Healing the Heart: Exploring Heart Rate Variability and Trauma


  At the top of the heart, a small bundle of cells known as the sinoatrial node regularly send out an electrical impulse.  The signal causes the walls of the heart to contract, sending blood into the ventricles and then out to circulate through the body.   For some of us the rhythm of the […]

The Alchemy of Trauma: Healing with Aromatherapy


  Near to where I live tall cedars and towering douglas firs fly upward to the sky.  Walk through the woods and you will catch the scent of the canopy and the aroma of the wild and varied underbrush below.  What you are smelling are volatile oils, the evaporated molecules and compounds that float in […]

Healing from Childhood Trauma


In this article, I want to briefly explore the relationship of early childhood trauma with persistent emotional  issues.   As a therapist I often work with people who are dealing with long term anxiety and depression that are rooted in part to challenging or abusive relationships with one’s family of origin.  Understanding the role of […]

Trauma, the Gut and Healing: Building Deep Resiliency


      Imagine yourself as a small child and living in a household where the parents drink excessively, argue and at times lash out angrily and abusively towards you.  Or imagine living in a situation where you are poor and living in a violent neighborhood where you feel threatened regularly.  Through studies, we now […]

Deep Root Medicine with Jeff Johnson: The healing power of ashwaghanda


  Drive along the Columbia River Gorge and wind your way up the rural hills to the town of Corbett and then head up the misty road towards Larch Mountain and you will find a small herbal farm run by Jeff Johnson.  He leases a plot of land so that he can primarily grow an […]

15 best Mental Health Herbal Tinctures


I was recently talking to a friend about mental health herbalism and they wanted some good recommendations about how to stock their house with the best herbs so I thought I’d write out a few thoughts with my recommendations on tinctures.  Often a mental health tincture is one that is gently relaxing, can help someone […]

Making Infused herbal baths


  Perhaps my favorite way to reach people who are depressed, anxious and  stressed is through herbal infused baths.  I have an extra long claw foot tub that I rescued from recycling at a hardware store.  I fixed it up and built a bathroom that could fit its large size.  When you take a bath, […]

Artisan Distillers: Making Small batch Essential Oils with Love

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In the last decade much of the modern alternative health field has been swept up by the power of aromatherapy and essential oils to help improve mood, health and wellbeing.  The connection between plant volatile oils and their effect on wellbeing has been noted since ancient times and the art of perfumery has roots dating […]

The Healing Power of Wild Northwest Reishi


  Walking the murky and tulgy backwoods trails deep in the Pacific Northwest hills in the summertime and fall,  you may find a treasure trove of edible, poisonous and medicinal mushrooms.    As an herbalist I have long been fascinated by some of these strange creatures and specifically one genus of mushroom known as Ganoderma. […]

Winter, Depression and Healing Adrenal Fatigue

Bridge in winter in Matsue

  The winter settles in, deep, dark and cold.  For some of us this can be a deeply hard time as we descend into sadness, lethargy, exhaustion and depression.  For most of our time as humans, the winter has been a challenging time for those in temperate climates.  Plant life dies down and the cold […]