Herb effect terms


Very soon after you start reading about herbs, you’ll come across technical names that describe the kind of things particular herbs are good for.

Don’t be intimidated by these terms.

They’re just fancy names for simple concepts.

Need to stimulate the flow of bile from your gall bladder? You need a “cholagogue.”

Need to control or stop the flow of blood? Reach for a “hemagogue.”

Are you a mom with … Read more

Meet the nervines

A nervine is a plant remedy that has a beneficial effect on the nervous system.

You’ve probably heard of some of them: chamomile, valerian, and kava kava.

There are actually hundreds of plants with nervine effects and they come in different strength and properties.

Nervines fall into three categories:

* Tonic nervines

* Relaxing nervines

* Stimulating nervines

David Hoffman lays it out.

– Ken McCarthy


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The healing forest


The Japanese call it shinrin-yoku which translates very roughly to “forest bathing.”

The good news is it reduces the stress hormone cortisol and boosts your immune system.

The better news is you don’t need a bathing suit to particpate.

The great news is you don’t need to do much of anything – other than to get yourself into the woods – in order enjoy the full benefits.

Japanese scientists have … Read more

Herbal farming and medicine internship

If I were footloose and fancy free – and fit enough for ten weeks in the fields – I might consider this.

Herb Pharm runs three of these programs every year.

In addition to hands on experience (aka serious work) in the fields and in the workshops and barns there’s classroom learning time too.

Topics covered include plant identification, ethical wildcrafting, traditional western herbal energetics, ayurvedic herbology, ethnobotany, plant communications, … Read more

Treat the person, not the disease

David Winston is the founder of Herbalist and Alchemist, an herbal medicine maker and education company he started in 1982.

He’s also a clinical herbalist with forty years of experience.

By interesting coincidence, I met David when his practice was new. He was already growing and making his own medicines way back then. How far things have come since then.

David on energetics and herbal medicine:

– Ken McCarthy… Read more

“Herbal Ed” Smith and Herb Pharm

In an interview at the 1999 International Herb Symposium, Ed Smith, the founder of Herb Pharm, talks about what drew him to studying and eventually growing and processing herbs for medicine in the US.

– Ken McCarthy


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Herb Basics 101: Colds and Flus


Note: This is for educational purposes only. Diagnosis and treatment, which should only be handled by a licensed professional, is not implied or intended.

Why is winter cold and flu season?

No one knows for sure, but we can guess at some of the reasons:

* Less sunshine and less exposure of the sun to the skin
* People spend more time indoors and away from fresh air and exercise… Read more

“Fantastic Fungi: The Spirit of Good”

This is a proposed film by Louie Schwartzberg. The working title is “Fantastic Fungi: The Spirit of Good.”

It features some fantastic time lapse photography of mushroom growth.

It also includes a heart felt statement from Paul Stamets, one of the mycologists who is doing so much to expand our understanding of the natural world.

Under our feet, there is an invisible web of life that makes life for … Read more

Herb Basics 101: Essential Oils vs Tinctures

Essential Oils vs Tinctures

Essential Oils vs Tinctures

The information that follows may seem very basic, but if you don’t know certain things and no one tells you – or if people tell you the wrong things – how are you going to know?

First, there is no battle between essential oils vs tinctures. They are simply very different things.

The truth about essential oils

Because there is currently so much misinformation and hype … Read more

Herb Basics 101: All herbs are not created equal


All herbs are not created equal.

Herbs fall into three general categories:

1. Tonic
2. Medicinal
3. Poisonous

A tonic is something you can consume daily with no ill effects.

Nettle is a good example of a tonic. Oat straw is another. In common parlance, these are “super foods” (just a whole lot cheaper). Consuming them daily is like putting money in your health bank.

A medicinal herb is consumed … Read more