Tag Archives: herbal medicine

Medicinal Plant Walks at Van Dusen Botanical Gardens

Meander through VanDusen Garden with Medical Herbalist, Katolen Yardley, MNIMH, RH (AHG) to identify flowers, herbs, shrubs, trees, and weeds while discussing their medicinal properties. Notice seasonal plants and learn folklore and common applications for these plants traditionally used for medicines. Meet at the Visitors Centre and enter the Garden as a group. Bring a notebook, pen, and camera (optional). Wear good walking shoes, bring water and dress for the weather, as the entire class is spent outdoors.

Herb Walk with Katolen Yardley at Van Dusen Botanical Gardens

For more information about Katolen visit: www.katolenyardley.com

To stay informed of upcoming classes join our Facebook page: Katolen Yardley, Medical Herbalist

3 Different Class Dates: Saturday | June 1, 2019 | 1 pm – 3 pm: Register:

Wednesday | July 17, 2019 | 5:30 pm – 7:30 pm: Register:

Saturday | August 10, 2019 | 10 am – 12 pm: Register:

Cost is for ONE herb walk date only. Register separately for all 3 dates- as different plants will be covered during each herb class.

Cost for One class: Van Dusen Members: $27 | General Public: $30

Resource person: Adult Education Coordinator, 604-718-5898

Location: VanDusen Guides Classroom | 5151 Oak St, Vancouver, BC, V6M 4H1

Van Dusen Gardens: Herbal Medicine 102: Energetics of Herbal Medicines

In this interactive talk, Katolen Yardley, MNIMH, RH (AHG) – Medical Herbalist will teach you about the energetics of plant medicine, and give you tools to incorporate herbal medicine into your life. This class can be taken as a continuation from Herbal Medicine 101 at a discount, or may be taken on its own. Enjoy sampling the flavours of gentle herbs, and explore the effects of herbal remedies based on taste, touch, and sight in the garden. Dress for the weather and a 20 minute garden walk during class. Copies of The Good Living Guide to Natural and Herbal Remedies available for $25.

For more information about Katolen visit: www.katolenyardley.com

To stay informed of upcoming classes join our Facebook page: Katolen Yardley, Medical Herbalist

Date: Wednesday | April 24, 2019 | 7 pm – 9 pm

Cost: Van Dusen Members: $31.50 | General Public: $35

Location: VanDusen Guides Classroom | 5151 Oak St, Vancouver, BC, V6M 4H1

Click here to register!

Herbal Medicine 101: An Intro to the Use of Herbal Remedies

Date: Tuesday | April 2 | 7 pm – 9 pm

Join Medical Herbalist, Katolen Yardley, MNIMH, RH ( AHG) for an informative talk on incorporating herbal remedies into your lifestyle, for new and seasoned herbalists alike. Discover the basics of using herbs for your health with home remedies, herbal medicines, topical applications, and preparations. Leave class with common terminology, tools to identify some local medicinal plants, and natural applications for common first aid and general health issues. Available at a discount purchased with Herbal Medicine 102. Copies of The Good Living Guide to Natural and Herbal Remedies available for $25.

For more information about Katolen visit: www.katolenyardley.com

To stay informed of upcoming classes join our Facebook page: Katolen Yardley, Medical Herbalist

Start Date: Tuesday, April 2 2019 from 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM

Cost: Members: $31.50 | General Public: $35

Resource person: Adult Education Coordinator, 604-718-5898

Location: VanDusen Guides Classroom | 5151 Oak St, Vancouver, BC, V6M 4H1

Click Here To Register:

THE ART OF HERBAL MEDICINE MAKING

About this Workshop

Dive into the art of herbal medicine making and learn how to prepare herbal teas, herbal vinegars, a medicinal salve and infused oil. An instruction booklet will be provided. Learn of the action and medicinal application of herbs used in class for first aid. In this class participants will:

  • learn how to prepare and sample an herbal tea infusion and understand the difference between an infusion and decoction
  • lean how to prepare an infused oil and the various applications for an oil
  • observe the preparation of a herbal salve and take home a small container of medicinal salve
  • prepare and take home a 250ml of medicinal and culinary herbal vinegar

Participants should bring one clean wide mouthed class container (approx 250 or 300ml) with tightly fitting lid, a pen, and a tea cup for sampling tea. Copies of The Good Living Guide to Natural and Herbal Remedies will be available for purchase for $ 25.

About the Instructor

Katolen Yardley, MNIMH, RH (AHG) is a medical herbalist and nature knower with over 20 years of clinical and herbal medicine making experience in private practice in Vancouver, BC. She enjoys providing usable tools for optimal health through inspiration and education. She is the author of the “Good Living Guide to Natural and Herbal Remedies” (August 2016) and current president of the Canadian Herbalist’s Association of British Columbia. She is a clinic supervisor at Dominion Herbal College and adjunct faculty at Boucher Naturopathic College and offers seminars to the general public. Visit www.katolenyardley.com for more information

Date and Time

Saturday, April 20 | 9:00am – 12:00 pm (3 hours)

Location

UBC Farm

3461 Ross Drive, Vancouver BC

Cost

$95 ($87 student pricing) + GST

REGISTER FOR THIS WORKSHOP

BASICS OF HERBAL MEDICINE PART 1

About this Workshop

Join us for an experiential and informative talk on incorporating herbal medicine into your lifestyle. This talk offers gems for new and seasoned herbalists alike! We will discuss some back-to-nature home remedies and effective herbal medicines (including kitchen vegetables, spices, well known herbal medicines and wild plants) for common family health issues and ways of using herbal medicines in your home for common first aid, topical application and medicinal use. There will be an opportunity to ‘sample the flavours’ of some gentle herbs during this talk (so bring a spoon and drinking mug!). Copies of The Good Living Guide to Natural and Herbal Remedies will be available for purchase.

About the Instructor

Katolen Yardley, MNIMH, RH (AHG) is a medical herbalist and nature knower with over 20 years of clinical and herbal medicine making experience in private practice in Vancouver, BC. She enjoys providing usable tools for optimal health through inspiration and education. She is the author of the “Good Living Guide to Natural and Herbal Remedies” (August 2016) and current president of the Canadian Herbalist’s Association of British Columbia. She is a clinic supervisor at Dominion Herbal College and adjunct faculty at Boucher Naturopathic College and offers seminars to the general public. Visit www.katolenyardley.com for more information.

Date and Time

Wednesday, March 13, 2019 | 7:00 – 9:00 pm (2 hours)

Location: UBC Farm: 3461 Ross Drive, Vancouver BC

Cost: $29 ($25 student pricing) + GST

REGISTER FOR THIS WORKSHOP

Red Root – New Jersey Tea

written by Katolen Yardley, MNIMH Medical Herbalist

Botanical: Ceanothus americanus

Main Actions: Astringent, Lymphagogue, Expectorant.

Indications: Red Root is indicated for stagnation of lymph, thick mucus, swollen glands and poor assimilation of nutritients to the tissues.

Red root, also known as New Jersey Tea, a lymphatic herb which stimulates interstitial fluid circulation used for splenic and liver congestion, enlarged lymph nodes, sinusitis, tonsillitis, laryngitis, pharyngitis, chronic post-nasal drip and mononucleosis. It can also help increase platelet counts and is specific for reducing cysts.

Astringent: The root is an effective astringent, expectorant and antispasmodic for as asthma bronchitis and coughs It has proven useful in mouthwash to relieve sore throat, gum inflammation, to help tooth decay. The astringent qualities of Red Root that dry up damp conditions aid conditions where lymphatic congestion is a problem can also be applied to:lymphatic swellings, sore throats, mastitis, mononucleosis, tonsillitis and strep infections as well as chronic conditions such as leukemia, Hodgkin’s disease, rheumatism, AIDS as well as various types of anemias.

Expectorant:  utilized in folk medicine practices of Native Americans to alleviate whooping cough, and shortness of breath; working as a mucolytic agent to lower the viscosity of mucus and promotes the expulsion of phlegm from the respiratory tract.

Relieves Digestive Problems: traditionally used for the digestive system, liver and spleen. The spleen can be viewed as the body’s largest lymph node: addressing how well our immune system functions, how waste descends and is removed from the body, and how nutrients are sent up into the body to build blood, nourish cells and muscles. When digestive disorders are present on a disease or syndrome level, deficiency of the spleen is a contributing factor. Spleen deficiency appears in Irritable Bowel Syndrome and Irritable Bowel Disease (Chron’s and Colitis),

Antibacterial Properties: Antibacterial properties are due to the lignans, tannins and ceanathine The root was used as a decoction to help treat sexually transmitted diseases, notably syphilis and gonorrhea. Also, it appears to lessen frequency of canker sores, cold sores and prevent formation of tooth decay when used as a mouth wash and sore throats.

Red Root can be prepared as a decoction tea and is available for purchase: 

 

 

Kudzu Root (Puerario montana)

Kudzu Root

Kudzu Root

written by Katolen Yardley, MNIMH – Medical Herbalist

The Kudzu (or Kuzu) plant is a climbing, woody vine which belongs to the pea family (or the legume family). For more than 2000 years in Chinese medicine, the chopped kudzu root has been used as herbal medicine for the treatment of headaches, diarrhea, dysentery, intestinal obstruction, stomach flu, diabetes and cardiovascular diseases; it is used as a digestive aid, fever reducer, and is thought to inhibit alcohol cravings and lower blood sugar.

In traditional Chinese medicine, where it is known as gat-gun, ge gan, kudzu root is considered one of the 50 fundamental herbs. TCM uses kudzu in treating the symptoms of high blood pressure such as headache and dizziness (although kudzu has little or no effect on blood pressure itself). It has been used traditionally for tinnitus, vertigo and Wei syndrome (superficial heat close to the surface). It has shown value for helping migraines and cluster headaches and can increase circulation, an action that tends to reduce muscle pain and stiffness, and increases blood flow through the coronary arteries.

Studies have shown that Kudzu can reduce alcohol cravings. For problem drinking: In clinical studies, Kudzu has shown some promising results in reducing the desire for alcohol and decrease the amount of alcohol consumed. A person who takes Kudzu, will still drink alcohol, but will consume less than if they had not taken Kudzu. The mechanism for this is not yet established, but it may have to do with both alcohol metabolism and the reward circuits in the brain. The Harvard Medical School is studying Kudzu as a possible way to treat alcoholic cravings. While Kudzu Root seems to lessen the desire for alcohol, it also stimulates regeneration of liver tissue while protecting against liver toxins.

Kudzu is also taken internally on a regular basis to prevent recurrences of colds sores, shingles, and herpes. The root is prepared as a decoction/ boiled tea for reducing an elevated fever, muscle aches, and symptoms of a cold or flu and can sooth inflamed mucous membranes of the throat and bronchial passages.

Animal and cellular studies have provided support for the traditional uses of kudzu root on cardiovascular, cerebrovascular and endocrine systems, including angina pectoris, blood sugar balancing effects for diabetes and their long term complications.

Medicinal Food The nutritive starchy root of kudzu is high in complex carbohydrates, helps balance the acidic nature of many foods, and is soothing and cooling the digestive tract. Powdered kudzu root is very “starchy” -similar to arrowroot powder, and is used to thicken sauces, especially in Asian cooking. Simply mix the powder of kudzu in a little cold liquid to dissolve and use as a substitute for cornstarch or arrowroot.

Traditional therapeutic actions: Antispasmodic, anti-pyretic, anti-inflammatory, anti-microbial, anti-cancer, antiviral, diaphoretic, muscle relaxant, cold and flu treatment, vasodilator, antihypertensive, antioxidant, liver protective, circulatory support, raynauds. Used to counteract abuse of drug and alcohol; helping to reduce alcohol cravings.

Nutrients: Calcium, iron, magnesium, phosphorus, potassium, vitamin B2.

Kudzu root is a very safe herb, with no known drug interactions and is most effective when used in its natural state, as prepared as a decocted tea. The recommended dose of Kudzu root tea ranges from 9 to 15 g daily. To order chopped Kudzu Root click here:

Maca Root – Lepidium meyenii

Maca Root (Available in capsules and powder)

written by Katolen Yardley, MNIIMH – Medical Herbalist

Maca Root -Lepidium meyenii- is a root vegetable grown high in the Andean mountains of Peru (up to 7,000 to 11,000 feet),  making it one of the highest altitude growing plant in the world.  Maca’s use dates back to around 3800 B.C., when Peruvian Indians cultivated and ate it for both its nutritional and medicinal value.

A radish-like / turnip like root vegetable that is related to the potato family, Maca is also tuberous and spherical in form. Weeding or pesticide application are typically not used as the climate itself is not suitable for most weeds or insects, thus the majority of all maca cultivation in Peru is carried out organically, as maca itself is seldom attacked. Maca is sometimes planted alongside potatoes, to help repel most root crop pests. The root itself is about three to six centimeters across and 4.7 centimeters in length. There are four recognized types, based on the color of the root, varying from creamy yellow or light pink to dark purple or black however its nutritional value is consistent. Maca is consumed as a main staple food in the Andean diet – eaten roasted, steamed or mashed, used as a flour or cereal grain in cooking; and is packed full of nutrients including amino acids, potassium, calcium, magnesium, iron and zinc.

Recently termed a Super food, (like Chaga mushroom) meaning Maca is a highly nutritious, nourishing food for enhancing our health and promoting longevity.  Known as an adaptogen, an agent which helps the body to adapt to changes in the internal or external environment- Maca is used for strengthening the nervous system, enhancing immune system function and for hormonal balancing while helping the body to raise its natural resistance to stress.

Best known for its aphrodisiac and libido enhancing properties, Maca has been found to assist with impotence, relieve symptoms of menopause or andropause, raise the sperm count in males (according to animal studies) and useful for infertility in women. A hormone balancer, for both male and female issues, Maca is useful for symptoms associated with menopause, such as power surges, mood swings, PMS and low libido ; it supports adrenal gland function for conditions of chronic stress, fatigue or depletion. Maca can be used for mood enhancement, improving energy, mental clarity, assisting to alleviate depression and lowering anxiety. Coupled with Macas ability to support the body in stressful conditions, it also has been shown, when used long term, to assist in lowering raised blood pressure and cholesterol levels. Used to promote healthy blood sugar balance. Maca is consumed as a food in other countries, thus it is non addictive, non toxic and non habit forming – it does not contain any harmful stimulants and is free from caffeine.

How Can Maca Benefit You?:

  • Increases energy (Chronic Fatigue)
  • Treat sexual dysfunction (Loss of Libido)
  • Increases stamina & athletic performance
  • Nourishes glandular system
  • Fertility enhancement
  • Improves physical and emotional well being
  • Promotes mental clarity
  • Balance hormones (PMS, menopause symptoms)
  • HRT alternative(Hormone Replacement Therapy)

Maca is available in capsule form or in powder form (which can be added to a smoothie, cereal, missed into yoghurt or put into capsules). It has a slight and unique butterscotch aroma and unique taste. To order Maca capsules and Maca powder

Organic Sweetgrass (Hierochloe odorata)

Sweetgrass (Hierochloe odorata) is one of the most sacred plants of the First Nations people. It is usually braided, dried and burned; and used in the beginning of prayers, rituals, smudging and other ceremonies to attract positive energy, purify a space, bring in good influence, and align in harmony with the earth and with ones higher self.

Three stranded braids of the sweetgrass represent mind, body and spirit. In essence, Sweetgrass is a melding or braiding of these qualities together. Sweetgrass is often referred too as “the hair of Gaia, our Mother Earth”.

The purifying smoke cleanses an area, brings in positive thoughts and healthy and higher vibrational energies. Sweetgrass is known to be carried in medicine and pipe bundles to protect sacred objects.

Just as the sweet scent of this natural grass is pleasing, smelling a bit like warm vanilla; this sacred ceremonial herb is sometimes called Seneca Grass, Holy Grass, and Vanilla Grass.

When used in combination with sage smudge sticks; sweetgrass can help turn a negative atmosphere in to a positive environment.

Directions: Sweetgrass is usually burned by shaving little bits over hot coals or by lighting the end of the braided dried grass, let it burn for about 10 seconds, then blow the flame out. Hold a large clamshell, or bowl under the grass to catch the embers.  The grass should smolder and give off smoke. It is this smoke which is used for cleansing and purifying a sacred space, a person, home, or new environment.

Begin smudging in the north corner of a space and pass the smudge stick over the top and bottom of the corner. Pass it around any doors or windows, under chairs and furniture frequently used. Moving clockwise, continue smudging an entire space and repeat the action until completed

One may visualize light filling a space, or one may repeat words in prayer as smudging, such as “light and contentment fill this space”; visualized positive energies filling the environment. Then lay the sweetgrass in the bowl and allow it to burn out on its own.

Repeat as needed, cleanse ones home or environment monthly, or after any negative or traumatic emotional experiences.

Sweetgrass braid -sold individually as one braid for $ 9.99- to order click here.

Chaga Mushroom or Fungus also known as “King of the Herbs”

written by Katolen Yardley, Medical Herbalist

  • Latin Name: Inonotus obliquus however it may be found under the Latin names: Polyporus obliquus and Poria obliqua
  • Family: Hymenochaetaceae
  • Phylum: Basidiomycota (known as a true mushroom).

Habitat

Chaga is a slow growing fungus which grows on birch trees (and is also on alder and beech trees). Geographically, Chaga is restricted to cold habitats, found growing in Russia, Korea, Eastern and Northern Europe, northern areas of the United States, and in Canada.

Why are mushrooms considered to be a fungus?

Mushrooms are considered a fungus, or a member of the fungi kingdom, as they do not contain chlorophyll, yet they have a strong symbiotic relationship with other plants and organisms – growing on decomposing leaves, logs, trees and soil in a forest setting; fungi are essential to our food chain. Fungus have the ability to break down organic matter in a decaying forest and actually draw its food and nutrients directly from decaying trees, rather than from the soil itself. Fungi digest their food outside their bodies by releasing enzymes into the surrounding environment, breaking down organic matter into a form the fungus can use.

Mushrooms are the fruiting bodies produced by some fungi and the term “mushroom” applies to those fungi that have a stem, a cap, and gills or pores on the underside of the cap.All fungus begins with a spore which germinates, when the spore grows strands, this is called the mycelium. The fruiting body or the visible top of the mushroom, and the mycelium (the feeding body) make up the mushroom which can appear to grow overnight, in the cases of some species, or take longer time for development in other species.

In the case of Chaga, its sterile conk – a perennial woody growth, which is the mycelium of the mushroom – has the appearance of a black, irregular, cracked mass resembling burnt charcoal that grows on tree trunks. Due to the large amounts of melanin present in the chaga mushroom, the fruiting body rarely is seen. Unlike most mushrooms, chaga is a polypore, a fungus with pores instead of gills. Rather than growing in soil, Chaga prefers birch trees, once a tree is dead, the “sterile conk trunk rot of birch”, referring to chagas fruiting bodies grows under the outer layers of wood surrounding the sterile conk, spreading its mushroom spores for regrowth.

Common Names

Chaga is also known as siberian chaga, clinker polypore, cinder conk, black mass, birch canker polypore, sterile conk trunk rot of birch and birch mushroom. In the arctic, the first nation’s people used chaga as a form medicine and called it Tiaga or Tsa Ahga. In France, it is called the carie blanche spongieuse de bouleau (spongy white birch tree rot), the Dutch name is berkenweerschijnzwam (birch mushroom glow) and in Germany it is known as Schiefer Schillerporling (slate inonotus). However in the Orient, Chaga is known as “King of the Herbs” a name which most alludes to its respected and powerful healing properties.

History of this Medicinal Plant

A healing plant of renowned value throughout the world, Chaga is thought to be one of the strongest immune stimulating medicinal mushrooms and is used today as the base natural product in over forty oncology pharmaceutical medications and compounds. Since the early 16 th century, Chaga has been documented for its medicinal actions. Traditionally Chaga was used as a common remedy for cancer, gastritis, ulcers and other toxic diseases; especially for tumors of the stomach, esophagus, lungs, genital organs and/ or breast.

Chemical Constituents

  • Beta-D-glucans, a type of polysaccharide which has strong anti-inflammatory and immune balancing properties, reputed to assist in stimulating the body to produce natural killer (NK) cells to battle infections, tumor growth and stimulate apoptosis (programmed cell death). The 3-beta-D-glucans found in medicinal mushrooms have been subject of research since the 1960s.
  • Phenolic compounds, melanins
  • Lanostane-type triterpenoids, including betulin and betulinic acid. (The anti-cancer properties of betulin or betulinic acid are currently being studied for use as chemotherapeutic agents and are already used as anti-HIV agents in mainstream medicine). Important note: betulinic acid appears to be absent in cultivated chaga, with nature herself producing higher medicinal quality chaga.
  • Bitter triterpene compounds that support the thymus and spleen,
  • Germanium: one of the highest sources found in nature.

Reputed Health Benefits

Studies support the use of Chaga for immune enhancement, possible cholesterol lowering, anti-obesity properties and improved insulin resistance, digestive tonic, anti ulcer, general tonic, psoriasis, diabetes, hypertension, anticancer potential, an anti viral, anti tumor, immune response modifier, (may assist in the modulation of T-Cells, macrophages, neutrophils, and white blood cells), anti-inflammatory properties, hypoglycemic activities and antioxidant properties offering protection against oxidative damage to cellular DNA.

Medicinal Actions

Much research has been conducted in Russia on this remarkable adaptogen fungus and more recently, health advocate David Wolfe can be found on”You Tube” educating his listeners on Chaga mushroom as a super food used daily for overall health enhancement. Chaga may help to:

  • Support and enhance immune function and help improve resistance to dis-ease. Chaga also contains the full spectrum of immune-stimulating phytochemicals found in other medicinal mushrooms.
  • Adaptogen properties: help the body to respond and resist internal and external stressors
  • Reduce fatigue, improve vitality, endurance and stamina
  • Regulate digestion: a useful anti-inflammatory agent of benefit for gastritis, ulcers and general pain.
  • Improve mental clarity
  • Improve physical performance
  • Antioxidant and anti-aging effect
  • Regulate the function of muscles and nerves
  • Improve resistance to disease
  • Enhance sleep quality
  • Improve metabolism
  • Regulate the activity of cardiovascular and respiratory systems
  • Reduce pain
  • Promote healthy skin and hair
  • Contains antioxidant properties
  • A restorative tonic and blood cleansing agent
  • Contains anti viral, anti fungal and anti tumor properties.

Interesting Tidbit: Siberian Chaga is neither a plant nor animal yet its DNA make up is thirty percent closer to humans than plants.

Nature vs. nurture

Chaga is best used medicinally when harvested through wild crafting, as the mushroom holds the highest medicinal value and chemical constituents when wild crafted; the cultivated species are lower (or absent) in both medicinal properties and betulinic acid. Chaga can be purchased here in dried form and prepared as a tea. To purchase Chaga Mushroom:

Other Medicinal Mushrooms

One important clarification, medicinal mushrooms do NOT include the common white, brown mushroom or button mushroom – those common edible mushrooms found in supermarkets. White or button mushrooms have little flavor and no medicinal value compared to wild species. In fact, they may even be unhealthy -heavily sprayed with malathion and other pesticides and provide no nutritional value. The medicinal mushrooms include: Reishi, shitake, chaga, turkey tail, maitake, agaricus, oyster mushrooms, coriolus, cordyceps, poria which contain immune enhancing benefits.

Information given here is for consumer education only. It is not meant to

replace the advice of a qualified health care professional.