Warning: Essential oils are NOT risk-free

A while back, I wrote about the “commercially inspired over-enthusiasm” for essential oils.

In response, I received a flood of vociferous hate mail.

Hate mail to PlantWisdom.org? Yup. That’s part of the word we live in.

Unfortunately, most of what appears online and elsewhere about essential oils comes from people who manufacture and sell them.

That said if you dig even a little – Google: “essential oil dangers” – you’ll … Read more

Discovering a sacred tradition

Eliot Cowan, author of “Plant Spirit Medicine”, shares the story of how he discovered his calling to become a medicine person in the Huichol shamanic tradition.

Click here for an in depth interview with Eliot Cowan

– Ken McCarthy
PlantWisdom.org

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Foraging & Feasting with Dina Falconi


Download the mp3 here 

The ideal introduction to plants, herbs and “weeds” would be to have a grandmother (or grandfather) take us by the hand through the fields and woods from an early age.

In these “modern” times, few of us have that experience. Our guest on this installment of PlantWisdom.org, Dina Falcone, certainly didn’t.

Dina grew up in New York City’s East Village in the 1970s, an urban … Read more

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

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

01

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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