Practical Herbal Medicine topic of Stormont workshop

Twenty-seven people who attended the “Introduction to Practical Herbal Medicine for Home and in the Field” workshop in January came away with a better understanding of how local plants can be used to make home remedies.

The workshop, presented by Sam Coffman, founder of The Human Path, was a follow-up to the John W. Stormont Conference on South Texas. It gave participants an overview of herbalism and how simple it is to begin using local plants as practical and useful medicine around the home.  Coffman’s lessons were part botany and part chemistry as he briefly explained how disease enters the body and that plant medicine works best when it can contact the problem area directly.

The final part of the workshop featured an herb walk around downtown Victoria, and Coffman pointed out plants and described their medicinal use. Indian hawthorne can be used as a heart tonic and purple sage has antiviral/anticold qualities. Coffman displayed a dried pomegranate fruit and discussed using its rind for herbal medicine. He combined the rind with the cambium of oak bark at a 1 to 1 ratio for an antibacterial mixture.

“This is especially useful for external use against Staph and Strep infections,” Coffman said.

Some of the topics covered in the workshop included:

  •  The Herbal Paradigm Shift - why is this necessary?
  •  Recreating the human-plant connection
  •  Preparing and administering herbs

“Sam Coffman was our keynote from the 2013 Stormont and was recommended by Sue Prudhomme at the Museum of the Coastal Bend,” said Lisa DeVries, Stormont Conference organizer. “He was so popular that we just had to bring him back. We also wanted to have a winter workshop because we moved the date of the Stormont Conference to October instead of its usual February date.”

Immigrant Narratives/Border Crossings will be the topic of the fall Stormont Conference on Oct. 3, 2014.

Photo caption: Sam Coffman, workshop presenter for the recent "Introduction to Practical Herbal Medicine for Home and in the Field," took a group on a plant walk around DeLeon Plaza and identified more than 20 plants, several of them categorized as weeds, which were either medicinal, edible or both.

Published: Wednesday, 05 February 2014

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