edible, medicinal, and otherwise useful plants)
Hobby Worm Farm local source for worm castings and worm tea
Gaia’s Garden by Toby Hemenway
The Permaculture City by Toby Hemenway
The Organic Medicinal Herb Farmer by Jeff and Melanie Carpenter
The Medicinal Herb Grower: Vol. 1 by Richo Cech
Cultivating Medicinal Herbs by Juliet Blankenspoor (to be released in 2017 and we can’t wait!)
Herbalists rights, legal and historical basis | RMHI.pdf by Roger Wicke, PhD. of the Rocky Mountain Herbal Institute.
The Truth about “Herbal Certification” and Master Herbalist Status by the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine.
Herbal Medicine and US Law.pdf by Richard Mandelbaum. Presentation at 2013 AHG Symposium.
Legal & Regulatory FAQ by the American Herbalists Guild
Herbal Language Tips during COVID by Mary Blue
Structure/ Function Claims by the FDA
Laws governing holistic healing by Michael Cohen, Esq.pdf “To safeguard patient choices and recognize the growing body of literature regarding alternatives, policymakers should reexamine the reduction of healing to medicine, and the equation of nonmedical alternatives with fraud. The current regulatory scheme, embodied in state ‘practice of medicine’ statutes and related case law, reflects an outmoded view of health care, in which the physician is the sole purveyor and guardian of health.” — Michael Cohen, Esquire
Michael Moore’s statement on Traditional Medicines Congress Back in 2004 there was a push by several organizations who are proponents of setting “standards” and creating a larger regulation of the herbal industry and markets (AHPA, AHG, AOMA, etc.) to create a Draft of a Proposed Regulatory Model for Traditional Medicines. This was a statement written in response by Michael Moore, forever a defender of herbal access!
GOOD MANUFACTURING PRACTICES (GMP’s)
FDA Denies Exemption for Herbalists.pdf Link to the FDA’s response to the request for exemption from the cGMP.
FDA Small Entity Compliance Guide Link to the FDA’s Small Entity Compliance Guide to help small herbal product companies navigate the cGMP’s.
Legalities of Herbal Products Businesses in the United States and Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs) by the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine
AHG Submits a Response to the FDA on GMP Rulings.pdf The American Herbalists Guild’s official response to the FDA’s proposed GMP’s. This, the last official stance taken by the AHG on behalf of herbal health care practitioners, was submitted over a decade ago.
GMP’s in a Clinical Setting This interview with Mama Jo was published in the American Herbalists Guild Journal Vol 10 No. 1 , shows how her retail and clinical practice is navigating the GMP’s.
2010 Georgia Code Apothecary.pdf This shows a section of the current regulations for the State of Georgia Board of Pharmacy and shows the monopoly of the word “apothecary” by the pharmaceutical industry.
2010 Georgia Code Practice Medicine.pdf Definition of “practice of Medicine” in the state of Georgia.
Georgia’s Dietetic Practice Act Of particular interest to herbalists, is § 43-11A-18 Exemptions. See number 8.
NUTRITION & DIETARY REG’S
Center for Nutritional Advocacy This group has taken on the powerful Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetics Association) who has consistently sought to limit the ability to provide nutritional counseling to only Registered Dietitians. While the laws vary state to state, the overall effect has been devastating to the health of our nation. This organization is devoted to empowering other healthcare practitioners “to transform health through nutrition.” Very up do date information on state by state nutrition/dietician regulations.
INSURANCE and LIABILITY
Insurance Breakdown according to Herbalista In our most recent edition of the Herb Cart Service Manual, we added a section specifically on Insurance as we understand it functioning today in the USA. Please see page 57 of the manual.
The Volunteer Act of 1997 This act protects folks who are volunteering for a non-profit (who are acting properly within their job description) from civil liability.
Commonwealth School’s Insurance and Professional Practice Handout. This draft handout was created in August of 2023 and presented through the AHG. It offers a basic overview of insurance for herbalists in the USA.
Vitamin D from Mushrooms – Here is a link to a clear and concise article on common, store bought mushrooms as a significant source of Vitamin D written by scientists in Australia. It covers Vitamin D basics, intake requirements, Vitamin D metabolism in mushrooms, stability, viability, and bioavialability of the content of Vit D in fresh and dried mushrooms. FYI, “When fresh button mushrooms are deliberately exposed to midday sunlight for 15–120 min, they generate significant amounts of vitamin D2, usually in excess of 10 μg/100 g FW, which approaches the daily requirement of vitamin D recommended in many countries.” Hurray!