The Herbal Unity Collective was set up in Glasgow over a year ago in response to the lack of solidarity and practical support to provide health care to people without immigration papers in Glasgow. Our collective is volunteer run and comprised of medical herbalists, massage therapists, grass roots activists, migrants and people who have been through or are in the asylum system. We work in solidarity with The Unity Centrein Glasgow by offering holistic healthcare support to those who need it. We are also involved with the Radical Herbal Gathering- a network both in England and Scotland. We aim to create sustainable resilient community healthcare through herbal medicine, massage, gardening, foraging and skills sharing.
We believe that healthcare is a right and should be freely accessible to all people. We aim to empower people with knowledge and skills based on the root issues of health: physical, emotional, social, political and environmental. We have an anti-oppressive approach to healthcare provision and actively challenge the 'patient doctor paradigm'.
Since the collective formed, the project has grown rapidly due to demand. The clinic now runs on a fortnightly basis. We are approaching 100 people having attended the clinics with fantastic feedback and ongoing follow ups for further herbal prescriptions. At the most recent clinics there have been 3 medical herbalists running consultations of 1 hour for new people and 30 minutes for follow ups. We also provide massage which has been a popular addition to the clinic.
We believe in empowering ourselves and communities around the subjects of health and wellbeing through education and experience. We run a monthly herbal study group where people can come and learn about the medicinal properties of plants through sensory exploration.
This year we plan to build an organic medicinal herbal garden atGlasgow Autonomous Space (GAS) where we will grow the herbs we use for medicine in the clinic, with the people who then use the medicine. This space will be one in which all of the community who use the clinic, also those involved with the GAS space, can come and learn about growing, process and using medicinal herbs. Some of the plants we use alot of and plan to grow are::: Calendula, Rosemary, Valerian, Passiflora, Sage, Thyme, Raspberry leaf, Borage, Echinacea and many more.
This will help us to reduce our long term costs of ordering in herbs; making us more resilient and sustainable whilst also connecting people back to the practical processes which leads to healing.
We will run weekly gardening sessions accessible to all --- also child friendly every Thursday 11am -1pm and also one big growing day on the last Sunday of every month 1pm -5pm.
That’s where we need your help!
We plan to build large beds to grow all the herbs. We need funds to buy building material, get soil and compost in, plants and processing equipmentto dry and store the herbs. All the events and clinics we hold we offerbus fare moneyto support people on low or no income to attend and also provide free healthy lunches for all our clinics – as you can imagine this builds up! We plan to hold one foraging events this summer getting groups of people who rarely leave the city into the countrysideto collect wild herbs such as Nettle, Elderflower, Coltsfoot, Horsetail, Yarrow, Comfrey, Red clover, Cleavers and Meadowsweet and many more which grow in abundance around Glasgow. For this we need funds to hire minibusesand provide food for these days out.
Please support and spread the word! The strength of our diverse community is growing and with it we will build the foundations to reinvent our relationship with our health, our bodies, our surroundings, nature and the diverse communities we share space with.
We are keen to support further clinics like this to form- if you want to get involved or have any questions please get in touch- [email protected]
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Our clinic now runs from the amazing Glasgow Autonomous Space- www.glasgowautonomous.weebly.com