This workshop explores the role of herbalism in supporting prisoners, families and communities affected by incarceration, and herbalist roles in the abolition of these systems of oppression. There are more than 11.5 million people incarcerated worldwide, including a massive 2.2 million in the so-called United States. Most are completely excluded from herbalism yet many can find plants cracking through the concrete. These plants can bring hope, connection and health support to people experiencing the worst of state violence.
In this workshop we will explore the health impacts of incarceration, and look at herbal strategies to support people experiencing traumatic stress and PTSD. We will look at some practical uses of plants commonly found in prison yards and what practicing herbalism in prison can look like. The workshop explores ‘abolition’ as a framework and the role of herbalists within these movements.
This workshop was originally an offering with the Railyard Apothecary in November 2023. The live recording is unable to be shared, however, this version is a pre-recorded version made as a back up due to severe nausea and vomiting in pregnancy when the workshop was created. I’m very grateful to the people who purchased and attended the live workshop which was a fundraiser for the Prisoner’s Herbal book distribution costs.
Resources mentioned in the workshop
- Download the PDF of the workshop slides
- Herbalism, PTSD & Traumatic Stress Course
- Solidarity Apothecary Newsletter
- Where to purchase the Prisoner’s Herbal book
- How to request a copy of the Prisoner’s Herbal for people in prison
- The Prisoner’s Herbal Testimonials
- Critical Resistance
- Book – Brick by Brick: How We Build a World Without Prisons by Cradle Community
- Solitary Gardens Project