Podcast 128: Herbalism & Mutual Aid

What do we want to build in place of the unjust systems we are living in? Everyone plays a role in deciding. Let’s do it consciously. The role of herbalists and of herbalism in mutual aid is to share knowledge, skills, and materials – and there are lots of ways to do it.

Community care systems have lots of moving parts, lots of places you can contribute. If we can all learn the basic skills required to care for regular problems – common infections, minor wounds, daily management of prevalent chronic illnesses – that counts for a lot. If we can also grow, share, and work with accessible herbs in every community, that’s mutual aid for real.

Herbalism as mutual aid might look like making tea and sharing it with neighbors. It might look like welcoming community members into your garden. It might look like sharing One Cool Herbal Trick that really works! But it’ll always look like a team effort if you look closely, because none of us are in this alone, and that’s the whole point.

Mentioned in this episode:

plant escaping

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Our theme music is “Wings” by Nicolai Heidlas.


Episode Transcript

Katja (00:02):
Hi, I’m Katja.

Ryn (00:16):
And I’m Ryn.

Katja (00:16):
And we’re here at the Commonwealth Center for Holistic Herbalism in Boston, Massachusetts.

Ryn (00:20):
And on the internet everywhere, thanks to the power of the podcast. All right, well, like me tell you, every week are not doctors. We’re herbalists and holistic health educators.

Katja (00:30):
The ideas discussed in this podcast do not constitute medical advice. No state or federal authority licenses herbalists in the United States, so these discussions are for educational purposes only. Everybody’s body is different. So the things that we’re talking about may or may not apply directly to you, but we hope that they’ll give you some good information to think about and research further.

Ryn (00:52):
And we want to remind you that good health is your own personal responsibility. And that means that the final decision when you’re considering any course of therapy, whether it’s discussed on the internet, or prescribed by a physician, is always yours.

Katja (01:05):

Ryn (01:05):
That’s what, okay. So this week we’re talking about herbalism and mutual aid.

Katja (01:11):
Yeah. This is the third in a series that we’ve been doing, talking about just the events that are going on right now around police violence and police brutality, and the fact that black lives do matter, and the changes that we need to see in our society and also that we want to see in our society. And I think that for everyone right now this is kind of a, it’s a challenging time. It’s a little bit difficult to stay sane. Whether you are realizing for the first time that this is work that needs to be done, and feeling overwhelmed by the scope of the work that must be done, or whether you have been fighting this fight now, your whole life. I think that there’s a lot of overwhelm right now. And for me, at least, the way that I stay sane through it. The thing that that really helps me to stay focused, even when there’s a lot of things that feel overwhelming, is to hold in my mind what it is that we want to build. What is it that we want in place of this unjust system?

Ryn (02:35):
Yeah, it’s not enough to say things are bad. You know, things need to change. We need an image. We need a vision of what we want to change them into. Otherwise, you know, lowest, common denominator, regression to the mean, path of least resistance, you know, like that’s not a way for things to actually improve. So we need to have a vision. We need to have an idea and then we need to take the steps to work toward it and make it real.

Start Where You Are

Katja (03:00):
Yeah. And, and lest you start thinking: Oh, no, now that’s overwhelming because I can’t hold that whole vision in my head. It’s true. Like, I don’t know exactly what public safety should look like. I know that it shouldn’t look like what it is right now, but I don’t know exactly what it should look like. There are a lot of really smart people, and especially some really smart Black Americans and people of color who have been doing a lot of work on this that we’ve talked about in previous episodes. But on the other hand, the reality that there is so much to build, for me is actually encouraging. Because it means that there’s a place for all of us in this work. There is a role for all of us to play. It’s not just about building a new system of public safety, systemic racism affects every part of our society. And so that means whatever you’re good at, whatever you do for work, whatever you do for fun, there is work to do there to create justice for all people. To me, that’s encouraging, right? Like you don’t have to go out today and become an expert on statistics around like police killings. I don’t know, any of that kind of thing. You can start where you are. You can take the things that you’re already good at and turn them to the work that our society needs to do right now.

Ryn (04:25):
Yeah. So, you know, because we’re herbalists, you know, we ourselves, and also you listening, we might be tuning into ideas around access to healthcare, and about creating systems for community care in recognition that the existing healthcare infrastructure is just plain not sufficient. And that this is a place that we can help out.

Katja (04:49):
Yeah. as we were talking about in an earlier episode in this series, marginalized communities lack access to quality and just healthcare. Healthcare has been made literally unavailable in so many marginalized and specifically Black communities. And even when it is available, there’s a lot of racism in medicine. Not just in its current implementation, but also throughout its development. Many of the techniques and technologies that have come or that we have today have come at the expense of Black bodies or were created by and stolen from Black scientists and Black doctors. And that doesn’t even begin to talk about the the work that Black enslaved people did in this country around herbalism and how much of our herbalism today is impacted by those traditions. So that all might be a lot of stuff that you don’t know about, and that’s all places to research. But before I get on that rabbit hole, I want to keep us focused on mutual aid stuff. And so,

Ryn (05:55):
Yeah, I mean, it might be that folks didn’t really know that, or that there were facts or figures or things that were were news or are unfamiliar. But I mean, especially this year, it’s just become really apparent that Black communities are drastically more impacted by the coronavirus. And a big amount of that, a great deal of that comes because of lifetimes of a lack of access to quality healthcare. So this is a place where we can be of service, you know. Where we can work and we can create a just world, an anti-racist world. That’s what we want to do.

Basic Self Care Skills

Katja (06:25):
Yeah. So, to get a little bit more specific about this, and specifically about how we, as herbalists, can be working in this area, you cant think about, obviously we want good quality healthcare to be universally accessible to all people. But more directly relevant to the skills that we have, and that we can share as herbalists, I have sort of three points that I want to address. And the first is that we want everyone to have basic skills to care for regular things, right? Common illnesses, the everyday care of chronic conditions, common wound care. This is knowledge that people used to have, or were told that they used to have. But I think that most people did. I think that certainly people in any given community were more skilled at it. But I do think that there was a baseline level of skill here that is probably not mythology, probably that most people did have.

Ryn (07:35):
Hmm. But in any case, that is something that whether they had it in the past and it needs to be returned, or whether it wasn’t there before but it can be now, this is something that can be learned. It can be taught. It’s not too hard.

Katja (07:48):
And when you have these skills, I mean, basic like fever management skills, or scraped knees skills or even a little bit more serious than that. But being able to take care of the sort of everyday stuff that happens to everybody. When we have those skills, then each individual is empowered to care for themselves, in addition to having access to high quality care, right? But we can’t have to go to the emergency room for little things because there’s literally no other option for care. And that is the situation right now. So the things that we can manage safely at home, those are things that I want everybody to also have the skills and the confidence to manage safely at home. There’s so many things where even if we receive conventional treatment, home care will drastically improve recovery outcomes if we have those skills. So it’s up to those of us who have these skills to share them with our communities and have more on that.

Improving Access to Herbs

Ryn (08:53):
Yeah. We’ll come back to that thought in just a moment. You know, the second major idea here that we would be looking for or trying to advocate is that want everyone to have access to materials to do this work. So we can’t sort of just randomly all have access to all of the pharmaceuticals in the world, because that’s not actually safe. You know, as herbalists, we get the chance to actually sample all of the remedies that we work with. So yeah, so we can have access to herbs. We can learn to work with them. And this is where we say, this is the people’s medicine, right? And that’s not because it’s easy. It’s not because it means that you don’t need to study in order to work with herbs. It means that it is, or it can be, accessible. That herbalism can be learned without expending a fortune in loans, you know, for school. That it can be learned a little bit at a time. And it can start with food herbs, and food-like herbs, and actually, you know, a lot of things are simple to learn and to implement, right?

Katja (10:00):
Yeah. Well, like learning any part of it creates a skill that you can share, right? Like if all you know, is chamomile helps when I’m feeling this way, or ginger helps when I’m feeling nauseous. Okay, well, you can’t fix everything in the world, but you can help people who are feeling nauseous. And that’s something that you can feel confident in because you’ve experienced it in your own body. And that doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to work for every person, but it is still something that you have to offer. And it doesn’t take you eight years of study to be able to start helping people, right? You can share what you know, when you know it. And if, what you know is ginger helps your nausea. That is something very concrete that you can share. And a person who’s feeling a lot of nausea will be really grateful for that shared knowledge.

Ryn (10:51):
Yeah. Herbs can be more affordable as well. You know, especially if we’re talking about herbs that you can grow yourself, or if there’s an accessible place to harvest from. So, you know, this is going to mean, though, that we’re going to need more herb farmers or urban urban gardeners. Community gardens in particular can be really key here, right? And certainly that’s not an exhaustive list of the ways that we could be growing more herbs in more places for more people. But the idea is to question, how can we expand the availability of good quality plants and herbal medicines and get them to people, to all members of our community. What skills do we have that we could put into service to provide more plants for more people?

Mutual Aid

Katja (11:35):
Yeah. So actually that brings us to the third point which is mutual aid and mutual aid is the concept of community groups caring for themselves. So there was a time, at least in 1950s G-rated television, you know, ‘m thinking, leave it to Beaver or whatever, where this was just called being neighborly. And I think a lot of that likely really did happen. But part of what made that possible was that many people could support a family on one income, which meant that many people did not have to work. Typically this was mom didn’t have to work and was able to volunteer in the community. So what I’m really talking about here is the unpaid labor of women. And you know, there’s a lot to deconstruct about all of that. But for right now, I just want to note that it is basically not possible today to run a household on one income. And that means there’s a lot less free time available to volunteer in society. And that problem alone could actually be a whole other podcast. But at any rate, as we think about what we want to build, and as we think about building resilient communities that contain support systems for everyone, we also need to be thinking about economic justice and living wages and like all these other issues. So like this podcast episode could have been 12 hours long actually. But to keep it focused right on mutual aid, whether or not you have ever experienced living in a neighborhood where folks just took care of each other, that is what we’re really looking for. And it doesn’t have to necessarily be your neighborhood. It could also be maybe your church or your bowling league or whatever kind of community group you are a part of, intentionally committing to caring for one another. And this is requisite, even if we have universal healthcare, because there’s just not enough doctors to care for everyone in large numbers, to care for everyone especially if large numbers of people get sick all at the same time, like we just saw with coronavirus, and actually as we are still seeing with coronavirus,

Ryn (13:57):
We’re going to continue to see and there’s going to be more waves. Yeah. Right. So yeah, so that’s a big motivator to develop this kind of thing. But also mutual aid can look like a lot of different things. Mutual aid can involve grocery shopping for some elders in the neighborhood. It could involve helping out some neighbors with childcare if mom is sick or has errands to run, or just needs a break.

Katja (14:22):
Especially because, like, most people have to have both parents working if there are children. And that means if one person gets sick, like there was no margin of error.

Ryn (14:33):
Yeah. And you know, and this is a pain point for a lot of folks right now because they’re supposed to be going back to work because their office is open again, except they can’t get any childcare because that’s not open right now. So what are you supposed to do? You’re stuck. So, you know, so it could be like that. It could be like helping a neighbor who needs the roof repaired if you, or somebody you know, has the skills to get it done. I mean, all of these things are going to contribute to better conditions, which leads to better health for all of the people who live there. So it’s a commitment to caring for one another. And it can take lots of forms, but as herbalists we have some particular tools and skills and knowledge that we can contribute here.

Katja (15:15):
Yeah. And actually we have a lot of ways where we can do that work even when we’re feeling overwhelmed. And this is one of these things that makes it particularly exciting to me. And I will just maybe stop right here and admit that I am a super Pollyanna kind of person. I am always like looking for the bright side of things. I am always looking for the smile side of things. I want to whistle while I work. Like I will just say that I know that that can be a very annoying trait. And I have that. So I’m always like basking in the silver linings of things. But there’s a huge silver lining here in that there’s a lot of data on the concepts that helping others does really good stuff for your brain and for your emotional health, especially in situations where there’s a lot of community trauma happening. Or in other words, if you are feeling overwhelmed by what’s going on in the world right now, literally actually the act of being in service and helping can be soothing, can be curative, can be something that nourishes you. And of course, I don’t mean doing that to the point of burnout. But that we have a way to contribute and we have a way to put something good into the world can also help ourselves to feel better as well. And there’s nothing wrong with that. You’re allowed to do things to make yourself feel better. The whole point of the work that needs to be done right now is that everybody has a just life. Everybody has access to the things that they need, to the equality, to all the same rights, to all the same everything.

Ryn (17:10):
You’re included in everybody.

Katja (17:12):
Yes. You’re included. This is not trading one people’s suffering for another. This is recognizing that one group of people has been suffering for the benefit of another group of people. And that we want to wipe that out and let all people have just, good things. So, it’s okay if you feel better when you are helping in the fight. You’re allowed to feel better.

Some Herbie Things to Share

Ryn (17:44):
Yeah. So let’s say if you’re feeling overwhelmed, what are some things that you might still be able to do? Well, you could make some tea. You could share it with a neighbor.

Katja (17:55):
Yeah. Especially if it’s a nice nervine blend, you know, something as simple as chamomile and ginger y’all know that’s my favorite. But it can have a little elderflower in there. It could have a little lemon balm in there. It could have a little motherwort in there, or something nice for the heart, a little hawthorn, a little linden in there. And you know, if you’re feeling overwhelmed, your neighbor may also be feeling overwhelmed. And being able to sit together and talk about it, and eventually maybe that conversation gets to a point where you can move past the overwhelm and then start to move into a constructive place. Well, then that’s really exciting, right? But if nothing else, you’re together. You shared some time in community. Even if it was just two of you, that’s still in community soothing one another and supporting one another.

Ryn (18:52):
Gardening is another great thing to do together. You know, you can garden. You can share the plants that you grow. You could invite your neighbors or neighborhood kids over to garden together with you, and teach them how to grow things. That’s a great skill to have forever, and in lots of contexts. Grow food, grow medicine. So there’s a lot of good things to come out of the earth.

Katja (19:13):
I really think that the more that we teach children to be in connection with the earth, the more that we are raising a compassionate, next generation. When we teach them to be in connection to the earth, and especially when we teach them that in an intentionally non-exploitive way. When we intentionally talk about stewarding plants and being in relationship with plants and not: well, I’m just going to grow this so I can use it. It sounds very subtle to, to make that language shift. But it does a lot of stuff inside your head that helps you to see the plants that we’re in relationship with as living beings that we share this planet with. And when you raise a child to understand that even plants are living beings to consider in our actions, then it is also a lot easier for them to recognize that all humans need to be considered in our actions.

Ryn (20:21):
All right. Another thing you can do is to study. Believe it or not, this is going to matter for you, for your community. So this could be as simple as picking one thing to learn and learning it. How to take care of heartburn, how to take care of, I don’t know, achy feet, you know. Teach that to everybody you know. They’ll be grateful. They’ll thank you for it. So it could be that. It could be, like, I want to learn how to work with these five herbs that I already know how to grow. I want to learn everything possible that I could do with these to help people around me. That counts for a lot.

Katja (20:58):
Right. Like you don’t have to have 200 different herbs. If you have five herbs available to you. And you’re like, I just want to know every possible way to work with these five plants. That’s it. You’re a really helpful human.

Ryn (21:10):
Yeah. Or it might look like going the full way, becoming a clinical herbalist and starting a free clinic. And going through that whole process and bringing that work and that training together. It could look like literally one single thing that you get really excited about. You can be the crazy thyme steam person who just wants to give thyme steams to everybody. And it’s like, let me show you how to do a thyme steam. This is the best thing. I mean, why not? Right?

Katja (21:37):
Yeah. Actually, if you were the crazy thyme steam person, you would be a very helpful person in your community, too. If that’s the only thing you knew how to do was a thyme steam, or an oregano steam, or any of those good smelly plants, you would be able to help with so much. All kinds of respiratory issues, but also all of the teenage acne in your neighborhood, and the kids with conjunctivitis, and anybody with a stye in their eye, and ear infections. And there’s like so much stuff that can be helped with a thyme steam, that if that’s literally the only thing you knew how to do, you would still be a super helpful human.

Ryn (22:22):
Yeah. And you don’t have to do it alone. Right. You can get your friends together. You can pool skills, you can pull resources. You can make medicines together and then share them. So don’t feel like it’s you against the world, working for the world.

Katja (22:38):
Yeah, no, it’s you and the world working to create the world that we want, and that we deserve. And that will rectify all of the terrible things that exist right now. And instead to focus on the beauty that we can bring in, and the compassion for one another that we can bring in.

Go Do It and Take Joy in It

Ryn (23:05):
Yeah. So pick the thing that calls to you. Go out there and do it. And then when you feel bad, when you feel discouraged, turn back to that thing. Keep on doing it, right? Let that become something sustaining for you. You know, often we feel bad because we see suffering and we don’t know what to do. You don’t know where to start. You’re not sure what would make the biggest difference, or what would be the most important or the best use of your time. Well, you don’t have to know. You don’t have to know what is the most perfect thing. You don’t have to know how to do every single thing that needs to be done. You can learn to do one thing and then offer that as much as you’re able to anyone who needs it and would like it. And then when you start to think, Oh no, maybe what I’m, isn’t enough. Maybe what I’m doing, isn’t the right thing. Maybe…you can shut those thoughts down. You can remember you’re just one person and that you’ve chosen a thing to do. And then you’re going to go out there and really do it. And then you can not exactly trust that the other people in your community are going to be out there doing the same, but you can encourage them to do the same thing. You can ask them to do the same kind of thing. You can recruit some folks.

Katja (24:08):
Yeah. I really think that right now instead of walking up to each other and saying like, Oh, hi, how you doing? I really think that white people should start greeting each other with what are you doing to fight racism today? Like Hey, the way in which I am working to solve the problem that our ancestors created greets the way in which you are working to solve the problem that our ancestors created. You know, like, I don’t know. I, again, with the Pollyanna me, but to me that is…

Ryn (24:40):
But no, see, that’s kind of necessary because you were able to say that and have it be like, wow, that’s so encouraging. That’s great. And I feel like if I was to say, what are you doing to fight racism today?

Katja (24:50):
Yeah, no, that’s not encouraging, but…

Ryn (24:53):
It wouldn’t really bring about what we’re hoping for, right?

Katja (24:55):
Right. But I just like, let’s take joy in this work. The work is to say we value people who have been systemically harmed. The work is to say: Oh my God, you’re hurting. And Oh my God, we had a part in that. And then to be like, Oh my God, we can fix it. All we have to do is choose to fix it. I mean, we ALL have to choose to fix it. And I don’t mean to make that sound simplistic. But I take so much encouragement from the fact that if literally every single person stopped everything right now. I mean, feed your kids, feed your dog, like not stop every single thing, but made fixing this problem their primary focus. And whatever it is you have to do. Are you going to work today? Great. How are you fighting racism at work today? Are you going to the grocery store? Great. How are you not being racist at the grocery store? Like, it can be tiny, tiny things, but if we can see this as…. Okay. Do you get excited about giving people gifts? Do you get excited about wrapping things up and being like: Oh my goodness, this is going to be so good. It’s going to bring joy. I think that if we could take that feeling into this work. And say part of it, not a gift. Because it’s not a gift, it is absolutely owed. But if we could take that feeling of I am going to make someone feel good, someone who deserves to feel good, someone I want to feel good. I want everybody to feel good. I just want everybody to have what they need. And I, I understand that that is like hopelessly perk. But I also think that that’s how we get through this work is to just approach it every day as I can’t wait until everybody has everything they need. And then some of the things they want, you know.

Ryn (27:14):
It’s a form of hope. Right. So yeah, turn your whole lawn into a garden, you know. Make your kitchen a place people come over for help, with masks on and appropriate measures. I mean, you know, some of this can be done virtually right now as well, for sure. You don’t have to be too busy to do this stuff. You have to prioritize what you’re going to be busy with. Right now it’s hard to think of anything more important than getting busy, actively creating a society that’s compassionate and just an equal for everyone. What could be more important than that? You know?

Katja (27:49):
Yeah. Like literally. Yeah.

Ryn (27:52):
So whatever you do, whatever you’re good at right now, let’s turn that thing into serving that goal. Let’s do it once. Let’s do it again. Let’s do it for all. Let’s keep on doing it and just make it what we do instead of a thing that we did. And now it’s done and now racism is solved. No, we continue to solve this problem ongoing.

Katja (28:07):
Yeah. That’s a myth that we’ve been holding on to for a while. And this was not all fixed with the civil rights movement. It needs to truly be fixed, and then that fix needs to be guarded, you know?

It’s Our Turn

Ryn (28:23):
And clear-eyed right? I mean, we have a lot of cultural mythology about, you know, the greatest generation and World War II. And we have a lot of cultural mythology looking back and talking or thinking about what happened during the civil rights movement and the kinds of admiration that we hold for civil rights leaders. And we think, wow, look at all these great things they did. Isn’t that wonderful. And now it’s our turn, right?

Katja (28:48):
Right. It’s the and now it’s our turn part that’s important.

Ryn (28:51):
It’s been our turn for awhile. And you know, recently it’s become impossible for anybody to ignore that it’s our turn, which is good. That’s progress. That’s a necessary piece of it. But you know, this is the time that our generations are going to be judged on. And so we’ve got to get out there and we’ve got to do those great things, so that we can look back and say: Good, we stood up, we made the changes. We did what was necessary.

Katja (29:16):
So that we can look back and we can say it’s done. Like, nobody’s free until everybody’s free. Right? Like there’s a saying you see on signs sometimes: No Justice, No Peace. And think it’s really easy for some people, privileged white people in our society, to be like, well I have peace. My life is pretty peaceful. My life is pretty great.

Ryn (29:45):
Or like, is that a threat? You know?

Katja (29:47):
Yeah. But the truth is that if there is not justice for all people, there is not peace. There isn’t. And so I would like at the end of my life, I would like tomorrow, like I would like yesterday, to be able to look around and say, there is justice. I would like there to be peace. And that’s what everything in our lives right now can be devoted to is creating that world. I just think about what did people, like what was the propaganda that went around World War II? All of the signs about “do your part” and “grow your garden” and like all these things. I want that right now.

Ryn (30:36):
I mean it is happening right now, right? So when people are sharing information or motivation memes or whatever about Black Lives Matter, about justice, about equality, about changes in policing, about all those things. That is the kind of modern equivalent of those posters about the victory gardens. Saying this is what we care about. We want to get it out there. It doesn’t have the stamp of the government on it and Uncle Sam and whatever, although it would be great if our government was making some of those.

Katja (31:04):
Yes. I would love, I can’t wait until the day that our government is saying No Justice, No Peace.

Ryn (31:12):
We cannot wait. We have to make it happen. So, yeah. Okay. So, we’re all getting amped up about this, right? This is the kind of energy we want to generate. We want to help each other cultivate and, you know, bring that up and then move that forward. So here, before we close, we want to share some resources to help you get started. So, okay. We can teach you about herbalism, and we would love to do that. And this is a good time to remind everyone that we have some scholarships available to help people who need some help, you know, and need to get access to herbs.

Katja (31:46):
And I think also to be very clear, that we also have scholarships available for Black Americans, regardless of whether or not you need help, because you are entitled to it. You have put in the work in this country, and you are owed. And I guess the word scholarship often comes along with the concept of need. And I don’t know a better word then scholarship. But I want to be clear that we offer significant discounts to all Black Americans, because you are owed. That’s what I have to say about that.

Ryn (32:28):
That’s what.

Katja (32:29):
Yes. And also that we have a lot of free learning resources available as well. And you can find all of the scholarships at Commonwealthherbs.com/about. You can find all of our free resources at commonwealthherbs.com/resources. You don’t have to remember all this because Ryn is going to put it all so helpfully into the show notes.

Mutual Aid Resources

Ryn (33:01):
You betcha. Yeah. So, that’s what we’ve got. That’s what we’re sharing to offer right now. And then about starting a mutual aid network or finding one or hooking up with one. We want to share some resources to help you do that as well. And there’s a ton of info out there. There are lots and lots of people working on this already, which is also encouraging, you know. And it’s not like any of this work is starting from scratch. So we’re not experts in this, but there are experts. There are people who are really solid on this and have been doing the work for their whole lives. So, let’s share some of that with you, you know But basically all you really need to do is to start talking to people, to neighbors, or like you said, folks in the church, or the bowling league, or the quilting bee, or the whoever it is you hang out with, your friends circle, you know, however it is. So whatever you do, to just talk to the people that you do it with, and to say: all right, well, what have we got right here? You know, what are the skills we have? What are the resources we have? What are the surplus that we’ve got to share and to offer to others? And mutual aid is basically just about pooling skills and resources specifically for the purpose of supporting each other and making sure that everyone’s needs are covered.

Katja (34:13):
Yeah, so we have some links to some really handy resources about how to start mutual aid groups, or how to find ones in your area. We have one, the American Friends Service Committee, has a really nice how to create a mutual aid network sort of how-to guide, with a lot of very helpful links. Mutual Aid Disaster Relief has an exhaustive list of resources.

Ryn (34:48):
Yeah. And, you know, whenever we think about disaster relief over the last several years, we’ve kind of started to remind ourselves that there are many communities that are in the midst of ongoing, slowly unfolding disasters that have been playing out over the course of centuries.

Katja (35:03):
Right. And that have been playing out, not accidentally, over the course. They are the result of systemic racism. They are result of red-lining. They are the result of intentionally under resourcing communities of color. And that needs to be dealt with.

Ryn (35:21):
Yeah. So disaster, in this context, isn’t solely about the hurricanes or the plague of locusts or whatever else. I mean, it’s a much broader than that.

Katja (35:31):
Yeah. And then also we’re going to share a document from Mutual Aid, Medford and Somerville, which are two neighboring towns right here, close to Boston, about starting a neighborhood pod, which is like a small unit within a mutual aid community group. And so that can give you some ideas about how to get things going. So we will have all of these links in the show notes. But also we’ve created a special section of our website dedicated to this that we’re going to continue to add to. And it’s at Commonwealthherbs.com/mutual aid. So that will have this whole podcast series. It will have the video version, the audio version, the transcript version, so that you can share that with your friends. It will have all of these mutual aid resources. It will have links directly to our free learning resources, and also just some of our top 10 herbal skills. That’s not a sum, that was a specific number. Some of our top herbal suggestions. Like things that you could focus on that would be super helpful right now. Some things for supporting emotional health, some things for supporting people who are doing the work right now. Whether that is maybe you were at a protest and there was tear gas, and you need to recover from that. Or maybe you are concerned about coronavirus because you were out at a protest and you felt it was really important to make your presence there. And you took that risk and now let’s make sure we give you your best chance of recovery. There are a lot of different things that are fairly easy and fairly accessible. That if you just sort of learned those things, that would already be a really good start in helping others. So you will find all of those kinds of resources there again, that’s Commonwealthherbs.com/mutualaid.

Ryn (37:45):
Yeah. Alright. Well, that’s it for us for now? No worry, more coming soon. Thanks for listening. We’ll have another episode of the Holistic Herbalism Podcast for you next week. So until then take care of yourselves, take care of each other, drink some tea

Katja (38:01):
And go out there and fight some racism in this world.

Ryn (38:03):
Yeah. Right on.


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