Oatmeal Qi Tonic Porridge

A selection of Chinese tonic herbs   The Importance of Qi in the Body Qi means “life energy.” The source of Qi in the body is food, air and water. The process of transforming and assimilating food, air and water, into Qi is, according to TCM theory, governed by the TCM-Spleen. Because the source of…

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Darcy Ogle, April 2021

One of my earliest memories is of picking and eating raspberries in the backyard. My mother taught me to love plants. I come from a long line of gardeners, and my mom tells me that my great grandmother was an herbalist.  Currently, I grow native herbs and plants and raise backyard chickens. I’ve pursued a…

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Treating Gum Disease with Astringent Herbs

Unfortunately, too many people think about their teeth only in crisis stage. A common pre-crisis symptom is receding gums. This is a widespread condition when the gums pull away from the teeth, forming gaps and eventually exposing the bone structures that support the teeth. Over time, this will lead to the formation of pockets of…

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Shif Mao Dark Single Whip

Energy Medicine, Movement and Tao

These methods are based on the Ancient Chinese energetic theory that holds that humans are complex energy bodies comprised of an intricate network of energy pathways or channels. There are twelve main organ pathways and eight extraordinary vessels and 360 points that are attributed to individual health functions and benefits.

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Hara Zabraka, March 2021

I come from Greece where the culture of herbs is a continuum of the ancient Greek tradition. Using folk remedies to treat common health conditions is a memory that I have had, which extends beyond the family environment. My foundation studies are Agriculture Science (BSc) and Environmental Politics & Management (MSc). Thus, for over a…

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TCM and Western Clinical Tongue Diagnosis

When was the last time you visited a doctor and the first thing asked of you was to show your tongue? Western medical practice of tongue diagnosis as part of a routine clinical examination seems, like many Western clinical practices, to have become a relic of the not-too-distant past. Instead, it survives as a standard…

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The Salty Flavor: Seaweed

To finish up the flavors for the year, we have one left – salty. Most herbs that are salty are subtly so. Yet salty can include herbs with mineral salts, such as nettles. Here I want to discuss a true salty herb: seaweed. Seaweed is not unknown as a medicinal herb. Irish moss and bladderwrack…

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Darcia Dillard, February 2021

This February, I am thrilled to finally say I am an East West  Intermediate student with plans to be an Advanced student this June. At the age of 16, I stepped into my first health food store.  I can still picture myself walking around that store in Chicago. I purchased three books: Rational Fasting, The Mucusless Diet, and Back…

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Annalisa Nardi, January 2021

I was born (and still live) in Florence, Italy. Growing up in an old city, filled with art and history, birthplace of so many Renaissance geniuses, I naturally became fond of anything that had been created by human ingenuity. I was an extremely shy child, with very limited access to the wild Nature, and not…

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Protection for You and Yours: A Holiday Gift Idea

Every December we try to offer some possibilities for gifts you can make or buy to enhance your holidays. It’s our version of Oprah’s “favorite things.” This year I’m suggesting two things that may be a gift to yourself, your family or your friends: protection from all airborne pathogens and allergens, including the covid-19 virus.…

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2020 – What a Year for East West!

Finally, we’re reaching the end of 2020! I can’t tell you how many people have yearned to see this year pass since it’s been so difficult for most. Indeed, 2020 brought big changes to our lives and the East West Herb Course, too. I have always loved to travel and have done so since a…

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Joshua Samuelsen, December 2020

I grew up in London and then moved to Chico, California in my late teens. I studied International Communications at Chico State. During my Chico time, I also began my yoga journey, did my massage certification and other explored other modalities such Shiatsu and Reiki. I also worked for the weekly college paper, writing and…

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Natalie Morrissey, November 2020

I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area of California and majored in Business Administration at the University of Hawaii because I felt it was a good foundation.  I worked as an accountant in the construction industry for about 20 years and then in the airline industry for about 17.  Sometime in 2015, I…

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Ashwagandha, Milk, Energy, and Sleep

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is described as a rasayana in Ayurvedic medicine. In Ayurveda, rasayanas are used as Traditional Chinese medicine uses tonic herbs, and they correspond to the herbal category of adaptogens, a term first used to describe a limited number of immune tonics by Russians used in Western herbal medicine. Tonics, adaptogens, and rasayanas…

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Spicy Flavor and Digestive Trikatu

The spicy flavor has many understandings and an interesting function. When most people think of “spicy,” they think of spicy food. However, that’s normally due to the presence of chili rather than regular spices that don’t necessarily have what is normally thought of as a spicy flavor. In the last five years or more, food…

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Janet Tunjic, October 2020

I reside in the remote city of Perth, Western Australia with a beautiful son, husband and dog named Alby. Coming from Croatian ancestry my mother and aunties often resorted to folk medicine from their home land for all sorts of ailments as a child. This was my early introduction to healing through plants. My love…

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Lani Nelson, September 2020

I grew up in the small town of Yuba City, CA. I spent most of my childhood helping do the inventory of my local health food store’s vitamin department. It was one of my favorite things to do as I learned about herbal remedies and all the crazy big names. I used that knowledge as…

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Draksha: Ayurvedic Grape Wine Medicine

Asava and arishta, meaning “distillate” in Sanskrit, are two naturally fermented alcoholic extracts used for making Ayurvedic wine medicines. Draksha in Sanskrit means “grape” and draksharista therefore means grape wine. This is not your regular merlot or pinot, but a very low alcohol herbally medicated wine. Draksha is one of the most effective botanical remedies…

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Christina Slotin, August 2020

My name is Christina Q. Slotin and I live in Cocoa Beach Florida with my husband Michael and our two teenagers.  As a child, my family moved from Mexico to a small farm working town in Florida named Immokalee. Plants have always played a role in my life, my childhood includes fond memories of grinding…

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Huckleberry Fruit and Leaf for Diabetes

Many years ago, while visiting Baton Rouge, Louisiana, I happened upon a local herb shop.  While perusing jars of dry herbs, I noticed one that contained huckleberry leaves. In most parts of the country, bulk huckleberry leaves are hardly known well enough to claim any of the limited space in an average herb store. The…

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Jujube Dates to Usher in the Earth Time of Year

From July through about mid-September, we are in the “Earth time of year” with its organs, the Spleen and Stomach. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the Spleen is responsible for assimilation and transportation of nutrients throughout the body (metabolism) while the Stomach mechanically breaks down food and fluids. The flavor that improves both of these…

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Erica Macrum, July 2020

I grew up with the wet land plants, white oaks, and hickories in Illinois.   My love and connection with plants has been with me my whole life. I remember looking at a beautiful blossoming burdock as a young girl, the vibrant green purple pink of each flower and wondering who is this plant? My family…

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Coix: An Underutilized Medicinal Food

“Let your medicine be your food and your food, your medicine.” The sovereign dictum of Hippocrates is aptly epitomized by the use of Coix (Coix lacrymi-jobi, also known as Job’s tears and yi yi ren) as the most common treatment for cancer in China. Coix is a member of the Graminaceae family of which all…

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Chamomile: Gentle Yet Powerful

Since we are in the “season” of the Heart, we’ve been covering bitter herbs. The bitter flavor cleanses the blood among other things and thus, it is connected to the Heart in the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) Five Phases system. So far, we have discussed dandelion and California poppy in this bitter flavor series. Our…

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Jennifer Breschini, June 2020

I grew up in Colorado where my family was very focused on gardening. This sparked my love of plants and gardening and wherever I’ve lived, I’ve had a garden, large or small. At my current home here in Indianapolis I’ve transformed most of my suburban yard into a paradise of vegetables, herbs, and fruits. After…

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Darlene Kuhn, May 2020

I am a retired JD (Doctor of Jurisprudence), living in Toronto, Canada. I came to herbs and nutrition from a personal health history of “over-reactivity”: i.e., allergies, hay fever, and the toll they take on vitality. I saw this pattern repeating in my children, associated with nervous effects such as anxiety, ADHD. Western medicine, though…

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The Bitter Flavor in Herbs

The flavor of an herb is different than its taste. Taste is subjective while flavor is a major indicator of how an herb affects the body and thus, how it’s used. In other words, there is a direct correlation between flavor and physiological function. Basing an herb’s properties on its flavor was a way that…

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Can homeopathy stave off harmful effects of vaccinations?

Many mothers are afraid to give their babies and young children vaccinations. Pro and con arguments on both sides make for heated debates. To help with the decision to vaccinate or not, I recommend the book Vaccinations: A Thoughtful Parent’s Guide, by my former student, herbal colleague and now highly successful medical doctor integrating herbal…

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Liz Collins, April 2020

My name is Liz Collins.  My first passion in the recognition of physical and spiritual health is the practice of yoga, with over 25 years of teaching and study. I was certified in the Iyengar tradition through the Center for Yoga of Seattle in 1997. In the past 14 years I have immersed myself in the Shadow…

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Online Herbal Seminar

Online Herbal Seminar: 2021 Seminar Registration

We are excited for you to join in inaugurating our first ever online seminar! And because it is online, many students who previously could not attend the onsite seminar may now participate in our virtual online seminar. Share the word and invite your friends to Foundation, or fellow students to Intermediate. It’s a crucial time for people to learn how to care for their own health and that of their families. Our seminar can help you find the answers you seek and

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Rediscovering Boneset for Influenza

In the midst of the current pandemic, I’m surprised how little mention there is of boneset, once considered the number one remedy for influenza and deemed a ‘miracle life-saving herb’ during the 1918-19 Spanish influenza responsible for the deaths of 675,000 Americans and ranging from 21 million to 100 million worldwide. Other than the general…

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Symptom-Specific Herbal Protection from Viruses

We are in cold and flu season, which especially hits during the summer-to-fall and winter-to-spring months. How do you prevent catching a cold or flu and if you do get it, what do you do? Thankfully some powerful herbs you can take right now to protect yourself. Herbal Prevention Herbal approaches for staying well include…

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Boost Your Immunity This Flu Season

So far, 14,000 people have died and 250,000 people have been hospitalized during the 2019-2020 flu season, according to preliminary estimates from the CDC, which estimates that influenza was associated with more than 35.5 million illnesses, more than 16.5 million medical visits, 490,600 hospitalizations, and 34,200 deaths during the 2018–2019 influenza season. Corona virus worldwide: 104,025 Deaths: 3,524 Recovered: 58,527 China: 80,652; 3070 deaths, 55,521…

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Evan Silver, March 2020

I grew up in San Francisco, CA, just a short walk from the city’s famous Chinatown neighborhood. As a child, I was fascinated by the interesting ingredients displayed at the herb shops; I had no idea that years later, I would have my own collection of Chinese herbs. I attended college in Burlington, VT and…

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Colds and Flu: Common-Sense Prevention Tactics

Anyone who’s heard tales from grandparents or great-grandparents who lived during the 1918 flu pandemic will understand the world’s great concern about the new coronavirus. The 1918 flu killed at least 50 million people worldwide, while 500 million (roughly one third of the world’s population then) became infected with that H1N1 virus.[1] Because the new…

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Jen Hyde, February 2020

Kia ora and greetings from the southern hemisphere!  My name is Jen and I first started getting interested in herbalism working as a wilderness guide in the NC Appalachian mountains.  As we hiked, my fellow guides would teach me the plants of the region and we would munch as we walked. We ate rock tripe and sourwood…

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Staying Healthy This Winter

Whether you live in balmy, tropical Hawaii, or sub-zero, frosty Minnesota, the energy of winter is the same: storage. At this time winter’s cold drives your life fires deeply inward, collecting itself like a hibernating bear for the coming Spring. The Chinese believe that the water element rules winter, which is associated with the Kidneys,…

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Sarah Ford, January 2020

I am Sarah Ford Thompson.  I began my love affair with plants and plant medicines as a young child.  I spent my first few years on a self-sustaining farm in Kentucky with my family.  We grew our own food and raised goats for milk.  We traded goat milk and homemade goat cheese with the nearest…

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Balthazar’s Gift: Frankincense

Have you ever wondered what the Holy Family did with the three gifts brought to them from the far-off lands in the East by, according to tradition, the Magi? The Bible doesn’t say. The Armenian Christian tradition describes three Magi: Balthazar from Arabia, Gaspar from India, and Melchior from Persia (what is now known as…

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Jennifer McDonnell, December 2019

My fondest childhood memories are making “magic potions” over pretend rock fire circles in the forests of the Green Mountains in VT and the Appalachians in New York, the woods I knew as my back yard.  I’d rock hop barefoot, seeking the head of the stream to obtain water where it bubbled out of the earth.…

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Which Ginseng Should I Take?

When I began to study herbs, my first class discussed the difference between the many ginsengs. It was information overload at that stage of my learning, but since then I’ve used them all. If the prospect of selecting the right ginseng for a specific set of symptoms seems overwhelming, this blog is for you. Why…

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Welcome

Welcome and thank you for signing up. Our school administrator is processing your course information. She will send you access within a day. Questions? Contact Jill at herbcourse@planetherbs.com.

Emily Martin, November 2019

My name is Emily Martin. I’m originally from the small town of Jena, Louisiana but currently live in Alabama. After graduating high school, I earned my BA in Elementary Education. With my husband’s military career and our family moving every 2-3 years we decided I would stay home with our children.  Eventually figuring out that…

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Horny Goat Weed: Herbal Viagra for Men and Women

It is virtually inevitable when lecturing on herbs that a man might surreptitiously take me aside and ask for an herb to improve sex. The first herb that always comes to mind is horny goat weed (Epimedium grandiflorum). Certainly, the suggestive common name makes it easy to remember. Its name is derived from a legend…

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laurel paxton

Laurel Paxton, October 2019

My name is Laurel Paxton, I grew up in the beautiful oceanic community of Santa Cruz, CA. I currently live in South Lake Tahoe, where I spend my days homeschooling my children and studying the healing arts. I love studying herbology from around the world and everything around me as much as possible! I have…

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How to Stay Well from Summer into Fall

  We are fast approaching the joint of the seasons – summer into fall – and of all times of the year, this is the most susceptible for catching colds and flu. Weather is cooling now, school is starting, and activities pick up so generally there’s more stress. At the same time, we often cling…

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Herbs and Acupoints for Better Sleep

  Sleep is a period of reduced activity where we leave waking consciousness to drift into a land of dreams and deep rest. It is a restorative process that lets us to recover from the wear and tear of daily life, allowing our body’s cellular activity, heart rate and breathing to slow in order to…

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Rebecca Wong, September 2019

Ironically, though I grew up on a dairy farm, surrounded by crops, animals, and nature, I was never exposed to natural health or healing during all that time. Farmers are not necessarily naturalists, and my parents showed little interest in herbal medicine. I never even tried whole wheat bread until I was a teenager and…

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Feeling Damp, Bloated, Heavy? Care for your SPLEEN!

Many climates throughout the world have five seasons – late summer, or Indian Summer, is usually the fifth, lasting from sometime in July through sometime through about mid-September. In traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), the spleen is associated with the earth element. It is considered much more than a component of the lymphatic system but instead…

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Cat’s Claw, Dragon’s Blood and Quassia in Costa Rica

On our recent second visit to Costa Rica, we re-experienced the wondrous biodiversity of its plants, exotic wildlife, volcanoes, and hot springs but also a rare insight into its traditional healing customs. With the assistance of an interpreter, this information was provided by our guide, the distinguished native ethnobotanist, Rafael (Raffi) Angel Ocampo Sanchez.  Raffi, is…

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Jimson Weed: Dangerous Magic

Old time herbalists and the Eclectics didn’t focus on common herbs – they mainly used “heroic” medicines instead. These are the toxic herbs, so strong that only 1-2 drops of tincture were generally taken for quick and effective results. Of course such plants are rarely used today, and when they are it’s mainly in homeopathic…

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Domini Aalbers, August 2019

Born a sixth generation Montanan, I grew up enjoying the outdoors, hiking, riding horses, camping, fishing and hunting. I love the circle of life and there is no place you can see and experience it more than in the backcountry wilderness. When I worked for an outfitter, my days consisted of hard labor, being in…

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Finding Renewal in Costa Rica

Our second trip to lush Costa Rica proved just as magical as our first in September 2018. This time a wonderful group of 12 folks joined us to explore several areas of Costa Rica. We began our tour at Finca Luna Nueva (in the region of San Carlos), the second biodynamic farm established in Costa…

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Karen Wentlandt

Karen Wentlandt, July 2019

I currently live in Colorado with my husband. Our three boys are grown and finding their way in this world, just as we continue to find ours. I always believed my calling was to be writer. I pursued that calling as an undergraduate and graduate student. I wrote short stories. I worked on several books,…

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Healing Breath: Remedies for Stress

“The perfected breathe all the way to their heels, unlike ordinary folk who breathe only as far as their throats.” Zhuangzi, 3rd century BCE[1]  “Take a breather,” or ”Slow down and take a deep breath,”  are common things we say when someone is in an acute state of anger, fear, frustration, or anxiety. In fact,…

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Pascale Richalet, June 2019

Born and raised in France, I came to Boston with my family about twenty years ago to pursue a scientific education in biochemistry and biophysics. An avid Aikido student for many years, I have always been attracted to Eastern philosophies. While working my first science job, I took evening classes and earned a Zen Shiatsu…

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Lemon Balm: For More Than Just Depression

The renowned 16th century English herbalist, Nicholas Culpeper, described the use of lemon balm for depression by quoting Serapio who said the herb  “caus(es) the mind and heart to become merry, and reviveth the heart, faintings and swoonings of such who are overtaken by sleep, and driveth away all troublesome cares and thoughts out of…

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Wild Cherry Bark and Sweet Cherry Stems as Medicine

Recently Michael and I witnessed the incredible scene of cherry blossom season in Japan. It is truly a remarkable sight. Clouds of pinkish-white flowers adorn dark branches that hang over green parks. blue waters, or frame distant structures. Crowds of locals stream through such areas, picnicking or strolling beneath their ancient glories, day and night.…

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Beth White Mountain, May 2019

I have been a massage therapist, gardener, wildcrafter and lover of herbs for over 20 years. I grew up in Florida and started my herbal journey in 1992, when I was 22, working part-time at an herbal apothecary and part-time for a master gardener doing landscape gardening. The combination of these two jobs helped me…

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Amla: Super Antioxidant Fruit of India

Oxidation in the body is a natural process caused when wandering electrons called free radicals react with other molecules. Oxidation has both positive and negative consequences. A positive aspect of oxidation is that the process disrupts the cell wall of bacteria, which stops them from functioning. Humans have special immune cells (macrophages) that use oxidation…

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Ashwagandha: Horsepower for Your Body

The Ayurvedic herb ashwagandha has become quite well known in recent years and it is no wonder, for it has many important uses. Overall, it’s a wonderful anti-aging and rejuvenative tonic for most all folks and so deserves its growing reputation. Specifically, it is a yang tonic (meaning it warms and strengthens the body’s energy…

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Carmen Portner, April 2019

I was born and raised in Guayaquil, Ecuador. I grew up in a culture where native plants were used everyday in food, medicine and limpias. My mother used to believe that negative spirits can cause disease; so when I would fall “mysteriously” ill, she would take me to the medicine woman to perform cleansing ceremonies…

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Joshua Kuhn, March 2019

My name is Josh Kuhn. I am an Ohio native and have for as long as I can remember felt a deep kinship with the natural world. Over the years I have worn many hats (bicycle builder, found object sculptor, mime) but have always come back to the land. In 2011 my wife Bix and…

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Jodi Martin, February 2019

Hi, my name is Jodi Martin.  I have been a student with East West since 11/2013.   I am from upstate New York but have been living on the Island of Kauai in Hawaii since 2011. I am a mother of three amazing daughters and most recently find myself with an empty nest.  While living in…

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Korean Hand Therapy

Korean Hand Therapy (KHT) was discovered by Tai Woo Yoo, OMD, PhD, a South Korean acupuncturist, in 1971, when he found himself unable to sleep with a headache that would not go away. Using a ballpoint pen, he poked an area at the tip of his middle finger which he believed corresponded to the area…

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Winter Wonder Walnuts

In the cold of winter, a great herb to consider is the walnut. It is a rich source of fat that keeps the body warm and as a healthy snack, stifles hunger. But walnuts are more than a food; they have many valuable medicinal uses, too. In Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), walnuts gently tonify Kidney…

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Mark Shanagher, January 2019

I was lucky, though having been born in London, to have spent much time in Nature as a young boy. My mum who’s Polish also brought us up on natural foods and medicines at home and by the time I was a young student I was talking peoples ears off about natural being the best!…

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herbal gift giving

Herbal Gifts for the Holidays

Stumped about what to give for the holidays? Here are some herbal treats you can easily make and share that will not only be unusual and fun but also help your loved ones’ health, too! HAWTHORN OXYMEL An oxymel is simple as it’s only made with herbs, vinegar and honey. Hawthorn is especially good for…

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Shelby Heinzer, December 2018

This school has been such a transformative experience. My interest in alternative medicine started with my high school boyfriend’s mom of all places. With herbs, homeopathy, and so much love she helped me tackle health problems that Western medicine seemed to only make worse. That seemingly impossible success led me on an investigation in alternative…

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How to Choose

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All East West Courses

Magical Herbs and the Kid’s Herb Book They’ll learn how to make their own healing potions, secret remedies, magical salves, enchanted syrups and special healing remedies. Recipes, …Read More Home Herbalist Course TEN SECTIONS  TO HERBAL SAVVY: HOME HERBALIST COURSE  We are very excited to announce that the East West School of Planetary Herbology …Read More 36-Lesson…

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Professional Herbalist Course

All Herbal Courses

Magical Herbs and the Kid’s Herb Book They’ll learn how to make their own healing potions, secret remedies, magical salves, enchanted syrups and special healing remedies. Recipes, …Read More Home Herbalist Course TEN SECTIONS  TO HERBAL SAVVY: HOME HERBALIST COURSE  We are very excited to announce that the East West School of Planetary Herbology …Read More 36-Lesson…

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Red heart of hawthorn berries on a wooden background.

Hawthorn Oxymel

Oxymel is one of the oldest herbal preparations. The word is derived from the Latin oxmeli meaning “acid and honey” and indeed it is extracted and made with a base of vinegar and honey.  Individually, neither vinegar nor honey separately or alone is preferred extractive mediums, because they are already saturated solutions. However, both of…

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gabriela gioacchini

Gabriela Gioacchini, November 2018

I grew up in the heart of Europe, in the Czech Republic (former Czechoslovakia) during the times of repression and Communist era. During these times it was second nature to grow or forage for food; this is simply what people did. Having a vegetable garden with fruit trees and a few chickens was the norm,…

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Herb teacher 7Song

7Song

I have been studying plants, people and herbal medicine for over 20 years now. My interest first started as a youngster with a fascination for things natural, beginning with astronomy, moving into herpetology and later into plants and medicine. And all of this in the suburbs of Long Island, NY In my twenties, I began…

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David Winston

David Winston, RH (AHG)

David Winston is an Herbalist and Ethnobotanist with 51 years of training in Chinese, Western/Eclectic and Southeastern herbal traditions. He has been in clinical practice for over 40 years and is an herbal consultant to physicians, herbalists and researchers throughout the USA, Europe and Canada. David is the founder/director of the Herbal Therapeutics Research Library and the dean of David Winston’s Center for Herbal Studies, a two-year training program in clinical herbal medicine. He is an internationally known lecturer and frequently teaches at medical schools, professional symposia and herb conferences. He is the president of Herbalist & Alchemist, Inc. a manufacturer that produces herbal products that blend the art and science of the world’s great herbal traditions.

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amatierra retreat center

Amatierra: A Rejuvenating Retreat in Costa Rica

  When recently exploring the incredible plants of Costa Rica, we stayed at the magical retreat center Amatierra. It’s a hidden secret that is not only beautiful but also very nourishing as well. When we first arrived and climbed down the stairs to the main building and dining terrace, I was immediately struck by the…

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Dawn Bertram

Dawn Bertram, October 2018

I live in beautiful British Columbia, Canada, in the Greater Victoria area (North Saanich). I have lived between Vancouver and Vancouver Island most of my life, and have developed a love for our mountains, oceans and old growth forests. We’re so fortunate to be surrounded by this magnificent beauty which offers so much opportunity for…

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Costa Rica: Plant Paradise

Simply put, Costa Rica is a plant paradise. Michael and I were lucky enough to travel there a couple of weeks ago, and we were astonished by the botanical diversity there. So many regularly used herbs can be found in this forest wonderland. For starters, many of our kitchen spices come from Costa Rica. Ginger,…

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Celery Stalk: A Powerful Anti-Inflammatory

Celery often sits in our refrigerators for many different uses – making stocks, preparing soups, or filling with peanut butter for the kids. But celery has many more uses than that and is actually quite medicinal in concentrated form. Celery Seed Most herbalists are familiar with celery seed and teach about its many wonderful uses.…

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Take the home herbalist course

Carlie Newlander, September 2018

I am a California gal, born in Long Beach but I’ve spent most my life in the northern part of the state. I currently reside in the beautiful mountains of Santa Cruz where my passion for plants and the healing arts has taken root and the local, like-minded community has embraced me with such loving…

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Mung Bean for Hypertension

Mung Bean for Hypertension Hypertension is a major risk indicator for heart attack and stroke. In the United States, approximately 75 million people (29%) have high blood pressure which is a staggering 1 in every 3 adults.  About 42.7 million visits to physician offices are for primary essential hypertension. Blood pressure is measured with a…

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Mung beans

Mung Bean for Summer Illness

Finally, to close this series on herbs for Summer-Heat and for summer conditions in general, is the humble mung bean, a premier herb for clearing heat in Traditional Chinese Medicine. Mung bean (Vigna radiata, formerly known as Phaseolus munginis) neutralizes acids, clears toxicity, lowers and regulates blood pressure, heals ulcers, and relieves Summer-Heat and Hot-natured…

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Raven Ioneh, August 2018

I am a Northern Californian, born in Oakland, California where I currently reside. I grew up in Berkeley, California, but also in the woods of the Pacific Northwest and on the rocky beaches of California’s northern coast.   As a teenager, I developed a sense that people came to me with their injuries and ailments for…

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Hibiscus tree with pink flowers

Hibiscus and Jewelweed: More Summertime Herbs

In my last blog, I explained the Traditional Chinese Medicine disease pattern called “Summer-Heat,” largely parallel to what most Westerners know as heat stroke. As promised, here are two more herbs for this hot time of year: one made into a delicious cooling tea to ward off overheating, and another to deal with one of…

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nutmeg, anxiety, insomnia, intimacy

Nutmeg: for Insomnia, Anxiety and Better Intimacy

Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans), a common kitchen spice with a warming, spicy energy, is used to add flavor to desserts and hot drinks. Called jaiphala in Ayurveda and rou dou kou in TCM, nutmeg is a well-known remedy for diarrhea in both these herbal systems, but lesser known is its usefulness in cases of insomnia. In…

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chyawanprash

Chyawanprash: A Delicious, Nutritious Herbal Tonic

Once when comparing relative merits of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Ayurvedic medicine with an Ayurvedic doctor in India, the good doctor acknowledged both systems as having merit but said: “Ayurvedic tonics taste better!” Flavor is considered part of the therapeutic properties of an herb in both herbal systems, but it is much more emphasized…

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