Seminar in Rupert – Sunday September 27

Nutrition and Herbs – Seminar in Rupert

August 24, 2015 at 9:51 pm

 WHERE: Rupert Community Centre, 24 Shouldice Road, Rupert, Quebec (about 45 minutes north of Ottawa)

WHEN: Sunday, September 27, from 10 am- 5 pm

COST: $75.00 in advance or 90.00$ at the door

TOPICS

This one day seminar will cover a lot of ground! In four parts,  here’s what we’re going to look at.

9:30 am to 11:15 –  The Basics

Nutrition is one of the absolute cornerstones of good health, in terms of disease prevention and management of many conditions common to dog and cats. Today, with all the conflicting information and schools of thought, it can be extremely confusing for the devoted pet lover to know who to trust and how to choose the best diet possible for their beloved dog or cat. My philosophy is both simple and comprehensive; an optimal diet meets the following requirements – all three.

1) Whether home prepared or commercial, a diet must meet all the required nutrients in levels and ratios we know to be essential

2) The best quality foods , preferably from  local/organic sources, should always be used.

3) The macronutrient levels (that’s fat, protein and carbohydrate) and the foods selected should suit the individual  – all dogs are not the same.

Home made diets can, and often do, fall down in one or more of these categories. How is the average person to know if a home made diet is “balanced and complete?”  Lastly, a look at some of the most popular myths – about digestion, veggies, “superfoods” and more.

 

11:30 – 1  pm – Working with Herbs

In this section, we’ll take a look at the most popular herbs in commerce right now and how to use them, but how also to select bioregional herbs (your own backyard!) to help with a range of common complaints (from atopy to UTI). I’ll explain the critically important difference between using herbs as “natural” substitutes for drugs, and the art of selection and individualizing your formulations. We’ll close with my own top 15 (or so) herbs for dogs and cats, herbs  other than the popular and often over-used ones you may already be using.

 

2pm to 3:45 – Putting it All Together

Here we go into the concrete steps you can take to build an optimal home prepared protocol, geared specifically to your own dog or cat?  How do we ensure the Three Steps – meeting requirements, utilizing optimal foods and working with individuality are all addressed?  We’ll take a deeper look at the nutrients dogs require,  which foods provide them – when and how to supplement –  and generally, how to optimize a home made diet. Since not everyone can feed home prepared diet, we can also talk about how to select a commercial food if that’s your preference, and what you can do to enhance it.

Adding herbs and supplements  other than the requirements(vitamins and minerals)  can also be a minefield – we’ll look at categories of herbs and supplements and how to select, dose and administer them.

 

4- 5 pm- Question Period

In the last section of the day, I’ll take questions about the information covered, and about specific cases as well.

There is much opinion masqueraded as fact in the world of natural health, and even hysteria – I present a balanced, informed and choice-centered approach to working with each animal and their human in a respectful way and expansive way. You’ll come away with a   deeper knowledge of the science – and plenty of classnotes –  I hope,too, a vision of natural health as not a strict type of diet  to be slavishly adhered to, but a way of thinking and working with individuals, food and herbs, that is flexible, scientific, and leads to deeper study and understanding.

Vegetarian lunch and refreshments are included.
HOW TO REGISTER: All you do is use this link http://www.thepossiblecanine.com/product/diet-plan-for-a-healthy-dog  and state in your payment form that it is for the seminar.  I will issue your Registration forms right away, and confirm your spot. For any more information, don’t hesitate to email me at catlane@thepossiblecanine.com.

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Class in Rupert – Sunday July 26

 

A very quick update today – class has been confirmed for this weekend, Sunday July 26, at 1:30 pm. Our theme will be “Actions and Energetics” – such an important topic for the aspiring herbalist. Whether you wish to use herbs and home remedies for your own family, or are looking to deepen your studies and work within the world of herbs professionally, this class is foundational knowledge. In it, we will go through the sometimes confusing world of herbal actions, take a look at the many actions just one plant can provide,  and introduce the idea of synergy and complementary actions in formulation. We’ll look at Energetics – an overview of three systems, and how we in the Western tradition can start experiencing herbal energetics in our own bodies, and come to know the importance of matching the herb’s own  pattern of temperature and moisture with that of an individual.

 

Actions =  a description of what a herb is doing in the body(reducing inflammation, supporting the movement of fluid, relaxing the nervous system, many more)

Energetics = an experiential language that describes both the constitution of the person or animal you’re working with, as well as the properties of the herb – broadly speaking we can think about temperature, moisture, excess/deficiency and relaxation/stimulation
Fluency in this area takes years of work and dedication, but this Introduction will set you on a road of discovery with clarity and purpose. This class will open your way of seeing herbs and people and enhance your selection process with the insights all herbalists use n our process.

 

Plus, we’ll be tasting things and having fun.
Sunday, July 26

1:30 pm – 400

Rupert Community Centre

Shouldice Road, Rupert

$25.00

 

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Elecampane (Inula helenium)

Actions: warming and mildly stimulating expectorant, antimicrobial, antitussive

 

 

(Class is taught in English only).

Class This Sunday

Once again I have the lovely and talented Caroline Citrine to thank for this great poster – which I finally managed to distribute around Wakefield. I am so looking forward to class this weekend, getting together with my core group of students, maybe seeing some new faces, and having fun with the process of creating usable medicines from our beloved wild and cultivated herbs. Medicine-making is a large topic, and I don’t expect everyone to master it in a day, much less a two and a half hour class. But as we get started, there are some things we need to bear in mind – some is a little technical (which plant constituents extract best in which medium, for example) and most is just learning techniques to try at home. I’ve been doing this for a while and still have failures, still learn (endlessly) from others, still find new ways of doing old things, that improve upon the end result. I’m inspired by the creativity of others, inspired to try new combinations – for example, my many elixirs now brewing in the back of the cupbaord which feature combinations I doubt I’d have come up with on my own (tip of the hat to mountainrose herbs!) In this class, we will start by covering the basic terms,  and methods of preparation. This includes – tea, infusion, decoction – what’s the difference? – tinctures, how to measure your plant material and use of alcohol – various approaches – oxymels, elixirs, ointments, salves, compresses, poultices, fomentations, electuaries, capsules, pessaries, syrups,  honeys and vinegars – a look at all of these, how to make and when to use them..and then in the second part of class, we’ll make a few/taste a few, and generally have fun. This will be an Introductory class but very thorough and plenty of handouts(terms, recipes) at the Facebook group for you to download. I’ll be bringing dandelions for tea and dandelion cookies (cuz it’s that time of year!) and have some seedlings to give away mostly  borage, calendula, some monarda and chamomile(German) too. Looking forward to seeing you all – 1:30 pm at the Rupert Community Centre – and to our walk next time ,which we shall all petition the rain gods to stay well away from!! 11208915_10153257374196635_1633978196_n

Introduction to Wildcrafting

Anyone who lives in this beautiful part of the world will know what I mean when I say, where the Hell is Spring? It’s been a long winter and I am so eager to get outside, planting and wandering. In Rupert, I have seen the first Great Blue Heron of the year, plus turkey vultures, a hawk of some description(too far to tell) and the yard is filled with starlings, grackles, and the unmistakable sound of spring – the redwings. Out with Dan early this morning I heard a lone Canada goose, and I do think he sounded disoriented.

But the weather has been unpleasant – teasing us with a sunny afternoon here and there, then back to the gloomy grey skies and yet.more.snow. My little patch of crocuses will pop up, say hello and almost as quickly be covered in wet, slushy snow. I have rarely been as  restless for sun, warmth and..wandering.

The class this Sunday is a kick-off to the season and sets us up for the walks ahead. Wildcrafting is wonderful, and the Hills are rich with medicine – but, there are guidelines to follow, tools you will need and some commonsense practises to bear in mind.  Part one of the class will cover all of this,  and after our break we’ll go over 25 local plants you can absolutely expect to find easily enough, and how to  make use of them.  The plants we’ll cover are:

Dandelion

Burdock

Plantain

Evening Primrose

Stinging nettle

St. John’s wort

Boneset

Gravel root

Yarrow

Chickweed

Motherwort

Mugwort

Solomon’s Seal (true and false)

Elder

Blue Vervain

Self heal

Mallows

Shepherd’s purse

Goldenrod

Mullein

Trillium

Comfrey

Raspberry leaf

Hawthorne

Coltsfoot

New England Aster

Cleaver’s

Agrimony

various Violets

and the Tree Medicines;Alder, Birch, Elm, Willow, Poplar and more.

That was more than 25…methinks.

This is an Introduction to Wildcrafting and by no means covers the plants we will be able to see when we start the walks locally. Last year I found Bugleweed (Lycopus americana) Lobelia (Lobelia inflata) American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) and Spikenard (Actaea racemosa) all very close by, not that I took any! but it’s thrilling to see.

A few pictures from last season’s meanderings:

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Evening primrose, Oenothera biennis, in all her radiant loveliness

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Blue Cohosh (Caulophyllum thalictroides), False Solomon’s Seal (Maianthemum racemosum), White Cedar (Thuja occidentalis), Hemlock (Tsuga canadensis)and probably a little baby Fraxinus(Ash) –  early growth, last year

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Blue Vervain, Verbena hastata, in my gathering basket last summer. I can’t wait for the summer!

Looking so forward to seeing you all, and to cocoa-quinoa cake, with wild rose syrup too of course.

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It’s Today! 1 PM to 5 PM

Spring is finally inching her way over the Hills, not fast enough for most of us, but She has definitely arrived. The morning’s light snowfall yesterday  was gone by mid afternoon. It was mild enough for me to fill feeders and do yard chores in just a sweater and scarf. The exuberant chorus of starlings as I sit on the porch drinking afternoon chai creates an energy all its own, with the warming air and longer light, we can feel the shift in our bones and heart. It has been a strangely long winter, and the Quickening comes not a moment too soon.

Today I am busily preparing for the get-together in Rupert. My own herbal journey has been a long one and yet always feels like it’s just beginning, again. The First Aid course I’m taking with 7Song opens me to a world of practise that isn’t a standard part of my work;  starting a number of seeds this year that I have not grown before teaches patience and humility as I learn their needs and ways, how I will care for the seedlings. I spent too much time at my desk especially in winter – academic learning is just bursting to be applied in real life situations (not necessarily First Aid, but I have added a few items and medicines to my traveling/field kit and like to feel I am now very well prepared!) Perhaps above all, I love medicine making, creating new formulations to ease skin irritation and tummy upset and hasten the passing of a cold. There is always more to learn, try and develop – more to share.

Herbal honeys for warmth, immune system health and wound healing

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Today, the emphasis is on two things;  offering prayers for the land at this Sacred Tide, sending out prayer for healing the human Spirit, and the land who suffers from our lack of both heart and vision. Some quiet time in meditation,  as I continue my search to do more of what I love and still stay on top of my many demands in life. Prayers for me, for the trees, for us all. I couldn’t let the Equinox pass unacknowledged, busy life or no busy life.
And the second order of the day is baking! With the Herbal Potluck today I am getting ready – cookies, a lovely primavera I adapted years ago from the old Silver Palate, emblematic cookbook of that giddy era! and syrups, tea blends, Medicine balls.  The classes in Rupert are in their infancy and with my professional schedule I have not been able to devote the time to them I would hope for,  but this is about to change. With Spring’s arrival comes outdoor time – “weed” walks, gardening, outdoor classes, discovery. I’m looking at an all- day workshop this summer, on medicine making, where we will make tinctures, honeys, decoctions, vinegars and oxymels, salves and lotions and more. Planning a monthly walk through various parts of the local fields and forests to identify our many medicinal herbs and trees. Just sitting on the porch chatting about herbs, sounds pretty good to me about now.

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So; today. In my haste – that rushing-around thing I alluded to earlier – I neglected to notice there was no time on the poster! well, it’s an Open House kind of deal, so doors open at One, but you can come by anytime. We’re not doing a class, just a get-together, and trying to set up the film, too! It looks like I’ll need to bring my own tv equipment over, but that’s ok, it’s a short film and worth seeing. The important thing in my view is, we kick off the season with food and community and plenty of herbs! I am stoked to see both new faces and of course, the regulars.

Let the year ahead bring us both personal and collective healing and  love; let the  magic and beauty of the Green World show us the way.

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Herbal Potluck in Rupert – this Sunday

Checking in here this morning I can scarcely believe it’s been so long – almost three months! since I updated this blog. It’s not that I don’t think about it, and compile ideas for entries in my little book beside the computer…its just a total lack of time and energy, after the demands of my day job (which bleeds into evenings and weekends) and the work around here I have taken on since my partner’s absences have grown longer and more constant. Although herbs, medicine-making, teaching and studying about plant medicine and indeed, everything to do with herbs is the central passion of my life, I am finding I have to fit it in as I can, after the clients, students, writing commitments and blogging associated with my day job.  This is a serious imbalance, and one I hope the year ahead will see corrected. I do love my work with dogs and, at the risk of sounding boastful, I feel I bring a rare level of understanding and knowledge to the work I do in therapeutic nutrition and herbalism for animals. I don’t want or intend to step away from that entirely. I do however, need more room for beauty, creativity, silence, learning, sharing and magic – all the aspects of my life as a herbalist (and not Cat the Dog Woman) and exactly what I need to balance the stress and pressure of client deadlines, endless arguing about raw diet, and compassion fatigue.

I think this coming Equinox/SuperMoon/Solar eclipse is a time of change for me at last. If you’re not sure what that means, read about it here: https://medium.com/@emjacobi/what-happens-when-a-solar-eclipse-coincides-with-the-first-day-of-spring-b35db3a508ca

and from an astrological perspective, here: http://comfychairastrology.blogspot.ca/

“A Solar Eclipse is a New Moon – a highly charged and powerful New Moon, thereby giving us an opportunity to manifest new things in our lives. Eclipses by nature are a time of endings and beginnings.  Usually both, as one needs to have an ending before they can have a shiny new beginning.  This is especially true now since the eclipse is at 29 degrees of Pisces…the last degree of the sign. There is something we need to finalize, or let go of before we can burst through.”

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What it all comes down to, for me, is I can no longer live out of balance, with work a nonstop endeavour, and the deeper path of beauty and balance brushed aside like fallen leaves in an autumn storm. I would wish this kind of transformative energy for all who attune to the wisdom of the stars, along with the courage to make use of it!.  As Joseph Campbell famously wrote” Follow your bliss!” and it sounds so simple, but I am well and truly terrified, at the same time exhilarated and energized. The classes in Rupert are one part of this movement toward a greater happiness and a sense of fulfilling my purpose.
And, I have a little celebration planned.

On Sunday March 22 – 2 days past the Equinoctial Super-shift, there will be an open house/herbal potluck at the Rupert Community Centre.

Unlike the past classes (and all the lovely offerings planned for the months ahead) this is more of a get-together, to share herbal goodies and celebrate the arrival of Spring. (One hopes we won’t have 3 feet of snow, as is all too possible in this part of the world, but happily, not expected this year). Bring a dish that features one or more of your favorite herbs – a garlic bread, a special pesto, a soup, salad, rice dish – a dessert. (I am definitely including chocolate as a herb here, of course). We are hoping to watch the wonderful film “Numen:The Healing Power of Plants”, just seeking the AV equipment we need! I’ll bring a table load of books to consider, and a number of my own herbal goodies and creations. This is to be a fun day of socializing and gathering connections for the year ahead.

http://www.numenfilm.com/film.php

Here is Caroline Citrine’s wonderful poster for the event.

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Registration is not required, but feel free to give me a call and let me know you’re coming. It helps to have an idea of how many rosemary/chocolate/wildcherry cookies to bake, for one thing.

I am so looking forward to seeing you soon!

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Introducing – Herbal Classes in Rupert

After some procrastination, I have booked the hall, made the poster and we are set to go. Sunday, November 23 kicks off the series of monthly classes at the Rupert Community Centre – Sunday afternoons, 2 – 4 pm. And what more appropriate topic to start with, than Herbs for Colds and Flu? As the season approaches, many people are thinking about prevention, which is always the best place to start. We’ll look at both herbs and nutrients to help the body adapt to stress, build a strong immune system and help prevent the development of illness. But even with everything in place, flu and colds cannot always be avoided – and many of us would rather treat symptoms gently than resort to medications that mask symptoms but  do nothing to accelerate healing. In this class, we will cover various strategies for managing cold and flu symptoms, and how to tailor what you choose to use according to symptoms. (Example; that dry, non-productive scratchy cough needs a different set of herbs than does the cold damp variety.)

 

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Beautiful Marshmallow roots, Althea officinalis –  dried and used for soothing mucilage, part of a formula for sore throats and hot, scratchy cough.

We’ll talk about the specific actions of individual herbs, how to prepare them (tea, infusion/decoction, tincture, elixir, pastilles, honeys and oxymels,syrups,  steams to relieve sinus congestion, and salve for aching muscles and sore inflamed lungs.)

We’ll look at the difference between immune stimulation – the ever popular echinacea is not the only herb that can do this! and when to use a more balancing, modulating approach – hint: at the onset of a fever, during a fever and in recovery all can be considered stages that require specific strategies. Some herbs should not be given at all during fevers – and some folks should not have immune stimulants at all.

 

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Boneset, Eupatorium perfoliatum, grows all around this region, is easily identified, and one of our most important herbs for addressing the aches and pains that accompany the flu

We’ve all heard of echinacea, ginger and garlic, lemon and zinc, for colds and flu – but what about elderberry? Osha and Usnea, Mullein, Wild cherry, Hyssop,Licorice, Horehound, Monarda,  Boneset, Elecampane?  The amazing and abundant Alder tree, whose inner bark has long been a go-to for folk herbalists, for it’s incredible antimicrobial and lymphatic action?  Perhaps you have seen these herbs but aren’t sure how to use them.  Did you know that the resin from our beautiful local conifers can form the basis for the most amazing chest rub?  After this class,you will come away with a greatly  expanded repertoire of options.

 

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Several species of Alder grow locally; we will delve into Tree Medicine in a future class – how and when to harvest, prepare and use local trees from Alder and Birch to all the glorious Conifers.

We’ll sample several of my own recipes, many made from wildcrafted herbs of this region; all time-honoured and prepared with care by yours truly. 🙂

You’ll go home with recipe cards, classnotes and several samples of tea blends, steam blends,three kinds of Fire Cider, and my favorite concoctions for all kinds of winter blues (reishi/maple syrup truffles, anyone?)

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Elderberries, rosehips, elecampane root, monarda blossoms,  mallow root, cinnamon, licorice, fennel seed, and a little echinacea in one of my favorite coldweather blends.
All in all, a beautiful and nourishing way to spend a Sunday, learning the magic of regional herbs, and  preparing for the season ahead. Cost is sliding scale, 10 – 25$, no supplies needed, but you will want a notebook and pen.

Hope to see you there!

Wakefield Meetups 2014

I have been away a  long time, working on the dog-site, with clients and on my Intro to Animal herbalism course. It’s been a strange and lengthy winter too, with spring only now starting to show her face, more in the arrival of all our beloved birds, than in plants quite yet. I did see some coltsfoot on our hike today, and the ever-eager trout lilies are poking their leaves up defiantly, but it’s still very chilly, and perhaps will be a while yet.

All I know is, I need to get this herb group going, and so I’m just posting a schedule and putting the word out. If it turns out I am sitting alone in le Hibou, May 4th, that’s fine too. I’ll have a book and order brunch and Will you all to join me the next time.
But I do hope some will turn out.

This year I am going to hold a couple of weedwalks, and a few classes, either at the Wakefield or the more quaint (and closer) Rupert Community centre. The dates are TBA, but the topics for classes will include Intro to Animal Herbalism, basic medicine making, tree medicine and whatever else people ask for. This all remains to be seen, after I hear back and we actually get started.  See you on the 4th?

 

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Outaouais Herbalists – second Meet- up December 2

It has been a while since the first meet-up,  how easily time can  get away from us, with all our busy lives. This is the season now to slow down, unwind, take time for ourselves and family. Samhain is soon going to be upon us – tomorrow! and, after that, we move on to
the beginning of winter.. In anticipation, I’d like to invite everyone
to a pre-winter herbal get-together in beautiful Wakefield. This time we’ll meet at the historic
Earle House. Like the last get-together I hosted over the summer,
this will be an opportunity to meet face-to-face and share ideas with
others who are interested in plant medicine. This time, the focus
will be on herbs for colds and ‘flu – managing the symptoms, as well as prevention. We might use some of the
“herbal helps” I described in my last post on the subject, for those newer to the topic. I’d love
to hear if anyone has tried any of these yet, and how they worked.

Date: Sunday December 2nd
Time: 2pm – 5pm
Location: Earl House at 1 Valley Drive in Wakefield

I appreciate knowing how many to expect, so I can book space at the Earle. Please let me know if you’re planning on coming!

Enchanted Forest Midsummer: Herb walk in the Gatineau Hills

I’m excited to offer this fun and informative event, just before Midsummer this year, a full day if you’re up for it, or you can do the halfday and head home when you’re ready. The idea is, we’ll star in one area of the forest, known for plenty of Solomon’s Seal, mullein, wild geranium, ginger, cohosh and many medicinal trees…wind our way over to my house for lunch and check out the herbs in my garden – comfrey, plantain, nettles, echinacea, mallows, hyssop, mugwort, yarrow, calendula and many more- many will know but still fun to discuss. Then we’ll wind up going to Dakota’s field, a wide expanse of farmland that segues into a magical little forest at the edge of Johnson’s Lake..filled with goldenrod, elder, vervain, boneset, loostrife (yes it has uses!)  gravel root, self heal, St John’s wort and more.
If anyone is up for a glass of wine in Wakefield afterwards I’d be open to that too.

Sunday June 17.  No fee, but donations to cat rescue are appreciated. Donna and I will make lunch. She’s a better cook than I am, and I’m no slouch in the kitchen if I say so myself.

Yes, this is a general herbwalk – applications for humans and animals will be discussed. Bring notebooks, sunscreen, a hat, and water.

Details will follow, but I appreciate some idea as to who is coming.

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Vervain (Verbena hastata)

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Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum)

 

Harvest of Goldenrod (Solidago canadensis) ready to be made into oils and tincture

 

 

Dakota says hello!

Namaste, Catherine