Natural Medicine

Medical Herbalism Nutrition Yoga & Wilderness Retreats

Friday, February 25, 2011

Wildcrafting article in Newspaper!

Recently, I met with Keira Zikmanis, writer for the Nexus - Camosun College's student newspaper. We spoke about wildcrafting medicinal plants and she has included some info in her latest article. The article is brief but offer a couple good resources if you are interested to learn more. Check it out at:

Some of the first plant to wildcraft in Spring include: Thuja plicata (Red Cedar) and Galium aparine (Cleavers). Spring plants you may find in your garden include Plantago spp. (Plantain) and Stellaria media (Chickweed). Equisetum arvense (Horsetail) & Urtica dioica (Nettles) must be collected in Spring, as older Summer plants contain Silica which irritates the kidneys. Remember to follow good practices to ensure that population of plants is maintained for the next generation!

Monday, February 21, 2011


Centring and grounding are important tools to ensure that you remain present in your body in any situation. There are many methods for grounding, some of which are listed below.

The first two methods assist in bringing energy inwards and downwards.
  • Breathing (particularly slow, deep, steady pranayamic breathing)
  • Eating (enhances connection with physical, earth based element

Some yoga poses are grounding, including:
  • Padmasana (or sitting cross legged on the ground).
  • Balasana, Child’s pose, Turtle Pose (sitting on bent legs, bent forward with forehead on floor)
  • Spinal Roll up (hang loose in forward bend and breath deep, then bend knees and slowly roll up vertebrae by vertebrae, so your head comes up last. Roll shoulders back at top and stand tall with feet firm on floor.)
  • Lying flat on your back feeling the solid ground beneath you, supporting you.

  • Stones useful for grounding may be held or laid on the body or meditated upon. These include black, brown, and red stones, in particular Smokey Quartz, Obsidian, and Black Opal. In addition, Blue/Green Obsidian is said to assist in energy transfer during Reiki treatments.

  • Standing with feet even and solid on ground, especially outside with bare feet.

  • Putting bare hands or feet in the earth.

  • Concentration on root chakra, or meditative visualization of anchoring the root to the Earth centre.

  • Meditative Visualization of tree-like root connecting the body/root chakra to the soil beneath.

    Practice these when you feel calm and clear and you will be able to recreate that feeling even when times are tough and you feel scattered!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Herbs for Sleep........zzzzzz.........

Withania Somnifera Ashwagandha is a tonic for sleep disturbance due to excess Vata (Air and Ether in Ayurvedic theory).  Fearful dreams that include flying, jumping or running indicate high Vata. Ashwagandha eases nervous exhaustion and fatigue. and promotes deep, restful sleep that is dreamless.

Scutellaria lateriflora Skullcap is a relaxant that not only soothes nervous tension, but also offers a tonic support for the nervous system. It is useful in states of exhaustion and depression, as well as insomnia, hysteria, nervous twitching and nervous headaches. Skullcap may potentiate other sedative medications.

Lavendula angustifolia Lavender is antispasmodic, antidepressant and acts to relax the nervous system and lower blood pressure. It eases tension, headaches, anxiety and depression. Lavender also restores natural sleep cycles, relieving insomnia that relates to an overactive mind. It is helpful as a tea, in a warm bath, or as an essential oil.

Passiflora incarnata Passionflower is a hypnotic nervine that is also antispasmodic. In addition it is lowers blood pressure and relieves pain. It is used to ease insomnia, tachycardia (fast heart rate), hysteria and seizures. Passionflower should not be taken with MAOI medications.

Monday, February 14, 2011

Yoga poses to open the Heart Cakra

The Heart Cakra is the home of our compassion, where we give and receive love within the world.

Anahatasana- the Melting Heart opens the back heart cakra that controls the lungs

Supta Baddhakonasana - lying back on a bolster opens the front of the heart, clears and opens the lungs, and with the hips open the energy is free to flow between the heart and the lower cakras - connecting our basic, instinctual energies with a conscious heart

Side stretches - whether seated or standing, side stretches open Vyana vayu- the energy pathway from the heart to the extremities

If you are having trouble expressing the feelings of your heart try chanting or singing - sound pulls the heart energy up and opens expression through the Throat Cakra

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Herbal love for Valentines

Pleasure is the flower that passes; remembrance, the lasting perfume. 
 ~Jean de Boufflers

Saturday, February 12, 2011

Herbal Medicine Clinical Hours

I am currently in my third year of study in a full time Phytotherapy (medical herbalism) program at Pacific Rim College in Victoria. Clinical herbal consultations are currently offered for FREE!! You simply pay for your herbs. 

I am currently offering clinic consultations open to the public: 
Tuesdays and Thursdays @ 330 & 5pm. 

Herbal consultations are offered to provide holistic health care and treat a wide range of ailments. During the consultation you will have time (about an hour) to discuss your health history and your current state of physical, emotional, spiritual, and mental health. Following the consultation I offer nutritional and lifestyle guidance and a customized herbal formula. Herbs may be in the form of a tea, tincture, capsule, or topical cream depending on your needs. 

To book an appointment: please call Pacific Rim College (phone: 250.483.2119). The college is located in Market Square @ 229-560 Johnson Street, Victoria BC. If you are not available at these times it may be possible to schedule another time. The college also offers a community acupuncture clinic! 

Current Yoga Schedule

Thursdays 7pm-815pm
Flow Yoga @ Burnside Gorge Community Centre
Relax and unwind with this gentle yet challenging class. Glide through classical yoga poses, gain body breath and self awareness. Classes include breathing techniques, classic yoga postures, and a relaxation component. Drop-in prices, 10-class punchcards and monthly wellness passes are all available to give you flexibility and choice.

Fridays 530-645pm
Ashtanga Yoga @ Feel Good Yoga
Traditional Ashtanga vinyasa sequencing involving sun salutation, strengthening, challenging poses and invigorating breath. Variations of poses and adjustments will be included to support the individual progression of each student.

Fridays 7pm-800pm
Candlelight Gentle Flow @ Feel Good Yoga
A class to relax, unwind for the weekend and relieve tension in the body, heart, and mind. The class will combine mellow Hatha flows with longer seated Yin holds as well as breathing and relaxation exercises.

NEW Gentle Flow class to begin Wednesdays in March @ Burnside Gorge Community Centre.