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In the spirit of Autumn Equinox, which is all about the balance between polarities (masculine/feminine, light/dark, hot/cold, inward/outward, etc.) I’m inspired to share about the medicine of Cacao, theobroma cacao (the plant that chocolate comes from). The Essence of Cacao I have used cacao for years as a heart opener and an aphrodisiac, but only […]


(Achillea millefolium) Yarrow’s genus name ‘Achillea’ refers to the Greek warrior Achilles who is said to have carried this plant with him on the battlefield. This speaks to the traditional use of yarrow for wound-healing, a use for which it is best known. I personally used a yarrow poultice and did a yarrow foot soak […]

Stinging Nettle

Stinging Nettle (Urtica dioica) Nettles in Spring. Nettles full of zing. The stinging hairs are filled with an acid that can irritate the skin. But don’t let that deter you from getting to know them. Stinging nettle is a generous weed, with much to offer those who dare to treat it with respect. Parts Used: […]


Beets. While not technically an herb, food is medicine when it comes to nutrition, beets are hard to beat. February is Heart Month, and beets are beneficial to our heart health. The red color gives you a clue that they are nourishing to the blood. Actually, the red-violet pigment that gives beets their rich color […]

Daily Protocol for Winter Wellness

With so many amazing healing plants to choose from, and a never-ending list of health crises, how do you know which herbs to turn to for help? In a holistic model of herbalism, there is no one-size-fits-all protocol for wellness, but there are tonic herbs that are generally safe and have a lot to offer […]


Spirulina (Arthrospira platensis & A. maxima) is a blue-green algae with enormous nutritional value. It is consumed as a dried powder with a dark green color. Chlorella (Chlorella vulgaris), a green algae is just as nutritious to its blue-green cousin, with a few differences in specific nutrients. For the sake of simplcity I will focus on spirulina in this monograph. […]

‘Tis the Season for Tisanes (and Relaxation)

Tisanes are herbal teas. Also called herbal infusions, these drinks are not technically “tea” because they do not contain Camellia sinensis– the plant used to make true teas like black, green and white tea. Tisanes can be made from dried leaves, flowers, fruits, barks, roots and seeds–like chamomile, lemon balm, rose petal, mint and ginger. Flavors vary from sweet, sour, aromatic, bitter and […]

Invasive Plant Medicine

Did you know that many “invasive” species are highly medicinal? Invasive species have been getting a bad rap, with most of the contempt coming from environmentalists who want to protect “native” species from the “invasive” ones. But our well-meaning comrades are operating under the assumptions that 1) the plants that were on our continent before […]


Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) Parts Used: Root, leaf, flower Actions: Diuretic, hepatic, cholagogue, antirheumatic, laxative, tonic bitter Energetics: Cooling, drying Indications: All parts of Dandelion have long historical uses but here we will talk about the leaves and the roots. Do keep in mind that many of the qualities of both root and leaf are interchangeable. Starting with the root, […]

Ayurvedic Detox Tips

You may have noticed your cravings for fats & sweets already subsiding as we begin to transition from the Vata season to Kapha season this month. Kapha season is a time of cold & dampness. We bring balance to these energetics by choosing warm and light foods like: broths, radishes, beans, quinoa, brown rice, millet, buckwheat […]