Monthly Archives: March 2010


Dive deeply into the fertile ocean of your unconscious!

Pregnancy is a time filled with hopes and excitement, fears and uncertainties. It is a time of profound physical and emotional changes — perhaps spiritual ones too.

This workshop has been created to help women explore these changes and feelings in a relaxing, supportive and creative environment.

Join a small group of other pregnant women for 90 minutes of meditative and spontaneous painting. Using guided visualization, you will be invited to paint and more fully understand these amazing changes.

Painting in a quiet, meditative way can draw you more deeply into your intuitive self. Fears can be explored and then dissolved. Hopes and dreams can be clarified and born onto the paper. Stories can be shared with others who support you.

No art experience is necessary! Your intuitive wisdom will know what and how to paint as the moment arises. Create without limits or judgements.

Stephanie Harper is an Art Therapist registered with the BC Art Therapy Association. As a painter and a mother, she is very excited to bring her two passions together in this workshop.

Please see more information about Stephanie at

When? Saturday, April 10, 2010 from 1 pm- 2:30 pm

Where? Alchemy & Elixir Health Group # 320-1026 Davie St., Vancouver. V6E 1M3

Cost? $75 per person

Space is limited! To Register, call Stephanie at 778-988-1312

Digestive Aids: Back to the Basics with Herbal Medicine

Written by Katolen Yardley, MNIMH, Medical Herbalist

Herbal medicine offers invaluable aid for chronic digestive disorders as well as common symptoms of overeating including heart burn, indigestion, cramping and bloating. As most herbal medicines are taken orally, they come into direct contact with the mucous membranes lining the digestive tract, offering quick relief. Herbal medicines offer gentle, non-habit forming alternatives to over-the-counter and prescription medications and are suitable for long term aid. The medical actions of herbs are often categorized into groups according to their therapeutic action.

Digestive stimulants help to increase or improve digestive activities. Two of the main categories of stimulant herbs are bitters and hepatics (herbs which support the liver). Bitters have been used traditionally, sipped before meals. Herbal bitters act to stimulate the release of gastric juice and digestive enzymes for optimal digestion. They also help to increase appetite. Bitters have a general tonic action on digestion, stimulating the bodys self repair mechanisms. Some bitter herbs include wormwood, centaury, yarrow and gentian. Bitter herbs are consumed in small amounts and should not be ingested in conditions of excess stomach acid or ulcers. Hepatics are herbs that strengthen tone and support the liver. The liver is our primary organ for cleansing and detoxification, facilitating the deactivation of hormones, drugs, food additives and pollutants. The liver is involved in carbohydrate, fat and protein metabolism and helps to maintain stable blood sugar levels. It is also involved in both the synthesis of cholesterol and its breakdown into bile salts. In addition, the liver provided storage for fat soluble vitamins. Examples of Hepatic herbs include: dandelion root, wild yam root, yellow dock root.

Digestive Relaxants, in contrast, help to reduce over-activity and relax tissues. These herbs are used in a clinic environment to reduce bloating and stomach distension. Carminative herbs are plants that contain volatile oils, the component of the plant that imparts the familiar fragrant/aromatic scent associated with many dried herbs. Their main action in digestion is to soothe and settle the gut wall, ease cramping and expel wind from the stomach and intestines, while providing gentle anti spasmodic properties. Some common carminative herbs containing a characteristic scent include caraway seed, fennel seed, peppermint leaf, ginger root and anise seed.

Herbal medicines are gentle and ideal for incorporating into ones daily routine. Digestive herbs can be used in either tea or tincture form. An adult general dosage for herbal teas is 1 tsp. of the herb for every cup of boiled water, steeped for 15 minutes; 3-4 cups daily will provide a medicinal dose. When using tinctures, the dosage varies depending upon the herbs used. A standard adult dose is generally 2-3 ml taken 2-3 times daily.

Katolen Yardley, MNIMH is a Medical Herbalist in private practice at Alchemy & Elixir Health Group in Vancouver, BC. or