Friday, September 8, 2017


Let's talk Poke -- often referred to as Pokeweed or Pokeroot, aka Virginian Poke or, in the Homeopathic pharmacopeia, the Latin name is Phytolacca Decandra (syn. P. Americana). 

I have a big patch of Pokeweed growing at the lower edge of our hillside open space (it's pictured to the far left in the photo), so I've been researching it's history as a native plant of the Americas. There is a good article on this plant at; the author of the article cautions about side effects, which is advisable due to the toxic nature of the plant, so if you should decide to try the Homeopathic remedy on your own, please use a potency of 30C or higher and NOT a lower potency.

First, please note that Pokeweed is poisonous unless properly cooked (boil it down numerous times, pour off the water each time). Indigenous people used it mostly for medicinal purposes, but there are also ways to cook the early spring shoots, leaves, and even the juice of the berries to make them safe.

Pokeroot tea was used for a variety of ailments, including rheumatism, by many people in the Ozarks (of Missouri and Arkansas). Boiled Pokeroot was also sometimes used to cure "the itch" but most old-timers said the cure was worse than the the ailment (the way it was administered topically "burned like fire".* Since Poke is an American plant, chances are good that these remedies originated from the indigenous people, and settlers took it up from them.

The Homeopathic remedy Phytolacca Decandra is made from the root (Pokeroot) and can assist the body system to heal from a variety of symptoms including the one that works like magic for me (remember that remedies are individualized): sore throat. Whenever I feel the first tinge of a sore throat coming on, I take a dose of Phytolacca 30C and, 99% of the time, the sore throat never worsens and often disappears entirely within a few hours. In relation to the throat, this remedy may work well, also, for mononucleosis or strep throat; one of the beauties of Homeopathy is that it addresses similar symptoms and, since mono and strep often feel the same and produce very similar outward symptoms,  Phytolacca might help the body system to relieve either or both, depending upon the individual.

Please feel free to contact me if you want to learn more about Phytolacca Decandra (Pokeweed) and how it might help you heal.

* Ozark Magic and Folklore by Vance Randolph (1947).

Sunday, August 13, 2017

A Mild Remedy

Although I've never been to a Ball, I have many remedies at my disposal that offer the symptom relief of an aperient (generally, a mild laxative although here being promoted to remove the potential for headache). What natural remedy do you prefer as an aperient?

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Ticks, Lyme, and Healing

Tick-borne diseases have been on the rise for decades now, and one of the most prominent has been Lyme. This one is tricky to address for several reasons.

One is that we often don’t know that we have acquired the Borrelia burgdorferi bacteria (specifically, a spirochete) until symptoms begin; the often mentioned “bull’s-eye rash” that can occur after a tick bite where B. burgdorferi is introduced into the system only occurs in about 37% of people infected.[1] And, second, generally speaking, antibiotic reversal is only effective when used during the first few months following infection; after that, treatment is much more challenging due to the intelligent nature of the spirochete. I won’t go on at length about the bacteria and its co-infections because, while fascinating to explore (you can find lots of information online), most of you reading this post will be more interested in how to reduce your symptoms (or those of someone you love, be it person or animal; seeking support for my dog who contracted Lyme disease about a decade ago was the impetus for my own journey into how non-conventional modalities could help him recover).

That said, before getting to treatments and lifestyle shifts, I do want to mention that my perspective is not that of conventional medicine, which should be no surprise to anyone who is on my blog. I am firmly in the camp that versions of this syndrome have been around for thousands of years, and that the degree to which we are each affected by an infection is a direct result of our susceptibility to the bacteria, and is not something to be turned into a battle against the bacteria, which would be a battle against the natural world. My primary focus is to increase vibrational harmony in one’s own system so that it is no longer appealing to the bacteria and they die naturally without reproducing and spreading.

How do we do this? We move through my Five Petal Path of Healing. At the core of this approach is understanding one’s own Nature through which lens we then look at Lifestyle, Food & Spices, Cell Salts, Homeopathy, and Flower Essences, and how each of these might assist in bringing ourselves back into holistic vibrational harmony. Much of the process is distinctly individualized, rather than a one-size-fits-all, which is why few specific remedies are mentioned below.

Knowing our Nature, or innate temperament and/or constitution, is important because not being aware of our tendencies is often part of how we get out of balance. I evaluate a person’s basic nature via the five elements and the dosha in Ayurveda. Once understood, we can then shift Lifestyle and/or Food & Spices to better support the journey back to harmony. Using Ayurveda’s wisdom, I would agree with Gerard Buffo, MD, that the primary physiological effect, when chronic symptoms emerge, is one of deranged Vata dosha in the system; we can see this derangement in the most common Lyme symptoms.[2] The inflammatory response of the body, however, is distinctly Pitta dosha – and ties into a majority of Lyme patients tending toward a Type A personality (which makes them more susceptible).

The next two petals considered are Cell Salts and Homeopathy. Use of these related modalities can depend upon where you are in the phase of infection, whether acute or chronic. They can provide support for tissues or render subtle detoxification; they can build strength or lend prevention to further infection, and much more. There are some remedies quite specific to Lyme dis-ease, while others are broader in their scope.

The final petal can also be the first one, depending upon how we decide to approach your individual situation. This is the phenomenally powerful modality of Flower Essence therapy, and affects everything we do in bringing back a life and body of harmony. In particular, I incorporate a flower essence research protocol developed by Delta Gardens, which also addresses energetic recovery from co-infections of Lyme.

As always, please contact me if you would like more information and/or a consultation. I would be happy to help.

Sunday, July 30, 2017

A Teacher of Ayurveda

I have listened to many teachers of Ayurveda since 2008. During the past year, I've enjoyed hearing the wisdom of Ayurveda as taught by Dr. Indu Arora; here she is providing a very brief Introduction to Ayurveda. Beautiful!

Monday, June 19, 2017

Why Not Try It?

I'm always puzzled when I mention natural remedies or a change in food choices, and the person responds with a resounding and negative "that won't work." They usually cite reasons like "you'll find studies supporting anything if you look hard enough" or "that doesn't make sense so why bother" etc.

Now, I wouldn't have even mentioned the topic to these people except that he or she is complaining about health issues and the expensive drugs they are taking (drugs that even the doctors admit are only to try to reduce symptoms but have no effect upon reversing or curing the dis-ease itself). My puzzlement around the person's vehement objections then arises from the simple perspective of: "it can't hurt and might help so why not try it?"

Based upon that premise -- it can't hurt and might help so why not try it -- I would urge you to watch the film What The Health and at least consider trying a vegan diet for a month. Or even just a couple weeks. Commit to eating only a WFPB diet (that's Whole-Food Plant-Based) and see how you feel. Isn't the possibility of getting better worth trying something new, especially when it won't cost you a dime? There are people who experience phenomenal results and those who see little to no change, but wouldn't it be exciting to be one of those with the life-changing results? Just imagine!

Here's the link for the film and how you can watch it: What The Health.

For information on a vegan diet as well as free recipes, go to: Forks Over Knives.

And, as always, if you have questions, I'm happy to help -- just contact me!

Wednesday, June 7, 2017

Listening to Life

One of the aspects I enjoy about an holistic approach to healing and wellness is the sacred mystery embedded within life, how listening to life is of vital importance to seeking true healing.

Taken further, consider, for instance:

"All ancient and indigenous peoples said that they learned the uses of plants as medicines from the plants themselves. They insisted that they did not rely on the analytical capacities of the brain for this nor use the technique of trial and error. Instead, they said that it was from the heart of the world, from the plants themselves, that this knowledge came. For, they insisted, the plants can speak to human beings if only human beings will listen and respond to them in the proper state of mind." ~ Stephen Harrod Buhner in Secret Teachings of Plants 

With this in mind, consider how science can often describe what appears to be happening within life systems, even in its reductionistic approach, but rarely can it fully explain the complexity of life. In a beautiful conversation between Marilynne Robinson and Marcelo Gleiser (called "The Mystery We Are" at OnBeing), Robinson points out the error in how science overuses "explain" when the appropriate word is "describe."

Scientific investigation, however, does provide description for many of the inner workings of bodies and life systems (I am in no way excusing or approving any form of abuse and/or cruelty to animals; we must evolve and abandon those types of atrocities). In his book The Secret Teachings of Plants, Buhner points out that:
"All living organisms--all self-organized systems ... retain an exquisite sensitivity to perturbations of the equilibrium that occurred when they self-organized. They remember that moment of equilibrium; they are attuned to it."
In this way, all living organisms, whether plants or animals, continually seek equilibrium. Our human bodies seek this; when we listen to our bodies and hearts, we have a better chance at healing, and plants (via food, herbs, spices, flower essences, and homeopathic remedies) can help us move in that direction.

When something occurs (a perturbation), whether outside ourselves or within, Buhner says that:
"the form [it takes] is merely one possible language of communication out of myriad possibilities. In the end it is the meaning inside the behavior that is significant, not the behavior itself. It is not the chemical released, nor the movement of the body, nor the electromagnetic field that is important, but the information, the meaning, that it carries."
This meaning is what most holistic practices point to and return to, again and again. The meaning is the Big Picture in our lives and entails deep listening to life.

Tuesday, June 6, 2017

Borage Flower Essence - Courage

(c) Delta Gardens
I want to share a personal experience with Borage. 

Usually, I make dosing bottles, but one day I felt called to simply add some drops of Borage flower essence to my pitcher of daily drinking water (I often do this with essences, letting intuition guide me in selection). 

The next day, I felt tremendous confidence in my actions and body; I felt hardly any fear, moving throughout the day as if my body had returned to normal.  

The back-story is that 9 months ago, I fell backwards, downhill on our property, shattering my left wrist and fracturing my left tibial plateau in several places. My recovery has been slow and frustrating at times, and I have been using flower essences to help me move past my fear about it happening again (it was just one of those clumsy accidents so it kind of freaked me out) and to regain confidence in my body. 

Well, after only the single day of taking the Borage-imprinted water throughout the day, I woke up and didn’t even hesitate in getting down on the floor to clip my dog’s toenails. It was only in hindsight that I fully realized how at ease and unconcerned I was with getting down on the floor all on my own. This may not sound like much, but it was a huge advance for me — I no longer felt like my body was going to give out on me or “betray” me! I had already felt like I was moving in this direction, but Borage sailed me right over the last hurdle — phenomenal!

Borage flower essence can share many qualities of healing with us; the one that seemed to lift me up the most in my current state was courage ... the courage to trust my body and the healing process. This wasn't a conscious shift, however, but one that simply happened, thanks to the Spirit of Borage.

The Borage flower essence that I took was from Delta Gardens; there are other flower essence lines that carry it, too, such as Green Hope Farm. I'm so grateful to the people who co-create these marvelous healing remedies!