Rootwork Herbals is a collective whose work includes various projects within herbalism that seek to build mutually beneficial relationships between people,
plants, and planet. The Rootwork Herbals community has grown to include a herbal product line, a herbalism school, herbal health consultations, a Black, Indigenous, People of Color (BIPOC) free clinic, a BIPOC community garden, and the facilitation of BIPOC sanctuaries at various conferences. Through our People’s Medicine Reclamation Fund, we also work to ensure that BIPOC folks have affordable access to opportunities to reclaim healing through herbalism. Our focus, broadly, is on creating a space for BIPOC and allies to reconnect to the land and plant medicine, to envision ways of being outside of the existing systems of oppression, and to build community in order to protect, heal, and uplift ourselves, our families and our community. Our work has always been about healing our community, however this work has taken on a new urgency during the pandemic. Due to historical and current medical injustice as well the unfortunate mismanagement of the pandemic, Covid 19 has had a far more devastating impact on BIPOC communities. Black, Indigenous and Lanitx people are dying at nearly 3x the rate of our white neighbors. Therefore, the importance of our work as a small business committed to community care and mutual aid has become even more apparent and imperative.
During the pandemic we have continued all of the health-centered offerings we have provided for years (free herbal health consultations, free herbal education, distributing free herbal remedies, etc), and we have created additional offerings to meet the emerging needs of our community. Our community was looking to fortify their health and become more self-reliant through the ability to grow their own food and medicine. To answer this call, we created a BIPOC community garden that culminated in a successful harvest season with an abundance of organic food and herbs going out to our community. From the garden, we also offered free gardening and herbalism workshops, provided free seeds and transplants and crafted and distributed free herbal medicines- all of which involved the use of Ball jars! One such offering was a Community Fire Cider Making Celebration. Nearly 50 community members safely came together in the garden (with social distancing and masks!). During the event we ran several hands-on demonstrations teaching folks how to make the immune supporting remedy using an array of locally grown ingredients such as ginger, garlic, onion and hot peppers. Participants were then able to make and take home a quart of fresh, local and organic fire cider, in Ball jars, to support their families health throughout the winter.
For Rootwork Herbals, Ball jars are always a necessity and one that has taken on even greater importance during the pandemic. Ball jars provide a way for us to share herbal medicine and knowledge with our community in a simple, practical, and environmentally sustainable way. Thus helping our communities to support their own health, both individually and collectively, during the pandemic and beyond.