Our Response to the COVID-19 Pandemic

Updated: May 21

I’m sure you have heard by now the recommendations from Health Canada, and know that preventing the spread of corona virus (2019-nCOV or COVID-19) through human contact is our number one defense against overwhelming the healthcare system. We encourage everyone to protect the vulnerable members of our communities by limiting contact with people outside home and avoiding public areas as much as possible. Frequent hand-washing, of course, is one of our best defenses. Below you can find links to stay aware of the latest information from Health Canada & Alberta Health Services.


Many of us are going to be unable to do the work we’re used to for a while, whether seeing clients, hosting workshops or other in-person activities. Even in isolation, there are so many ways we benefit our communities through our knowledge, care & strength as healers. Keeping up with clients via phone or internet consultation, hosting virtual classes, and creating videos or social media posts are some of the ways I have seen herbalists step up to teach their communities about maintaining health and immunity. If self-care is your jaDear Alberta Herbalists, Members, Supporters & Friends,


I hope that all of you are healthy and safely tucked away at home during this time of isolation, perhaps with a good book or new hobby to keep you happily occupied. Now is the perfect time to focus on healing the healer. It’s also the time of year to get outside and start digging in the garden, boosting our immunity with fresh air and soil microbes!


Because there is no protocol currently in place to deal with the 2019-nCOV virus, there’s been a lot of speculation about the role that herbs and vitamins may play. People are seeking security in unsettling times. This has lead to the sharing of unreliable information & advertising, disguised as advice regarding this herb or that. It is imperative to remember that there is no historical data or traditions pertaining to the 2019-nCOV virus specifically. Herbalists & other members of the Natural Health Industry are not permitted to label any herb or formula with claims to treat, prevent or cure 2019-nCOV. This rule from the NHPD applies to all herbs & extracts for internal or external use, including washes and hand-sanitizers. While anti-microbial properties of many plant & extracts are documented, we do not have the data to apply these claims to this novel corona virus. Please note also that all hand sanitizers or other products intended for disinfection should contain 70% alcohol, in addition to any herbal extracts desired, in order to be effective against the virus.


We can support our clients and communities most effectively by being sources of reputable information, and leading by example with healthful habits and common sense. This is a great time to stay true to the practices at the heart of our traditions! Spread awareness of herbs that support nourishment & vitality, and share the focus of herbalism as on the Person, not the Disease. Enjoy healthy foods, plenty of water and exercise, and keep a healthy frame of mind - the roots of health in many herbal traditions.


Additionally, we at the AHA support the practices of responsible wildcrafting & safety, as amateur herbalists may be out experimenting with gathering & processing their local plants. By helping to provide sound information on safe, ecological wildcrafting practices, we create a better understanding of the true spirit of herbal medicine.


Your AHA board will continue to provide planning, programming and support during the next few months. You can contact us as always via email, info@albertaherbalists.com , or through the AHA website AlbertaHerbalists.ca . Stay Safe, may health & happiness be with you and your family.


Yours in Healing,


Kalyn Kodiak, ClH

AHA President


Resources:


NHPD (Natural Health Products Directorate) Labeling information:

https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/drugs-health-products/natural-non-prescription.html


Where to get Updates about 2019-nCOV /COVID-19:

Health Canada COVID-19 Info: https://www.canada.ca/en/public-health/services/diseases/coronavirus-disease-covid-19.html

Alberta COVID-19 info: https://www.alberta.ca/coronavirus-info-for-albertans.aspx


Support for Albertans during Isolation:

Alberta supports: https://www.alberta.ca/covid-19-supports-for-albertans.aspx

Canada supports: https://www.canada.ca/en/department-finance/economic-response-plan/covid19-individuals.html


More Resources:

Protocols for Viral Infections by Chancal Cabrera: http://www.chanchalcabrera.com/protocols-for-viral-infections/

Herbalists Without Borders COVID-19 Resources: https://www.hwbglobal.org/blog/herbal-resources-covid-19


Wild Crafting Best Practices

1. Don’t trespass

2. Take care of the land you wildcraft on; pick up trash

3. Make 100% sure that you know what you are harvesting

4. Only harvest what you need and never harvest an endangered species

5. Harvest in season

6. Harvest respectfully and give thanks to the plants

7. Don’t harvest in a polluted area; this includes roadsides

8. Only harvest if the plant community can sustain itself -- Wildcrafting guidelines from https://learningherbs.com/skills/wildcrafting-with-kids/

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