Brunem delights in sharing information while also supporting students to learn from the plants directly. These classes bring storytelling, medicine-making, and guided exercises together to support students in having an embodied learning experience.
Herbal First Aid
Learn herbal approaches to common first aid situations, and feel empowered to remedy everything from burns and cuts to sprains and poison oak exposure. We’ll discuss how to decide whether a more holistic or conventional first aid response is appropriate. Whether you're interested in first aid for your own self-care, your family, or your community in general, this is a practical and fun way to learn about herbal medicine.
Plant Medicine for People with Chronic Pain
Chronic pain can be a big challenge and teacher in one’s life. Whether you’re struggling with pain related to stress and trauma, Lyme’s disease, fibromyalgia, arthritis, or unhealed injuries, plant medicine can help us navigate this experience. In this class we will discuss some practical approaches to pain management and emotional support. This is not a cure-oriented class, but rather a disability-affirming space to expand our options for living well within the realities of our lives. We will make medicine together in class and students will bring home a remedy.
Herbal Support for Feminized Labor
A Series in Six
Invitational Note: These workshops are an invisibly-disabled white femme clinical herbalist’s approach to bringing magic and medicine into historically feminized and often unwaged work. I come from a queer experience and want to acknowledge the legacy of countless brilliant ancestor femmes who have created the possibility of these workshops. I will do everything I can to facilitate safety for marginalized femmes who attend these classes. I would be appreciative of feedback in preparation for any of these classes to help meet your access needs. However, this is not an exclusive or separatist space. I welcome participants of all identities who hold a heart’s stake in doing/understanding this kind of work.
Home Skills explores a small corner of the kitchen arts, house cleaning, space creation, and home remedies for common ailments. Homebodies are invited to leave the house for a wild night out learning about how to appreciate our access to the human right of housing. We’ll discuss techniques to facilitate feelings of safety, freshness, and intentionality in your home. There will be instructions for disability-affirming cleaning practices and herbal housekeeping. We will deepen our toolkit for responding to colds and depletion from the stresses of the world, receive recipes, and make a protective potion to keep your personal space clear and nurturing. Plants are woven through every aspect of this lesson!
Care at Both Edges of the Veil is a place to learn some herbal ways to support humans who are very young and humans who are very old. We will explore medicinal preparations of interest to parents including teething support, homemade diaper powder, and shortcuts to decompression for when your nerves are fried. You’ll help make and take home a salve for both first aid and soothing massage. We’ll also discuss (a very few of the painful many) common health issues among elders and ways to support those who are approaching end of life. Hospice workers both formal and informal, let’s get together!
Emotional Intelligence and Relational Work is pretty underappreciated, huh? Not in this space! We will discuss magical boundary-setting, plants to take care of our hearts, romantic medicine so as to value our pleasure, and how to herbally manage the stress involve with interaction-heavy lifestyles, especially if you do any kind of collective organizing or work in groups. We will collaborate to create our flower essence blends that you will take home to guide you.
Plant Magic and BDSM is a workshop about ways to integrate plants into kink-based exchanges as well as herbal aftercare for both physical and emotional issues that can emerge in this context. This will be a sex-worker-positive space and a nonjudgmental environment to discuss herbal first aid for workplace hazards and general self-care. We’ll get into the aftercare details for bruises, abrasions, burns, cuts, puncture wounds, strains, sprains, and some take-home ideas for navigating sexual trauma. Learn about multiple ways to include the beauty of plants as you prepare for and enjoy deviant activities. We’ll craft a healing oil together for you to take home.
Heartbreak and Grief are some of our most powerful teachers. Loss takes many forms – or perhaps there are many shapes of absence. The plants you’ll meet in this class are helpful for the loss of a living person, a relationship, a piece of oneself, or a period of time. We all cope with painful learning in different ways, so we’ll discuss several kinds of responses that can come up with these experiences as well as techniques to help ourselves and each other survive them. Students will collaboratively craft and go home with herbal bath salt blends (and foot bath instructions if you don’t have a tub!) along with an internal support potion for yourself or someone you know who is struggling with loss.
Glamour and Creative Practice are key components of magical femininity. This workshop will discuss ways to nurture your longevity and enhance your power through the use of herbal DIY home spa techniques, plants with an affinity for the feminine lens, an exploration of the history of feminized art forms such as craft including a group project with herbal textile charms, and always more plant medicine support for your energetic boundaries. Participants will create and take home charms and a medicinal honey in this sweet finale to the Herbal Support for Feminized Labor series.
Herbs can help guide us in the process of quitting smoking. As someone who chain-smoked for 8 years, I teach from personal experience with cigarette addiction. We will review herbs you can take as teas, tinctures, and even smoking blends to help shift your relationship with tobacco. Plant medicine can support us on both the physiological and emotional levels of addiction recovery. This class is a nonjudgemental space to collect tools and strategies for your individual process. Each student will bring home herbal remedies to support your success.
Medicine-Making Workshops: Salve, Tincture, Flower Essence, Oil, Honey, Vinegar, Tea
Making herbal medicine at home and in community is a meaningful way that humans have engaged with the plant world for centuries. There is a specific class for each one of these medicinal remedies. We will discuss the unique attributes of each preparation, explore magical/scientific recipes, taste a variety of different examples, and create our own remedy together for students to bring home.
Resources for further learning
My teachers Karyn Sanders and Sarah Holmes run an amazing program called the Blue Otter School of Herbal Medicine. They also host a free radio program called “The Herbal Highway,” with episodes archived here.
Queering Herbalism compiles information that centers Black and brown herbal healing traditions.
My teacher Lydia Bartholow is an excellent resource for learning more about holistic approaches to mental health, trauma healing, and addiction recovery.
Johanna Hedva writes about the politics of illness and wellness under capitalism.
Here’s a helpful tool created by the Audre Lorde Project for creating your own wellness plan that helps integrate self-care with community care.