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 ...
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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, ...
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summer tcm watermelon cucumber seasonal herbs

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 ...
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home herbalist course

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! ...
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Herb First Aid Kit

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 ...
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oregon grape root

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 ...
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Rhodiola Flowers

Rhodiola to the Rescue

Stressed? Exhausted? Winter blues? When it comes to adaptogens for treating these conditions, rhodiola (aerial portion and dried root shown ...
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Heart pulse

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 ...
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Blue Elderberry

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 ...
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Astragalus

Astragalus for immunity

Most people have heard of the herb astragalus. Usually it’s the first Chinese herb learned after ginseng, and maybe dang ...
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NEW Professional Herbalist Course Workbook

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 ...
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Loquat Tree

Fall Power: Loquat Leaves

Not only do I love making medicines from my own garden but I also appreciate clients being able to obtain ...
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The Four Elements

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 ...
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Woman working while eating

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 ...
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Ophiopogon

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 ...
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Trail Mix

Sweet Herbal Holiday Treats

I always love to make gifts when I can and especially love to receive handmade ones, too, as do many ...
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Cardamom

Cardamom: Your Best Friend

There is one kitchen spice most of us could use more of in our lives: cardamom. While there are different ...
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Guilinggao

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 ...
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Green Moxa

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) ...
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Thunder moxa

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 ...
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Madeline and Faith, our most senior and junior students!

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 ...
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East West Goes on China Trip

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 ...
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Michael at American Botanical Council Awards

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) ...
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Mistletoe

Merry Mistletoe

It's that season when many pin a bouquet of mistletoe in their doorway for that magical ritual of kissing underneath ...
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Cloves, Pepper, Nutmeg

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 ...
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Tanacetum Parthenium

Feverfew and Chrysanthemum

When most people hear of the herb feverfew, they think migraines. While feverfew became popular in Great Britain in the ...
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Actaea Racemosa

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 ...
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Cimicifuga Racemosa

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 ...
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Calamus

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 ...
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Calendula

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) ...
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Quince

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 ...
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Citrus

Citrus: Fruit or Peel?

Most of us love some form of citrus – oranges, tangerines, grapefruit, lemons, limes and more – yet did you ...
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Elecampe Flower

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 ...
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Teasel Ottawa

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 ...
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Berberine

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 ...
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Berberine

Berberine Buddies, Part 1

In my investigation of finding western substitutes for Chinese herbs, I now turn to herbs that contain the alkaloid berberine, ...
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Chinese Writing and Herbs

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 ...
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Hawthorn Fruit Berries

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 ...
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Chinese Natural Pharmacy

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 ...
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Front Door of Herboristeria

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 ...
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Dandelion root and leaves

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 ...
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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 ...
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Healing Herbal Teas Mars

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 ...
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Healing Hands

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 ...
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Shalajit

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 ...
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The Buddha

Got Shen? Part 2

There are many herbal approaches to supporting Shen depending on the imbalance affecting it:
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 ...
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Teasel Dipsacus

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 ...
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Zen Energy

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 ...
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Thanksgiving Dinner

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 ...
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herbal teas

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! ...
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Fully Belly

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 ...
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Campfire Pot

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 ...
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Hospital Caregiver

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 ...
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Older Person's Hands

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 ...
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Chair

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 ...
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Athena Protecting

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 ...
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Person with Stomach Ache

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 ...
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Full

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 ...
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Swamp

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 ...
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Alligator in the Swamp

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 ...
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Actractylodes

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 ...
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Frozen Berries

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 ...
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Peaches on the tree

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, ...
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Watermelon Slices

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 ...
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Car Traffic Jam

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 ...
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Stomach Ache/Tummy Ache

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 ...
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Person with Stomach Ache

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 ...
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Sesame Oil and Seeds

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 ...
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Metamor-phosis Book by Lesley Tierra

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 ...
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Purple Burdock

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 ...
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Healing Crisis

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 ...
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Charting Progress

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, ...
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Monarch Butterfly

Healing the Whole Person

Healing means "to make whole." This is frequently forgotten by western medicine as it typically approaches the body like a ...
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Turmeric Roots

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 ...
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Super Hero Baby

Mitochondria and Brain Supplements

Mitochondrial DNA is big on the alternative scene these days. Brain research and the role mitochondria play has given rise ...
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Bathroom Body Scale

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 ...
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Do more - fitness class

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 ...
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Christmas Heart Ornament

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 ...
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Chinese Drawing: A Dose of Moxa

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 ...
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Aviva Romm

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 ...
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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 ...
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Agastache

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 ...
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Wan Hua Oil relieves arthritis pain

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 ...
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Man with Backache

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 ...
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Treat the person not the disease

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 ...
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Jujubes

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 ...
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Be Kind, for Everyone You Meet is Fighting a Hard Battle

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 ...
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Curculigo Leaves

Two Immortals

We are in the depth of Kidney time now and will be for about another three weeks. This is when ...
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Journal to honor the issue

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 ...
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A cuppa tea

Spice up your holidays

Spice up your holidays this year with three of the season's best medicinal spices: cinnamon, cardamom and ginger. Because ...
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Labrador Retriever sleeping under the covers

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 ...
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Little Yellow Flower

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 ...
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Fall Leaf

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 ...
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Michael and Anne at the Herbal Seminar

Confession

I have to admit I've been a bit irregular with my blogs lately. But there's a good reason. I've been ...
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Forest Canopy Road

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 ...
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Dried Tangerine Peel

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 ...
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Scutellaria Flower

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 ...
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Sugar Cubes

Throwing Down the Gauntlet on Sugar!

I find it extremely annoying that the west has gone sweet, that is, sickly sweet. This ...
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Cumin is neutral

Summer Soup (Kicharee)

Summer kicharee is not only great for detoxification, but it is also a light summer soup perfect for the hot ...
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Earth element Chinese character

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 ...
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Sanqi

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 ...
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Dried codonopsis by Badagnani

Codonopsis: The “Other” Ginseng

Although not a ginseng at all, codonopsis has similar tastes, energies and tonifying properties as ginseng. As well, both herbs ...
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Hibiscus pink flower

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 ...
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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 ...
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Horsetail

Horsetail

Horsetail photo by Lesley Tierra Horsetail Equisetum spp. Energies and flavors: Cool, astringent Uses: Hemostatic, astringent, vulnerary With the advent ...
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Pink Flower

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 ...
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What time should I take my herbal formula?

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 ...
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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 ...
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Mountain Sky

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 ...
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Lotus Flower

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 ...
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Sand art spiral

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 ...
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Fireplace

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 ...
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Another Plant Spider

Appreciate the Little Things

I recently stated using a macro lens on my camera and it has changed my world -- not just in ...
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Raw figs

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 ...
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garlic

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 ...
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Green Leaves

Comfrey Comfort

Recently I was sitting in my garden one late afternoon trying to pull myself together after a very scattering day ...
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Fennel Bulbs

Autumn: Herbal and Diet Tips for Health

No matter where you live '" snowy Michigan or sunny Florida '" Spring is upon us. In nature, this energy is represented ...
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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 ...
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Meadow with yellow flowers

Herbs for Late Summer

Many climates throughout the world have five seasons; late summer, or Indian Summer, is usually the fifth. Associated with the ...
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Herb School Courses

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 ...
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Chrysanthemum and Goji tea, graphic from www.newbeginningshealth.com

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 ...
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Salve

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 ...
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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 ...
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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 ...
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A Sapling Tree

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 ...
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Ophiopogon japonicus by KENPEI

Ophiopogon – Another Favorite Herb

Ophiopogon is a true blessing to those with Yin deficiency.

Sweet, cooling and moistening, it nourishes Yin and ...
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Lifei Package

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 ...
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Poet Mary Oliver

Stillness in Action

I have loved Mary Oliver's poems ever since Michael introduced me to them. Provocative, sensual and rich in nature, they ...
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Rose Music

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 ...
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Beautiful flamingo

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 ...
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A road to nothing

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 ...
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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 ...
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Wildcraft! game

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 ...
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Michael and Chetan

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 ...
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happy blue blood cells

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 ...
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Dragon Bone

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, ...
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Radiance Energy Alternative Healing

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 ...
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