Sugarless Herbal Cranberry Relish

The winter holiday season is fast approaching with all foods we all look forward each year. As an herbalist, I ...
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Perspectives on Devil’s Claw from a South African Herbalist

The African continent is a treasure trove of medicinal herbs. Recently Lesley and I visited South Africa first as tourists, ...
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Is He Shou Wu Safe?

The root of he shou wu (Polygonum multiflorum), also known as “fleece flower,” has been popularly in use for centuries ...
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Breathe Away Your Stress and Anxiety

“Feelings come and go like clouds in a windy sky. Conscious breathing is my anchor.”  -- Thich Nhat Hanh “Take ...
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Loquat: The Cough Killer

Loquat leaf (Eriobotrya japonica et spp.), is named pi pa ye in the traditional Chinese materia medica. The name of ...
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Lemongrass: An Overlooked Medicinal Herb

There are so many reasons that otherwise great botanicals are overlooked for their therapeutic uses. One example is echinacea, arguably ...
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Garlic and Ginger, not Echinacea, for Colds

The secret to successfully treating the common cold and cough is to differentiate the type based on Traditional Chinese diagnostics ...
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Mahanayaran Oil for Pain and Injury

Are you ready to hear about a medicinal named after a supreme god? Because of its rejuvenative healing properties Mahanarayana ...
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Goji Berries for Macular Degeneration

Age-related macular degeneration (AMD) is a degenerative condition affecting the central part of the retina (the macula). It is the ...
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Bu Zhong Yi Qi Tang: A formula for chronic fatigue and long Covid

In this discussion, TCM organs describe functions that do not perfectly correspond to what we know regarding the Western anatomical ...
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Shen Qu: An Extraordinary Digestive Aid

Shenqu, called by various names “massa fermentata,” “Chinese yogurt,” and mysterious ferment,” was first recorded in the Yaoxing Bencao (ca ...
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Better than Turmeric? Guggul for Pain

Of the hundreds of herbs Ayurveda has to offer, guggul is one of the most important ones to add to ...
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Bacopa: The Herb You Don’t Want to Forget

Research has shown that regularly taking Bacopa monnieri for eight to twelve weeks can improve your memory. “Nootropic” is a pharmaceutical term ...
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Triphala Fruits

Triphala and Ghee for Dry Eyes and Other Eye Problems

Triphala consists of three phytonutrient-rich fruits Emblica officinalis (Amla, or Amalaki) also known as Phyllanthus emblica; Terminalia bellerica (Vibhitaki); and Terminalia chebula ...
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Eating Garden Weeds 1 of 2: Lamb’s Quarters

It seems that each year it is getting increasingly more difficult to depend on my garden to produce enough to ...
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Book Review: Scheid and Ellis’ “Handbook of Formulas in Chinese Medicine”

“It is quite important to know what kind of a patient the disease has got as to know what kind ...
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Saffron: An Herb Worth Its Weight in Gold, Part 2 of 2

After traveling to places in Arabia where saffron and other herbs and spices were sold and used, I attended a ...
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Oatmeal Qi Tonic Porridge

A selection of Chinese tonic herbs The Importance of Qi in the Body Qi means “life energy.” The source of ...
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Treating Gum Disease with Astringent Herbs

Unfortunately, too many people think about their teeth only in crisis stage. A common pre-crisis symptom is receding gums. This ...
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TCM and Western Clinical Tongue Diagnosis

When was the last time you visited a doctor and the first thing asked of you was to show your ...
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Protection for You and Yours: A Holiday Gift Idea

Every December we try to offer some possibilities for gifts you can make or buy to enhance your holidays. It's ...
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Ashwagandha, Milk, Energy, and Sleep

Ashwagandha (Withania somnifera) is described as a rasayana in Ayurvedic medicine. In Ayurveda, rasayanas are used as Traditional Chinese medicine ...
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Draksha: Ayurvedic Grape Wine Medicine

Asava and arishta, meaning “distillate” in Sanskrit, are two naturally fermented alcoholic extracts used for making Ayurvedic wine medicines. Draksha ...
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Huckleberry Fruit and Leaf for Diabetes

Many years ago, while visiting Baton Rouge, Louisiana, I happened upon a local herb shop.  While perusing jars of dry ...
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Coix: An Underutilized Medicinal Food

“Let your medicine be your food and your food, your medicine.” The sovereign dictum of Hippocrates is aptly epitomized by ...
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So Much More than “Swamp Water”: Liu Wei Di Huang Wan

My acupuncture teacher, Dr. Miriam Lee, said she never studied herbs but she had a very busy practice in San ...
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Can homeopathy stave off harmful effects of vaccinations?

Many mothers are afraid to give their babies and young children vaccinations. Pro and con arguments on both sides make ...
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Rediscovering Boneset for Influenza

In the midst of the current pandemic, I'm surprised how little mention there is of boneset, once considered the number ...
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Boost Your Immunity This Flu Season

So far, 14,000 people have died and 250,000 people have been hospitalized during the 2019-2020 flu season, according to preliminary estimates from the ...
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Saffron: An Herb Worth Its Weight in Gold, Part 1 of 2

Recently Lesley and I toured Jerusalem and various parts of Arabia featured in the Bible. One of our stops was ...
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Balthazar’s Gift: Frankincense

Have you ever wondered what the Holy Family did with the three gifts brought to them from the far-off lands ...
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Healing Soup at the Award-Winning East West Free Clinic

“Let food be your medicine.” -- Hippocrates I founded the East West Free Natural Health Clinic in Santa Cruz, California, ...
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Horny Goat Weed: Herbal Viagra for Men and Women

It is virtually inevitable when lecturing on herbs that a man might surreptitiously take me aside and ask for an ...
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Herbs and Acupoints for Better Sleep

Sleep is a period of reduced activity where we leave waking consciousness to drift into a land of dreams and ...
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Cat’s Claw, Dragon’s Blood and Quassia in Costa Rica

On our recent second visit to Costa Rica, we re-experienced the wondrous biodiversity of its plants, exotic wildlife, volcanoes, and ...
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Healing Breath: Remedies for Stress

“The perfected breathe all the way to their heels, unlike ordinary folk who breathe only as far as their throats.” ...
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Lemon Balm: For More Than Just Depression

The renowned 16th century English herbalist, Nicholas Culpeper, described the use of lemon balm for depression by quoting Serapio who ...
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Amla: Super Antioxidant Fruit of India

Oxidation in the body is a natural process caused when wandering electrons called free radicals react with other molecules. Oxidation ...
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Korean Hand Therapy

Korean Hand Therapy (KHT) was discovered by Tai Woo Yoo, OMD, PhD, a South Korean acupuncturist, in 1971, when he ...
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Red heart of hawthorn berries on a wooden background.

Hawthorn Oxymel

Oxymel is one of the oldest herbal preparations. The word is derived from the Latin oxmeli meaning “acid and honey” ...
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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 ...
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nutmeg, anxiety, insomnia, intimacy

Nutmeg: for Insomnia, Anxiety and Better Intimacy

Nutmeg (Myristica fragrans), a common kitchen spice with a warming, spicy energy, is used to add flavor to desserts and ...
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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 ...
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misconceptions about herbal medicine

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 ...
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red sage root, dan shen, Salvia miltiorrhiza

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 ...
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Dr. Tierra used Neem Ayurvedic Oil to treat Shingles Pain

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 ...
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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 ...
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Vicki Fortner

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 ...
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Calamus Root

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 ...
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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 ...
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Panax ginseng, the King of Tonics

What’s a Tonic?

"Tonic" in TCM specifically refers to herbs that: increase Qi, usually through enhanced absorption and mitochondrial replication nourish Blood, usually ...
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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 ...
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Herbs and Rheumatoid Arthritis

Herbal Treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis

  I really like when I can use a standard protocol for a disease and receive consistently good results. This ...
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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 ...
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Mitragyna Speciosa

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 ...
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Sugars and Spoons

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, ...
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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 ...
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Joint Pain

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 ...
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Spiritual Dancer

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 ...
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Stomach Fire

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, ...
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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 ...
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Michael in the Mountains

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 ...
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Herbalist Ron Potts teaching Herbalism at the Seminar

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 ...
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Michael on Piano Wearing Tuxedo

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 ...
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Planetary Herbals Digestive Comfort

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 ...
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Triphala Fruits

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 ...
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Bindi Tapping

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 ...
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Woman with Fever

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 ...
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Michael's Free Herbal Clinic

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 ...
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Dry Leaves

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 ...
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Man Spitting Fire

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 ...
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WIne Kitchen

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 ...
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Singing Bowls

Faith, Herbs or Placebo?

In desperation, a family with strong ‘old world’ roots brought to my office their beloved father, a humble Italian man ...
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Goldenseal Plant

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 ...
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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 ...
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East West Free Clinic

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 ...
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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 ...
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Elimination Diet

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 ...
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Wheat Bread

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 ...
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Bread Loaf

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 ...
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Cayenne Peppers

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 ...
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Ebola Infographic

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 ...
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Woman Eating Sherbet

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 ...
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Garlic on a Plate

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 ...
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Unified Register of Herbal Practitioners

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 ...
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Prunus Serotina Bark

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 ...
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Spices in Bowls

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, ...
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Astragalus Leaves

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 ...
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Han Dynasty Art

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 ...
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Relaxing on Hammock

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 ...
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Anne and Amanita goofing

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 ...
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Dopamine Molecule

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 ...
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Large Premio 10

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 ...
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Numen DVD

Gifts for Herbalists (and Others) on Your List

Numen: The Nature of Plants A film about the healing power of plants This is the most beautiful film ...
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TCM Diagnosis

Clinician’s Corner: Pulse Diagnosis

I recently gave a free in-depth introductory webinar on pulse diagnosis. We have since published it on Youtube: Pulse ...
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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 ...
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Garcinia Mangostana

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 ...
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Maral Root Leuzia Cathamoides Capitula

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 ...
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The Tierra Garden

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 ...
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Moxa Cones

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 ...
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Back Pain

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 ...
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Moxa Demo

Moxibustion and Stomach 36

Moxibustion, commonly called "moxa," is one of the methods used in Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) where the downy fluff of ...
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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 ...
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Jacob Ragweed

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 ...
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Tongue Pill

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 ...
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Temperature Thermometer

Influenza Revisited

Here it is again – another influenza epidemic claimed to be the biggest in 10 years. We’re bombarded by the ...
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Triphala Tea

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 ...
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Bathroom Body Scale

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 ...
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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 ...
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Two Herbs are better than one

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 ...
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Drinking Mug

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 ...
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Michael Smiling in the Field

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 ...
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Chinese Herbal Medicine

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 ...
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Farming Durva

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 ...
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Dandelion Flower

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 ...
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Triphala and Honey for seasonal allergy

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 ...
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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 ...
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White Rice

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 ...
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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 ...
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Star Christmas Ornament

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 ...
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Aviva Romm and Friend

Aviva Romm and the AHG

Despite their shared love of nature, plants, caring for the earth, animal and human life -- herbalists as a bunch ...
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Bottles of Plant Roots

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 ...
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Child with Sippy Cup

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 ...
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Walnuts in a Bowl

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 ...
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Contemplative Buddha

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 ...
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Woman Blowing Her Nose

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 ...
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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 ...
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Blood Pressure

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 ...
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Vitamin Supplements

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 ...
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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 ...
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Oxygen Meter

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 ...
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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 ...
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Red Sage Root

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 ...
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The Prevention and Treatment of Cardiovascular Disease with Herbs: Part 1

It's no secret that cardiovascular disease (CVD) remains the #1 killer in the United States. Estimates are that 81,100,000 people ...
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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 ...
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Eggs and Bacon

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 ...
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Herbalist Richo Cech

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 ...
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Japanese honeysuckle by William Rafti

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 ...
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Honey in Jar

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 ...
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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 ...
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Diet Food Choices

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 ...
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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 ...
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Wolfberry and Ginseng

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 ...
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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 ...
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Anne Holding Herbs

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 ...
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Portion Control Dinner

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 ...
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Go for a walk

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 ...
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Plate and silverware

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 ...
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Portion Control Dinner

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 ...
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Longan Fruit

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 ...
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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 ...
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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) ...
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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 ...
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Fruits, Vegetables and Mushrooms

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 ...
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Cranberry Plant

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, ...
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US Healthcare

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 ...
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Miriam Lee

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 ...
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Lakeside Mountain

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 ...
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Ashwagandha plant from

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 ...
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Michael's Piano

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 ...
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Flammarion woodcut, colorized

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' ...
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Tall Boneset

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 ...
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Flowering oregano by Christian Bauer

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? ...
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Kudzu lobata flower by Miya

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, ...
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Herbalist Michael Moore

Michael Moore, 1941-2009

Michael Moore, the great Southwestern herbalist of North America, left his earthly dwelling for other realms on Friday, Feb. 20, ...
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Valentina Lisitsa

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 ...
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Rodin's The Kiss Statute

“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 ...
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Apple and Apple Juice

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 ...
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Healthcare - Bad Knee

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 Then please send or forward it to as ...
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Sugars and Cinnamon

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 ...
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President Obama

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 ...
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Panax ginseng, the King of Tonics

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 ...
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Ron Karenga at Kwanzaa celebration

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 ...
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Michael at Black Bear

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 ...
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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 ...
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Cyperus Rotundus by Arria Belli

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 ...
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The Botanic Gardens of Kauai

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 ...
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Lemon balm by JoJan

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 ...
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Michael Moore's Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West

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 ...
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Barack Obama

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 ...
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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 ...
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A much younger Michael Tierra

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 ...
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Chunk of ginger

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 ...
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Olive Grove at Sunset by Vincent van Gogh

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 ...
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Enroll in the Professional Herbalist Course

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 ...
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