Tag Archives: consumerism

Wapi’ Yechi :: Tonic Herbs for Balance + Harmony

pejuta win (herb woman) via sodahead

In the wise way of the Native American people, the concept of wapi’ yechi, or bringing a person back to balance, is deeply rooted in the way of medicine. The herb woman (pejuta win) administered herbs and contacted animal or ancestral spirits to heal a sick person.  It’s amazing that curing is equated with balance. The concept of restoring balance is inherent to herbalism, while modern allopathic medicine unfortunately has forgotten this wisdom.

We hear and talk about STRESS all the time, but really when you stop to think about what it actually means, it becomes a little less … stressful. Stress is whatever causes the body to be pulled away from balance. The nature of life is change and therefore no one can escape stress. When stress gets the best of us illness (imbalance) occurs. However, there are herbs that help us cope with stress and restore balance … wapi’ yechi.

Tonic herbs are masters of balance, like Libra. The secret to their gift is that they are dual-natured, like gemini; they contain opposite groups of constituents that each carry opposite signals to the body. The body then chooses based on “specific hunger” which action it needs, based on the situation at hand. For example … echinacea is a tonic herb that has the ability to BOTH lower white blood cell count or raise white blood cell count. If a person has LOW white blood cell count, their body would interpret the echinacea as a white blood cell ENHANCER, and vise versa!! (Specific hunger is the idea that the body is wise and knows what is best for it, such as a child with a fever craving a cucumber…knowingly or not the cucumber cools and reduces fever! This happens all the time, but the important thing is to listen to your own body. Cravings are a whole other story….) This is an amazing interaction between plant and body that reflects our oneness with all of nature…they have this unspoken understanding that transcends the need for specific drugs or “instructions” from us!

Our bodies and the plants are truly partners in healing and harmony.

It is somewhat hard for us to understand that many herbs can have two opposite effects on the body, depending on what is needed at the time. Perhaps that is because modern medicine focuses on solving one problem in the body at a time. Not surprisingly, this approach always causes many side effects, because this method only furthers the IMBALANCE in the body.  A people’s medicine reveals much about the way of life and beliefs that govern daily living and perception of life. It seems that modern medicine ignores the concept of balance and makes it foreign to us. Using tonic herbal formulas daily is a proactive way to “fill in the gaps” of our current medical model.

Tonic herbs are always non-toxic, dual-natured, suitable for long-term use, and restore balance to body systems that are under stress. They don’t need any instructions, just take them and they will work WITH your body to fix what needs fixing. Here are some tonic herbs:



licorice root




passion flower

milk thistle




yerba mate …. these are just a few! as always feel free to message me with questions or help finding the right tonic herbs!

Trust the inherent wisdom of your body and the plants! Tonic herbs are like tune-ups for your body. Even if you don’t feel sick or imbalanced, or you aren’t sure which systems are off balance in your body, you can revive the age-old practice of taking tonic herbs everyday for optimal health.

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Haircare for a Cause: Why I’m Loving “Onesta” Shampoo


Art by Barbara Kruger via Art 21 Blog.

H. sapien, woman, friend, lover, thinker, sister, daughter, writer, adventurer…One term I probably wouldn’t list on a bio is “consumer.” But in reality, it’s probably more true than some of those other terms I’d use to describe myself. I buy something nearly every day, and I am consuming information and messages constantly. It’s the world we are living in.  The good news is, we consumers have tremendous power in our hands. Each time we buy a product, we are essentially supporting the company that created it, and sending them the message that what they are doing is dandy by us. And in turn, by not buying something, well that’s one of the strongest messages we can send. Rest assured, that’ll be heard. When buying something, don’t just think of it as a piece of bubble gum, or a bottle of shampoo. Think of what the people who made it did to get it to you. Do you want to give them your money (or give them the finger)?

Which leads me to a new shampoo I’ve been using for a month, called Onesta (Italian for honesty).  Continue reading

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Rants + Raves: Should Herbalism be Legalized?

Love can’t be standardized. (photo from WeHeartIt.com)

“’Tis mine to be in love with life,
and mine to hear the robins sing;
‘Tis mine to live apart from strife,
and kneel to flowers blossoming.”
Alex Posey, 19th century Creek Poet

The more I study herbs and their uses throughout the ages, the more I am convinced that the whole “legalism of herbalism” dilemma is somewhat of a microcosm of our society’s state of affairs. It is another example among the millions of contradictions that are our reality these days. We are somehow made to believe that we are a separate entity from the rest of the web of life, and that falsity is furthered by our fierce consumerism and our dependency on man-made “solutions” that are really more problematic than the maladies they claim to heal.

As I make these beautiful, simple remedies that not only “work,” but bring with them a sense of oneness and connection to the planet, I am constantly in awe of just how disconnected from ourselves, our world, our neighbors, we as a people truly have become.  Watching television, you are inundated by this powerful force that seeks to convince you that you are missing something that only a product at CVS or Target can return to you. It seems as though our society is obsessed with final products, things we can buy, things that are packaged for us, everything in a convenient little box. That goes for products, value systems, entertainment, education, medicine, and just about everything else.

It follows that there seems to be a general lack of appreciation for anything that doesn’t fit into a box. When I went to NYU back in 2003-2007, the east village of New York was still lined with little sweet independent shops, including Aphrodisia, an amazing herb shop. Just a few years after graduating, I returned to visit my favorite places, but to my dismay they were mostly replaced by name brand stores because the shopkeepers couldn’t compete. It was so sad, but something I would find myself getting used to. I just never thought it would happen in the East Village. I think that if herbalism were to be standardized, it would be the same sort of thing.

We’d be selling out.  Continue reading

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