Saturday, June 17, 2017

PT 1- How Other Herbalist Use Differnt Diagnosis Methods

The word diagnose is not to be used many herbalist say.
Others use words like this and even medical terms but who is right? There are a 1000 ways to do an intake a diagnosis, its a hard thing we do and it takes years. So in this series I will un -lock some of how herbalist do a intake , diagnosis, and herbs given.

Part one is from The Way of Herbs By- Micahel Tierra

You may say, what he has a white lab coat on, herbalist can not do that. OK first he is-was a N.D. and acupuncture grad so he and N.D.'s others can wear a white lab coat. 
All about his bio.

Michael's Biography

Dr. Michael Tierra L.AC. OMD, AHG is one of the forerunners of the North American Natural Health movement and was among one of the first groups of acupuncturists to be licensed in the country. He began his herbal and natural healing studies in 1968 while living in a community in the Klamath National Forest in northern California. There he learned the wild forest plants and healing ways of the Karok and Yurok Indians.

Starting in 1970, Michael studied and apprenticed with Norma Meiers and Dr. Christopher in Vancouver, Canada, and began his Chinese medicine and acupuncture studies with Efrem Korngold, Foon Lee Wong and Mariam Lee in San Francisco.

Soon his studies channeled into practicing and teaching in San Francisco. Additionally, he began studying Ayurvedic medicine and yoga with Baba Hari Dass, which later precipitated his move to Santa Cruz, California. There in 1976 Michael started the first wholistic health school in Santa Cruz, called the Garden of Sanjivani, where he was the Director and teacher in residence.

Michael Tierra's work spread and he began writing for numerous publications and teaching at many schools including Norma Meier's Herb School in Vancouver, Canada, The California School of Herbology, Heartwood College, Esalen Institute, American Herbal Academy, Santa Barbara Center for Holistic Studies, Antioch University and Ojai Institute. Later he authored the nationally acclaimed herbals, The Way of Herbs, Planetary Herbology, The Natural Remedy Bible (with John Lust) and his East West Correspondence Courses in Herbology, a correspondence course in herbology and natural healing techniques.

During this time frame, Michael received his C.A. and N.D. degrees, studied Ayurvedic medicine in India for three months and Chinese medicine and herbology in China for one and a half months. He also received a distinguished achievement award for Master Herbalist from Dr. Christopher at the internationally recognized Herbal Symposium in 1979.

In 1989, he founded the American Herbalists Guild, an organization whose goal is to establish standards for the professional practice of clinical herbal medicine in the United States. He received his Oriental Medical doctor's degree (OMD) from the San Francisco College of Acupuncture in 1987 and was part of the first group from the United States to study herbal medicine in China. He is co-founder of the American School of Botanical Medicine, lectures throughout the world and founded The East West College of Herbalism with David and Sarah Holland. The East West College of Herbalism is recognized as an accredited professional herbal college in the UK. Each year, in the spring, Michael and his wife, Lesley travel abroad to teach at the East West College.

Michael is the father of five children, including his daughter, Shasta who trained with him and has her own acupuncture and herbal practice in San Jose, California. He practices yoga, is an avid lover of the arts, especially music, a classical pianist, choral conductor and composer. In addition, he lives with and maintains a magnificent healing herb garden in Ben Lomond, California, located in the low-lying coastal mountains of Northern California adjoining Santa Cruz.


His book says as follows;

In walking through wilderness trails and discovering wild plants and herbs, one should take the opportunity to notice the many conditions under which herbs and plants grow. An herb growing in one locale may be better suited for particular diseases than one growing under a different set of climatic conditions. For instance, we can find chaparral growing in veritable stands and fields in high desert places throughout the western United States.
Upon tasting a leaf of this specimen, I noted it was much less bitter than the common
desert chaparral. Just as the climate and outward conditions of our life affect our characteristics and personality, so also do the growing conditions of a specific area affect the characteristics of the medicinal plants that can be found growing there. I decided that this particular "Baja" chaparral was especially good for diseases involving the liver because of the traditional relationship in Chinese medicine between the wind and the liver.

Eight Therapeutic Methods

Text book-The Way Of Herbs-by

1. stimulation;

2. tranquilization;

3. blood purification;

4. tonification;

5. diuresis (control of fluid balance);

6. sweating;

7. emesis (vomiting);

8. purging.

Each therapeutic method is suitable for particular kinds of diseases, and it is often appropriate to combine several methods for the most effective treatment.

Each therapeutic method is suitable for particular kinds of diseases, and it is often appropriate to combine several methods for the most effective treatment.

PT 1 How Different Herbalist Diagnose

The first post is how an herbalist from his book Michael Tierra.

The book-The Way of Herbs-By Michael Tierra

First about diagnosis in the herb world.

Many herbalist say we do not diagnose, other places do not allow the wording.
This is so different by so many herbalist its mind blowing, some are standard, some way, way out there, who is right? In this series we will look at how different herbalist old and new do a diagnosis, the golden cup, to learn, and do, many times for any herbalist.

Familiarity with these eight therapeutic methods will make it possible to choose an effective course of treatment to promote quick recovery.

There are three

Types of tranquilizers: demulcents, nervines and antispasmodics.

Demulcent herbs and soothing foods will lubricate the joints, bones, gastrointestinal tract and even the irritating conflicts of our lives. Herbs such as slippery elm bark, marshmallow root and comfrey root, and foods such as warm milk and watery oat or barley cereals, are used to comfort and quiet a person while the process of healing carries on.
Any mucilaginous substance will be effective; it may be taken along with
warm milk and honey to promote its soothing effects.

Nervines are substances that feed the nervous system and balance its energy. These are also called nerve tonics. The nervine herbs include skullcap, catnip, wood betony,
lady's slipper and valerian (NOTE Number One Wild Oats)

Antispasmodics calm the nervous tension in muscles, including both the skeletal muscles and the smooth muscles of internal organs. These also help relieve pain due to tension or convulsion. Herbal antispasmodics include lobelia, valerian, kava kava, black cohosh, and dong quai.
In all cases, it is important to have adequate calcium in the diet since this strongly affects the function of the nervous system and muscles.

It is not uncommon to use tranquilization therapy along with stimulant therapy. The tranquilizers will not counteract the stimulants, but will buffer their effects.


Most herbalists agree that if one can purify the blood and neutralize excess acidity, all diseases will eventually subside. For this reason, blood purifiers occupy a prominent place in herbal therapies.

The site of the body most responsible for the purity of blood is the small intestine,
which must separate useful nutrients from the totality of substances ingested. Secondary organs affecting blood purity include the liver, kidney and colon.

There are several ways to purify the blood:

1. directly neutralize acids with the strong alkalinizing
effect of some herbs (e.g., dandelion and slippery elm);

2. stimulate the vital organic functions of the body, especially the liver and kidneys, lungs and colon (e.g., Oregon grape root, goldenseal);

3. dry excess moisture and remove excess fat where toxins are retained (e.g., plantain, mullein, chickweed, gota kola);

4. eliminate excess "heat," especially from the small intestine


Herbs that can build the energy of the organ systems are used as tonics. They are commonly recommended for those who are weak and run down, having low vitality. Tonic therapy is used in the recovery from acute ailments and in building energy back for
those suffering chronic diseases. It is also useful in maintaining a healthy condition and overcoming minor imbalances.

Tonics are nourishing to the organs. Some of the herbs act primarily to provide nutrients: vitamins, minerals and sugars. These are referred to as Yin tonics (see chapter on "Diagnosis and Treatment"), the most valuable being the seaweeds (kelp and Irish moss),
alfalfa, comfrey and dandelion leaf. Others, in addition to providing some of these nutrients, act to balance and stimulate the energy of the organs, improving their ability to assimilate and utilize nutrients.

Tonic herbs are used to counteract a deficiency (weakness or critical shortage) in the body. Usually if the body is deficient in one function, there will be
deficiencies in all the other functions and in the vital substances (minerals and vitamins). When one is very weak and out of balance, the use of strong, stimulating Yang tonics is not advised, as these will drive the system further out of balance. Therefore, the milder acting, nutritive Yin tonics are first used. These are usually the fruit, flower and leaf herbs. Later a stimulating tonic can be added to improve the assimilation and use
of the nutrients. These Yang tonics are usually roots and barks.

The science and art of tonic therapy for treatment of chronic diseases, recovery from acute crisis and prevention of all ailments is most highly developed in the Far East. Several of the most important Chinese tonic herbs have been included in the chapter "Herbs to Know”.

The body fluids are comprised mostly of water. Through the control of this vital element, we are able to restore and maintain health and well-being. Having too much water retained in the body leads to feelings of weakness, paranoia and depression. Too little water in the body, on the other hand, may result in explosive anger and other forceful reactions.

Sweating is used to treat externally caused diseases such as cold, flu and fever. There are two methods of treatment: one with relaxing diaphoretic herb teas and the other with stimulating diaphoretic teas. Relaxing teas, such as those made with catnip or lemon balm, are used to treat ailments where the pores of the skin are closed and the energy has retreated from the surface. The volatile oils in the herbs exit through the pores of the skin, soothing and calming the body surface. The stimulating herbs provide heat, increase the
circulation and promote sweating. They are used to treat weakness in the internal organs. Useful stimulant diaphoretics include teas made from boneset, elder flowers and peppermint, or a combination of cayenne, ginger, lemon and honey.

Emetic herbs induce vomiting and thus quickly empty the stomach of its contents. This may be a necessary treatment if one is feeling sick from eating too much food or a poor combination of foods. It is also recommended for treating poisoning by non-caustic
substances that will not burn the esophagus when vomiting is induced.

Emesis greatly reduces the energy of the body and so should not be used by persons who are already very weak. The emetic treatment may be followed by a mild stimulating treatment, along with soothing, demulcent herbs, to recover the energy.

Purging, by the use of herbal laxatives, is valuable in treating ailments associated with the presence of excess secretions, buildup of toxins or weak elimination. Constipation is considered a serious problem because the retention of wastes in the body can lead to
more serious diseases. Purgatives must not be overused, as they deplete the energy of the body, and thus they are only given occasionally to persons who are in relatively good health. Proper elimination is very dependent upon the diet; dietary factors should therefore be emphasized in the regulation of this important function.

That is one herbalist Pt 2 we will look at another herbalist diagnosing and treatment procedure, we are not to say as herbalists treatment, but again many do.

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