-Tara Pierce H

Irish Moss is not actually a moss but a seaweed, strongly alkaline and rich in iodine, calcium, potassium, sodium, and magnesium. It is a highly nutritious plant which feeds the bones, brain, liver, flesh and lymphatic system. It contains a large amount of mucilage and sulfur compounds making it a great aid in the treatment  of chronic bronchial and intestinal problems. It is soothing in cases of arthritis, irritation of the bladder and kidneys, as well as chronic diarrhea and dysentery. In cases of dropsy it aids in the removal of excess fluid in the tissues and is used for colds as well as relief of dry coughs. Poultices of the moss have been successfully used on abscesses, burns and bruises.

Traditionally it was gathered for both food and medicine. It is still commonly used in cooking and food preparation as thickening and stabilizing agents. You will find it added to dairy products such as ice cream, yogurt and pudding as well as nut and rice milks and as a flavoring agent and clarifier in the brewing of beer. The herb is used as a suspension agent in toothpastes and is used commercially in hand lotions and various creams.

 

Although carrageenans (molecules extracted from the moss) were introduced on an industrial scale in the 1930’s, they were first used in China around 600 B.C. and in Ireland around 400 A.D. Known in Ireland as Carrageen Moss, it is commonly boiled in milk and strained, before sugar and other flavorings such as vanilla, cinnamon, brandy, or whisky are added. The end-product is a kind of jelly similar to pannacotta, tapioca, or blancmange.

 

Dr. Christopher included Irish moss in the Thyroid Maintenance Formula due to the organic iodine which is an excellent part of nourishing the thyroid gland. Together with kelp, watercress, mullein, parsley, nettle, marshmallow and sheep sorrel, this combination helps to support a healthy metabolism. Used as a tonic this formula will ease fatigue, muscle weakness, nervousness, difficulty sleeping, and irregular menstrual periods.

Tara Pierce is a Certified Herbalist and Master Herbalist Student at The School of Natural Healing.


April 8th, 2014Artemisia

-Jo Franks

The International Herb Association has declared the genus Artemisia as herb of the year for 2014. There are 2 herbs from the Artemisia genus on the School of Natural Healings 100 herb list. Artemisia tridentate, whose common name is desert sage and Artemisia absinthium or wormwood.

Artemisia tridentate or desert sage is a plant that grows abundantly here in Utah. After a summer rain it fills the air with its pleasant aroma. It is used as a tonic and blood cleanser and to help to regulate female issues. The branches of this plant are bound together and used as smudge sticks to clear the air when burned.

 

Artemisia absinthium or wormwood is usually used in combination with other herbs. It will expel worms and is a good liver tonic and digestive aid. A tincture made from the fresh leaves makes a good liniment for sore muscles, sprains and bruises. The dried leaves have been hung in pantries and storage areas to keep bugs away.

 

Both of these herbs are very bitter. Use a teaspoon per cup of boiling water and steep for 30 minutes. A cold infusion is best when using desert sage. Leave to steep a few hours or overnight.

 

Jo Francks is a Master Herbalist graduate of The School of Natural Healing. She is also a Holistic Iridologist and Quantum Touch practitioner. 

 

January 31st, 2014Cedar (Juniperus monosperma)

 Tara Pierce H

 

Traditionally, Cedar (as it is commonly known around here) has been used by native peoples to treat dandruff, as an aid in childbirth, reduce swelling in sprains and bruises, influenza, headache, and used as an emetic. Today the medicinal uses seem to focus toward the pancreas and have helped many people balance their blood sugar whether high (diabetes) or low (hypoglycemia).

 

Dr. Christopher discovered this accidently with the help of a patient who was having trouble voiding his urine. Dr. Christopher advised him to take Juniper berries, fresh or made into a tea, and he would be helped. Weeks later the man returned and said that the Juniper berries had been no help to him. After examining the berries it was discovered that he had been using Cedar berries which are similar in looks to the juniper but contain only one seed (monosperma) where juniper berries contain 5-7 seeds. Dr. Christopher got the man some Juniper berries for his ailment but upon thanking Dr. Christopher the man told him he would continue to use the cedar berries because he had been able to cut down on the use of insulin for his diabetes. Dr. Christopher was astounded and excited! He had the man increase the amount of cedar berries he was using and within a few months his pancreas was healed and producing its own insulin.

 

My husband was diagnosed with type 1 diabetes 7 years ago at age 36. It used to be rare to find a type 1 over the age of 30 but due to the increase of auto immune diseases it is on the rise. After reading the story stated above, we decided to experiment with Cedar berries and see what effect it had on his insulin use. I had also read that fresh ground flax seed has been found to reduce insulin use so we decided to use them both together. Two weeks ago he started taking 12 cedar berries and 2 Tbls. of flax seed each day. He grinds them together each morning (Nutri-Bullet) and takes 1/2 of the mixture in the morning and the other 1/2 at night. Just by adding this mixture to his daily routine for only two weeks he is down by 5 units a day!

 

Other important things to do for diabetics:

 

1-Mucusless Diet to cleanse and nourish the entire body and aid in weight loss.

2-Distilled water to flush built up waste.

3-Lower bowel formula (working up through the extended herbal cleanse).

4-Pancreas formula to stimulate and heal the pancreas.

5-Glandular formula to support all the glands in the body and help them work together better.

6-Immucalm formula (type 1) to help calm and “reprogram” the immune system so it stops attacking cells that are not a threat. At the same time this will also help heal and strengthen the immune system so you are not left vulnerable to invaders.

 

Tara Pierce is a Certified Herbalist and Master Herbalist Student at The School of Natural Healing.


January 27th, 2014Giving Thanks

 Jo Francks MH

When I signed up for the Master Herbalist course with the School of Natural Healing in 1995 I was a mother with young children. I had been wondering about different health situations and how they would have been handled when there were no doctors around. Little by little I started learning about herbs. Someone talked to me about how black cohosh was helping with hot flashes. Someone else showed me a book on herbs which I bought from them on the spot. Then someone loaned me the book An Herbal Legacy of Courage and I couldn’t stop reading it. I saw the advertisement for the School of Natural Healing in the back of the book and I decided that if I were to learn about herbal medicine and healing I wanted to learn from Dr. Christopher. My husband was very supportive of me learning this but of course we wondered where the money would come from. The money did come through little tender mercies and I was on a journey of becoming a master herbalist. I loved every book, video and assignment and when I finally went to the Master Herbalist Certification Seminar it was one the most fulfilling things I have ever done. I didn’t have a plan to become a master herbalist and make a career out of it. I wanted to be able to help my family and help others if they needed it.  I think the most valuable thing we can obtain in this life is knowledge and understanding. What I gained through my studies has benefitted me and my family and our pets in more ways than I ever could have realized.
When asked the things I am most thankful for I would answer first, my awesome family and then the gift of plants that provide beauty, food and medicine for all of us. It’s the simple things that make life grand. If you’re reading this and are in a similar situation as I was in 1995 consider the School of Natural Healing. It’s the greatest gift you could give your family and yourself. I wish you the best of the Christmas season with love and gratitude.

Jo Francks is a Master Herbalist graduate of The School of Natural Healing. She is also a Holistic Iridologist and Quantum Touch practitioner.


January 27th, 2014Holiday Plants

David Christopher MH

The senses are truly enhanced during the holidays with our wonderful plants. Just think of a white and grey landscape in winter and your sight is drawn to the brilliant color of evergreens. The Holly, Ivy, Mistletoe, Yews and of course pine trees and other evergreens. For millenniums these special plants have given hope for ensuing spring, renewed life and even sparked thoughts of eternal life. The physical manifestations of these “everlasting” plants help Christians remember gospel principles. Living through winter is associated with living beyond this mortal life. The white flower of the Holly reminds of purity. The red berries of the Yew represent the atoning blood and the prickly Holly leaves reminds us of the thorny crown.


The Poinsettia contains the main colors of Christmas. As legend is passed down, a young peasant girl wanted to give the Christ child a gift but had no money, so she gathered a bouquet of weeds from the road side and when presented, it transformed into the beautiful Poinsettia plant. The Mistletoe is an evergreen because of the Oak and other trees. Mistletoe is dependent on these trees for its life; it is a parasite. The tradition of kissing under the Mistletoe started as a Norse custom. I can just imagine an irrepressible Viking invoking his will under this parasite to get that first kiss.

The senses of smell and taste are exhilarated during the Holiday season with Allspice, Cinnamon, Cloves, Peppermint, Rosemary and Thyme. Then think of the wonderful fruits kiwi, oranges, pomegranates, apples, dates, figs, currents, cranberries, blueberries, huckleberries, gooseberries, loganberries, boysenberries and so many more.

What memories are invoked when I smell and then crack open pine nuts. Let’s not forget, chestnuts, pecans, hazelnuts, macadamias, walnuts and Brazil nuts. Isn’t it strange that we use these wonderful foods so infrequently?

All of the aforementioned plants except Poinsettias have medicinal uses. For example, pine needles are high in Vitamin C and the pitch is anti-bacterial. The Mistletoe is used for cancer and the Yew has had worldwide acceptance for curing breast cancer. Cinnamon helps control diabetes, Cloves are a good pain killer and diminish bad breath, Peppermint is a digestive aid, Rosemary will help you remember those on your Christmas list and Thyme will help stop the colds you will likely get from kissing strangers under the Mistletoe.

If plants are not an intricate part of your holiday traditions may I suggest starting some new traditions this year, I guarantee they will be cherished for generations to come.

We wish you and yours the happiest of Holiday Seasons.

David Christopher is a Master Herbalist and the director of The School of Natural Healing. He also co-hosts the popular radio show “A Healthier You” and is a popular international teacher and lecturer. 

January 27th, 2014Flax (Linum usitatissimum)

Tara Pierce H

 

Flax was brought to North America by colonists in the 1600’s. It was mainly produced for linen cloth and linseed oil used in paint for the growing colonies. With the invention of the cotton gin in the 1800’s flax production dropped dramatically as cotton gained dominance agriculturally. It wasn’t until the 1980’s when an emphasis on environmentally friendly products began that flax saw a renewed popularity.

 

Today flax seed and flax seed oil are both popular items used in the natural health field. Flaxseeds contain lignans, a type of phytoestrogen that may protect against breast and prostate cancers. Flaxseed is the best plant source of healthy omega-3’s which are also found in fish. Flaxseed is a rare plant-based complete protein source. It contains every amino acid that your body can’t make on its own. Flaxseed also contains both soluble and insoluble fiber which helps regulate bowel function and prevent constipation.

 

Here are some of the many health benefits you may see from consuming 1-2 Tbls. per day of ground flaxseed (brown or golden) or flaxseed oil.

-Decreases the risk of developing heart disease.
-Lowers total cholesterol.
-Strengthens the immune system.
-Lowers the amount of insulin used by diabetics.
-Helps alleviate pain and inflammation associated with rheumatoid arthritis.
-Improves symptoms of depression and improves mental function.
-Helps alleviate dry skin and some forms of eczema and psoriasis.
-Helps alleviate hair loss and dandruff.
-Helps improve the metabolism and absorption of calcium.
-Traditionally used for hot flashes and breast pain.
-Laxative.

 

It is important to not heat or cook with the oil because it destroys the beneficial properties. Instead the oil should be added to smoothies or yogurt or combined with apple cider vinegar to make a salad dressing. Ground seed can be added to smoothies, granola bars, and breads or sprinkled over salads or cereal. The seeds must be ground in order to be used nutritionally in the body. (Fresh ground is best.)

 

Tara Pierce is a Certified Herbalist and Master Herbalist Student at The School of Natural Healing.

The Essential Survival Guide to Medical Preparedness

 

What would you do if you were suddenly unable to get access to your prescription drugs? Maybe you don’t use Rx drugs, but can you imagine a scenario where the 50% of the population that does rely on Rx drugs is forced to do without?  Can you envision the pain and suffering that would ensue if millions of people were suddenly unable to get their antidepressants, pain pills, and heart medications? This is not just a hypothetical situation, but in the event of a long-term disaster such as an economic collapse the #1 cause of death is projected to be lack of access to medicines.

 

The 400+ page Essential Survival Guide to Medical Preparedness is an easy-to-use, no-nonsense guide to using Mother Nature’s medicines herbs and essential oils along with basic reflexology, basic acupressure, and a healthy lifestyle to help with chronic illness, injury, infectious disease, pregnancy, childbirth, sanitation, hygiene, mental health, and more!  The chapter on first aid also contains advice from the Western medical perspective.  Whether you are looking for maximal medical preparedness for natural disaster or a collapse scenario, or you are serious about using medicines from Mother Nature for your day-to-day health, The Essential Survival Guide to Medical Preparedness will help you be ready to handle hundreds of health concerns yourself at home!

 

Authors Julie Behling-Hovdal (reflexologist, holistic healer, & essential oil enthusiast), Rebecca Potter (Master Herbalist, School of Natural Healing graduate), and Edward Behling (medic) come together to provide an interesting and practical take on natural medicines, preparedness, and first aid that will empower their readers to achieve greater medical self-sufficiency at a time when many in this country are moving toward more medical dependency.  Included are full-color reflexology and acupressure charts and instruction on how to deliver a baby in the event trained help is unavailable.

 

This book is now available through Christopher Publicationshttp://christopherpublications.com/Essential_Survival_Guide.html

What would you do if you were suddenly unable to get access to your prescription drugs? Maybe you don’t use Rx drugs, but can you imagine a scenario where the 50% of the population that does rely on Rx drugs is forced to do without?  Can you envision the pain and suffering that would ensue if millions of people were suddenly unable to get their antidepressants, pain pills, and heart medications? This is not just a hypothetical situation, but in the event of a long-term disaster such as an economic collapse the #1 cause of death is projected to be lack of access to medicines.

 

The 400+ page Essential Survival Guide to Medical Preparedness is an easy-to-use, no-nonsense guide to using Mother Nature’s medicines herbs and essential oils along with basic reflexology, basic acupressure, and a healthy lifestyle to help with chronic illness, injury, infectious disease, pregnancy, childbirth, sanitation, hygiene, mental health, and more!  The chapter on first aid also contains advice from the Western medical perspective.  Whether you are looking for maximal medical preparedness for natural disaster or a collapse scenario, or you are serious about using medicines from Mother Nature for your day-to-day health, The Essential Survival Guide to Medical Preparedness will help you be ready to handle hundreds of health concerns yourself at home!

 

Authors Julie Behling-Hovdal (reflexologist, holistic healer, & essential oil enthusiast), Rebecca Potter (Master Herbalist, School of Natural Healing graduate), and Edward Behling (medic) come together to provide an interesting and practical take on natural medicines, preparedness, and first aid that will empower their readers to achieve greater medical self-sufficiency at a time when many in this country are moving toward more medical dependency.  Included are full-color reflexology and acupressure charts and instruction on how to deliver a baby in the event trained help is unavailable.

 

This book is now available through Christopher Publicationshttp://christopherpublications.com/Essential_Survival_Guide.html

November 11th, 2013Herbal First Aid Kit

Tonya Judd

An Herbal First Aid Kit goes beyond the normal run of the mill first aid kit containing adhesive bandages and anti-biotic ointment.  An Herbal First-Aid Kit for college students, young married couples, parents, grandparents and others on your gift list who often ask what to do for particular ailments, is a great gift idea for the upcoming Christmas season. These items can be placed in a small plastic tote, a tackle box, a back pack, a duffle bag, a cosmetic bag, a drawstring bag or whatever you have on hand. If you are giving this as a gift to someone who is not familiar with herbal remedies, make sure you include an instruction sheet listing each item and their possible uses.

Below are items that I keep in my Herbal First Aid Kit and are items that I have found to be just what we need when we are away from home:


Cayenne - powdered and tincture:  stops bleeding, improves circulation, headaches and heart attack
Vitalerbs - capsules:  vitamin and mineral supplement
Immucalm - capsules: allergies and allergic reactions, calms and strengthens the immune system, asthma
Plantain- ointment: bites, stings, draws toxins, reduces swelling
Complete Tissue & Bone - ointment:  broken bones, sprains, scrapes, cuts, wounds, skin eruptions, pulled muscles, and blood clots, regenerates tissue
Rash Formula - ointment: soothing ointment for abrasions, eczema, dry skin, poison ivy & swelling
Black Ointment - ointment:  drawing agent, tumors, warts
Comfrey - ointment:  burns, wounds, cuts, bleeding
Cayenne Heat - ointment:  sore muscles and joints, sprains
Sen Sei - ointment:  headaches, sinus pressures, sore muscles, sore throats
Burn Paste - made with equal parts of wheat germ oil, honey and powdered comfrey - burns
Ginger - capsules:   cardiovascular ailments, nausea, anti-inflammatory, gas, indigestion
Garlic Oil - oil:   ear infections, infection, bacteria
X-Ceptic - tincture:  antiseptic, infections, tooth infections
Anti-Spasmodic - tincture: charley horses, cramps, mouth sores, muscle spasms, sore throat
Lobelia - tincture:  anti-spasmodic, emetic, relaxant, expectorant
Black walnut - tincture:  fungus, parasitic infections, warts
Ear & Nerve Formula - tincture:  ear infection, tinnitus, malfunctioning nerves
Glandular System Massage Oil - oil:  cleansing and nourishing the glands, infected glands, and lymph organs
Echinacea - tincture:  enhances the immune system, prevents and fights bacteria and viruses
Relax-Eze - tincture:   nervous tension, insomnia, rebuilding nerves and lessens pain
Herbal Eyebright - tincture and eye cup:  healing the eyes, pink eye
Infection Formula - capsules:  kills infection, clears toxins from lymph and reduces inflammation
Lower Bowel Formula - capsules: bowel cleanser, constipation, rebuilding the bowel
Slippery Elm - powder or capsules:  diarrhea, wounds, inflammation of the stomach & intestines
Castor Oil, Wheat Germ Oil, Extra Virgin Olive Oil - nutrition, fomentations; include a large piece of cotton flannel for fomentations
Essential Oils - peppermint, lavender, eucalyptus, and lemon are a few good ones to have on hand

Mix and match these great herbal products to make a kit that fits your needs. I have found that transferring the formulas and ointments to smaller containers such as pill holders and small ointment containers (these can be found at health food stores or online), works wonderfully for an Herbal First-Aid Kit for the car.  Also, make sure you label each container and compartment.  I also include the basics that would be found in a traditional First-Aid Kit such as:  bandages, gauze, tweezers, a small bottle of soap, a water bottle, elastic bandages, steri-strips or butterfly closures, disposable hot and cold packs, and scissors.

Having an Herbal First-Aid Kit in each of our vehicles and making sure I have these items on hand at home has given me peace of mind and ensures that I can heal my family in any situation, wherever I am.

Tonya Judd is a Master Herbalist graduate of The School of Natural Healing and an Emotional Release practitioner.

October 4th, 2013How to Use Your Echinacea

Jo Francks MH

Echinacea is a wonderful herb used to stimulate the immune system which helps the body overcome illnesses like the common cold or the flu. As we turn the corner from summer and head into autumn it is a good time to get out and harvest herbs. Echinacea purpurea or Purple Coneflower has become a popular flower growing in many landscapes. When the flowers die and the cones turn brown the flower head can be cut and the seeds carefully removed. The seeds, when chewed, have that familiar numbing effect typical of Echinacea root. A tincture can be made with the seeds alone or combined with other parts of the plant. The roots are the most medicinal part of the plant and can also be harvested this time of year when the flowers die back. E. pupurea has a fibrous root. Other species such as E. angustifolia and E. pallida, have a taproot. 

I was afraid to use the first tincture of Echinacea root I made thinking it could not possibly be any good. I finally tried it because there was nothing else available except my own home made tincture. I was coming down with the symptoms of a cold. I felt congestion in my lungs and pressure in my head and sinuses and there, in my cupboard, was my bottle of Echinacea tincture. So I put a dropperful in some water and drank it. Not long after that I felt the symptoms start to go away, so I took another dropperful in some water and by the end of the day I felt great. Who knew that something I made myself could actually make me well. I became a believer in homemade remedies and began making more and more extracts for myself and my family to use.

To make a tincture of Echinacea you will need some Echinacea root. This can be from a plant you have dug up either fresh or dried or you can purchase cut Echinacea root. If you have dug your own root make sure the root is cleaned very carefully. After cleaning the root it can be chopped up and used fresh or dried for later use. Fill a canning jar about 2/3 full with the dried root. Fill the jar the rest of the way with vodka or a mixture of 50% vegetable glycerin and 50% distilled water. Cap the jar tightly and shake every day for 2 weeks. Strain the tincture and discard the herb and save the liquid. It’s best to keep some in an amber glass dropper bottle and use a dropperful at a time when needed. Treat illness at first sign of symptoms and use every hour or two. Echinacea can be used for up to 10 days then take a break for a few days before using again.

Making your own herbal medicine can be very rewarding and economical. Echinacea is a good herb to always have on hand for the whole family.

Jo Francks is a Master Herbalist graduate of The School of Natural Healing. She is also a Holistic Iridologist and Quantum Touch practitioner. 


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