An integrative approach to healing ourselves and our world: honoring people, plants, planet

Archive for the ‘Herbs’ Category

The Art of Botany at the Hunter Museum of American Art: A Focus on Poppies — Saturday, June 17, 2017, 1:30-3pm

poppiesThe Art of Botany looks at the cross-pollination of art and plants, uniting artists and naturalists into dialogue. This program will feature three Knoxville-based artists and creatives, Margaret Scanlan, Norman Magden, and David Denton, who collaborated on the multi-media, experiential work, “Poppy Project,” at the Knoxville Botanical Garden in 2016. Local therapist, herbalist, and naturalist Holli Richey will respond to their work, speaking on the cultural use and medical history of poppies. Join us for a fascinating discussion on the generation of creativity by, and healing from, the humble plant.

Upcoming Plant walk at The Pocket/Shirley Miller Wildflower Trail with Georgia Herbalist Guild, March 19th, 10am in Parking lot.

Early Spring Ephemerals at The Pocket: Virginia Bluebells, Spicebush, Dutchman’s Breeches, Bloodroot.

Why Wilderness?

Tellico Wild reconnects people with the wilderness.   http://wildsidetv.com/video/tellico-wild/

In August 2015, Tennessee’s Wildside adventured into the Tennessee Citico Wilderness to film naturalists and people seeking a day of reconnecting with their wild side. Bill and Laura Hodge organized the event, sponsored by Wild South and SAWS. I was honored to have Tennessee Wildside come along to film the edible and medicinal plant hike I led to Fall Branch Falls. This is one of my favorite areas in East Tennessee’s Wilderness region. Medicinal plants abound right at the trailhead and throughout the entire hike. In August, it is a cool, moist day in the 70s, a refuge in the southern heat.

It’s winter now as I post this, but at the end of February, the earliest of spring ephemeral wildflowers will soon emerge. Once the days start getting longer after the winter solstice, I’m already dreaming of spring wildflowers. I post this now to remind us of the beauty to come, and urge people to get out and enjoy our precious wilderness areas in 2017. I’ll be leading some edible and medicinal hikes this year. Stay tuned!

And PLEASE! contact TN Congressman Chuck Fleischmann to tell him to sign the Tennessee Wilderness Act. It takes an act of congress to protect Wilderness forever, which is a forever “thank you” to those who made it happen. Wilderness is where you can lose your urban worries, and find the wild heartbeat in your soul. Don’t you think we need that right now?

To watch the 5 minute video on Tellico Wild, including some of my hike, click this link:

http://wildsidetv.com/video/tellico-wild/

I hope you make it out into the wilderness this year. You can be transformed in just one hike.

 

Cumberland Trail State Park Spring Festival

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Join me for an edible & medicinal wildflower walk at North Chick Creek near Ivy Academy, April 16th, 10:30 am. We will caravan from Ivy Academy. $5 per person/$10 per family. For more information go to Cumberland Trail’s Facebook Page and The Friends of the Cumberland Trail website.

Love Medicine: Traditional and Scientific Uses of Herbs for Love

Nature loves. It shows its heart if you look.

Nature loves. It shows its heart if you look.

In his song “Nature Boy,” Nat King Cole sings, “The greatest thing you have to learn is just to love, and be loved in return.” Nature is abundant with plants that help us learn to love and be loved in return—and not all of them are for the Viagra-kind of love.

The quest for romantic love is a part of the human condition. Daniel Moerman, author of Native American Ethnobotany, recorded over a hundred stories of Native American tribes using plants as love charms to lure a potential suitor. For instance, the Iroquois considered asters, which are daisy-like flowers, to be love medicine. Perhaps asters were used like the he-loves-me-he-loves-me-not daisy method of divining a suitor’s sincerity, or they could have been knotted into chains like dandelion-flower necklaces.

Several tribes used powdered seeds of Columbine to be sprinkled as a kind of love-dust. Other tribes marked a man’s palm with bloodroot, a native wildflower aptly named for the blood-red liquid which oozes from a cut root.

As a more drastic measure—and maybe a last resort for the desperate and restless—yellow dock root was boiled and splashed on the face and clothes to make one more appealing to a love interest. Though, anyone who has seen yellow dock root knows it makes a yellow-staining dye, and therefore, it seems the amorous seeker would be made quite obvious.

Contemporary use of aphrodisiac herbs include performance-enhancing herbs, such as yohimbe or Asian ginseng, which increase virility for men, or female tonics, which help maintain sexual function, such as an herb from India called shatavari, which means “she who has a hundred husbands.” The name conveys its efficacy.

For relaxing into a romantic relationship, damiana (Turnera aphrodisiaca or Turnera diffusa) is a traditional herbal beverage, either as a tea or as a Mexican herbal liqueur. Supported by scientific studies, damiana is considered to be a mild antidepressant and nervine, which relaxes and calms the nerves so that a couple isn’t too stressed out to be interested in each other.

Passionflower helps with marriage maintenance.

Passionflower helps with marriage maintenance.

For marriage maintenance, old-timey Appalachian herbalists revived tired domestic partnerships with passionflower vine, appropriate for couples who’ve grown bored in a relationship, having lost the appreciation for the familiar. A recent clinical trial has proven passionflower as effective for anxiety as an anti-anxiety pharmaceutical benzodiazepine, which would likely help the relationship, as well.

More than just finding and keeping a romance, love medicine can foster a sense of togetherness, which is needed in building and maintaining all relationships. Since communication is the key to maintaining healthy relationships, kava kava, a Polynesian herb which means “talk talk,” could be of value. Kava kava has been traditionally used to ease communication and facilitate a win-win conversation when different tribes join together in conversation.

A farmer's market potato heart.

A farmer’s market potato heart.

Most importantly, all love is built upon a compassionate, forgiving self-love. Cultivating self-love involves physically, spiritually and emotionally healing the wounds of the heart, so that one can be open to feeling love for others and allowing oneself to receive love. Reishi mushroom and hawthorn are used as herbal tonics to heal and support the heart on a physical, emotional and spiritual level. By nourishing the heart with antioxidants, and calming the emotional and spiritual mind which, according to Traditional Chinese medicine, resides in the heart, reishi and hawthorn prepare someone to learn to love and be loved in return.

Herbal Help for Mood Disorders: Radio program 12/11 on Highway to Health

Sorrowing old man ("At Eternity's Gate") by Vincent van Gogh

Sorrowing old man (“At Eternity’s Gate”) by Vincent van Gogh

I’m on West Virginia radio tomorrow for the Highway to Health show with Dave Hawkins, 9:15am. It’ll be available at http://www.motherearthworks.com/ immediately after the show.

Herbal Help for Mood Disorders
Therapeutic herbs are used worldwide to relieve anxiety, depression and a host of other mood disorders. Healthy Dave is joined by registered herbalist and psychotherapist Holli Richey to discuss a natural approach to therapy using herbs, psychotherapy and stress management practices designed to help the whole person – body, mind and spirit.

Please call in to (304) 422-3154 at 9:15 AM EST.

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