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

Archive for the ‘Medicinal & Edible Plant Walks’ Category

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Spring Ephemeral Forest Bathing Retreat, Sat. April 12, 10-3

Spring Ephemeral Forest Bathing 2014

Wild Edibles Class: Eat the weeds in your yard

Wild Edible Weeds, OutdoorChattanooga 1-30-14

Wild Edible Weeds, OutdoorChattanooga 1-30-14

Tonight from 6-8pm I’ll be giving a free talk at Outdoor Chattanooga on freely available wild foods around Chattanooga.  The snow prohibited my foraging, so I will have liquid extracts of the herbs to sample instead of food.

Cleavers are best juiced or lightly cooked.

Cleavers are best juiced or lightly cooked.

Herbal Formula for the Flu

For flu season, it’s best to have this formula on-hand so you don’t have to go outside when you’re sick.

Elder flower and elder berry are antiviral herbs, and very helpful for the flu.

Elder flower and elder berry are antiviral herbs, and very helpful for the flu.

The first ingredient is wild elder berry (Sambucus nigra), which is well-known for its antiviral properties. The elder tree is considered a medicine chest in itself. The leaf is used topically for injuries. Elder flower is useful for colds, fevers, flu. The berry of Elder has been shown to be effective against numerous strains of the influenza virus. It’s also been proven to reduce the duration of flu symptoms in a double-blind, placebo-controlled, randomized study.

The next ingredient is boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum), which gets its name from its reputation in alleviating the flu-symptom of achiness that feels like your bones are breaking, which to me is the worst part about having the flu. Boneset quickly deals with fever, reduces body aches, and clears up mucus congestion that might be present with the flu. Studies also show that boneset is an immunostimulant.

Usnea, or grandfather's beard, is a lichen that gets blown from trees during wind storms.

Usnea, or grandfather’s beard, is a lichen that gets blown from trees during wind storms.

Usnea, a greyish-green lichen that grows on trees, is considered a respiratory phyto-biotic—that means it has some antibiotic properties. Although influenza is a virus, usnea might be helpful to prevent opportunistic upper-respiratory infections. Usnea is effective against gram-positive bacterial strains, such as Staphlycoccus aureus (staph), Streptococcus spp. (strep), Pneumonococcus spp. (pneumonia), Enterococcus spp., and Mycobacterium tuberculosis (tuberculosis).

All flu formulas need to contain yarrow because of its fabulous diaphoretic properties. Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is one of those plants I would want if I were stranded on a deserted island, so I won’t be able to list all of its uses, but just know that its uses are versatile. In the flu formula, yarrow helps in the acute stage of influenza to cause a sweat. Also, yarrow has antimicrobial properties to help battle with the germs.

Yarrow, a standard in flu formulas, has a long history in many cultures as a herbal ally for human health.

Yarrow, a standard in flu formulas, has a long history in many cultures as a herbal ally for human health.

Finally, a little ginger goes a long way to add some warmth and flavor, but that’s not all. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is also helpful for sore throats, nausea, and muscle aches.

If you are looking for herbs to prevent the cold and flu, Astragalus can keep your immune boosted throughout the cold and flu season. Make an herbal appointment for a complete work-up and individualized herbal formula that can support your health through the season.

 

Medicinal Plant Symposium, Oct 15 at State Botanical Garden of Georgia

Artemisia annua, or sweet Annie, is related to wormwood which is the key ingredient in Absinthe. Sweet Annie has been used effectively in Africa for malaria. Traditionally in Appalachia it was made into wreaths to hang on the door, smelling sweetly all winter.

Artemisia annua, or sweet Annie, is related to wormwood which is the key ingredient in Absinthe. Sweet Annie has been used effectively in Africa for malaria. Traditionally in Appalachia it was made into wreaths to hang on the door, smelling sweetly all winter.

I hope to see you at the 2013 Medicinal Plant Symposium. I presented two years ago on the healing chemistry of plants. Topics this year are on Traditional Chinese herbs, Latin American Ethnobotany, growing and using medicinal plants through the seasons, and a special talk on the anti-malarial properties of Sweet Annie (Artemisia annua).

This is my topic:

A Professional Herbalist’s Perspective in Matching People with Plants

People have a personality. Dis-eases have a personality. Plants have a personality. Professional herbalists play match-maker in introducing plants to people who are experiencing an emotional-physical-spiritual imbalance. This whole-systems approach to herbal medicine recognizes the complexity of plants and people, going beyond the reductionist model of active constituents for physical symptoms. Using case studies, Holli Richey will illustrate how herbs in their whole form provide a healing complement to mind-body illness.

Attached is a pdf of the brochure.
medplant2013

Herb Class this Saturday at Chattanooga Arboretum & Nature Center, 10-3

Herb Class at Reflection Riding Chattanooga Arboretum & Nature Center

Forest Bathing Retreat: toe first then full immersion June 21-22

Forest bathing is a practice of being present, opening our senses to receive all of the forest. It isn't about taking your clothes off to literally bathe. It's a figurative use of the word, as in to fully bask in the atmosphere. This trail is through the forest at Frozen Head State Park in Tennessee.

Forest bathing is a practice of being present, opening our senses to receive all of the forest. It isn’t about taking your clothes off to literally bathe. It’s a figurative use of the word, as in to fully bask in the atmosphere. This trail is through the forest at Frozen Head State Park in Tennessee.

I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order.  – John Burroughs

Friday, 6pm-8:30pm; Saturday, 7:30am-11:30am *

(6am-7:15am optional start for sitting in meditation at the pavilion.)

Chattanooga Arboretum & Nature Center (Reflection Riding)

Forest Bathing is a Japanese concept of immersing oneself in the sensory experience of the forest with open awareness and no expectations. Studies in Japan have proven that opening one’s senses to the forest will reduce stress hormones such as cortisol, boost the immune system, and reduce the heart rate.

Join Yong Oh, mindfulness teacher, Dr. Jean Lomino, director of CANC and outdoor educator, and Holli Richey, therapist and herbalist, for this Solstice retreat into the woods where we will experience the life-changing practice of mindfulness in nature. Experience how to be present with the body and senses, and learn how to work with difficult thoughts and feelings which generate greater stress and anxiety. Experience what it is to rest in natural awareness. This is the first of more Mindfulness in Nature retreats to come. Toe first, then full immersion.

Register with Chattanooga Arboretum by Monday, June 17th.  Donation, $25 suggested.

*This is not an overnight retreat.

forestbathing3

Spring Ephemeral Walk with TN Valley Chapter of Wild Ones

Tiarella cordifolia (foam flower) at The Pocket 3-23-13

Tiarella cordifolia (foam flower) at The Pocket 3-23-13

Once a year, we have the opportunity to witness the awakening of the forest floor. This is one of the most obvious times to see how nature is in constant change. The spring ephemerals, so named because of their here-today-gone-tomorrow way of being, rise from the blanket of last fall’s leaves to receive the brief sunlight available before the forest canopy overshadows them. Some of these flowers bloom only for a day. A true schooling in being present and aware awaits the soul that visits the same place day after day from late winter through spring. Join us as we walk along the boardwalk of one of the southeast region’s most spectacular displays of spring ephemeral wildflowers. A waterfall over limestone rock awaits at the end. Hard to leave here without gratitude.

Saturday, April 6th. Meet at 9am at St. Elmo Bi-Lo to caravan to the Pocket. Only open to members of TN Valley Wild Ones, and limited registration. Free.

Wheelchair accessible.   Contact TN Valley Wild Ones to register.

An Herbal Approach to Healing Chronic Heath Complaints such as Inflammation and Stress

Seasons-Change

September 14th, Saturday, 10-3pm

Learn how to heal common health complaints with gentle herbs. Join herbalist and therapist Holli Richey in a class that will include plant walks, herbal medicine making and an overview of  the ecological pattern of health and disease.

Simple spearmint infusion.

Simple spearmint infusion.

An Herbal Approach to Healing Chronic Heath Complaints such as Inflammation and Stress

Stress provokes the neuro-endocrine-immune systems, and over time can cause an imbalance which looks like a chronic health condition. This class will focus on how to assess the impact of stress and inflammation on the body, and how to return to balanced homeostasis using an ecological approach to herbs. We will also focus on Supporting our Gut–Brain Axis: Herbs for mental and digestive health. The gut (the enteric brain) is considered by some as the secondary brain, and even perhaps the primary brain. This class will focus on herbs that support GI and brain/mood health–and interestingly enough there are a lot! Nature is telling us something.

At the Chattanooga Arboretum & Nature Center:   Contact CANC for details and registration.    $60

Chattanooga Arboretum & Nature Center Fall Native Plant Sale Friday, Sept 21-Sept 23

Goldenrod, also called End-of-Summer, is traditionally used as a tea to prevent colds and flus.

Three full days of fascinating talks and native plant walks accompany the annual Fall Native Plant Sale at the beautiful Chattanooga Aroboretum & Nature Center, Reflection Riding. This weekend’s weather will be the kind that makes September feel like a deep satisfying breath. Join me in enjoying the weather at 11am on Saturday while we walk and talk about the medicinal qualities of the native plants at the Arboretum. I’ll talk about how Southeastern Indians, Appalachian settlers, and Confederate doctors used some of the plants that grow around us.

Visit the Arboretum’s website for the full weekend schedule. Talk topics include funky mushrooms, tree ID, tall grass prairies, beneficial insects, and growing tips for native plants.

Walk with Nature on Tennessee’s John Muir Trail, April 29th, 2012 with Wild South

Stunning Indian pinks (Spigelia marilandica) blooming in mid-spring. Indian pinks are native wildflowers that can be planted in the garden to attract hummingbirds. And of course you can enjoy them, too.

Stunning Indian pinks (Spigelia marilandica) blooming in mid-spring. Indian pinks are native wildflowers, traditionally used as medicine by regional Indian tribes that can be planted in the garden to attract hummingbirds. And of course you can enjoy them, too.

Everybody needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in where nature may heal and cheer and give strength to the body and soul.” — John Muir

Join us on Sunday, April 29th to celebrate John Muir’s birthday month as we walk a portion of Tennessee’s John Muir Trail, a place where Muir himself hiked. I will identify native plants that are used for medicine and food, and Jeff Hunter from Wild South will read from John Muir’s writings over lunch by the Hiwassee River. We will meet at 8:30am to caravan to the trail at the Starbucks on Shallowford Road near Hamilton Place Mall in Chattanooga.

April 21st is the birthday of John Muir, a Scottish-American immigrant who devoted his life to opening America’s eyes to the beauty around us, leaving a legacy of preserved wilderness for those of us who have come a century later. In the midst of Manifest Destiny, America’s determined effort to move westward and claim Nature as a property to develop for industry’s sake, John Muir was literally a voice in the wilderness imploring United States presidents to value the richness of the wild land for the sake of its itself and for its healing qualities for a human’s soul. We are indebted to John Muir. Without his vision, writings and action, we might not have open access to our most cherished national parks, parks which have created the American identity, such as the Grand Canyon. Muir changed the national conversation regarding land use and founded the Sierra Club. He created a conversation giving voice to Nature, which helped people to understand that a tree is more than lumber, and that clearing a forest is a regrettable loss which steals from the spiritual, emotional and physical health of ourselves, our children and our grandchildren’s children.

In every walk with Nature one receives far more than he seeks.” – John Muir

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