What’s a Community Herbalist? Exploring Herbal Medicine as Social & Ecological Activism

with Jessica Marais, November 22-23, 2014

Course Information

This weekend workshop for students and practitioners will establish a radically holistic context for the practice of herbal medicine in the contemporary world. Together we will investigate the linked phenomena of ecological and social unraveling and how they worsen or heal in relation to our healthcare system. With the aim of educating, equipping and empowering participants to step into the role of compassionate activist, we will explore revolutionary models of community-based health care and what promise they hold for the future.

Herbal Medicine and Ecological Justice

Our first morning session will focus on exploring both pharmaceutical and herbal medicine with the web of life in mind. Participants will gain confidence researching and speaking about the ecological implications of various healthcare choices by investigating the public health effects of drug residues in watersheds, local and global concerns around wild harvesting, and the impact of global trade in medicinal plants.

During our afternoon session we will apply our learning from the morning to reimagine healthcare as healing not only the individual but also the ecological community. We will explore different practical approaches through case studies and shared participant experiences in light of biodiversity issues, habitat conservation, and soil, water, and atmospheric purity.

Herbal Medicine and Social Justice

Our morning session will focus on orienting participants within the complex and interrelated factors that have contributed to both the dismantling of traditional healing systems and inequitable access to modern medical care. We will explore concepts and experiences of social justice and equity in healing systems as well as emergent models of community-based health-care, including case studies of what works and why.

In the afternoon session we’ll apply our learning from the weekend to explore and discuss models for revolutionary health-care systems and how we can create them in our own communities.

Course Instructor

Jessica Marais is an ethnobotanist and accredited herbalist with the Guilde des Herboristes du Quebec. She holds an honours degree in Environmental Studies and English Literature from the University of Victoria and a Masters of Holistic Science degree from Schumacher College in Devon, England, where she focused on the exploration of medicinal wildharvesting as a therapeutic practice. Fascinated by relationships of reciprocity between healers and plants, she continues to research and celebrate the culture and ecology of herbal medicine. Jessica has also completed farming apprenticeships in Canada and France, has coordinated small-scale community garden initiatives in British Columbia, England and Italy, and is a certified Organic Master Gardener. Visit her at www.jessmarais.com.

Course Dates

Saturday and Sunday, November 22-23, 2014, 9:00am-5:00pm

Course Tuition

Regular – $300 (Early Bird – $285, until September 15)
Students* – $275 (Early Bird – $250, until September 15)
PRC Alumni – $285 (Early Bird – $265, until September 15)
*PRC diploma students will receive 1 WHS academic credit for this workshop.

Course Registration

To register, please click on the registration button below. Full payment is due at time of registration to confirm placement in the course. Payment can be made via MasterCard or Visa, debit, cash and cheque.

Withdrawal Policy

For course withdrawals submitted in writing or in person 30 days or more before the start of the course, registrants will receive a full tuition refund less a $40 non-refundable registration fee. For course withdrawals submitted in writing or in person more than 14 days but less than 30 days before the start of the course, registrants will receive a 50% tuition refund. Without exception, no refunds will be given for course withdrawals less than 14 days before the start of the course.

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