Pay-It-Forward Medicine Making Workshops
Medicine by the People, For the People!
Combine learning with service in this unique workshop.
Discover the satisfying and empowering experience of creating plant medicine! And the best part? Your hard work will help provide herbal remedies to the people who need it most! We make medicines to stock the apothecaries of the Herbalista Free Clinics and also to share with other clinics and communities in need.
We make batches of some of our most needed herbal preparations, reviewing a variety of medicine making skills from beginner to more advanced techniques. Participants will go home with new skills, recipes and samples of their creations, and the knowledge that they have made batches of sweet, sweet herbal medicine to nurture their neighbors. We run these workshops several times each year. USA folks– check our event page for listings! If you are in Ireland, please visit the HerbShare Dublin page!
A little history…
When Hurricane Sandy hit New York City in 2012, I had a medicine making workshop scheduled that weekend. The plan was to spend the day making remedies that were both tasty and healthy to support us during the winter season. Everyone was sure to go home with a pile of wonderful preparations to share with friends and family. It was an all day workshop and I thought, why not direct some of this energy towards putting together a care package for the folks up in the NYC. So for the last hour of class, we made a dozen lavender sachets and created hundreds of winter tulsi chai blend teabags (warming and soothing) to send up north. I think it touched something extra special inside of us all.
Flash forward 2 years, the Herb Bus is now on the scene and we are doing our best to make the Herbalista Free Clinic a sustainable project, because, as we all know, free clinics aren’t really “free.” They cost money to stock and money to run. So on October 24th, 2014 we tried something a little new.
Since we were looking for more community support for the Herbalista Free Clinic, then what better solution than to literally put the community to work, stocking the bus. We spent the day learning to make the remedies we use most on the Bus, with particular attention to the needs of the coming winter months. The supplies fees purchased the herbal ingredients and 7 hours later everyone had acquired new skills and the Bus had new medicines!!
The list of medicines we made was based on what the Bus was low on, used the most often, or seasonally appropriate– that day we made Echinacea MPS amplified tincture (an advanced preparation involving percolation and reduction), infused calendula oil, a pain and trauma oil rub, astragalus brandy, fennel glycerite, and a winter health tea blend.
Here are photos from some of our workshops. And here are examples of some of the Pay It Forward Medicine Making Cards we use in class that participants take home with them. We will begin loading the worksheets, recipes, and sample class outlines to the Toolkit if you are interested in using this model to create herbal infrastructure in your neck of the woods.
We now run these workshops several times a year, making medicaments for the Herb Bus, the Herb Cart, the Harriet Tubman Foot Care Clinic, and the Dublin Herb Bike (a free clinic serving Dublin, Ireland.)
Thanks to these workshops, our community is that much stronger! Not only do our clinics receive the medicines they need, but more and more folks have the skills to make their own medicines!
We also continue to make remedies to send towards other communities who need our help, such as Standing Rock and the Apollo House Home Sweet Home Campaign, just like that first care package we sent to New York City!