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									Herbalism A Tradition of Healing
Linda Diane Feldt
RPP, NCTMB, NC, CPE

Holistic health Practitioner

Outline of this presentation
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Overview of CAM and alternative healing The practice of herbalism Herbal training and education Concerns and challenges Herbal companies and certification Using local herbs Nourishing and medicinal herbs A few local herbs and how they are used Case studies Next steps

Major Categories of Alternative Healing
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Integrated healing systems Hands on techniques Biological substances Energy based healing Mind/body spirit awareness

Adapted from NIH categories

My Practice
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Student of the healing arts since 1973 Full time private practice since 1981 (10-20 per week) Primarily use Herbs, Cranialsacral therapy, Polarity therapy, and massage. Sliding scale Diverse population Pain, injury, lifestyle, prevention, with or without conventional medicine Age range prenatal to 104 Also teach, write, volunteer

What makes a professional practice
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Standards for practice Scope of practice Continuing education Code of ethics Association membership Able to refer, available for referrals

Herbalism
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Traditional Healers
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Native American, Ayurvedic, Tibb, Unani, Tibetan, etc

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Traditional Chinese Western Folkloric Western Scientific Earth-centered Ethno-botanical
example categories from the American Herbalist Guild

Herbalism Training and Education
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College and University courses Electives within schools that teach wellness, holistic health, bodywork or somatic practices Apprenticeship programs both formal and informal Correspondence courses

Herbalism Training and Education (cont.)
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Traditional initiation and training often combined with religious/spiritual practices Self taught Promotional material and workshops provided by manufacturers Multi level marketing materials Certification provided by herb manufacturers

Western Folkloric Tradition
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promotes ethical harvesting of plants uses the whole parts of the plant, in season encourages consumer involvement emphasis is on nutritive aspects of herbs primarily uses plants that grow locally, and encourages direct involvement with the plants by growing and wildcrafting

Western Folkloric Tradition (cont.)
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uses a holistic approach to support body systems & the individual encourages sharing of information, stories and experience with others can work in a supportive role with conventional Western Medicine

Concerns and Challenges
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Herbalism is a very broad term that describes a profession many thousands of years old. Herbalists and the scientific community have only recently begun to forge mutual respect, goals, and to determine ways of working together. Herbalists must proactively respond to unprecedented consumer interest.

Concerns and Challenges
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Protecting consumers, supporting scientific research, and preserving herbal traditions are intriguing challenges for this profession. Consumers and health care providers may have difficulty determining who is qualified as an herbalist. Herbal use is now being driven primarily by advertising and manufacturers, not by health care providers and traditional sources of information.

Reputable companies
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Harvest ethically Employ herbalists and support professional associations Access to information on
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where plants are harvested - avoid non US unless using TCM company philosophy - focus on herbs or marketing? control of product - don’t just repackage or rebottle from suppliers

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Multi-level marketing deserves special scrutiny

Examples of companies
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HerbPharm Frontier Pacific Botanicals Trout Lake Botanicals Scientific Botanicals Phytopharmica Naturopathic Formulary

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Thorne Research Eclectic Institute MediHerb Bezweken Women's Transition Wise Women Herbals And ??

Herbal certification
The bad  Prone to consumer confusion  Does not ensure potency  Does not address processing or preparation  Does not address safety of the herb  Expense may prohibit good companies from using certification The good  Helpful to ensure WYSIWYG  Raising awareness of importance of herbal quality  Important to ensure Good Manufacturing Practices (GMP)are used  Can address the real problem of contaminate

Using Herbs From Your Landscape

The Foundations of Herbalism
For thousands of years all herbs used were:  Local  Common  Harvested by practitioner or user  Prepared at time of use or preserved for off-season  Special non-local herbs were available by trade

Current Practice

This type of use is still relevant today.

Advantages
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Low or no cost No fear of adulteration Know plant part and if picked at best time Fresh Gets you out in nature Personal/spiritual experience with plant(s)

Medicine or Food?
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In traditional herbalism plants are used for both Substantial healing can occur by nourishing the body or systems of the body Many herbs occupy both roles The nourishing herbs are far less likely to have unwanted side effects Weeds in Michigan are often higher in available nutrients than conventional foods

Nourishing herbs
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Nutrient rich Bio-available Generally considered safe, side effects uncommon Dosage and strength less important Tend to be local, whole, and common Large amounts used, in contrast to medicinal plants Includes tonics Supportive to body systems Long term use is usually beneficial

Nourishing Herbs cont.
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Internal use
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Infusions
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Water based Vinegar based Cooked Raw (salad)

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Whole plant
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External use
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Compress Poultice Salve

Medicinal Herbs
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Dosage and strength important or critical Tend to utilize more toxic parts of plant Stimulate or sedate More likely to have side effects Are often plants that are less common, or rare Long term use is generally discouraged More extensive knowledge is needed to use safely and effectively

Medicinal Herbs cont.
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Internal Use
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Tinctures Extracts provided in capsules or other Standardized components of plants Drug preparations derived from plants Injections of extracts Capsules (not necessarily effective)

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External Use
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Poultice, compress, bolis Salves

Michigan Herbal Allies
In Michigan we are surrounded by herbal helpers. When you begin to learn them, it changes the experience of being outside and your ability to interact with nature. Help is all around you. It is a very powerful thing to experience regularly. Finding and making you own medicine creates independence, and provides other options to the conventional insurance/medical systems.

Just a few of the hundreds In your yard:
plaintain, dandelion, motherwort, lamb’s quarters, echinacea, Groundsel, shepherd’s purse, chickweed, mallow, self heal

Coming in from the woods:
stinging nettle, cleavers, garlic mustard, poke, red raspberry

From the surrounding countryside:
mullein, yellow dock, burdock, chicory, red clover, St. John’s wort, yarrow

Plantain Plantago
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Used in salads, for bites and skin irritations, soothes oral cuts and radiation burns Leaves chewed, poultice, juiced or salve. Seeds of some species ground and used internally for diarrhea and constipation

Plantain (cont.)
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Externally speeds healing, stops bleeding, draws out foreign matter, kills bacteria, decreases itching, decreases pain. Grows in driveways, paths, near sidewalks, lawns.

Dandelion Taraxacum officinalis
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Famous for liver support and nourishment, rich in vit. A, diuretic Relieves gas and heartburn (20 drops tincture before meals) All parts are edible

Dandelion (cont.)
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Grows in lawns, fields, and where it is needed. Used as tincture (leaves and root), eaten as green, steeped in vinegar, bitter infusion

Echinacea
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A plains flower perennial, Ech. purpuria grows easily in Michigan gardens Roots are harvested in fall of third or fourth year and tinctured fresh

Echinacea
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Echinacea angusifolia harder to grow, roots can be dried. Uses are commonly known, note that Echinacea can be used to stimulate or nourish the immune system. Anti-viral.

Echinacea
stimulate
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Two Actions nourish
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useful for a limited time useful when a fast result is required can have possible side effects

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useful for an unlimited time useful when a long term result is required especially indicated for recovery from long term or chronic illness side effects are unlikely

Lamb’s Quarter Chenopodium
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Eaten for high calcium and carotenes Available early spring through fall (if picked regularly) Can be blanched and frozen for winter nourishment

Lamb’s Quarter (cont.)
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Excellent green for making calcium rich vinegar Grows in disturbed ground Easy to identify by “chalky” appearance Use in place of lettuce for salad base

Nettle Urtica
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Leaves eaten for calcium, iron, protein, micronutrient content. Can also be made into infusion. Tincture or infusion aids kidneys, adrenals Salve or tea used for burns

Nettle (cont.)
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May decrease insulin resistance Infusions, soups, vinegars maximize nettle’s rich nutritional value that nourishes many body systems. Grows near water and high nitrogen sources

Garlic Mustard Allaria petiolata
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Seriously invasive plant. You are encouraged to pick it (roots and all) nearly anywhere you find it. Save the top 1/3 and compost the rest.

Garlic Mustard (cont.)
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Use fresh in salads, blanch and freeze as pot green, great in sauces and soups, use in place of garlic in many recipes. Medicinal benefit unknown, but as nutritious as most greens.

Mullein Verbasci
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Traditional use to stop smoking (substitute) Leaves, infusion, and tincture nourishing for lungs Oil from flowers used for earaches

Mullein (cont.)
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Leaves used to help effectiveness of coughs, to reduce asthma, to calm lung inflammation Found by roadsides, meadows, beginnings of paths and in gardens. A startling plant in the second year, can grow 6-9 feet.

Yellow Dock Rumex crispus
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Root used as tincture to promote iron absorption, nourish liver. Root used as oil as wound healer (bruises, tissue damage, trauma)

Yellow Dock (cont.)
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Leaves used as food (great as pesto) contain high amounts of easily absorbable iron. Great plant for treating anemia (tincture of roots) Will only grow in iron rich soil, fields and open land

Burdock Arctium lappa
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Tincture of the root is used for skin diseases, antitumor, as a deep alterative The root can be eaten (first year and spring of second year only). Used raw, in stir fries, or pickled Found in pour quality disturbed ground, open fields

Burdock (cont.)
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Root contains high levels of inulin, may help blood sugar stabilization Leaves as poultice or compress used to heal burns (including from hot pepper oil) Leaves as poultice quickly heal skin abrasions

Other ideas
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Learn 1-2 plants per year Learn each plant thoroughly - were it grows, why it grows there, what parts are used, when are they harvested, what it tastes like, and how to prepare it for maximum benefit.

Case Studies
Highlighting The Different Ways Herbs are Used

Herbs can be used for:
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Acute conditions Chronic problems Prevention Nutrition System strengthening Easing transitions

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Repair Substitutes for drugs Psychiatric care A complement to conventional treatment … and some examples when using herbs would be detrimental

Acute Conditions
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Sudden menstrual flooding History includes large fibroids and heavy periods Used blessed thistle under the tongue to arrest Flooding stopped within minutes, MD consulted Similar use by midwives for hemorrhaging after delivery

Chronic Problems
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53 year old female with congestive heart failure Heart attack at age 46, ongoing treatment fro complications Diagnosed with staph infection following heart catheterization Treated with broad spectrum antibiotics with no effect Treated with additional antibiotics with no effect Used 30 drops of echinacea every 3 hours, in water, with improvement of symptoms in two hours When echinacea was stopped, symptoms returned When echinacea was continued, symptoms decreased within hours Echinacea was used at ten drops a day until death 7 years later. Any time the 10 drops a day was skipped for more than 2 days, symptoms returned

Chronic Problems cont.
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Case Study 21 year old female Had been diagnosed and treated for mononucleosis Had been past active phase for more than two months when consultation occurred Client reported continuous symptoms of fatigue, general depression, and was unable to return to a full time schedule as a UM student Client used 10 drops of Echinacea tincture a day, in water Within two weeks, this client reported greater alertness, ability to return to full schedule, no fatigue, and no depression Client directly attributed recovery to Echinacea No other therapies or changes were made during the time period in question

Preventative
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5 year old girl, 38 year old female Both have daily exposure to kids at day care and are frequently ill with colds, ear infections, and pink eye. Low dose of Echinacea used long term: 2-3 drops for the 5 year old and 10 drops for adult. Both experience marked decrease in frequency and severity of illnesses.

Preventative cont.
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42 Year old male with family history of heart disease High blood pressure, diabetic Hawthorne given at 20 drops of tincture twice a day Overall improvement of blood pressure, other effects unknown and unable to verify

Nutritive
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Infusions provide readily absorbable nutrients, vary with herb used. Nettle urtica provides protein, calcium and iron. Esp. helpful for anemia, pregnancy (3rd trimester) Red Clover mineral rich Oatstraw appears to provide trace minerals helpful for endocrine system, some evidence affects fertility Anecdotal information is very positive for using specific infusions to help with allergies, infertility, poor nutrition, blood sugaring balancing, and many other problems.

System Strengthening
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35 year old female Sub clinical hypothyroid condition suspected based on symptoms (include. always cold, weight gain, sensation in throat, moody, depressed) Use 1 tsp bladderwack seaweed daily All symptoms improve within 3 weeks Bladderwack is suggested fro both hypo and hyper thyroidism. Contains thyroxin.

Transition
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42 year old female post surgery complete hysterectomy Removed from hormone therapy after cancer is found Trouble sleeping, hot flashes, and mood swings for over 3 months Uses 10 drops motherwort tincture at night, all symptoms resolved within one week.

Repair
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42 year old female experiencing significant nerve pain following needle biopsy on lung, lasting more than 4 months St. John’s Wort oil applied topically Pain decreased within days, continued to progress with continued use
See related article on nerve regeneration www.holisticwisdom.org/articles

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Substitute for Drugs
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32 year old female with plantars warts Had previously tried surgical removal and topical drug therapies with painful results and return of the warts. Applied a homeopathic preparation of Thuja salve for two weeks and warts were gone, after more than 6 years they have not returned

Psychiatric
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43 year old male with SAD diagnosed by his psychiatrist Had difficulty using light box treatment Wanted to stop prescribed SSRIs, stopped on his own Symptoms made much worse Took St. John’s Wort tincture 20 drops 2x day Positive effect within three days of use

Complementary to Conventional Treatment
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23 year old female with ALL treated with chemotherapy drugs Used milk thistle extract during each treatment, as well as 2 x a day 20 drops in water Liver tests consistently came back normal Nursing staff questioned her about her high energy levels and unexpectedly good liver profiles My later conversations with her medical team confirmed their initial surprise, and their belief that the milk thistle was a significant factor.

A few examples of times to not use herbs
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Over tired pregnant woman with cold - rest and simple instructions Uterine artery embolization - a procedure in which a part of you is “killed” Bone marrow transplant - avoid immune stimulant herbs Self treatment of symptoms without considering cause - estrogen replacement “Cleansing and purifying” - an illusion and myth Removal of skin tags - leave the intentionally damaged area alone, heal it after

To Learn More
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Spring and fall weed walks Peterson’s Guide to Medicinal Plants with Stephen Foster Purchase remaindered wild flower books ($23) and use pictures (ignore text) Free monthly herb classes sponsored by People’s Food Coo-op (fourth Thurs.) Free monthly herb classes sponsored by Whole Foods

Next week
A lab devoted to the hands-on experience of making herbal preparations including tinctures, salves, poultices, infusions, and more. Come prepared to be a bit messy and work with materials new to you as well as familiar. It may recall the early practice of pharmacy, and we’ll have fun in the process. The results will include products you can take home and use.

Contact Information Linda Diane Feldt P.O. Box 3218 Ann Arbor MI 48106-3218 734-662-4902 lfeldt@umich.edu www.holisticwisdom.org

Dogs harvesting herbs


								
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