05.29.16 // Practical Skills for Healthy Digestion with Dave Meesters // 5:30 - 8:30

The Fire of Life: Practical Skills for Healthy Digestion

Herbalists and holistic healers have always known that digestion is the wellspring of life & health, from which all the body’s functions flow. When digestion is impaired, we feel the repercussions throughout the body, and much of our dis-ease can be traced back to the gut even when our bellies feel fine. Recent scientific findings have only affirmed and expanded on traditional wisdom by describing the crucial role of the intestinal microbiome and by showing how the health of the gut directly affects mental health via the “gut-brain axis.”

This class, which is advanced enough to be of value to herbalists and practitioners, yet full of essential concepts and D.I.Y. techniques that anyone can implement, draws from time-tested principles of traditional medicine, the experience of a practicing herbalist and his colleagues, and the latest scientific research to paint a truly holistic picture of the role of the gut in mind/body health.

We’ll talk about what can happen when digestive health is compromised. You’ll learn how to know when you should address digestive health, herbal allies for optimizing digestion, and how to choose which herbs are right for your body. We’ll discuss the impact of gut inflammation in chronic illness of the body/mind, and what to do about it. We’ll talk about the importance of the intestinal microbiome, fermented foods, and the most practical ways to ensure that your gut flora is healthy. And we’ll cover a couple of nutritional strategies to promote a healthy gut.

You’ll leave with informative handouts and with the skills necessary to attend to this foundational aspect of the body’s vitality.

Dave Meesters is the co-founder and co-director of Medicine County Herbs and the Terra Sylva School. Both projects have their home on communal land in an Appalachian cove forest in Madison County, North Carolina. Dave’s formal education in herbalism began in 2003, and since then his experience has included organizing and staffing a free clinic in New Orleans in the months after hurricane Katrina, and starting and practicing at a free clinic in Asheville’s AHOPE homeless day shelter. Dave has plans to be involved with another herbal free or low-cost clinic in the future, but until then he sees clients privately and provides free care to the mountain folks in his rural Appalachian neighborhood, most of whom would rather see an herbalist than a doctor. Dave sees herbalism as a way to provide a more appropriate, accessible, pleasurable, and effective form of health care than the dominant model, and as a means to bond and integrate ourselves with plants, the garden, and the wilds. His herbal practice takes place in full-time immersion in the forest of Appalachia, in the midst of which he and his partners have created human habitat in the form of small houses made from wood, earth, and straw, a large communal kitchen, expanding permaculture-inspired gardens of food & medicinal plants, and a few solar panels. Medicine County Herbs is our herbal apothecary and medicinal plant nursery. The Terra Sylva School currently hosts resident apprentices to learn the arts of herbalism while living and working on our land. Find out more at http://www.medicinecountyherbs.com/

$25-40 per person, sliding scale.



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