Feeds:
Posts
Comments
Courtesy: Centers for Disease Control

Courtesy: Centers for Disease Control

The amount of sleep we get and the quality of that sleep is crucial to overall health. While we sleep our bodies are repairing and rebuilding. If we are not getting adequate amounts of sleep we may feel sluggish upon rising and fatigued during the day.

Sleep deprivation is associated with a host of health conditions to include diabetes, obesity, cardiovascular disease Continue Reading »

Bitter HerbsBitter herbs and foods stimulate digestion by triggering the release of enzymes, hormones and digestive secretions such as saliva, acids and bile.  Because of this fact various organs such as the liver, gallbladder and pancreas benefit from their use.  This increase in digestive function helps to break down starches, fats and proteins and therefore increases metabolism.

Because bitters improve digestion they also help to increase nutrient absorption.  Bitters help to tone and tighten tissue which increases the integrity of the tissue as well as creating a protective barrier Continue Reading »

Pondering Pine

ImageWhen most people think of the Florida landscape, besides the beaches and oceans, they think of Palm trees and Palmettos.  However, we here in Florida also have an abundance of Pine (Pinus spp.) which is very pervasive (seven native species and three other species that are planted commercially).  Because of the fact that pine is so prolific it only makes sense that natives would have discovered practical applications for using the wood as well as medicinal applications to tend to their ill.

Continue Reading »

Peach Medicine

When I was pregnant with my son I craved peaches and nectarines.  I never thought much about those cravings until a few years later when I was reading a book by herbalist Darryl Patton called Mountain Medicine”, which chronicles the experiences of Appalachian herbalist Tommy Bass.  Bass stated that, “For expectant mothers, they can make the tea (of peach leaves) and drink a cup at night and one of a morning.  They won’t have to take it more than two or three days and they’ll never have no morning sickness.” Continue Reading »

As herbalists we can learn a lot about an herb just by tasting them.  Our sense of taste allows us to detect not only the flavor of food/plants and distinguish one flavor from another, but taste also initiates responses within the body.  Along with taste we utilize other senses which define texture, sensation and temperature.  As a mechanism for survival our sense of taste perceives the presence of minerals and poisons.   As herbalists we can use our sense of taste to help us match herbs to patterns of imbalance in the body. Continue Reading »

In using our senses to better hone our skills as herbalists we must also consider what we observe.  Observation is an essential tool which allows us to better understand the terrain of the individual we are working with.  We as herbalists don’t diagnose, but rather use our senses to detect subtleties or deviations from the norm.  We are looking for patterns to help define the imbalance.  For example; what type of cough does someone have; is it dry or moist, does it present with fever or chills, etc.

Another skill which is essential to our success is our ability not only to listen to our clients, but also to “hear” what they are saying.  Many times we listen to someone explaining their health concerns and it’s almost as though we get tunnel vision focusing only on one symptom or another.  However, if we are truly “hearing” what they are saying, they may intuitively give us clues as to what their bodies need. Continue Reading »

Energetics is basically a tool which assists the practitioner or the lay herbalist in gaining a better understanding of the actions of plants and how they can best be applied to the patterns of imbalance which manifest within people.

Energetics can be applied to both plants as well as humans. Plant Energetics is about using our senses to understand what sort of influence or “action” a plant will have within the body or how the body will respond to a particular plant. Human energetics relates to observable patterns which manifest within the body or are visible on the surface. By observing the various patterns the herbalist is able to gain insight into the state of balance or imbalance within the body. Continue Reading »