Notes from WHC 2016

Last year I wrote, “I’ve only been to three years of this 28-year-old conference, but each year I’ve attended has been more nourishing, more inspiring, and also more fun than the last.”  Now I’ve made it to my fourth year at the WHC, and the trend has continued.  What really moved me this year was…

Herbalism & Birth Control

Herbalists talk a LOT about women’s health.  There are good reasons for this:  In my experience, attendees at many herbal events are overwhelmingly female.  Conventional medicine has a history of dismissing women’s health issues, leading many of those suffering to turn to herbalists to be heard.  Herbalism excels at addressing questions of imbalance, situations where…

Where we shop matters

To all of my friends, but especially to herbalist friends, I follow a lot of herbalist-authors and book lovers, and much of the time, when you post about books online, you link to Amazon.  I’m writing to ask you to rethink that, because of the same priorities that make you as dedicated to herbalism as…

Notes from the 2015 IHS

I arrived at the International Herb Symposium somewhat flustered and awkwardly carrying my luggage in my arms since the handle on my suitcase had broken.  Not for the first time in my life, I thought that I ought to have packed lighter.  Nevertheless, I couldn’t fail to notice how lovely the setting was:  Wheaton College,…

Notes from the 2015 WHC

The New England Women’s Herbal Conference is, in many ways, a demulcent* conference.  Rosemary Gladstar spoke this year about how, from the beginning, she wanted the conference to be nourishing and have a sweetness to it.  It’s a replenishing event, and a soothing one – not in the sense of tranquilizing, but of healing.  The…

Fire Cider: Let’s Call it What it Is

If the Chick-fil-A lawsuit over “Eat More Kale” got your goat, this should too: A while back, the national company Shire City Herbals trademarked “fire cider,” a term that has long been used as a traditional/generic name for a spicy, warming, apple cider vinegar-based herbal remedy popularized by Rosemary Gladstar. Now, this company is suing…

Responding to Antibiotic Resistance: a resource round-up

There have been some pretty scary headlines in the news this week.  Stuff like: Drug-Resistant Bacteria Are Common Killers Antibiotic-Resistant Infections Lead to 23,000 Deaths a Year, C.D.C. Finds ‘We Will Soon Be in a Post-Antibiotic Era’ Yes, Agricultural Antibiotics Play a Role in Drug Resistance While antibiotic resistance has been a concern for some…

Dandelions Take a Stand for Contraception?

This image, I have to admit, almost leaves me speechless.  My first thought was to note the amazing feats of illogic.  How, for example, does the use of contraception lead to single-parent homes?  Contraception – by definition – prevents you from becoming a parent in the first place.  And why is contraception the root of…