SCNM – A great place to hold an herbal conference

SCNM
The Commons at SCNM. New sustainably built classroom and clinic building
Herb Garden
SCNM Herb Garden in full bloom (See more photos below)

Back in 1996, the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine (SCNM) occupied a small building in Scottsdale. The school had recently opened its doors and the first Southwest Conference on Botanical Medicine was held that April. We had an enthusiastic crowd of naturopathic students, health professionals, local herbalists and volunteers. Some of you may remember that first panel discussion on Saturday night, under the stars in the inner courtyard–since there was no central meeting hall large enough!

SCNM has since moved to Tempe, and is now one of the top schools in the US for training naturopathic physicians.  It is also one of the first colleges in the country to qualify for LEED certification, a green building certification program that recognizes best-in-class building strategies and practices. The herbal conference is an annual event here, and the profits help support the botanical medicine program at the school.

The two photos above illustrate why SCNM is such a special place: the commitment to the environment through sustainable… Continue reading

Past Conferences

herbal education

Recordings and Books available from past Herbal Conferences:

2019
Southwest Conference on Botanical Medicine 2019
Medicines from the Earth Herb Symposium 2019

2018
Southwest Conference on Botanical Medicine 2018
Medicines from the Earth Herb Symposium 2018

2017
Southwest Conference on Botanical Medicine 2017
Medicines from the Earth Herb Symposium 2017

2016
Southwest Conference on Botanical Medicine 2016
Medicines from the Earth Herb Symposium 2016

2015
Southwest Conference on Botanical Medicine, 2015
Medicines from the Earth Herb Symposium, 2015

For more herbal education resources, browse our audio and book library.

Chinese Medicine

Chinese Medicine TCM

Both Ayurveda and TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) excel in diagnosing underlying imbalances and treating the whole person, not just the specific condition. Our library includes over 40 presentations on these ancient systems of healing.

Some highlights:

Visit the topics “Ayurveda“, “TCM” or “Chinese Herbal Medicine” to see all the offerings.

 

Recordings on Mental Health from June, 2015

herbal medicine desktop

Interested in the role of botanicals in mental health? Medicines from the Earth in June of 2015 featured over twenty presentations on mental health, brain chemistry and botanical and other natural therapies. Here are reviews of three of them:

Herbal Medicines and Psychopharmaceuticals: The Unsettled Mind in the Age of Anxiety

Jerry Cott, PhD has been on the front lines of research design in mental health studies for over 30 years, working with NIMH, drug companies, NIH and other government agencies.

He reports that the only major change in psychopharmaceuticals in the last 30 years has been using the same type of drugs with more potency and often more serious side effects, when what’s really needed are new treatments with unique mechanisms of action in mental health.

Jerry’s passion has long been research in alternative and especially botanical medicine for mental health conditions. The lecture describes his involvement in the SJW (St. John’s wort) and ginkgo clinical trials at NIH in the 1990’s, and the outcomes of “no better than placebo.”

He brings to light the major flaws in research design, outcomes and media coverage of these studies, providing an authentic first-hand account of what went wrong.

And finally he offers hope in the fact that many new studies are now being submitted to FDA for approval to study botanicals and nutrients for mental health conditions, including anxiety.

The Influence of Cannabis on the Psyche

Kevin Spelman, PhD has spent over twenty years in clinical research on botanical medicine. In this lecture he points out that with recent legalization experiments in several states, Cannabis is here to stay and as herbalists we need to acquaint ourselves with “the good, the bad and the ugly” of Cannabis use.

He describes the two main active ingredients in Cannabis: THC which is a euphoric, and CBD, a psychotropic. The difference is that CBD does not induce the feeling of being “high” but has widespread effects on brain chemistry.

Studies on active compounds in Cannabis are reviewed, which indicate positive benefit in opiate addiction, PTSD, seizures (especially in children where pharmaceuticals can have lasting negative effects), Alzheimer’s disease, cancer pain, and the spasticity of multiple sclerosis. He discusses preliminary research (and anecdotal reports) of the use of CBD for cancer.

Moving on to the negative effects, he cites reports of memory deficit, anxiety, psychosis, inability to focus, addiction, and a decrease in coherence of brain wave activity in heavy recreational users. This can be especially problematic for the developing brain in individuals under 30.

Omega-3 Oils for Brain Health: Building, Maintaining and Remodeling
Jerry Cott, PhD

When Jerry Cott attended a conference at NIH in the 1990s on omega-3s for psychiatric disorders. it sparked a lifelong interest. In this presentation he tells the personal story of patients with with bipolar disorder and the dramatic effect omega-3 fatty acids had in their lives.

Since then he’s carefully followed research on omega-3 oils for brain health. The brain is 60% fat by weight and he reports that every synapse, membrane and cell needs essential fatty acids for their functioning. That may be the reason for the therapeutic effects.

The rest of the lecture describes research on omega-3 therapy for post-partum depression, bipolar disorder (especially in pregnant women where medications can be dangerous to the fetus), Alzheimer’s disease and traumatic brain injury (TBI). The anecdotal reports on TBI are inspiring and moving.

Written notes: Each of these recordings is enriched by their lecture notes, which provide an additional resource for understanding the material.