Seven Causes for a Localized Medicine Chest

Guidelines for engaging with your bioregion as a healer



This essay is an excerpt from Deeply Rooted: Medicinal Plant Cultivation in Techtropolis, pages 25 - 27, self published in 2016 by Bonnie Rose Weaver.


I. MAINTAIN TRADITIONAL KNOWLEDGE

Access and share ancient wisdom | Talk with elders and learn

remedies, recipes, and cultivation tips. Pass along oral traditions and

valuable knowledge we will otherwise lose. Engage people from all

generations in gardening and herbal education.


Learn the traditions of your people | As a person of European

descent, I practice western herbal medicine. This has strengthened my

connection to my ancestors, and helped me to embrace my role as an

herbalist. In Europe and its colonies during the 15th—18th centuries,

womyn were accused of being witches, and were killed for practicing

herbal medicine and magick. It is empowering to reclaim and practice

my ancient traditions.


Build awareness of place | Use plants to remember the history

and ecology of the bioregion in which you live. Get to know the impacts

of colonization and gentrification. Most of us are not indigenous to

this land. Honor the people and healers that are native to this land and

those that came before us.


Work with your bodies and hands | In the digital age, it is

critical that we relearn how to work with our bodies. This opens our hearts and minds, and creates a space for embodied healing. Pause and

connect to the natural world. What catches your eye and calls your

attention?



II . GROW THE LOCAL ECONOMY

Support ethical and sustainable practices | Are your herbs

grown ethically? Are they fair-trade, sustainable and organic? Do your

herbs come from outside of the United States? There is no international

organic standard or certification, so the international cultivation of

organic agriculture is nearly impossible to track.


Grow local, use local | Encourage use of remedies that grow

locally for maximum effectiveness. If it doesn’t grow where you live,

don’t use it! Promote regional sustainability; decrease the ecological

footprint of herbal products; improve regional medicine access for

everyday and emergency situations.


Impact the local economy | Similar to the popular “local

food movement,” local medicine creates jobs, cash flow, and an herbal

economy. Support small business: Buy direct! Seed-to-bottle business

allows herbs to pass straight from the grower to the consumer.


Politicize local | By consuming locally grown products, we

challenge globalization, wage slavery, and environmental degradation.

Sometimes this means we end up paying more for local products, because

we are paying the true cost for the materials, labor, and environmental

resources it takes to create the medicine.



III . GROW THE FRESHEST AND MOST POTENT PRODUCTS

Plants that are grown in one’s own bioregion deal with the same

environmental stressors and toxins, and thereby pass on a stronger

healing and resilience to local residents who consume them. When

harvested fresh and medicinally active, plants will create high-potency

products and better results.


IV. FOSTER PLANT-PEOPLE RELATIONSHIPS

Ask “Where does medicine come from?” | The answer to this

question is powerful for urban dwellers because it allows us to redefine

what medicine is. By forging a connection between plants and the emotional, spiritual, and physical health of people we deepen our connection to the health and wisdom of Mother Earth. We become allies and advocates for the plant world.


Create community | Get to know your local growers, producers,

and medicine makers. Get to know local plants! Engage communities

with the collaborative work of holistic, natural, safe, effective, ancient,

and alternative forms of healing.


Maintain wild spaces | Allow native and naturalized plants to

thrive in your garden and green spaces, and promote biodiversity of

plants, insects, animals, and other living organisms. Protect gardens,

farms and wilderness.



V. USE PREVENTATIVE MEDICINE

Many diseases or imbalances can be avoided with proper knowledge

and use of herbal medicine. There is inherent value in the practice of

preventative medicine, which is often unavailable in contemporary

western medicine. Engaging in herbalism can empower healers in

clinics, community centers and homes.


VI. HEALTHCARE FOR THE PEOPLE

Healing from plants can be more affordable, can prevent the expense

of surgery, and can reduce the stress of long-term illness. Regardless of

race, socio-economic status, location, gender, sexuality or ability every

body s


hould have access to plant medicine. Herbalism is for everybody.


VII . PRACTICE MAGICK

There are ways of knowing that are beyond the physical. These include

the subtle influences and energetic properties of plant spirit medicine,

flower essences, and plant communication. By trying new things and


expanding our minds and bodies, we may better advocate for ourselves

and find our own magick, personal growth, and healing.



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