Bramble, a new storefront in Press Bay Alley, is an herbal hub that acts as a retail store for bulk herbs, medicine-making supplies, local herbal products, and a community space for consultations, workshops, classes and events to be held by local practitioners, teachers, and wildcrafters.
A Q&A with Amanda David, one of four founding herbalists who believe that a healthy community begins with access to sustainable, local medicine.
What is Bramble?
Bramble is Ithaca’s newest resource for all things herbal. We want it to be a place where the community can come and get consultations, education, products, and all of the things they need to make their own herbal goodies.
Who is it good for?
I feel like it’s good for everyone! Health and nourishment is obviously critical and important for all members of our community. We also want to do our best to reach out to different segments of the population who aren’t normally represented in the herbal resurgence that’s happening.
What change are you trying to make?
We are trying to increase the health and vitality of our community. We’re also trying to empower folks to take back their healthcare and take responsibility and to reconnect with nature in this really crucial way. As crucial as reconnecting to the food you eat is reconnecting to the plants that are your medicine.
How does this impact our community?
Our hope is to help the community be healthier and to make it easier for people to come through the doorway of herbal medicine. We’re right here, right downtown… we want it to demystify herbalism. We’re hoping we can reach a broader audience.
On that note… We also have a low-cost clinic. All our consultations are on a sliding scale, but for folks that affording a consultation will be a barrier, we’re also going to offer a monthly low-cost clinic. That’s another way we’re looking to serve our community.
What struggles have you encountered?
We’re all herbalists, so none of us are really businesspeople. Dealing with all of the business-y aspects… you know, we’re doing it and it’s not horrible. It’s not necessarily where our hearts lie but it’s necessary to get this going. That’s really it… everything’s been kind of smooth!
What should we be celebrating?
Great question– I think that’s a huge part of what we want. We want people to celebrate the plants, and we want people to celebrate how amazing it is that plants that you see growing in cracks in the sidewalk or a big field of goldenrod, that it’s all medicine. It’s really kind of awesome. Just to celebrate that and how that can help foster your connection with the natural world… it’s just kind of amazing.
How can we participate?
There are lots of ways to participate. The store will be open for classes and consultations and just to come in and purchase things. There will always be an herbalist working who can talk to you and help you navigate how plants can fit into your healthcare. Another really cool aspect of the store is that, in collaboration with Alternatives library, we have an herbal lending library right in the store so people can come and check out books and return them here. It’ll be a great source for herbal resources. Just come on in!
Any other thoughts?
We’re super excited to serve the community and to help in whatever way we can to facilitate folks’ relationships with plant medicine. We’re always open to suggestions and we really want to reflect what the community wants so please come in and let us know!7
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