The authentic Ayurveda

The authentic Ayurveda

I have been studying medicine for about 25 years. Although I began practicing in 1995, in reality, my education has never stopped - and nor should it. Especially in clinical medicine, wherein we deal with the visceral realities of human suffering, where every situation is a uniquely personal experience, one must constantly be learning, and hence it is for good reason that it is called a "practice". There is so much to be discovered: considerations and contexts that aren't found in textbooks, but only informed by experience. While this might be an obvious truth that applies in almost all fields of human endeavor, in modern times, with our emphasis upon academic learning, there is often a disconnect between theory and practice. Too many times I have met new practitioners, who upon graduation of their training, are hampered by a mere academic understanding of their discipline. This is a particularly germane issue in the field of natural medicine, which is replete with institutions … [Read more...]

Spring can really hang you up

Spring can really hang you up

[pictured above, an alder (Alnus rubra) male catkin that releases pollen] As I gaze out the window here in the Pacific Northwest, thankfully the heavy rain is washing away the high levels of atmospheric pollen that has accumulated in recent weeks. The early spring courtesy of El Niño brought with it clouds of tree pollen from a variety of species, including alder, cedar, birch, cottonwood, maple and willow, and it has been giving some people a fair amount of grief. The other day when I looked at our car, it seemed to my 47 year old eyes that some kind of yellow-green algae was growing in between the windows and rubber seals. But on closer inspection it was actually pollen, which had found its way into every little seam of the car, accumulating like a kind of glue. Then I remembered how rather than being comprised of 'bisquick' (as is often the case), one of the original bannock recipes eaten by First Nations peoples calls for cattail pollen, which exudes in abundance for only a short f … [Read more...]

12 culinary herbs – free lecture!

12 culinary herbs – free lecture!

Come join me on March 15th for 12 Culinary Herbs You Can't Live Without, a casual and engaging evening lecture with me, Todd Caldecott. During this free lecture, I will introduce you to twelve important culinary herbs that everyone should know, providing a detailed review of their nutritional and phytochemical properties, as well as their culinary and medicinal uses. In this class, you will learn: how to cook with these 12 herbs what foods they go best with how to prepare and use them as a medicine. Date: March 15th, 2016 Time: 6pm PST There is limited space available for this lecture, so register now! … [Read more...]

Ayurveda In Nepal: free lecture

Ayurveda In Nepal: free lecture

I was introduced to the Bajracharya medical tradition of Nepal by my colleague Alan Tillotson, author of the highly acclaimed One Earth Herbal Sourcebook. Alan had met the late Dr. Mana Bajra Bajracharya somewhat by chance when he traveled to Nepal in the early 1970s, suffering from the effects of poorly controlled type 1 diabetes. Through Dr. Mana's skill Alan was restored to health, and since that time, Alan maintained an ongoing relationship with Dr. Mana until his death in 2001. Known locally and internationally for his healing skills, Dr. Mana authored over 40 books on Ayurveda, and in 2000, Alan asked me to help with the publication of these works. In 2009, I finally traveled to Nepal to meet Dr. Mana's son, Vaidya Madhu, and shortly thereafter we published the first of Dr. Mana's work as Ayurveda In Nepal. This book is detailed compendium of the traditional theories and practices employed by Dr Mana, drawing from the 800 year old medical tradition that he inherited as part … [Read more...]

Superfoods are bullshit, part 2

Superfoods are bullshit, part 2

When I published part one of this two part series on superfoods, we received so much traffic that it almost crashed our website! I guess I might have touched a nerve with this issue, which isn’t surprising to me, considering just how long we have been sold this “superfood" myth. What’s been more surprising to me is how few people have spoken out on this issue before. I always thought it was obvious, but I guess that’s a reflection of just how out-of-step I am with the natural health industry. My goal is to teach both my patients and students to become self-reliant, to develop for themselves an insightful and penetrating vision of health that allows them to see past the hype. This is why I include a strong component of patient education in my clinical practice, and was part of my motivation to found the Dogwood School of Botanical Medicine in 2012. Years ago in my early twenties, I spent a great deal of time meditating and studying Buddhism, traveling as far away as Bodhgaya in modern … [Read more...]