Trees

flower essence training with Dr. Izakson

It’s no secret I’m a plant lover. It’s why I went into medicine.

 

I love that plants reinforce our connection to nature, while helping us navigate the modern world. Nearly every patient I treat gets some kind of plant-based prescription, whether it’s a powdered herb, a tea or an herbal extract such as a tincture or a gemmo.

 

The plant medicines I use most in practice are flower essences. They’re safe and gentle, don’t interfere with any other prescriptions and reliably make big changes in my patients’ well being.

 

Here’s one patient’s testimonial: (more…)

smell yourself to sleep

Filed under: herbal medicines,insomnia,sleep,Uncategorized — Tags: , , , — Orna @ 6:45 am

Sedatives and sleeping pills are some of the most commonly prescribed drugs, despite having serious side effects and becoming addictive to many people. Now German researchers have found a sweet alternative in an aromatic form: The scent of jasmine (Gardenia jasminoides) seems to activate the same chemical pathways in the brain as do drugs like valium. Benzodiazepenes, barbituates and anesthetics work by making receptors in the brain more responsive to GABA, a calming neurotransmitter. The researchers studied the effects of specific natural and synthetic jasmine fragrances and discovered they work exactly the same way as the drugs do, and are just as potent. (Via ScienceDaily.com.)

Thyme for flavor and health

photo by orna izakson.

photo by orna izakson.

New Year’s day was as one of those perfect Pacific Northwest winter days — 45 degrees, misty and soft. The kind of day that smells and feels like earth.

 

My garden is pretty much hibernating. A long spell of deep cold knocked back the last of my greens. There’s a fairly even layer of deciduous leaves covering the ground, punctuated by bare limbs and decomposing stalks.

 

Still, it was a day to survey. And one of the bright points was indefatigable thyme, sprightly in the day’s gloom at the base of a fig tree.

 

Herbalists often like to play around with favorite herbs lists: If you only had three (or five, or ten) herbs to work with, which would you choose? On my lists, thyme always shows up. It’s incredibly easy to grow, tastes fantastic and makes powerful medicine. (more…)

top 10 garden medicines

A spring planting guide while you’re planning what to plant

 

Gardeners have a big advantage during deep darkness of a northwest winter: We get to pore over garden books and catalogs that offer shards of sunlight and whiffs of spring. Dreaming about striped tomatoes, salivating over the prospect of a fresh melon, imagining the thrum of a snapping pea, gardeners know that their dreams and will be rewarded with a well-stocked kitchen when the sun returns.

 

While curled up by the fire or the space heater with your summer hopes this winter, consider adding the flowerful, textural and healing world of growing medicine along with your food. The results will improve your garden — many medicinal plants also support beneficial bugs while confusing problematic pests — and improve your health.

 

It is absolutely irresponsibly unfair to ask any herbalist to narrow their favorite herbs down to a measly ten, and reasonable people will disagree heatedly about how to go about trying. This particular list is intended as a general top 10 list of medicinals that are easy to grow from seed or starts. This article is not intended to substitute for medical advice, as each person has a specific history and specific needs. (more…)

Dr. O’s advice for flu season

December 1, 2009

Natural advice for staying well this flu season

Originally published in Indian Country Today

By Terri Hansen, Environment, Science & Health Writer

 

Portland, Ore.—When naturopathic physician Dr. Orna Izakson looks at a plant she sees more than its stem, leaves or vibrant flower – she sees medicine. And naturally, she takes a natural approach to flu prevention and hastening a healthy recovery.

 

“Our bodies are trying to bring us toward health,” she says. “The responses we experience to outside stressors are our body’s intelligent response to that stressor. A fever is an intelligent response: It makes the body more responsive to invaders… and it makes us feel lousy so we slow down and go to bed so that our bodies can heal.” (more…)

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