I got this from @mapletwigmedicinals on Instagram. Please see their feed for more info. They got the info from @herbanhealing @rootsofresistance @pauladiaz_herbalist @linda.black.elk – please check out these and other BIPOC for more info
This came to my attention today. I am not a huge Herbalism conference attendee, because I can not afford to be. As a southerner, a white southerner, and an herbalist this conference, with it’s undiverse line up, location, and horrid policy is an insult. This is not what Southern Herbalism is, this is what a bad version of Southern Herbalism is. The organizer who’s name I see is Darryl Patton who goes by The Southern Herbalist. Honestly that title pisses me off, just with the exclusivity and hierarchical nature of “The” as if he was crowned southern herbal king. Nope. Does not represent me. I am a southern herbalist and I honor the many who came before me, and the many alive still who have preserved and shared the practices and knowledge of Herbalism.
Herbalism IS political. Always. Herbalism pushes back against capitalism, patriarchy, sexism, racism and more. Herbalism requires social justice and environmental justice. Herbal knowledge comes out of many different cultures and traditions, and those cultures have dealt with oppression and genocide, racism and sexual assault for centuries. So yea, there are some politics to it all. Herbalism does not exist in a vacuum and to pretend it does is unacceptable.
Any practicing herbalist who does not think politics are relevant should not be trusted. They need to be aware of how “politics” affects the mental, emotional, and physical health of their clients. These things are all relevant.
Locally for Virginia folks, I recommend the Gaia Women’s Gathering in Charlottesville this spring as an herbal conference that does deal with social justice.
If you aren’t understanding the dilema here, or just want to know more about Herbalism and social justice here are a few links that you might want to check out:
These are not exhaustive, but my crappy rural internet makes searching a slow process. Please investigate on your own.