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Imagine times when we feel totally at home in our bodies, vibrant, alive and deeply connected with the vital life force around us.

Andrée Beauchamp is a Certified Holistic Health Care Practitioner & Accredited Therapeutic Herbalist, C.N.H.P, H.T.A. who specializes in Prevention with Nutritional Guidance & Herbal Medicine, Body Therapy & Energy Medicine.

To see what Andrée can do for you, schedule an appointment with her today.


Herbal Alchemy

By Andrée Beauchamp 28 Sep, 2017
We harvest great burdock in the fall just after the first frost when the leaves are crisp and the great plant sends its energy to the roots. You know the plant whose burrs stick to your clothing and are darned to get off.

The basal or oval shaped leaves are a greyish-green in color with broadly wavy leaves that cascade out over our paths and grow in urban sidewalk cracks! The most potent medicine is found in its 1st years roots. The 2nd years delicate flower stalks (see below) and roots are delicious as a vegetable or in sou in the Spring, and the seeds later nestled in the burrs act as an unfailing kidney tonic.

Burdock has an earthy, sweet and thorough way of healing , with a deeply reaching, slow acting and extensive effect on the whole system, most profoundly felt in the lymph, sweat, and oil glands and the organs of the liver, lungs and kidneys writes Susun Weed.

 Burdock is a tonifying herb with minimum toxicity and touted as an anti-cancerous plant and recognized as preventive in epidemics. Burdock is notably high in chromium, iron, magnesium, silicon, thiamine (Vit. B )and rich in inulin, a soluble dietary fibre belonging to a group of carbohydrates known as fructans. Unlike most carbs, inulin is non-digestible. This allows it to pass through the small intestine and ferment in the colon. Through this fermentation process, the inulin becomes a healthy intestinal micro flora and known as a prebiotic, an important food for building probiotic, a key to a healthy gut.  Inulin is very high in the roots of plants in the Autumn, especially species from the Asteraceae family,  like dandelion and elecampane, being just two of many, from this family that are rich in Inulin. The fresh burdock root is rich in Vitamin C.

On the whole burdock strengthens the immune system without the stimulation that many immune herbs do.Burdock is a steady acting blood alterative.(cleansing)The root with its mucilaginous fibers has actions that nourishes the digestive system that helps to eliminate the toxins lodged in the muscles and connective tissues. Burdock is a good choice for those with colitis, stomach ulcers and colon cancer.   As a bacteria static burdock treats candida and provides relief in spleen deficient digestive discomforts, sinus congestion and headaches. Burdock soothes and eases joint pain relieving chronic discomfort for those with Osteoarthritis and Rheumatoid arthritis, and can stabilize blood sugar levels in hypoglycemic s and moderate them for those with diabetes.  Burdock with its deeply reaching effects  act on the liver and treats difficult skin conditions readily.

The fresh root is best prepared as a tincture in alcohol or  glycerine or as a decoction with fresh or dried root brewed on the stove. For an easy tincture preparation, harvest the fresh roots, wash the dirt and chop it vertically into slices. Fill your jar with the root and enough alcohol to cover. Fill twice and leave for 6 weeks . Decant tincture to smaller 50 and 100 ml bottles and label from what, where and when you harvested. For chronic care take 2 dropperfuls in a little water up to 3x a day for a minimum of 3 to 6 weeks. Or until your body tell s you to that is complete.

The Japanese have cooked with burdock (gobu) for centuries in soups and stews. The native Cherokee woman prepared burdock for both the woman and her womb before and after birthing. Burdock gives you stamina and strengthens the uterus.

How could we not benefit from this roots goodness? Make sure to bring a fork and an extra pair of gloves when you go to harvest burdock. She is a tough one and not for cold or the faint of heart. Burdock is for strong, fiery people. Give yourself time to let burdock works its way through for best results.

Try the Fall  Nourish Tonic to strengthen you liver, lungs and kidneys, to nourish your immune system and to prevent from colds and flu s. Take a large handful each of Burdock rt, Oat straw, Hawthorn leaf and berry, Parsley, Cardamom, Ginger, Orange peel & cinnamon.  Take 1 tbsp. per cup and steep for 15 min. Enjoy up to 3 x a week.

We are about to begin our Making Root Remedies teaching beginning October 12 Th. Please see the teaching page and come join us this year. Burdock will surely be one of our roots as i have two big first year plants in the garden.
By Andrée Beauchamp 26 Sep, 2017

My daughter has left for University.  After 18 years of being rooted raising Misia, I  feel as though i have lost my anchor,  without my daughter to hold, and be held by in times of loving kindness & vulnerability.  This feels both extraordinary and scary. I began reaching, looking for something to ground me. Resiliency announced itself, as i hugged my favorite oak, cultivate resiliency, as a tool to be held and support by, in these times of change and uncertainty.

Resiliency requires being able to bounce back, to adapt, to go with the flow and cope with challenging times or adversity, while all the while being calm and focused and grounded. What can we do, to become more resilient in times like these?

Strengthen our resiliency muscle. Building resiliency is like building a muscle that can be strengthened at every opportunity. Children and adults alike, can strengthen this muscle by working with, and handling stress. Healthy stress builds our capacity for resiliency.

During times of stress, the body goes through a number of changes utilizing the sympathetic nervous response to make us faster, stronger and more alert. Our heart rate increases, our blood pressure increases, and our adrenaline and cortisol surge. Over a shorter period of time this works well, however over the long stretch too much stress leaves cortisol running rampant, emotions riding high, impulses unregulated, and inflammation ongoing.  

When the sympathetic nervous system is left on, our immune system weakens, our energy levels plummet, and the feelings of anxiety and depression rise.  Science has now proven 80% of illnesses are caused by stress. What can we do to prevent this?

Our executive functions are controlled by the pre-frontal cortex and involve attention, problem solving, impulse control, and the regulation of emotions. Resilience is related to the capacity to activate the pre-frontal cortex and to calm the amygdala, (the part of the brain that initiates the stress in the first place.) When the amygdala is calmed, through mindfulness, the physiological changes reverse, expanding the capacity to recover from and adapt to, or find a solution for, the present challenge or adversity. 

Here are 10 ways to strengthen your resiliency

1. Build loving and respectful relationships. People really just want to be loved and feel loved. People build resiliency when, there are a number of strong and caring role models to encourage us, which also include mentors, teachers, coaches and friends.

 2. Practice Optimism. There is no better way to strengthen a sense of resiliency than to practice being positive. Utilize a strong witness to notice negativity and change our attitude for something more optimistic.

3. Studies show that people who are capable of accepting their reality and who can take responsibility for their situation are far more likely to overcome their difficulties, and succeed than those who cannot. This includes a capacity to make realistic plans and carry them out.

4. Develop tools to take decisive actions during times of stress to help us through them.

5. Understand our strengths and abilities. Develop skills in communication and problem solving and learn to manage strong feelings and impulses as they arise.

6. Reframe our perceptions to find positive changes out of adversity. Avoid blowing things out of proportion to better ride the waves of difficulty.

7. Practice self care, with mindfulness training, daily movement, optimal nutrition and forms of relaxation, meditation and play time.

8.  Creative play. Learn to Improvise. Improvisation has been shown to support strong resiliency muscles during times of adversity.

9. Studies amongst a group of military commanders show, those who demonstrate high levels of gratitude, thrive.

10. Cultivating a deeper sense of resiliency, requires having strongly held values, with beliefs that our lives are meaningful, and that we have a sense of purpose in life.

Matzu-kazi is a kata,(a set of self defense techniques against an imaginary opponent) that I continuously  practiced in preparation for my black belt test, and means "wind in the pines."  I also look to the support of trees when I seek resiliency.  Healthy trees are both rooted and flexible and capable of bouncing back during all kinds of conditions. Diana Beresford-Kroeger is a medical botanist and passionate about trees. Diana shares In her film, The Call of the Forest  ~A Forgotten Wisdom of Trees, that trees emit chemical aerosols, like pinenes and limonenes, that trigger our relaxation response.  Hug a tree today to support your deepest sense of resiliency.  Hug yourself.  Hug  another.  Hug humanity. OM.

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