Category Archives for Herbs

Herbs for a Hurting Heart

Over the past few weeks, a community of which I am a part has been badly shaken.  A respected leader and mentor has been accused of serious misconduct, and as a consequence a whole community is questioning its roots. The heart can be broken not only by romantic relationships but when any intimate relationship – […]

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Fact or Fiction? Removing alcohol from tinctures

boiling water remove alcohol?

Herbal lore maintains that you can remove virtually all alcohol from a tincture by dropping the preparation slowly into a cup of boiling water, with the idea that the alcohol will evaporate off and leave the active herbal extract behind. You’ll find this information being taught in classes across the country, and in numerous herbal […]

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Lavender and Prepubertal Breast Growth in Boys

lavender flowers

A client recently emailed me the following question: “I read online that I shouldn’t use lavender essential oil or any products that contain it for A [her two year old son] because it could cause abnormal breast growth!! What do you think?” It’s true that there was an article published in the New England Journal […]

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From the Earth

This evening I was reminded of one of my favorite witty responses of all time, courtesy of friend, herbalist and teacher extraordinaire James Snow.  The setting: James’ lecture on something to do with the liver at an American Herbalists Guild conference. The buildup: Annoying attendee repeatedly raising her hand and asking pseudo-questions designed to show […]

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Book Review: The Art and Craft of Natural Dyeing

I’ve been reading “The Art and Craft of Natural Dyeing: Traditional Recipes for Modern Use” by J.N. Liles, and while I’m not quite finished with it I am thoroughly impressed. Liles includes very specific recipes for dyeing cotton, wool and silk with plant/mineral material. He has personally tested almost every recipe provided in the text, […]

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