About the Solidarity Apothecary // About Nicole
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.
The vision of
- Supplying those harmed by prisons and repression with plant medicines via the Anarchist Black Cross
- Supporting frontline organisers with herbal education and tools to overcome burnout and sustain their work
- Making and distributing plant medicines for Herbalists without Borders chapters and other solidarity initiatives
- 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.
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
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