Herbal medicine is a valuable tool for uplifting our communities and promoting racial justice! Meghan Elizabeth, operations director of Five Flavors Herbs says "I believe that herbal medicine is an essential tool in the Black Power toolkit. At its core, herbalism allows us to be the experts of our own bodies. It’s rooted in relationships between plants and humans, and I believe that for Black people, specific plants—hibiscus, goldenseal, cottonwood bark, and marshmallow, to name a few—have a specific resonance (read: efficacy) for our bodies, because our ancestral relationship or history ties us to them, physically and energetically.
It is also important to understand that enslaved Africans were brought to the Americas not just as slaves, but as stewards of the land. African people were taken specifically for their knowledge of growing plants in wet or swampy conditions. British and Spanish colonizers didn’t understand how to work with the land or the indigenous plants that they stole. Enslaved Black people came here as experts of plants and farming this type of earth. And once they delivered that gift, they were forced to forget. But many of us have not forgotten. Many of us remember a little bit more every day. They tried to bury us, but we are seeds.
[Amplifying Black Healers in Natural Healthcare by Meghan Elizabeth Feb 1, 2021]
Where can I start?
Some common things for a good beginner garden are: Calendula, one of the most familiar and beloved herbs, it's edible and the whole flower is an important medicinal herb for addressing skin conditions. It's also used in teas, tinctures, and broths as an antifungal, antibacterial, lymphagogue , emmenagogue, and digestive anti-inflammatory. Motherwort is one of the easiest herbs to grow and is a highly versatile medicinal for anxiety and stress. It is taken as a tincture or tea to lessen pain, such as: headaches, menstrual cramps, and muscle sprains and aches. Passionflower is weedy in much of its range and fairly easy to grow elsewhere, the leaves and flowers are an important nervine sedative and are used to help promote sleep and alleviate pain, such as menstrual cramps and headaches. Echinacea is a decidedly unfussy plant, withstanding drought, disease, and insect infestations. Purple coneflower’s (another name for echinacea) roots, seeds, and fresh flowers are all medicinal, and can be made into a tingly tasting, immune-stimulating tea or tincture. For more [The Top Ten Medicinal Herbs for the Garden: How to Grow & Use Healing Plants]
Amazon has lots of starter grow kids for various herbs. Dry herbs can also be found in our Lit Rising Ritual subscription to help keep you accountable to a healthy elevated lifestyle.
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