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Thursday, February 13, 2014

Nutritive Herb Resources

Nutritional Herbology Pedersen

Healing Wise Susun Weed

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

Leaky Gut and Small Instetine Bacterial Growth Resources

Article to come!

Great Zine on the GAPS diet
Thomas Easley on SIBO
Paul Bergner on
Books  Specific Carbohydrates Gluten Free Cooking OMG Thats Allergy Free cookbook may be helpful
Wild Fermentation by Sandor Katz

Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Open Letter to Shire Herbals about Trademarking Fire Cider

Dear Shire City Herbals(Brian, Dana and Amy)

This is an exceptionally painful letter to write to you all.  I love seeing small herb companies get successful.  I love seeing herbal remedies spread around to various shelves.  I love Fire Cider.  I love your labels.  I love that you all seem to be conscious enough to want to market such a great kitchen remedy.  I would normally wish you the greatest of successes.  Unfortunately, you have chosen to do something, (maybe from getting bad advice or maybe just ignorance on the issue) that is bad for the herbal community, and could create a negative effect on future popular remedies and placing "ownership" legally over something that is thought of as part of our herbal "commons" so to say.  It may be that you had no idea there really was a lot of people making Fire Cider for generations and selling it.  You seem to be a rather new company and sometimes growing pains can be big.  I want to start by saying I think that you could still be very successful and be supported even more right now if you all take the path that maybe your lawyers would have advised against.  I ask you to dig deep and really think about this not as business people, but as herbalists, and caring individuals-- as people who love Fire Cider.  
Herbal Medicine's tradition is one of being by the people and for the people.  Herbalists such as Nicholas Culpepper, and more recently Rosemary Gladstar, have led a long battle to keep herbs in the hands of the general populace, not an elite group, or medical group.  Fire Cider is an exciting and popular remedy that many of my students and friends have wanted me to either mass market or they themselves have been pushed in this direction. I have taught 100s of people to make it.  Many now sell it in their own neighborhoods and communities. Its delicious.  I first learned about it in Eugene, Oregon in the late 90s and have been making it ever since.  I read about your German grandmother making a similiar concoction.  Yes, my Hungarian grandmother  in Budapest does as well.  It is common.  The name is as well in this country.
We all know it takes very hard work, as your responses have defended, to get products marketed well.  Most herbalists never do it very well, choosing more of a craft than a product.  You obviously have done the time and put energy in, which can be done to popularize just about any remedy.  Its the same way some brands of Echinacea became stars, or products like Dr Singhas Mustard Bath that got into big retail establishments. Now, you may have never heard of one of these items or known that they were popular, or who else knows about them, but that means nothing.  They are.  I do not think whomever did the research when deciding on the Trademark with Fire Cider did it with due diligence.  I really think consulting with an established and knowledgeable herbalist right now would be of help to you.  
I really hope you all consider your decision in this matter carefully and with a full heart.  Most people are expressing their distaste for your actions, not your company, so please know that if you decide to do what is ethically right, and courageous to protect Traditional, popular herbalism, I will personally support your decision, as a Practicing Herbalist, Director of a Herb School, Activist--oh and human.
I know you probably have some canned responses to this type of letter, and nothing is more distasteful to me right now.  I have already read your form letter responses.  I ask for a human response.  If you need to talk this out, I believe Rosemary Gladstar(who has already tried communicating about this and gotten what I saw as a generic and thoughtless response), is most likely available to you.  I know it may be really hard to get yourselves out of where you are at right now, but I think we can figure this out.  I really dont want to see you completely lose all of your business after all of the hard work you have done.
Currently, 2500 people have petitioned against you in 24 hours.
People are now contacting retail establishments and returning your product and asking to have your product pulled.
I personally just spoke to the buyer of our local coop and am beginning the process of boycotting if you are unable to change your position.
I would much rather be spending time on companies like Monsanto and other monsters, but with the direction you are taking this you are acting in the same thoughtless way they are, and putting money and the idea that you need to "protect your business" before people's health.  I love seeing multiple brands of herbals on the shelf.  I love that several of my students have their own versions of Fire Cider, and I hope you can begin to reevaluate whether you can come to this situation from a place being part of a larger, and long tradtiion and community that operates with passion and respect.  I want to respect you. Please let me know if there is anything I can do to help you figure out your next step.  Wouldnt it be great if we started a campaign and promoted it helping you to change the name?  I really like the idea of Shire Cider that one person put forth.  Just remember that whatever your decision, it will echo, and many people are watching(including my new class of 35 herbalists)


--Nicole Telkes

Saturday, January 25, 2014

Fire Cider: Make it Yourself

This is one of my favorite herbal remedies.  I have been making this for about 15 years, and sharing the remedy with others for about 10 in my herb school.
Enjoy and stay well

Make your own Fire Cider!
Fire Cider(also known as cyclone cider or vinegar of the 4 thieves) is a popular kitchen remedy amongst many folk herbalists, especially in the Northern parts of North America. What is it? Its an herbal vinegar extraction that relies on a few main ingredients: Garlic, Ginger, Chili Peppers and Horseradish.YIKES! Garlic from Mrs M Grieve's A Modern Herbal says: “It formed the principal ingredient in the 'Four Thieves' Vinegar,' which was adapted so successfully at Marseilles for protection against the plague when it prevailed there in 1722. This originated, it is said, with four thieves who confessed, that whilst protected by the liberal use of aromatic vinegar during the plague, they plundered the dead bodies of its victims with complete security”

Fire Cider Remedies is a stimulant, purgative, antimicrobial, and more. It is sweet, sour, spicy and pungent. It tastes so good, many people keep it out and even add it to some of their food dishes. You can use it on cold mornings to wake up and get your circulation going. You can use it to help resolve colds and flu. Sometimes people add other herbs in the mix, sometimes not. It is a lovely addition to your herbal first aid cabinet.
The basic recipe:
Assemble Organic Apple Cider Vinegar, Local Honey, Organic Garlic, Organic Ginger, Organic Horseradish, Organic Chili Peppers(or garden chili peppers), a knife, clippers, and quart sized mason jar
Chop up all ingredients and fill you a mason jar with equal parts peeled garlic, ginger, horseradish and chile peppers. If you are sensitive to chile peppers, you may want to add less. Fill the mason jar with Apple Cider Vinegar, covering the plant material. Screw the top on. The extraction process takes about a month, shake often.
After a month, strain out plant matter and add ½ cup of honey to the remaining liquid. Bottle and store. Dosage varies, from 1-2 tspns as needed. Some amendments include: burying it for a month(adding a little earth magic), adding beets, or nettles, chickweed, cleavers, or other nutritive weeds, adding maple syrup instead of honey....etc. Make up your own recipe!!!

Friday, December 13, 2013

Mineral Rich Bone Broth Recipes

Feeling Bad?  Recovering from an illness?  Worried about malabsorbtion, low level of Mg or Ca or Iron in the body?  Bone broth should be part of your road to recovery.  Read about it here

Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Mental Health and Herbalism

I just finished a class in Mental Health and Herbalism and it gave me a lot of time to reflect on so many subtle and powerful forms of healing.  

One definition of Mental Health: the psychological state of someone who is functioning at a satisfactory level of emotional and behavioral adjustment

Many holistic forms of medicine consider mental health to be an essential part of healing and that many physical manifestations of illness are rooted in emotional holds. In Holistic Medicines, you may choose to use herbs to treat mental illness but do not forget the wide array of therapies to use with your teas and tinctures.

Treatments to Consider Integrating into your Mental Health Protocols:
Flower Essences
Platicas/Story Medicine: learning to Listen or finding someone to listen with an open heart and open mind
Aromatherapy for the spirit
Cleansing with Smoke and water/Limpias(Barridas)/Sound: herbs, resins, smudging, tuning forks, bowls, bells, herbal baths
Ritual and Ceremony, Chanting, Prayer and Song
Herbal Teas
Family and Community Support
Nature Therapy
Magick and Divination
Earth treatments
Temazkals/Sweat Lodges
Energy Work

Constitution and time of year play a big part.  The treatment must fit the client
Always go back to the original insult or injury to the body.  Find the beginning of the story.  Start the treatment there
The Elements of Ritual: Intention is key.  Create sacred space and teach your clients how to
1)Clearing space, this may be done with smoke or sound,  or something to clean the area(brooms)usually widdershiins
2)Protecting the area you are working with a circle.  Drawing the area.  Sometimes these areas become permanent
3) Asking for other energies to be present with you, lighting a candle to signal this(ancestors, spirit guides, earth energies)
4)  Pray or perform ceremonies of healing in this space
5) Seal the intent.  Sometimes this is done with something that can be carried around afterwards
6) Release the energies
7) Close the circle

This sort of creation of sacred space is important for both you and your clients/loved ones.  What your put energy towards becomes your reality.  Words and intent are part of this

Herbs for the Spirit: May be used in drop dosage
any herb can be used to affect the spirit and mental health in drop dosage some common examples include:
Mimosa Albizia : He Huan Ha Collective Happiness Flower, regulating to life force
Pasque Flower  Anemone : Let things move thru you like the wind, and ground you from wind and make decisions
Lemon Balm Melissa: Bee Happy and Alive, headaches, glandular support, elevate
Vervain Verbena Bendability and shifting.  Movement from one place to another in the psyche.  You can do it, if you want to
Chasteberry Vitex: Take away the haunting addiction,calm the frantic desire
Wood Betony Stachys: Bring to center and clear the head for dreams
Rose Rosa: Open and soften the heart

Aromatherapy for the Spirit
Vetivert-grounding and opening
Lavender-panic attacks and anxiety
Mint-Invigorating and clears the head
Cedarwood-Grounds and centers and slows
Orange-Lifts the spirit
Rose-Again softens the heart

Flower Essences for the Spirit

Some ways of assessing the correct remedy for yourself or a client:
Muscle Testing
Pulse Reading
Cranial Sacral

Things to remember:
  • Spend time creating the proper Space for healing, especially when dealing with mental health issues
  • Protect yourself by be present and grounded. techniques include wearing a white or light colored head covering
  • Drugs: When to Say When. Sometimes Drugs can save people's lives. Dont suggest or act in ways that could create a life threatening situation. I am very much a believer in natural therapies and seen them do amazing things. Some people have gotten off of meds and led much healthier lives BUT I lost one of my close friends many years agowhen she tried to stop taking her medication. She ended up taking her life while in a bad epsiode. For her I will always remember that there is a time and a place for medications. With all of that said Walk in Beauty and may you find peace

Thursday, April 4, 2013

Mother's Milk

I love making this drink for women who just gave birth, are breastfeeding and need extra energy and sustenance.  Its also great after a long illness.

1 cup of the juice of 1 young coconut
1-2 medjool dates
cacao nibs--a sprinkle
1 cup soaked cashews and/or almonds/hazelnuts
1 cup of strong tea of nettles and or raspberry leaves/or oatgrass
1 handful of fresh berries--your choice
1 teaspoon of powdered reishi mushroom
1/2 a teaspoon of maca if appropriate for your constitution

Blend until frothy
Drink as a shake