The COVID19 pandemic made the lack of access to medical care to unhoused communities very clear. The pandemic also highlighted the distrust and even fear many BIPOC folks ave around the U.S. Medical Industry. This is rooted in the discrimination and experimentation many of our people have experienced when seeking basic and emergency medical care.
This informed the creation of – Soul Food Shack our mobile/pop-up apothecary operation that distributes plant based tinctures to help our people manage stress, anxiety, depression, addiction, dependency and immune system support. The response was amazing. People were very open to try the herbal medicines, and so many people swore up and down that the medicines were helping them manage their mental and physical health struggles.
In 2022, we have expanded our apothecary services to include acupuncture treatments that support folks struggling with addiction or dependency. We have also begun to share micro-doses of psilocybin mushrooms which have shown to repair the brain and nerve damage caused by the use of methenphetamines, a drug that has hit Oakland’s housed and unhoused populations at epidemic proportions. Prior to the use of micro-doses of psilocybin, the damage done to the brain from meth was considered unreversable and permanent. We are so happy to be able to share this ground-breaking treatment with our people.
Soul Food Shack has also expanded in 2022 to include workshops that show how to make the herbal medicines; and a publication that dives into herbal medicines, alternative treatments, and tools our folks can use even if they are living in the streets and are poor.
Soul Food Shack was created by and coordinated by Feed the People co-founder and Village leader Joyous De Asis Miralle who has been studying and making herbal medicines since she was tall enough to stand at the kitchen table. Her team of volunteers include other herbal medicine practitioners, licensed acupuncturists, meditation facilitators, and art therapists.
The goal behind Soul Food Shack is to be able to get our people aware of the medicine that is always around us, show folks how to use the medicine (respectfully), and understand that there are ancient medicine and wellness systems we can turn to if the western medical industry does not serve us.
We hope that we will be able to show at least a few people how to practice plant medicine and that we can create safe space for the community to try out and explore these ancient ways of health and wellness.
The Soul Food Shack works closely with our Feed The People food distribution program, and the Cardboard and Concrete Collective’s “Tarpestries” mural project.
If you are an herbalist or alternative medicine practitioner that would like to join our Soul Food Shack team of volunteers, please contact Joyous at 510-472-6536.
If you would like to contribute supplies to our healing and wellness efforts here is a list of materials we are always in search of:
- apple cider vinegar
- vodka or gin
- witch hazel
- large mason jars
- small, dark tincture bottles
- cool, dark cabinet space to cure our medicines
- cayenne pepper
- Psilocybin mushrooms
- rose hips/rose petals
- slippery elm
- white California sage
- milk thistle
- red clover
- herbal teas