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Posted on Mon, Feb 25, 2013 : 10:29 a.m.

Linda Diane Feldt to present talk on herbal wisdom

By Ann Dwyer

Note: This story has been corrected to remove references to homeopathy and aromatherapy, which are not part of this talk.

Ever wondered if you're making the most out of those plants in your backyard? Let Linda Diane Feldt guide you through 60,000 years of Herbal Wisdom at Crazy Wisdom Bookstore and Tearoom.

She will offer a brief look at the long history of herbal use, including misunderstandings and the effects of marketing, big-business involvement and the consequences of government regulations.

Feldt has been studying the healing arts since 1973. She has written six books, and works to teach others how to heal themselves.

Thursday February 28, 2013. 7-8:30 p.m. Free. To register, sign up on the People's Food Co-op bulletin board or online at Crazy Wisdom is located at 114 S. Main St., Ann Arbor. 734-665-2757.


Linda Diane Feldt

Tue, Feb 26, 2013 : 10:37 p.m.

Thank you to for correcting the article. I appreciate it.

Linda Diane Feldt

Tue, Feb 26, 2013 : 2:40 a.m.

For the record, I am not a homeopath and don't practice homeopathy or aromatherapy. This talk will not be about homeopathy, as that is a more recent development and not technically herbalism. Many other substances other than herbs are used in homeopathic preparations. Meanwhile, it is difficult to set up placebo controlled double blinded trials on homeopathy, but a few have been designed and resulted in results better than the controls. A study showing reduced diarrhea in Nicaragua was one I looked into many years ago. There have been others. It's true that the mechanism for homeopathic effect is highly questionable. Because I have personally used homeopathy for family and pets and found it to work, I continue to use it in limited ways. I believe we will eventually discover the mechanism, meanwhile, I have a hard time explaining how it has stopped hives in a dog, stopped bruising in a newborn, and other examples with creatures or people not subject to the placebo effect. The homeopathic repertory was developed using direct observations of effects on large numbers of people. It isn't the "gold standard" sort of testing we demand now, but it was a carefully controlled measured experiment. The applications of homeopathic preparations were not just pulled out of thin air, but after careful observation of "proving societies". What is also interesting is that the University of Michigan once was home to a large homeopathic hospital. Many of the papers and research on homeopathy still exist on campus, and have been accessed by people interested in the history of what is admittedly a very strange and unusual approach to healing. Skepticism of homeopathy makes complete sense, but outright dismissal is certainly too broad for a practice that has helped many individuals and has also stood up to some scientifically designed research as well. I hope some readers can make it to the Thursday talk. I welcome skeptics as well, but we'll be talking about history and

Linda Diane Feldt

Tue, Feb 26, 2013 : 10:35 p.m.

Here is one study that concluded "RESULTS: The treatment group had a statistically significant (P < .05) decrease in duration of diarrhea, defined as the number of days until there were less than three unformed stools daily for 2 consecutive days. There was also a significant difference (P < .05) in the number of stools per day between the two groups after 72 hours of treatment.". Lancet has published a few more, and there was a follow up to this one that also had statistically significant results. I think there is much to talk about, and also to question, but it isn't accurate to say there is no evidence. At best, the evidence is conflicting and also puzzling at times.


Tue, Feb 26, 2013 : 4:06 p.m.

" I have a hard time explaining how it has stopped hives in a dog, stopped bruising in a newborn, and other examples..." Because they would have stopped anyway, most likely. Sort of like when faith healing works. A percentage of people will get well on their own if left alone, which is essentially what treatment with homeopathic "medication" is. As for why it initially became popular, it's likely because leaving people alone produced better results than treating them with the patent medicines of the time, which often included toxic ingredients such as calomel, as well as opiates. There is no scientific evidence from replicable studies conducted in a controlled manner that indicates that homeopathy works better than the placebo effect.

John of Saline

Mon, Feb 25, 2013 : 7:10 p.m.

Herbalist is cool, just to be clear. Lots of drugs started as herbs, of course. Digitalis, for instance. Nitroglycerin for heart trouble was found more-or-less by accident.

John of Saline

Mon, Feb 25, 2013 : 5:52 p.m.

I'll learn more about homeopathy by staying home, diluting the sound from the lecture to levels beyond being measured. That's when it's most effective, according to homeopaths.


Mon, Feb 25, 2013 : 6:28 p.m.

Thing is, the lecture announcement doesn't say anything about homeopathy. Not sure how it wound up in this article. Of course, it's more powerful when it isn't present, amirite?


Mon, Feb 25, 2013 : 6:08 p.m.

Now that's clever!


Mon, Feb 25, 2013 : 4:13 p.m.

I thought she was an herbalist, not a homeopathy practitioner. I have no curiosity about homeopathy at all, except for wondering why people still fall for it:


Mon, Feb 25, 2013 : 5:34 p.m.

Herbalism, incidentally, isn't. Herbs can have actual medicinal effects. As long as they aren't used homeopathically, where they would be diluted so many times you'd be lucky if the vial you're sold even includes a single molecule of the active substance.


Mon, Feb 25, 2013 : 5:32 p.m.

Seriously? People are voting me down for pointing out that homeopathy is a scam, dependent solely on the placebo effect? That's scientific fact, guys. It's always been a scam.

Linda Peck

Mon, Feb 25, 2013 : 4:07 p.m.

I will not be able to attend, but this looks like a great lecture by an expert herbalist. This is such important information to have and use.