Tuesday, December 1, 2009

How to Find Replacements for Missing Course Links

Question: Dear Kristie, I was trying to finish up unit 5 of The Medicine of Avicenna but the sites except for the one about olive oil and henna will not work, all of the domains are for sale. Do you have those sites in your files or should I ignore it. I'm not sure what to do.


When you need to find files that are missing or have a question you can check here at the FAQs on the new website or you can still check the BLOG. Here is an example of what you would find at the BLOG:

Help categories can be found in the right hand column.

The best place to find replacement links and help, however, IS this new website. For the answer to your question (where can you find some of the broken or missing herbal links?) you can visit the main student website and scroll down the left hand side to the fourth section called "resources". You will find the first webpage is called "Broken Link Replacements".

If these links do not help you please send me the EXACT LINKS that you are missing so I can add more replacement links to this page. Thank you!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Herbs and Medicine in Germany

I was doing research for an article today and stumbled upon this paragraph. It has nothing to do with the article I am writing, but it was such a good description of "what is wrong" with our way of looking at medicine I wanted to share it here:


One of the driving forces that has resulted in mainstream acceptance of phytomedicine in Germany is the inclusion of phytotherapy in the medical and pharmacy school curricula. In the opinion of several medical groups, "modern phytotherapy is not perceived as alternative medicine, but as a part of so-called traditional medicine" [i.e., conventional medicine] (Schilcher, 1997c). Since 1993 all medical school students in Germany must successfully complete a portion of their board examinations in the area of phytotherapy as a precondition for practicing medicine (Schilcher, 1991). Medical education on medicinal plants and phytomedicines includes regular lectures in universities and medical schools, four one-week courses with 26 hours of lectures in phytotherapy in Weiterbildung (continuing education), lectures and courses in Fortbildung (postgraduate education), the publication of scientific literature (papers and books), the Commission E Monographs, and directions on product uses according to section 11 of the Second Medicines Act (AMG 76) (Schilcher, 1991, 1997c).

Monday, July 27, 2009

Cooking and the Humors File/Link?

This question has been asked before but when I looked for it in the BLOG I could not find it so it is possible I answered it before I started using the member BLOG as a FAQs page. I am answering it again here so it will be on file for students who may ask in the future. Speaking of which, if you have not already made use of this BLOG to answer questions you may have it works very well! All you need to do is scroll down the right hand column, find the topic or topics you want, click on them, and BLOG posts that apply to that topic will be listed on your screen.

The following is a question I received this week from a new student about the Unit "Nutritional Healing":

Question: I am working on finishing up Section 3 of Nutritional Healing 101, but am unable to access the following links within the .pdf. (Page 45) - Mondoux, Channon. "Cooking for the Humors" (Page 60) - Cookery and the Application of Humoural Theory'

Answer: These books can now be downloaded as a PDF from the Yahoogroups at: to Course/

If you have trouble accessing that link you can also find this download at your member website (either the Nutritional Healing Only class website, the Naturopathic Healing Website, Medicine of Avicenna Website or the Combined Website). If you cannot download it from the website please tell me so I can send it to you via e-mail.

Blessings & Health,

New Culpepper Link & Question

The new Culpeper link you sent works fine, however, I do not see where it categorizes herbs according to their properties of Hot, Cold, Moist and Dry which would make it quicker to determine proper balancing. Am I missing something?

You can find this information in the third section of the book called, "
A Catalogue of Simples In the New Dispensatory". Look under each heading, "Roots", "Flowers", etc....He also mentions it within the text of some herbs.

Note to other students: New Culpepper Link at:

Herbal Preparations 201

Dear Students,

For some reason Herbal Preparations 201 was missing from the website. This must have happened during the server reset a few weeks ago. Students have turned in assignments from that unit since then so I assume they had already downloaded the PDF or accessed it from the Yahoogroups site. In any case I wanted to let you all know that Herbal Preparations 201 is now located in its proper place on the website for Naturopathic Healing Course students, once again. Thank you to student Chris for brining this to my attention!

Friday, July 24, 2009

Consulting Client Tips

As I was correcting student assignments today I came across another gem that reminded me of something important that we all need to remember as healers - know how to access a situation and your own ability in that situation. This is an excerpt from the student exam and my response:

Exam Question: Name the three parts to natural first aid and why each is important. Give personal examples when you have them.

Student Answer:

#1 Assistance - It is important to know how to help a person in an emergency. You need to access how serious it is. If it is minor and not life threatening, it can be treated at home with herbal remedies and natural health practices. If it is life threatening such as a heart attack or a fractured skull it is important to call an ambulance and get the person to a hospital immediately. On the way to the hospital techniques like proper breathing, reflexology, etc. can be used. When my daughter broke her arm, I placed an ice pack on it to relieve swelling and pain and immediately drove her to the hospital.

This is a very good point to remember. As a healer we need to know how to properly assess any situation - even if it is not an emergency. We need to know what our own abilities are and when it is time to refer someone to another practitioner for assistance.

Student Excerpts: The 13th Principal of Health

This statement is from a student paper I corrected today on "The 13th Principal of Health" from Unit One: Nutritional Healing. I wanted to share this here as this is something we often forget to look at when we are consulting with ourselves, our families and our clients. Remember - always check the basics before you go beyond that and look for health problems you or another person may have. Often, being deprived of the basics (the right food, water, sleep, etc...) can mimic many health problems and diseases:

Quote from JH, Student in the NHCO: To understand the critical nature of sleep to our children's growth and development, we need to understand more about what sleep does, what healthy sleep is, and what happens when children do not get the right amount of sleep, the best quality sleep, or both. We also need to understand the role sleep plays in being alert or drowsy, stressed or relaxed, and how that in turn may affect temperament, learning, and social behavior.

Alternate Upgrade Link (Not Paypal)

Some students wanting to upgrade do not want to use Paypal to make their payment. I have created an alternate link for you at:

Student Lounge Updated!

Dear Students,

I have added a new section to the "student lounge" that includes general study tips. Some of you have been out of school for a few years and have asked me questions about writing papers, citations and how to manage time. I have one new article posted there at this time on "How to Write Papers". I will be uploading more tips from the archives that I have been saving. I also welcome any tips from members! I want to start a special page called "Tips from Other Students" so if you have any tips for new students please send them in!

You can visit the student lounge to see these updates or you can look at this new article using the direct link below:

Blessings & Health,

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Quiz Addition for Unit One - Nutritional Healing

Dear Students,

In the revised E-book for Unit One, Nutritional Healing, the second quiz is missing some information. It should read: (the parts in RED were missing from the E-book):

Quiz for chapters 1 & 2

Chapter 1 - Overview

1. Imagine you were going to change this article to talk about the “13" principles of health instead of 12. What would you add to this list and why? Your “addition” to this article should be at least 3 paragraphs long and should include references (either books, magazines or online sources).

Chapter 2- Dangers in Modern Medicine

2. There are many foods and chemicals we put into our bodies that are harmful. In Chapter 2 I explore some of these items. Please explain, in your OWN WORDS, and using only three sentences at the most, one or two reasons why the following items could be harmful:


Soda Pop

Sodium Laurel Sulphate

Excess Bread

Acidic Foods

Colloidal Silver







Dietary Supplements and Vitamins

3. Please write two-four paragraphs on one ADDITIONAL item that is NOT included on the list above. Topics you could use include: recreational drugs, artificial colorings, artificial flavorings, prescription drugs, over-the-counter drugs, sugar, excess meat, anything you can think of that fits into this category.

Upgrade Link AGAIN

Dear Students,

The last link I gave for upgrading was a bit long and "broke" in some of the messages. You can use this shorter link instead if you have trouble with the first link:

Blessings & Health,

Naturopathic Live Chat Next Week!

Just a reminder that I am organizing a live chat for students of the Naturopathic Healing Course next week. Since this is our first live chat I will be leaving the topic open for anything - need help getting started? Have a health question? Have a question about the classes? Have a question about a client you are working with? Anything goes!

All you need to do to receive an invite to the chat is answer the following questions and send them to me:

Note that this live chat is for students of ONLY

1. How are you using your degree from The Avicenna Institute or how do you plan on using your degree? How are you using the information you have learned so far?

2. What days and times work the best for you (for the live chat)? Note that we will start with IM and no voice or video will be included for this first chat.

Thank you! We have one student signed up so far. I will post a day and time once I get at least 6 students.

Blessings & Health,
Kristie Karima Burns, MH, ND

Upgrade Link to Include Medicine of Avicenna Course

Dear Members,

Some members have asked if they could upgrade their membership from "Naturopathic Healing Course" to "NHCO AND The Medicine of Avicenna" classes. At the website you can register for both classes for a discounted price and these students wanted to know if they could pay the difference and upgrade to taking both courses.


Usually I have a 30-day limit on upgrades, but since I will be raising prices the first week of August I will allow any student to upgrade until August 1st using the link below. Using the link below you will be allowed to pay 3 payments (over the next three months) of $50.00 each to upgrade to being a student in both courses.

If you have questions about The Medicine of Avicenna Courses please visit for a short description or e-mail me at:

Blessings & Health,
Kristie Karima Burns, MH, ND

New Student Questions- Getting Started

Hi Kristie, I'm working on my first assignment. I've read once you submit your first assignment you can request a student page. The info you set above "Username:******, password: *****" Is this my personal page or info to log into the website. Are student records kept on your site or do we receive all comments and corrections through email? Trying to get familiar with the resources so I have smooth sailing.

Kindly, D

Dear D,

For now this is the site that all students access. As I change things to the new system each student will have their own page where they will access their materials from. Right now, as each student completes their first assignment (or requests it) I do also set up for them an additional personal student page where they can access their corrected assignments and view their progress in the course. This is password protected for each student so only you can access your records. This will be a different password than the one you use to access the course.

I used to send assignments through e-mail but too many e-mails with attachments get lost. I answer questions via e-mail but all corrections and comments are done via the student page now. I upload my comments into your exam or assignment and convert it to PDF and then upload it to the page.

Great job getting to know your way around! This will really help you accomplish things much more quickly and experience a lot less confusion.

Blessings & Health,

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Temperament MP3? Herbal Databases?

A student just wrote to ask me about the herbal databases. This is a popular question so I will post the answer again to the BLOG and also remind everyone to check this BLOG for resources. This BLOG is where I answer all student questions. If you have a question - chances are that another student has had the same question and you may be able to find the answer without waiting for me to respond to your e-mail. To find answers to your questions come visit this BLOG, scroll down the right hand side of the page and click on the topic you want to explore or have a question about.

Here is my answer to the question - "Can you send me the temperament lecture? One of the herbal databases is missing, can you send me an alternate link?"

The MP3 for Exploring the Temperaments can be found on your Naturopathic Healing, Nutritional Healing or Typology and Temperament student webpage. This MP3 download is in the right hand column - scroll down and you will see an icon that says "Typology and Temperament Lecture.mp3"

Alternate links for the Herbal Books can be found in the "Resource Page" . You can link to the resource page by clicking on the link "Resource Page" at the top of ANY of the student webpages.

You can also find more Herbal Book links at the student BLOG at: Changes

If that link does not work you can go to:

- scroll down the right hand column and click on "course changes"

If you have additional questions please e-mail me any time.

Blessings & Health,

Sunday, July 19, 2009

More Information on Su-Jok Therapy?

A student who is working on the reflexology class at this time asked me for additional information on SuJok therapy. This was my response:

Dear J,

I trained with one of Park Jae Woo's students. He is the ultimate expert on anything Su Jok. His website is not very impressive but he is the best. There are some books for sale on the site. It is hard to find information that is not connected with him.

His website is:

Blessings & Health,
Kristie Karima Burns, MH, ND

Friday, July 3, 2009

Updates for Herbal Databases

Question and Comments by Student about the Herbal Healing Unit: Joyce Herzog's work at is not longer on line. I can't find any replacement on another domain either.

The second required reading by Lee Nelson, has moved from
to: Do you have another suggestion for Joyce Herzog's database? M. Grieves, and Michael Moores are still available, though Michael Moore's is no long at its at Also, on that first recommended book, by Manfred Junius - has been rewritten and updated.
The original book is only available used and costs $35, but the updated book written in 2007
only costs $8.90 Thought you'd like to know that info. I ordered the 2007 version.
Let me know if you have something to replace Joyce Herzog. - DF

Dear DF,

I have provided substitutes and update them monthly on the student resource page. Log into your student webpage, click on "resources" and scroll down the left hand side - you will see some databases there that are very useful and completely replace the old ones that are listed. Thank you for the detective work and replacement links for some of the old databases.

Blessings & Healt

Monday, June 15, 2009

Password Problems?

Dear Students,

The system I am using to password protect my pages has changed and made itself more secure and added features. I tested it myself to make sure it still works. It still functions the same. However, now, when you enter your username and password it will bring up another screen that asks for it again. Other pages only have a button with "login" now and no username and password blank until you have clicked the login button.

You will use the SAME username and password as you have always been using. You can find this in the following three places:

1. Your welcome letter
2. The FILES section of your group

If you are having any trouble with the new system please tell me.

Blessings & Health,

Saturday, June 13, 2009

Questions for 203: 3, 4 and 5?

Dear Students,

A student wrote to me last week and asked for the quizzes/assignments for 203:3, 4 and 5.

Keep in mind that not all the chapters in each unit have an assignment. For this particular unit there is only one assignment and these chapters do not have assignments.

Please be sure to check the index of each unit to see if there are assignments listed or additional information. You can also check this BLOG for information on chapters that may have errors or new links or tips.

Blessings & Health,
Kristie Karima Burns, MH, ND

Wednesday, June 10, 2009

Welcome New Students from Italy and America!

I try to keep up with welcoming new students and congratulating students who have completed courses but I know I have not been regular about this so please contact me if I have forgotten to mention you. I know we have a few new students this month. Please take the time to introduce yourselves. Today we had a new student enroll in America and another student enrolled this week from Italy. This is our first student from Italy! If you are a new student please take the time to introduce yourself and look through the other student profiles at:

If you have already filled out your profile take a moment to welcome the new students.

Blessings & Health,
Kristie Karima Burns, MH, ND

Sunday, June 7, 2009

Reminder: Student Pages

I just created two new student pages - one for Kimberly and one for Ann.

If you have finished an assignment you can request a "student page". I started creating these last year for students and many students have found them helpful. Your student page lists all the classes you are enrolled in and also has a column where all your assignments (corrected and commented on) are located in PDF format. When a certificate is sent out this is also recorded on your page. You can see a sample student page at:

Student pages are password protected.

Blessings & Health,
Kristie Karima Burns, MH, ND

Friday, June 5, 2009

Consulting Client Tips: Aromatherapy Oils as Tea

A student a few weeks ago turned in their aromatherapy paper and mentioned using one drop of thyme in a glass of water for her client. This is a wonderful recommendation. One thing we need to remember as practitioners, however, is to emphasize that they should use only ONE DROP in warm water for their essential oil tea. Essential oils are very powerful and more than one drop would be like taking 2 or 3 cups of tea at one time. I find if I don't mention this to clients they tend to "sneak in" a bit extra. We all still have that idea in the back of our minds that, "more is better" and "herbs are natural so they are safe". Neither of these is true when it comes to natural healing. Using essential oils in water is also a good solution for people who travel. I often recommend that people traveling overseas bring tea tree. Adding one drop to your water daily can help prevent infections while traveling.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Consulting Client Tips: Licorice for Blood Glucose?

Note that licorice is often given to clients who have trouble with blood sugar levels. This herb has worked wonders with some of my hyper and hypoglycemic clients. However, this is also an herb to be cautious of for in some clients it can cause an imbalance and a blood sugar spike reaction. If you or your client is using this herb make sure you monitor effects. If a client is having a poor reaction to the herb it could be their body cannot use licorice in this way.

Sunday, May 31, 2009

Student Excerpts: Cinnamon Oil Reminder

A good reminder from a student's assignment:

"I have made a Cinnamon leaf oil to rub into my clients aching joints. I have picked this for its ability to act as a warm wrap, soften cold, and painful joints. Caution: Always make sure it is leaf oil as cinnamon bark will irritate the skin."

Friday, May 29, 2009

Student Dialogues: Using Affordable Remedies

I corrected a student test a few weeks ago and she made the following comment on her assignment:

Due to a limited budget I had to use what I had on hand! I used Hawthorne berries & Licorice Root.

My response:

That is the best way to do it. One should always explore what is on hand before purchasing expensive or new herbs. In most cases a person will either have something in their backyard, their cupboard or at the corner store available to them at very little cost. Good job!

Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Student Excerpts: Hawthorne Berry Tea

I enjoyed this analysis by student Aimee found in her assignment "Herbs for Women". She says,

"I think that Hawthorne should be one of the top herbs for women as it has always been very successful for me. It improves circulation, helps heart palpatations, is tonic for mood swings or panic attacks. It helps in mild forms of angina and blood pressure. I have used it to calm me down in my more anxious moments. I pick hawthorne berries into a jar until it is full, then I add a regular mickey of vodka, let it sit for 2 months drain and bottle. I use 10-15 drops as I need it. Or more commonly I drink a hawthorne tea made from the flowers."

Friday, May 22, 2009

Free Promotion for NHCO Students

Dear Students,

I just updated the PUBLIC student page again. Please check to see your information is correct. If your information is not included please fill out the form on the page and include all the information that was provided by the other students.

Blessings & Health,
Kristie Karima Burns, MH, ND

Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Student Question: Forgotten Password?

Dear Students,

There are still a few students writing to me or submitting forms to the Bravenet service (which I only check once a month) for passwords.

Remember, if you have any trouble accessing the course or any trouble with any of the course materials you can check this BLOG for updates and Q & A from other students. If you ever forget your password -

Passwords for all the classes can always be found in the Yahoogroups FILES for that class. You can visit your Yahoogroups page, click on the group you want access to, go to the files section and your password will be there.

The password for the entire course (you only need one password) is located at:

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Iridology Flash Card Pictures: Front and Back

Front and Back of the Card

Iridology Flash Cards

Hi! There was some talk about iridology flash cards a few weeks ago. I made a sample card and wanted to see what you all think. Is this what you are looking for? If not, what modifications would you make? You can see from the picture above it is about 4.5" x 5.5" - regular postcard size. I have photographed it next to a business card so you have an idea how large they are.

My idea was to make a set of 20 cards - the ten basic iris signs and ten more different signs that are more advanced or detailed. The set would be 20 full color post cards for $10.00.

This is just a sample so I am looking for feedback now before I proceed.

Thank you.

Blessings & Health,
Kristie Karima Burns, MH, ND

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Consulting Client Tip #4: Pace the Client

These answers were taken from a student assignment. This student is working with a client and helping her with some lifestyle changes that will improve her health. I added the following suggestions after her suggestions. The student suggestions are in regular font. Mine are in bold italics:

8-10 glasses of water a day (promotes flushing out toxins, body 80% water, helps with snacking and can help avoid the junkaholic time).

6-8 should be fine. Tell her to monitor. Drink the 8. If she feels ill drinking more then the 8 was enough. Recent studies are showing that too much water can hurt people’s ability to digest or absorb certain foods. If she is thin she may not need the 10 glasses.

Eat 5-10 servings of vegetables a day

However, be sure to tell her that even 3 or 4 is great. Sometimes if we set the bar too high for a client they will become discouraged very quickly. You might want to start her on a less intense program first and then lead her into something more intense. The advantage of this is that you can also monitor her response to your “first level” of suggestions and modify the final program even more to suit her needs.

Consulting Client Tip #3: Where Do You Start Healing with a Client?

A student who turned in her assignment for the Nutritional Healing Course today provided a wonderful client history for her client. It had all the details she needed to give the client the good advice they need. I included the following reminder for her that I wanted to share with other students as well - it may be helpful to you in working with your own clients, friends and family members:

Very good client history. You have a lot of details here to work with that can really give you some good clues and direction with her situation. I always especially mark or highlight things that the client says, ‘I sense this is bad for me” or “I feel badly after eating or drinking these”. The reason I highlight these things is that this is a clue as to where a good place to start with this client is. The biggest obstacle to overcome with healing is the clients willingness or readiness to change. If they have already noticed something is harming them then THAT is the area they will most likely be open to changing.

Monday, March 9, 2009

Student Excerpts: The Thirteenth Principal of Health

Aimee turned in her Nutritional healing assignments this week and was the first one (in all these years, believe it or not!) to choose "Creating a Healing Living Space" as her topic for the "Thirteenth Principal of Health". I thought her opening quote and a key paragraph in her paper were wonderful and wanted to share them with you all:

She writes:

Siegfried Gursche, in the Encyclopedia of Natural Healing, quotes: “According to the Environmental Protection Agency, fifty percent of all our illness can be traced to indoor pollution, which is ten times more toxic than its outdoor counterpart.”

Our dishes, pipes, microwaves, pewter, ceramic glazes, blinds, tap water, and insecticides also contribute to our indoor toxicity. Nickle is in our dishes, cosmetics, hydrogenated food, fats, and dental work. Lead can come from batteries, tap water, smoking, glassware, liver, and even in some wine. Cadmium is found in batteries, smoking tap water, fertilizer, and shellfish. Arsenic in laundry soap, fabric softener, poisons paints and even in some mirrors. Aluminum which is linked with Alzheimer's is in our cooking wrap, deodorants, cosmetics, paints, and baking powder. Mercury was a popular dental filling which is no longer used in Canada. It also turns up in fish, salt, cosmetics, hair dyes, and pesticides. All heavy metals can have a horrible effect on the body. The are know to create rashes, constipation, headaches, bloating, diarrhea, block the production of bile, increase of decrease hormone levels, and affect our digestive systems.

Saturday, March 7, 2009

Course Corrections: Temperament Course

This is not really a course correction as much as an "alert" - this is something to be aware of as you do this unit. Please read the student comment and my reply below - this will help you understand the temperament unit better:

Student Comment:This unit on typology has been overwhelming, yet very enlightening for me. During my college years and experience teaching English and History, I have encountered the concepts discussed in this unit viz., humor, temperament, melancholic, choleric, sanguine, phlegmatic etc.---but I never understood these terms in their complete historical and medical sense until now. I encountered the most trouble when trying to understand exactly what is a humor and how does it function in the body. The assigned readings were confusing and oftentimes contradicting regarding this matter…

My Reply: One of the reasons I provide different perspectives – even if they are contradicting, is to give people more than one angle on the same topic. I do that on purpose. However, the main lesson is consistent and informational and should provide you with a good base. The introduction to the unit provides an overview of the basics. The other lessons are extras to that – so the reading of the literature was to introduce some “spice” into a topic once the student already understands the temperaments. Note to students reading this: keep this in mind when reading this unit!

Student Excerpts: Temperaments Addition

Correcting student tests today I was impressed with this list included by a student in her test for the Temperament & Typology Unit:

The following are diseases which are not caused by an imbalance of the 4 humors:
A. Improperly shaped organs
B. Narrow or expanded ducts
C. Irregular tissue within or without organs (rough uterine-wall tissue)
D. Excessive organ size (enlarged heart)
E. Displaced organs (transposed liver)
F. Small organs (stomach)
G. Conditions arising from occasional causes (poisonous animals and insects)
H. Accidents, such as fractures, burns, wounds, and the like.

Wednesday, February 25, 2009

Student Question: Combining Starches and Protein?

Question: For food combining. It says not to eat protein and starches together. We have always made supper as a meat, veggie and potatoe or rice. So that would be protein and starch. So what I am wondering is, how far apart do they have to be to be eaten? For example, if raw foods are eaten as a first course and then the meal and finish up with fruit as dessert, does that give sufficient time for things to be digested before the fruit is eaten, or should it be spaced out even more? The same goes with protein and starch. Could you eat raw foods, then some veggies and starch and then protein after, or should there be more time inbetween eating them both?


The way of eating that you are talking about is part of an alkaline diet. Some doctors have made this diet famous by claiming that all people should eat using this method. This wouldn't hurt anyone, but it is not very realistic either, and does not take into account that all people have different needs and lifestyles.

I would suggest an alkaline diet for anyone who has an "acidic" lifestyle. This would include anyone who does heavy exercise or is training for sports, anyone who has a lot of stress in their life, anyone who drinks coffee or sodas or consumes fast foods or "junk foods" more than three times a week, etc...a full profile of what creates an acidic lifestyle can be found in the readings.

I also suggest that if someone is having a "highly acidic" day (one full of stress or a lot of exercise) that it would also be very helpful to follow a more alkaline diet that day.

If you have a vegetarian lifestyle, this diet is not as applicable because beans are proteins AND starches. This is another thing that confuses some people. A vegetarian's diet is naturally alkaline as long as they are eating whole foods and avoiding highly acidic foods such as coffee.

If you are eating healthy, whole foods and balanced meals that are minimally processed and generally include in-season produce, then that should be sufficient for the average person. It is only when our lives become unbalanced that we need to balance with strict diets - sometimes for long periods of time, sometimes for life, sometimes for short periods. It depends on the person and the situation.

One also needs to consider the amounts of protein being used. If you are using protein as a "flavor" rather than a main dish, this results in a more alkaline dish.

You are also correct in stating that if you take your time eating that the time in between your foods will be sufficient. If you finish a meal, you can have your desert or fruit about a half-hour later.

I hope this helps.

Blessings & Health,

Student Question: Trouble Seeing Iris Patterns?

I am doing Iridology and am on the first assignment, looking at the iris' of 4 people. I was looking at my youngest girls eyes and found it difficult. I am wondering if it would be because she is only 5, or if it is possible that I am having trouble because of my own eyes. You see, I had a cataract in my left eye and have had surgery. I can see well with it, but I am wondering if that can cause trouble in looking in others eyes. I could see some markings in my daughters eyes, but I found it hard to be able to see if something is raised, etc.

It is easier to see the portions of the iris that are raised by shining the penlight from the side of the head - this gives you more of a depth perspective. You can also take a picture of the iris with a digital camera - use different angles of light to do this - use sunlight or a very bright lamp from different angles so you get different views of the iris. Make sure you take visual note of the real colors as they will be distorted if you use a light source other than the sun or a flash. It is possible that your own vision makes it more difficult for you to see some of the iris signs. However, by changing the angle of light and viewing the iris with different lighting you should be able to compensate for this.

As an additional note, you did not say what color your daughter's eyes are. Some very dark brown eyes are difficult to see without first taking a photo or using a very bright light. Some eyes are so dark you cannot do a full iridology reading on them.

Hope this helps!

Blessings & Health,

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Instructor Notes: Comments on Reflexology Assignment

Every week I like to share some comments I make on student assignments. My itention is that by seeing other student's work this may inspire you. Additionally I am hoping that their work and my comments will help give you more insight into the course itself. This week I want to share one excerpt from a student's reflexology assignment:


1. In what areas of the world have evidence of ancient reflexology been found? Be specific.

Ancient reflexology can be found in 2300 BC in an Egyptian, Physician’s tomb. In this tomb, a pictograph resembling reflexology was found. In Asia, similar examples were found. Dr. William Fitzgerald mentioned a form of treatment that was known in India and China 5000 years ago. This form of treatment used pressure points. Incas from the ancient Peruvian civilization reaching back to 12, 000 BC were said to have passed zone therapy to the North American Indians. Cellini (1500-1571 AD) was a Florentine sculptor who used pressure on his fingers and toes to relieve pain.

Instructor Comment

This is a very good review of the different locations where reflexology was developed. I like to make sure people understand that healing systems did not come from just “one person”. Our history books like to attribute one person to inventing any one system or thing. In reality each invention and healing system is a work of many people and cultures.

Student Excerpts: Great Chart from Jennifer!

I wanted to share part of Jennifer's assignment this week. The chart she made for her reflexology assignment was organized and impressive. This is what she did

Saturday, January 31, 2009

Student Question: Questions about the Temperaments

The following questions on the "Temperaments and Typology" unit were submitted by a student last week. They are VERY GOOD questions so I wanted to share them (and the answers) with you all. The questions are in black. My answers are in blue.

1.In your introduction to Unit 3:
You state that different societies had different humors and then you say that for Ayurveda there is just 3 elements. However, in the online link about unani tibb, they have a chart comparing the humors in different traditional healing methods and they list Ayurveda as using five elements just as TCM has 5 elements. I found another good article online which also states that Ayurveda includes 5 elements/humors and not 3. Yet I have read many times in the past about the 3 doshas. I am confused. Does Ayurveda use 5 elements like the online articles say or do they only use 3.

It is confusing because, you are right, Ayurveda recognizes five humors, but it does not use them in the same way Greek medicine or Unani Tibb does. It is misleading to put them on a chart in comparison. If you look into depth at Ayruveda they actually have more than 3 - but do not limit diagnosis to 5. Here is a summary of how they view the systems:

Panchamahabhuta or five basic elements:

The basic material constituents which exist in the universe and in man are called the Pancha-mahabhuta or five basic elements of Prithivi (Earth), Jala (Water), Teja (Fire), Vayu (Air), and, Akash (Ether). However these are not used in the same way Greek or Islamic medicine uses them. In Greek or The Medicine of Avicenna these are considered as the main forces for disease and healing. In Ayurveda these are viewed a bit differently and the divisions are different. Ayurveda does not view the body as "five elements" of disease and healing - but rather of seven basic tissues and three basic elements - that can then be further divided into 35 total elements of disease and healing. These are:


The human body consists of seven basic and vital tissues called Dhatus. Dhatu means “constructing elements”. These seven are responsible for the entire structure of the body. They maintain the functions of the different organs, system and vital parts of the body. They play an important role in the development, nourishment and even protection of the body. Dhatus are the resultant materials of the functions of the three Humors. They are:

1. Rasa dhatu: predominates the “Jala (water) “Mahabhuta. Function: Prinana(Nurishment)
2. Rakta dhatu: predominates the “Tej (Fire)” Mahabhuta. Function: Jevana(Invigoration)
3. Mamsa dhuta: predominates the “Prithivi (Ether)” mahabhuta. Function: Lepana(holds skeleton)
4. Meda dhatu: predominates the “Jala (water) “Mahabhuta. Function: Snehan(Lubrication)
5.Asthi dhatu: predominates the Vayu and Prithivi. Function:Dharan(support)
6.Majjja dhatu: predominates the Akash Mahabhuta. Function: Purana(to fill the bones)
7.Shukra dhatu: predominates the Jala and Tej Mahabhutas. Function:Garva utpadan(reproduction)

Tridosha or Three Humors:

In Ayurdeda the basic elements of human body are Vata, Pitta and Kapha. These are called Tridosha or three Humors. Our body is controlled and regulated by the coordinated and balanced functions of Tridosha. It helps the body to be alive. All the physical and mental functions of the body are governed by these three humors.

According to Ayurveda, various health problems are caused by an imbalance in at least one of the three humors. In Unani Tibb or Greek medicine it is thought that imbalance is caused by one of the five humors. It is a bit confusing that the translation of Dosha is humors in the same way they translate the word Panchamahabhuta (elements) of the body and the universe to mean "humors". They are different words in the Indian language and provide a subtle distinction. So the word Panchamahabhuta and the word Dosha are not the same but many articles you read in English translate both words to mean HUMORS. This is incorrect. Below you can see, however, they do further divide these Doshas...

The physical characteristics of Vata are different from others. It is light, dry, mobile, cold, abundant, rough, swift etc. Its fundamental Elements are Ether (Akash) and Air (Vayu).

The physical functions are: it is responsible for body movement, speech, Blood circulation, breathing, Excretion, Brain functions, formation of fetus, sexual act, anxiety, grief. etc.
There are five types of Vata according to their characters and locations.
1.Prana Vayu
2.Udana Vayu
3. Vyana Vayu.
4.Saman Vayu.
5.Apan Vayu.

Pitta is hot like the basic element which is derived from Agni or fire. It is also characterized as being sharp, sour, pungent, fluid, soothing and mobile. It is responsible for vision, hunger, thirst, and digestion, the regulation of heat in the body, softness and luster in the complexion, cheerfulness, intellect, and sexual vigor.

There are five types of Pitta which were first indicated by Acharya Susruta.
1.Pachaka Pitta
2.Ranjaka Pitta
3.Sadhaka Pitta
4.Alochaka Pitta
5.Bhrajaka Pitta.

Kapha is also called Slesma, and is derived from the fundamental elements earth (Prithivi) and Water (Jala). It is smooth, cold, heavy, dull, and viscid.

Kapha constitutes the entire solid structure of the body. The functions of Kapha are unctuousness, binding, firmness, heaviness, sexual potency, strength, forbearance, restraint and the absence of grief. Kapha was also categorized into five divisions:

1.Avalambaka Kapha
2.Kledaka Kapha
3.Bodaka Kapha
4.Tarpaka Kapha
5.Shleshaka Kapha.

2. More confusion:
The assigned readings say that the humoral theory existed among Greeks even before the time of Hippocrates. So why is Hippocrates given credit as the originator of humoral theory in healing? Is it because he named 4 specific types and used them in a practical system? The text also says that Galen is the one who came up with the idea of 4 temperaments which correspond with the 4 elements/humors. Does that mean that during time of Hippocrates up until Galen, people were only focusing on the physical aspects of the humors and that Galen then originated and developed the system which used the humors to describe emotional/psychological traits?
This is important because Hippocrates lived about 6 hundred years before Galen.

People have used the humors in all their aspect probably farther back than history has recorded. However, this is a very typical and classical case of "the historical credit problem". This is a problem I try to point out frequently during the course but I do not always suceed in doing so enough. The problem is that all medical and healing traditions are actually discoveries of many different people or peoples. Many of these traditions have been used for hundreds of years before someone "took credit". However history always gives credit to the person who was able to define the tradition and write it down. So credit for iridology is given to the first person who created a chart. Credit for reflexology is given to the first person to create the zone system. Credit in homeopathy is given to the person who created a comprehensive book of all the remedies. In some ways this credit is deserved - the person was usually responsible for A: Defining the tradition in a way everyone could understand so that it had more chance of surviving over time and being taught to more people and B. Expanding and devloping the tradition beyond what it was. In the case of homeopathy it had been used before but nobody (that we know of) had taken the time to test so many rememedies before., Hahnemann was amazing in this respect. However, in reality the system of any healing tradition cannot be attributed to one person.

3. In the reading from the columbia encyclopedia source, it lists winter as the corresponding season for the phlegmatic type which does not seem right because phlegmatic types are considered cold and moist which fits more with autumn and melanchoic fits more with winter because it is marked by cold/dry qualities which fits winter best. what do you think?

Corresponding the humors can be confusing! I can often see how one or more types could fit in each season, in each character, etc...but ultimately you are looking for the basic characteristic of the person or season. Autumn definately has a DRY dominant side because the leaves fall in the Autumn and are dry. The earth is dry. However, phlegmatic is very wet. So they cannot go together. Winter is actually very moist because of the snow and ice that is classic of a traditional winter. However, one interesting thing about modern times that I noticed - since we use heaters in our homes we have actually created a very cold and dry environment for winter. I think this is responsible for a lot of the health problems we have in the winter. We are not allowing our bodies to cycle through the natural seasons and we are making a "wet" season into a "dry" one.

To see more student questions and information be sure to check out the student BLOG index from time to time! I will send the index in the next e-mail for those of you who receive the BLOG via E-mail.

Monday, January 26, 2009

Course Corrections: Updates on Unit Two

Dear Students,

Thank you to student Dee who brought to my attention that two links in Unit 2 have changed.

They are:
(Unit 202:3) is now at:

The First Aid articles from 7Song have been changed.

Herbal First Aid for Groups was changed from:

To: Herbal First Aid for Groups

Wilderness First Aid was changed from:


Thank you Dee!

Monday, January 19, 2009

Course Corrections: Unit One

There will be an additional correction made to Unit One. It seems there is an ongoing problem with the file "Cooking and the Humours". I am now in the editing process of a new file that will not involve any links online. I will upload it to the site as soon as it is done. If you are working on Unit One: Nutritional Healing - DO NOT TRY TO OPEN "Healing and the Humors" use this new file instead. For now, it will be called "Healing and the Humors Replacement File"

It would be confusing if I constantly changed files as I made updates every few weeks or months so once or twice a year I make all the updates at one time to prevent overlap, confusion and double-download problems. Because of this continuing state of updates you should ALWAYS check the updates page to see if the Unit you are reading has any updates. This page is at:

Sunday, January 11, 2009

News and Tidbits: Vitamin D

The topic of Vitamin D came up earlier this week on the list and this same week I received the following e-mail in my inbox from another list I am part of. I wanted to share it with everyone who was interested in the "Vitamin D" topic:

Accumulating data have provided evidence that vitamin D is involved inbrain function. Vitamin D can inhibit the synthesis of induciblenitric oxide synthase and increase glutathione levels, suggesting arole for the hormone in brain detoxification.The study shows that vitamin D helps remove mercury from your bodysafely by radically increasing the amount of intracellular glutathione.CONTINUED HERE:

Blessings & Health,