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Posts Tagged ‘Ireland’

Ginkgo Biloba

Ginkgo Biloba
Photo credit: http://www.pfaf.org

It was heart warming to witness eager attendees from 33 different countries, with the common goal of experiencing the most cutting edge information and case studies in herbal and aromatic medicine. Each of the four days of Botanica 2012 the audience was packed with a wide array of professionals ranging from doctors, nurses, herbalists, microbiologists and clinical aromatherapists. The networking opportunity was fantastic and provided an invaluable view of how each country practices their trade based on culture, government and legal structures.

Anne Varley, a medical herbalist from Ireland, spoke about “The Map is not the Territory.” I did appreciate her insight on being open to the actuality of the case and time at hand. She talked in-depth about how not to confuse models of reality vs. the actual reality in regard to phytotherapy and complimentary medicine. I think this is a very valid point for life in general as well. What looks logical on paper or data that was compiled years past, may very well not be the most efficient way to handle the current situation. I like the quote from Deepak Chopra, “Instead of thinking outside the box… get rid of the box!” Politics of Irish herbal practice were discussed, including the herbs of Ginkgo Biloba and Hypericum’s ban and the campaign to have them re-instated as valuable healing agents. This talk gave me a feeling of gratitude for our current ability to use herbal and aromatic medicine in the United States, as well as a sense of fragility on the topic.

Love FlowersSwitching gears, we had the great pleasure of listening to a heart centered talk from Judith Hoad, a herbalist who also combines acupressure and homeopathy in her work. It was an honor to witness this loving being and her respect for all life. ‘Eco-kin’, a term that she coined, illustrates her deep respect for all living beings, including the plant world, our relationships with one another and how we communicate. She spoke about the intelligence embedded in all living cells and how this intelligence exists in plants as well(although not the same as humans, nonetheless still present). Co-creation Gardening, a book written by Machaelle Small Wright was recommended and Stephen Harrod Buhner’s teachings.
I had an opportunity to visit with Judith and her spirit was bright and demeanor humble. This woman, who as a side note has lived “off the grid” for over 50 years, was my all time fav of the event!

Lots more to come!  Stay tuned for Part 3.

Until next time…
Breathe Joy,
Kc
www.heartblossomessentials.com

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Wow! I can’t believe it has already been 2 months since my trip to Dublin, Ireland for Botanica 2012. Time has literally flown by! Well, I’m just now getting to sharing some of my experiences there. Luckily, it feels like just yesterday that I was walking briskly along the cobblestone streets admiring the bountiful flower scapes draped out of each window box.

Botanica was organized by an industry top gun, Rhiannon Harris, owner of Essential Oil Resource Consultants and founder of the International Journal of Clinical Aromatherapy, an invaluable resource for clinical aromatherapists world-wide.

Because this event was so rich, I thought that I would break up the posts in parts, in order to share more.

So, Part I:

Stinging Nettles

Stinging Nettles. Photo credit: Wikipedia

The International Celebration of Plant Therapeutics was kicked off with a cheerful Ireland lassie, Vivienne Campbell. She spoke about a variety of the native plants and herbs, including their uses throughout history. One in particular was Stinging Nettles; an iron rich herb common in Irish dishes. Known for it’s detoxifying & tonic qualities, as well as strengthening the kidneys, nourishing to the blood and much more. She suggested using it in the form of tea(steeped 10 min.) or even cooked up with cabbage. I am very interested to try it and more so to wild forge some in my own backyard! Her side note tip: Wear rubber gloves to avoid getting “stung.” If you enjoy using nettles, comment on this post, I would love to hear your experiences.

A couple more of her suggestions: Ballymaloe, An Irish Cookery School, advocating using fresh, local wild herbs.  And, Wild and Free: Cooking from Nature by Cyril O’Ceirin; a great book on wild foraging. Some of their local picks:

  • Tormento-an astringent herb, helpful for IBS.
  • Silver Wheat-nutty flavor, helpful for sore throats.
  • Black Thorn-a type of plum and a traditional, valuable food source.
  • Primrose-good to relax nerves & ease insomnia.

This speaker was so full of life and her enthusiasm for plant medicine just poured out of her. For more information on Vivienne, check out The Herbal Hub.

Irish Wildflowers

Irish Wildflowers. Photo credit: Dennis Flood

During my stay, I had the fortune of traveling from Dublin to Galway, a three-hour tour from the East coast to the West coast, with some of the most magnificent sights(now I know why they call it the Emerald Isle!). Plus, we had an awesome guide sharing juicy tales of myths and legends going as far back as the medieval times. We hiked over the Burren terrain-A one of a kind view of very interesting rock formations along the coast, home of native and rare Irish species. It has even been said that over 70% of Ireland’s wildflowers can be found there in the limestone array, many of which are used in the creations found at The Burren Perfumery. We unfortunately did not have time to stop at the perfumery, Ireland’s oldest perfumery and soap making shop. But, it is definitely on the list for my next visit.

More to follow in Part 2: Coming Soon!

Until next time…
Breathe Joy,
Kc
www.heartblossomessentials.com

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