Here is some great news, brought to us by Natural News on a rare plant found to be able to remediate heavy metals.

Rare plant eats toxic heavy metals in phytoremediation miracleplants medicine from the earth

The new species, dubbed Rinorea niccolifera, was identified in the western region of Luzon Island in the Philippines. The soils in this area are well-known for being high in heavy metals, an environmental condition that is hostile to most species of plant. Yet, the newly discovered plant is able not only to grow in such conditions but also to thrive. The plant actively pulls nickel out of the soil, accumulating it in its tissues up to a concentration of 18,000 parts per million — 100 to 1,000 times higher than the maximum concentrations tolerated by most plants.

Nickel hyperaccumulation such as that observed in R. niccolifera is so rare that only 450 plant species have been identified that are capable of it, out of an estimated 300,000 extant species of vascular plant worldwide. Even among plants found in nickel-rich soils, only 0.5 percent to 1 percent are capable of hyperaccumulation.

“[Hyperaccumulator] plants have great potentials for the development of green technologies, for example, ‘phytoremediation’ and ‘phytomining,'” researcher Augustine Doronila said.

Learn more: http://www.naturalnews.com/045297_heavy_metals_phytoremediation_hyperaccumulator_plant.html#ixzz32q0CvipR


My comment; For countries like China where 1/5th of the country is poisoned with heavy metals these plants would be the solution to the pollution. This is about nickel, we need to get more for cadium, for lead, for mercury etc but the green folk and the microbes and fungi will all need to help clean up the mess we have made.


Making Medicines By the Phases of the Moon

Here at ASHH Appalachia School of Holistic Herbalism in the Traditional Herbalist Certification Program, we are learning how to do lunar gardening. This is using the phases of the moon to help increase fertility of the seeds, the outcome for a better harvest. Although may seem very strange and foreign to us now, it was a system of increasing the harvest that our ancestors understood very well. Depending on the moon or moons as it is you can plant for maximizing growth of your garden of vegetables or herbs.

During the Herbs for Pets Course Joel Boyle of Wind Fox Herbs in Black Mountain, NC is teaching all of us how to make medicine for our companion animals according to the phases of the moon. You make medicine on the new moon, press out your medicine after the next full moon. So, we will be pressing this out on the 30th of July. We made Milk Thistle, Pau d’arco and Skullcap medicines. Here is a picture of the medicine before the press.Herbs for Pets Making Medicines

Milk thistle will be taken from extraction in alcohol to the glycerite and the Pau d’arco and Skullcap are already in glycerin for pressing. Learning how to make medicine from scratch, collecting from the apothecary under our feet is an important ability to have should live ever become “difficult”. We recommend Mountain Rose Herbs to purchase raw herbs if you ever get the desire to “make your own medicine”.

Skullcap glycerites are being used to control seizures, epilepsy in some pets and this is much safer than the drugs currently recommended in conventional medicine. What you don’t get going natural  is the terrible side effects…..or should I say “effects” of liver damage from the barbiturates use in conventional medicine. Nor the critical nutrient depletion that is responsible for those effects.

Milk Thistle is an excellent adjunct to life in conventional medicine since all the drugs lead eventually to liver or kidney damage. Milk Thistle would also help all of the vaccine damaged animals then needing poisons and toxins to deal with the flea and tick and other parasite products. Vaccines dys regulated the immune system and promote chronic inflammation and chronic disease via Th 2 or humoral immunity imbalance. Of course there are many more ways to ruin the patients immune system, we are glad these three intelligent herbs aren’t into that.


After we press and bottle, we will show some pics.


I was contacted by a fellow herbalist in a panic over the patent drugs that had been dispensed by a veterinarian for a friend’s dog that had been released after being seen for a dog attack. They were very concerned when they read about the anti inflammatory medications, the pain medications and the antibiotics  “effects” to the bodies into which they are put. I had already encountered severe damage from all of these drugs even one at a time on different companion animals. Yes, the one they prescribed for anti-inflammatory has killed animals who received it. Yes, the antibiotics do have serious consequences not only in selecting for super germs but also for causing gastrointestinal problems, killing of the important good bacteria and oh yeah….now we see some lethal interactions with mercury if they are also already metal poisoned from lots of vaccines. The pain medications usually have the longest list of  so called “side effects” but I refuse to call the “side effects” as they are not “a la carte” and everyone who ends up with patent drugs gets some of the  long list of possible  effects.

So, the herbalist knew full well there were much safer alternatives from intelligent plant medicines that could provide all of the symptom relief that the patent drugs were being prescribed for. Intelligent medicines with benefit for the body without the risk, the cost and the possible death sentence. For instance, curcumin is much safer for anti inflammatory and pain and won’t harm the liver! Plants can even provide a much safer “anti biotic” coverage and without ruining the pets gastrointestinal tract, healthy microbiota or helping develop super germs. Plus this can all be had with a cost that is not even the cost of one of the over priced patent drugs.

Here are two pictures of medicine cabinets……Which one do you want to reach for?Narconon sponsors Operation Medicine Cabinetnatures-medicine-cabinet-410x290_0

Making Botanical Medicine Our Rightful Heritage

Here is our class Herbs for Pets learning how to make our own medicine. We are working on several things; milk thistle extractions, Pau D’ Arco and Skullcap glycerites. We had an expert work with the class, a former extractor  for GAIA Herbs who has much study under his belt before opening his own herbal products company right here in Black Mountain.

We made the medicine from the raw product so that our students would know how to do this from scratch. If the world suddenly became so uncomfortable that for any reason we didn’t have the luxury of purchasing quality certified organic material we could indeed make our very own. [Read more…]

Fire Fly Gathering is just around the corner!

The Medicines from the Earth Conference is hardly over, the organizers not even back to their Oregon home when the Asheville community is buzzing about the Firefly Gathering and its new location in Bell’s Cove. If you never heard about the Firefly Gathering go here and take a look http://www.fireflygathering.org/  The people of Appalachia have a long history of self sustainability living. As a matter of fact, I learned that was the mantra for George Vanderbilt’s Biltmore Estate. Biltmore was the first large farming estate to hire their own resident veterinarian. George Vanderbilt’s dream vision was to be “self sustained” and a visit to the amazing Biltmore Estate and Gardens will prove that vision came true.

Firefly is for everyone who wants to learn and share the vision for self sustainability. How the Firefly Gathering accomplishes this goal is written in the Firefly Manifesto which can be read here http://www.fireflygathering.org/manifesto.asp

[Read more…]


Wow, time is flying by. This weekend already time for the MEDICINES FROM THE EARTH CONFERENCE held in Black Mountain, NC at the Blue Ridge Assembly up Blue Ridge Road. Here is a wonderful picture of the entry going in to the facility which is just full of that biodiverse native flora. There will be many plant walks with famous herbalists. I should max out my press book for ASHH Appalachia School of Holistic Herbalism. Today, Master Herbalist Donnie Yance is delivering an intensive on use of herbs for treating cancer. He should know, this Master Herbalist has the Mayo Clinic sending him patients for botanicals and nutrition. When I was working on the chapter treating cancer for animals with TCVM, I found the evidence that typical western therapies for cancer garnered only 2.1 % effectiveness for long term survival. If you consider the cost of this and the damage to quality of life, plus you factor in what they certainly don’t tell you about other cancers from the very chemotherapy and radiation treatment your going broke paying for….I came to the conclusion that taking a more botanical form of chemotherapy made much more $$cents$$ all the way around.  Why would you want to dilute down natural herbal therapies and good nutrition, intelligent supplements and instead break the bank, lower your quality of life and then be looking over your shoulder constantly for the next shoe to drop. The other cancer that often times hit your blood or your kidneys.  [Read more…]

Saw palmetto, a plant with hormonal impact

What we did in class tonight 04/29/2013

Saw palmetto and Corey Pine Shane

Tonight we learned about the male genito- urinary systems. Not so much the herbs that go along to treat the conditions of interest from men but more so the anatomy and physiology. The class was taught by Corey Pine Shane who has another herbal school here in the Asheville area, Blue Ridge Herbal School of Herbal Medicine http://www.blueridgeschool.org/
[Read more…]

It’s Raining Usnea

Here is a remarkable plant available right now in April. I found it all over the ground at the AB Tech campus in Candler, NC outside Asheville, NC.

Usnea is also called Old Man’s Beard and you can find goofy pictures on the internet of guys using it literally for a beard. The genus species name is Usnea barbata or barbata bradovea. The plant is actually a combination of lichen and algae. But here are the amazing medicinal qualities of this “medicine from the earth”: the usneic acid is natural antibiotic and has been used successfully to treat staph infections. Usnea stops bleeding and you can collect and dry the plant and use like gauze to treat superficial wounds. I plan to use this in my “emergency and first aid kit” herbal remedy cabinet, a class I will be teaching in Asheville at the FireFly Gathering in June 20 -23rd http://fireflygathering.org/

Usnea is also a bitter that sustains digestion, is used to help those who stop smoking for the hacking from the lungs. Usnea can be made into an extract and tinctured to put onto gauze and treat wounds. [Read more…]