Intention, Alchemy, and Medicine Making

When we’re thinking about herbal medicine making, some of the topics that generally come up amongst herbalists are linear in their approach to how we prepare herbal medicine. What part of the plant do we use? Should it be fresh or should it be dried? What percentage alcohol should we use? Is it better as…

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Developing Your Herbal Competence and Confidence

Today I want to talk about some critical turning points that all of us face when we’re walking the plant path: developing competence and confidence as an herbalist. If there’s one thing that I’ve realized over the last 10+ years of being an herbalist myself, as well as interacting with a lot of beginner, intermediate,…

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The Herbal Equation: Plants AND People

I know how it goes when you first start studying herbalism, you get SO excited about learning about all of these beautiful amazing plants. I mean after all, isn’t that what usually gets us into herbal medicine to begin with, an absolute love for plants? But they are just one half of the “herbal equation.”…

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The Human Body: Machine or Ecosystem?

Lately, I’ve been talking a lot about this concept of vitalism and how vitalism is one of the more traditional models and approaches to not just practicing herbal medicine but a way that we see life, of being able to see that the natural world is intelligent, that it has consciousness, that it has purpose…

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Gifts for Herbalists

With the holidays coming up, many herbalists are compiling lists of gifts for themselves and for their friends and families.  Maybe you want to give herbally oriented gift to someone who likes herbal medicine, or maybe you’re just getting started on your path as an herbalist and want to share some gift ideas with a…

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Masking Herbal Tastes

In this post I want to share a little bit about some of the dynamics around the taste of herbs. In traditional systems of medicine, the way an herb tastes, whether it’s bitter or pungent or astringent or sour or sweet, is a really strong indication of the medicinal properties of a plant. From a…

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Raising the Next Generation of Water Protectors

In this modern world, many of us have forgotten how interconnected everything is. We stare at our cell phones. We get lost in the skylines and sidewalks of big cities, forgetting our connection to the natural world. And because we have lost this sense of connection, our children are coming into a world of climate…

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The Client Intake and 5 Health Determinants

In the Vitalist Herbalist Practitioner Program, I talk about “root determinants,” which are the big-picture, general things that we do each and every day that determine our relative state of health (or lack of it). These are important things to know when working with clients, but sometimes they’re overlooked by practitioners because they’re considered basic…

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The Different Types of Herbal Tonics

What does the word “tonic” mean? This word is frequently used in herbal medicine and in the alternative health world. We hear about health tonics, rejuvenative tonics, nutritive tonics, bitter tonics, and chi tonics. “Tonic” is one of those terms in herbalism that can use some clarification to make sure that we’re all on the…

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The Allergic Load

We’re in the midst of summer here in the northern hemisphere. This is the time when a lot of people get affected by the pollens in the air and end up dealing with a lot of upper respiratory stuff. One question I get asked a lot during this time of year is why do some…

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