I always tell my patients with histamine issues, whether it’s histamine intolerance or mast cell activation syndrome (MCAS), that they are “the canary in the coal mine.” The canaries were the warning sign, just like people with easily-angered mast cells warning us that our environment is changing, our genes are becoming more sensitive to pollution, and our physiology is losing its resilience to stressors of daily living. However, there is indeed hope and healing – the body can be retrained and herbal medicine offers a set of tools to help it do just that! Continue reading
Larix occidentalis, the Western Larch, is a species of larch native to mountainous regions of North America’s Pacific Northwest; southeastern British Columbia and southwestern Alberta in Canada, eastern WA, eastern OR, northern ID, and western MT in the United States. Continue reading
Medicines from the Earth Herb Symposium, 2016
Dates: Friday June 3 – Monday, June 6
Place: Blue Ridge Assembly, Black Mountain, North Carolina
Over 40 presentations on the integration of botanicals with the latest medical discoveries along with medicine making demonstrations, herb walks and intensives.
Pre-conference Events: Friday, June 3:
Ethnobotanical and Native Plant Field Study with herbalist and ethnobotanist David Winston.
Healing the Gut-Brain Axis with Botanicals with Jason Miller, Master of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.
Looking forward to seeing you again in the mountains of North Carolina!
Southwest Conference on Botanical Medicine, 2016 (Past Event – Thanks for making it such a great weekend! )
Dates: Friday April 8 – Sunday, April 10, 2016
Continuing education approved for recordings for NDs including 10 pharmacy hours.
Photo report on the conference on Facebook
We look forward to seeing you all again next year (April 7 – 9, 2017).
We hope you will join us for an herbal conference! These events are a great way to meet like-minded people and learn the latest information on botanical therapies for a variety of conditions.
Questions? Email us and we’ll be happy to help.
Herbal Educational Services
555 Tyler Creek Rd.
Christopher Hobbs is a fourth-generation internationally known herbalist, licensed acupuncturist, author, clinician, botanist, mycologist and research scientist with over 35 years of experience with herbal medicine. Here he talks about his intensive at Medicines from the Earth on June 5 titled “Treating Infections with Natural Medicines—An Integrative and Cross-Cultural Approach”
Please tell us about your family heritage in botany.
My dad was a professor of botany and entomology and I still remember riding or walking with him when I was very young and being interested in flowers and plants. I’d ask the names of trees, shrubs and weeds and he would always know the name and some interesting things about them. Lucky for me, because I developed a life-long hyper-fixation on plants myself.
My maternal grandmother and great-grandmother were herbalists. My grandmother studied with a Chinese herbalist and had her own organic herb garden from which she treated people in her community. It’s interesting that so many years later I would receive training in traditional Chinese medicine, receive my acupuncture license, and study herbal medicine in China.
We are looking forward to your intensive entitled “Treating Infections with Natural Medicine—An Integrative and Cross-Cultural Approach” This seems to imply an energetic model of diagnosing and prescribing for infection—can you elaborate?
My practice and teaching style today is always a combination of traditional medicine, my own clinical and personal experience, the counsel and teachings of my peers, and the 10-year science training I completed in 2014. Although I am a scientist, I believe that healing between plants and people results from something greater than just the biological activity of herbs. Something indefinable and hard to measure occurs: a life-force that comes from the relationship between the growing and living plant, the soil and it’s microbes, its complex chemistry, the water, the sunlight, and the atmosphere, which all combine to work for healing on the highest level of intelligence. Continue reading
Medicines from the Earth News: Chanchal Cabrera’s Biophilia Intensive
Speaker Chanchal Cabrera is a medical herbalist practicing on Vancouver Island, Canada. She lives at Innisfree Farm, a 7-acre botanical reserve and herb farm she and her husband Thierry Vrain created over the last ten years.
Linnea Wardwell spoke with Chanchal last week to find out more about biophilia, the instinctive bond humans have for all other life forms on the planet. It shapes her recent work on the farm, and is also the subject of the intensive workshop on Saturday afternoon at the symposium.
LW: Whenever we have a chance to chat, it seems there are new initiatives in your practice and farm activities. We’d like to find out what’s going on recently.
CC: Oh, that is a big question! I am always busy and always dreaming and scheming for the next opportunity to spread the word about herbal medicine.
Since my 4 months of training at Kew Gardens in 2013 and 2014, the farm has been listed on the international register of botanic gardens, one of 7 registered gardens in BC. Our specialty is medicine and food plants but we are also offering more and more education as well. We are running workshops, hosting events and teaching classes. Last year the 2nd biennial Vancouver Island Herb Gathering at Innisfree Farm had 270 people attend over 4 days. Next one is June 2017!
On top of that, I am still running the botanical medicine department at the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine in Vancouver, as well, so plenty to keep me busy.
LW: You’ve been a practicing medical herbalist since 1987 and were made a Fellow by the National Institute of Medical Herbalists (the United Kingdom’s leading professional body representing herbal practitioners) in 2009. What is the main focus of your clinical practice?
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
As some of you may know, Deborah Frances, a naturopathic physician from Oregon, has been in seclusion for several years due to chronic disability and environmental sensitivity. We recently received a letter from her saying that she is definitely improving and hopes to be back to teaching, maybe not next year, but soon. We know how many people she has touched over the years, at our herbal medicine conferences and in the wider world, and would like to send her our support and love as she continues her healing journey.
Whether you know her or have yet to meet her, this video from 2015 is a reminder of the inspiration she has brought to so many.
We have created an account on our website to receive donations of any size which will be transferred to Deborah for her living and healing expenses. For a donation of $25 or more, we will send you a copy of her 2014 book Practical Wisdom in Natural Healing: Sage Advice for the Modern World.
In Practical Wisdom in Natural Healing, Dr. Frances draws from over thirty years of experience in homeopathic, herbal, and naturopathic medicine to provide practical and easy-to-apply therapies for a multitude of conditions. The book opens with a discussion of basic principals of healing and is followed by a chapter explaining the science of homeopathy. The rest is dedicated to practical tips for a multitude of conditions, interspersed with more lengthy discussions of several herbs, highlighting each plant’s unique personality and ability to impart spiritual as well as mental, emotional and physical healing. This book is full of practical advice and scientific references, but does not ignore the spirit that is alive within each of us and the plants who help heal us.
Right now Deborah (Lakota name: Beautiful Little Dancing Crow) is living in eastern Washington State, cut off from the teaching and healing activities she loves. We want her to know we haven’t forgotten. Please send what you can–and if it’s $25 or more receive the book that’s useful for self-care and detailed enough to use as a reference in clinical practice. Donate through our website Herbal Educational Services:
An excerpt from the recent letter we received from Deborah Frances:
“I tell you, it’s other people’s love that keeps me going. LOVE is truly the greatest power on this Earth.”
Questions? Contact us by email or phone.
Recordings and Books available from past Herbal Conferences:
For more herbal education resources, browse our audio and book library.