Devil’s Club

Thomas’ new book is in the editorial phase now so we thought we would publish some snippets from it here on the SIBM blog. These are only little pieces of larger monographs… Enjoy! Dispels wind and dampness and boosts qi for the treatment of chronic wind-damp-cold taxation with symptoms of joint pain, muscle aches (especially […]

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Musings on the Season

The last couple days have really let us know here in Beijing that the Summer is indeed over and that Autumn has dug its heels in. We have had bright blue skies, something we don’t see enough of here in Beijing, brought in by the cool north winds. I was up at the Autumn Reine […]

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Small Flowered Sage – Salvia plebeia 荔枝草

  Small Flowered Sage Salvia plebeia 荔枝草 (li zhi cao) Many of you know about our series, Bio-Regional Herbalism. Since our last newsletter we have had several great webinars on Bio-Regional Herbalism including Eric Yarnell, Nicole Telkes, and Patricia Kyritsi Howell. So, to honor those excellent webinars, I thought I would write a small piece […]

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California Poppy / Eschscholtzia californica

California Poppy: A Clinical Perspective by Benjamin Zappin California Poppy (Eschscholtzia californica) is a plant near and dear to the hearts of SIBM and to any herbalist who has taken time to establish a relationship with this predictably efficacious medicinal ally. Upon learning of, and experiencing it’s medicinal virtues, it is difficult to observe this […]

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What the Fouquirie!?!?

In a recent trip to Oaxaca, Mexico I was excited to see a near relative, Fouqueiria formosa, of a favorite domestic plant ‘Ocotillo’ or Fouqueria splendens, growing in the wild and in the exceptionally scenic El Jardin Ethnobotanico seen in these photos. Fouqueria splendens grows throughout the deserts of Southern California, Arizona, and various states […]

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Heracleum or Cow-Parsnip

Cow Parsnip (Heracleum lanatum) a well known plant from Western North America, being the only Heracleum native to the Americas. The seeds and root are known to be medicinal, but the root is very acrid and must be used with care and small doses. The seeds are more forgiving relating to their dosage and have […]

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Oregon Grape Root / Mahonia species

Mahonia species is found in herbal medical practice in several places around the world. The mahonia species from the Pacific Northwestern United States and Canada is home to what is probably the most popularly used of these species, Mahonia aquifolium. The yellow to orange root, especially the root back, contains berberine an alkaloid known to […]

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Ageratina adenophora 紫莖澤蘭 (zi jing ze lan)

I was recently asked about a plant used by the Hani People of Southern Yunnan, an area I have traveled a fair bit, thus these folks that I was a good person to ask. Here is some information I found about this plant for your reading enjoyment. For the record I am pretty sure I […]

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Wild Ginger (Asarum species)

Recently a question was asked about the possible substitutes that could be used in place of the Chinese herb “xi xin” (細辛) Asarum sp. because the practitioner was concerned the this herb is “toxic.” This post is part of my response and a very short over-view of the literature on this herb in regards to […]

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Perilla frutescens Zi Su 紫苏

Today I will touch on the wonderful herb known as Perilla frutescens in Latin but in Chinese it is called Zi Su (紫苏). The Chinese name is a dead give away for its appearance because the character zi (紫) means purple, and in fact the leaf and stem of this plant are purple (there is […]

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