Aromatic Plants & Resins as Medicine

A little clay pot holding a single coal burns some homemade incense, wafting a rich scent of frankincense and myrrh into the dry air. I feel a sense of clearness as I take a deep breath in, feeling the herbs penetrate my lungs and pierce deep into my spirit. A sense of calm washes over me…

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Herbs to Support the Heart in Times of Grief

“Grief expressed out loud, whether in or out of character, un-choreographed and honest, for someone we have lost, or a country or home we have lost, is in itself the greatest praise we could ever give them. Grief is praise, because it is the natural way love honors what it misses.”   -Martine Prechtel Grief is…

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The Human Body: Machine or Ecosystem?

Modern biomedicine tends to view the human body like a machine made up of multiple “gears.” When something goes wrong, we simply need to fix the broken part (or replace it in some instances). This mechanistic view of the body is significantly different from more traditional perspectives on our anatomy and physiology. Central to the…

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The Allopathic Herbalism Trap

    Vitalism is an ancient principle found in the western traditions that recognizes the life principle within plants and people. This vital principle is what gives everything life, and while the biochemical attributes of an organism are important, it is not all there is. When we use an herbal medicine, we are using the…

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Herbal Therapeutics and Differentials for Pain

Let’s face it, pain really sucks!! It can completely dominate your consciousness, blurring out everything else until it becomes your sole focal point, making life a bit more difficult to simply live your life. A lot of folks think that herbs don’t really work that well for pain. That the only things that really work are the heavier hitting…

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The Key to Herbal Energetics and Constitutional Systems

One of the key distinguishing characteristics of the practice of true holistic herbalism is the understanding of herbal energetics juxtaposed with the human constitution. These 2 areas of study are the crux of traditional systems of herbalism and natural medicine, and are likely the most overlooked aspects of people and plants in modern medicine- both pharmaceutical and herbal.…

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Restoring the Nervous System with Herbal Medicines

If you were to ask me what one of the most important herbal actions was, I would likely say the nervines. Why? Because our modern world is incredibly taxing on the health of our nerves!! With stress, fatigue, anxiety, tension, nervousness, insomnia, etc. being some of the most common complaints these days it’s become super clear to…

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Osha (Ligusticum grayi) profile

Osha is one of our great remedies from North American herbalism with a potent and powerful influence upon the respiratory system. A lot of people reach for it immediately whenever they come down with type of respiratory tract infection, but it’s important to consider the energetics of the plant and match it to the state…

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The Importance of Nervines (lecture from Breitenbush Herb Conference 2016)

I always tell my students that for the client that is stressed and exhausted to give them herbs for the nervous system before even thinking about touching the adaptogens which are typically administered for these common complaints. Too many herbalists use adaptogens out of their clinical indications and traditional context of usage and overlook the…

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Strategies for a Holistic Respiratory Formula

The art of herbal formulation is… well just that- an art!! The #1 mistake too many herbalists make when it comes to formulating is that they think about what organ system they want to work with and BAM- throw every herb they can think of that does something to that system and hope that it will work.…

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