Category Archives: Herbs

The Good Living Guide to Natural and Herbal Remedies

I am very excited to announce the release of my new book “The Good Living Guide to Natural and Herbal Remedies.” Inspired by the urgent need to recognize the value of mother earth and the gifts which she provides, especially plants – both serving as our foods and also our medicines and the importance of taking steps to maintain and preserve the health of the earth for our own wellbeing, the continued accessibility of our healing plants and the health of generations in the future.front cover small

This back-to-nature home remedy and herbal medicine making guide provides details on effective herbal medicines (kitchen vegetables, spices, well known herbal medicines and wild plants) for common family health issues. Inside the 310 pages of this hardcover book you will find recipes for various common health concerns: from an upset stomach, indigestion to arthritis and sore muscles, wound healing to acne, eczema, hives as well as body care recipes (body washes, insect repellents, cleansers and hair masks).

Regardless of if you are a beginner or advanced in your herbal training – this book is for you!  Providing guidance for preparing infusions, decoctions, medicinal honeys, general tincture preparation, herbal vinegars and topical applications as well as general first aid guidance using herbal medicine. There are also tasty food recipes which incorporate edible plants into ones diet.

Color photographs offer assistance with plant identification, this is a reference manual; offering tips for both beginners as well as recipes and traditional and modern applications for advanced herbal practitioners.

Kat book 2Featuring a long list of medicinal plants including detailed descriptions on the use of Turmeric, Lavender, Nettles, Heartsease, Sweet Violet, Self Heal, Juniper and Sage; common kitchen herbs and even vegetables and also some lesser known medicinal plants such as Watercress, Daisy and Sunflowers!

We all know that what we put on our skin is absorbed into out body. There is more and more research conducted on groups of commercial synthetic chemicals (largely found in cosmetic use and cleaning supplies) known as Xenoestrogens – also known as Endocrine disruptors (known to increase our bodies estrogen levels, and contribute to health conditions including infertility, polycystic ovarian syndrome, lowered sperm counts and have the ability to disrupt thyroid function, and linked to obesity, and a large list of health issues).

The cosmetic and body care recipes inside this book are environmentally friendly and Xenoestrogen free – they can play a small role in reducing our exposure to toxic chemicals typically found in common packaged cosmetics and also reduce the impact of environmentally toxic chemicals in the environment, our water and food chain and on marine life.

Packed full of herbal wisdom, traditional use and just the right amount of science, readers will gain confidence in plant identification as they dive into the art of creating ones own elixirs at home. In short, “The Good Living Guide to Natural and Herbal Remedies” is a simple, straightforward, and beautiful guide to herbal remedies that will help you take charge of your health using nature’s own medicine.

kat book 3There is some urgency in remembering and recognizing the value of mother nature and the plants which she grows.  We reach for what is familiar! That which we use daily -those very habits which we see our family repeating daily, is what we will likely repeat as adults. Our habits today create the habits of the next generation- we need our future generations to remember the importance of clean soil, clean air and accessible plants, both as our foods and as our medicines. This book is a small tool for the remembering of the value of our plants and how to apply them as medicines for common first aid.

Some reviews of the book can be viewed here.

More about me:  You can view a more in depth bio here on my website www.katolenyardley.com: Katolen Yardley, MNIMH – I have been in private practice for almost 2 decades (not to date myself) specializing in women’s health, digestive and skin issues. I have taught herbal medicine making classes for over 25 years, and offer my wisdom and experience to a variety of students in workshops and classrooms.

Autographed copies can be purchased online from my website: www.alchemyelixir.com or books are also available for purchase online: at Amazon, Indigo Chapters, Barnes and Nobel, Banyen Books, and hopefully at a bookstore near you.

A Holistic Approach to Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (and associated mental health issues including Depression and Anxiety)

Join Katolen Yardley, MNIMH in this one-day workshop exploring the impact that long term stress has on the body. We will cover the HPA Axis, and some theories behind PTSD and related mental health issues (including anxiety and depression). Participants will investigate the connection between systemic inflammation and optimal digestive function and dis-ease, including the role a healthy microbiome plays in mental health. Additionally, participants will learn about holistic treatment protocols including nutrition and plant medicine in the route back to optimal health.

Therapeutic options covered include the following:

  • Herbal Medicine options
  • Tips for Nutrition and supplements
  • Lifestyle considerations
  • The role which ‘Connection’ has on our state of mind
  • This course is ideal for a health care professional or any person wanting holistic guidance for supporting their body through extended stress.

Course Instructor: Katolen Yardley is a Medical Herbalist and owner of Alchemy & Elixir Health Group – currently in private practice in Vancouver and Port Moody, BC. Katolen teaches herbal medicine courses at Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine, Langara College, Dominion Herbal College and local and international conferences. She is vice president of the Canadian Council of Herbalist Associations (CCHA) and second term president of the Canadian Herbalist’s Association of BC (CHA of BC).

Since 1998, she has appeared on Global Television Morning News, where she offers herbal information to the public. Katolen has been a guest on the Discovery Channel’s Healthy Home Show and has been published in numerous magazines and health journals. Her personal interest in health lies with the emotional connection to wellness and dis-ease.

Her book The Good Living Guide to Natural and Herbal Remedies is available July 2016 and book signings will occur at the end of the course.

For more information visit: www.katolenyardley.com or                                                       Facebook: Katolen Yardley, Medical Herbalist
Date: Saturday, September 17, 2016, 9:00am-5:00pm                                                                             Location: Pacific Rim College, Victoria, BC
To register visit: Pacific Rim College Event
https://www.pacificrimcollege.com/workshops/workshop-registration-form/

Course Tuition
Regular – $150 (Early Bird – $142.50, until August 1)
Students* – $137.50 (Early Bird – $125, until August 1)
PRC Alumni – $142.50 (Early Bird – $132.50, until August 1)
*PRC diploma students will receive 0.5 NU/WHS academic credit for this workshop.

Herb Walk and Medicine Making Workshop

With Katolen Yardley, MNIMH – Medical Herbalist and host Sharon Brown Horton.

Join us for a day long adventure…. on Gambier Island.

gambier2   howe sound

• Learn about local medicinal plants and herb walk in the stunning rainforest and meadow land.
• Meander to a stunning off the grid property to learn about herbal medicine making.
Enjoy the local animals on property and the gorgeous view overlooking Howe Sound.
• Collect medicinal and garden edibles for salad and enjoy a delicious herbal desert, sip on herbal tea throughout the day.
• Dive into medicine making and learn how to prepare herbal teas, herbal vinegars, a medicinal salve and infused oil – an instruction booklet provided.
• Learn the various medicinal uses of local plants.

gambier  IMG_8356  gambier rooster  salad

gambier walk

The days experience are made more magical by the fact that we are travelling to an off the grid property. This part of the island has no public ferry access, no stores, no paved roads, no hydro, no phone lines… and of course no ATM machines or restaurants. (So bring your own snacks for the day, in case you get hungry).

Access to the island is by water taxi and once you arrive it is as if you are miles away from the city, in a stunning rustic environment surrounded by wildlife (if luck is with us a deer may stop by for a hand fed snack!) and on the property your might meet some friendly hens and roosters, kittens. Stunning views of the ocean and mountains are visible.

Katolen Yardley, MNIMH is a medical herbalist and nature knower with over 20 years of clinical and medicine making experience. Author of the Good Living Guide to Natural and Herbal Remedies (August 2016). Visit  www.katolenyardley.com for more information

And our lovely host and Thai Massage Instructor, Sharon Brown Horton at www.hummingbirdhillfarm.net

Kat Gambier  sharon chicken gambier

Date: Saturday July 9, 2016Gambier lavender
Time: From 8 am until after 6 pm

Prepayment required. Space is limited –to reserve now.
Medicine Making: $ 115 (Plus $ 45 Water Taxi to island) =
Total: $ 160
Meet in Vancouver for car pool or Lions Bay Marina
More information provided upon registration.

Contact: info@alchemyelixir.com to preregister and pay by visa, mastercard, cheque or e transfer.

Or call 604 683 2298

 

Herbal Associations in Canada

Interested in professional associations of registered herbal therapists in Canada – there are numerous regional associations offering various membership categories- both for professional practicing herbalists and for members with a general interest in herbal medicine.

The Canadian Council of Herbalist Associations (CCHA) is a not for profit organization representing associations of herbal practitioners that unifies, promotes and serves herbal practitioners through active communication with government, the public, and between all herbalist associations in Canada.

Canadian Herbalist’s Association of British Columbia (CHA of BC)

Ontario Herbalists Association – promoting the safe and natural healing with plant medicines and promoting a unified community based on a devotion to the knowledge and practice of herbal medicine.

Herbalist Association of Nova Scotia

Guilde des Herboristes Quebec

Alberta Association of Practicing Herbalists

 

Kootenay Herb Conference, Creston BC

Kootenay  Herb Gatherine 503The theme of the first Kootenay Herb Conference was “Herbs: The Medicine of the People.”  A weekend of celebrating the centuries-old tradition of using ‘herbs in food and herbs as medicine’; connecting to our past and the healing power of plants.

Kootenay  Herb Gatherine 450 The Kootenay Herb Conference was held just outside of Creston, BC in early July -situated close  to the Creston Valley Wildlife Management Area a nature reserve with many trails. This world-Kootenay  Herb Gatherine 434renowned bird sanctuary is located on 17,000 acres of protected wetlands and boasts more than 265 species of nesting and migrating birds.- the location in a valley between mountains and beside a river and we were infused with warm summer weather.

Kootenay  Herb Gatherine 461The was a HUGE success – bringing attendees from all around BC, Alberta and the United States- It was an amazing Kootenay  Herb Gatherine 548opportunity to both infuse oneself in nature and learn about plant medicine – with insight from amazing herbalists residing throughout North America. Presenters ranged from numerous clinical herbalists, wildcrafters, doctors and naturopaths travelling from Seattle, McCall, Idaho, the Kootenays, Vancouver and Vancouver Island and Grande Prairie, Alberta who presented an assortment of health topics through the weekend- from phytochemicals used in salve making and favonoids in foods, to medicinal mushrooms, bach flower therapy, ayurvedic constitutions,  herbal discussions Kootenay  Herb Gatherine 529for various ailments (menopause, respiratory health, herbals for babies and children) and edible herbals- there were topics for every area of interest and level of learning (from advanced practitioners to those attending their very first herb lecture)- everyone took home gems from the weekend.

Medicinal plants are growing in abundance around the area making it an idelic space for herb walks and visual identification of plants growing in their natural habitat.Kootenay  Herb Gatherine 516

Kootenay  Herb Gatherine 549The conference offered delicious food, greens and berries grown specially for the  weekend and generously donated by local markets and farms, the meals were amazing.  A thank you to all the volunteers and organizers to make this event a success- Rachel Beck and others who worked tirelessly throughout the weekend- looking at ways to enhance the experience throughout the Kootenay  Herb Gatherine 551entire weekend.

Look for this conference to be held again in 2016 and spread the wordKootenay  Herb Gatherine 425 – what a great opportunity to expand ones knowledge of plant medicine while being submersed in nature. An idellic setting for learning more about nature’s healers.

Kootenay  Herb Gatherine 422

 

The Oldest Herb Shop in Barcelona


Barcelona 435The Herbal del Rei or Herbolari del Rei in Spanish, is a stunning gemBarcelona 446
 of a herb shop found hidden in the stone side streets of the ancient Gothic district of Barcelona – walking distance from La Rambla.  It is located thru a side passage near to the Royal Square / Plaza Real in the Street of Glass # 1. or Carrer del Vidre, 1, 08002 or through the street Carrer de Ferran. It was apparently created in 1818 and moved to its present location in 1823, and is dedicated to the sale of medicinal plants and natural products. As one of the oldest shops in Barcelona, thankfully it has been declared a  site of Culture and Local Interest and hopefully it will remain open for more people to visit and enjoy.

Barcelona 444

Barcelona 442Inside the herb shop is beautiful and needs to be experienced in person for the full impression ( but you can also click on the pictures for a larger view). Decoration is Elizabethan style, dating back to 1857 – with a glass roof, old spanish wooden hand painted drawers housing ancient secrets, arched wood panels, statues, oil paintings and lovely old watercolors; in the center of the shop is a marble fountain (apparently once used for preserving leeches)  and beautiful hand painted tiles of medicinal plants can be found tucked away throughout the shop and then of course there are the Barcelona 461Barcelona 441herbal medicines stored inside glass shelves. An assortment of Catalan herbal products, spices, dried herbs, beeswax candles, teas, licorice and other natural products are found filling every inch of the shop.

Trinidad Sabatés is the shop owner, who Barcelona 457
was honored as a master on Medicinal plants by the Generalitat de Catalunya. When visiting we were fortunateBarcelona 459 to meet both Trinidad and her husband, who spoke more english and offered a lengthy commentary in both english and catalan (thankfully I had a translator) on the history of the shop and herbal medicine and the unfortunate tight regulations of herbal medicines in Spain.

Barcelona 451Barcelona 454

If you are planning to visit- confirm their business hours first – (Currently they are only open from Tuesday to Friday from 4 pm to 8 pm and on Saturday from 10 am  to 8 pm) and double check the address (google maps) – as it took 3 separate trips to the area to discover the actual address and then find the shop open (the store hours, shop name and address seem only to be located on the inside of the doors and shutters, only visible Barcelona 453when the shop is actually open)… but that is the fun of discovering new places in a new country. Herbolari del Rei is also on facebook and offers periodic classes and tours through the historical enchanting shop – unfortunately the tours are only in Catalan or Spanish- so bring a spanish friend like I did!

Traditional Herb Shops of Paris

One of the things I love most about travelling is the opportunity to check out herbal medicine shops and products in other countries – especially the old herbal apothecaries of europe. During a trip to Paris, I  had the pleasure of visiting two traditional herb shops: Herboristerie de la Place Clichy and Herboristerie d’Hippocrate.

My search for Herboristerie d’Hippocrate at 42, rue Saint Andre des Arts -75006 ParisP1030077

– occurred during an unexpected torrential spring down pour – as I wandered through the narrow winding cobblestone streets of the Latin Quarter in search of the correct address. As luck would have it, I arrived during their lunch time and the shop was closed – but found a small cafe and warmed up/ dried out while I waited for their 2 pm opening.
P1030089The wait was worth it and the shop was delightful. Numerous species of dry herbs, dozens of liquid extracts of herbal medicines and traditional recipes for various ailments. Antique hand painted herb containers, dried flowers and a high ceiling decorated in a traditional french style.

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P1030086  Herboristerie de la Place Clichy was another delight – the oldest and largest herb shop in Paris- established in 1880 (that makes it older than the Eiffel Tower). The boutique is located at 87 Rue D’Amsterdam 75008 in North Paris.

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I had the pleasure of meeting one of the owners, Nicole, a pharmacist P1030065who had  purchased the shop  in 1993 and we shared stories of herbs and compared experiences from our differing countries. She kindly gifted me a french herbal medicine reference book “La Phytotherapie” by Dr Jean Valnet – a valuable reference text full of traditional french herbal recipes, actions and indications. I am grateful that the Latin names of herbal medicines are consistent regardless of what language and what country one is visiting- thus the book has been a fantastic reference and comparative tool.P1030074

P1030087Exploring the shop I felt right at home looking at the various remedies and herbal blends for numerous ailments such as: Combat les troubles de la Prostate, Combat la Colite, Digestion Difficile, Combat l’Acne. The shop stocks over 900 species of plant medicine in various forms, dried, extracts, aromatherapy, massage oils and hydrosols.

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Kootenay Herb Conference 2014

For herbal medicine students, herbal enthusiasts and all people passionate about learning more on healing and herbal medicine- Check out the first annual Kootenay Herb Conference! The theme of the inaugural Kootenay Herb Conference is “Herbs: The Medicine of the People.” This year’s conference celebrates the centuries-old tradition of herbs in food and medicine, connecting to our past and their healing power. Whether we use them to feed our families, or to maintain our health and wellness, herbs can be appreciated by everyone. Date: July 11- 14, 2014

Location: Creston, British Columbia

For more information  on workshops view the website at: Kootenay Herb Conference Workshops.

 

Lavender Lemonade Recipe

LAVENDER LEMONADE

A refreshing summer drink – serve with garnished of fresh lavender.

Ingredients:

  • 5 cups of water
  • 1/2 cup sugar (or experiment with adding xylitol or + /- 10 grams of dried stevia leaves for a natural sweet taste)
  • 6 lemons ​- juiced
  • half a lime​ – juiced
  • 6 long sprigs of fresh lavender​ or 1/4 cup of dried lavender flowers

Boil water in a pot on the stove – reduce heat to a low temperature. Add the sugar/ stevia and simmer for 5 minutes. (Taste to adjust flavor as needed). Stirring often to prevent burning and to ensure all sugar dissolves. Remove from heat and stir in the fresh lemon juice, lime juice, and lavender flowers. Place the lemonade in the fridge to cool down all the way. Serve with lemon wedges and ice cubes. Enjoy!

Makes about 1 quart or 1 liter

Numen: The Healing Power of Plants Documentary

An inspiring documentary on the Healing Power of Herbal Medicine – featuring some of my favorite herbalists of all time: Rosemary Gladstar, Tieraona Lowdog, MD, David Hoffman and others. Official selection of the Santa Fe film festival, Green Mountain film festival, Maine International film festival, and the Sonoma Environmental film festival and third place documentary feature and best visual effects winner of the Los Angeles Reel film festival, Mark down these dates on your calender to view the award winning film Numen: The Healing Power of Plants. – free to view online October 20-30. Check out the trailer here.