≡ Menu

Aromatherapy Day Long Class Part 2


Part one of the day long aromatherapy series was tons of fun, and brought 19 good people together (over 2 classes) to study and learn about the possible effects of essential oils on the brain and nervous system. We had many colorful conversations around the weaving of science and art in healing.

With the basic connections between the brain, behavior and essential oil use made in Part 1, we will now incorporate how essential oil formulas can have effects on specific body and nervous system areas in part 2.

We will work on formulas that reduce muscle and joint tension and pain, that can stimulate circulation and mental function for the cold individual, and formulas to assist balance of the nervous system for parasympathetic deficiency  These parasympathetic formulas can help those with autoimmune diseases, insomnia, anxiety, heart murmurs and palpitations, and nervous digestion.

In the lecture portion of this day, we will also take a look at some of the chemistry of different classes of essential oils.

In this class, you can expect to:

  • Learn about a few body processes and how some essential oils bring balance to those processes
  • Learn about the chemistry of essential oils
  • Work further with the oils introduced in the first class, as well as a couple of new ones
  • Make 3 formulas
  • Work on a salve formula for you to make on your own
  • Have lots of fun!

-Date: Sunday, June 12, 2016

Time: 9 am – 3:30 pm.

Place: My House

Cost: (includes supplies) $95

Bring your lunch! We will have about 30 min. for a lunch break. (FYI- I don’t have a microwave- sorry about that.)

Please email me at kathyweeds@yahoo.com if you are interested. I will take about 10 students for this workshop.




Scent is old, and moves into deep places in our brain and nervous system. When it does, we are transported to a time or place from the past, a memory forgotten, or a feeling. How did we get there? Well, for the most part, only the scent knows those pathways, for scent works in ways that we don’t fully understand. The science is still a work in progress.

Aromatherapy is the art of wielding scents in the form of essential oils. We do so to elicit healing, sometimes helping people remember the past, and sometimes inspiring something new- a new pattern, a new feeling about something that was stressful, or a new thought.

In this one day 6 hour workshop, we will explore the world of 12 different essential oils: rosemary, cinnamon, lavender, eucalyptus, cardamom, petitgrain, sweet orange, vetiver, basil, and ylang-ylang, and myrrh, Clary sage, geranium

We will:

  • Learn what the essential oils in our course do
  • Talk about a bit of their chemistry
  • Learn about the brain, and how scent transmits information to influence our mind, body and emotions
  • Learn about carrier oils and dilutions (for kids and adults)
  • Talk about contraindications of some essential oils
  • Explore a few different perspectives on formulation
  • Formulate! We will focus on formulas for sedation and balancing the nervous system, topical anti-microbial formulas, immune boosting formulas, aphrodisiacs and what you specifically have questions about.

…and, as usual, more!

  • Date: April 3, 2016
  • Time: 9 am – 3:30 pm.
  • Place: My House
  • Cost: (includes supplies) $95
  • Bring your lunch! We will have about 30 min. for a lunch break. (FYI- I don’t have a microwave- sorry about that.)

Please email me at kathyweeds@yahoo.com if you are interested. I will take about 10 students for this workshop.

Warm wishes!


Intermediate Course, Part 1, winter 2016

The Intermediate Herb Course Part 1 picks up where the Beginners course leaves off. We will focus on maladies of the nervous and digestive systems, and the liver.

For each system covered, we will address basic anatomy and physiology, applying our plant Materia medica energetically, clinically, and physiologically. We will then focus our attention on the maladies of each system, their symptom picture, and how to formulate for them based on the person. Because many of you are preparing for the tissue state course, we will also include terminology and some basic principals of the tissue states.

In formulation, we will consider the following:

 How to determine organ system deficiency and excess, a beginning understanding of what heat, cold, dryness, and wetness look like in the body, and how to tell if there is too much tension or function is too relaxed.

 How deficiency and excess occur.

 We will continue to apply plants according to taste, energetics, the 4 qualities (hot, cold, dry and moist), and if the plant stimulates or relaxes.

The Materia medica we began learning in the beginning course will be used and added to. We will also continue to discuss solubility factors in medicine making, and what should be made/used as a tincture or tea.

For details, click more…

[click to continue…]


As an herbalist, the path we walk takes us to many places in ourselves, eliciting great personal change. How we think, live and feel is altered and augmented by the philosophy, art and science of plant medicine.

Even before we begin to study herbalism seriously, we find ourselves attuned to a belief that a persons vital force deserves medicines that are alive. That it is important to have medicines that are touched by hands, sometimes prayed over, and contemplated on deeply by the people who grow and process them.

As we study, we come to realize that a plants healing power is further potentiated by it’s remarkable history, which vibrates through the centuries to meet and support us here today. We learn, too, that the science of plant medicines can combine well with historical applications, and the information provided can be a necessary benefit to our philosophy of practice.

Herbalism in contemporary society is different from the herbalism that was 100 + years ago. There are more variables. Disease and imbalance are complicated by modern choices, sedentary lifestyles, sleep deprivation, processed food and prescription medications. And while we have stress in common with old cultures, stress has evolved to assume a new role in our quickly moving bodies, minds, souls and environment.

As an herbalist, how can, or do, you best support your clients and community? What is a modern day herbalist? And, who are you as an herbalist?

In the Advanced Apprenticeship course, you will begin to shape your philosophy, and decide who you are as an herbalist by studying and reading about those who came before you. You will put together the pieces of your education, and acquire new tools that may be necessary to help chart courses for your clients. The skills you currently have will be put to use when you see clients and present their cases and your solutions in roundtable discussions.

(Please read on for course details and class descriptions.)

[click to continue…]


Fall 2015 Tissue State Herb Course

Fall is near! And this Fall, I will be running the Tissue State course.  The course has 8 classes, and be offered on Wed. nights and Thurs. during the daytime. If you are interested in attending via Google +, please let me know.

In the late 19th century, the Eclectic doctors of America, who were herbalists, combined new ideas with several Ancient systems of physical assessment to compose and codify the 6 Tissue States.  While this system is not commonly used today, it is an excellent compliment to any Western herbal practice.

Studying the Tissue States can broaden our understanding of how to work with deficiency and excess, deepen comprehension of the 4 qualities with tensions (hot, cold, dry and wet, stimulation and relaxation), organ system imbalances, and give us a clearer view of the effects of plants according to taste.

The 6 Tissue States as used today are:

Heat/Excitation, Cold/Wind/Constriction, Cold/Depression, Damp/Relaxation, Damp/Torpor/Stagnation, and Dry/Atrophy.

In this course, you will learn to use the tissue states as a tool to learn more about plant application, augment your own consultation forms/methods, or to advance how you assess individuals.  You will find that understanding their pronouncement in people allows you to fine tune what you recommend to support better health.

[click to continue…]



Photo of Verbena hastata just coming up in the garden, Spring 2015.

The alchemical catalytic action elicited when we take or use an herb allows us to view a plant beyond the edges of a book, beyond the doctrine of signatures, and in a way that even words can’t fully express. For as the plant interfaces with the many variables that we humans present with, it moves us emotionally, physically, and spiritually. It reaches us in these places by balancing us elementally, through humors, and affecting our tension. As things unfold, we are reminded that a plants range of motion is far from linear.

Taste and its affinity for moving energy is an excellent way to gain insight into a plants range of motion, and the acrid bitters are a fun place to begin this exploration. They have a curious manner of moving blood to balance hot and cold in the body, and can improve vitality by relaxing, not stimulating. They are complicated, to say the least.

One of my favorite plants to illustrate their unique nature is Verbena hastata (common name blue vervain). Before we speak of the plants specific virtues, however, lets talk about the acrid taste.

[click to continue…]


Beginning Herb Course- Summer of 2015!

Day, Dates and Time: Wed. (may move to Thurs.) July 8, 15, 22, 29; Wed. August 12, 19, 28, September 2nd (NO CLASS August 5th)     Time: 6:30-9 pm.

Cost: $375 (Credit card payments accepted through Square.)  Place: My house

Registration Deadline: June 20th

Welcome to Red Root Mountain’s Beginning Herb Course! In this course, you will engage and learn the root of this flexible art! Come look at plants, and experience how they work according to taste, the language of energetic actions, and the properties hot, cold, dry and moist, relaxing and stimulating.

Also gain skills in how to make plant medicines as we prepare hot and cold water decoctions, macerations of herb oils, fresh and dried plant tinctures, and salves.

We will apply and weave in the information acquired in the first few class to assessing and formulating for acute respiratory illnesses and basic first aid. You’ll learn basic assessment and herbal application skills for managing fevers and coughs, healing sinus infections, supporting bones re-growth and more. You’ll also have fun, as you find yourself a part of an herbal community that is ever growing in this area.

Whether you are a self learner/herbalist-in-waiting, have never read about a plant before in your life or want a refresher course in herbal medicines, this is the class for you. Beware, this is not a simple course. It lays a foundation of herbal application and philosophy that is fairly advanced, and introduces the concepts of Greek medicine.

Read on for a descriptive list of the 8 classes included in this series, and class schedule. If you are interested in joining the class, please leave a message below. I’ll see your email, and send you an application form.

Since this course is running during growing season, we will often be stepping outside to see plants!

[click to continue…]


Course Day, Dates: Monday Nights – July 6, 13, 20, 27 week off August 3rd; August 10, 17, 24 and 31    Time: 6:30-9 pm. Distance learners via Google + Available: 9 spots available; must have fast access internet service

Place: My house    Cost: $375 ($25 off if you plan on taking the Tissue State Course this Fall, or have taken it before)

Registration Deadline: June 26th

Leave a message below if you are interested in this course.

Space will be limited, and a spot will only be held with payment. If you need a payment plan, please talk to me about it.

When I consider reproductive health, I begin to think emotionally, for our emotions are greatly affected by our hormones. Hormones train to fire in certain patterns over time. These patterns doesn’t just become us, they are us. And with pregnancy, age or trauma, whether physical, emotional or spiritual, our hormones shift like a kite in the wind, throwing us into a tailspin as we try to recalibrate.

Plant medicines are the natural way to adjust either our hormones, or ourselves to this new place we have come to. Using a combination of art, science, and nature, we can instill a stronger sense of balance, or of belonging to a new place in time, whether that time be pregnancy or menopause.

In this course, we will weave our materia medica into the organs, hormones, emotional and spiritual body of the reproductive system. We will look at the reproductive system and it’s changes as naturally occurring shifts that sometimes need support. Shifts that may need to be brought back to balance, or shifts that we must attune ourselves to.

Health issues we will address: menopause, hormonal imbalances, PMS, ovarian cysts, uterine and breast fibroids, reproductive cancer support, pregnancy and post natal, infertility.

[click to continue…]


Advanced Thyroid Course- Spring 2015

Course Day, Dates, and Times: Monday May 18-June 15th, 2015

Time: 6:30-9 pm.  Place: My house  Cost: $225  Registration Deadline: May 8th

Also, there are 9 spots for distance learners available through Google video chat. Message me here in you’re interested.

Working with herbs is a mix of art and science. That philosophical combination is an important one to remember when applying plant medicines to the endocrine system, where patterns often feel unbreakable, and take their own sweet time to reroute and retrain. These seemingly unbreakable patterns apply to conditions of the thyroid, both hypo and hyper. In this 5 week course, we will study plants for thyroid disease and disorders, study the disorders themselves, look at the application of Michael Moore’s thyroid stress types, and weave in information on the Greek/Eclectic Doctor’s 6 Tissue States. Also included are 2 Thyroid Materia medica classes.

Classes 1 and 2Materia medica In these 2 classes, we will focus on around 10 different plants for treating thyroid conditions, and how each applies to the following-physiology of the thyroid and other influential organ system and
endocrine gland relationships.

Classes 3-5 will focus on the following:

  • Thyroid dysfunction and how it relates to Thyroid Stress.
  • Tissue states and the patterns of the humors: blood, mucous, bile, and lymphatic fluid.
  • Symptom pictures of dysfunction, both hypo and hyper: tongue, organ system deficiencies and excess
  • Thyroid Dysfunction: Nature/Heredity vs. Nurture/Food and Environmental Factors
  • Formulating for thyroid conditions, and analyzing thyroid formulas.

Class 3– Anatomy and Physiology of the Thyroid – Michael Moore’s Thyroid Stress Types: Thyroid Stress and Thyroid Stress Depressive

Class 4(Finish Thyroid Stress Types if needed) Hypothyroid

Class 5– Hyperthyroid


Course Day, Dates, and Times: Monday May 18-June 15th, 2015

Time: 6:30-9 pm.    Place: My house    Cost: $225

Thanks for your interest in the class. Please leave a note here if you would like to take this course and I will email you an application.


This talk was presented in Madison, WI on Feb. 16th., 2015 for the Madison Herbal Institute.

Basic Function of the Lymphatic System

The lymphatic system is a part of the circulatory system. It is home to our immune system, is an accessory to our waste removal systems and eliminatory organs, and a part of the nutritive process.

The lymphatic system is made up of: Lymphatic vessels, nodes, tissues, and fluid. A few brief lymph jobs and the role that the parts of the system play in our health are as follows:

  • The lymph fluid is home to the immune system is a warrior. It is a system with smarts and strategy that learns and grows with each difficultly that it overcomes. When functioning optimally, it is a system that transmutes negative energy for elimination. The lymph fluid holds this energy.
  • The spleen, a large lymph node, acts as a blood reservoir, circulates waste down to be removed, and nutrients up into the body to help build and nourish cells. It is also responsible for the destruction of old red blood cells, and assisting their passage to the liver for further conjugation and processing for elimination.
  • The lymphatic system is responsible for around 90% of nutrient absorption through the villa in the small intestine. The system also returns fluid, and fats to the liver to be prepared for blood circulation to round out the digestive and nutritive process.
  • The nodes support detoxifying and eliminatory organs by filtering toxins from lymph fluid before returning said 
fluids to interface with the blood.
  • The nodes produce some white blood cells.
  • Lymphoid tissues have several important organs. One such organ is the thymus gland. It produces T cells. As we reach puberty the thymus grows. At puberty, when sex hormones begin production, it begins to atrophy and is replaced by fat. This atrophic process is called involution.
  • The tonsils-which trap and collect bacteria and viruses as we inhale, protecting the rest of our body.

General Symptoms of Lymphatic and Spleen Deficiency

  • Symptoms of Lymphatic Deficiency: recuperates slowly when ill, eczema, psoriasis, dermatitis, asthma or hay 
fever, digests fat poorly
  • Signs of spleen deficiency: edema, anemia, dampness in the stomach and swollen lymph nodes. There is decreased immune function, loss of appetite and decreased digestive function, to name a few.

How To Move the Lymph?

Lymphatic fluid is essential to our health, and the health of our other body fluids, known as humors- the blood, bile (black and yellow), and phlegm. Hippocrates first wrote about the humors as a diagnostic tool around 400 B.C. The lymph was not consciously known of then, and so wasn’t taken into account as a humor, or valued body fluid.

Of course, blood was thought of very differently then. It was believed that blood was made fresh everyday, and was then used up to be reproduced the next. If someone didn’t use up their daily supply, that old blood was deemed “bad” to varying degrees and in multiple ways.

As if turns out, very little of what we have as fluids are replenished or made fresh daily. 95% of bile is recycled, with only 5% being made fresh at a time. Much of the nearly 6000 ml of digestive fluids and enzymes we produce daily are reabsorbed, and blood stays with us, baring injury or menstrual cycles, with elements of it coming to the end of a life cycle and remade.

That brings us back to lymph. The lymphatic system was finally fully illustrated and identified in humans by a Danish physician by the name of Thomas Bartholin in 1652. This discovery came a year after a French scientist named Jean Pecquet found the lymphatic system in animals.

Lymphatic fluid is a part of the circulatory system, and is essentially plasma that has leaked from porous capillaries. Lymph vessels absorb this viscous fluid, circulate it, scan it for pathogens, clean it, and dump it back into blood circulation.

Lymph vessels are lined with smooth muscle that have the capacity to give lymphatic fluid unilateral flow.  And while lymph doesn’t have the same pumping mechanism that systemic blood circulation has in the heart, movement of lymph still benefits from the heart, the pressure involved in moving blood, and the pressure exerted by fluid leaking from capillaries. In fact, keeping fluid intake to recommended levels helps lymph circulation, and keeps immune system function high. The old saying push fluids when ill is for a good reason. Fluid intake supports lymphatic function and circulation, thereby supporting the immune system in doing the best job it can.

Of course, there are other ways to benefit lymphatic circulation. Massage and lymphatic massage, which has proven to be beneficial to many. But we also need to move our bodies to keep lymph flowing and healthy. Just as our respiratory system, heart and circulatory system benefit from exercise, so does our lymphatic system. A few minutes a couple times a day of stretching, laying in a bath, swimming, and walking are some on the easiest and least expensive ways to move the fluid. They are also things we should be doing in general to improve our whole body health.

And what about herbs? There are a lot of awesome plants that support lymph health. What follows are some of those great plants, and example strategies for lymphatic swelling, both acute and chronic.

[click to continue…]