Ways in which herbalists can continue to support the Black community.
~By Coral Weinstock
HWB keeps an updated list of supplies and prepared medicines most needed by on-the-ground street medics and BIPOC community organizers. View that list, along with other information on donating supplies, here.
Get Involved With Community Based Herbalism
Community based herbalism focuses on providing local and sustainable botanical medicine to communities that have been systematically neglected or excluded by conventional health care, and on providing resources to folx on the frontl ines of revolutionary struggle. To learn more and get involved, check out: The Solidarity Apothecary, HWB People’s Clinics, and Herbalists Without Borders’ Guide To Community Herbalism.
Join a Local Street Medic Team
An herbalist can be an incredibly valuable addition to a street medic team. For more information on herbal care for protesters, check out this zine compiled by a team of herbalists, street medics, herbal first aid specialists and educators:
Herbal First Aid For All Who Have Experienced Police Violence.
Educate Yourself On Colonialism And Whitewashing Within Herbalist Spaces
Many of the healing plants widely used in western herbalist practices today were first used by indigenous peoples across the globe and much of our collective botanical knowledge comes from the work of BIPOC. Unfortunately, especially as herbalism has become more popular within mainstream culture, that history has often been obscured or “white washed” and replaced with a false narrative that places white people at the center. [To learn more, check out this free ebook Queering Herbalism, written by Tori, a community organizer and medicine maker. ]
Listen To and Rejoice In The Wisdom Of BIPOC Herbalists and Healers
Find out who the BIPOC herbalists in your geographical region or specific field of interest are, or check out this list of some BIPOC practitioners, collectives, and herbal schools.
Refrain From Purchasing Plants Held Sacred By Other Communities
Appropriative use of White Sage (Salvia Apiana), a sacred ritual plant within many Native American tribes of North America, and Palo Santo (Bursera Graveolens / Bursera Sarmientoi), a holy tree in many South American indigenous communities, has led to overharvesting, and this has also limited their availability to those who hold them these plants sacred. Instead, embrace local biodiversity and your personal heritage to find your own rituals. Check out this article by Good Witch Kitchen for more ideas.
Grow a Row (Or More) Of Healing Plants Earmarked for Donation
The revolution didn’t start in a day and it won’t end in a day, either. Access to quality medical care has always been a political issue. Designate a portion of your garden to growing herbs for future donation.
Many of us, especially us white folx, aren’t used to thinking or talking about race this much. It can feel overwhelming, tiring or confusing. Take time to rest and nourish yourself. Don’t forget that allyship is not a goal to achieve; it’s a lifelong learning process.
Name: Coral Weinstock
Gender Pronoun: they/ them/ theirs
Part of the World: Midwest/ New England / Appalachia
A little bit about me:
Hi y'all! My name is Coral. I'm a small-scale, organic farmer by trade who has been increasingly drawn to herbalism the past couple of years. My first exposure to plant magic was as a little one, watching my mother, a midwife, working in her herbal garden in the backyard and making teas for her clients. Since then, I've become passionate about the interconnected nature of plant and animal (including human) vitality and survival.
I'm also queer/genderfluid, and a movement artist with particular fondness of contact improv and aerial arts. I've spent the past 9 months on the road with my partner, WWOOFing and exploring different ecologically and creatively minded communities. I am so excited by the work of HWB and am honored to become a part of this network!
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THANK YOU FOR YOUR SUPPORT OF HWB.
HWB is a 501c3 NGO nonprofit. Our nonprofit is a global member network of of herbalists, medicinal plant growers, herbal educators, alternative holistic modality practitioners and others dedicated to herbal health access for all, medicinal plant conservation, health justice and more.
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