Decolonizing Herbalism: Interdependence

Decolonizing Herbalism is an ongoing conversation about appropriation and exploitation in the world of herbal medicine. We’ve had great turnout for our previous discussions in this series, and we’ve committed to making them a regular occurrence. Please join us as we face these issues, build dialogue, and work for change.

FIREWORKS TREE by mauroguanandi, on flickr

This session, we’ll focus our discussion on the insidious myth of “independence” in an interdependent world. Some questions we’ll grapple with include:

  • How is the conceit of “American exceptionalism” re-presented in the way American herbalists view the traditional societies whose medicine ways they claim to emulate or revere?
  • What are the health impacts of living in a society whose economy is reliant on disaster capitalism to perpetuate its central myth of endless “growth”, and which fetishizes a fantasy of individual “independence” in order to drive consumption – and how can herbalists recognize and counter them?
  • How can herbalists avoid reinstantiating the capitalist models of relationship endemic to the conventional health care system, so they can better serve underrepresented demographics?
  • How have more communal and equitable folk traditions been ignored, devalued, romanticized, or appropriated by white herbalists?

We invite you to join us for a spiraling discussion of these issues, oriented towards finding ways we can all help each other develop respectful relationships between people, plants, and places.

We need many voices to complete the circle. Please spread the word!

Wednesday, July 1st, 2015
7:00pm – 9:00pm
25 St. Mary’s Court, Brookline

This is a free event, and we invite all interested parties to participate!

RSVP by filling out our contact form, emailing us at, or calling 617-750-5274.

We had good turnout and good conversations once again! We’ll hold space for discussions like this once every season.


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