Introduction to Black North American Herbalism

African-American medicine is sophisticated medicine, brought to the United States by enslaved people who carried with them a rich tradition of plant healing. African-American medicine from this period was very effective and well documented in the historical record. Despite being forced to create remedies in an inhospitable environment, these healers used their knowledge to treat the enslaved community. They were heavily relied upon by their enslavers too and mentioned in Medical Journals by Frances A. Porcher. Unique features of African American herbalism include a focus on the full use of each plant and accessible medicine-making that uses readily available resources. This healing tradition has ancient roots and comes from a deeply embodied place, where “wisdom undergirds knowledge.” During this interactive 2-part online class, herbalist Shereel Washington will impart valuable knowledge of African American herbalism during the enslavement era to the present day.

Part I – April 15 Overview of the Transatlantic Slave Trade Advances that Africans brought to the North American continent. Medicinal plants Common remedies Preparations & methods Cultural herbal perspective

Part II – April 22 Traditional food used as medicine Make collard greens and pot likker broth

Date: Saturday April 15th & 22nd

Time: 2:00 PM- 3:30 PM PST

Location: Online


Teacher: Shereel Washington

Shereel Washington graduated from the California School of Herbal Studies, Forestville, CA in the Community Herbalist Program in Clinical Herbalism, and also earned certificates in Body Systems, and Herbal Crafting. She has completed over 1200 hours of herbal craft making training. Shereel is an instructor in Scarlet Sage’s Community Herbalist Program & in the Land of Verse Apprentice Herbal Certification Program, as well as in herbal classes and intensives at the Northern California Women’s Herbal Symposium at Black Oak Ranch, Mendocino. She was a guest panelist for the Sonoma County Herb Exchange Live Virtual Panel: “Honoring The Roots” in 2020. In 2019, she was guest speaker for Naomi Love’s: Wise Womb Way Virtual Symposium and a two time panelist on the Women of Color: “Do You Walk In Our Shoes” at The Fall 2018 and Spring 2020 Northern California Women’s Herbal Symposium. Shereel teaches dance and qi gong at the Deep Root Center for Spiritual Studies MOVE: Spirit & Rhythm Dance Program in Oakland, CA.

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