Mar 252018
 

FORMULATION & MEDICINE MAKING

Special Hands-On Labs at the upcoming 2018 Good Medicine Confluence

For the first many years of Plant Healer’s annual international gatherings, our characteristically beautiful rural event sites had too few buildings of us to expand the number of classes to accommodate topics beyond essential foundational folk herbalism.  Fortunately, since moving our Good Medicine Confluence to its new mountain-top site in Durango, Colorado, we have been able to procure sufficient spaces to expand our topics to include additional modalities, and means for a wildly healthy and deeply meaningful life. In May, 2018, we will be presenting 5 days and nights of classes and entertainment for the same prices as most conferences charge for only 3: over 70 inspiring teachers presenting over 140 unique classes that have never been taught anywhere before, exploring the depths and frontiers of empowered healing in all its many forms from botanical medicine to healthy foods, nature therapy, cannabis and entheogens, and the radical remaking of the current cultural paradigm! 

Good Medicine Confluence Website: www.PlantHealer.org/intro.html

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While there are some truly excellent plant medicine preparations available commercially, formulating and making our own medicines can sometimes result in more powerful extracts or formulations tailored to a particular client or condition… while always contributing to our intimate knowledge of the plants and their uses. My wife Kiva is particularly focused on ensuring that our events always contain not only culture shifting and personally transformative classes, but as many or more extremely practical and useful classes for herbalists. With her pregnancy and now the tending of our baby boy, I took it upon myself to schedule exactly that – for her, and for you! And for the first time, I was able to reserve lab classrooms with tables and sinks for what is now a ton of classes featuring medicine making demonstrations and your own hands-on participation.

The following is a selection of those classes for you to check out, taught by a wide range of herbalists, each bringing their own personal perspectives, methods and approaches:

Katrina Blair, Marija Helt, Jade Alicandro Mace, Warren Kistenbroker, Rachel Rose Hessheimer, Ginger Webb, Heather Irvine, Caty Crabb, Sean Donahue, Lauren Haynes, Juliette Abigail Carr, Emily Stock, Kristin Henningsen, Ash Sierra, Leslie Lekos, and Lisa Valantine!

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Hands-On Demonstration Lab:

Mushroom Medicine Making

with Marija Helt (2 hrs)

If given the choice of only three botanicals for my apothecary, one would certainly be a mushroom.  The most frequent mushroom usage for myself and my clients is for allergies; to strengthen heart, blood vessels and lungs; to improve brain health, to strengthen a weakened immune system and for support related to cancer. Delicious edibles like Lion’s Mane, Shiitake, Maitake and Button Mushrooms provide medicine simply by eating them. When stronger medicine is needed, you can turn to decoctions, tinctures, double or triple (or more!) extracts and cooked powders.  We’ll play around with each of these and get into which type of preparation may be best for different issues. For instance, Reishi’s liver-supporting properties are, ironically enough, alcohol-extractable, while it’s immune boosting properties come out in water.  And, you’ll get to meet a handful of medicinal mushrooms in the process. Come have some fun with fungi!

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Hands-On Demonstration Lab:

Powerful Powders

with Heather Irvine (1.5 hrs)

Don’t want to or can’t stock a full apothecary of dusty powdered herbs? In this session I will recommend and describe a multitude of uses for around ten herbal powders, which will get a lot of play whether you see a multitude of clients or supply people herbs just infrequently. I will be speaking not only about uses but when possible describing how the herbs work.  Taste, touch, smell, feel.  A few of you may get decked out in therapeutic compresses.

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Hands-On Demonstration Lab:

Homemade Body Care: Botanical Shampoo, Lotions & Toothpowder

with Katrina Blair (1.5 hrs)

The Homemade Body Care class will introduce you to the simple ways nature can support our health, beauty and personal care. We truly ingest whatever we place on our skin. Our skin is one of our biggest organs that absorb the products that we put on it. Instead of buying commercially made products that can lead to pollution of our earth’s resources such as shampoo, lotion or toothpaste in plastic single use containers, we will learn how beneficial it is to offer your skin fresh healing plants right from the earth. Together we will be making hands on recipes from the wild plants growing nearby. We will all sample some of the recipes that we create. Our recipes include homemade shampoos, lotions, and toothpowder.

 The healing herb lotion will be made with mallow greens, aloe vera, comfrey leaves, plantain leaves and or Calendula flowers, coconut oil and essential oil. Mallow rehydrates, reduces inflammation and support integrity of the skin. Calendula regenerates skin tissues, supports circulation of the skin cells and improves healing of wounds. It also protects against the skin irritation from solar radiation.  It also helps heal sun spots. Aloe Vera offers itself as a powerful soother, healing and moisturizing ingredient especially if used fresh. Comfrey is a strong healer to the skin and bones and plantain strengthens the integrity of the skin, drawing out toxins and healing wounds. The intelligent shampoo is made from mallow water, flaxseed soak water, Lambsquarter roots, Yucca Leaf, Aloe Vera and essential oil. Mallow supports the scalp’s health by maintaining hydration of the skin and preventing dry flakes or dandruff.  Yucca is a natural source of saponins which acts as the sudsing agent in shampoo. Aloe Vera is a soothing plant that eases dry skin, and regenerates hair growth.  Placing wild plants on your head also makes you smarter! Our toothpowder supports the strength and health of the teeth. It is made from horsetail, clay, mint oil, water and Kelp powder. Horsetail gently scours the teeth, cleaning them of any left over food, plaque or debris.  Horsetail is a rich source of silica which the body absorbs and re-deposits in the teeth for rebuilding enamel, the bones and hair.  The clay draws out and absorbs the excess fluids from stagnant tissue prone to infection or irritation and sustains healthy gums.  The Kelp seaweed is a source of trace minerals supporting the teeth’s long term strength and integrity.  Cavities tend to occur when the body is deficient in minerals.  Using Kelp in the toothpaste as well as eating seaweeds on a daily basis will help prevent decay.

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Hands-On Demonstration Lab:

Soxhlet Extraction of Cannabis:

A Demonstration Using Legal Turmeric
with Warren Kistenbroker (2 hrs)

This Lab demonstration class will exhibit the setup and extraction of herbs using a Soxhlet Extractor. We will extract turmeric showing the differences between a common month long maceration vs a soxhlet extraction. We will go over the necessary chemical equations to properly understand boiling point, vacuum pressure, temperature, evaporation and condensation. This class is meant to arm the attendee with knowledge to fully encompass vacuum distillations and extractions. This is especially important when extracting herbs that are heat sensitive. This is also good for extraction and recrystallization of more insoluble chemicals that may not come out in a typical maceration.

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Solventless Cannabis Extractions:

The History and Methodologies of Processing This Healing Plant

with Rachel Rose Hessheimer (1.5 hrs)

Hashish is the oleoresin product of an extraction process commonly applied to Cannabis known as Hashing.  Hashing is generally defined as a physical separation process where a larger structure is mechanically broken down into smaller, more concise, parts.  Hashing is directly translated into the practice of processing Cannabis into solventless concentrated extracts, which can be enjoyed or administered in a variety of ways.  The practice originally comes from the Himalayan Region of Kashmir, which also includes Eastern Pakistan, Northern India, and Western China, and later became prominent and quite famously produced in Northern Africa as well. Hashish has been made and used for thousands of years, and has an incredibly rich and fascinating history in many cultures across the globe. 

Today, sparked by a collective crisis in human and environmental health, social ideologies and political systems are changing their perspectives regarding Cannabis on a mass scale.  Cannabis is reemerging into various public spheres, due to its adaptogenic and homeostatic potentials, and therefore Hashish is experiencing a resurgence in popularity as well. The craft of extracting the aromatic oleoresins of Cannabis is an artform as ancient as the beginnings of human civilization itself.  The practices of processing Hashish without solvents, which are just as applicable today, yield the most flavorful, highly prized, and superior quality products on the market, which not only appease the most discriminating of connoisseurs, but hold even more potential in our ability to treat a multitude of medical and psychological health conditions.  Solventless Cannabis extracts possess the ability to express natural, nuanced, and highly complex flavor and aroma combinations, which are uniquely available in as vast a variety of extracts as are present in the number of species cultivars. In this class, we will specifically be exploring the history of Hashish, Cannabis Botany and Materia Medica, the different methods of solventless extraction, equipment and technique, sustainable processing practices, the art of curing, and clinical applications.

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Hands-On Demonstration Lab:

Percolations: Advanced Medicine Making

with Caty Crabb (1.5 hrs)

Come and learn an advanced technique for making high quality tinctures! Percolation allows you to make stronger medicine from dry plants in much less time than other traditional methods. The process is one you really need to see, rather than just read about, in order to start doing it yourself. This hands on demonstration will set you on your way! Caty has made hundreds of gallons of tincture using this technique, and can guide you through the process and the potential pitfalls.

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Blending Cannabis With Other Healthful Herbs

with Sean Donahue (2 hrs)

Whether as an aid to neuropsychoimmunological regulation. or as a plant bringing the medicine of pleasure to our bodies (essentially doing the same thing), Cannabis is a plant that can bring beautiful healing to many people.  For beings like us whose nervous and endocrine systems evolved in a world rich with plant diversity, Cannabis, like all our other beloved herbs, can often bring ever greater benefit when it is combined with other herbs.  We will discuss how Cannabis can be combined in smoke blends with other herbs to shift the somatic experience the medicine brings.

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Hands-On Demonstration Lab:

Formulating Cordials & Elixirs

with Ginger Webb (2 hrs)

There’s no getting around it: most tinctures taste terrible! After harvesting an adorable plant and cooing over her as I make medicine, it breaks my heart to see a client cringe at tasting it in a tincture. So I started making cordials and elixirs for selfish reasons – I wanted to see delight on the faces of my friends, family, and clients.

In this hands-on demonstration, I will explain my thinking behind how I formulate what I have come to call “pleasure medicine.” Although they are fancy and fun, cordials and elixirs are actually more complicated than tincture formulas because we have to take into account medicinal effects and the important therapeutic element of taste. I will give tips for using combinations of fresh and dried ingredients as well as choosing the right alcohol and sweetener for the formula. Participants will see how it’s done and get a taste many “pleasure medicines” from my apothecary. Yum!

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Hands-On Demonstration Lab:

Sweet & Sour – The Magic of Oxymels

with Lauren Haynes (1.5 hrs)

Did you know that Hippocrates used oxymels? And that polysaccharides extract well in vinegar? Do you need new tips for what to do with your yearly strawberry harvest? Come explore all these questions and more in this hands-on lab. We’ll have herbs and fruits for you to make your own oxymel, and we’ll come up with a list of ailments of the mind, body and spirit that it can help bring back into balance. We’ll talk about the history of the oxymel, from thousands of years ago to the present and whom the oxymel is a perfect remedy for to this day (kids, elderly, alcohol-averse).  We’ll be discussing extraction benefits, medicinal menstruums, some delicious botanicals to use and flavor profiles  – in addition to trying a variety of the ooey gooey candy-like goodness. And if you’re wondering what an oxymel is, definitely get your butt to this class. (Pssst… it’s a menstruum of honey and apple cider vinegar.)

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Hands-On Demonstration Lab:

Low Tech Extraction Methods – Cold Finger Extraction
with Warren Kistenbroker (1.5 hrs)

This class will exhibit using low tech methods to extract herbs using a more advanced approach. This method is only to be used with non-heat sensitive plants. This will consist of demonstrating a Cold Finger Extraction using a pot, inverted lid, strainer and a bag of ice to make a high potency tincture. This can be done in any kitchen with an electric or gas burner.

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Home Herbalism III: The Art of Formulation

with Juliet Abagail Carr (1.5 hrs)

Building elegant formulas can be a challenge, especially for the home-based herbalist.  You don’t need to be a clinician with letters after your name to learn to channel your creativity into effective, useful, deliciously perfect formulas! There is no need to throw in everything but the kitchen sink when you use this simple organizational framework to guide your personal wizardry.  Discussion & hands-on practice help us synthesize our formulation skills.  This class can certainly be taken by itself, but it does build on concepts discussed previously in “Weaving Together the Patterns of Herbs.”

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Hands-On Demonstration Lab:

Alcohol-Free Medicines for The Clinic & Apothecary

with Ash Sierra (1.5 hrs)

Alcohol is a great tool in the world of medicine making, but what if you and alcohol don’t mesh? There are many reasons to be making non-alcoholic remedies; Maybe it’s a trigger for past addictions or you run a clinic that see’s clients working on sobriety. Maybe you are formulating for young ones. Maybe the fieriness of alcohol is unbalancing or your liver needs a break. Possibly you simply want to expand your medicine making recipe book. This class will cover a variety of options for crafting yummy herbal potions with options like honey, glycerin, hydrosol and vinegar. Extraction methods and preserving rations will be explored as well as what works great and what might not. We’ll talk about making teas, syrups, oxymels, medicine balls and more while sampling a few along the way.

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Hands-On Demonstration Lab:

The Art of Hydrosol Distillation

with Leslie Lekos (1.5 hrs)

Plant distillation dates back to at least 5000 BC where archeological digs have found remains of stills in Iran.  Over time there has been a wide array of variations and designs of stills for hydrosol production.  It was quite common in European homes to have a still room in which the household did their own distillation of hydrosols for personal use.  With the advent of new extraction techniques of plant medicines, hydrosols, along with many other aspects of our herbal heritages, have been cast to the wayside.  In recent years, we are seeing this change with a strong interest in the uses and applications of hydrosol from natural product industries, the farm to table movement and from us herbal folk.  The uses and applications are quite vast.

Hydrosols, also known as floral waters, hydrolats and distillates are aromatic plant waters that are produced through steam distillation.  They are often thought of as a by-product of essential oil production; however, in earlier times distillation was done solely for the hydrosol and the essential oils were seen as toxic by-products.  This all changed in the mid-1800’s when isolated chemicals were being discovered and distillation transitioned into a commercial endeavor. Hydrosols, up until that time, were an important form of medicine and flavoring in food in many parts of Europe and the Middle East.  The uses and applications were numerous.  Culinary uses range from confections, stews and beverages.  They can be sipped internally for their medicinal virtues.  Externally, hydrosols have many uses for wound healing, poultices for skin and musculoskeletal afflictions and are excellent additions to cosmetics.  Aromatically they can be of aid for a wide range of emotional support. In this class we will be discussing these uses, as well as demonstrating a single plant hydrosol distillation with a 30 liter copper still.  We will discuss the parts of the still, the process of distillation, methods of distillation, ratios of plant material to hydrosol, shelf stability, storage considerations, safety and uses of some individual plant hydrosols. 

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Heaven & Earth: Astrological Influences in Medicine Making

with Emily Stock (1.5 hrs)

Astrology is an ancient study found throughout most of what we know of human history, and has only recently been suppressed. This is not unlike many of our collective passions as herbalists. In the early days of astronomy, the energetics of planetary influences were perceived at the same time the physical masses in the sky were identified. The practices of astrology and medicine have often gone hand in hand as useful tools that can be used together to make sense of our world and also to find balance within it.

Aside from modern horoscopic divinations, astrology has historically been used as a system of energetics, making it accessible and translatable to the herbalist. In this class we will begin with an overview of Western Astrology as an energetic framework and place the zodiac within their planetary rulers and get a sense of how they might impact our lives and medicines. We will spend time discussing the lunar, solar, planetary, and zodiacal energetics and explore ways to incorporate them into medicine making, including theories of specific plants and their astrological affiliation. We will also explore times and ways of incorporating the desired energetic into your preparations.

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The Alchemy of Cannabis:

Biochemical Pathways, Magical History, Alchemical Preparation, & Extraction Methods
with Warren Kistenbroker (1.5 hrs)

This class will cover cannabis in terms of history, modern research and traditional uses along with understanding how various products are made today. We can compare the effects of known chemical interactions in the body to our own personal experiences. We will thoroughly cover the difference in products based on extraction techniques. This is important in regards to understanding what we are buying/creating and what we are therefore supporting. This class is meant to bring a more traditional, herbalistic approach to cannabis fused with modern day research supporting the use of more traditional methods versus newer, pharmaceutical methods of isolating compounds.

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Hands-On Demonstration Lab:

The Fine Art of Tea Formulation: Creating Magical & Medicinal Blends

with Kristin Henningsen (1.5 hrs)

There are few things in this world as deeply nourishing as a good cup of tea, and there are many approaches to creating an effective and delightful blend. Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda, and Western practices all have valuable strategies to offer, and learning the methodology of a few key practices can help us form our own unique approach to creating that perfect formula for ourselves, a specific client, or a more general product for the public.  Tuning in to the magic that we have to offer allows these formulas to be even more effective.

This hands-on class will indulge your senses as we sample a few key flavors, adding ingredients based on constitution, action, and aesthetic.  We will go over some popular combinations as well as some lesser-known pairings. Find what makes your perfect blend.

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Hands-On Demonstration Lab:

Localvore Medicine-Making – Vinegars, Oxymels & Honeys

with Jade Alicandro Mace (1.5 hrs)


Vinegar and honey are unique menstruums- they have the ability to make effective medicinal preparations with long shelf-lives, like alcohol, yet they can often be procured (and even made) locally, affording the possibility of creating truly 100% local medicine, especially when you’re infusing them with plants you’ve gathered or grown yourself!  This class will cover easy and accessible folk methods for making your own herbal vinegars, oxymels (a vinegar-honey mix) and infused honeys, de-mystifying medicine-making and giving participants the tools they need to confidently go home and make these preparations themselves.  We will challenge the idea that only medicines prepared in the scientific method are effective and deconstruct the concept of what medicine is and isn’t.  Paying homage to kitchen medicine, we’ll give special care to think about vinegars, honeys, and oxymels as the kitchen medicines they are, and think about ways we can incorporate them into our daily diets and routines. One wonderful example of this is Fire Cider, our most beloved traditional oxymel in American herbalism, which exemplifies this “food as medicine” crossover so beautifully.  In addition to kitchen medicine use, these can also be used as carefully dosed preparations in a clinical practice, like a tincture, making them quite versatile in the apothecary, and we’ll explore these uses and dosages as well.  Time will be taken to explore the myriad of herbs that infuse beautifully into vinegar and honey, and some specific recipes will be covered as well. Preparations will be demoed in class!

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Hands-On Demonstration Lab:

Feed Your Face: Making DIY Serums & Sheet Masks

with Lisa Valantine (1.5 hrs)

For many years the recommended skincare routine was a gentle cleanser, alcohol-free toner, and moisturizer.  For those who wanted to boost results, an exfoliating facial scrub and/or mask could be added to their weekly regime.  Nowadays, the world of skin care has seen some amazing advances, and there are more and more product categories that target specific skin-care concerns such as clearing and preventing blemishes, hydrating, calming redness, exfoliating, firming, fading brown spots, repairing sun damage or smoothing wrinkles.  Having been what I would call skin-care resistant – and especially resistant to trying out new products with lots of unpronounceable ingredients – imagine my surprise when my daughter, who has gorgeous skin btw, told me that she uses sheets masks daily in order to combat the effects of the dry climate she lives in, and puts serums and essences to good use too.  I obviously had a lot to learn – and you are not alone if you have no earthly idea what a serum or sheet mask is!   I decided to give a few organic sheet masks a try and to invest in a few natural serums.  I was shocked about how quickly sheet masks and serums changed the appearance of my skin.  I even began getting compliments on my new glow. 

In this fun and informative class, we will not only delve into the significant connection between nutrition, the microbiome, and glowing skin – but you will learn to make facial serums, created with your individual skin care needs in mind, and you will learn to make sheet masks that deliver potent nutrients to the skin.   The trendy serums and sheet masks that are commercially available are often laden with chemicals, but in this class, you will learn how to feed your face and nix the chemicals.

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Hands-On Demonstration Lab:

Advanced Spagyric Preparation: Soxhlet & Refluxing Mineral Extraction

with Warren Kistenbroker (2.5 hrs)

This advanced laboratory demonstration class will cover the complete spagyric process of extracting the different principles in alchemy along with their recombination. This class focuses on purity and potency. Both aspects drive reactions present in spagyrics. These aspects led to discovering modern day pharmaceutical type extracts in the 1500’s by Paracelsus. This will be a lab based class meant to educate people on how to extract different chemicals and tailor the extraction to the needs of different plants. The oil and mineral extraction of turmeric will be shown and at the end of the class we will reintroduce the minerals to the alcohol extract. This will represent the union of soul, spirit and body. The tincture will turn color rapidly if done right. The reactions present within this recombination represents an intelligence beyond what science can reach. These plant driven reactions are ancient in time, only to be destroyed with the extinction of a plant species.

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For all 140 class descriptions and 70 teacher bios – or to purchase Advance Discount Tickets – click on:

Good Medicine Confluence Website: www.PlantHealer.org/intro.html

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