Archive for November, 2010

Sometimes when I am working with herbs or walking in the forest gathering plants, I think about my Great-Grandmother Sally Strong. My father recently told me about going into the woods with “Grandma Sally” to pick wild greens; the first time I served him sassafras tea he said, “I haven’t had this since my Grandmother made it for me. It used to be my favorite.” My father also tells me that when he or his siblings were sick, Great-Grandma Sally would go to her yard or to the woods and come back with something for them to take.

Quilt by Adesser Tallie, my grandmother.


Now I understand how I–a bona fide city girl who knows the NYC subway system like the back of her hand–could find myself so deeply in love with earth and trees and herbs and healing: it is in my blood. Really, it’s in all of our blood.

I am thrilled with this inheritance. By working with plants we can honor our ancestors’ wisdom and the earth. I am young on this path and  know that learning about herbs will be a lifelong journey; however,  I want to share some of what I have learned.

Come join me for a series of free herbal workshops on Saturdays in Queens, New York.

Osain’s Children: 4-week herbal workshop series with Mariahadessa Ekere Tallie

In Nigerian cosmology Osain is the master herbalist. He knows the healing secrets of all the plants in the forest; he knows the cures to the illnesses in his community.  What relevance does Osain hold for us in our fast paced, modern lives?  Osain’s Children is about the healers among us, the medicines growing on our blocks and in our backyards, the healing spices in our kitchens and the many ways we can use herbs to improve our health.

All workshops are free and open to the public. Spread the word and bring friends.
These events are made possible by Queens Council on the Arts.

Afrikan Poetry Theatre
176-03 Jamaica Avenue
Jamaica, Queens 11432
F-Train to 179th street

Mullein and me

November 20, 1-3pm: Osain’s Children – Video
Excerpts from interviews with Tioma Allison, Dr. Kamau Kokayi, Baba Rahsan Abdul Hakim, Yonette Fleming, Dinah Veeris and Stephanie Rose Bird. These beloved healers discuss the paths that led them to work with plant medicines, the challenges facing communities of color health-wise and how spirituality influences the work they do.

November 27, 1-3pm: Kitchen Medicine
Did you know that there are delicious spices in our kitchen cabinets that can also work wonders on our health? Come learn about common, inexpensive spices we see in our supermarkets every day that can help with sugar imbalances, digestive problems, arthritis and other ailments. You will never look at your kitchen cabinet the same way. You can check out  2 video excerpts from this workshop below:

December 4, 1-3pm: Making our own medicines
While going to the health food store to purchase herbs, natural remedies, supplements and syrups is a sound investment, it can also  burn a hole in your pocket. Come learn how to make your own tinctures, elixirs, and healing tea blends. We will discuss how to bring ancient practices of wildcrafting and foraging to our concrete jungle.  This hands-on workshop aims to keep us healthy and empowered.

December 11, 1-3 pm: Traditional African Medicine for Modern Times: A round table discussion
What practices in African healing separate it from those of Western healing? How can we successfully implement traditional healing modalities when dealing with modern ailments? What are the benefits of doing so? Come hear practitioners discuss their experiences with various forms of African based traditional healing including divination, plant medicines, color therapy, and sound healing.

See video excerpts of these workshops here:

Video 1: Kitchen Medicine: Excerpt 1 – Honey

Video 2: Kitchen Medicine: Excerpt 2 – Cinnamon

Video 3: Making Our Own Medicine

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