Spring can really hang you up…

Spring can really hang you up…

[pictured above, an alder (Alnus rubra) male catkin that releases pollen] It’s officially Spring and many of you may be witnessing what some refer to as ‘yellow season’, the season of pollen dusting everything in it’s wake and wreaking havoc on our bodies. I’m reminded of one of the original bannock recipes, eaten by First Nations peoples, calling for cattail pollen, which grows in abundance for only a short few days in the spring. It’s one of the few examples of a pre-agrarian food that is comprised of tiny microparticles, and given its sticky, heavy properties, it’s probably a good thing that this special treat wasn’t available too often. In my book Food As Medicine, I make reference to research, which shows that a diet high in microparticles plays a role in gastrointestinal inflammation, which itself is a causative factor in the development of allergies and autoimmune disease. Of course, I don’t think that cattail bannock as a rare treat is the issue, but … [Read more...]

Full moon spring equinox herb gathering

Full moon spring equinox herb gathering

If you live on or near the Sunshine Coast of BC, please join us for the full moon to usher in the spring equinox, and the start of another growing cycle. Let's get to know each other, and discuss opportunities to deepen our knowledge of herbs, health, and healing. If it's a nice evening, we'll gather around the fire outside - otherwise, we'll enjoy each other's company inside. Healthy snacks and beverages welcome. For more information and to become a regular member of this group please see our meetup page. With a good turnout, we will aim to have these meetings on a regular basis. … [Read more...]

Holistic medicine meets holistic learning

Holistic medicine meets holistic learning

Most of us who come to find Ayurveda have been searching for the deeper meaning behind our existence and wanting to add purpose to our lives. A lot of us have struggled against societal norms lacking in compassion and universal awareness so we take action by practicing humanitarian values in an effort to create a stronger relationship to ourselves, our families and to our community. We consistently evaluate the health of our communities, as well as our overall culture. In search of fulfilling this desire, we find a more holistic approach to our being and it feels true that holistic medicine is the anecdote to these concerns. It seems even more natural to begin to learn in environments where this philosophy is not only embraced, but also openly practiced. With that in mind, Todd created Dogwood School of Botanical Medicine based upon this premise. We developed a video to share with you his mission in order to develop a deeper understanding of why we are not your average … [Read more...]

Understanding thyroid issues

Understanding thyroid issues

Thyroid issues are among the most common problems seen in clinical practice, and by some measures, is approaching epidemic levels. In part this phenomena is related to improved early diagnosis, but in some respects it is also related to over-diagnosis, especially in the sense that medical diagnosis often leads to drug treatment and a resultant dependency on pharmaceuticals. Most thyroid issues are hypothyroid, or an under-functioning thyroid, and most of these are diagnosed as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis. Among hyperthyroid issues, or an over-functioning thyroid, the most common diagnosis is Grave’s disease. While these diseases in some respect couldn’t be more different, they are both caused by autoimmune factors, when the immune system attacks the thyroid. In Hashimoto’s thyroiditis the immune system damages and impairs the thyroid, whereas in Grave’s disease, the immune system overstimulates its activities. While Hashimoto’s and Grave’s are both clearly described autoimmune … [Read more...]

Cannabis and Ayurveda

Cannabis and Ayurveda

There are only 22 days to the start of the 2018 spring semester, including a new session of Inside Ayurveda, Food As Medicine, and our new clinical program called Phytomedica. Unmatched for their depth, these three affordable courses are excellent stand-alone programs but also serve as prerequisites for the DSBM Mentorship program, as well as the 2019 Ayurveda Overseas program. To help you make your decision whether to enroll, we have posted some free sample materials of each program. Please see below for more details. Cannabis and Ayurveda A few weeks ago we posted an in-depth article reviewing the medicinal uses of kratom (Mitragyna speciosa), and due to popular request, Todd Caldecott is providing a second opinion on the use of marijuana  (Cannabis indica/sativa) in Ayurveda. This will be a Facebook LIVE event, hosted at facebook.com/toddcaldecott on March 29, at 12pm Pacific time (3pm Eastern). Please join us! Facebook LIVE Q&A If you have any questions … [Read more...]