The Herbal Bear - Newsletters
January 2014 
Herbal Newsletter

In this issue:

  • Natural Approaches to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)
  • Herbs
  • St John's Wort
  • Aromatherapy
  • What's New at the Herbal Bear?

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    The Herbal Bear School of Botanical Medicine

    Natural Approaches to Seasonal Affected Disorder (SAD)

    Natural Approaches to Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD)

    By Ursula Basch - The Herbal Bear School    

    You may know it as the "Winter Blues" or by its medical terminology, Seasonal Affective Disorder (SAD).  SAD is a form of depression that occurs in response to the fewer hours of daylight during the late fall and winter months. Approximately 10 to 20 percent of people in the United States are believed to suffer from SAD.  Typical symptoms are depression, lethargy, a craving for foods high in carbohydrates, and withdrawing from social interaction.
    Luckily there are a few easy and natural remedies that can help with SAD.
    image001 Lemon Balm - (Melissa officinalis

    Used as a a tea, Lemon balm has many properties that are useful in the winter month.  It has anti-depressive, anti-anxiety and antiviral properties.  It also makes a lovely, pleasant tasting tea.

    St John's WortSt John's Wort  - (Hypericum perforatum)

    Many people know St John's Wort is useful for depression, but they may be unaware of how to properly administer it.  St John's Wort must be tinctured as a fresh plant.  The dry herb has lost its anti-depressive qualities.  In short, you can't expect to take a cup of St John's Wort tea and feel better - it simply won't work.  Additionally St. John's Wort must be taken daily for a period of at least 4 weeks to ascertain its full potential as an anti-depressive.  However, properly taken St. John's Wort has been shown to alleviate seasonal depression.

    Scientific research has shown that people suffering from seasonal depression are relatively more sensitive to smells 1. People with SAD may respond well to using aromatherapy oils that reduce depression.  Essential Oils of citrus fruits all have an uplifting/antidepressant action when inhaled.  Consider using oils like Bergamot (Citrus bergamia), Grapefruit (Citrus paradisi) Orange Essence (Citrus sinensis).  

     Place a couple of drops in an essential oil diffuser, or an aromatherapy inhaler, or simply on a cotton ball and inhale the scent. 

    1. Arch Gen Psychiatry. 2002 Dec;59(12):1119-22. Patients with seasonal affective disorder have lower odor detection thresholds than control subjects. (click HERE for more)

    Bob BeyfusWhat's New at the Herbal Bear?
    One of our Botanical Medicine Program instructors, Bob Beyfus, was recently featured on a PBS broadcast about Ginseng.
    You can see the program HERE.

    LimoneneThe Herbal Bear School is expanding its class offerings to include Aromatherapy

    Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils and other aromatic plant compounds for improving a person's health or mood. Our approach to providing aromatherapy education is as the same as our herbal education - we want to provide science-based information that is documented in the scientific literature.  In 2014 we will be offering several short introductory classes and a 2 day Aromatherapy Intensive Workshop.  In 2015, the Herbal Bear School will be offering a full Aromatherapy Certification Program.  We will also be updating our website to provide information about essential oils on our Herbal Information pages.

    Online ClassesOnline Classes

    For years we have been asked to provide online classes.  Finally we have found a format that we feel will deliver the same quality of education that we provide in our live classes.  Starting in April 2014 we be offering some of our introductory classes.  In November 2014 we will be offering our 6 week Medical Botany class online.  We are very excited about this new endeavor and hope that it will assist those who have expressed an interest in taking one of our classes but live too far away to attend in person.

    Upcoming classes

    Upcoming Classes:

    The following classes are listed by program dates. To view classes listed by location please see our programs page. To view a full description of the class or to register on line for any class please click on the individual class.



    The 2014 Botanical Medicine Program

    The 2014 Botanical Medicine Program

    The 2014 Botanical Medicine Program

    We are currently accepting applications for the 2014 Botanical Medicine Program. A six weekend intensive program for those interested in a well rounded education in herbal studies. This class is designed to give  students a solid foundation in herbalism.  Each class we will learn about herbs for the different systems including: the digestive, nervous, cardiac, reproductive, and immune system.  Students will learn plant identification, harvesting techniques, medicinal plant preparations and herbal formula development.   This class is held in the Northern Catskills on a private 30 acre property.  Many of the medicinal plants we study are growing in our gardens or found on our property.  Unlike other herbals classes, this class incorporates field work with the plants.  You will be able to see, study and harvest medicinal plants throughout the entire growing season.  This class is designed for beginning and intermediate herbal students. For a full description of this class - use this link .

    If you have any specific questions about our programs, please feel free to contact us

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