Archive for Author Sharlene

Lemon Balm Hydrosol

LemonBalmLemon Balm Hydrosol by Carla Berg

I’ve been enjoying essential oils for only a few years, mostly to make homemade products like soap and toothpaste. My husband, Todd, went shopping for supplies and noticed the price tag on essential oils. He was not very pleased and knowing my interest in herbs was growing, he decided to plant some herbs and make a distiller with an extra pressure cooker that we had. Todd drilled a whole in the pressure cooker lid and installed a fitting in order to attach a copper tube to the condenser, which was a separate copper tube that was coiled and glued to an old tin can. The last step was to drill a hole in the bottom of the can for the copper tube to deliver the final product into the receiver. Todd used copper because it is known for having toxic effects on microorganisms. Since I planned to consume or use the hydrosols externally, I did wash them in a watered down bleach solution, then thoroughly rinsed afterwards.  » Read more

The Zing of Ginger


The Zing of Ginger
by Faith Schwartz

Common name: Ginger (Ginger root)
Botanical name: Zingerber officinale
Family: Zingiberaceae (ginger family)
Genus: Zingiber



Ginger is perhaps the world’s oldest recognized medicinal plant and arguably one of the most important. Native to south-east Asia, ginger is traditionally thought to have been cultivated for its medicinal value for over 5000 years, although the first mention of the plant is found in Chinese writings dating back to about 400 BC.

Both Traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic herbalists use the plant extensively; in fact, it’s estimated over half of Chinese herbal formulas include ginger. In Ayurvedic (Indian) herbalism ginger is labeled the “universal medicine” and is touted to have come from the Garden of Eden.

Ginger’s botanical name was derived from the Sanskrit word, singabera, which means “horn-shaped” – an obvious reference to the most coveted part of the plant, its rhizome (root).  » Read more

Red Raspberry Leaf

Red Raspberry Leaf

43608852_sCommon name:
 Red Raspberry (American Raspberry, Black Raspberry, Dewberry, Bramble Fruit, Thimble Berry)
Botanical name: Rubus spp. – Rubus idaeus (cultivated variety), Rubus strigosus (wild variety)
Family: Rosaceae (rose family)
Genus: Rubus



Raspberry is a beautiful plant native to Europe and Asia Minor, though now widely naturalized throughout the world. A member of the rose family, raspberry is in the genus Rubus, meaning “red” and the species idaeus refers to the shrubís historic growing region on Mount Ida near Troy in northwest Turkey. Taken together this botanical name identifies raspberry as the “red bush of Ida”.

Records of domestication of raspberry have been found in writings of Palladius from the 4th century while the therapeutic effects of red raspberry leaves were documented in the writings of Gerard in the late 16th century. The Native Americans prized the fruit, leaves and roots (of the North American variety, Rubus strigosus) as a womenís tonic, as well as a nutritive tea; the Eclectics likewise touted the plant as a great contributor to womenís health. Raspberry was included in the United States Pharmacopeia and National Formulary until the middle of the 20th century. » Read more

Say Qi!

Qi According to Me was written by Darlene Jorgens. She is a current student but she is not new to the world of herbs. “Qi is thought to be all around us, throughout the entire universe. Qi is in the air we breathe, it is in the food we eat and the water we drink, it is in people – called Human Qi (Ren Qi.) Vital Qi (Hou Qi) is used to describe the Qi of a living being.4 Qi is an impersonal force to be found in every living and non-living thing. Qi can be either good or bad. References to Qi may be thought of as “vital energy” should one require a simplistic definition.”  – Qi According to Me (PDF)

Boards & Certifications

23418661_sBoards and Certifications: 
What Students Need To Know

When a student has completed all the program requirements and receives a diploma from a non-traditional school they are eligible to apply for Boards & Certifications.

This article includes a list of organizations that offer certification. This is not complete list. I have only included the ones that are recommended by the schools I researched.

The requirements for each organization vary and are briefly described within this article. Some organizations prefer (but don’t require) that the students have completed courses from a school they have accredited/accepted.

The purpose of this article is about transparency. We are not against certification organizations. We do want our students to understand what certification is and what it is not.


  • Certification is a voluntary process. Voluntary means that it is not required by law and it is not required or needed to work in the field of natural health. It means that you want a certificate that says you are board certified and you are willing to apply, pay, and maintain the certification. Certification is not a permission to act, but rather a statement of completion or qualification. Certification is a private matter, issued by a private organization. It does not involve regulation of the state.

» Read more

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