August 15th, 2011


Cascade Mtn Herbal Intensive

Just spent the weekend studying herbs on an elective course in my program. The teachers were Nome McBride of Pharmacopia Herbals and Glen Nagel, ND. Both of these gents are awesomely knowledgeable about herbs, and fine string players. We spent the weekend camping at a property called Riversong on the Hood River between Dee and Tucker, wandering in the woods and meadows, sitting around a campfire and in a hot tub, singing and dancing, processing herbs into medicine under the group tent, swimming in the cold river. Twas relaxing and educational at the same time. Previously I said that the liver elective was my favorite, but this is my new favorite elective. Thankfully I had a tip from my friend Dr Curry who said "they never have enough jars or booze for making tinctures, so bring your own". I did, and I was glad. I came back with enough lomatium root to give the population of Oregon a pruritic rash. I was fascinated with the roots , collecting and processing Inula root (Elecampagne), Arctium (Black Cohosh/Dong Quai) and Armoracia (Horseradish). I wanted to get some Rumex crispa (Yellow dock) root to add to my gut formula but all I ended up with is seeds. I can plant some nasty medicinal weeds somewhere along a meadow edge, so that I can return to harvest it later. I didn't know that it is illegal to have or grow Hypericum perforatum (St John's Wort) in many ranching states! It causes sun sensitivity in livestock and can kill them. Oh yes, learned lots. Processing herbs and ideas still. And the FOOD at the retreat was amazing, locally sourced, fresh and whole, and magnificently blended and prepared. Doesn't get any better than that.

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