• October 12, 2021

The Uplifting Effects of Damiana

I learned a lot about herbs when I was working with a friend to formulate glycerin-based herbal products. While creating them we would routinely taste the formulas to see if we got them right. Tasting the formulas gave me the opportunity to experience the effects of various herbs and blends of herbs firsthand. I clearly remember tasting our newly-made damiana aphrodisiac formula because I felt such a surprising lift when I tried it. It was an instant boost to both my mood and energy, not unlike…

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  • October 5, 2021


One of the things I enjoy about where I live is how close it is to Zion National Park. I've enjoyed hiking there pretty much every year since I moved here in 2000. One time I was heading back down the River Walk trail in the evening. It was dark, and the air was filled with an intoxicating aroma. It took me awhile to figure out that I was smelling the aroma from hundreds of datura flowers that had opened up in the cool night air. Datura stramonium or D. writghtii, also known as Jimson weed or thornapple…

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  • September 28, 2021

AIDS, Answers and New Jersey Tea

Back in the late 1980s I had the opportunity to work with a young man who needed help. He came to me because he had AIDS and although I had read some books about treating AIDS holistically, it was a relatively new disease and I had no practical experience with it. Despite this I believed I could help him. So I shared with him what I had learned but I could tell that he wasn't hearing me. He seemed defeated and hopeless. So I took a moment to pray for guidance which inspired me to ask him, “Is…

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  • September 21, 2021


Ashwagandha is an herb that has genuine restorative effect. It’s been used in India in Ayurvedic medicine for over 3,000 years. In the West, ashwagandha is becoming increasingly popular as an adaptogen and a tonic. However, unlike stimulating adaptogens like ginseng, eleuthero, and schizandra, ashwagandha is a relaxing, nourishing adaptogen. Ashwagandha is a calming nerve tonic, neuroprotector and thyroid remedy, immune modulator, anti-inflammatory, and aphrodisiac.

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  • September 14, 2021

Oregon Grape

You can recognize Oregon grape by its holly-like leaves and bright yellow flowers in the spring and dark, purplish-blue berries in the fall. The berries are edible, but just barely, due to their very sour, almost bitter flavor. But the root is what is used for herbal medicine. Oregon grape root is used as a moistening, restorative blood purifier, and infection fighter.

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  • September 7, 2021

Hydrangea: Relieving Hardness of Mind and Body

I’ve never had a kidney stone, but people who have had them know they are extremely painful. Fortunately, I’ve found it is possible to help someone pass kidney stones more easily with hydrangea. Hydrangea is a hardy bush with beautiful flowers that make it a popular garden plant. And while there are around 75 species, most of them are mildy toxic. The only species that is used is for herbal medicine is Hydrangea arborescens and the part that is used is the root. Passing Kidney StonesA basic…

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  • August 31, 2021

The Mighty Oak

The first herb book I studied was Back to Eden by Jethro Kloss. I remember reading about white oak bark (Quercus alba) and being puzzled by how it could be used for varicose veins, hemorrhoids, and bleeding gums. I wondered how one plant could be used for so many different health issues. It wasn't until I started working with Edward Milo Millet, my first herb teacher, that I got the answer to my question. He helped me understand how different remedies can have similar actions can be grouped together.…

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  • August 24, 2021

Practical Uses for Prickly Pear

Knowing how to use the edible and medicinal plants growing in your area will give you a greater sense of security and valuable skills when troubled times come. One of my goals in writing these articles is to introduce you to the uses of common plants you might find growing nearby so you can learn and share this practical knowledge. Today I’m going to discuss the uses of nopal, also known as the prickly pear cactus. While more common in the Southwest, various species of prickly pear are found throughout…

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