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Western Herbal Energetics and the Four Humors System

Western Herbal Energetics and the Four Humors System

By Lisa Ganora, CSCH Director Just as traditional Chinese medicine and Ayurveda have systems of energetics, Western herbalism was originally based on a recognition of the energies and balance of elements, humors, and constitution (temperament) in both herbs and people. Today we use an evolution of this system as the basis for Vitalist herbalism and nutrition. As far as we know, the ancient Egyptians were among the first to record the idea of what we might today call the Four Elements: Fire, Air, Water, Earth. Egyptian knowledge passed on to...

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Clinical Notes on Anger and a Cool Herbal Chart

Clinical Notes on Anger and a Cool Herbal Chart

Anger is believed to be both a positive and a negative emotion, having the ability to right wrongs, motivate people and bring more justice into the world. However, anger also has a downside. This downside brings with it some pretty significant health risks - physical, mental and psychological.

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Illuminating Nightshades

Illuminating Nightshades

In the early 16th century, it is believed that Spanish and Portuguese explorers brought tomato, cayenne and the potato back from the Americas or the ‘Indies’, as they were called, to Europe. The aristocracy immediately turned their noses up at the new foods. It would be another 200 years before nightshades would be adopted into the mainstream diet. The Cayenne pepper was even called the ‘poor man’s pepper’ in Italy. In France, the tomato was grown for ornamental purposes and was called the ‘love apple’. The potato was considered...

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THE SACRED GARDEN: Herbs for the Modern Mystic

THE SACRED GARDEN: Herbs for the Modern Mystic

How does one properly articulate the role of “The Mystic”? Rudolph Steiner came close to capturing the essence of this timeless, mysterious archetype when he wrote: “The mystic, then, is one who seeks for truth and the Divine directly within himself, by a gradual detachment and a veritable birth of his higher soul. If he attains it after prolonged effort, he plunges into his own glowing centre. Then he immerses himself, and identifies himself with that ocean of life which is the primordial force.”[1] Plants have long been inseparable...

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Water Bath Canning as a Method of Food and Herb Preservation

Water Bath Canning as a Method of Food and Herb Preservation

by Melody Baum Preserving food by heating and sealing in jars had been a practice since 1790. Canning was the main method of preservation by families until after World War II when other methods became more widespread. However, since 1973, the rate of canning by individuals has increased every year. Learning to preserve food this way can be a challenge – most people either learn from older family members or the internet. Canning is an amazing hobby – it allows you to take advantage of good deals on seasonal produce as well as know exactly...

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Dandelion Fritters and The Importance of Ingesting Your Landscape

Dandelion Fritters and The Importance of Ingesting Your Landscape

by Kat Mackinnon, CSCH Faculty This time of year, my whole being begins to whisper, and eventually scream “wild greens!” Like many, I’m blessed with yearlong access to produce at the grocery store.  But by early spring, I crave the freshness of my garden and the pungent tang of wild-gathered foods. Strolling in the veggie section the other day, I overheard two women speaking: “Oh I just can’t wait for fresh tomatoes!” This urge, this desire for vital foods is a near universal human trait, and one worth cultivating. There is real...

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Dandelion and its Constituents

Dandelion and its Constituents

By Lisa Ganora, CSCH Director Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) root & leaf Energetics: cool and dry; bitter tonic, vital stimulant, with some relaxant character Actions: alterative, nutritive, bitter tonic, hepatic and digestive stimulant, diuretic (especially the leaf). Flowers: nutritive, trophorestorative, systemic protective against free radical damage and chronic inflammation The versatile Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale) has many actions, including being an alterative and trophorestorative. ‘Alterative’ is a historical term that...

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On Psychospiritual Healing and Flower Essences

On Psychospiritual Healing and Flower Essences

By Paul Bergner, NAIMH Director & CSCH Faculty During the early 1980s, practicing in New Haven CT, I began to study and eventually to teach Bach Flower Remedies. In my practice at the time, I was running into a wall, with clients, family members, and also myself. What is going on when someone is suffering, and they positively know what will relieve that suffering, but they cannot do what is necessary? This is “karma,” “maya” and a recognized spiritual problem throughout all spiritual disciplines. Something is fixed...

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The Garden of Our Microbiome

The Garden of Our Microbiome

by Amy Jones, Certified Herbalist Bacteria usually get a bad rap in our modern culture.  Some are, after all, cause for many illnesses; but the other side of the bacterial equation is that we actually need certain kinds to thrive and stay healthy. Did you know that the amount of beneficial bacteria in the body can weigh anywhere from 2 to 6 pounds?  With that much bacterial activity going on inside of us, there must be a reason! In recent years, science has begun to uncover what traditional healers have known for centuries – that the...

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Herbal Medicinal Meads

Herbal Medicinal Meads

by Lisa Ganora, CSCH Director Mead is an ancient drink made by fermenting honey with yeast. Technically, if you add fruits to the mix, you have melomel; if you add spices, it’s called metheglin. Generally, though, I just call it all mead. Chemical traces of fermented honey have been found in 9,000-year-old Chinese pottery vessels, and in Scandinavia it has been made for generations (hence the title of the popular new book, Make Mead like a Viking). Today mead is enjoying new popularity – especially when well-crafted and not...

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