We wanted to share something about ourselves so people could see who is organising this gathering. A few of us have known each other for years and have been involved in other political projects together and some of us have got to know each other in organising this gathering. For more information about some of the collective see below.
The collective is not a fixed entity and we would love people to join us in organising future Radical Herbal Gatherings, so please feel welcome to get in touch.
I have been practicing Herbal Medicine since I qualified in 2010. For the first 3 years I ran a busy clinic in the NorthWest of Manchester. The last two years I have been involved in the Wild Sistas Anti Fracking clinic, supporting environmental activists and campaigners with Herbal Medicine for free. I believe strongly that free accessible healthcare should be available to everyone alongside self determination and autonomy of choice when it comes to the type of healthcare individuals want. I believe in making herbal medicine the peoples medicine again. I believe asking the question of what makes people ill in society and changing society is just as much the herbalists responsibility as making people better. I am working towards a society that respects inter dependency of all living beings and respectful and sustainable co-existence with the earth. I am happiest in the meadows talking to plants or giving medicine for free to people who need it.
I live in Leeds where I’m discovering the joys and complexities and of being a fledging herbalist. A desire to learn an approach to healthcare which is empowered and can bring a connection with the earth led me to study herbalism at the Scottish School of Herbal Medicine and at Lincoln university. I’ve long been concerned with access to herbal medicine in the broadest senses – to the herbs themselves, around re/gaining traditional knowledge and with treatment being available for people on low incomes. Other activities include attending births, walking in the hills and seeking out live music of an interesting variety (not all at the same time. To date).
I’ve been running ‘Introduction to herbal medicine’ workshops in London which cover basic and experiential knowledge / use of plant medicine looked at in the context and as part of political and social change. Over the years I’ve been involved with running women’s health workshops and compiled some of the information shared there into a book Threads. I practice massage, write, have been trying things with performance, and walk outside the city to breathe in a wide horizon as often as I can. I look forward to the gathering and all the exchanges and connections it can facilitate.
I am a community herbalist practicing in east London and over the 4 years since qualifying I have been connecting and working with a wide range of people, plants and communities in the urban environment. I am passionate about sharing knowledge communally around plant medicine and the role this can have in changing the way we live in society and with our natural world. The energy I am finding in people with this work is inspiring and heartening and I have been involved with projects & networks in Walthamstow where I live and beyond, around community food growing, herbal medicine workshops and walks, sustainable living and accessible healthcare for all.
My approach to health and health care is grounded in my experience of being part of a women’s health collective in Brighton for 8 years. Through this I thought a lot about: self-care politics; mutual aid; the history and politics of mainstream medicine; how race, class, gender and sexuality affect our access to healthcare and radical healthcare models; all of which influence my practice. After I qualified as a herbalist in 2009, I worked for a year at Common Ground Health Clinic in New Orleans alongside other medical staff to provide free integrated healthcare. I returned to the UK and established Rhizome Community Herbal Clinic in Bristol with a similar long-term vision of providing affordable herbal treatment to, and being involved in, my local community.
I have been a qualified herbalist since the end of 2011 and joined Rhizome Community Herbal Clinic in Bristol a year later. I began my herbalists journey by working with other herbalists in London on the Herbal Barge Project and with a group providing first aid and acute herbal treatment at festivals. It was very exciting to move to Bristol to develop a practice with a vision of being rooted in the community with a like minded herbalist, and together with Becs Griffiths I went on to develop a thriving practice dedicated to bringing accessible Herbal Medicine and self-care to the city and beyond. Before beginning my herbalism training in 2007 I spent many years campaigning on issues of social justice and the environment, and in the past I have been involved in issues such as women’s health, challenging genetically modified agriculture and protecting our few remaining wild spaces. I’m involved in this project because I believe it’s important to have to discussions around sustainability, and social justice in the context of herbal medicine. Outside being a herbalist, I’m happiest when I’m in the mountains.
I am passionate about the power of words and ideas to further positive social change. I’m a writer, designer and campaigner with 20 years’ experience of social and environmental issues. My contribution to the Radical Herbal Gatherings has been the design of the website, social media & print promotional campaigns. I’m also Director of Operations at The Canary. You can contact me on: drew(at)thecanary.co or tweet @DrewR0se
My interest in herbs developed whilst walking the woods and coastline where I live in South Wales. Since qualifying as a Herbalist in 2012 I have run a successful clinical practice and lead workshops and herb walks in the local area. Sharing knowledge and remedy making skills that empower, enabling people to reconnect with nature and gain more awareness of how better to care for the earth and themselves is the backbone of my work. The natural world of which we are part is our life blood, our breath. How the social and environmental paradigms weave together determines the fullness of our (planetary) health. I am passionate about improving the way we communicate with ourselves, each other and our environment so that we might work with rather than against our surroundings towards an empathic and just society.
I am a Bristol-based designer interested in accessibility, sustainability, and bringing design and activism together. After taking several short courses in herbalism I became involved in local community herbalism projects such as the St Werburgh’s Medicinal Herb Garden. I work as a technician too, and enjoy climbing, motorbiking, and tackling thorny design problems. Contact me if you have comments or ideas about how we could make the gathering more accessible, comfortable or otherwise develop how we do it.