12 Jul 2016
Herbalism in Los Angeles …
is thriving thanks to herbalist, Julie James who has been teaching classes on plant energetics for over a decade. If you find yourself questioning the conventional western pharmaceutical solutions to health issues and are wondering if there is a more natural way to heal, check out GREEN WISDOM HERBAL STUDIES.
I discovered Green Wisdom herbal studies in 2014 and have taken several intensives with Julie. She completely changed my kitchen and my back yard. She often brings plant clippings to her classes as well as and samples of the herbs she lectures on for the day. We sip medicinal tea while she expounds at length about the intricacies of plant energetics. To have plants in my back yard that were gifted by a powerful herbal healer is a healing in itself.
Like many complex studies, herbalism is best learned experientially. No one brings written material alive better than Julie James. So to really learn about medicinal plants, I highly recommend taking her classes. But to boil down the basics of what Julie teaches- here is a brief introduction to Herbal Medicine.
Plants have energetic properites. Each plant has a complex chemistry of nutrition which is often studied by placing plants on an energetic spectrum. There are two spectrums which every plant is situated- the hot/cold spectrum and the moist/dry spectrum. When we define a plant as hot and dry such as cayenne, this plant would be suited to conditions in need of warming up- like chills, and drying out- like a runny nose.
Plants with Cooling energetics – such as- lemon, rose, marshmallow, cucumber, and others.
Plants with Warming energetics -such as- ginger, cinnamon, oregano, clove, and others.
Plants that create moisture – such as – chia seeds, flax seeds, and others
Plants that cause drying – such as – nettle, dandelion, and others
Learning the unique spectrum physics of a plant is what Julie makes fun. She is an encyclopedia of herbal wisdom and she is never without a variety of samples to taste and take home.
Beyond plant energetics, Julie also teaches techniques for naturally extracting the medicinal properties of plants through:
- hot water extractions
- alcohol/vinegar extractions
- syrup extractions
These are the common ways of taking herbal remedies.
If you want to really learn a plants energetics, Julie recommends spending a month with it where you take it daily in one or all of the above forms. I personally began my herbal studies with nettle and oat straw tea. This combination is so nutritious and beneficial, it is now a weekly staple in our house.
To find oat straw and nettle in dried form visit Mountain Rose Herbs. This wonderful company has the largest selection of organic, fair trade, sustainable herbs in the country and they ship everywhere. Rosemary Gladstar’s Herbal Recipes book is also an excellent resource for beginners and long-time herbalists.
From my many adventures in the healing arts I am certain of one thing… Healing needs community. Health and Wellness can not exist in isolation. We need a whole meadow of diverse interactions. So find a local community and thrive, LA.