About the Issues

Gathering Herbs

photo by Larken Bunce

Community-Based Medicine

Information about environmental toxins can be overwhelming. As Rosemary Gladstar told us:

I think it is important to be informed. I don't want to be an ostrich living on my mountain, digging a hole and putting my head in, but I can only take in so much information; otherwise I start to believe I can't do anything. That's what I see. I see so many people who have bought into the fear, forgetting how powerful we are. We're forgetting that we actually are transformers, that we can change this."

Herbalists are transformers, working in their communities to create locally based systems of healing using the plants and resources from their area. Herbal medicine, backyard medicine, kitchen medicine, whatever you choose to call it is the basic knowledge everyone once needed about how to care for themselves and their families with the plants, food, herbs, and spices they used daily. This is the kind of care and knowledge we hope to promote.

In emergencies, nothing beats having the ability to use the plants growing out your back door or dried in your spice cupboard to keep those you love well. This is community healthcare resilience at its finest.

Goldenseal & Ginseng

photo by Sandra Lory

Below are some questions to begin conversations about how a sustainable system of healthcare might look in your community. A screening of Numen or a series of film screenings on related topics can help set the context. These questions can help your community build on the awareness raised by these films.

For additional information and resources, go to Transition United States.

Some questions for leading discussions about what herbalism can offer to the process of creating sustainable medicine in your community: