Friday Roundup - April 28, 2016

What I've been reading, writing, thinking about and indulging in this week.

The Trouble with Clean: I am always inspired by modern American herbalist matriarch Susun Weed. Today she shared one of her occasional essays, this one challenging the notion of 'clean' and cleanses.

"Where are we going to throw away that which we have cleaned away? What shall we do with the toxins, the filth, the disgusting waste, the foul, unneeded, unwanted, unloved parts? Where is far enough away? Can I ever get away from my shadow?" 

Rings of Power: I was mesmerized by these wood and resin rings that capture entire miniature worlds on your finger. Created by Vancouver jeweler Secret Wood, each one is handmade so no two are identical.

I love the cooking blog My Heart Beets, mostly paleo recipes by blogger Ashley. She has a great collection of Indian recipes, including lots of regional dishes. Her Coconut Egg Curry, a scrumptious and frugal dish of eggs simmered in a fragrant coconut sauce is on my menu this week.

Have a great weekend!


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Periscoping for the Holidays Continues!

Denise and I are continuing our holiday themed broadcasts withe a new series of mini-scopes, this Thursday, December 3 at 4 pm PST (tune in for the final one in this series on December 17!).

This Thursday, we'll be talking about gifts! We'll share our fave pics for wellness and natural health gifts, how to sidestep the insanity of over-consumption at this time of year, and talk about giving back - introducing you to some of the groups working to bring the healing power of acupuncture and Chinese Medicine to people who need it most.

We'll be scoping from my account, @SFHerbalKitchen. If you'd like to join in live, we'll be starting at 4 pm PST this Thursday, December 3. Go to to watch, or download the Periscope app to watch on your phone. You can also find links to everything we talk about and suggest, including recipes and products, on our Periscope Pinterest board, at Links to archives of the broadcasts will be there too, so you can watch anytime.

See you Thursday!

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Friday Special: Holiday Gift Guide

Hi Friends! I'm off with friends and family today celebrating the American Thanksgiving holiday. Instead of my usual roundup, I thought I'd share my natural health and wellness gift guide!

This is a VERY popular shopping day in the US, but not everyone is agreed on how great that is, with even some large retailers like REI opting out this year. My town of Oakland, California created Plaid Friday,  with buy local initiatives designed to support small business - check if it's in your town. Everything on my gift guide can be purchased online, so you can shop 'Black Friday' without the mob scene. Jump online and support some locally-owned small businesses, buy some prezzies your loved ones will enjoy, and then strap on your sneakers for a walk in the woods!

Gift Certificates for local services

Your local healer surely offers gift certificates. If your intended recipient has always wanted to try a modality, or has trouble taking time for self-care, this can be a great choice. Two East Bay healers I personally recommend who have online gift certificates include Cicuto Acupuncture and Energy Matters Acupuncture & Qi Gong.

Foodie DIY goodies

Pickling, fermenting, home brewing, cheese making: old fashioned skills are new again! For a friend who's always talking about trying one of these foodie adventures but is intimidated, more and more classes are springing up like these ones at Preserved in Oakland. And these hand made fermentation crocks from Berkeley potter Sarah Kersten are expensive but suitable to become a fermentation heirloom!

Um, Jewelry!

This section could be looong, but I'll control myself and tell you about just two beautiful local jewelry makers I know: Kyla of Impressed By Nature offers utterly unique pieces that are made from real pressed flowers. I snagged a ranunculus set that I'm in love with. Omonivie of tula in bloom creates pieces with a rich, organic feel using materials like hammered copper and horn.

Herbal and Body Care Goodies.

Of course, check out my yummy lip butter and healing balm gift sets, as well as the AcuCare kit curated by Denise of Cicuto Acupuncture. All Angelica & Peony purchases include free gift wrapping so you can gift straight from my website. Concept 47, the online home of the sweet boutique in Oakland's Temescal district, has a fantastic assortment of the best of Northern California herbalists and makers. I especially love these gorgeous teas from Semilla Botanicals, and this Falling Leaves scented candle from KarmaLit (which donates a portion of sales to local Oakland nonprofits).  For remedies made with Chinese and Western herbs, shop at Five Flavors Herbs, an Oakland based herb dispensary and pharmacy with a great line of teas.

Hope you enjoy this virtual browse. Making the choice to support locally invested makers and small businesses means the love you express with your gift extends to the whole community. Thank you!

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