Program & Replays

Medicines of the Soul: The Ritual Use of Plants

Broadcast on August 22, 2023
With David Winston RH (AHG)
Hosted by Selima Harleston Lust

Herbs can be used not only as physical medicines, but ritual medicines as well. In this session, David Winston explores the ceremonial use of herbs in various religions, Indigenous, and traditional cultures. Herbs have been used for millennia and are still used as incense, baths, ritual foods, amulets, teas, entheogens, and paints to help grow our spirits, heal our souls, make congregations holy, improve our luck, and protect us from malign influences. Often dismissed as superstition, the almost universal use of these spiritual medicines strongly suggests they offer real and powerful benefits, especially in these exciting but unsettling times.

In this session, you’ll discover:

  • Plants used in rituals can help you relieve stress and enhance mental health
  • Herbs can be used as smudges, paints, amulets, teas, and entheogens to calm the mind, find purpose in life, and clear negative emotions
  • How to create meaningful rituals that can help restore your emotional balance and enhance our daily lives
The views expressed are specific to the author/speaker and may vary from the perspectives of The Shift Network's participants, staff, or other speakers.
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David Winston RH (AHG)

Clinical Herbalist and Ethnobotanist

David Winston is an herbalist and ethnobotanist with 54 years of training encompassing Traditional Chinese Medicine, Western/Eclectic medicine, and Southeastern herbal traditions. An internationally renowned lecturer, he frequently teaches at medical schools, symposia, and herb conferences. He has been in clinical practice for 47 years, and also consults with physicians, herbalists, and researchers throughout the U.S., Canada, and Europe.

David has authored or co-authored several books, including Saw Palmetto for Men & Women... Herbal Therapeutics: Specific Indications For Herbs & Herbal Formulas... Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina and Stress Relief... Winston & Kuhn’s Herbal Therapy and Supplements: A Scientific And Traditional Approach. He's also a contributing author to the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia... the Botanical Safety Handbook (expert advisary council) and American Herbalism (a publication produced by the American Herbalists Guild.)

In 2013, David was presented with the Natural Products Association (NPA) Clinician’s Award and awarded a fellowship by the Irish Register of Herbalists. In 2019, he was awarded a DSc degree from the National University of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon, and in 2023 he was the recipient of the AHPA Herbal Insight Award.

David is founder and director of the Herbal Therapeutics Research Library, dean of David Winston’s Center for Herbal Studies, and president of Herbalist & Alchemist Inc., a manufacturer producing herbal products that blend the art and science of the world’s best herbal traditions. David is also a founding member of the American Herbalist Guild, a member of the American Botanical Council's Advisory Board, and a member of the AHPA Expert Advisory Council.

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David Winston RH (AHG)
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