Our gatherings have included a massive range of workshops to weave together herbal knowledge and medicine, and social justice politics and organising; from prison abolition workshops to practical medicine making sessions; from migrant and economic solidarity information exchanges to wild foraging for medicinal plants. We’re currently offering information and resources through our website around the Covid-19 situation, including addressing this crisis through the lens of healthcare inequality and race-based and other injustices, with solidarity and support for people and communities experiencing the pandemic and its effects disproportionately.
‘Rad‘ in Latin means root: Radical herbalism is about getting to the root of health, addressing all dimensions – the physical, emotional, social, political, spiritual, environmental.
We believe that herbal medicine, one of the oldest medicines in the world, should play an important part in our healthcare system and not be relegated to private medicine. Everyone should have the basic knowledge and skills to look after themselves naturally, and there should be a choice within any national health system for the kinds of medicines we want to use.
Radical herbalism recognises that our health is inextricably linked to the health of our ecosystems. We are therefore working for a non-toxic society, for ecosystem health and models of land use that nourish our communities rather than harm them. We honour plant communities through conscious cultivation, ethical wildcrafting and sustainable harvesting.
There is a need for sustainable freedom from our dependence on institutions and individuals that exploit, neglect, and degrade us physically, emotionally, socially and financially. This means recognising the harm caused by state and capitalist institutions and the need for creative and liberatory alternatives. We also believe in the necessity of self-care and mutual aid and community responsibility for cultivating our wellbeing; that healthcare is a right, not a privilege, and should be accessible to all people regardless of their ethnicity, culture, nationality, economic class, sexual identity, gender, age or abilities. Herbal medicine is the people’s medicine and everyone should have access to this knowledge
Radical herbalism therefore commits to dismantling barriers that stand in the way of this access. Radical health practitioners strive to end discrimination, oppression, poverty and other forms of social injustice through our practice and through community organising.
Radical herbalism is also about supporting health and about harm-minimalisation and working to meet community needs in the now, while staying committed to long term social change.
Radical herbalism acknowledges: that there are massively diverse traditions and practices of plant medicine to be honoured globally; that colonialism continues worldwide through corporate damage to and/or theft of indigenous people’s lands and medicines, and that consciousness raising about this violence is necessary in the UK.