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…
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!
The land around you is chock full of edible and medicinal plants – come discover what’s in your back yard and how to properly identify plants while enjoying a walk along Atlanta’s Beltline.
Discover the bounty spring has to forage – even in the urban landscape. Plus this workshop is by donation only, and the entirety of your contribution goes to help the underserved receive herbal healthcare via The Herb Bus.
Cost: This class is by donation only and funds go to help underserved populations receive herbal healthcare via Herbalista Community Health Network. (Suggested One-Time Donation $20. Or, donate $5 monthly to become a Sustainer and enjoy plant walks throughout the year for free!)
About the Instructor:
Lorna Mauney-Brodek is a traveling herbalist, medicine maker, wildcrafter and teacher. Much of her herbwork supports organizations dedicated to promoting diversity, environmental responsibility, and social justice. Growing up “americana,” her health practices reflect the abundantly diverse influences of these lands to blend western medical herbalism, traditional chinese five phase, ayurveda, and southern folk.
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.
We expanded our efforts to make community herbalism sustainable by initiating new programs that combine service with education:
My sister and I took a trip to New Orleans over the winter holidays and lucky me to stumble across this gem of a museum. Now I’m already a bit of a museum buff, I like the chance to sit with things and ponder their significance in our world, so combine that with bottles and bits and herbs and potions and it’s almost too much!
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.
It was an honor to be asked to present this year’s AHG Community Service Award to this group of dedicated healthcare workers. Born of the Occupy Movement, they continue to offer practical, alternative solutions to the current medical structure that neglects the poor and denies even the affluent, access to integrative and holistic treatment options. Occupy Medical offers no-cost, high quality, integrative medical services each and every Sunday on the streets of Eugene, Oregon. They put their love and respect for humanity into action. We are humbled by their service, inspired by their vision, and well, let’s just say, we have something of bus crush.
Little gold VW busses now grace the Star Bar’s Grace Vault. Elvis grants your every wish when you support the health of your community. Thank you Star Bar for hooking this Bus up with what must be the coolest donation jar imaginable.
The final stop on the Herb Bus’s 2014 west Coast Tour, was at Ponderosa High School in Flagstaff, AZ. This is my second year visiting this accomodations high school that is tasked with educating a diverse and underserved group of teens. The Bus was hosted by the Terra BIRDSprogram, a local nonprofit that teaches kids stewardship and sustainability through gardening. Together with the students they have turned what was once desert pavement, into an incredible example of permaculture in action.
This Tuesday morning, we set up the Bus so the students could learn more a bit about what we do at the Herbalista Free Clinic. After showing the medicine kits and describing the type of healthcare we provide, we stepped into their garden and talked about the plants they had already growing around them. I was honored to get to share my work on the Bus with them and look forward to another visit!