About the Solidarity Apothecary

About the Solidarity Apothecary // About Nicole 

Mission

The mission of the Solidarity Apothecary is to materially support revolutionary struggles and communities with plant medicines to strengthen collective autonomy, self-defence and resilience to climate change, capitalism and state violence.

Vision

The vision of the Solidarity Apothecary is to build a world of stateless, revolutionary and resilient communities nourished by plant medicines embedded in collective health autonomy. The Solidarity Apothecary seeks to strengthen people and communities on the frontline of fighting oppression, state and capitalist violence and the coming years of climate chaos. I believe that plant medicines can play a role both in survival and self-defence and in building relationships and resilience from our bodies to our ecosystems.

Current Projects

  1. Supplying those harmed by prisons and repression with plant medicines via the Anarchist Black Cross
  2. Supporting frontline organisers with herbal education and tools to overcome burnout and sustain their work
  3. Making and distributing plant medicines for Herbalists without Borders chapters and other solidarity initiatives
  4. Offering advice and support to herbal growing projects

Plant medicines for people experiencing state violence and repression

The first focus of the Solidarity Apothecary has been making and distributing plant medicines to those on the frontline of state violence. This includes people being arrested, on trial, imprisoned, detained or recovering from these experiences. Plant medicines are distributed via the Anarchist Black Cross, an informal network of prisoner-support and anti-repression groups. I also make medicines for the people doing the support and solidarity work during these times, such as organising intense support campaigns, doing prison visits, court support and so forth.

Overcoming Burnout

The Solidarity Apothecary is about to publish its first book called ‘Overcoming Burnout’. This is a raw collection of 23 personal blogs written as I recovered from chronic illness after years of anarchist ‘workaholism’, state repression and trauma. It contains reflections on the political dimensions of burnout that transcends ideas of self-care leaning towards collective responses to structural makers of health.

Solidarity Medicine Making

I currently contribute to the medicine making efforts of Bristol Herbalists without Borders who support migrants and refugees via a free clinic in the city. My intentions are to organise monthly medicine making sessions locally that can contribute to the Herbalists Without Border’s national medicine making campaign. I also do my best to respond to international call-outs for support.

Advice for Herbal Growing Projects

I offer support to grassroots and community groups developing herb gardens and herbal growing projects based on nearly a decade of cultivating plant medicines. I use my knowledge as an agroecologist and permaculture designer to develop designs and implementation plans for groups who want to build medicinal landscapes and ecosystems, at whatever scale.

Future Projects

I am currently undertaking a 4-year apprenticeship and on graduation, I seek to support more people on a one-to-one basis. Part of being a grassroots herbalist is knowing your limits in terms of medical knowledge and so right now I focus on supplying very safe nourishing and tonic herbs until I build my confidence and experience in community herbalism.

My plans for the future are to:

  • Offer accessible one-to-one consultations
  • Develop a mobile clinic that can visit sites of struggle and offer herbal support
  • Create online trainings for people worldwide to learn about plant medicine for organisers, herbal preparedness and medicinal ecology