Community Herbalist J. Blythe Adams, Western Clinical Herbalist Thu, 23 Apr 2015 20:44:24 +0000 en-US hourly 1 Radiate Ease Cream Testimonials Sat, 15 Mar 2014 18:18:31 +0000 I can’t even begin to express how happy I am having had the good fortune to meet Blythe.  I was diagnosed with breast cancer in November 2011, and just before my radiation treatment (30 treatments, five days per week) was fortunate to go to one of her seminars.  I learned so much about herbs and nutrition and have changed my eating habits dramatically since that day. But even better, Blythe makes a healing lotion out of a multitude of natural products.  She mentioned that this lotion is good for radiation.  I was skeptical at first as so many people burn terribly during the process of radiation and I naturally burn easy.  To the shock of my doctors at Stanford Radiology, I didn’t burn AT ALL! Unlike others who were burning, blistering, etc. from radiation, I had no burning whatsoever, and I am two days past all 30 treatments. I only needed two jars to get me through, and starting applying the lotion three times a day one week prior to starting radiation, and continued applying it to present. I can’t recommend this enough to anyone going through this. Her lotion saved me, as did the education I received from her regarding eating during and after cancer. Thank you Blythe!  RW


I have finished my Radiation Treatment as of yesterday 11/01/13 (big sigh of relief).  I look pink (like a sunburn) but no sores.  The nurse was impressed and asked me what I was putting on my skin.  I showed her the cream and she asked me if people could order this.  I brought in the business cards that you provided and she said she would pass them on to other patients.  I hope she does! …. Thanks for your cream and I hope you are successful in your business.  LS

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Love Your Liver Detox Tea – Big Batch & Small Batch Recipe Wed, 19 Feb 2014 23:57:33 +0000 Here is my recipe for liver tea.

Many people have asked for this recipe and I thought to share with you. The word “detox’ is a loaded one.  Detoxing in general is not a great idea in my opinion.  Often, the detox process is  harsh and extreme.  No one’s body needs to go through that.  With that said, the liver can always use a little love.  We do that with ‘liver” herbs which are mostly bitter root herbs that gently help clear and clean the liver.  This is especially useful if folks are on prescription medications. Prescriptions often tax the liver and or kidneys. Of note:  If you have High Blood Pressure omit the licorice in the recipe.  Also – drinking 1-2 quarts a months is sufficient.

I use this blend to gently cleanse the liver, especially after taking prescriptions or having surgery.  Other great uses are drinking a 2 quarts during PMS week, especially useful for acne too.

Please let me know if you have any questions.

Liver Tea – For those with High Blood Pressure do not include Licorice Root

Liver Tea

2 Cups each:

Taraxacum Root ( Dandelion Root)

Roasted Taraxacum Root ( Dandelion Root)

Silybum ( Milk Thistle)

Articum ( Burdock Root)


5 Tablespoons of:

Smilax  officinalis (Sarsparilla Root)

Glychyrrhiza (Licorice Root)


Pau d’Arco


2.5 Tablespoons of:

Rumex  (Yellow Dock Root)


The best time of day to make this tea is in the evening so that you can simmer and then leave to steep overnight. Strain & drink in the morning.  Adding raw honey to neutralize the bitter taste is fine.

Mix up the herbs and use 3 Level Tablespoons to 32oz water ( 1 Quart).Simmer (covered) for at least 20 minutes.

You can drink all 32 oz in one day, or refrigerate half and drink the next day.


Other herbs to consider:

Bitter orange peel – (2.5 tablespoons)

Mahonia  – (Oregon Grape Root)  ( 5 tablespoons)

Star Anise  (2.5 tablespoons)




Liver Tea

1 Tablespoon each of

Taraxacum Root ( Dandelion Root)

Roasted Taraxacum Root ( Dandelion Root)

Silybum ( Milk Thistle)

Articum ( Burdock Root)


1/2 Teaspoon Each of:

Smilax  officinalis (Sarsparilla Root)

Glychyrrhiza (Licorice Root)



¼ Teaspoon Each of:




 Two places where you can order quality organic herbs are:


Make sure that you are ordering wildcrafted or orgainc herbs.

Blythe Adams ~Community Herbalist ©

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Grapefruit Seed Extract – Adulterated Tue, 28 Jan 2014 21:23:13 +0000 Many folks after hearing my cancer talks are wondering why they shouldn’t use Grapefruit Seed Extract.

This is a great post from Herbalist Jim MacDonald on GSE:

Be sure to click on these two active links in the article for detailed info.
GSE Overview (todd caldecott)
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Drink Elderberry Tea to strengthen your Immune System Tue, 19 Nov 2013 18:38:36 +0000

High Sierra Elderberry Harvest

Elderberry Tea – to keep you well
Elderberry (Sambucus nigra) is an enchanting berry tea that strengthens your cell walls to resist invasion of bacteria and viruses; it is an immune system stimulant. Elderberry also comes to the rescue when you get sick, easing aches and pains, coughing, nasal congestion, and fever.  This is a great remedy if you have been around a bunch of sick people, or if you feel like you are on the edge of not feeling well.  Elderberry is known to shorten the length of colds and flu’s as well as lessen the severity of symptoms if you do get sick.

Dosage:  Make 2 cups of tea with 1 Tablespoon of the dried berries, several times daily.
Adding a wedge of lemon and some raw honey makes a very tasty tea.

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Nourish yourself with Bone Broth Chicken Soup Tue, 19 Nov 2013 18:14:51 +0000

Yes - Chicken Feet for Glucosamine



Bone Broth Chicken Soup
Bone Broth is a great way to build your strength and immune system to stay well while colds and the flu are about.
This is adapted from Weston A Price Foundation Recipe
Making bone broth alone is a ritual – I gather, mix, tend and build my soup over many days – typically 3.  I like how it grounds me, tending to this nourishing broth. You can buy these herbs from, or shop in Oakland at

To make the bone broth
1 whole free-range chicken or 2 to 3 pounds of bony chicken parts, such as necks, backs, breastbones and wings*
gizzards from one chicken (optional)
2-4 chicken feet (optional) – They contain natural glucosamine which we all need!
4 quarts cold filtered water
2 tablespoons vinegar
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and coarsely chopped
3 celery stalks, coarsely chopped
1 bunch parsley
*Note: Farm-raised, free-range chickens give the best results. Many battery-raised chickens will not produce stock that gels.
Place chicken pieces in a large stainless steel pot with water, vinegar and all vegetables except parsley. Let stand 30 minutes to 1 hour. Bring to a boil, and remove scum that rises to the top. Reduce heat, cover and simmer for 6 to 8 hours. The longer you cook the stock, the richer and more flavorful it will be. About 10 minutes before finishing the stock, add parsley. This will impart additional mineral ions to the broth.
Remove whole chicken or pieces with a slotted spoon. If you are using a whole chicken, let cool and remove chicken meat from the carcass. Reserve for other uses, such as chicken salad, enchiladas, sandwiches or curries. Strain the stock into a large bowl and reserve in your refrigerator until the fat rises to the top and congeals. Skim off this fat and reserve the stock in covered containers in your refrigerator or freezer.

To make your bone broth into Chicken Soup:

Based on 8 cups of stock

2 carrots
3 cloves of garlic
2 onions
1 leek
1 turnip
1 parsnip
2 stalks of celery
2 ounces dried astragalus root – Immune Function Support
2 ounces dried codonopsis root – Immune System Health, promotes mental sharpness and memory.
Add all the above to your stock and simmer for an hour.  Take the added roots out of the soup or eat around them.

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Anticancer Power of Supermarket Mushrooms Fri, 23 Mar 2012 18:45:04 +0000 Anticancer Power of Supermarket Mushrooms   Sunday, 18 October 2009

Most people have heard by now about the healing powers of exotic medicinal mushrooms, such as reishi, shiitake and maitake. But what about the white button mushroom (Agaricus bisporus), the kind that is so boringly abundant in American supermarkets? A study at City of Hope hospital suggests that it too may have anticancer effects if taken daily.
“You don’t need a strong effect to cause cancer prevention. Eating 100 grams or even less of mushrooms per day could have an effect on preventing new breast cancers,” said Dr. Shiuan Chen, director of the Division of Tumor Cell Biology at the Beckman Research Institute of the City of Hope in Duarte, California. Results of the ongoing study have appeared since 2006 in several leading scientific journals.
Mushroom extracts turned out to be effective aromatase inhibitors. Aromatase is an enzyme that helps the body make estrogen, a hormone that feeds the growth of breast tumors. Of seven vegetables tested, mushrooms had the greatest effect. Other forms of mushrooms (such as portabello, crimini, and shiitake) also were aromatase inhibitors, so one could vary the type eaten to add a little variety to the regimen.
The button mushroom extract reduced the proliferation of breast cancer cells in the laboratory. Giving the extract to mice with breast cancer also suppressed tumor growth. Based on their laboratory experiments, the scientists estimated that 100 grams of mushrooms (less than four ounces) taken per day would probably help prevent breast cancer growth.
“Results from this and other laboratories support the hypothesis that white button mushrooms may be an important dietary constituent for reducing the incidence of hormone-dependent breast cancer in women,” the authors wrote. “Prevention strategies involving mushrooms are readily available, affordable, and acceptable to the general public.”
Many women who have completed their initial therapy for estrogen-receptor positive (ER+) breast cancer take synthetic drugs for years to inhibit aromatase production. It would be most interesting to see how ordinary mushrooms compare to drugs such as anastrazole (Arimidex) in their actual anticancer ability? Anastrazole has some potentially serious adverse effects, and so dietary substitutes would be most desirable. But do not be surprised if pharmaceutical companies do not rush to do such studies. In 2007, AstraZeneca reported $1.7 billion in sales on Arimidex. This translates into a cost of several hundred dollars per month for women taking the drug. Four ounces per day of mushrooms will set you back about $15 per month, or less if you buy in bulk. From a drug company’s point of view, the economics do not favor such nutritional agents.
Comparative studies of the sort I am proposing are rarely performed and when they occasionally occur are usually stacked against the less expensive approach. Oftentimes, the information we receive about cancer is inaccurate. In fact, the typical cancer patient is kept in the dark and fed a load of manure…just like the proverbial mushroom.

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Herbs for Cancer Tue, 20 Sep 2011 01:35:58 +0000 Herbs & Cancer Treatment

Intro excerpted from Herbal Medicine, Healing & Cancer by Donald R. Yance Jr.

There are many ways natural forms of healing can prevent or treat cancer

  • Herbs
  • Vitamins
  • Micronutrients
  • Proper Diet
  • Other health enhancing modalities

All can be used with or without conventional therapies in the healing process

These non-toxic therapies can also inhibit cancer recurrence as well as second line cancers caused by chemotherapy.


See Body, Spirit, Humanity and Nature as being one entity, not separate. When they are brought together and nurtured they enable healing to happen. Healing with herbs brings us into a realm where physical explanations are not always clear and scientific as we would like.

The synergy that takes place between the body’s own innate tendency to heal and the herbs that aid in that process is in some ways a mystery even though the healing itself is indisputably real. The human body has an amazing ability to maintain homeostasis if we provide the proper environment for it to do so.


Overwhelming amounts of stress underlies most chronic illness, and that patients need to address the issues of stress in their lives for the healing to take place.

Conventional Medicine

Conventional medicine preaches that only medicinal interventions and modern drugs will lead to healing.  It also holds that the body’s healing response to illness must be treated and suppressed.

The fever is the classic example: Tylenol relives aches and pains often caused by interferon production when one its ill.  Does this help or make things worse?

Traditional healers have know for thousands of years that a fever is the body’s healing reaction to an infectious organism and instead of being suppressed, it should be worked with to allow the body to disperse the heat by sweating.

  • When a patient is taking interferon for example, Yance recommends drinking diaphoretic tea and taking an Epsom salt bath before bed at least 3 nights a week.
  • Diaphoretic tea would be made with herbs like boneset, yarrow, elder, peppermint and ginger.
  • These herbs not only relieve achiness and flu-like symptoms that interferon brings with ti, it actually helps the interferon be more effective.

When a person is first diagnosed with cancer, and decides to follow a standard form of therapy in hopes of a cure, they can be successful at putting the cancer into remission, but what about the future?

If a doctor says the patient is just wasting time and money with an organic diet and medicinal herbs, should the patient abandon responsibility for their long-term health and well-being?

For many, serious problems and conflicts arise when a conventional MD disapproves of their interest in natural therapies.

In Yance’s experience, having worked with thousands of people who have cancer and has learned that those who include herbs, good nutrition and other non-toxic approaches in their treatment are able to reduce the likelihood of recurrences, enhance any conventional therapies and lessen their side effects.

We weren’t meant to live as removed from nature as we do today, and we do so at our own peril.

God (whatever one you choose) did not create us to lead lives spent in front of computer screens and TV’s while eating processed foods and then try to correct our mistakes by ingesting high-tech medicines.  We need to consider why we are here and to honor our connections with each other with God and with Nature.

We are naturally healed by these connections and it is vital to include them in our lives.

Yance’s favorite RX:  Have patients go home and grow a garden- as the garden grows, so does the gardener.

Today’s Talk

  • Today only proven, safe remedies are presented for the prevention and treatment of this dread disease.
  • Each of you is a unique individual, and any herbal program needs to be tweeked to match your individual needs.
  • Of note, nutritional factors may account for up to 70% of avoidable cancer mortality in this country, according to an eye-opening report in a 1992 issue of Oncology.


New studies show that eating the “Typical American Diet”  is the biggest genetic mutating factor in our lives.

With a statistic like this one, it is time to look at herbs, diet, nutrition, natural healing modalities and NORMAL and life-affirming, not as “Alternative” choices.

  • Herbal medicine is getting a great deal of long-overdue attention from clinicians and researchers.
  • Studies have shown that herbs can strengthen the immune system, reduce inflammation, inhibit mutations, and battle cancer by supporting the function of the immune system including the enhancement of T-cells, Natural Killer Cells and interferon as well as activating macrophages.
  • Herbs contain many more powerful cell-protective factors than vitamins or minerals.
  • They can lessen the side-effects of chemotherapy and radiation as well as inhibit infections.
  • Amazingly, they can enhance the cytotoxic effects of many conventional therapies.
  • Each person is different; each cancer is different – different therapies.

It is important to work with a qualified herbalist or natural health care professional who is knowledgeable about herbs.  Each person is different.  Just because I am talking about herbs for cancer, not all of these herbs are right for you.  Also, many “safe herbs” have contraindications – like don’t use Reishi Mushroom if on anti-coagulants.


I was going to speak more about Nutrition, Phytochemicals and lifestyle but have chosen to focus on herbs today.  There is plenty of information in the handout for you to review.

Herbs for cancer:

There are many ways to strengthen the body to deal with the side-effects of therapies, and, make the body stronger.

  • Immune Tonics and Adaptogens
  • Anti-inflammatory herbs
  • Digestive Health
  • Liver Detoxification
  • Alterative Herbs & Lymphatic Herbs
  • Analgesic Herbs
  • Nervines

Many of these herbs have multiple uses, i.e. alterative, anti-inflammatory and anti-tumor.

Immune Tonics and Adaptogens

These are herbs which inhibit the growth of, and destroy, viruses and bacteria, and strengthen the body’s immune system.  Adaptogens tone the fight or flight stress response, gradually building up your body’s ability to deal with stress over a number of months.

Many of the Adaptogens that are commonly used today have a history of use that goes back hundreds and thousands of years.

Medicinal Mushrooms Can’t stress enough the importance of this plant medicine for cancer.

Medicinal Mushrooms are one of nature’s best immune boosters.  Best to use a good mixture of many mushrooms together.   Remember, cancer is tricky so we want to be complex herbally, and keep changing our therapy so that the cancer stays confused.

I brought a book called the Fungal Pharmacy by Robert Rogers that you can look at after the talk. I have marked the pages that have the mushrooms that I am talking about today.

Reishi Mushroom – ganoderma lucidum

Because of its reputation to fortify the mind and body, and to promote longevity, wisdom, and happiness. it has been called “Herb of Immortality”, “Marvelous Herb” and “Ten Thousand Year Mushroom.” Some consider Reishi or Ling Zhi the cornerstone of Traditional Chinese Medicine, where it is placed into the highest class of overall tonics.

  • Immune enhancing
  • Adaptogen
  • Anti-Tumor
  • Analgesic activity
  • Strong anti-carcinogenic properties
  • Effective for all cancers and immune system deficiencies
  • Muscle and Central Nervous System relaxant
  • Cardiotonic activity
  • Reduces high cholesterol and blood pressure levels
  • Antiviral
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Anti-histamine
  • Liver protective
  • Radiation protection
  • Specific for people recovering from chemotherapy
  • Avoid if on anti-coagulants

Shitake Mushroom

  • Of all the medicinal mushrooms, Shiitake is perhaps the best studied.
  • Shown to pull heavy metals from the body, as was learned from the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasake.
  • It is an excellent source of protein, potassium, zinc, B-vitamins, complex carbohydrates, as well as all the important essential amino acids.
  • Immuno-modulating (increases natural killer cell action), immuno-activator and potentizer, anti-tumor, anti-viral, anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, liver-protective,
  • Reduces high cholesterol levels,
  • Has been used to treat cancer, HIV, chronic fatigue syndrome, and herpes simplex virus


Maitake Mushroom

  • Best known in easing the side-effects of chemotherapy treatment, while at the same time enhancing the treatments effectiveness.
  • Commonly used for improving stomach conditions
  • Calms the mind and nervous system
  • Neuralgia (sharp pain), palsy and various forms of arthritis
  • Aids in reduction of blood glucose, insulin and triglyceride levels
  • Lowers high blood pressure
  • Anti-Cancer effect in lung, stomach, breast, colorectal, prostate, liver cancers as well as leukemia

Oyster Mushroom

  • Nerve tonic
  • Reduces cholesterol levels
  • Anti-Tumor
  • Myco-remediation – degrades environmental pollutants including PCP – a widely used wood preservative.

Turkey Tails

Derived from this mushroom is one of the most widely used cancer therapies in Japan, known as PSK (polysaccharide Kureha). It has been shown to prolong life by suppressing the proliferation of cancer and tumor cells, and by bolstering the immune system’s natural response.

  • Anti-tumor
  • Immune enhancing
  • Lowers cholesterol levels
  • Hepa-protective
  • Anti-viral especially in the treatment of infections of the upper respiratory tract.

Rotate Echinacea and alternate with Astralagus in three-week cycles with extracts of medicinal mushrooms and other immune-boosting herbs may help to strengthen overall immunity during cancer treatments. (Vitamin C also bolsters the immune system, aiding it in fighting off any cancer cells remaining in the body after treatment.)

Non-mushroom Immune boosters/Adaptogens:

Ginseng – Panax

  • Most noted for anti fatigue and anti aging effects.
  • Enhances overall activity of the immune system.

o   Antibody response

o   Natural killer cell activity

o   Interferon production

  • Reduces scar tissue damage
  • Animal studies show that it inhibits metastases to the lung and liver when used with chemotherapy. It produced greater anti tumor effect and also reduced the immune suppressing effects of chemotherapy.
  • Always recommend Ginseng for those undergoing radiation therapy – it is thought to hasten the recovery and reduce the chance of scar tissue damage.

Wild American Ginseng is an endangered species, therefore, please buy woods-grown rather than wild.

Also, buy only organic ginseng.  Many heavy metals in herbs, especially root herbs from other countries.


  • Strengthens the body’s natural defenses that involve the immune system.  It is one of the main herbs used in Traditional Chinese Medicine during chemo and radiation therapy
  • Increases interferon levels
  • Increases Natural Killer cells
  • Increases T-cell activity
  • Liver protective
  • Blood Builder
  • Anti tumor activity

There are many, many more Immune –enhancers and Adaptogens we could talk about.

Main point – if you do nothing else herbally,  take your multiple mushroom formula 3x a day and keep changing with Echinacea and astralagus which potentiate the mushrooms every 3 weeks.


Anti-inflammatoy herbs  inhibit free-radical damage while protecting, repairing and detoxifying the liver.

Turmeric Curcuma longa

Turmeric has been extensively researched.  This is the main spice in curry blends.  Has a long history of use in the treatment of cancer.  Freshness of this herbs and all herbs matter.  Is it aromatic or stale?

  • Works against environmental mutagens and inhibits the mutagenicity of cigarette smoke.
  • Much stronger cell protective agent than vitamin C – Huge anti-oxidant
  • Protects against DNA damage much better than beta carotene or vitamin E.
  • Anti-tumor
  • Enhances production of several important cancer –fighting cells
  • Gently activates the liver function
  • Lowers blood sugar
  • Promotes digestion and assimilation
  • Promotes blood circulation
  • Anti-inflammatory

When I was working at the Charlotte Maxwell Cancer clinic, Turmeric and mushrooms were at the base of every formula.



Echinacea is perhaps the most best known herb for the enhancement of immune function.  Many of the studies that say you can’t take it for a long time  – that was a German translation error.  It can be used for long periods of time for chronic conditions, with no side effects or contraindications. Most of the other studies the trials were seriously under-dosing.   When using with mushrooms for chronic condition, the dose should be about 20 drops 2-3x a day.

  • While it may have very little direct activity against cancer, its ability to stimulate the immune system makes it a useful addition to formulas.  Use with rotating mushrooms.
  • Echinacea has shown anticarcinogenic properties.
  • Promotes T-cell activation, interferon production, natural killer cell activity
  • Lymphatic
  • Enhances effectiveness of antibiotics

Gotu Kola  – Centella asiatica

  • Native to India – Part of traditional Ayurvedic medicine.
  • Great ability to relax the brain, especially when it is in overdrive and can’t focus efficiently.
  • Promotes post-operative or post-radiation healing
  • Increases healing, decreases inflammation, inhibits scar tissue formation and inhibits the recurrence of cancer
  • Assists the nervous system with the stress and fears associated with having cancer.
  • Increases the formation of connective tissue components
  • Tumor inhibitor

Digestive Health

Cancer causes great stress on all the metabolic processes, including assimilation, digestion, and absorption of nutrients and the elimination of waste products.

Simply eating more food will not halt a wasting person with advanced cancer no will it extend or enhance the life of a person in the early stages of cancer.  If you try to eat high calorie foods to gain weight, it’s the cancer that gets fed, so any existing tumors grow faster

  • The old saying “ you are what you eat” should be “you are what you absorb”
  • Poor assimilation leads to nutrient deficiencies.
  • Proper assimilation is essential.
  • Take probiotics – Literally means for life.  Lactobacillus acidophilus and bifidobacterium bifidum.  .

o   Demonstrated immune-enhancing, anti-tumor effects and plays a critical role in the detoxification of many cancer causing substances:  Hormones, meat carcinogens, environmental toxins.

o   Brands Recommended:  JarroDophilus and PrimaDophilus  Need 4-10 billion viable cells per dose  Prefer enteric coated so the bacteria doesn’t get killed in the gut and can get to your small intestine.

Aloe Vera

  • Antiviral
  • Immune Boosting
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Cancer it hot by nature, Aloe soothes and cools entire system

Marshmallow tea is good too as it also “slimes, soothes and cools the gut”.  Has immuno-modulating properties due to its high polysaccharide content.

Liver Detoxification

The ideal anti-cancer formula should help clean out the liver. This is crucial, since the blood stream sends the toxins from the broken-down tumor to the liver to be ejected. Do not over do these herbs.  You want a slow detox, not a quick one.

Milk Thistle – Silybum marium

  • Strengthens liver cell membrane, and protects against damage
  • Free radical scavenger
  • Protects liver against drugs and heavy metals including chemotherapy

Dandelion  Root Taraxacum

  • Clears heat
  • Nutirent

Oregon Grape berberis acquifolia

  • high in berberine which has antineoplastic properties
  • Tends to block oxygen uptake specifically to cancer cells.

Yellow Dock Root – Rumex Crispus

  • Yellow Dock root is effective for cancer and has been used in TCM for acute leukemia

Alteratives & Lymphatics

These are herbs that increase the body’s elimination of waste material and improve nutrition. As a rule, these herbs are best used for a lengthy period of time, so that the detoxification will not occur too rapidly and overwhelm the body’s abilities to discharge those toxins.

Nettle Tea

  • Equal if not superior to all the green foods on the market today
  • High in Chlorophyll, protein and minerals
  • Good for anemia
  • Allergies
  • Poor lymphatic function

Burdock Seed & Root – Articum lappa

  • Anti-tumor
  • Stimulates digestion
  • Buy at the grocery store and add to your stir-fry

Red Root – Ceanothus

  • Native herb.  Growing all around us
  • Excellent for lymph and helps remove waste from the body
  • improves digestion.
  • Increases platelet counts
  • Works best with Echinacea
  • Raises activity of T-cells

Red Clover blossoms Trifolium pretense

  • Alterative
  • Anti-inflammatory
  • Diuretic
  • High beta carotene content
  • They contain isoflavones which possesses estrogen-like actions
  • This plants anticancer properties are enhanced by the presence of beta carotene and vitamin E
  • Good for hormonally driven cancers – seems to be most active against prostate, breast, colon cancers and melanoma

Licorice Glychyrizza glabra

  • Anti-viral, anti-tumor, antiulcer, anti-inflammatory
  • Increases production  of interferon, natural killer cell activity
  • Liver protective
  • Increases cortisol, DHEA and aldosterone.  Low DHEA are found in many women with breast cancer.  Licorice, by increasing cortisol, produces anti-inflammatory actions
  • Contraindicated for those with high blood pressure.  Need proper dosing.  Low dose herb

Pau d’arco bark – Tabebuia heptaphylla

  • Cooling, bitter alterative, antibiotic, antifungal, antitumor, antiviral, digestive, diuretic, fungicidal, analgesic, astringent, and hypotensive
  • This plant has recognized antitumor agent
  • The basis for this plants reputation is its immuno-stimulating properties
  • It has been shown in several studies to be effective at treating cancer
  • This is a first rate alterative and blood purifier

Pokeroot – Phytolacca


  • Alterative, antibiotic, anti-inflammatory, antitumor, toxic.
  • Considered specific  for all glandular derangements, including breast and other cancers
  • Because of its strong cathartic and emetic effects, it can be a Gastrointestinal irritant.
  • With that said, Pokeroot is one of the two or three most important native herbs for treating cancer.

Thuja  Thuja occidentalis

  • Particularly indicated for cancers of viral origin, including colorectal cancer, uterine cancer, breast cancer, and lung cancer
  • Enhances the immune system
  • Particularly useful for increasing tolerance of chemo and radiation therapy.  Take no more than 10 drops 3x a day
  • Lymphatic


Corydalis is one of the best plants to use for pain associated with cancer, particularly abdominal pain.

Kava-kava – used for anxiety, stress and insomnia is also a very effective pain reliever and muscle relaxant.

Meadowsweet and white willow contain natural aspirin-like compounds that will relieve pain and inflammation without side-effects.  Particularly useful for gastric pain.

Herbs to strengthen Nervous System

St. Johnswort – Hypericum perforatum

Action:  Nervine (calming).

Promotes circulation, assists in repairing nerve injury – internal and external for nerve trauma.  A specific for post-operative brain tumor surgery.

  • Promotes healing from trauma and inflammation
  • Helps with post-operative depression
  • Inhibitor of abnormal tissue growth

Main constituent is hypericin – pronounced anti-viral and anti-tumor activity.  One of nature’s richest sources of flavonoids.

California Poppy




Siberian Gingseng

American Gingseng


Your body needs essential vitamins and minerals in the right amount for your tissues to do their jobs and protect you from cancer. Antioxidants help to protect cells from free radical damage and may inhibit the growth of cancerous cells.  Different antioxidants do different free radical clean-up.  Combinations are best when using antioxidants, like the mushrooms.  Synergy.

These supplements may be particularly beneficial for people who have undergone chemotherapy or radiation therapy procedures that damage healthy cells as they attack cancer cells.

Take herbal extracts rich in flavonoids:

Green tea – Essential.  Have found that caffeine is useful for antioxidants to do their work.

Ginkgo bilboa if over 50

Grape seed extract if under 50 – NOT grapefruit seed extract.


I have no commercial or personal interest regarding the resources listed below.

For herbs:

Incredible Nutritional Diagnostic Test; your doctor has to order for you:

  • Genova Diagnostics NutraEval Test:


For educational purposes only This information has not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration.

This information is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

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Skin Care for Summer in the Sun Sun, 01 Aug 2010 00:37:18 +0000 J. Blythe Adams, Western Clinical Herbalist

It is finally that time of year again.  Beaches on oceans, rivers, hot springs and lakes means spending a lot more time in the sunshine.

There are some simple things you can do to nourish and protect your skin.

Did you know that your skin is your largest organ?

Your skin is also responsible for over ¼ of your daily waste removal.  Keeping your skin moisturized and nourished is critical as it helps prevent viruses and bacteria from entering our bodies.

Preventative measures for sun exposure

The first thing to do is perhaps skip using your soap in the shower and bath.  Soap strips your skin of its natural protective oils.  A well known herbal recipe for an alternative scrub is Body and Face-Scrub Cleanser.

Another preventative measure you can take is to make sure that you are getting enough Essential Fatty Acids in your diet.  EFA’s reduce inflammation, and are vital to keeping water and moisture in your skin.

Lastly, make sure that you drink lots of water.  It is a key element to supple skin.

Sun after-care

Using Fresh Aloe Gel immediately after sun exposure is one of the best facial treatments that you can get.  It helps skin conditions of all kinds, especially useful for burns, first aid, sunburns and as a moisturizer.

The next thing to do to nourish your skin is to use light oils to re-hydrate and soothe your skin after spending time in the sun.  Light oils are best – such as sweet almond oil (Amygdalus communis) or Apricot Oil (Prunus armeniaca).  I find that using straight oils after being in the sun are more useful.  Oils protect the skin from the sun and wind. To take oils a step further, using light oils infused with some of the following herbs will facilitate healing of the skin.

Calendula Oil ( Calendula officinalis) DSCF5145-1

is the primary oil used in many creams and lotions – it has an affinity for the skin.  Calendula is anti-inflammatory, anti-fungal, antiseptic, and anti-oxidant. It is the best oil dry and damaged skin, and many reduce inflammation that comes from being in the sun.

Plaintain Oil (Plantago lanceolata, Plantago major) has skin nutritive qualities as well.  Soothes damaged skin.  It is also healing to small bites, stings and cuts.

St. Johnswort Oil (Hypericum perforatum)


also helps soothe sun-burned skin.  It is a cooling anti-inflammatory, and anti-microbial.  Great for chapped skin.

The medicinal oils are available at your local herb store or through online herbal stores.  If you happen to have access to Calendula, St, Johnswort or Plantain, you can easily infuse these oils yourself.

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Herbs for Allergies Tue, 15 Jun 2010 22:28:22 +0000 As a Western Clinical Herbalist, to work with allergies, I look at the environmental factors, diet and improve the body’s defenses with herbs.  You can help yourself get through allergy season with fewer traumas with herbs and some simple changes to your lifestyle.

One in five Americans suffer from allergies or asthma symptoms.  Many don’t seek help because the symptoms aren’t serious enough; however, many people with allergies find that allergies seriously impact their quality of life.  Allergic reactions can also be fatal.  Over the counter medications can help relieve allergy symptoms, but don’t assist the body in improving its defenses against allergies in the first place.

Allergic Reaction:

Immune response hyper-activity in response to allergens is on the rise as our bodies have a larger toxic burden from modern living – exposure to chemicals, polluted air, water, soil, foods with chemicals and car exhaust.   This means that our bodies have a harder time processing these allergens with no allergic response.  Also of note, if you have one parent with allergies, you will have a 33% chance of developing allergies.  If both parents have allergies, you have a 70% chance of developing allergies.

When exposed to an allergen, the body responds by producing congestion and mucus to seal off the allergen “Invader”.

The mucus is created through the following process:  The body creates antibodies to fight off the allergen invaders that attach themselves to the mast cells in the nose and airway.  Mast cells are immune system cells that detect foreign substances and initiate local inflammatory responses against them. In turn, the mast cells produce and release a chemical call histamine, which latch onto nearby blood vessels causing them to dilate and widen.  This results in the inflammatory symptoms of allergies such as watery eyes, runny nose, sneezing, sinus congestion or infection, resulting headaches or asthma.  Sometimes the body tries to throw off this excess though the skin resulting in hives or rashes.


Most allergies are protein based.  The body doesn’t recognize how to synthesize these proteins without an allergic response:

  • Pollen – Trees, plants, grasses.  This is the most common reason for “hayfever”.  Consider staying inside on high pollen count days, look into air filtration systems if your allergies are severe enough.
  • Dust – Dust includes molds, fibers, pollen, insects, insect feces, animal dander & dust mites.  Most often it is the dust mite.  They live on skin and flourish where we sleep.  2 million mites can live on one mattress.  Carpeting, upholstered furniture, draperies and air ducts all trap dust mites.  Bedroom and pillows are the first line of defense.  Use special coverings for mattresses and pillows. Avoid down comforters.  Get rid of carpeting.  Use washable furniture covers.
  • Cockroaches & rodents– not the creature but their droppings..  37% of inner-city kids tested were allergic to roaches.  Keep foods wrapped-up, pet food too.  Always put trash in a container with a lid.
  • Fluffy – your pet – Flakes of skin and animal saliva have proteins in them that are potential allergens.
  • Mold & Mildew – Molds are parasitic, microscopic fungi that grows in damp areas- San Francisco is mold central. So is your bathroom and under your kitchen sink where water may be escaping.  Look for black mold around your tub or on the shower curtain or ceiling of your bathroom.

Herbal Support for Allergies

Herbal support for allergies would look at herbs to help support the body by using:

  • Bitters to tone the immune system response.  Use daily 3-5 drops 15 minutes before each meal to strengthen the digestion and synthesis of protein allergens.  Probably the most important component of herbal allergy treatment.
  • Decongestant herbs will help clear any mucus.  Remember to not east congestive foods such as dairy and sugar. Licorice Root, Fennel Seed, Ginger Root &Yerba Mansa
  • Anti-inflammatory herbs to soothe inflammation: Echinacea, Reishi Mushrooms & Turmeric
  • Anti-histamine herbs to tone the histamine response: Nettles & Bee Pollen
  • Adrenal Enhancing herbs to ensure that there is enough cortisol in your body to counter the inflammatory process.  It is your body’s natural steroid: Licorice Root, Astralagus Root, Sarsaparilla Root & Kelp
  • Anti-oxidant herbs to reduce inflammation: Rosehips, Elderberry, Bilberry, Garlic & Kelp
  • Immune support herbs to avoid infection: Bupleurum, Echinacea (stimulates the production of interferon, a natural body substance that increases the body’s ability to defend itself against disease) & Goldenseal
  • Liver support herbs to help clear out liver congestion so that the body can process the allergen more efficiently: Oregon Grape Root, Yellow Dock Root, Burdock Root, Bupleurum & Milk Thistle
  • Respiratory Tonic Support: Mullein tea to strengthen the lungs.

Protocol for allergies

  • Use bitters before meals
  • Review the allergen list above to look at the environmental factors that may be affecting you – use pillow covers etc.
  • For sinus congestion use nasal irrigation: Use a neti pot – 15 drops of yerba mansa and one drop peppermint oil in neti pot with warm water (make sure to stir the peppermint oil in as you don’t want to burn your nasal cavity.  2-3 x a day.
  • Eat Local Raw Honey. Pollen is produced by trees, flowers & grasses. The bees gather these pollens, which are then brought back to the hive and become blended in trace amounts with the honey that the bees produce. When you consume honeys that are both LOCATION-SPECIFIC, about a 50 mile radius from where you live and work, and/or from an area where the vegetation is similar, when the honey is also SEASONALLY-CORRECT (harvested during the season that in “Now”), you are ingesting just enough of the pollens currently airborne to help your system build up a resistance to the pollens that are causing your allergic reaction.  (Adapted from
  • Foods to include in your diet:  Bee Pollen, Ginger, Turmeric, Rosehips, Burdock Root, Kelp, and Garlic
  • Avoid congestive foods such as dairy and sugar

Feel free to contact me for additional information:


Caution: Please check herbal side-effects or contra-indications before using herbs to make sure that they are safe for you.  For example, Licorice Root should not be used with folks that have High Blood Pressure.  Echinacea should be avoided with auto-immune disorders.

J. Blythe Adams ©

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Immune Support Soup Thu, 07 May 2009 23:41:33 +0000 Soups are a great way to nourish and support our bodies as the seasons change. The changing weather challenges our bodies, and we can become more prone to illness. Soups help to keep us warm as the winter chill begins and can nourish us with herbs, seaweed, and mushrooms for wellness and vitality.

Bone marrow is a critical ingredient in my homemade stock. My Slovenian grandmother Antonjia would suck the marrow out of the bones after our roast chicken meals. She was a bastion of health and wellness her entire life. So rather than having a clarified stock, I have my butcher cut the chicken bones up so the marrow extracts more easily into the soup. This leaves a cloudy stock that I believe has more nutrients than a clear stock. However you can also start from an organic stock and go straight to the soup recipe.

If you don’t have all the ingredients list below – don’t worry – use what you have. Be creative.

Stock recipe:

5 lbs organic chicken parts or chicken from a butcher (If using a whole chicken, remove chicken meat just after stock is brought to boil and reserve.)
10-12 cups fresh water
3 carrots, cut into thirds
2 parsnips, quartered
5 celery stalks, cut into thirds
2 onions, quartered
1 oz astragalus root
4 inches of kombu seaweed, leave as a large piece
3 bay leaves
1 leek (optional), cut into thirds
1-2 tsp salt

Bring all ingredients to a boil. Skim the top layer of the stock and discard. Then cover and simmer for at least 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Strain and keep stock. Discard veggies and chicken carcass. Transfer astralagus and kombu to stock.

Soup recipe:

Add to stock:

Reserved chicken
Reserved astralagus
Kombu from stock, cut into small pieces
8 – 12 oz. fresh shiitake mushrooms
1-2 burdock roots, sliced into bite-sized rounds
2 inches grated ginger root, or enough to taste
6-8 cloves garlic

Simmer 15 minutes to ½ hour. Serve immediately.

You can freeze extra stock for times when you need a boost. I tend to eat from the same soup for several days. I simply add the veggies and herbs I like for each bowl. Carrots, corn, broccoli, tomatoes, and cabbage are among my favorites. Some immune herbs you can add to soup are fresh or dried sage, thyme, or parsley. These herbs can be added generously for their antioxidant and antibacterial properties.

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