Plant Spirit Medicine

What are plants?

Dumb bundles of cellulose that exist merely to do our bidding?

Sophisticated bio-chemical factories that are the source of countless medicines – and medicines to come?

How about this?

“Plants know us and love us as grandchildren.”

What is a grandparent?

Someone older than you…someone related to you…someone who cares about your well-being…someone in a position to help you in profound ways.

Carlos Castaneda (1925-1998) in his … Read more

“Weeds are part of our future”

Earlier this year we did an interview with Tama Matsuoka Wong of MeadowsandMore.

It was one of our most popular programs so I thought you might like to see her TED talk.

If you’d like to help our publishing efforts here at Plant Wisdom – and we can certainly use the help – consider contributing to our parent company The Real Food Channel that makes this programming possible.

Thanks and … Read more

Juliette de Bairacli Levy

Juliette de Bairacli Levy was born in Manchester, England in 1912.

After studying veterinary medicine at the University of Manchester, she decided to spend her life traveling the world studying the herbal healing practices of people in Mexico, France, Spain, England, Portugal, Greece, Israel, Turkey, Algeria, and French and Spanish Morocco.

Her research was particularly valuable because she gathered much of her knowledge in the era before the widespread use … Read more

Introducing Skullcap

In this video, we learn about a specific plant (skullcap), a specific herbalist (7 Song) and how a good herbalist approaches plants and healing.

7 Song is based in Ithaca, New York, in a beautiful area of Upstate New York.

In addition to lecturing, teaching and maintaining an herbalist practice, 7 Song is also active in the Ithaca Free Clinic, which is staffed by volunteer physicians, herbalists, acupuncturists, and other … Read more

Native American medicine traditions

Matthew Wood talks about the traditional Native Americans approach plant medicine and healing.

Being forest dwellers, Midwestern and Eastern native people developed special expertise in the use of roots and barks.

Wood is the author of:

– Seven Herbs, Plants as Teachers (1987)

– Vitalism, The History of Herbalism, Homeopathy, and Flower Essences, originally entitled The Magical Staff (1993)

– The Book of Herbal Wisdom (1998)

– The Practice of … Read more

Herb effect terms

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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
PlantWisdom.org

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The healing forest

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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