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The NIMH conference

So I was the keynote speaker at the NIMH conference.

That is, I delivered the Hein Zeylstra Memorial Lecture - 1 hour 45 minutes worth of "The Interchangeables", or, not going across the river for water. You might know the theme from this, this, this and this. With a few additions, sidenotes, and things.

It was lovely. The technical part of it worked, people laughed in the right spots, I didn't spot anybody falling asleep, and afterwards quite a lot of herbalists told me "That was fantastic" "That was brilliant" "That was so inspiring" "I want to be your kind of herbalist" and so on. I told one of them that, if this kept up, my head would touch the clouds soonish, and she told me no no, just take it all in and save it for some darker time. A grayhaired herbalist told me he'd thought I'd be quite a lot older, whitehaired, stooped over with a wavery voice, cos, unless I'm old, how can I know so much? Heh.

And a lot of folks told me my site had been a lifesaver for them, during their studies. And wondered how and/or when I manage to do so much work on it. (I'm still quintuplets, but don't tell anybody!)

So, tidbits (gotta love chitchat with herbalists!):

  • Chamomile works for snoring. Very interesting, I thought, especially as chamomile will shut those up who crave attention. So do they crave attention in their sleep, too? Hmmm...
  • Crab apple flower essence works miracles for plants afflicted with spider mites. Lovely tidbit, thanks! It won't help my long-dead salvia plant, though :-)
  • Heather flower essence is very good for people who can't stop talking about their troubles. Who, as Laura said, instead of drowning their problems, give them swimming lessons. Snigger ... anyhoo, perhaps chamomile would work for that, too?
  • Cimicifuga is nice for tinnitus.
  • A (very diluted) tincture of dried pulsatilla is also good for tinnitus. I'll give some of my fresh plant tincture to one or the other needful person, one of these weeks - on the premise that if the dried plant tincture works for that, perhaps the fresh plant tincture does, too? (The dried plant tincture doesn't do all that much Pulsatilla-wise. UK herbalists keep scratching their heads about it: what is all the fuss about? USA:ians use fresh herb tincture, which works admirably fast - for pulsatilla things, like switching your tracks, and things.) (Oh, and I use any Pulsatilla at all, for my fresh herb tinctures. No need to go for P. vulgaris).
  • From Christina Stapley's "Herbal Preparations" lecture:
    • Try butter ointments people who can't take beeswax.
    • Cleavers (Galium aparine), in three crisscrossing layers, works extremely well for straining your herbal oils.

The other lectures were quite good, too. Lovely conference, thanks for inviting me!

Some clarification for USA:ians: NIMH is the National Institute of Medical Herbalists in the UK. They're big.

It was their 145th annual conference. Here's one press release about the 2009 conference.

I think between 150 and 200 people were listening to me, but I didn't count. It was absolutely lovely - although, of course, when I did a "go on, more, more" bit of handwaving as they applauded, they started to laugh instead of giving me a standing ovation.



What did you mean when you say "(I'm still quintuplets, but don't tell anybody!)" ?

Here: Heh, yes.