The Beauty of Imperfection and a Tea for Gracelessness

I teach, a lot. Life as a teacher essentially means being on stage, most of the time. My students and my clients have images of me in their minds, and I’m quite certain that those images are better than what I really am, or that they are taking their image of my Best Self and…

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Chamomile by Simon Blackley

Gut-Heal Tea

Eliminating food allergens from the diet can bring substantial relief from inflammatory gastrointestinal disorders such as IBS, Crohn’s disease, and celiac. These ill-tolerated foods – the gluten in wheat and other grains, the casein and lactose in dairy, and others – can initiate destructive processes that irritate the stomach lining, compromise the intestinal wall, and…

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We are a culture of More. We like words like SuperSize, Maximize, and Fullest Potential. We like, whether we admit it or not, concepts like Planned Obsolescence, because it allows for words like New, Shiny, Improved, and of course, Shopping. We believe things like “You can never be too rich, or too thin”. We, as…

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On the Merits of Plain Speech

Words are pretty amazing things. We can use them to make people feel good about themselves, or awful. We can use them to bring people together, or to divide. The way we speak when we’re working with people – regardless of profession – says a lot about not only what we think of our position…

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Green Cleaning

When I was a kid, we had “Mr. Yuk” stickers. Mr. Yuk was a sickly neon-green and black circle with a very distinctive frowny yuck face, and was, before emoticons and internationalized language-free signage, a recognizable symbol for children to say that this item was poisonous.

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On the Merits of Fluctuation

This week, one of my pharmacy students stayed after class to ask for help. She wanted me to explain about the way insulin is supposed to cycle in the body again, because she has a friend who is a young doctor, and they had gotten into a disagreement. The young doctor friend claimed that a…

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Classroom Experiment: Kadha (Fried Dumplings)

Today my Pharmacy students and I tried out a Thanksgiving experiment. Last week two students referenced a traditional Iraqi/Iranian treat, which is made with dates and almonds. We all agreed that replicating this recipe in paleo fashion would be just the thing for the week of Thanksgiving – and we were right!

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Chai for a Busy Day

Chai is delicious. But it’s even better when your Chai will get you through your most stressed-out overwhelmed craziness day, and this recipe will do just that!

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Tips for Staying Sane in a Stressful Time

The holiday season is fast-approaching (if you’re a parent of a trick-or-treater, it’s just nearly here!), and that means stress levels on the rise. But there are some fairly simple practices that you can start now so that when the holidays get here, you don’t lose your head! (Not to mention, they’ll help you the…

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Movement Patterns and Heartburn

This is my very first article here on Commonwealth Herbs! To mark the occasion, I’ve decided to set a goal for myself. I love anatomy. I love anatomical relationships. If you get me going, I can talk forever. My goal here is to keep it fairly simple (as simple as talking about a piece of…

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Family Reunion Cookies

OMG, you have to make these cookies. I’m really not kidding! We just got back from a week-long family reunion with Ryn’s family, which was absolutely fantastic! As part of the fun, we all headed out to Wells Beach, Maine, where they always went as kids for vacations. Part of the tradition was whoopie pies,…

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Raising Healthy Children, Part 6

When I was a kid, my mom sent us out to play. We went out for hours, and didn’t come back till someone was hungry. We played in the trees in the yard, or in the “trails” across the street – some wild undeveloped land along the banks of Bear Creek, that boys had ridden…

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herbal medicine for beginners - book cover

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This is the perfect introduction to a powerful yet manageable apothecary of 35 herbs and teach you how to apply them to common ailments.

We keep it simple and practical, and along the way teach you how to think effectively about herbs & herbalism, laying the foundations for deeper study.

The book is available through


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