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peeling the onion, layer one

My interest in medicinal plants goes all the way back to my earliest memories, but it was eczema that brought me to herbalism proper. I believe it was 1999 when the skin on my hands began to bubble. I was living the Austin party lifestyle – late nights of beer-drinking and grease-eating, alternating between coffee in the (mid)morning and valerian…

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Fatigue

It’s such a terrible symptom. It’s so easy to doubt, even in one’s self. “Am I really sick? Or am I just lazy? Am I avoiding something? Is this just an excuse?” Sigh. I had a four month bout of mononucleosis when I was in high school. That was a level of fatigue that was undeniable. But, even then, I…

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Setting Intentions

When I am beginning a project I like to take a moment to set my intentions. Later, when things get messy and tangled, as they inevitably do, it’s helpful to be able to come back and check if I’m on the course I initially set. So, here they are, my intentions in creating this blog. 1. I want to be…

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Trip to an Herb Shop

Strolling down the lovely Kollwitzstrasse one evening, I thought perhaps I was seeing a mirage. Could it really be? An organic herb shop? Just a few short blocks from my flat? I returned during business hours and confirmed that it was really true. Herbathek has that wonderful European health aesthetic: simple, clean, spare. Like herb shops, everywhere, though, it smells…

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The Parks

I’ve been surprised to find that many of the parks here are so overgrown. Like many aspects of life here, they don’t correspond at all to the stereotypes of Germany we hold in the States – orderly, uptight, exacting. That stereotype of loving flowers and herbs, though? That one’s true. Here’s some raggedy old St. John’s Wort in the park…

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Berlin-Dahlem Botanical Garden

When I travel, I like to see health food stores, natural history museums and botanical gardens. So the first real tourist destination I made it to in Berlin was the Berlin-Dahlem Botanical Garden. I got off the train at the Botanischer Garten stop and followed the signs along streets named for tulips and geraniums and hydrangeas. The woman who took…

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Running Into An Old Friend

I knew that the balcony flowerboxes in Germany were legendary and made sure that the flat we rented had them. Even if my balcony were in full shade, I figured I’d make the best of it. As it happens, my balcony faces northeast by east, so it gets a couple few hours of morning sun on clear days. Perfect. There…

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Gruß Aus Berlin!

Well, I never would have guessed that I’d ever be living in Berlin and trying to learn German, but here I am. When my partner got a job offer here, I jumped at the opportunity to take a sabbatical, to write and sort of collect myself before the next phase of my life. My plan is to transition to a…

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