Purple Loosestrife: Herb of the Week

Purple loosestrife, Lythrum salicaria, is an under-appreciated herb, and it’s been villianized with the tag “invasive”. That label in general is really problematic for me, because plants aren’t native to locations, they’re native to growing conditions: if we change the conditions, the plants will change too! A great book on this topic is Where Do…

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Toxins and Terrain

When someone starts to talk about detoxification or cleansing, I often find myself st[r]uck with a question: “What do you mean when you use that word, toxins?” (With echoes of that movie line – you know the one – in the back of my mind.)

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Men’s Cycles and Self-Reliance

Often, discussions of “women’s health” or “men’s health” are limited to the reproductive systems. When I teach about men’s reproductive health, I like to include an overview of common problems for men, because sexual function is dependent on the vitality of the rest of the body. But even before I get to that, I start…

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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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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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Save the Whales, See an Herbalist!

When my daughter was three, she didn’t watch much media. She had two videos she enjoyed—Singing in the Rain, and Riverdance. One day she asked if there were more. We went to the local video store (a tiny little place on Main Street in the central Vermont village where we lived at the time), and…

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