wackos abound! the delicate balance between genius and madness.

Paging through the free “alternative” health magazine i picked up at my local health food store i am struck by the intense capitalism of it all.  It strikes me why so many people run screaming when i say “i am an herbalist”-if your idea of natural healing comes from stuff like this, and the “psychic fair” held at sheraton airport hotel. though i support all persons on their healing journey no matter what healing modality they choose-whether it is allopathic medicine, magical chanting or some combo i personally feel very ungrounded by some of these alternative modalities.  i thought i would make a short list of some of the advertisers in “natural awakenings” magazine and what they do-with the intention of informing people that THIS IS NOT HERBALISM.  herbalism is persons using plant medicine, holistically, and sometimes using basic nutrition and lifestyle information, to support health.

Herbalism is not linked in any way with yoga, organic cotton earth tones, flowing hair, crystals, fairies, vibrations. YES, some people practice herbalism and shamanism or veganism at the same time. and that is fine.but many others do not. and that is fine too!herbalism is absolutely available to people of all ages, all genders, all classes and all races and ethinicities and religions. there is no outfit required. there is room for us all at the table and you do not have to wear sandals or get naked. unless, of course,you want to.

you do not need to find your spirit animal or align your chakras in order to use an herbal tincture. herbalism is everyone’s. i do not judge, but merely present:

-back to school colonic special: not herbalism.

-bio-resonance machines: not herbalism.

-biotherapeutic drainage: not herbalism.

-ionic foot baths: not herbalism.

(“an ionic foot bath is the safest, most modern and effective natural healing therapy on themarket today!”-ionicfootbath.com…I disagree.)

-aura photo: not herbalism.

-angel messages: not herbalism.

-spa treatments: not herbalism.

-chakra necklaces: not herbalism.

-kinesiotaping: not herbalism.

-dream coaching:not herbalism.

mediums, superfoods, past life regression, metaphysical items, “attunements”, tarot, vortex healing, sacred stones, channeling-go ahead. do whatever youwant. but pleasedo not confuse it with the basic and ancient art of healing holistically with plants.

insert generic nature photo here!

home vbac–yes, vaginal birth after cesarean. at home.

on the joyous occasion of the 6-year anniversary of my home vbac i wish to share the story and to encourage all mamas that yes-it is possible and no-hell did not freeze over.

my story:

i was a young mama, pregnant with my first child at 21, had a shitty hospital birth: 23 hrs of labor, used pitocin, no pain meds, felt unsupported, wished i had been outside. couldn’t get outta there fast enough afterwards!

gave birth to second child 2 years later, started out in “alternative” birthing center, felt forced into an “emergency” cesarean. denied liquids, people held me down-yes, literally-and when  i said no to c-section screamed”YER BABY’S GONNA DIE!!” in my face. i got confused. i gave in.  i was in transition. they sewed me up crooked. i hated it. actual quote: “hmm, it looks like he was actually fine” yeah, he was fine and so was i and at9 cm dilation they should have just helped me stand up like i asked for. the  recovery was very hard.

when i became pregnant with #3 i went to the same midwife office. in response to myquestions about vbac,they said they would “allow” me to “try” for a vbac. honestly, i saw white lights of rage. after that last experience any trust i had in the system was gone.  my vagina is my own and i don’t need to ask anyone’s permission to do whatever the hell i want with it.

i found a homebirth midwife. the difference in care was astounding. just amazing. i gave birth naturally at home in an old fire station. ispent most of my labor in a big clawfoot tub that my wonderful husband sweated to install just days before. it was a great labor, i loved everything about it. honestly, it was fun. i felt loved, empowered, healed. yes, it hurt. the cord was wrapped and without panicking the midwife and i worked it out together.

having had 3 very different births has given me a unique perspective on how and why the birth experience matters.  i physcially healed very quickly. this empowerment has lead me further into my journey to be an herbalist.

and i must address the fact that it is dangerous. life is dangerous. babies die. mamas die. the hospital does not necessarily keep us from dying, and sometimes causes death and injury. life IS risk. we are all going to die. i hope for good outcomes in birth, illness, etc. but they are not guaranteed. ever. by anything.

this is nothing more than my personal story. i do not suggest that anyone do anything-i merely suggest that yes, it is possible.


herbs can do WHAT??!!…towards a people’s science

oh, science, how we have given ourselves over to you, so unquestioningly, so blindly. we have created a culture of us and them. we use that grand equalizer- “a study”- to back up every fricking harebrained idea humanly (and unhumanly)possible. but where do these studies come from? and where are these studies leading us?


there has been a slightly amusing outcry from fiscal conservatives ever since the national science foundation put shrimp on a treadmill to test their response to changes in water quality. they have a point here-number one, who gives a crap about shrimp working out.  it doesn’t really correlate to reality in the wild. and number two, you could have saved a lot of money, nsf. call me. ask me how any animal responds to a change in water quality. BAD!! okay? changes in air, water, soil quality are f-ing bad. it doesn’t take a degree to know, in the very core of one’s being, that when we poison the earth, things go downhill for the inhabitants.

according to science daily.com, “potatoes reduce blood pressure in people with obesity and high pressure. mm-hmm. “neutron scattering confirms dna is a stretchy as nylon.” ok. “humans are wired to respond to animals” wow.

this is not a people’s science. this is a huge money pit which has little to no bearing on our day-to-day lives, and which separates us from figuring things out ourselves. it reinforces the idea that there are some people who “do” science, and others who don’t. science today is about as grounded as a cumulo-nimbus.

we need a people’s science. we need a grounded science that is participatory and empowering. with no animal testing. no chimps in cages. no mascara on rabbits. no shrimp on treadmills. common sense.

unschooling always

for example, we can study the issue of global warming all day and all night but ultimately it DOES NOT MATTER if humans are causing warming. if our actions are making the air and water and soil unusable, and they are, then we need to stop. now. that’s it. there is nothing to argue about. would you let your kid play on the brownfield? drink the river water? no? ok, experiment conducted.  conclusion-stop dumping waste.

in the interest of taking back science we can all declare ourselves scientists who use the scientifc method.

-ask a question.

-do background research. (more than one source please! and don’t trust the  internet)

-construct a hypothesis

-test with an experiment

-analyze results, draw conclusion

-true? false? etc?

-report results.

every time we make observation in real life we are doing science. every time we question we are doing science. every time we dissect random bodies we are doing science. (are you paying attention?)

i call on everyone to create and participate in homemade science fairs.  people’s science. herbalism, gardening, botany, bugs and sticks and sex and kids and cooking and bioremediation and honeybees and model volcanoes and bacon and pheremones and sociology and rocks and dogs and tide pools and crab fat and moldy bread and compost and worm bins and falling leaves and making salves and bones . observe people in their natural habitat-at the busstop, at the mall, stopped at a red light.  do experiments. report results. have fun with it.

science belongs to everyone who participates.

can i eat it?