HERBALISTA HEALTH NETWORK
2015 Service Report
Building Community Through Herbalism!
This past year the Herbalista Free Clinic expanded services by adding a new member to our fleet. In January 2015, the Herb Cart hit the pavement to join the Herb Bus providing free herbal healthcare around the Atlanta area.
Together these herb-stations-on-wheels facilitated 38 clinics in 2015, serving hundreds in our local community!
We continued to pour sweet, sweet herbal medicine, custom compounding all sorts of remedies for our patients, from teas to tinctures to oils and more! And though we are mobile, we provide regular opportunities for refills so that we can be a service folks can depend on! Over the course of 2015 we poured over 6 gallons of extract blends, 8 pounds of loose herbal blends, 1500 capsules blends, a quart of fixed oil preparations, dozens of aromatic inhalers, salves, spritzers and more!
We served at herbal first aid stations around the country. At these stations, herbalists and conventional practitioners (nurses, EMT’s, ect.) work together, providing patient focused healthcare.
This year the Bus drove nearly 10,000 miles delivering healthcare and herbal education in Atlanta and around the country. The 2015 Herbalista Expedition was the Herb Bus’ most ambitious trip yet, clocking 8,000 miles and covering over 20 states during her 2 month voyage.
Viva la Herb Bus!
And while we do rely on donations from the greater community, we are always striving to create more of a self-supporting system, from seed to remedy! This past year we watched Herbalista evolve from a “free clinic” into a “health network.”
( And we’re not done yet. Stay tuned for this year’s Seed Library!)
And as usual, our programming combined service with education!
We made new friends and reconnected with old ones!
We look forward to a new year filled with herbalistic adventures in healthcare…
Won’t you join us? ~The Herbalista Crew
Each fall I load up the bus and drive to the North Carolina mountains. Destination: the Southeast Women’s Herbal Conference! This annual gathering of women and children is now in it’s 11th year! I am honored to facilitate the Herbal First Aid Station and hold a safe space for our gatherers.
It takes a crew and this year we were lucky to have 6 herbalists and 2 EMT’s providing around the clock care. Here are a few photos from this year’s station. Next year’s gathering will be October 14th – 16th… hope to see you there!
This summer I had the pleasure of returning to volunteer at the LA Catholic Worker’s Foot Clinic. Every Friday they serve the homeless at their center on Skid Row. Lovingly called the “Hippy Kitchen” this is a center for hospitality, offering clinics and meals and more.
The LA Catholic Worker House is a sister community to our Open Door here in Atlanta. We have had a couple of opportunities to visit each other’s foot clinics and share our knowledge and trade ideas. I had such a wonderful time and hope I have the chance to return again soon!
March 25th, from 11am – 4pm
at the Big House on Ponce
368 Ponce de Leon, Atlanta, GA 30308
Please join us at the Big House each month for access to an array of health services, including Herbal Therapy, Yoga, Reflexology, and more. Services are on a first come, first serve basis, but while you wait your turn, please take part in the free health education classes we will have running throughout the day or take the opportunity to make new friends.
Receive what you need, give as you are able.
All Services from 11:00 am – 4:00 pm:
Endless pots of Herbal Tea
Referral and Resource Services
Open Class Schedule:
11:00 – 11:45 – TBA
12:00 – 12:45 – Common Herbs with Gretchen
1:00 – 1:45 – TBA
2:00 – 2:45 – Kitchen Nutrition
3:00 – 3:30 – TBA
2014 Service Report
Another year of adventures in healthcare!
In Atlanta (our herbal hub) we continued regular services at our 2 Herb Bus Stations,
conducting 148 consultations over the course of 22 clinics.
At these monthly clinical rounds, we poured endless pots of seasonal tea, dispensed 6 1/2 gallons of customized tincture formulas (alcoholic and non-alcoholic), 14#’s of raw custom herbal and powder blends, and a variety of other remedies including aromatic inhalers, herbal capsules, and oil rubs.
We served at several herbal first aid stations including:
The Bus drove over 10,000 miles delivering healthcare and herbal education around the country.
We shared the Herb Bus model of healthcare with classes and communities from Atlanta to California. Some of our hosts included Ponderosa High School, the California School of Herbal Studies, Sacred Plant Traditions, Five Flavors Herbs, Homestead Atlanta, and the High Museum of Art.
Tending the feet of our friends on the street with the Catholic Workers at Friday Foot Care on Skid Row, Los Angeles, California.
For all this and so much more, we are grateful.
We feel fortunate to have this opportunity to serve our community
and thankful for your friendship and support on this journey.
~The Herbalista Crew
Wishing you a New Year filled with peace, smiles, and candy canes
For the final clinic of the year we throw a foot fiesta at the Open Door Community. In addition to offering full foot care services and community acupuncture, we sip cider, nibble on sweets, and spin those holiday tunes– I’m talking some James Brown’s Funky Christmas and a little Motown action.
Thanks to the help and contributions of our volunteers and friends, we are also able to hand out gift bags to our friends on the street. We fill these bags with items to help keep the harsh winter at bay, such as herbal salves, cough drops, and cozy wool socks. For some photos of the final clinic of 2014, please click here.
It’s been over 8 years since I first sat down at the Open Door and had the honor of holding someone’s feet in my hands. In the tradition of counting our blessings, I feel grateful to have found the Open Door and their open hearts. They have been an inspiring force in my life. I want to thank them for their commitment to service, for their unwavering dedication to human rights, and their courageous ability to take direct action. May you all find your inspiration this New Year.
Coming in 2015, this service project of the Herbalista Free Clinic will provide free, earth-based care and health education. This pop-up first aid station will set up at soup kitchens and at other marginalized communities around the Atlanta area. We hope this project will not only place more healing herbs into the hands of the people, but also provide an educational opportunity for those looking for herbal, hands on, clinical training.
If you have been looking for a way to put your herbal knowledge to work, if you are looking for a chance to serve your community, then here is the chance to do BOTH!!
To volunteer with the Cart you must meet the following requirements:
- CPR and First Aid Certified within the last 2 years. This can be through any number of organizations, such as the Red Cross, American Heart Association, etc. This must be completed prior to attending an Herb Cart Weekend Training Session.
- Attend an Herb Cart Weekend Training Session (Herbal First Aid, Herb Cart Protocol, etc.) Each training session is limited to 8 participants. Contact Lorna to register and make payment arrangements.
- Train at the Harriet Tubman Free Foot Clinic at least twice (Safety and Sanitation, Clinical Flow, Anti-Oppressive Practice, etc.) This clinic meets every Wednesday Night at the Open Door Community.
- Demonstrate herbal competence, compassion & pragmatism as a health worker. Please note, participation in the program is at the discretion of the Herbalista Crew.
We will schedule Herb Cart Clinics on various Tuesday’s and Wednesday’s throughout the year.
To enroll in this project, please email Lorna@herbalista.org
Upcoming Herb Cart Trainings
January 9th – 11th, 2015
Friday evening 7pm – 9:30pm
Saturday from 10am – 5pm
Sunday from 10am – 5pm
Herbalista Headquarters, Atlanta, GA
February 20th – 22nd, 2015
Friday evening 7pm – 9:30pm
Saturday from 10am – 5pm
Sunday from 10am – 5pm
Herbalista Headquarters, Atlanta, GA
Each year we set up an Herbal First Aid Station at the Southeast Women’s Herbal Conference to support this gathering of over 1000 women and children. Our clinic is a collaborative effort between EMT’s and Herbalists, as we strive to provide compassionate care for this temporary community. For more information on the clinic (such as how we stock it, staff it, the forms we use, etc.) please check out the SEWHC Herbal First Aid Station Manual. This Manual is a free pdf download available at the herbalista website. And for a glimpse inside this year’s clinic, check out our photo album.
The weather was lovely this year, the overall energy was so joyful, and I was particularly moved by the keynote given by Rosita Arvigo on service and the dharma of a healer. While I am not situated to speak on the concept of “dharma,” I do know that while our work as herbalists (or any community healthcare provider) is often beautiful. It also requires that we witness and work with deep emotional and physical pain. When we partner with our patients through their struggles, we can be at risk of neglecting our own needs or those of our loved ones. It can also be hard to grapple with the suffering of multiple patients all in the same day. This is what can make a gathering like the Southeast Women’s to be so important, as it brings together a community, all of whom are dedicated to this path. It gives us a chance to nurture and support each other, a chance for care-takers to be cared for. We are grateful to have the chance to do just that.
Home sweet home! After a long time on the road, the Bus is once again happily parked at Herbalista Headquarters. I am excited to be back, to be wrapped in the green embrace of a vine-covered south, where our creeks rise to late summer storms. I am also honored to call Atlanta home. I am grateful to have been born in a city dedicated to the struggle for civil rights, to have been watered by the reverberating message of Dr. King, and nurtured into an adult (an herbalista, in fact) who is committed to serve. And it is in the very symbol of this city, the phoenix rising from the flames, that we can take inspiration, take up the challenge, and continue to work for the health and happiness of our neighbors, even when times seem tough. When our state closes the door of Medicaid expansion in the faces of the poor, we can open ours. When services and shelter for our friends on the streets are dismantled, we can step forward to provide. As they say at the Open Door, “We gonna do the best we can, till we can’t.
I have often been asked, if you need a bus to do what we do. As you can see by the photo above, NO VAN REQUIRED! While I was touring out west, clinics continued as usual in Atlanta. Corinne and Todd popped a tent, pulled out a few tables, and created an “insta-clinic” to serve our friends at the Open Door Community. Whether you have a van, a bike, or just a backpack, you can make a difference!