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Sliding Scale Guide

What is a sliding scale?

One part of First Curve’s mission is to offer affordable products to ensure that herbal self-care is as accessible as possible.

Offering sliding scale is one way of creating accessibility around herbal products. It is a tool for building economic justice, and it requires your participation, reflection, and integrity in accessing herbal care and purchasing herbal products.

Ideally, everyone pays a similar percentage of their income for the same products or services. This promotes broader accessibility, while ensuring fair compensation for the producer and business owner (myself). Paying according to your available resources creates a more equitable system for pricing of products and services.

Sliding scales are often based on individual income levels, with people of higher incomes paying more. However, many factors complicate and affect our financial status. Some groups of people have costs that the larger population does not. Others have access to resources that are not always reflected in their lifestyle choices and income levels. Please consider both your class background and earning power when choosing your share payment.


Why Sliding Scale?

I offer my herbal products at a sliding scale for a few reasons.

  • Practicing in the ancient lineage of herbalism, I recognize that the greatest practitioners of ages past have always made accessible care a priority. I have personally benefited tremendously from other practitioners offering their services at a sliding scale, for barter, and sometimes for free. Almost all of the healing work I've gotten has been on a sliding scale. In fact, I may have never been introduced to this kind of work if it weren’t for this model.
  • Many people in my community and the communities I serve face systemic barriers to accessing respectful and high quality care, especially health care needs that aren't covered by insurance. I want to ensure people wanting to use herbal medicine can afford it.

Who is our sliding scale pricing for?

We offer discounted pricing for BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color), trans folx, those living with disabling chronic conditions or terminal illness, and low-income folx.

On the product page, you are given the option to select the pricing that works for you in the drop down box before adding to cart.

Please take a moment to review the considerations below to decide what pricing option suits you.


Consider paying less on the scale (Affordable Access & Solidarity Pricing) if you:

  • are BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, People of Color), trans, living with disabling chronic conditions or terminal illness, or low-income
  • are supporting children or have other dependents
  • have significant credit card debt
  • have medical expenses not covered by insurance
  • are eligible for public assistance
  • have immigration-related expenses
  • are an elder with limited financial support
  • are an unpaid community organizer
  • are a returning citizen who has been denied work due to incarceration history
  • experience discrimination in hiring or pay level

Consider paying more on the scale (Actual Cost) if you:

  • want and have the means to support the sustainability of sliding scale pricing, free product for indigenous folx, and free/low-cost community care
  • own the home you live in
  • have investments, retirement accounts, or inherited money
  • travel for recreation
  • have access to family money and resources in times of need
  • work part time or are unemployed by choice, including unemployment due to full-time school in a degree-earning program
  • have a relatively high degree of earning power due to level of education (or gender and racial privilege, class background, etc.) Even if you are not currently exercising your earning power, I ask you to recognize this as a choice.

Free Product for Indigenous Folx

We acknowledge our products use herbs grown on the stolen land of the Bodwéwadmi (Potawatomi), Hoocąk (Ho-Chunk), Myaamia (Miami), Peewaareewa (Peoria), oθaakiiwaki‧hina‧ki (Sauk), Meškwahki·aša·hina (Fox), Kiikaapoi (Kickapoo), Illiniwek (Illinois), Mamaceqtaw (Menominee), (Odaawaa) Odawa, and other indigenous nations and tribes, as well as other herbs obtained nationally on Turtle Island.

Our plant-based remedies are meant to offer healing with as few barriers as possible, particularly for those who have been overlooked due to oppressive systemic racism and marginalization.

As an herbalist working with and on lands sustained for millennia by these groups, I want to offer back medicine that I could never have created were it not for the stewardship, knowledge, and care of these Indigenous groups. Towards this end, I offer free product to Indigenous people.

Please limit offers to 1 item per month.

Submit your request through this form:

Free Product Request

Pay It Forward

What’s pay it forward? It's a chance for those of you with ample resources, or a desire to support sliding scale, free product for indigenous folx, and low-cost community care to donate in support of this continued work

You are welcome to make a one-time donation, or a monthly recurring donation.

All donations received support our Community Apothecary initiative, our ongoing Herbal Free Clinic, the Scholarship Fund for First Curve’s Bioregional Herbalism Course, making more free product available for Indigenous folx, as well as helping to make our sliding scale pricing model remain sustainable.

While First Curve Apothecary is a for-profit business, the donations we receive are not regarded or allocated in any way as profit, and are instead invested in our Community Fund account which supports these non-profit initiatives.

We welcome dialogue with our customers, feel free to reach out with any questions or concerns. Thank you in advance for your consideration, support and investment in this growing work.

Thanks to Apotheca Naturals, Corpus Ritual, Attic Apothecary, Wild Current Herbalism, and Worts & Cunning for inspiration for this sliding scale model.

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