• July 27, 2021

The Happiness Tree

I was introduced to mimosa (Albizia julibrissin) by Thomas Easley, who gave me a tincture made from the flowers. He didn’t tell me anything about it; he just asked me to experience its effects. When I took a few drops, it felt like the energy of the plant went straight to my heart, opening it up, creating a sense of happiness like the happiness you feel when you’re in love. This diffused outward from my heart. It was one of the most uplifting feelings I’ve experienced from any herb. I was immediately…

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  • July 20, 2021

The Golden Power of California Poppy

Many members of the poppy family have been used as sedatives and pain relievers through the centuries. The most famous is the opium poppy (Papaver somniferum), the plant that gave rise to the entire class of opioid pain relievers, including morphine, heroin, oxycodone, and fentanyl. While these drugs are powerful pain-killers they are highly addictive and are responsible for over half a million deaths due to overdose since 1999.A Gentle, Non-Addictive PoppyFortunately, there are members of the poppy…

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  • July 13, 2021

Please Pick This Plant!

Normally I write about plants I love but this week I’m writing about a plant I don’t really like. When I was growing up we called it puncture vine or puncture weed because its seeds put holes in our bicycle tires. Southwest herbalist Michael Moore described it thusly. “A terrible, disgusting, gross, little ground covering weed… [with] seed pods that break apart into three-sided capsules that maim pets and crawly children, puncture bicycle tires…and, if you step barefooted on one, give…

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  • July 6, 2021

Every First Aid Kit Needs This Remedy

There are some herbs I think no first aid kit should be without and arnica is at the top of the list. I keep homeopathic arnica in my home first aid kit, the first aid kits in my cars, and the first aid kit I take when I’m hiking. It’s one of the best remedies for rapidly resolving all kinds of bumps, bruises, sprains, and just about any other injury where the skin isn’t broken. It takes down swelling, relieves pain, and speeds healing. I particularly like arnica in a cream form for topical…

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  • July 1, 2021

Correcting a Hiatal Hernia

When people are new to natural healing, they can often feel overwhelmed by the various supplements and modalities that are available. Often, they just don't know where to begin—especially when there are so many different companies and healers telling you to “buy our products!” Although I do recommend herbs and nutritional supplements, there are many things that are important to improving health that doesn't involve swallowing something. In fact, there is one key to helping people improve their…

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  • June 29, 2021

From Burns to Burnout Aloe Vera Can Help

I don’t know about you, but I hate getting burned, whether it’s sunburn or burns in the kitchen, burns are painful. Fortunately, I know how to treat burns quite effectively with herbs and one of my favorite burn treatments is aloe vera. That’s why I keep aloe vera gel in my first aid kit and have an aloe vera plant in my home. Aloe vera is well-known for its ability to treat burns, but it has many other uses which I’ll discuss after I relate my experiences using it as a burn remedy. Treating…

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  • June 22, 2021

Health from the Vine

Hiking in Zion National Park and while exploring various canyons near my home in Southern Utah, I often run into wild grapes (Vitis arizonica pictured left), a cousin of the wine grape (V. vinifera) and the concord grape (V. labrusa), which I have planted on my property. While grapevines produce an abundance of food in the form of grapes, raisins, wine, jelly, and juice, they are also one of mankind’s oldest sources of medicine.Wine grapes are believed to be native to the Mediterranean area and…

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  • June 15, 2021

First Aid Kit in a Plant

Most of the students I’ve had over the years use herbal products that have been commercially manufactured. If you’re one of those people, there is one plant you ought to know how to identify and use because you won’t find a better plant for minor injuries, snake and insect bites, and bee stings. I’m talking about plantain. Like dandelions and other medicinal weeds, plantain is not native to North America. It was brought here by the European settlers and spread across the land as they spread,…

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