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Archive for December, 2010

I recently had the opportunity to give an introductory class on medicinal herbs to a group of massage therapists.  Like many other schools the Heritage Institute in Jacksonville, Florida is now incorporating classes focusing on various alternative modalities.  During the course of my naturopathic training I had the opportunity to take an introductory course in massage.  I wondered at the time why I needed to study massage.  Eventually, I began to understand that the courses weren’t designed to teach me how to become a massage therapist, but rather to help me become familiar with what other practitioners in other modalities have to offer me as a practitioner and my clients.

By taking the course in massage therapy it allowed me to gain insight into the benefits of massage therapy and to identify when this particular modality might be beneficial for my clients.  By having an introduction to various modalities it offers me additional options for my clients health conditions which might not otherwise be addressed within my own practice.

I think that it is very beneficial for herbalists as well as others in the “alternative” and conventional practices  to reach out to their allies in the industry.  By working together as practitioners we ensure that the client gets a complete “holistic” approach and that we are able to address their  emotional, physical/structural and spiritual needs.

Whether you are a Herbalist, Naturopath, Massage therapist, Chiropractor, Accupuncturist, or Conventional practitioner  I do hope you will consider reaching out to other like-minded practitioners.  By building a repore, teaching introductory classes to others outside your modality you will be nurturing and strengthening a more integrative approach to healing which will benefit both you and your clients.

For those of you who are students, instructors or practitioners in other modalities I offer a one hour and thirty minute introductory class on medicinal herbs.  This class, Introduction to Medicinal Herbs, provides a clear understanding of the principles for using and administering herbal medicines and gives insight into the benefits of working with an Herbalists or Naturopath.  This class covers:

  • An Introduction to Naturopathy and Herbalism
  • Preventing Illness
  • Factors Which Influence Our Health
  • Observation as a Healing Tool
  • A Brief History of Herbs
  • The Safety of Herbs
  • Using Herbs as Medicine
  • Understanding the Taste of Herbs
  • Methods and Applications for Using Herbs
  • An Introduction to Hydrotherapy
  • Developing Relationships within the Health Care Community

If you think that this would benefit you or your organization call today to schedule your class.

Call Natalie Vickery @ 904-613-2738

Fee –  $10/Student (Minimum 5 students)

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I recently watched this National Geographic Documentary entitled, “Stress, Portrait of a Killer”.  It is a fascinating look at the physiological and emotional effects of stress and the long-term ramifications.  This documentary explores how stress can lead to obesity, heart disease and various other maladies and how our social standing in life can contribute to stress. 

If you are intersted in having a hard copy of this documentary you can purchase it at:  http://www.shoppbs.org/product/index.jsp?productId=3325754 .  By purchasing a copy you will support PBS who strives to bring you  editorial integrity, quality, diversity, and local station autonomy.

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I’m getting a bit of a late start on my winter garden, but hey, at least I’m getting something into the ground.  The area where I have my garden located is absolutely covered with this plant refered to as Florida Betony (Stachy’s floridana).

Most people here in Florida find this little plant to be an invasive nuisance.  I, however, feel extremely fortunate to have this plant covering a large majority of my pasture and skirting around the edges of my fences.

The stem of this betony is square distinguishing it within the Lamiaceae or mint family and it has opposite leaves with scalloped edges.  Also know as hedgenettle or rattlesnake weed this Florida Betony hides a little secret below the surface at the base of it’s roots…a tuber.  The wonderful thing about this tuber is that it is edible and quite yummy.  While I was digging my garden I unearthed literally dozens of these tubers.

The tubers of the plant resemble a rattlesnakes tail and thus the name rattlesnake weed.  They have a very fresh taste and are usually crisp and crunchy when you bite into them.  To me they taste like a very mild radish.

Depending on the area that they grow in or if there has been little moisture the tubers may end up almost dehydrated which makes them inedible.  You can get very creative when cooking these tubers.  The tubers are quite delicious when sauteed with butter or oil, boiled, pickled, added to soup and stews or just eaten raw in salads.  One website that I came across was selling the tubers for $20.00/pound which makes me feel even more fortunate that I have such an abundance of this wonderful plant.

The tuber as well as the aerial portion of the plant may have some medicinal and healing capabilities as do many of the other species of Stachy’s.  If dried and powdered the roots of the Stachys affinis are said to be anodyne and the aerial parts were made into a tea for colds and pneumonia.  With that said, some believe that the two plants S. floridana and S. affinis are actually the same plant.

So if you are as fortunate as me to have this wonderful plant growing in abundance in your area go out and dig some up and give it a try.  They are really delicious and a wonderful addition to any meal.

If you are interested in getting a better look at the plant and seeing how they are harvested you can check out this video by Green Deane from Eattheweeds.com:  http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=cAudL109GOg

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