Making the Rounds
The bus went snow-birding in early February, as we toured Florida. The photo above shows our first aid station at the Florida Earthskills Gathering. It is a privilege and pleasure to be able to offer support at events such as these, which preserve and promote a culture of earth protection and respect. Working a station such as this is a chance to see herbs in action, learning by doing and by observation. We benefit from noting our patients’ experience, from seeing herbs work and not work, and through skill-sharing of materia medica and clinical techniques with the other practitioners we serve alongside.
Next the Bus headed south to St. Pete’s to run a workshop and clinic practicum for the clinical students of the Acupuncture and Herbal Therapies Training Program. Day 1 reviewing the Herb Bus Service Manual and making preparations for the next day’s clinic. Instead of working from the Herbalista Kits, this time we custom built herbal kits on site. This was important for a few reasons. First, we wanted the kits to reflect THEIR style of herbalism and be filled with the tools the students are used to working with (this school practices from a chinese-western blended herbal perspective). Next, it’s just fun to build them. It makes you consider every aspect of your clinical practice– which herbs you use, in what quantities, what types of preparations, how you dispense them, how can you arrange them in an efficient way, and how can you add a little bling (it’s all about the gold duct tape). And what is really thrilling, is that when the Herb Bus rolls out of town, the kits will remain in St Pete’s, with the students, hopefully for many clinics to come! Day 2 brought severe thunderstorms, but in the style of good health we were flexible. Instead of working out of the Herb Bus, under the elements, we held our clinic in the shelter of the center. Click here for photos.
This past year was an incredible journey. As 2013 took her first breath, the Herbalista Free Clinic was merely a whisper in my head and a hope in my heart. Since beginning our rounds that sunny and crisp February afternoon (captured in this photo by Jessica Horwitz), we now have two established regularly serviced stations in the Atlanta area, at which we have held 16 clinics, provided over 100 consultations, and abundantly dispensed sweet, sweet herbal remedies. We helped to facilitate free first aid clinics at gatherings in states around the country. We led plant walks, taught workshops, and ten trained other herbalists on our model using the Herb Bus Service Manual.
In December we welcomed a new apotheker to the Herb Bus crew! Corinne returns to Atlanta after spending the last year homesteading in North Carolina. During her stay in the mountains, Corinne helped wildcraft medicines for the bus, and now that she has returned to the city, she will be heaping to place those healing remedies in the hands of the people.
And as we travel these forbidden roads of free, earth-based medicine in a for-profit-pharma-surgically-controlled-country, we have discovered a most verdant underbelly. For while forbidden, these roads are anything but lonely. There is an ever growing number of dedicated healers, inspired teachers, generous medicine makers, and gifted facilitators, working to serve in their communities. We are grateful for their company and inspired by this shared vision of collaborative care for all earth’s children.
Here’s wishing you a New Year filled with bliss, purpose, and herbalistic voyages!
Each year the SouthEast Women’s Herbal Conference sets up camp at Lake Eden outside of Black Mountain, NC. Over 1000+ women and children attend this 3 day event in the early fall. Our First Aid Center is tasked with providing earth-based care for this temporary village. All of our services and remedies are offered free. For many, a visit to our clinic facilitates their first healing experience with herbal medicine, illuminating the vital link between true health and nature. We had over 100 visits to the center and also made a few “cabin calls.”
Our clinic is hostessed by graduates from the Appalachia School of Holistic Herbalism (ASHH) located in West Asheville, NC. I have had the honor both serving and coordinating this clinic for the past several years and share with you some pictures from this year’s clinic. I have also been working on a mini-manual filled with information on how we staff, stock, and provide this type of clinic for those who may be inspired to do the same in their neck of the woods. It is available as a PDF on the Herbalista website. www.Herbalista.org
To see more from this clinic, check out the album in our Photo Gallery
This June and July, the Herb Bus drove cross country to spend time with the plants and serve the people. We assisted in free clinics at both the Firefly and Rainbow Gatherings and also spent time in the field, botanizing and wildcrafting for medicines. The next voyage is planned for September.
Click the link below to see more photos from our trip. Viva la Herb Bus!
A little glimpse into our work at the Herbalista Free Clinic. Thank you to the Open Door and the Big House for hosting us, the volunteers who crew this vessel, the plants who inspire, and the people we get to meet and work with along the way.
If you would like to see more, please check out the link below to view a photo album of our February clinics. Viva la Herb Bus!