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Herban Legends and Clinical Pearls

  • Five Flavors Herbs 344 40th Street Oakland, CA United States (map)

An Herban Legend is a persistent, widely and firmly held belief about a plant and its medicinal effects which is not true. The origin of the Legend or its rationale is obscure or forgotten, and is usually based on misinterpretation of some fact of science or tradition. It is repeated, believed, and repeated again from textbook to textbook, teacher to teacher, article to article, and herbalist to herbalist, across a generation, and may guide regular practice. A large number of such Legends, most arising in the last 30 years, infect the modern North American materia medica and weaken the effectiveness of our clinical practice. Each of the herbs, however, have some potent “Clinical Pearl” unrelated to the legend itself. We will discuss Herban Legends and Clinical Pearls for Devil's Club (Oplopanax), Lomatium, Saw Palmetto (Serenoa), Feverfew (Tanacetum), Juniper (Juniperus), Lobelia, Echinacea, Goldenseal (Hydrastis), and Wild Yam (Dioscorea).

Paul Bergner is the Director of the North American Institute of Medical Herbalism. He has studied and practiced natural medicine since 1973, with formal training in naturopathy, medical herbalism, clinical nutrition, traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic medicine, flower essences, yoga therapy, and bodywork, including undergraduate studies in pre-medicine and psychology, and 50 semester hours of doctoral level medical studies at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine. He has published the Medical Herbalism journal since 1989, and has written seven books on medical herbalism, nutrition, Chinese medicine, ethnobotany, and naturopathic medicine. He has also edited periodicals on clinical nutrition and naturopathic medicine. Paul has taught clinical herbalism and clinical nutrition since 1989 and has mentored more than 300 students through clinical residencies at the Rocky Mountain Center for Botanical Studies and the North American Institute of Medical Herbalism since 1996. He is currently on the clinical faculty of the Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism in Boulder and the School of Traditional Western Herbalism in Portland, OR. He also has taught nutrition academically at both the undergraduate university and master's level. He lectures on the topics of medical herbalism and clinical nutrition nationally and internationally.

Practitioner: $35

Students and General Public: $25