Salvia milthiorrhiza

Salvia, Our Saving Grace

I once had to introduce myself as a teacher at an American Herbalists Guild conference by identifying my favorite herb. Now, I have to say that I hate this type of public pop quiz where I have to make …


Tierra mulberry tree

Mulberry Dreams

Our Mulberry Tree! Early this morning I trudged out under the foggy sky and picked all I could from our one mulberry tree. Last week I had only gotten two handfuls; now I filled a small bucket. As jui …


Green Leaves

Comfrey Comfort

Recently I was sitting in my garden one late afternoon trying to pull myself together after a very scattering day. (You know those days, the ones when you plan to do certain things, but instead, every …




Horsetail photo by Lesley Tierra Horsetail Equisetum spp. Energies and flavors: Cool, astringent Uses: Hemostatic, astringent, vulnerary With the advent of Spring comes horsetail, a type of shave-gras …


A frosted donut

How to Get Sick

There is so much focus on what one should do in order to stay well that I sometimes find switching the tables helps people gain a different perspective of how their habits invite sickness into their l …


Michael and Anne at the Herbal Seminar


I have to admit I’ve been a bit irregular with my blogs lately. But there’s a good reason.  I’ve been working with East West student and editor Anne de Courtenay for two years to revise the East West …


Curculigo Leaves

Two Immortals

We are in the depth of Kidney time now and will be for about another three weeks. This is when Kidney energy is supposed to flourish. However, if there’s any kidney imbalance now, then those symptoms …



Wen Dan Tang

In honor of the near end of Liver/Gallbladder time of year, here’s another favorite formula of mine: Wen Dan Tang. It has many uses, especially as a sedative and expectorant, but it is specifically sa …


Joy Smiling

Got Shen? Part 1

Do you love life? Do you enjoy people? Are you enthusiastic about what you do? Do you wake up excited for your new day? Do your eyes sparkle? Are you playful? Then you’ve got Shen. If you currently do …


The Buddha

Got Shen? Part 2

There are many herbal approaches to supporting Shen depending on the imbalance affecting it: Nourish the Shen through Heart Qi, Blood, or Yin tonics: fu shen, zizyphus, biota, asparagus root, reishi …