Grass Roots Remedies is a workers’ co-operative, based in Edinburgh and Glasgow, Scotland dedicated to celebrating local plants, and making herbal medicine accessible to those who need it most. At the very heart of all of our work is the fundamental belief that herbal medicine is, and always has been, the ‘medicine of the people’ (folk-medicine).
Our co-op members have different backgrounds, but all share a commonality in their love of plants, and their involvement in grassroots environmental & health projects. Born out of this, our business values are based broadly on the three Permaculture Ethics of “Earth Care, People Care, & Fair Share”
We value & cherish the land that gives us our lives and our livelihoods, and aim to foster a greater connection to the land for ourselves and others. We do this by sharing and collecting knowledge about wild plants, habitats and histories, by living seasonally & sensorially, and by gently making our medicines from the earth. We believe that ecologically aware herbalism is by nature, earth care.
We also recognise that we live in a turbulent time of accelerating catastrophic climate change, environmental toxification, habitat loss and a frightening rate of species collapse.
We consider ourselves to have a great responsibility to do what we can to avert these changes, and preserve life. We aim to share our herbal knowledge responsibly, with a focus on sustainable harvesting & an ecologically aware use of plants. We aim to source our herbs as responsibly as possible, favouring Organic, and supporting short supply chains through local growers/producers.
We are concerned by the toxification of our air and water from heavy industry, fossil fuel extractive industries, petro-chemicals, the medical-industrial complex, and the impact that these are having on our bodies, land, and other species. We value clean air and water and a landscape fit to live in, aiming to tread lightly on the earth.
We value the old, diverse yet interconnected histories of medicinal plants across the globe. Our co-op members hold different cultural heritages, and while we celebrate cultural diversity, we aim to avoid culturally appropriating the use of herbs from other communities.
We stand against bio-piracy and the commodification of community health. We recognise that we can have little knowledge of possible over-harvesting and exploitative labour practices used in the production of herbs globally, and also want to minimise the pollution associated with importing plants.
We want to work to create a sense of Scottish ‘Health Sovereignty’, and so favour a bioregional approach celebrating the common & abundant plants that are ecologically suited to the same region as we are living in.
We stand against animal testing, animal cruelty, factory farming & forced animal labour. Where we do use animal products, they are honey and/or beeswax which is sourced from the Chain Bridge Honey Farm in Berwick Upon Tweed. We provide vegan alternatives at our workshops to accommodate all folk.
At the heart of our ethics, is valuing the diversity and uniqueness of people and all that they have to offer. We have much commonality, and also great difference, and so acknowledge that we are always learning from each other and that everyone contributes in their own way. We really enjoy and benefit from the diversity of folk attending our workshops, and learn something new every time. We all have different strengths, experiences & learning styles, and so we aim to use participatory learning methods and to be as inclusive as possible in our offerings.
We believe that working in a non-hierarchical organisation is empowering for all involved, and so have set up our business as a co-operative, to care for ourselves and value everyone’s contributions equally. Where possible we work with other co-operatives to support the co-op movement & reduce reliance on large corporate structures. We aim to pay ourselves a fair wage and to not exploit ourselves, being mindful of self-care, breaks, and holidays.
We value our community, but acknowledge that our society has many marginalised groups that are systemically excluded from participation. We are working with others to build a movement through mutual aid & solidarity.
We also value celebration, and so aim to bring people together to create joy and community memories.
We live in a time of unprecedented inequality, and as the social and economic status of people grow widely apart, health inequality is growing. As ever, the single biggest determinant of health in life is position in society, and so we aim to offer solidarity to those who need it most. We aim to educate and empower through plant medicine, and basic tools of self care so that we can feel more control over our own health & find solidarity in times of need.
We want to remove some of the barriers that many people feel exist around herbal medicine – it is commonly offered at prices that many of us just can’t afford. We aim to provide quality herbal consultations and workshops at realistic prices, so they are as accessible as possible while still being able to pay ourselves a fair wage for our work. Where possible we offer a sliding scale, encouraging those who can afford it to pay more to pay so that folk aren’t financially excluded. If you find the costs are prohibitive still, please get in touch with us.
We want to share our skills & knowledge responsibly so that we don’t contribute to exploitative industries by encouraging people to buy products or harvest plants in an ecologically insensitive way. At the same time, we want to be transparent, and value the spirit of collectivism, so aim to share empowering information about DIY herbalism & valued suppliers.