Category Archives: Uncategorized

Unique Holistic Christmas Gift Ideas

Are you scrambling for last minute Christmas Gift ideas?

Does someone you are close too value natural and clean products?

Are you shopping for someone who is an herbal medicine enthusiast?

Check out these Christmas Gifts, Stocking stuffers and unique finds for people who may be hard to shop for and for those who lose 100 % natural, preservative free, gift ideas…

1. For all the tea lovers – here are some delicious pleasure teas – divine flavors with no preservatives or artificial additives.

Organic Berry Burst Tea is a rich tart tasting berry tea – which perks up with stevia or a bit of honey added. Try this tea hot or cold – it is tasty either way. – or if a sore throat has gotten you down- brew a tea then freeze into popsicle trays and enjoy!

Hibiscus Mint Medley is one of my favorite drinks – Hibiscus pods are blended with rosehips and mint for a divine after dinner digestive drink or pleasure tea.  This mineral rich tea is certain to delight – hot or cold.

2. Medicinal tea blends offer support for numerous complaints.

Core Health Herbal Tea blend contains herbs traditionally used for the effects of overeating, bloating, heartburn and indigestion…. and it tastes good too.

Winter Warming Tea Blend is our signature blend containing herbs known for their antiviral and immune supporting properties. Full of flavor with ginger, orange peel and cinnamon. Drink as needed or used for prevention during the season of colds and flu.

3. For those who love relaxing scents – try some of our aromatherapy products. Essential oils rich in volatile oils offering benefit to emotions, fatigue, immune support and skin care alike. Some of our favorite oils include:

Breath Essential Oil Blend: Our antiseptic blend ideal for a sinus steam – or put a couple of drops onto a kleenex and inhale and volatile oils.

Balance Essential Oil Blend: A favorite female blend. Dilute with a carrier oil and apply to the skin as a massage oil, rub onto the wrists or place in an aromatherapy diffuser for an uplifting scent for tension and those PMS times.

4. Salves and Topical Support. Dry skin relief – try our Skin Relief Salve. Congestion and cold prevention – consider our Winter Blend Balm– rub onto the chest and soles of the feet for volatile oil rich support for sinuses and to counter viruses. A perfect support for womens health- try our Moon Cycle Balm to provide assistance from cramps and PMS tension and emotional fluctuations… and we even have a topical balm for Pets – our Pet Pomade is a wonderful all natural product for your furry best friend –  a soothing balm to be used on cracked paws, a pets nose, hot spots, dry nose, minor dry skin irritation or any part of your pets skin that needs moisturizing and protection from the elements.

5. Some unique stocking stuffers include our white sage smudge sticks and sage wands wrapped with rose, feather wands for smudging and beautiful abalone shells to catch the glowing embers. We provide directions for your first smudge ritual.

           

6. And lastly – how can you support a loved one who is interested in learning more about herbal medicine, curious about recipes and learning how to prepare medicines at home? Here is a medicine makers guide providing monographs on 47 herbs, foods and medicinal plants – how to prepare and use for minor first aid, topical applications, food and yes even how to prepare infused oils, salve and massage oils.

The Good Living Guide to Natural and Herbal Medicine provides something for herbalists of all levels. Bulk herbs can be purchased here for the medicine making recipes.

Natural Cosmetic Making using Herbal Medicine

Interested in creating natural and clean body care products for you and your family? Join Katolen Yardley, MNIMH, RH (AHG) – Medical Herbalist for this informative workshop! Learn about herbs for skin care and create chemical free recipes the whole family will enjoy. During this workshop you will create and take home:

An herbal facial steam
A rich natural calendula cream 50 gr
A facial scrub 50 gr
A luscious massage oil 50 ml
Alchemy & Elixir Health Group Office: 604-683-2298
Cost: $65 plus GST
Date: Saturday October 28, 2017
Time: 9am – 12 pm
Email: info@ alchemyelixir.com
RSVP and prepayment to assure your spot as space is limited!
FB: Katolen Yardley, Medical Herbalist
www.katolenyardley.com
Location: Downtown Vancouver, BC
Details provided upon registration

Registrants can purchase a copy of Katolen’s book “The Good Living Guide to Natural and Herbal Remedies”

The Earth Sanctuary on Whidbey Island

This year, I visited the Earth Sanctuary, retreat center, sacred ground and a not-for-profit nature reserve. Situated a mile outside of Freeland  and before Langley, on the south end of Whidbey Island.

   

Wooden benches situated at the sides of the pond invited contemplation and a reflective moment while watching the mist rising from the still water. Bird calls and sounds of flapping wings filled my ears. It is evident that this is was a refuge and habit for local wildlife. The intentional art and sculptures were discovered around turns of the path and  prayer wheels called me back in to meditation.

The meandering 2 miles of trails led me through an old growth forest and an arborerum;  a recent project and restoration site for many native plants. The arboretum intends a return to old growth forest by replanting a variety of native trees including Fir, Cedar, Birch, Spruce, Redwoods .

       

I am called down the labyrinth path and discover a natural a salal hedge labyrinth intended for contemplation in walking meditation, a metaphor for representing life’s journey.  The labrynth

Labyrinth by WellFedSpirit.org

has a single continuous path leading inward to the center – a metaphor for lifes journey, the only thing to do is travel forward, one step in front of the other, until reaching ones goal.  An arrival at the center occurs before  turning outwards again to complete the journey and attain the goal.  A walking meditation is both an inward and outward journey, there is the activation of the left and right brain through movement and stimulation of our bodies circulation and lymphatic systems; during the walking contemplation ones awareness moves inward to finally reach a calm center;  the core of our be-ing and connection with the inner realms of our mind and oneness in our body.  A labyrinth can represent a sort of pilgrimage for those who are unable to take a longer sacred journey or pilgrimage like the camino de santiago, vipassana meditation or  the kumbh mela. An interesting piece of trivia is that there are labyrinth patters found throughout the world in various cultures and also found in basket weaving designs, paintings, drawings and hedge borders.

Above is a visual of a labrinth by the website: http://wellfedspirit.org/labyrinth_pages/graphics.html

Down another path I discover the Fen Pond stone circles. I am reminded of the sacred stones in the popular television series Outlander, a ceremonial circle used for prayer, intention setting and giving thanks. Not much is known about stone circles today; however many have suggested that these circles are sacred sites intended for prayer with precise astrological alignment to the movements of the sun and moon, combined with sacred geometry.

Pairs of stones are aligned in true north and south, also to the winter solstice sunset and to the  run rising and setting in the summer; connecting one back to the 4 directions and grounding into the land, interweaving ritual back into daily life while connecting with the greater mystery.

A reminder of the interconnectness of all things; interweaving nature, the sun and skies and mother earth into all life. Stonehenge in Great Britain perhaps being one of the most well known sites. There is an informative website called The Stone Circle Theory by Simon Hedger who offers additional reflections. For more information: http://www.stonecircletheory.com/

Further on the path a meadow opens up into the Cottonwood Stone Circle and I marvel at the  12 majestic stones towering 11 feet high.

The grounds have been a home to Ospreys with educational artwork found along the path. Ospreys are able to breed on almost every continent except near the South Pole. Apparently Ospreys can live for 10-12 years, however these birds were once on the endangered list (although now listed as a threatened species) – according to the New York Department of Conservation, largely their population had decreased due to the insecticide Dichlorodiphenyltrichloroethane, DDT – more commonly known — which caused reproductive issues and thinning of egg shells  in the newly laid eggs. DDT is classified in a group of chemicals called Persistent Organic Pollutants aka chemical substances that stay in our soil and  the environment, bio-accumulate through the entire food chain,  posing health risks to humans and animals in our food chain and the all of the natural world. Used previously in agriculture, DDT has now been banned from agricultural use in the United States, as it has shown to impact human health including being linked to infertility, breast cancer and other endocrine health issues. Take note, this insecticide has a half life of 25-30 years – meaning once DDT is in the soil it stays there for a very long time.

By no means am I am expert on the history of Buddhist monuments however I immediately recognized and appreciated their presence, Having once been gifted a prayer wheel myself – I will share my limited knowledge of the Tibetan prayer wheel  or Mani wheel found along a bend in the path… A Prayer Wheel provides an opportunity to spread spiritual well-being and blessings while spinning the wheel. Spinning the prayer wheel is done with the proper intentions. Holding elevated intentions for the well-being, spiritual blessings and highest outcome of all beings is essential while using the prayer wheel; incorporating visualizations and mantra will align one with the Body, Speech and Mind of the Buddha.

Set your intention setting while spinning a prayer wheel.  Intend on strengthening the mind and contemplate offerings such as :

  • “May all beings be happy. May all beings be free from suffering.”
  • Reciting a prayer or a mantra can also be done while spinning the wheel to align ones spirit with the on loving kindness and equanimity for all sentient beings.
  • Om Mani Padme Hung, the  mantra of loving kindness and compassion is often written on the outside of the wheel in Sanskrit.

A stupa is situated on a hill – a sacred mound intended for enlightenment and created for various purposes (from a burial ground to marking an profound event or created as a receptacle for offerings). A clockwise walking meditation around the stupa is done in reverence or reflection to radiate spiritual blessings and for specific meditation practices. Prayer flags are found around the paths.

Also on the nature reserve was a tall dolmen -a megalithic tomb of two or more, upright stones set with a space between and set with a horizontal stone on top, which could serve as a meditation room  or in the Hindu tradition represents “the cave of the heart”, a protected place for reflection.

       

The most sacred space for me was the First Nations Medicine Wheel used for prayer and healing. The significance of  this prayer wheel reminds one again of connection to all that is, all our relations, the 4 directions, the 4 seasons, mother earth, our grandfathers and grandmothers, and the elements. So much can be remembered through strengthening connection to all that sustains us on planet earth.

What a serene way to enjoy the afternoon in this birth and wildlife sanctuary. In 2008, the visionary and designer and founder of Earth Sanctuary, Chuck Pettis, was recognized in the September 2008 issue of Science of Mind magazine as one of 12 people making a difference in the world. If you are on Whidbey island, this space is worth a stop.

Much of the restoration is being done by the University of Washington ecology students to complete projects in this remarkable site. A huge thank you to all those who have contributed to such a stunning serene location. Until I return again…

Herbal Medicine and Holistic Support for Stress and Fatigue

2016_12_07_IntegrativePoster_11x17_Herbal-Medicine_v1Join us for this informative evening with speaker, Katolen Yardley, MNIMH on an important topic for many- holistic support for Stress and Fatigue.

Learn how to support your body and increase its resiliency in the face of a hectic lifestyle.
Gain an understanding about how nutrition can either add energy and fuel the body or deplete the body. We will also cover key nutritional supplements and herbal medicines for stress support and energy enhancement.

For those interested, there will be book sales and signing for Katolen’s newly released book “The Good Living Guide to Natural and Herbal Remedies” after the talk.

Katolen Yardley, MNIMH is a medical herbalist in private practice in Vancouver and Post Moody BC. She is an instructor with Boucher Naturopathic Institute, Dominion Herbal College and the president of the Canadian Herbalist’s Association of BC. Katolen is the author of the newly released book The Good Living Guide to Natural and Herbal Remedies.
For more information visit: www.katolenyardley.com
Facebook: Alchemy & Elixir Health Group

Time: 7-8:30 pm
Date: Wednesday Dec 7, 2016
Location: Integrative Naturopathic Medicine Centre
Address: 730–1285 W Broadway, Vancouver, BC V6H 3X8
Cost: $ 25 – tickets available on Event Brite

Interested in a local BC Herbal Gathering? Consider attending the 2015 Vancouver Island Herb Gathering

June 12th – 14th, 2015 plus intensive herbal medicine classes on Monday

herb gathering 058The Vancouver Island Herb Gathering has partnered with the Canadian Council of Herbalist Associations that represents herbalists across the country, to host the first National Canadian Herbalists Gathering with leading herbalists coming from Ontario, Nova Scotia, Quebec, Saskatchewan and Alberta, as well as some of our own local specialists frim BC. This is a very special event you don’t want to miss.

herb gathering18herb gathering12The 2015 year’s theme is ‘HONORING OUR HERBAL ELDERS’

  • Weekend features:
  • A weekend of learning, laughing, tasting, botanizing, herbaling and feasting
  • Over 50 different classes, demonstrations, and herb walks to choose from
  • Saturday night Honoring our Herbal Elders ceremony hosted by CCHA followed by a dance party
  • Bring your tent and camp out on a beautiful 7 acre farm or stay in near-by motels or hostel
  • For more information and registration forms visit: Vancouver Herb Gathering Registration
  • * Visuals from the 2013 Herb Gatheringlavenderherb gathering14

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.

Looking Past the Plate: Primary Food and Authentic Nourishment

~Taught by Melissa Furneaux, BSc., HHC, RHN – Holistic Health Counselor, Registered Holistic Nutritionist

What in your life truly nourishes you? Sometimes we are fed not by food but by the energy in our lives. We hunger for play, fun, touch, romance, achievement, love, art, music, success, self-expression, excitement, adventure, and spirituality, and many other things….”Primary food” is more than what is on your plate, and when it is balanced and satiating, your life feeds you, making what you eat secondary. While modern nutrition, focusing on macro- and micro-nutrients, is a vital component of health and well-being, it is really only one source of nourishment. Healthy relationships, enjoyable physical activity, a fulfilling career, and a spiritual practice can fill your soul and satisfy your hunger for life.

Date: Thursday, October 4th, 2012

Time: 6pm-8pm Cost: $ 55 ~ Payment may be made by cash, cheque or paypal.

Location: Alchemy & Elixir Health Group Suite 320- 1026 Davie St Vancouver BC

For questions or registration, please contact Melissa at: mfurneaux@gmail.com or 604-760-9892

Raw Foods for the Rest of Us: A Demo and Workshop

Hosted by: Melissa Furneaux, Registered Holistic Nutritionist

Have you heard about the benefits of raw foods, but feel that raw foods are too complicated for your busy life? Feel intimidated by terms like dehydrating, juicing, and sprouting? At this workshop, we will cover: – the benefits of raw foods, and whom they are appropriate for – Convenient, realistic ways to incorporate more living foods into your life, without having to make drastic changes or invest in expensive equipment – You will get to see a demonstration of how to prepare a number of quick, healthy, delicious, raw recipes – AND you will get to try all of these recipes, along with being sent home with an information package and some tasty treats!

When: April 30, 2011 from 12 pm to 2 pm

Where: Alchemy & Elixir Health Group # 320-1026 Davie St, Vancouver BC

Registration: $40 **Please note that spaces are limited. Pre-payment is required to reserve your seat

For registration or information, please contact: Melissa Furneaux, B.Sc., RHN email: mfurneaux@gmail.com or phone 604-760-9892

For more information visit: www.alchemyelixir.com