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Beloved Burdock
by Betsy Costilo Miller

Burdock is a wonderfully plentiful a well as useful medicinal plant.

The following article about it is excerpted from the newly released Plant Healers
2016 Class Essays EBook
available from the Bookstore page at:

Burdock helps the body remember what is was like to be stinging nettles, wearing nothing but a bathing suit
healthy, and is suited to chronic cases where the thread of and life jacket. In that moment I decided I hated all
health has been lost. plants, and wanted to leave the trip and go home to
! -Matthew Wood the comfort of the city. I was crying, covered in red,
burning welts and pretty much as miserable as Id
Burdock is one of the first plants I met when I started ever been; my camp counselor took me up the bank,
learning the ways of plants and healing, and is the wrapped me in a towel and went off. A few minutes
plant to which I essentially owe my belief in plant later she came back with a bunch of large leaves, tore
medicine. When I was 11, I went on a canoeing trip them up, soaked them in river water for a few
as part of a summer camp adventure. On our first minutes and then laid them across my legs. After a
afternoon, we pulled the canoes ashore to stop for few minutes the nettle sting began to subside, and
lunch, and when climbing out of my boat I slipped welts didnt seem quite so red and angry. It really
on the muddy shore and landed in a patch of seemed like magic- the counselor took me to see the

Burdock plant she had picked the leaves from, and I steamed or sauted, or made into a yummy pesto
spent the rest of that trip learning as much as I could with basil and nettles. If I am not going to use the
from her about the other plants we found along the leaves right away, but want to have them on-hand for
river. poultices, I will roll them up and store them in glass
jars of apple cider vinegar. They make great
Burdock is a lovely biennial plant that is common poultices for kitchen burns (I add a bit of aloe-
across most of the United States. The long taproot, always growing in my kitchen- as well as a few drops
sometimes up to two to three feet in length, is the of lavender essential oil), bruises, sprains or strains.
part most commonly harvested by herbalists and The seed I typically harvest as soon as they form,
foragers for medicine and/or food, however the which in my area (Northern Virginia) tends to be
leaves and seed have great merit too. The root is best mid-to-late fall, and prefer to tincture immediately.
harvested mid-summer of its first year (I prefer The stem in late spring, when it is about a foot tall, is
harvesting anytime between Summer Solstice and also delicious steamed, sauted or pickled.
end of July) or by the spring of the second year
before the new shoots emerge; if harvested too late Sometimes I feel that Burdock doesnt get enough
into the second year the root might have already credit or attention because it can be such a common,
begun to rot. The leaves can be harvested gentle, and food-like medicine. While it is those
throughout the summer too, to be either dried or things, the subtle actions I have experienced and
used fresh; the young fresh leaves are also delicious observed while using this plant have guaranteed it a
permanent place in my materia media. There are
plants that push the mind and body, and plants that
nudge; Burdock, particularly the root, is the latter.
This plant winds its way through our gut, our blood
and our lymph, nudging the system back in the
direction of homeostasis.


I bring the seeds into use when Im looking for a

much faster, stronger effect than what we can expect
from the root. The seeds can be more of a pusher
than a nudger, strongly moving the body in the
direction we are hoping it to go; I find the energetics
of the seeds to be very dispersive in nature, and see
that in their effects as well. The effects, while strong,
tend to disperse quickly, and unless the underlying
pattern or issue is addressed, the symptoms will
manifest again as the pattern settles back into our
normal. The seed has a strong history of use in the
Western herbal tradition as a kidney tonic,
particularly for the formation of stones, and in
Chinese medicine for Wind heat. Physiologically
and psychologically, I love using the seed in cases of
stubbornness. A fever that seems to linger, recurrent
kidney inflammation, someone stuck in a particular
phase of life that isnt supporting them, yet they are

reluctant to effect the necessary change (adding a of our traditional bitters- Gentiana, Matricaria,
touch of root here can help us commit to that Taraxacum- to stimulate the digestive power and
change). I have also found the seed very helpful in assist the body with the emulsification of fats in
situation of stubborn acne, extending well past particular. Again, I use the root long term (often
adolescence and into adulthood; as a diaphoretic, the combined with milk thistle here) to rebuild a liver
seed seems to have a particular affinity for clogged that has been chronically deprived of quality fat.
sebaceous glands that no amount of exfoliation can
keep open. Along the lines of stuckness, all parts of this plant
(root, seed, & leaf) seem to have a great effect on
I have started using the seed much more frequently tight, achy and stiff tendons and ligaments. The
in nutrition practice lately, particularly with women leaves make a great fresh or vinegar preserved
40 yrs and older who are transitioning away from the poultice, and even infused in oil (I like a blend of 75%
low-fat diet craze, and are struggling with digesting almond, 25% castor) has provided great relief to a
the high quality fats they are incorporating in their poorly-healed knee disclocation and resulting
diet. In tincture form I have found the seed to be tendonitis. 15-30 drops of the combined seed and
faster acting in the gut and liver than the root, and root tincture (equal parts) four times daily has helped
especially helpful in relieving the bleh heavy with several cases of stiff joints (a combined result of
feeling clients describe when eating a higher fat diet. old injury combined with increasingly sedentary
In this situation, I love combining the seed with some lifestyle). I like this formula for the acute

manifestation of a chronic disorder picture, as the vitamins and minerals, and enhances the bodys
seed tends to be faster acting but less permanent, ability to derive nutrition from food- in a sense,
while the effects of the root take longer to be felt, but giving the body a fish and teaching it how to fish. In
work deeply to change the underlying tissue state this situation, as with most tonic herbs, Burdock
and therefore create a more lasting effect. functions best when taken over long periods of time,
as both food and tea. As many ways as this plant can
Root be consumed, it should be. This is where I see the
traditional use of Burdock as a blood purifier most
"On a psychological level, Burdock helps us deal with our clearly (although I prefer the term nourisher- I dont
worries about the unknown... which lurk in the dark woods find the concept of dirty or impure blood very
beyond our control. It seizes upon deep complex issues, conducive to a healing story); it can help restore
penetrates to the core and brings up old memories and new function to those organs most challenged by the
answers. It gives us faith to move ahead on our path, metabolic byproducts of disease (liver, kidneys,
despite the unknown problems that might snare us on our lymph).
way. It helps the person who is afraid become more hardy,
while it brings the hardy wanderer back to his original Even in the non-convalescing individual, this is such
path. It restores vigor and momentum." a benefit- eliminatory organs not functioning at their
-Matthew Wood highest level will result, overtime, in the
accumulation of waste products, both natural
Burdock root seems to have a particular role for the metabolic byproducts and toxins from our food and
convalescing individual. It is innately high in many the environment. This would be like never taking

your car to get the oil changed- it becomes clogged, pirate plant, because its long tap root can dig deep
the engine cant run efficiently, and eventually engine into the earth to find water and nutrients before the
parts will begin to wear out and fail completely. The other plants even have a chance; this is how I have
same process happens in our bodies if they become seen the plant work its magic time and time again in
bogged down with the weight of accumulating waste clients who have buried experience so deep inside
products; I see this especially in individuals eating a themselves that the fortress seems impenetrable.
less than optimal diet, living a sedentary lifestyle that When taken daily, even in small amounts, Burdock
stagnates lymph flow, or are simply prone to seems able to access those deeply guarded recesses of
stuckness based on constitution; eventually we start the soul, winding its way through our layers and
to feel not well; not sick exactly, but we know gently coaxing out our ability to self-regulate and
something just isnt quite right inside. Enter heal. Breaching that fortress is often the most
Burdock- that taproot that can fight its way through terrifying thing most of us will attempt, and having
concrete, that flourishes by the side of the road the deep-rootedness of Burdock as an ally creates a
despite fuel runoff, that thrives in areas of disruption, safe space for that work to happen, almost as if the
and winds its way through our internal sludge and root acts as a string that we can follow back out of the
stuckness to breathe life back into our tissues that maze of our own emotion and experience. I choose
have been so starved for blood and nourishment. In the root in this picture because while the seed can
this manner, Burdock doesnt take over the reach those deep places, it often does so much more
functioning of our body and organs- it facilitates the quickly and can bring us to a head before were ready
communication and cooperation necessary for our to get there. The root, on the other hand, shows us
digestive, lymphatic, endocrine and eliminatory the way and lets us take our own time in getting
organs to keep us alive and well. When our bodys there.
cells, tissues, organs and systems are working in
coordination with each other, daily life inside and out As part of a nervine formula for anxiety and stress,
becomes a complexly choreographed dance, rather Burdock root anchors us deeply into the earth,
than a struggle. helping us find that connectedness so many of us are
searching for and that seems so elusive in modern
As a digestive tonic, Burdock root is my go-to for any society. Combining Burdock with skullcap, rose,
case of possible gut dysbiosis. The high inulin oatseed or any of our loving,
content (particularly of the juicy, summer-fed roots soul-nurturing nervines helps us move past self-
harvested in the fall of their first year), feeds our gut judgment, with confidence, into the realm of
flora and encourages a healthy and diverse gut possibility. I also find this combination of Burdock
microbiome. I especially recommend several weeks root and nervines so important in those of us who
of Burdock root (preferably as food) after antibiotics tend to oscillate very quickly between emotions,
to rebuild gut flora; my favorite way to eat it in this usually from one end of the spectrum to the other,
context is pickled, which both preserves the high from anger to joy or contentment to irritability.
inulin content of the fresh root and gives the Energetically Burdock grounds us, and the nervines
additional benefit of probiotic cultures. The tannin soothe us. Physiologically though, Burdock does
content of the root tonifies the digestive epithelium, seem to exert a normalizing effect on nervous system
function; my thought is that this effect is not through
One of the ways I most adore Burdock, and have directly interacting with the nervous system, but by
found Burdock to bring about profound change, is in supporting endocrine function through enhancing
its ability to draw up things- emotions, traumas, liver breakdown of circulating hormones and by
illness- that are so deeply hidden we may not even enhancing the vitality of digestive/lymphatic system
know they are there. When I was first studying plant functioning, therefore contributing to our overall
medicine, a teacher described Burdock as being a sense of wellbeing and taking a true physiological

stress load off of our shoulders. This Burdock/ the brine up to a boil for 2 minutes.
nervine combination is a favorite of mine during 4. Pour the brine over the Burdock, and let it sit for 10
times of profound change, such as loss/grief minutes. Add more brine if needed to cover the root
(combined with rose or hawthorn), sticks.
5. Store the root pickles in the fridge- they will be
By allowing us to stay grounded and rooted, ready to eat in about 3-4 weeks.
Burdock gives us permission to move through the
world more openly and freely because we trust that ***If you want to make them shelf/storage stable,
we wont lose touch with our true self. This is an follow canning procedures after you pour the brine
especially useful quality for the Phlegmatic over the roots.
constitution, as those of us dominated by water,
without boundaries, will try to expand into, and take Sauteed Burdock Stems
into ourselves, the world around us; Burdock recalls
us to our center, and reminds us of solid ground, self, 8-10 Burdock stems
and setting boundaries necessary for self-awareness. 1 tbsp butter, oil or preferred cooking fat
2-3 cloves garlic
The ability of Burdock to reach us so deeply, and cup walnuts
create shifts that are subtle yet so profound, is why I cup goat cheese (optional)
use Burdock as the ultimate example of the concept
that gentle does not mean lack of power. These 1. Prepare the Burdock stems by slicing them (width-
properties make Burdock, a common roadside weed wise) from the thick bottom section until you find the
such an invaluable part of our materia medica, tender part (stalk will no longer have a hole in the
invoking magic and medicine both alone and in center). Using a paring knife, remove the dark green
synergy with our other plant allies. outer layer (tends to be stringy and bitter)
2. Blanch the stems for 2-3 minutes to soften
Pickled Burdock Root 3. While stems are blanching, heat the oil in a
sauting pan; add the Burdock stems and garlic
1- 2 pounds Burdock root, or enough to fill a quart- gloves and saut until the shoots are tender
sized ball jar 4. Serve topped with walnuts and goat cheese
1/2 c. coconut aminos (or soy, or nama shoyu)
1/4 c. water
3/4 c. rice wine vinegar
6 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp diced garlic
1 Tbsp diced ginger
1 tsp diced horseradish (optional- I like mine spicy!)
1 hot pepper (again, optional)

1. Peel the Burdock root and cut it into uniform

sticks. Boil the roots in salted water for 5 minutes, or
until just tender enough to pierce with a fork.
2. Drain the roots, then pack them tightly in a
sanitized quart jar.
3. In a separate pot, add the coconut aminos, water,
rice wine vinegar, apple cider vinegar, garlic, ginger,
horse radish and hot pepper to form the brine. Bring

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Healing with Garlic
by Phyllis D. Light

Phyllis Light is....

Her excellent article on Garlic that follows was excerpted from the 300 pages-long Fall 2016 issue of
Plant Healer Magazine,
available from

Lets play Twenty-one Questions: What plant was the lower classes and never eaten by the aristocracy?
eaten by Roman soldiers for courage while Egyptian If you answered Garlic, then you answered correctly.
slaves ate it to build their strength? What plant is Garlic (Allium sativum), has a long history as both a
mentioned in the sacred books of the Christians, culinary and medicinal herb which people seem to
Moslems, and Hindus? What plant has been either love or hate. Its pungent aroma and warming
considered an aphrodisiac, a vampire deterrent, and flavor either captivates or repels your taste buds as
a magical charm? What food was deemed only fit for well as your friends.

All About Garlic cloves. Once the cloves are apart, you'll notice that it
is shaped with one end larger than the other. Plant
This member of the Onion family, native to Siberia, is each clove about 2-3 inches deep in the soil in mild
now naturalized or grown in most of the world. climates and 3-4 inches deep in colder climates. Plant
Garlics use in folk medicine dates back about 7,000 the larger end of the clove against the ground and the
years making it one of the oldest known medicinal narrow end pointing toward the sky about 6-8 inches
foods or herbs. In modern times, Garlic is generally apart.
used as a condiment lending its own unique,
pungent flavor to a dish, but in medieval times, Softneck varieties of Garlic do best in Southern
Garlic was cooked and eaten as a vegetable in its own gardens where winters are mild and it doesn't get too
right. Today you can consume Garlic fresh from your cold. Hardneck varieties do best in Northern
garden prepared in a variety of ways or it can be gardens where there is a real winter and won't
dried, powdered and stored for future use. Let your produce well if it is too warm. Mulch your bed with
taste buds be your guide. straw to protect the tiny green shoots from freezing.
In the spring, pull back the mulch and weed as
Fortunately, scientific research is supporting many of necessary. Only water during the summer if the
Garlics traditional uses. During World War II, it ground becomes dry more than two inches below the
earned the nickname "Russian penicillin" because it surface. When watering, avoid pouring water
was used as a natural anti-infective and antimicrobial directly onto the crowns of the plant.
agent by Russian soldiers. Biochemistry researchers
in India have validated Garlics antibacterial claim. A Garlic can grow in many different types of soil but
study reported in Asian Pacific Journal of Tropical prefers fertile, sandy loam rich with organic matter
Medicine (2012) found that Garlic exhibited that drains well. It has a medium demand for
antibacterial activity against gram positive (Bacillus nitrogen and soil augmentation may be necessary
subtilis, Staphylococcus aureu,) and gram negative with green manures or fish meal. It does not like
(Escherichia coli and Klebsiella pneumonia) strains competition so weeding is vital. Garlic has few pest
and antifungal activity against Candida albicans. or diseases which makes growing even easier. Just a
Garlic is also a folk remedy to lower blood pressure, note of caution: Don't plant Garlic bulbs from the
thin the blood and reduce cholesterol levels. In grocery store, they may not be suited to your
addition to its antibacterial properties, Garlic also growing region.
posses antifungal, cardiovascular and anti-asthmatic
properties. Related Species
Garlic is related to Onions, Shallots, Leeks, and
Garlic is easy to plant, easy to grow, and requires Chives. All plants of the Allium family. Scallions are
very little care. Garlic can be grown in zones 3-8. actually immature plants of the bulbing onion, not a
Fortunately for gardeners, this versatile plant can separate species. All members of the Allium family
grow in most of the continental United States except have similar health benefits and properties.
for the Gulf Coast, lower Florida and the extreme
northern climates where temperatures fall to -40F. Which Part to Use

Growing Needs & Soil Conditions Both the cloves and the leaves of the Garlic plant can
be eaten, but the cloves pack the greatest amount of
Garlic does best planted in the fall. It must have at nutrients and healthy compounds. Young tender
least 2 months at 40F to produce bulbs. For easy leaves, called scapes, are great in salads are added to
planting break the Garlic heads apart into individual soups and stews.

How to Harvest, Store, & Prepare but does contain other healthful compounds
such as cysteine that are not normally found
Harvest: The following year after planting, harvest in raw or cooked Garlic.
your bounty after the lower leaves have
turned yellowish-brown but the top leaves are Store: The traditional method of storing Garlic is to
still green. Use a fork to lift the Garlic from braid the green leaves together and hang in a
the ground. cool place, about 55F - 65F until needed for
Drying: Brush large bits of dirt from the bulb. Dry the
Garlic flat, in shade but with good air flow. Prepare: Once you are ready to use the Garlic, cut the
Although the Garlic will be a bit dirty, leave it Garlic from the braid, clean and chop.
that way until ready to use. Too much
cleaning will shorten its storage life. Garlic The Chemistry of Garlic, or, How It Works
that has been aged naturally, without the use
of heat, for at least 20 months, has a reduction Each little clove of Garlic is a powerhouse of good-
of irritating compounds and is easier on the for-you compounds, vitamins and minerals. Active
stomach. Plus, the pungent odor is greatly constituents of Garlic include allyl sulfur compounds
reduced. Aged Garlic does not produce allicin and the minerals potassium and selenium. When

chopped raw Garlic is allowed to stand for 10 received coronary artery calcium scanning
minutes, an enzyme is produced that converts the and C-reactive protein testing to determine a
allyl sulfur compounds to allicin, the key component baseline. At the end of 12 months, each
responsible for most of Garlics many health benefits. participant received another testing. After
The more allicin produced, the greater the benefits. adjusting for age, gender, and medications,
the results of the Garlic group were compared
Lets take a moment to understand the uniqueness of with placebo. The Garlic and CoQ10 group
allicin conversion. The Garlic bulb contains the had significantly less calcium artery
allinase enzyme which acts on the chemical alliin progression than the placebo group. A similar
inherent in each cell of the bulb. The alliin is study, reported in Nutrition (2012), found that
converted into allicin, the active compound, aged Garlic extract significant decreased
whenever a cell membrane is damaged. Normally, atherosclerotic plaque progression.
this occurs as a defense mechanism against microbial
pathogens of the soil. When the Garlic cloves are Women & Heart Health: In a study published in
attacked by fungi for example, the cell membranes of Nutrition Research and Practice (2012), aged
a small area of the Garlic clove is destroyed, and Garlic extract was found to reduce
within seconds, the alliin within those cells is cardiovascular risk factors in postmenopausal
converted into a new compound called allicin. This women independent of any benefits received
new compound is anti-fungal and anti-infective and from exercise. Women in the study were
soon destroys the attackor. This is why it is necessary divided into four groupsplacebo, aged
to chop or crush the Garlic bulb and allow it sit for 10 Garlic intake, exercise plus placebo, and
minutes to receive the greatest health benefits. By the exercise plus aged Garlic extract. The women
way, its the allinase catalyzing the chemical who received aged Garlic extract had lower
compounds in the bulb which creates the volatile cholesterol, body weight and homocysteine
compounds that result in those teary-eyed cooking levels.
A study from Emory University School of Medicine
Allicin, along with its health benefits, dissipates with found that an active compound in Garlic oil
heat but the benefits of another Garlic compound, releases hydrogen sulfide, a known
diallyl sulphides does survive heat and the cooking cardioprotective agent that protects the heart
process. All you need is a good knife and a cutting via antioxidant, antiapoptotic, anti-
board to experience the culinary and medicinal value inflammatory, and mitochondrial actions. As
of Garlic, so chop away and toss a clove of Garlic into reported in the American Journal of Physiology
your favorite dish. Heart and Circulatory Physiology (2012), animal
studies show this compound may
Current Scientific Research Findings significantly provide cardioprotective benefits
during myocardial ischemia-reperfusion
Inflammation: According to the Journal of injury. This type of injury occurs when the
Cardiovascular Disease Research (2012), aged blood supply returns to tissue after a period
Garlic extract plus CoQ10 greatly reduced of lack of oxygen.
inflammatory markers and reduced
progression of coronary atherosclerosis. In Aged Garlic
this study, participants either received a
placebo capsule or a capsule containing aged Does Garlic get better with age? Aged Garlic does not
Garlic extract daily for one year. At the produce allicin but does contain other healthful
beginning of the study, all participants compounds such as cysteine that are not normally

found in raw or cooked Garlic. Garlic that has been placebo. Interestingly, women had a greater
aged naturally, without the use of heat, for at least 20 reduction in plague than men (Atherosclerosis 2000).
months, has a reduction of irritating compounds and
is easier on the stomach. Plus, the pungent odor is Another study reported in the Journal of Agricultural
greatly reduced. and Food Chemistry (2009) found scientific evidence
that freshly crushed Garlic has more potent heart-
Garlic and Heart Disease healthy effects than dried Garlic. According to lead
researcher Dipak K. Das, Ph.D., from the University
A clove a day, keeps heart disease away, or at least of Connecticut School of Medicine, Garlic's heart-
helps reduce your risk factors. Whether you choose healthy effects seem to result mainly from hydrogen
raw or dried Garlic, the benefits abound. A four-year sulfide, a chemical signaling substance that forms
study of 280 people using 300 mg. of dried Garlic after Garlic is cut or crushed and relaxes blood
clove powder three times a day, found a significant vessels when eaten.
reduction in arterial plague over the group using a

In this study, scientists gave freshly crushed Garlic to antimicrobial, a n t i - i n fl a m m a t o r y ,
one group of lab rats and processed Garlic to another. immunostimulating effects and good penetration
They found that fresh, crushed Garlic had a through the tympanic membrane."
significantly greater effect on restoring blood flow to
the heart. Garlic as a remedy for the common cold is one of the
oldest traditional remedies for this flavorful plant.
Another study found that Garlic may also prevent I've tried this on myself a few times, with mixed
aorta hardening. As a person ages, the aorta naturally results. However, a study published in the American
hardens, reducing blood flow from the heart and Family Physician found that the regular use of Garlic
placing stress on other organs. In research by Ohio might decrease the frequency of colds in adults but
State University, people who took Garlic had no effect on the length of the cold.
supplements had a 15% lower average aortic stiffness
than people who didn't consume Garlic (Circulation, Garlic is often touted as a remedy for Candida, but
1997). In the study, the older the person, the more I've not found this to be very effective either.
benefit was derived from Garlic use. Researchers Candida, or yeast, overgrowth is often a side-effect of
believe this was because the aorta elasticity in prolonged or frequent use of antibiotics. For me, a
younger people is already functioning normally good probiotic and eating fermented foods such as
regardless of Garlic consumption. The group that had yogurt, has a much quicker effect at restoring the
the most response was the 70-80 age group while the balance of bacterial activity in my body.
60-69 age group received the next highest positive
Side Effects and Cautions

Traditional Health Benefits & Home Remedies Does Garlic cause you to burp? If so, you are not
alone. The oil in Garlic may irritate the stomach
Garlic has many traditional and folk uses including lining in some people, especially those with sensitive
antifungal, antibacterial, cardiovascular and anti- stomachs, causing abdominal discomfort and nausea.
asthmatic properties. During World War II, it earned If this is true for you, dried Garlic or a Garlic
the nickname "Russian penicillin" because it was supplement may be beneficial.
used as a natural anti-infective and antimicrobial
agent by Russian soldiers. Another common complaint from eating Garlic is
body odor and bad breath. The pungent sulfur
Garlic has been one of my favorite home remedies for compounds of Garlic permeate through skin pores,
many years. Its pungent nature and long history lungs, breath, and sweat glands. Garlics ability to
supports its safe and effective use. Here are some of move through the lungs is one of the reasons it was
my favorite uses. traditionally used for lung disorders, pneumonia,
asthma and bronchitis.
Garlic oil, commonly combined with mullein,
applied in the ear canal can soothe an earache and As a caution, Garlic may effect the way some
reduce pain levels. My children always reported medications are metabolized and processed. Please
some relief of pain when applied. According to a consult your physician or pharmacist if you are
study published in the European Archives of taking Garlic capsules with your medications.
Otorhinolaryngology (2012), there is some evidence
that in middle ear infections topical application of Nursing mothers might want to avoid Garlic because
herbs including Garlic are, "as effective as oral it can flavor the milk and disturb babys digestion.
amoxicillin and topical anaesthetics due to its

Recipe 1: Garlic Spread Garlic bulbs right out of the head. How easy can that
This wonderful recipe is a taste sensation chocked
full of anti-oxidants, beta-carotene, and the Preheat oven to 375F. Just peel away the outer layers
cardiovascular benefits of Garlic. Enjoy this tasty of the Garlic bulb, but leave the individual cloves
spread over crackers, with chips or your favorite intact. Cut off about the top inch of the Garlic head,
whole-grain bread. leaving the individual cloves exposed. Place the
Garlic heads in a pan, cut side up and drizzle a
2-3 cloves Garlic, peeled and chopped teaspoon of olive oil over each one. Cover the dish
4 cups chopped and sliced winter squash with aluminum foil and bake about an hour. When
1 teaspoons lemon juice cool, use a small fork or your fingers to pull or
teaspoon oregano squeeze the cooked cloves from the skins. Great on
1/4 teaspoon salt toast, eaten as is, or mixed with Parmesan cheese for
pinch black pepper pasta.
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Recipe 3: Best Sore Throat Remedy
Saute Garlic with olive oil over low heat for about
5-10 minutes until soft. Steam winter squash slices Mix 1 teaspoon of chopped Garlic with teaspoon of
until soft. Transfer Garlic and squash to food powdered cayenne pepper and 1 tablespoon. Very
processor. Add lemon juice, oregano, salt and pepper; soothing on the throat.
puree until smooth. Add parsley and puree for five
seconds. Enjoy!

Recipe 2: Roasted Garlic

Slow roasted Garlic is yummy, slightly sweet and

warming. This easy recipe allows you to eat the

Home Again
Reflections on
Plant Healers 2016 TWHC Conference

There is no doubt that this years Plant Healer event was the most exciting yet the sweetest, most vision
filled, most ethnic and gender diverse ever! For many it had not only the feeling of coming home to a tribe and
way of being, but also the feel of a movement in which we co-create an alternative healthful culture.

As always, we worked on it nearly every day for a year, without knowing until a month before if we would
break even on our investment. It was that moment when we felt freed to award scholarship to many of the
dozens of applicants, staying true to our mission of providing access to herbal information for those truly least
able to afford it. Those of you who purchased a ticket make the entire event possible, along with the support
of our treasured sponsors all of us purposed together in the creation of a liberated healing movement.

The drive there was awesome of course, starting low in the desert, then winding straight up the mountain with
views of Old Mexico and the brilliant White Sands national monument. Two days of set-up, and then the first
of you began arriving, with license plates from all over the United States and Canada. A warm afternoon
turned thunderous in the midst of Jim McDonald and Kat Mackinnons native plant walks, with many folks
staying out in the rain until it turned into large balls of hail. By the first morning, the storm had moved on and
clouds of moisture drifted spectral-like sunwards as the moisture on the grass and flowers evaporated.

Our time atop New Mexicos sky-island was bittersweet in one way at least: for the first time, we are moving
our annual event site without feeling like we are escaping a cluster of drawbacks and problems. The location
was so lovely, and we were treated so well, we assured the staff at our Cloudcroft venue that we would gladly
come back again, though necessarily with a smaller group or mini-event. The maximum was supposed to be
250 people, but counting teachers and helpers we hit 345, giving us no choice to but to adopt a new and
equally amazing location. The Plant Healer subculture will likely always consist of folks who can barely relate
to normal society, and tend to feel out of place at normal events oddkins who seem to feel too much and
care too deeply to fit in into the lonely places where normalcy and uniformity are the goals. That said, there is
no denying that the tribe is growing even as it diversifies, with each new person finding the rest of us strangely

With our next annual event being mid-Summer, we had to start our call for teacher proposals way back in
June, and I had to design the new website pages before TWHC in Cloudcroft. Many of you have hoped our
dear Kiva Rose would get some time off after the gathering, but the needs of the next Confluence of hearts and
purposes has kept her busy. We are seeking help/staff to take over some of our tasks (write us if interested in
becoming part of a new team), and I intend to provoke her to go on restorative plant trips... but until we find
someone, you can be sure we will do all required to continue encouraging and empowering a tribe that you
can call home... a plant-covered place where you need never feel alone.

Thank you for coming and co-creating the 2016 experience, if you were able to attend... and if not, we will hope
to see you in 17. For all of you, we include on the following pages a few tales and photos from September.

Wild blessings,
Wolf & Kiva

Since its inception, in all of its incarnations, I've made it a priority to attend the annual Plant Healer
conferences Wolf and Kiva offer to our community. The reason why is fairly straightforward: they're
friggin' great. From the array of presenters and topics to the people who attend to just the overall
vibe... it's where I want to be, what I want to be a part of. When this conference first started, I was
given the opportunity to teach, despite being a relatively "new" herbalist on the scene.

Each year since then, I've seen this opportunity

shared with other herbalists, broadening out to
share their understanding of plants with a wider
audience. The Confluence isn't just an event, it's
connection. It's support. It's encouragement. It's
renewal... and damn fun, too.
Jim McDonald

I'm touched and grateful to be a part of
this community of people fighting to
reconnect that which was severed; to
restore something that most people don't
even realize they've lost.
Guido Mas

The incredible Teachers of Plant Healers 2016

Traditions in Western Herbalism Conference

To be Medicine of the People, we have to make Plant Healer events accessible,

including through work trades, scholarships, time payments and barter.
While it cant pay the bills, barter is great because it is a gift to everyone
involved thank you this year to Jon, Linda, Jenny and all who traded goodies...
and to the many of you who brought gifts for Kiva and I from your homes and
hearts like this fun gift basket from Terrie & Thomas Easley.
Paul Bergner with Kat MacKinnon, Kiva Rose
with Asia Suler and Jen Stovall,
and a happy Guido Mas

Type to enter text

Nam Kaur painting with Henna on
Briana Wiles, Jenny and her wild and
ever-do helpful beau, and Guidos smart
and precocious daughter

A fabulous Masquerade, and a
thoughtful renegade Doc Garcia

What an amazing thing you guys have manifested, it is bigger than any of us or even all of us put together. A
true sense of community blended with equal parts of spirit and nature.
! Paul Bergner (North American School of Medical Herbalism)

Thanks once again for creating a space for the gathering of plant-centered healers. I know you work long
hours all year to facilitate this co-mingling of plant-folk. I am still riding the high of being around so many
plant people speaking of medicine, magic and reconnection.It really is like nothing else.

I enjoyed this year's conference on many levels. As a student, I was inspired by established teachers as well as
new voices. I was excited to see the growing consciousness of gender fluidity in many classes, not just the one
devoted to creating safer spaces for trans folks. As a teacher with students in tow, many of whom are queer
and/or trans, this was a relief. It is always a risk to bring them to learn from other teachers, not knowing what
they might say. My apprentices were glowing with excitement every day. That we were able to bring them was
a rare, wild gift. As a teacher presenting at the conference, I had the pleasure of sharing knowledge, both of
conservation and mental health, with so many wonderful, grateful people. Their appreciation and insights
recharged me and reminded me why I do what I do. Once again, I left this special gathering a little sad to leave
but reinvigorated, inspired and even more committed to the great work.
! Janet Kent

I am still buzzing like a happy little bee after that incredible weekend at Plant Healers Traditions in Western
Herbalism Conference. Looking around at my community of plant folk, I can't help but shift between feelings
of immense giddiness and tearful emotions of gratitude and humility. WHAT A LIFE! Thank you for gathering
all the lovely flowers together, and to all the teachers who continue to impart your essence and life lessons,
thanks for keeping me perpetually curious.
! Meg Houston

What an amazing weekend at Plant Healers Traditions in Western Herbalism Conference! Quote of the
weekend was from Guido Mase,(I'm paraphrasing) These are the authentic green-hearted herbalists... you
can't buy that shit! I'm flying high on gratitude for my community, authentic, creative, caring, radical,
grounded and so brilliant! May we take this energy with us and continue spreading it throughout our
communities, I know I will!
! Shana Lipner Grover (Sage Country Herbs)

I came out of the TWHC with a deeper understanding of myself and a clearer sense of my path ahead. A
pivotal moment was at the dance on Friday night, Id had an emotional day of joy and sadness, feeling
connected here and so isolated at home, but I looked around at all the people mingling and dancing and
enjoying themselves and I realised, everyone here is a herbalist. And there really are as many ways to be a
herbalist as there are people who love plants. I love that the Plant Healer magazine and events us together
through our common passions and awareness and then welcomes, honours and celebrates the diversity of
every person who embodies plant connections and healing in their own, unique way. Through this four-day
immersion in a world of inspiration and wonder, I realised that, although I feel a need for more herbal
community and diversity in Australia, the best thing I can do to foster that, is to follow my own heart and joy,
the world doesnt need anything from me, except to create and live a life that I want to live (its that simple,
right?). Deep deep gratitude and love to every person I connected with at the conference, our roots are
entwined, I hope to meet you again.
! Rosie Cooper

Austin, Texas to Cloudcroft, New Mexico and back for the Traditions in Western Herbalism Conference: A
total vortex of dense plant power that drew in all four seasons in a weekend. I ate shooter marble-sized hail
frozen with fresh spruce and pine, and we ran around like fools naked in White Sands. Thank you to all the
teachers this weekend, formal and otherwise - what a beautiful community. Endless gratitude for the
opportunities to examine my consciousness and make room for shifts in my subconscious. I took you ALL
home with me and you will continue to be gifts in my life. Until next time everybody XOXO
! Rachael Serena

It was good medicine indeed to be with everyone at the conference, to be in the presence of so many eager,
thoughtful, sensitive, interesting folks, and to connect with herbalists of such deep knowledge and inspiration
whose work I admire and whose personalities I find so charming. Thank you again for making it happen.
! Dave Meesters

I already miss all you plant people, quite terribly. It's such a gift to have a place where we can share our
concoctions, ideas, experience, lessons, hopes, fears, dreams and medicine. It's a gift to have a space where
we're all just our normal weirdo selves, whoever and however that self may be. Thank you to Kiva and Wolf
for putting on the best confluence around. I already cannot wait for next June!
! Rebecca Altman

Thank you sooooooooo much for your efforts in putting together yet another absolutely beautiful conference
and also for allowing me to be a part of it! I loved every bit. I'm excited about next year in Durango! You two
are such beautiful souls. I send all the best of sparkly love and grace. Thanks for being you(s).
! Lisa Hall

I have come to expect the best in herbal conferences from Kiva and Jesse like a Frenchmen enjoys his favorite
wine at a fine bistro. Perhaps I had become slightly blas knowing the best classes and presentations were
awaiting me. At this I humbly apologize. The 2016 Conference blew me away! An incredible variety of classes
shocked the minds of all attendees. I heard kudos from students about every class they attended. The feeling of
celebration permeated the entire experience. Can it get any better? Yes! Another day has been added for 2017.
Five solid days of herbs, healing, learning, music, and love. See you there!
! Charles Doc Garcia

Oh god... Wolf & Kiva, this year was so incredible. It's always so incredible, but this year there was some extra
special magic and sweetness and a buzz of newness. I did so much crying (unusual for my melancholic-
choleric self in public) in classes, out of classes, at the beauty of it all. There's also this extra layer of tragedy
and heartbreak at the end of every conference at all the people I didn't get to spend time with, like you two. I
feel lucky that we live so close and hope that sometime in the next year I can make it down to hang out with
y'all. Cash was also totally smitten with you--talked about how tender and kind and excited and heart-led you
were. Thank you a thousand times for nurturing and growing this incredible community for all of us. I
remember sitting in class at Paul Bergners feet at your first Plant Healer conference and realizing that he was
definitely the only for whom I would move to godforsaken Boulder, and now being on the other side
of that, a teacher now in my own right. And all of these things because of you two, and your bravery and heart
and passion and stubborness and drive. I feel so much like my whole community, my whole found family, is
thanks to your work. Phew. Still crying... So thank you for gifting me with so, so much. Thanks, too, for your
faith and love in inviting me to teach. I had the best time, and got good feedback. Practicing taking that in
instead of letting the me take over and only coming away with the things I wish I had done differently. Phew.
! Alanna Whitney

Goodbye, enchanting Cloudcroft!
We barely knew ya,
before we outgrew ya!

So much gratitude for the teachings, magic,
connections, vulnerable rawness, and friendships
made there. I am so blessed to connect with this
incredible plant people community, and to have the
time and space to hear and speak in this common
language in all its nuances. So much love and
gratitude for the inspiration each of your personal
medicines have brought to me and through me for
others in the future.
Nicole Parry

Sandy and her teacher daughter
Shana Lipner Grover

Paul Bergner, Sarah Lawless, Thomas Easley,
and our amazing on-site manager and teacher
Stephany Hoffelt

Amy Glasser, who will be teaching
Botanical illustration for us in 2017

Kristen Davenport-Katz
brought leaf print scarves
proving she is not only a farmer
and herbalist but also an artist.

Dara Saville, Plant Healer columnist and

core teacher on conservation, ecology
and other topics vital to herbalists

The 2017 Good Medicine Confluence
June 14-18 Durango, SW Colorado

THREE TIMES as many classes: Over 100 classes by Over 40 teachers!

Now our attention goes to 2017s all new Good Medicine Confluence, a broadened and colorful palette of
topics under the motto The Art of Healing, The Savoring of Life. Stretched to FIVE full days, there will be
over. As always, what we make available to you will be specially tailored to this tribe and mission, unique
classes found nowhere else, creating with unique you a one-of-a-kind experience. The intention of every class
will be to empower us, enabling action, manifestation and fulfillment long after the Confluence is over.

Please check out and share online this pdf about the new event:
2017 Good Medicine Confluence Invite

The location is incredible, lodging cheaper than ever, and we can hold many more people and include many
more teachers and classes. Can you believe nearly 100 classes, and not only by herbalists?

The new Good Medicine website is designed, up and ready to be viewed, at:

In 2017 you more than 3X as many classes for the same price as before!

$100 Discount on Tickets

In addition, you can get a full $100 discount if you purchase your tickets before the end of the year.
Deadline: Dec 30th

Vend or Sponsor

For the first time we have room for lots of vendors besides sponsors, and you can get vendor tables, free tickets
and more by becoming a Good Medicine Confluence Sponsor. Download and check out:

2017 Good Medicine Confluence Sponsor Info & Application

2017 Good Medicine Confluence Vendor Application

2017 Teachers 100 Classes

As always, it is difficult to get a balance between our longtime teacher cadre and the new voices that we want
to rotate in and give a venue to, or the balance of information and inspiration. Even with 5 days, and 6 classes
per slot, our herbalism slots are promised, even if we have not agreed on topics and titles, and now sadly we
have to start turning down proposals from many folks we honor and love. Well save em for 18!

We are still open to hosting teachers known for home brewing or mead making, botanical dyes, cultivation
secrets, cannabis edibles, herbs & neurodiversity, herbs and mental health, etc., with an invite to indigenous
teachers and herbalists of color. If you or someone you recommend would like to apply, please fill out and
return as soon as possible:

2017 Good Medicine Confluence Teacher Application

Some of our confirmed 2017 teachers and classes follow others will be announced soon:

Paul Bergner:
! Comparative Materia Medica: Herbal Affinity Groups or Specific Medication? ! ! 1.5 hrs
! A New Look at an Old Devil: The Risks & Benefits of Coffee! ! ! ! 1.5 hrs

Valerie Camacho:
! The Radical Possibilities of Kitchen Herbalism (with Carolina Valder)! ! ! 1.5hrs

Sam Coffman:
! The Art of the Free Clinic! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 1.5 hrs
! Herbal Wound & Infection Management in the Field or at Home! ! ! ! 1.5 hrs
! Percolation Tinctures, Oxymels, Syrups & Simple Formula Making!! ! ! 1.5 hrs

Betsy Costilo-Miller:
! Shifting our Story- Working with Body Dysmorphia & Eating Disorders ! ! ! 1.5 hrs
! The Language of Lymph! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 1.5 hrs

Sean Donahue:
! Tryptamines: Human & Wild!! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 3 hrs
! Oppression & Expression: Herbs for Chronic Stress Among The Oppressed! ! 1.5 hrs

Thomas Easley:
! The Hepatic System: Herbs & The Liver! ! ! ! ! ! ! 1.5 hrs
! Comparing Herbal Dosage Strategies, Past & Present! ! ! ! ! 3 hrs
! To Be Announced

Tiffany Freeman:
! Traditional Teachings on Sacred Tobacco! ! ! ! ! ! ! 1.5 hrs

Lisa Ganora:
! Cannabis Extraction 1800s Pharmacist Style! ! ! ! ! ! 3 hrs

Charles Doc Garcia:

! The Secrets of Herbal Shotgun Syrup!! ! ! ! ! ! ! 3 hrs

Penney Garrett:
! Herbal Cocktails: Mixology for Health & Pleasure! ! ! ! ! ! 1.5 hrs
! Fermentation Basics: The Art, Science, & Fun of Fermenting Foods!! ! ! 1.5 hrs.

Amy Glasser
! Evoking Flora: Botanical Drawing & Painting! ! ! ! ! ! 1.5 hrs

Shana Lipner Grover:

! Smokable Herbs: Non-Cannabis Smoking Blends! ! ! ! ! ! 1.5 hrs
! Topics in Wildcrafting (with Dara Saville)! ! ! ! ! ! ! 1.5 hrs

Jesse Wolf Hardin:

! ReWilding: Empowering & Enlivening Our Selves, Our World, & Our Practice! ! 1.5 hrs
! Enchantment (with Kiva Rose)! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 1.5 hrs

Kiva Rose Hardin:
! Medicine Woman! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 1.5 hrs
! Fairy Thorns: Walking The Third Road With Firethorn, Hawthorn, & Blackthorn! ! 3 hrs
! Enchantment (with Jesse Wolf Hardin)! ! ! ! ! ! ! 1.5 hrs

Kathleen Harrison:
! To Be Announced! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 1.5 hrs
! To Be Announced! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 1.5 hrs

Marija Helt
! Plants of the Southern Rockies Plant Identification Walk! ! ! ! ! ! 3 hrs
! Favorite Substitutes for Osha! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 1.5 hrs
! Medicinal Shroomery in the Southern Rockies!! ! ! ! ! ! ! 1.5 hrs

Stephany Hoffelt:
! Working With Sexual Assault Survivors (with Alanna Whitney)!! ! ! ! 1.5 hrs
Being the Bean Feasa: Women As Keepers Of Knowledge! ! ! ! ! 1.5 hrs

Sheri Hupfer

Sexual Flavors

1.5 hrs

The Nomadic Herbalist: Living Smartly in a Small Container

1.5 hrs

Pulsatila Patens: An Intoxicating Dream

1.5 hrs

Nam Joti Kaur:

! Lawsonia Inermis: Part I Illuminating The Traditional, Ritual, Medicinal,
! & Magical Uses of The Henna Plant! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 1.5 hrs
! Lawsonia Inermis: Part II Hands-On Learning The Art of Henna! ! ! ! 1.5 hrs

Guido Mas:
! To Be Announced! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 1.5 hrs
! To Be Announced! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 1.5 hrs
! To Be Announced! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 1.5 hrs

Katherine Kat Mackinnon:

! Plant Identification Walk: Medicinal Plants of The Mountains & Mesas! ! ! 3 hrs
! Weaving the Wild: Making Baskets for Gathering & Storage! ! ! ! 1.5 hrs
! From Seed to Seed: The Science & Spirit of Growing Your Own Herbs! ! ! 1.5 hrs

Jim McDonald:
! Sanguine Temperament: Inspired Action! ! ! ! ! ! ! 3 hrs
! Ow! My Fucking Back!: Using Herbs for Back & Joint Pain! ! ! ! ! 1.5 hrs
! Gut Healing Teas! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 1.5 hrs

Dave Meesters:
! Absinthe & Other Botanical Spirits: The Lore, The Muse, The Method! ! ! 1.5 hrs

Joshua Paquette:
! Colorado Materia Medica: Medicinal Plants & Their Uses! ! ! ! ! 3 hrs
! Nerognostics: Gathering Knowledge From The Heart of The World! ! ! 1.5 hrs

Kenneth Proefrock:
! To Be Announced! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 1.5 hrs
! To Be Announced! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 1.5 hrs

Jessica Ring:
! Codistillations of Northwest Plants for Sustainable Perfume and Medicine! ! 3 hrs
! Custom Blending Beautifully-Scented Medicinal Perfumes! ! ! ! ! 1.5 hrs

Missy Rohs:
! How to Afford Herb School: Involving Community and Embracing Creativity! ! 1.5 hrs
! Herbal Remedies in Times of Oppression: Nervines for When the World Overwhelms! 1.5 hrs

Ramona Rubin:
! Cannabis Topical Treatments! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 1.5 hrs

Dara Saville:
! Drought & The Future of Medicinal Plants! ! ! ! ! ! ! 3 hrs
! Pedicularis: Community Coordinator & Facilitator of Change! ! ! ! 1.5 hrs
! River Restoration & Medicinal Plants! ! ! ! ! ! ! 1.5 hrs
! Topics in Wildcrafting (with Shana Lipner Grover)! ! ! ! ! ! 1.5 hrs

Ash Sierra:
! Distilling Hydrosols For Apothecary Use! ! ! ! ! ! ! 1.5 hrs

Emily Stock
! Star-Gazing Herbalists: The Solstice Sky! ! ! ! ! ! ! 1 hr

Jen Stovall:
! To Be Announced! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 1.5 hrs
! To Be Announced! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 1.5 hrs

Debra Swanson:
! To Be Announced! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 1.5 hrs
! To Be Announced! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 1.5 hrs
! To Be Announced! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 1.5 hrs

Jonathan Treasure:
! Weed Wacking: Misinformation & Misconceptions About Medicinal Cannabis ! ! 1.5 hrs!
! FUQ: Medicinal Cannabis (Frequently Unasked Questions) ! ! ! ! 1.5 hrs
! Evidence Based Herbal Medicine - New Block on the Kids !! ! ! ! 1.5 hrs

Angie True:

! Waking Up From Psychiatric Drugs! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 1.5 hrs
! Thyroid: At the Juncture Between Self and World! ! ! ! ! ! 1.5 hrs

Carolina Valder:
! The Radical Possibilities of Kitchen Herbalism (with Valerie Camacho)! ! ! 1.5hrs

Roxana Villa:
! To Be Announced! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 1.5 hrs
! To Be Announced! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 1.5 hrs

Ginger Webb:
! To Be Announced! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 1.5 hrs
! To Be Announced! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 1.5 hrs

Alanna Whitney:
! Transgender Therapeutics! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 1.5 hrs
! Pregnancy for Everyone Else: How to Get Pregnant Like a Lesbian!! ! ! 1.5 hrs
! Working With Sexual Assault Survivors (with Stephany Hoffelt) ! ! ! ! 1.5 hrs

Briana Wiles:
! Bodyworker Herbs, Oils, & Toils! ! ! ! ! ! ! ! 1.5 hrs

Help Spread The Word & the Movement Please!
You can be a great help by printing and putting up posters in local herb shops, or spreading online the low res
poster and graphics. If you would like us to send you already printed posters or postcards for Good Medicine
Confluence, please write us at:

2017 Good Medicine Confluence 8x11 Poster for Printing

2017 Good Medicine Confluence 8x11 Poster for Online

2017 Good Medicine Confluence Small Graphic for Online

2017 Good Medicine Confluence Horiz. Graphic for Online

Thank you so much! You make it happen!