The East West School of Planetary Herbology is the oldest continuously running herbal blog in the country.

Dr. Michael Tierra

Herbalist Michael Tierra in the Garden
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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Common Misconceptions about Herbal Medicine
Recently, someone wrote me in response to an article I wrote on the traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) principle of dui yao, a principle of formulation where one might ...
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Fish Oil Not What You Expected? Try Herbs for Cardiovascular Health
A recent article published in the New York Times has questioned the value of one of the sacred cows of the supplement industry: fish oil. This is based ...
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I Tried Everything for Shingles. Here’s What Worked.
For the last 3 1/2 weeks, I’ve been suffering from shingles and postherpetic neuralgia. It is a terrible condition. There seem to be many cures and treatments for ...
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Salmonella contamination of kratom
Recently the CDC announced that some 40 cases of salmonella associated with individuals who took certain batches of kratom. I’ve checked many of the sources I buy kratom ...
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Remembering Victoria Fortner: Herbalist, Healer, Friend
Victoria Fortner, herbalist and artist, was a beloved elder and member of the American Herbalists Guild. She passed away nearly four years ago from cancer in Potosi, Missouri, ...
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Intranasal Calamus Oil: Effective Treatment for Down Syndrome and Autism
I have been treating a young man with Down Syndrome mostly with acupuncture over the course of years. His mother has him in a home with other people ...
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How to Prevent Flu with Herbs
An old Chinese folk adage “Trying to cure disease after it has begun is like trying to forge weapons while the battle is underway” carries the same meaning ...
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What’s a Tonic?
"Tonic" in TCM specifically refers to herbs that:
  1. increase Qi, usually through enhanced absorption and mitochondrial replication
  2. nourish Blood, usually by regulating red and ...
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A Recipe for Chinese Three Treasure Tonic Tea
While acknowledging all the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) principles of healing, a branch of TCM called Taoist Traditional Chinese Medicine (TTCM) does not emphasize the use of herbs ...
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Herbal Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis
  I really like when I can use a standard protocol for a disease and receive consistently good results. This is especially true when it is a condition ...
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Kratom: Uses, Dosage, Administration, and Contraindications
See Part 1 of my series on kratom here. I work at a local free clinic alongside other students and colleagues dispensing healing advice, free herbs and acupuncture ...
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Kratom: The Herbal Pain-Relieving Answer to the Opioid Epidemic?
As of the beginning of August 2017, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) published notice of the state of the opioid epidemic in America. They estimated that of ...
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Not All Sugar Is Bad: Glucose for Your Brain, Nerves, Heart and Muscles
Could you ever imagine yourself as being ‘sugar deprived?’  Do you find yourself unable to sleep soundly throughout the night, getting up frequently to urinate, feeling exhausted ...
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Tinnitus Treatments by East West Teacher Holly Hutton
What's that sound? Why won't it go away? Tinnitus, commonly known as "ringing in the ears" and the perception of sound where no external source of sound is ...
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Treating Arthritis, Lower Back and Joint Pains
Arthritis, joint and back pain is so prevalent throughout the world that there really is no point to describe how many sufferers there are. It is safe to say ...
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The Three Levels of Healing
In my previous blog on treating H. pylori-induced stomach inflammation with herbs, I touch briefly on a fundamental difference between conventional and complementary medicine: namely, that conventional medicine prefers ...
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Herbs for H. pylori and gastric inflammation
Recently, a colleague sent me the following question: A friend in Canada tested positive for H. pylori bacteria. Of course, the Western doctor he goes to wanted to ...
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Two Acupoints for the Price of One: GB 20 and Krikatika Marma for Allergies, Headache and More
Acupressure applied to Gall Bladder 20. According to the World Health Organization (WHO) there are 361 charted acupuncture points on the body. Acupuncturists generally recognize any active point ...
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An Unforgettable Educational and Cultural Experience: East West Students in China
Michael Tierra with a view of the Huangshan mountain range. The East West Herb Course and TCMZone organized a special training for our advanced and graduate East West ...
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Tonic Herb Master Ron Teeguarden Visits East West Seminar
by Beverly Jennings, RH (AHG), MT, East West School of Planetary Herbology Graduate East West students were fortunate to have the opportunity to spend an entire day with renowned herbalist Ron ...
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Where Music and Herbalism Meet: Notes on “Arcana”
“Northwest Passage” The amazing music of composer, Alex Shapiro Featuring the world premiere of ARCANA: SUITE FOR PIANO  commissioned by and dedicated to and performed by Michael Tierra, ...
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Curing Pills: Don’t Leave Home without Them
The most widely used Chinese herbal formula comes with the boastful name, “Curing Pills.” In North America and Europe any herbal preparation with such a name would be ...
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Triphala and Elderberry for IBS
My clinical experience using the Ayurvedic formula Triphala is extensive, based on literally thousands of cases over the course or 25 years. It is only within the last ...
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Calm Your Mind, Silence Your Thoughts with Bindi Tapping
Wouldn’t it be nice if we all had a little spot on our head that we could tap to clear our mind of troublesome thoughts, fears, anxieties or ...
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Colds, Flu and Fevers: Just Sweat It Out
One of my favorite movies, Where the Wild Lilies Bloom (1974), tells the story of a family of five Appalachian children who use herbal folk healing they learned ...
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East West Free Clinic Update: Bleeding and cupping treatment for severe back pain
Michael Tierra applies cups to a patient
with severe back pain at the East West Free
Clinic in Santa Cruz. We have encountered many extreme acute chronic conditions ...
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Untangling Yin Deficiency with Heat
As we continue this blog series on Yin Deficiency (with Heat), I want to make clear that the description of Heat hereby discussed is confined to the organic ...
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The Concept of “Heat” in Traditional Chinese Medicine
Heat is an extremely common condition in Traditional Chinese Medical Diagnosis. In Ayurveda Heat can be described as pitta and there are two broad classifications: Pitta prakriti describes ...
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Hawthorn Fruit Wine: An Herb for Healing and Opening the Heart
How beautiful in autumn shadows, the blood red berries of hawthorn are!  Drooping in small clusters along thorny branches they transform the final seasonal rays of the sun ...
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Faith, Herbs or Placebo?
In desperation, a family with strong ‘old world’ roots brought to my office their beloved father, a humble Italian man who was diagnosed at Stanford hospital with late ...
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Studies substantiating the energetic properties of herbs based on flavors and organ meridians
Can the claims of traditional herbal medicine be substantiated scientifically? Because trials are expensive and because there is no profit in sight for researching and bringing to market ...
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A Better Way to Reap the Phenomenal Benefits of Noni
Mention “noni” (Morinda citrifolia) to anyone who has tasted the fermented fruit, and the conversation is over. Some people would rather die than have to ingest fermented  -- ...
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Introducing: the East West Free Herbal Clinic
East West Free Clinic herbalists Maureen Flash, Erin Massengale, Michael McEvoy, Beverly Jennings. I have always had the desire to be of service to the poor and indigent ...
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New York Attorney’s Botched Attempt to Regulate the Herbal Industry
A much-touted recent investigation by the New York State Attorney general’s office claimed national store brand herbal supplements sold at GNC, Target, Walgreens and Walmart in fact did ...
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The Low-FODMAP Elimination Diet
My last two blog posts attempted to answer two questions: 1. Is it really necessary for all or even the majority of the 18 million people who are eliminating ...
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Perceived Gluten Sensitivity and Traditional Herbal Approaches
Gluten sensitivity and the TCM Spleen The unique concept of the ‘Spleen’ in TCM encompasses far more than the standard Western physiological organ. The TCM Spleen is a ...
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Non-Celiac Gluten Sensitivity — Fact or Fiction?
12/1/2014 In my 40 years of involvement as an herbalist in the natural health movement, I’ve seen a panoply of questionable diets, wonder-cures and pseudo-diseases (what herbalist, David ...
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Cayenne: Another Rude, Crude, Unsung Hero
Like garlic, cayenne pepper (Capsicum annum) is one of those rude, crude herbs that has staunch friends and enemies. Regarded as a virtual panacea by many, others find ...
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Ebola and Traditional Chinese Medicine: Nothing New Under the Sun?
While I don’t think it is appropriate for any herbalist or alternative practitioner to claim to be an expert in treating such an obviously dangerous disease as Ebola, ...
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Herbal “Flavor” vs. “Taste”: What’s the Difference?
While many people may think that taste and flavor are the same, they are actually different. Here’s why: Taste refers to the senses in the mouth and has ...
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Garlic: Rude, Crude, Unsung Hero
Ever wonder why you never hear mention of certain well-known herbs in the higher echelons of herbal medicine? Garlic is one such unsung herb. I once asked my ...
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Current Herbal Regulation in the UK
Be it ordained established and enacted by authority of this present parliament, that at all time from henceforth, it shall be lawful to every person being the King’s ...
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Wild Cherry, One of the Great North American Herbs
Wild cherry bark (Prunus serotina, P. virginiana) also known as choke cherry, is one of several herbal remedies that contain amygdalin, also called prunasin, a toxic glycoside ...
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Salmonella in Spices and the Herbal Treatment of Food Poisoning
The FDA’s recent report on "Pathogens and Filth in Spices" finding salmonella in imported spices, especially from India and Mexico, has raised questions of how to prevent or ...
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Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang to treat a wide range of diseases based in Spleen Qi and Yin Deficiency
Besides the ancient traditions of Traditional Chinese Medicine based on the Huangdi Neijing and the Nan Jing, there have been subsequent important schools of thought based on the ...
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Treating Chronic, Complicated Conditions with Li Dong Yuan’s Pi Wei Lun
Chinese medicine divides diseases into two broad categories: 1. Diseases of "external contraction" (Wei Guan), which are relatively simple conditions that are acute in nature. 2. Diseases of ...
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Simple Steps to Health and Happiness
To feel healthy, strong, vibrant, and vital each day sets the stage for all the other virtues, hope and interest. We will all eventually pass away sooner or ...
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A tiny new addition to our East West family
We are pleased to welcome to the East West family Áine Amanita Rose McCormack, born to East West graduate Anne de Courtenay and her husband, the musician Martin ...
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Corydalis yanhusuo for inflammatory and neuropathic pain
I'm not sure when the use of poppy for the relief of pain was made illegal for herbalists, but it certainly is. In fact, in California one can ...
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Premio 10: The Most Useful Healing Tool I Discovered in 2013
It’s hard to believe that only about 25 years ago computers became the thing and I and a few of my friends purchased our first new Eagle computer ...
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Gifts for Herbalists (and Others) on Your List
Numen: The Nature of Plants A film about the healing power of plants http://www.numenfilm.com This is the most beautiful film yet produced on what we herbalists are all ...
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Clinician’s Corner: Pulse Diagnosis
I recently gave a free in-depth introductory webinar on pulse diagnosis. We have since published it on Youtube: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y6WTq0GhnyQ Pulse diagnosis is a signature diagnostic method used in ...
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Weight Loss Plateaus and Exercise
A close member of my family recently went on a weight loss diet and happily dropped 25 pounds within two or three months. Suddenly encouragement changed to despair ...
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Some Useful Ideas and Tips for Weight Loss
The word is finally getting out. Approximately one third of Americans are overweight. As a result, they suffer from a number of metabolic diseases such as arthritis, cardiovascular ...
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Maral Root: A Lesser Known Adaptogen from Russia
"Adaptogen" is a term coined by Russian professor of medicine and physiological medicine Dr. Israel I. Brekhman and colleagues to describe herbs that have the potential to increase ...
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Global Warming and My Garden
I think climate change is affecting my garden in Ben Lomond, California (a section of which shown at right). It is situated along a narrow strip in the ...
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Moxa for Menstrual Irregularities, Infertility and Insomnia
Menstrual Irregularities and Infertility Conception Vessel 4, called guan yuan or "origin pass"is located approximately two inches above the top of the pubic bone on a straight center ...
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Moxa for Back Pain, Colds and Flu
Last time, I talked about moxibustion and its uses on the acupuncture point Stomach 36. There are several other uses and locations for moxa, which I will discuss in ...
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Moxibustion and Stomach 36
Moxibustion, commonly called "moxa," is one of the methods used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) where the downy fluff of the leaves of Artemisia vulgaris (mugwort) is burned ...
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Butterbur for Allergies
In my previous blog, I discussed the little-known use of ragweed for allergies. Another herb that can give over-the-counter antihistamines a run for their money is butterbur (Petasites ...
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Like Treats Like: Ragweed to Treat Allergies
Spring conjures images of life renewed, flowery blooms, love and mating. But for one in five people, it means shutting the windows, missed days at work, and the ...
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The “Bitter Brew” Vindicated by Science
Before there was any understanding of biochemical constituents, traditional herbal healing systems relied on flavors as indicators of medicinal properties. (Determining the properties and quality of an herb ...
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Influenza Revisited
Here it is again – another influenza epidemic claimed to be the biggest in 10 years. We’re bombarded by the usual display of public health officials including TV ...
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Triphala for Ulcerative Colitis: A Case Study
Ulcerative Colitis Ulcerative colitis affects approximately 100 out of 100,000 people in the United States. Genetic disposition and food sensitivities are common causes. The disease can lead to ...
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How to Lose Weight: One Herbalist’s Journey
A few months ago, I found myself asking the question that so many of my students and colleagues were polite enough to not ask me: "What is an ...
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Exploring the Rewilded Cave of Ancient Hawaii
Hawaii is the endangered species capital of the United States, according to paleoecologist David Burney, author of Back to the Future In the Caves of Kauai (Yale, 2010) ...
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Dui Yao Therapy: When Two Herbs are Better than One
Most herbalists have learned that preparing several herbs in a formula which are extracted together or brewed into a tea causes the infinite number of biochemical constituents to ...
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Herbal Medicines: The Most Effective Ways and the Best Times to Take Them
Once upon a time, when people got sick they knew that that they must "drink their bitter brew" to get well. Presumably this meant some sort of herbal ...
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Wildcrafting in the Sierra Wilderness
Michael Tierra in the Sierra, August 2012 "I'm gathering pulsatilla which is all around me. There are also stands of mule's ears (Wyethia species) at my feet and ...
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Adulteration of Chinese Herbs: A Different Perspective
The nondescript appearance of herbs in their dried or powdered form, coupled with their high commercial value, has historically made them subject to adulteration, falsification and substitution to ...
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Bermuda Grass (Durva): The Second Holiest Herb; The Number One Weed!
Many of my readers will have heard that holy basil (also known as tulsi, Ocimum sanctum/tenuiflorum) is the most sacred herb in India. But did you know that the second ...
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Dandelion, Burdock, and Cancer
Dandelion root and burdock root are my two most commonly prescribed herbs when chronic conditions require anti-inflammatory, blood purifying alternatives for gentle detoxification. This includes conditions such as ...
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Preventing and Treating Seasonal Allergies with Neti, Triphala and Honey
According to a medical researcher on the Dr. Oz show, because of the early Spring and prolonged proliferation of windborne pollens, 2012 is supposed to be on track ...
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Why Herbs Aren’t Regulated the Same Way Drugs Are
In its February-April 2012 issue, HerbalGram, one of the most reputable and distinguished journals in the world on all things herbal, published a definitive article: "The Regulated Dietary ...
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White Rice vs. Brown Rice: Which Is Best?
Despite the overwhelming evidence of the added health benefits of fiber, vitamins and minerals of whole grains, most traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic doctors recommend eating white rather than ...
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Belief, Placebo, and True Healing
Healing should always leave room for the miraculous to occur, and our belief system is usually the foundation that allows (or does not allow) miracles to happen. Our ...
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Protect yourself from the holiday blues with an herbal talisman
A wise sage once told me "where there is great light, there is great darkness." For many, this is especially true during the festive holiday season between Thanksgiving ...
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Aviva Romm and the AHG
Despite their shared love of nature, plants, caring for the earth, animal and human life -- herbalists as a bunch have at times had an ironic history of ...
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Panax Ginseng: The World’s Greatest Tonic Herb
The entire class of tonics in Chinese medicine is defined as herbs that "make things normal." They are regarded as food grade, meaning they can be taken regularly ...
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It Doesn’t Have to Taste Bad!: Administering Herbal Medicines to Children by Michael Tierra
Your child is sick and you'd like to try administering herbs rather than drugs. The reason is obvious: you correctly ascribe to the notion that most medicinal herbs ...
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Walnuts: For Back Pain, Stress, High Cholesterol, Weight Loss, Longevity and Fish!
I always think it's a good idea to learn to derive your special nutrients from foods rather than pills and nutritional supplements. Certain foods, like garlic and onions ...
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All complementary medicine is placebo? Gimme a break!
A recent article published in the Economist (May 19, 2011) entitled 'Think Yourself Better' claims that all alternative medical treatments are mere placebos designed to bilk the consumer ...
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Springtime Colds, Flu and/or Allergies
In the springtime, when birds do sing, tree pollen flings, eyes itch, noses clog,  throats do hack '" hey ding a ding, a ding: Sweet lovers love the ...
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Herbs and Supplements for Radiation Exposure
The threat of exposure from the nuclear reactors in Japan made unstable by the recent earthquake has captured the world's attention. At maximum risk of exposure are, of ...
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Traditional Herbal and Western Conventional Medical Treatment Options for Hypertension
If you suffer from hypertension, several avenues of treatment are available to you. How do you choose what is best for your unique condition? In this blog, I'll ...
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Know Your Ferment Metabolites
Nancy Angelini, the author of the article, "What Exactly Are Ferment Metabolites?" which I'm featuring in this blog post, is the head East Coast educator for Planetary Herbals ...
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EU Set to Ban Hundreds of Herbal Remedies in 2011
An article published in the UK Independent on Dec. 30, 2010, reports: 'From 1 May 2011, traditional herbal medicinal products must be licensed or prescribed by a registered herbal ...
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Does the U.S. really have the greatest healthcare system in the world?
My friend Don Monkerud recently sent me his periodic political critique which included the following: 'Corporate controlled politicians claim America has 'the greatest healthcare system in the world,' ...
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The Prevention and Treatment of Cardiovascular Disease: Part 3
Thus far in this series we have described two other powerful herbs for coronary heart disease: hawthorn from the Western herbal tradition, and dan shen (Salvia miltiorrhiza) from ...
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The Prevention and Treatment of Cardiovascular Disease: Part 2
Sage Advice For the treatment of Coronary Heart Disease It's not too often that a representative of a pharmaceutical company will call an herbalist asking what herb might ...
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DMSO: What’s Good for Your Horse Just May Be Good for You
For years I have known and used DMSO for the topical relief of inflammation and pain. It's unfortunate that even after learning of the wonderful healing powers of ...
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Eat a Full Fat Breakfast and Lose Weight?
I've lived through 40 years of fad diets ranging from Adele Davis, living foods, Paul Bragg, juice diets, macrobiotic, low fat, low carbohydrate, Mediterranean, high protein, to the ...
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Richo Cech, Plant Whisperer and Author of “The Medicinal Herb Grower”
Above: Richo Cech in Zanzibar Just as a horse whisperer understands the particular needs and psychology of horses, a plant whisperer is one who can receive the subtle ...
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Honeysuckle: Taking the Bitter with the Sweet
Each spring, the honeysuckle flowers gather at the end of their stems to trumpet their sweet, gentle scent of purification and renewal. When I lead an herb walk ...
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Triphala, Honey, and Castor Oil for Healthy Eyes
During the 1970s on one of my trips to Bangalore in southern India, I made it a point to seek teachers, schools and hospitals that were exponents of ...
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Forget H1N1; The real world health threat is Big Pharma
Almost exactly one year ago today, I published a blog post, 'Who's Afraid of the Big Bad Flu,' about the corporate-made H1N1 fraud. Now, according to Digital Online, ...
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When Does “Health-Conscious” Become “Health-Obsessed”?
My first Chinese herb teacher Foon Lee Wong once cryptically remarked: "It's not good to be too healthy." Since then I've often thought of native peoples throughout the ...
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Pomegranate compounds inhibit breast cancer
The pomegranate (Punica granitum), highly touted these days as an antioxidant-rich superfruit, has an ancient metaphysical and culinary history. In fact, the image of the celebrated pomegranate was ...
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The Art of Herbal Formulary
In the marketplace, it is often more difficult to sell the general public on an herbal formula as opposed to a single herb. This is understandable, because people are ...
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Acid Reflux Disease (GERD): Causes, Treatment and Prevention
It's no secret that acid reflux is a widespread condition. Just think of all the antacid, Nexium or Prilosec advertisements you've seen lately. Some people eat Tums, an alkalinizing form of ...
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Sow Some Wild Oats this Valentine’s Day
For a good 'romp in the hay' this Valentine's Day, be sure the hay is oat straw! Wild oat straw and its seeds foster the right balance of relaxation ...
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10 Principles for Achieving Optimal Weight and Healthy Eating
After the period of feasting from Thanksgiving through Christmas, the New Year leads many of us to think about getting back in shape and losing some of those ...
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What You See Is What You Eat: Portion Control
As I mentioned in last week's blog, exercise and wise dieting principles aren't enough to help you reach your optimal weight. Portion control is essential. Just how important ...
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20 Tips for Achieving Optimal Weight and Healthy Eating
I'm rounding out this trio of blogs on diet and weight management with the following 20 tips. Under each tip is a link to a supporting article or ...
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UK set for herbal regulation? Say it ain’t so!
This Dec. 1, 2009, article at the BBC website entitled "Prince Charles: 'Herbal medicine must be regulated'" points to a potential crisis for the practice of herbal medicine ...
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Dragon’s Eyes — Longan Berries
Driving on Highway 50, the only highway on the island of Kauai, during morning traffic, a sign advertising fresh Longan berries next to an improvised roadside fruit stand ...
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Bacopa monnieri: The True Brahmi
Both gotu kola (Centella asiatica and/or Hydrocotyle asiatica) and Bacopa monnieri (pictured at left) are known as "brahmi."This has created much confusion in the literature in the use ...
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Onion Poultice for Deep-Seated Coughs
Have you ever had one of those lingering, deep-seated coughs (often the last hanger-on symptom after a cold or flu) that just continually and gradually wears down your reserves ...
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Alleviate Grief with Albizia, “The Tree of Happiness”
Albizia is one of my favorite herbs because of its real and unique ability to nourish the spirit in a way no other herb (or chemical substance, for ...
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Swine Flu Vaccinations and Antiviral Drugs: A Matter of Faith
There is mounting fear -- and perhaps even hysteria -- around the H1N1 virus as we usher in the fall and winter, which are the typical flu seasons ...
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Beyond cranberry: Simple and effective herbal treatment for urinary tract infections
Recently a friend of mine called to say that she had a terrible bladder infection. Her doctor prescribed an antibiotic, but it had no effect; in fact, the ...
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Universal health care for the United States?
Have you noticed the lack of health care in your area? I have, in Santa Cruz. So many GPs have retired because of the astronomical price of liability ...
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Miriam Lee (1926-2009): the mother of North American Acupuncture
"This is the way the world ends This is the way the world ends This is the way the world ends Not with a bang, but a whimper" ...
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In Search of the True Mediterranean Diet
Corfu Bay: Practically every square yard of arable land is covered with olive trees or grapevines As someone who's worked in the health field for most of my ...
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The Mighty Ashwagandha, Superior Aphrodisiac and Male Fertility Tonic
Ashwagandha root (Withania somnifera) is considered a most important herb in Ayurvedic medicine. Its ability to serve as a tonic and adaptogen in many of the same ways ...
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Pressed for Time: Piano and Plants in Fort Worth, Texas
Pianos... I'm in Fort Worth right now, at the Van Cliburn International Piano Competition. As a classical pianist, the opportunity to attend the Van Cliburn is akin to ...
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Herbology and Herbalism: Two Sides of the Same Coin
Recently on our East West Herb Course private student forum, a student asked about my distinction between the terms 'herbology' and 'herbalism.' Essentially, while both terms represent two ...
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Swine Flu: Media hype and a boon to the pharmaceutical industry
Who's afraid of the Big Bad Flu? I know many of us are concerned about Swine Flu, and as I write this even the World Health Organization has ...
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Oregano: An herbal treatment for MRSA?
Have you seen those PSAs for MRSA (methicillin resistant Staphylococcus aureus) that have made their way onto primetime television lately?

'Staph' infections are among the most common ...
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Kudzu found effective for relief of cluster headaches
If you or someone you know is one of the unfortunate 0.1% of the population who suffers from cluster headaches, take heart:an herb commonly used in Traditional Chinese ...
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Michael Moore, 1941-2009
Michael Moore, the great Southwestern herbalist of North America, left his earthly dwelling for other realms on Friday, Feb. 20, 2009. Michael leaves us a rich legacy of ...
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The Age of the Piano Recital is Not Dead!
Been to a piano recital lately? Thanks to the dedication of the impresarios at the UCSC Arts and Lecture Series and the indefatigable John Orlando of Cabrillo ...
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“Birds Do It, Bees Do It:” Foods and herbs to spice up your love life
When the little bluebird Who has never said a word Starts to sing Spring When the little bluebell At the bottom of the dell Starts to ring Ding ...
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Fasting for Detoxification and Weight Loss
We're already halfway through January! How are you doing with your health-centered New Year's resolutions? In my last post on diet and weight loss, I discussed exercise and making ...
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An Appeal for Complementary, Integrated Health Care Modalities to Be a Part of Any Future American Health Care Plan
Please copy and sign the following petition and submit it to change.gov/agenda/health_care_agenda Then please send or forward it to as many people as you know, asking them to ...
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New Year’s Resolution: don’t just lose weight, get healthy
It's the new year and guess what's on (almost) everyone's minds: Losing weight and dropping some of the pounds they put on, especially during the holiday season. Of ...
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Celebrating the Seven Days of Kwanzaa: Skullcap for Faith
The theme for today, day seven of Kwanzaa, is Imani -- Faith: To believe with all our heart in our people, our parents, our teachers, our leaders and ...
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Celebrating the Seven Days of Kwanzaa: Ginseng and Astragalus for Cooperative Economics
The meditation for today, the fourth day of Kwanzaa, is Ujamaa -- Cooperative Economics: To build and maintain our own stores, shops and other businesses and to profit ...
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Celebrating the Seven Days of Kwanzaa: White Atractylodes for Purpose
The meditation for today, the fifth day of Kwanzaa, is Nia -- Purpose: To make our collective vocation the building and developing of our community in order to ...
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Celebrating the Seven Days of Kwanzaa: Goldenseal and Marijuana for Collective Work and Responsibility
The meditation theme for today, the third day of Kwanzaa, is Ujima -- Collective Work and Responsibility. I can hardly reflect on this theme without considering my ...
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Celebrating the Seven Days of Kwanzaa: Comfrey for Unity
Many of us have heard of the African-American celebration called Kwanzaa, but I must confess that I along with the majority have not known what it actually is ...
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Celebrating the Seven Days of Kwanzaa: Cyperus for Self-Determination
The meditation for yesterday, the first day of Kwanzaa, was: Umoja (Unity): To strive for and maintain unity in the family, community, nation and race. I tried to ...
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The Botanic Gardens of Kauai and Humankind’s Infatuation with Plants
Lesley and I recently returned from a relaxing vacation on Kauai. Granted, it's not a large island, but by pure coincidence we often seemed to find ourselves situated ...
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Lemon balm and other mints for the treatment of herpes
It is well known that oils of aromatic herbs which include all the mints, lemon balm and sage serve the function of putting up a protective barrier to ...
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My Favorite (Herbal) Things for Holiday Giving
With the holidays and the season for gift-giving upon us, I thought I'd put together an Oprah-style list of "My Favorite (Herbal) Things" for all you generous hearts ...
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Amazing Grace: President-elect Barack Obama
Like many of our friends, Lesley and I are ecstatic about Barack Obama's winning the American presidency. It lifts a dark cloud of cynicism from American politics and ...
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Crafting an Effective Treatment for Cancer Using Conventional and Complementary Methods
When someone is diagnosed with cancer, they of course seek the help of an oncologist. The oncologist, in turn, is bound to follow what is sometimes an antiquated ...
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Looking back … and forward, at Natural Products Expo East
In 2008, Planetary Formulas (now renamed "Planetary Herbals" to account for many of the single herbs that have been incorporated into the line) turned 25 years old. In ...
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Dietary Cold and Flu Prevention Tips
An old method my mother used to prevent my catching airborne colds and flus was to go to the pharmacy and purchase a camphor cube, which she would ...
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An Herbalist’s Autumn, plus Herbal Cold and Flu Prevention Tips
Autumn Parched over Sun's heated passion Causing plants to ripen Squirrels to scamper and work, And many colored leaves to fall. What was once innocence, joy and abundance ...
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Welcome to our brand new home on the Web!
Behold, our new website! Many of you -- especially my own students -- will notice that it looks considerably different. Our goal has been to give it the emphasis, look ...
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Lesley Tierra

Lesley Tierra
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 ...
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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 ...
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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. ...
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Two Foods to Help You Keep Cool This Summer
Summers seem to be getting hotter and hotter so staying cool – and keeping your cool – can be more difficult. But don’t fret! There are many fabulous herbs, some ...
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Announcing: The East West Home Herbalist Course
We are very excited to announce that the East West School of Planetary Herbology now offers a Home Herbalist Course! While we have provided Family and Professional Herbalist Courses, we ...
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Three Essential First Aid Herbs for Travel
As we enter the summer traveling season, many of you may be going on holiday adventures in the next few months. As you do so, be sure to take herbs ...
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Oregon Grape Root: A Versatile Herb
Oregon grape root is the Pacific Northwest variety of barberry (Berberis vulgaris). It was used by the indigenous mountain folk of California for all chronic degenerative diseases, especially cancer and ...
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Rhodiola to the Rescue
Stressed? Exhausted? Winter blues? When it comes to adaptogens for treating these conditions, rhodiola (aerial portion and dried root shown above) is hands down one of my favorites. It is ...
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Care for Your Heart This Valentine Season
During this season of love, as well as tending to your loved ones, care for your heart, too! Here are four terrific herbs that assist heart function, which could prevent ...
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Vanquish the Flu with Elderberry
The flu is now widely in circulation and quickly going into people’s lungs. This is not only inconvenient and uncomfortable but can also cause dangerous prolonged and harsh coughing spells ...
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Astragalus for immunity
Most people have heard of the herb astragalus. Usually it’s the first Chinese herb learned after ginseng, and maybe dang gui. Some know astragalus as the “tongue depressor” herb because ...
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Bigger, Better, More: The Brand New East West Herb Course Is Here!
With the expert aid of a wonderful support team, we have been updating, revising and reformatting our East West Herb Course for nine years now - NINE YEARS!!! The first ...
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Fall Power: Loquat Leaves
Not only do I love making medicines from my own garden but I also appreciate clients being able to obtain homegrown medicines, too. I'll never forget one case where a ...
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Why the “Energy” of Herbs is Critical to Their Success in Treatment
Have you ever talked with someone who thought that herbs didn’t work because they did little for them despite all their commercial hype? Or have you ever taken (or given) ...
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How to Drain Your Essence
In summer we often graze through the garden, feast on fruit, or skip meals altogether because we’re too involved with various activities to stop. Who doesn't want to race outdoors ...
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Ophiopogon: A Common Garden Ornamental with Superpowers
This spring, plant an herb that is not only an ornamental but also a powerful medicinal: ophiopogon. Known as Japanese turf lily or mondo grass, it is usually planted as ...
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Sweet Herbal Holiday Treats
I always love to make gifts when I can and especially love to receive handmade ones, too, as do many people I know. If you do as well, or are ...
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Cardamom: Your Best Friend
There is one kitchen spice most of us could use more of in our lives: cardamom. While there are different types of cardamom (see end for details), just the plain ...
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What is “Gao Jelly”?
Gao Jelly is a black, jelly-like substance made from Chinese herbs. Sometimes called Gui Ling Gao Herbal Jelly, it was traditionally comprised of 30-50 herbs. Today it is a popular ...
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The Wonders of Moxa, Part 2
How to use moxa: If using purchased moxa, remove its commercial paper wrapper first (but not the white inner paper) and light one end. Hold about ½” above the skin ...
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The Wonders of Moxa, Part 1
On our recent trip to China we went to Mr. Wei’s clinic in Hong Kong. There we learned of a new type of moxibustion – thunder moxa. It has many valuable ...
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How Is Herbal Medicine Practiced in Modern-Day China?
A group of 24 East West students, graduates, teachers, and a few of their companions traveled to study herbs in China for 10 days in May. What we found there ...
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East West Goes to China!
This year after one of our best seminars ever (per many students and teachers), a large group of East West students and graduates traveled to China together! The bulk of ...
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American Botanical Council Honors Michael Tierra with Community Builder Award
Thursday evening, March 10, 2016, Michael was given the Mark Blumenthal Community Builder Award by the American Botanical Council (ABC). Mark (Founder and Executive Director of ABC and Editor of ...
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Merry Mistletoe
It's that season when many pin a bouquet of mistletoe in their doorway for that magical ritual of kissing underneath its bounty. While there’s wonderful lore behind this annual tradition, ...
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Clove: The Old “New” Spice?
CLOVE (Eugenia caryophyllata, E. aromaticum, Syzygium aromaticum) Family: Myrtaceae Also called: caryophylli or ding xian (Chinese) Parts used: flower bud Energy and flavors: warm, acrid, aromoatic Organs and channels affected: ...
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Feverfew and Chrysanthemum
When most people hear of the herb feverfew, they think migraines. While feverfew became popular in Great Britain in the ‘80s for treating this, it has been used far longer ...
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Black Cohosh, East and West: Part 2
See Part 1 here. Black cohosh has long been used throughout the world, but today its many uses have been mostly forgotten in the face of its powerful effects on ...
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Black Cohosh: East and West Part 1
When you hear of the herb black cohosh, what do you think it treats? Today most people say, "Menopause," as it has been shown to stop hot flashes. However, this ...
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Acorus calamus (Sweet flag)
Sweet flag (Acorus calamus; A. americanus) has been one of those on-again/off-again herbs where it’s safe to use it, then it’s not, and then it is again. Well good news ...
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Calendula, the Western Safflower
There’s another great Western substitute for a Chinese herb: Calendula officinalis can stand in for safflower (hong hua, Carthamus tinctorius). The two are flowers, one being deep gold to orange ...
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What About Quince? Medicinal Uses
After writing about the various types of citrus and their uses I thought about using other fruits as medicine. My mind turned to quince, since our wild lemon tree looks ...
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Citrus: Fruit or Peel?
Most of us love some form of citrus – oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, lemons, limes and more – yet did you know that some parts of these delicious fruits are actually ...
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Making the Most of One Herb: Elecampane
Too often we find Western herbs pigeon-holed into convenient commercialized boxes. While this expands people’s interest in natural healing, it also limits herbs to one particular application such as echinacea ...
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Some of My Favorite Herbs and Therapies
It’s that season of the year again and so time to share some of my favorite herbs and therapies. The following I’ve found extremely useful over the last year. Some ...
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Berberine Buddies, Part 2
Continuing the discussion of berberine-containing plants as Chinese-Western substitutes for each other, we first looked at using goldenseal in place of the Chinese herb, coptis (or vice versa if you ...
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Berberine Buddies, Part 1
In my investigation of finding western substitutes for Chinese herbs, I now turn to herbs that contain the alkaloid berberine, a chemical constituent found in many plants including goldenseal, goldthread ...
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Finding Western Substitutes for Chinese Herbs: Accept the Challenge!
For quite a while, I’ve been curious about Western alternatives to Chinese herbs. I’m particularly interested in creating effective alternative formulas to traditional Chinese ones (to know why, read my ...
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Hawthorn: Teaching an Old Herb New Tricks
In my search for western substitutions for Chinese herbs, it’s hard to ignore the easy ones. Since we’re at the end of the Spleen time of the Spleen time of ...
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Are Herbs from the West Really the Best?
Many people in the West eschew herbs from other countries because they only want to use western herbs. While local herbs are the easiest and most convenient choice, they're not ...
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The Oldest Herb Shop in Barcelona
Recently, Michael and I taught in England, and as we generally do when teaching there we also traveled to other countries. And of course we just had to investigate the ...
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Formulas Using Dandelion to Clear Heat and Toxins
Along with its typical purposes in Western herbalism, the Chinese use dandelion as a cold, anti-toxic herb to drain downward and disperse energy (Qi) stagnation and clumping. They’ve traditionally employed ...
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Dandelion: My Favorite Spring Herb
I first learned about dandelion by reading Dandelion Wine by Ray Bradbury many decades ago, a book not really about dandelions but so fully infused with the spirit of summer that it ...
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Back to Basics: Making Herbal Teas with Brigitte Mars
So many of us are removed from our herbs these days since we generally choose faster methods of consumption such as pills, capsules, tablets, powdered extracts, and tinctures since they ...
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Clinician-Client Connection (or, The Ritual of Medicine)
In the late 1980s, I attended the first International Congress of Healing in India and met Sai Baba. He spoke to a group of us about helping people heal and ...
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Shilajit (Moomiyo), the Monarch of Tonics
There's a fabulous kidney tonic that I want to tell you about if you don't already know it – shilajit. Sometimes spelled silajit, shilajeeta, or shilajeet, it is also called ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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These Are a Few of My Favorite Things Part 2
HERBS – FOUR FAVORITES! While I’ve had many favorite herbs over the years with which I’ve experienced many wonderful healings, these four are my current favorites.   Teasel (Dipsacus) ...
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These Are a Few of My Favorite Things Part 1
I decided it was high time again to introduce you to a few of my favorite things (I can’t believe it’s been five years since the last time I did ...
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Cooking with Herbs for the Holidays
The holidays are fast approaching and before you know it, you might need to start cooking up a storm. But what if you’re tired of the same old recipes or ...
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What Is the Best Herbal Preparation for Your Condition?
When I first learned about herbs in the late '70s, they were usually taken as capsules, with food, or smoked! As I began to study Chinese herbs I learned that ...
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Snap Your Spleen Back in Shape! Part 1
We are at the end of the Spleen/Stomach "time of year" - actually the Spleen/Spleen time - meaning that digestive and metabolic issues can be especially strained now. Every organ ...
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Snap Your Spleen Back into Shape! Part 2
In my last blog post we explored patterns of disharmony for the Spleen, which are so prevalent at this time of year. Here, I'll discuss remedies for those patterns. SPLEEN DIET ...
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Care for the Caregiver, Part 2
In Part I of this series I began the discussion about using of herbs to care for the caregiver. As a reminder, many herbs support your body-mind complex to assist ...
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Care for the Caregiver, Part 1
Now that you know how to be and find a hospital advocate, what about the advocate herself? How does she get her much-needed support? Being a caregiver can be a ...
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Find Your Hospital Advocate, Part 2
In Part I we discussed the essential need for having or being an advocate when you or a loved one is in the hospital. An advocate can operate long distance ...
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Find Your Hospital Advocate: Part 1
I hope this never happens to you, but it’s usually inevitable that one day either you or a loved one may end up in the hospital. This is most typical ...
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The Fifth Stagnation: Food Stagnation, Part 2
In Part I we learned about the many signs and symptoms of Food Stagnation. In this segment we’ll cover how to treat and prevent it. Therapies for Food Stagnation Diet ...
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The Fifth Stagnation: Food Stagnation, Part 1
We made it! We got through Qi, Blood, Cold and Damp stagnations, and now we are on the fifth and last one: Food Stagnation. This one is perhaps the easiest ...
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The Fourth Stagnation: Damp Stagnation, Part 2
In Part I we learned about the many signs and symptoms of Damp Stagnation and its far reaching affects on health. In this segment we’ll cover how to treat and prevent ...
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The Fourth Stagnation: Damp Stagnation, Part 1
Whether you've had April showers or are experiencing May ones, rain is a great metaphor for Dampness in the body. Just as rain collects and congests traffic (Qi or Blood ...
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The Third Stagnation: Cold Stagnation, Part 2
In Part I we learned about the many signs and symptoms of Cold Stagnation and its effects on physical and mental health. In this segment we’ll cover how to treat and ...
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The Third Stagnation: Cold Stagnation, Part 1
Years ago when I worked in Cleveland, I’d stare out the office window at a sunny spring day. Ecstatic to finally have warm weather, I’d rush out at lunchtime without ...
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The Second Stagnation: Blood Stasis, Part 2
In Part 1 we learned about the many signs and symptoms of Blood Stasis and its effects on health. Now, we’ll cover how to treat and prevent Blood Stasis. Of ...
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The Second Stagnation: Blood Stasis, Part 1
After briefly covering the five stagnations in January (Parts and ) and Qi stagnation in February (Parts and ), it makes sense to cover Blood stasis next. Qi and Blood ...
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The First Stagnation: Qi Stagnation, Part 1
Last month we discussed the five stagnations in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) along with two formulas to treat all five. In honor of Spring, which begins this year on Feb ...
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The Mother of All Diseases: Stagnation (Part Two)
In Part I of this blog, I discussed the Five Stagnations in general along with some non-herbal treatments. Here are two general herbal formulas that can be used for all ...
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The Mother of All Diseases: Stagnation (Part One)
Usually this time of year I write about resting more, doing less and in general, relaxing to replenish your vital kidney energy. Yet, it’s also important to balance rest with ...
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Spice Up Your Holiday with Healing Culinary Herbs
I don’t know what it is about the holidays and me, but when this time of year comes around I think about spices. It’s probably because of the season – ...
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Give Thanks to Your Illness with “Metaphor-phosis”
Why would one ever want to thank an illness? After all, illness is often distracting, discouraging, depressing, even painful. What good is there in that? Most people feel this way ...
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Herbal Tonics: East and West
"What is the difference between a tonic in eastern versus western herbalism?" This question, launched at me during our last seminar, was a good one that deserved more attention than ...
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Healing Crisis, or Wrong Formula?
You’ve just made an herbal formula for a new client. She took it for several days, but then began to get sick! You wonder: Is your client having a ‘healing ...
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Notation Tips for Herbalists and other Complementary Health Practitioners
Recently I read an article in Acupuncture Today titled "The Devil is in the Details" written by acupuncturist Douglas Briggs, who is frequently called upon to give his opinion on ...
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Healing the Whole Person
Healing means "to make whole." This is frequently forgotten by western medicine as it typically approaches the body like a machine and expects it to respond as such. We herbalists ...
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Turmeric: Pros, Cons, and Contraindications
Turmeric has become increasingly popular over the last decade, first for blood purification and then for joint pain. As it’s hit the mainstream, its uses have narrowed at the same ...
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Mitochondria and Brain Supplements
Mitochondrial DNA is big on the alternative scene these days. Brain research and the role mitochondria play has given rise to many new products. Some are quite expensive and promise ...
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Confessions of a Weight Gainer — and Loser
Weight has never particularly been a problem for me. Yes, I've weighed more than I "should" at various times in my life, but when I focused on losing it, the ...
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Wishing You a Do-Be New Year
Yes, you read that right! I wish you a do-be-do-be-do-be year! Now what in the heck is that? In today's world, most people are action oriented, or "do"-oriented. We make ...
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Nourishing Your Body, Heart and Spirit During the Holiday Season
When people study herbs and natural medicine they tend to focus solely on physical health. And yet the health of one's spirit is just as important to one's well-being. After ...
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In Thanksgiving to Barefoot Doctors
Ever since I learned Barefoot Doctor techniques I have been most thankful, as they often heal conditions where nothing else works. They were named as such for the native healers ...
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A Tribute to Aviva Romm
As many of you know, our past AHG president, Aviva Romm (shown here), stepped down this past year. While there have been many wonderful past presidents and we have a ...
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When “Going Viral” Isn’t a Good Thing
While most people dream of their projects and ideas going viral, there is one area in which we definitely want to avoid this -- our health. And we are just ...
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Agastache for Summer’s End
Summer's end can be a tricky time of year health-wise. It is the completion of Spleen/Stomach time, the season of monsoons in much of the world. This means that forms ...
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The Wonders of Wan Hua Oil
I first learned about Wan Hua Oil over 20 years ago when my seven-year old son ran into a doorpost. A huge lump immediately rose on his forehead above his ...
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Summer’s Back: Is It Supporting You?
have treated a LOT of people for low back pain this past month -- far more than usual. Even people whose back pain was gone had it flare up again, ...
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Treat the Person, Not the Disease
Recently I had an experience with someone that reminded me again about the major tenet of TCM 'treat the person and not the condition.' While to our students and TCM ...
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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, ...
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Hypertension II (Too!): A TCM look at types of high blood pressure
Michael has just done a great blog on hypertension, so I decided to supplement that with further information that I use. I have found a system created by the acupuncturist/teacher, ...
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Nourish Your Yin with Yi Guan Jian
I've already addressed strengthening Kidney Yang with Two Immortals in an earlier blog post. Now that we've shifted from Kidney time of year to the Liver season, people may experience ...
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Cultivate Your Virtues this Valentine’s Season
Our emotions, attitudes and self-perceptions are often physiologically rather than emotionally based. This is a very powerful concept. It means that people's emotional outbursts may have more than stress or ...
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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 ...
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Shed Light on Your Life this New Year
Instead of making traditional resolutions this year, lose weight, save money, change jobs, shed light on your life and make the big changes instead by shifting the life patterns and ...
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Spice up your holidays
Spice up your holidays this year with three of the season's best medicinal spices: cinnamon, cardamom and ginger. Because of their hot energy (or warming in the case of ...
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Winter: Time to Rest, Rest, Rest!
We have definitely entered the most crucial time of year '" winter.  Whether you live in tropical Hawaii or frosty Minnesota, the energy of winter is the same: storage. Conserve ...
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Giving Thanks for Calendula
Calendula (Calendula officinalis) is an amazing herb. It is probably under-utilized and under-appreciated, so I'm going to give it its due thanks! Calendula is a very old herb, employed since ...
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Herbs for Fall Dry Coughs
The energy of fall is cool and dry. You can feel it in the air and your lungs regardless of rain or snow. Coughs tend to be dry, even when there's phlegm ...
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Confession
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 ...
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Joint of the Seasons: Fall
We have reached the joint of the seasons, late Summer into Fall. This is the most vulnerable time of year for many people. With days and nights alternating between hot ...
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End of Summer Tummy Woes
Digestive issues are up now for many people this is the time of year people often gain weight and can't lose it; some may have summer diarrhea or loose stools; ...
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Treating GERD with Chinese Medicine
As we are well into the season of late Summer, more cases are presenting at my clinic with Spleen and Stomach issues. One of my latest was a GERD client, ...
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Throwing Down the Gauntlet on Sugar!
I find it extremely annoying that the west has gone sweet, that is, sickly sweet. This occurs not just in mainstream food products, but in health ...
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Summer Soup (Kicharee)
Summer kicharee is not only great for detoxification, but it is also a light summer soup perfect for the hot months of year. It is balanced in protein and can ...
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Late Summer: Season of Earth
We have just moved into time of year that corresponds to the Spleen and Stomach according to Traditional Chinese Medicine. This means that the energy of those organs flourishes now ...
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San Qi or Tienqi Ginseng: A Premier Herb to Stop Bleeding
Now that I'm on to ginseng-like herbs, here's another one that can be taken during the summer. Its real name is Panax notoginseng, known in Chinese pinyin as san qi, but is best known ...
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Codonopsis: The “Other” Ginseng
Although not a ginseng at all, codonopsis has similar tastes, energies and tonifying properties as ginseng. As well, both herbs affect the Lung and Spleen organs and meridians. Yet, because ...
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Summertime: The Heart Time of Year
We have now moved into the "Heart time" of the year. It runs from about mid-April through June and encompasses the traditional Chinese medical concept of the fire ...
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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 ...
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Horsetail
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-grass that grows ...
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Diet and Herb Tips for Spring Health
No matter where you live '" snowy Michigan or sunny Florida '" Spring is upon us. In nature, this energy is represented by sap rising and buds bursting. Likewise, these same energies ...
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When Should I Take My Herbal Formula?
Students and clients often ask me, "When the best time is to take my herbs?" This is a very good question, and there are several different answers. (However, in truth, the best ...
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Wind-Chill Colds and Flu: What They Are and How to Treat Them
The cold and flu season is still upon us. Michael wrote about treating flu last fall, especially the swine flu, but I want to address a different approach here. Cold/flu ...
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Quickly Clearing those Wind-Chill Colds and Flu
The cold and flu season is still upon us. While Michael wrote about treating flu last fall, especially the swine flu, I want to address a different approach here. Cold/flu ...
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Nourish Yourself with Shilajit for Valentine’s Day
A libido as unwavering as the Himalayas? With the help of shilajit, perhaps! Let's face it, when people think about Valentine's Day they think of sex. But rather than write ...
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Herbalists, Keep Learning: You Know More than You Know
At the recent American Herbalists Guild conference, I met various people who felt inadequate about their herbal knowledge -- that they were somehow inferior to teachers or to other AHG ...
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Release the Past with Ho’Oponopono
Start the new year by cleansing old energies! One of the best ways I know to release the past is through Ho'Oponopono, an ancient Hawaiian cleansing technique used to release unwanted ...
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Winter diet, herb and lifestyle reminders for a healthy year ahead
In Fall we harvest the fruits and labors of Spring's planting and planning. Shorter days and cooler nights send the surface fires into the body. Just as many people harvest ...
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Appreciate the Little Things
I recently stated using a macro lens on my camera and it has changed my world -- not just in getting greater close-up shots, but also in bringing the "micro" ...
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In Search of Figgy Treats
We've got two fig trees: one a black mission and one a green fig. The black mission we call, "Walking Fig," because it's been transplanted so many places and seems ...
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That Other Flu Rose: Garlic
No matter what name you give it (or what animal you name it after), we're now full swing into the flu season. Michael's written on the great benefits of onion ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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Herbs for Late Summer
Many climates throughout the world have five seasons; late summer, or Indian Summer, is usually the fifth. Associated with the Earth Element in traditional Chinese medicine, late summer is a ...
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Watch Yourself! A great tool for self-diagnosis

Recently I reviewed some of the wonderful DVDs that David LaLuzerne of Green Earth Herbs' HerbTV made of several teachers at our 2008 East West Herb Course seminar. On ...
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A Great Summer Sip: Cooling Chrysanthemum
The Chinese drink chrysanthemum as a summer beverage for its refreshing taste and cooling properties. It clears heat from the Liver and Lungs and indirectly, the Stomach and Kidneys, thus ...
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Make a summer herbal salve for bites, stings and scrapes
While summer is one of my favorite times of year, I could do without mosquito bites, scraped shins and bee stings. That's why I usually carry a tin of herbal ...
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The Fire Without and the Fire Within: Herbal and Health Tips for Summer
Summer is the essence of life, growth, heat and activity. With the sun at its zenith, nights are short and days are long. Our energy is expansive now, flowing ...
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Cordyceps, the strange ‘herb’
Call it a woman's prerogative if you like, but I have a new favorite herb! Now, I'm not fickle with my herbs, just adventurous, exploratory and passionate. So when a new ...
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Spring Tips for a Happy Liver
Spring is the beginning of the year, when the earth awakens and new life bursts forth. It's a time of planting seeds, physically and mentally. This season stirs the uprising ...
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Ophiopogon – Another Favorite Herb
Ophiopogon is a true blessing to those with Yin deficiency.

Sweet, cooling and moistening, it nourishes Yin and clears deficient heat while at the same time expectorating phlegm ...
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The Additional Wonders of “Benefit Lung Pills”
I've always used Li Fei Pian, or "Benefit Lung Pills," for Lung Yin-deficient cough (a dry, nonproductive cough with other possible symptoms of low grade fever in the afternoon and/or ...
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Stillness in Action
I have loved Mary Oliver's poems ever since Michael introduced me to them. Provocative, sensual and rich in nature, they easily pull my mind back to the earth and so ...
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Have a REALLY Happy Valentine’s Day!
With the big hype surrounding St. Valentine's Day already in full swing, many of us turn our thoughts to romance and, perhaps, aphrodisiacs. Now, I don't tend to work with ...
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A Beautiful Poem to Live by . . .
I will not die an unlived life. I will not live in fear Of falling or catching fire. I choose to inhabit my days, to allow my living to open ...
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Start Your New Year off Right – Do Nothing!
Caught your attention with that one, didn't I?

Why give yourself permission to do nothing these days, especially at a time of year when most are busily making ...
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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 ...
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A Few of My Favorite Herbal Things
A couple of weeks ago I had an idea for a new blog post: a gift-giving list of some of my favorite herbal things. I wanted to publish it in ...
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Make Every Day Thanks-giving
How wonderful it is that our country has one day a year dedicated to giving thanks! Do other cultures have such a day? Of course our Thanksgiving day started on ...
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Wonderful Celebration and Healing Song
Anyone know this wonderful little song, great for both healing and when you feel like celebrating? It's great to have running in our mental backgrounds rather than the obsessive thoughts ...
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On Ghosts and Bones and Dragon Bone . . .
When I think of bones I think of animal parts or anatomy or even the state of my on bones, but I definitely don't think of ghosts. Yet, in my ...
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Welcome to Lesley’s New Practice!
Radiance Energy Medicine for a healthy body, mind and soul In the past I separated out my sessions of acupuncture, herbs, food therapy and shamanic practices. Now I have ...
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