Category Archives: Natural Healing

On Being an Herbal Academy Affiliate

Herbal Academy Courses

I’ve tried several affiliate programs and most have not been worth the effort. However, the Herbal Academy Affiliate program has been one that I would recommend if your niche contains herb lovers, homesteaders or tree huggers.

Commission payments are sent out the first full week of every month with an outstanding balance of $50 or more by Paypal. I make a 15% commission on every referral. I get 35% off Herbal Academy’s Online Programs and Herbalist Packages and sometimes I even get to take a course for FREE in exchange for a blog post, There are banners and images galore to make promoting easy. And finally, the courses are of the highest quality which makes it easy for me to rave about.

You can read the Affiliate Terms and Agreements here.

I’ve taken several of Herbal Academy’s courses myself.

Learn how to wildcraft and identify plants confidently in the Botany & Wildcrafting Course!My review of the Botany and Wildcrafting Course is here.Enroll in the Herbal Self-Care for Stress Management Course My review of the Herbal Self-care for Stress Management Course is here.The Craft of Herbal Fermentation Course by Herbal Academy My review of the Herbal Fermentation is here.

The Herbarium Membership for Herbalists

Herbal Academy also sponsors the membership only herbal online library The Herbarium. There you can find articles, downloads, video, podcasts, monographs, and an herbal bookshelf designed to add to your herbal knowledge. They have also begun a new series of intensive workshops concentrating on herbal treatment for specific conditions. The first course is called Herbs for ADHD, Cognition, and Focus.
Herbs for ADHD Intensive enrolling thru October, 21st

But that’s not all! Herbal Academy also has its own store choked full of fun and useful herbal products. My personal favorites are the Materia Medica Journal and the Herbal Starter Kit.A complete Herbal Starter Kit by Herbal Academy

Goods Shop by Herbal Academy – botanically inspired products

So really, what’s not to love about being an Herbal Academy Affiliate?

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Back to Basics Bundle Flash Sale

I can’t say how much I love these ebook bundles!  This is one of my favorites by far. Just look at what you get!

This year’s bundle includes over 59 resources to help you get back to basics and will help you:

  • Cook from scratch using nourishing real food
  • Plant and harvest your own vegetables
  • Learn what it means to live a simpler life without stress
  • Create a wholesome, healthy food storage
  • Learn how to create and use natural remedies
  • Plus learn how to live a more frugal life, do more things yourself, manage a small homestead, and much much more!

If you were to buy each of these resources separately you’d pay over $500, but for this short sale it’s 92% off!

The bundle is only available for a few days: August 25 – 27

Click here to find out more! I know you won’t be disappointed! I sure wasn’t!

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Book Review–Infusions of Healing

While the Botany & Wildcrafting Course from Herbal Academy Courses that I completed in May was spectacular and I have more confidence in using my plant identification skills, I still run into the problem of not being able to transfer the identification from Mexican Spanish to English. This has been frustrating to me since my little Aztec Remedy books say use such and such a plant, but I have no idea what the botanical name is.

My previous Mexican plant authorities!

One of my friends (Sarah from Owl Valley) recommended Infusions of Healing–A Treasury of Mexican-American Herbal Remedies by Joie Davidow. I ordered it from Amazon and finished it in a week. In it, hundreds of herbal remedies are included as well as a chart that gives the English name, Spanish name, Botanical name and other names it might be called. Fabulous!

Recipes were included that used plants that I can identify in La Yacata, like mesquite, sábila, and huizache and I can’t wait to investigate more about their medicinal properties.

Furthermore, more 1/3 of the book talked about indigenous healing traditions. Thousands of years of medicinal tradition were lost when the Catholic church ordered the codices to be burnt, only a handful of others were preserved.  Spanish priests and naturalists compiled various tomes about the conquered peoples that were sent to Europe and lost for hundreds of years, only having been recently rediscovered.

These rediscovered accounts helped me to put the curandero tradition still alive and flourishing into perspective. Not only were curanderos skilled with herbs but they were also doctors of the soul. Some of those long-ago spiritual beliefs about health still exist in Mexico today.

Let me give you an example. It was an extremely hot month, hotter than I can remember since moving to Mexico. So now that we have electricity, albeit limited, we bought a fan. I had my husband install it so that we would get a nice breeze while we slept. My sister-in-law, who has also been suffering from the heat, asked to see our fan since it doesn’t use too much power. She thought it was good but said she’d never have the fan blowing on her in the night because she’d wake up “chueca” (wry-necked).

So what does this have to do with ancient Aztec beliefs? Well, the Aztecs believed that body ailments were either “hot” or “cold”, “wet” or “dry”. Therefore, a cramp would be an ailment caused by a “cold” source, the fan which cooled the tonalli (energy center also connected to the heat of the sun) of a person that is centered in the head.

Other things suddenly became clear as well. The sacred novena (9-day prayer session for the deceased) is 9 days because there are 9 levels to Mictlan, the underworld and 9 levels in the celestial kingdom above. Bilis, an illness caused by excessive coraje (rage) occurs when there is something wrong in the ihiyotl, another energy center located in the liver. The belief that not only must the physical body be treated, but the God who sent the infirmity must also be appeased continues with pilgrimages, prayer, candles, and offering found throughout Mexico.

While the book didn’t specifically mention going barefoot in the house as a potential cause of sickness, I bet the reason is mentioned in one of those lost books that I’d love to get my hands on.

So if you are at all interested in herbal uses of plants found in Mexico, this is the book I would recommend to you to start with. Having read it through once, I feel that I have finally entered the pre-school level in my local plant study.

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Herbal Academy’s Botany and Wildcrafting Course

Botany & Wildcrafting Course by Herbal Academy

I love wildcrafting. I’ve shared some of the local medicinal plant information here before. (See Natural Healing) However, I’m extremely limited in what I wildcraft.  So as not to poison anyone (especially myself) I have only made concoctions from plants that I can positively identify. Then I go further and double check my identification with locals. And I triple check any possible uses and side effects via med pub. Then, and only then, do I make something from these wild plants.

So when Herbal Academy said they had a new class specifically about wildcrafting, I was so excited!  I signed up a full month ahead of time so that I would be able to start the very first day the course was available.  Let me tell you, Botany and Wildcrafting was an amazing course!  I learned so much!

I was a little concerned before the course that there wouldn’t be much information I could use since Herbal Academy is found in the northeastern US and well, I’m not.  Delightfully, that wasn’t the case at all. The course was divided into 3 units and each unit was jam-packed with useful tidbits.

butterfly and yellow flower

The first section focused on plants as living beings, highlighting the many ways plants reproduce and examining how each plant is an essential part of the larger ecological system. While I was already familiar with the basics, there was so much I didn’t know.

wildflower1

Since I’m in a completely foreign ecosystem, not at all like the quiet river valley I grew up in, plant identification here is frustrating to me. The second section of the course walked me through plant identification methods, plant morphology, taxonomy and using a dichotomous key.  Since I obviously won’t be at my computer doing any identifying, the printouts were a wonderful tool to use on my explorations! I don’t have a field guide specifically for Mexico, mostly because there isn’t one, but I have ordered a book about Mexican-American herbal remedies that I hope will aid in my local plant wildcrafting. Herbal Academy offers an illustrated botanical workbook to complement the course, but as the majority of the plants included aren’t found in my area, I opted not to purchase it. It is lovely though.

plants

The final section covered ethical and sustainable wildcrafting, drying herbs, and making tinctures, decoctions, and poultices. I had to think about the sustainable wildcrafting section and my role as wildcrafter for a bit. Up until now, I was the live and let live wildcrafting variety. My collections weren’t pressed flowers but pictures (which you can see on Instagram). But now, as the steward of the earth that I envision myself becoming, I believe it’s time to become more proactive in my defense of the wild plants in La Yacata. As a case in point, when we first moved here, the upper area was covered in rainy season wildflowers. Then came the chicken feather guy and the entire section has been utterly devastated ecologically. I could just kick myself for not gathering at least a few of the bulbs and transplanting them in a more protected area (like my backyard). No more! If that makes me the crazy plant lady wandering around La Yacata, floppy garden hat on my head and trowel in my hand, well, so be it!  I am on a mission!

field

Hopefully, with these plant identification skills I’ve learned in the course, I’ll have some new natural remedies to share in the very near future.  Botany & Wildcrafting Course by Herbal Academy

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