The herbalists’s path is not always clearly marked, even though this ancient practice has never been more needed in our modern existence. Many yearn to serve the plants, the people and the planet, but aren’t sure how they can gather the necessary skills, much less offer them to their community in a sustainable way. Working in an unlicensed medical profession, in a system seemingly hostile to anything other than the conventional big pharma-surgical approach to health, IS a challenge. But not an insurmountable one.
Two common concerns I hear during the Herb Bus Clinic Workshops, which prevent herbalists from starting free clinics of their own are money and legalities. And while these concerns are real and deserve our careful thought and consideration, when our attention becomes too focused on the lack of greenbacks or the fear of handcuffs, we might miss out on the chance to do some real work and miss the opportunity to spread some real healing to real people in real need.
The current medical structure of the United States says you only deserve to be as healthy as your bank account. It ensures wellness as a privilege for the few by suppressing affordable and accessible approaches to health, such as plant-based medicine. In the words of Dr. King, “Of all the forms of inequality, injustice in healthcare is the most shocking and inhumane.” An unjust system deserves to be challenged. And with our bountiful resources of passion, purpose, and plants, we can light the path (one headlamp at a time) for others to follow.
We have posted an updated version of the Herb Bus Service Manual on our website, with more descriptions about our services, to help illustrate how doable this type of healthcare initiative is. We intend this manual as merely an example of how one might go about this type of work. Your offering will be different. It will be a reflection of you and the community you wish to serve. It will evolve organically as a response to the healthcare needs around you, utilizing available local resources and your bio-regional materia medica. Start small– gather your herb crew, pack your medicine kit (groovy colored duct tape optional), practice with integrity, and hop on board! ~Herbalista Lorna