HealthLinks Charleston May/June 2022

www. Char l es tonPhys i c i ans . com | www.Hea l thL i nksChar l es ton . com | 101 Hawthorn berries are loaded with vitamin C, beta carotene, B vitamins, pectin, minerals and organic acids that support the circulatory system and protect against heart disease. And Mulberry leaves are so full of minerals and vitamins that its plant is known as the anti-aging tree. Punsalan said if you haven't made cleaver and mulberry part of your regular diet, it is never too late to start. “But it is important to realize that not just one or two miracle plants make for good health,” she said. “Foraging a vast array of plants and eating the rainbow is the key to longevity.” To this end, Yahola offers instruction in these six modules of plant courses: Module 1: Botany, ferns, gymnosperms, plant intuitive medicine, infusions and decoctions and herbs for the urinary system. Module 2: Magnolia, bay, lizard's tail family, herbs for the respiratory and immune system and herbal vinegars. Module 3: Herbs for the digestive system, tinctures and the mint and carrot family. Module 4: Herbs for the nervous system, salves and infused oils and the aster and rose family. Module 5 (Bonus): Herbs for the circulatory system and flower essences. Module 6: Herbs for women, men, the liver and steam distillation. Along the way, students receive materials that include a free Forage Now course and more than 30 peer-reviewed journal articles that review medicinal plant families in-depth. Upon course completion, students receive a community herbalist certificate. Punsalan stressed that the most important thing about Yahola is not the certificate but the knowledge: to learn which plants are best for your body, where you can forage for them and how you can best use them to stay healthy and far outlive all conventional expectations. “Through Yahola, I want students to know how to incorporate herbs to support their digestive, circulatory, respiratory, liver and reproductive systems,” Punsalan said. “And I want to create a paradigm shift in America where foraging food and medicine is the norm, and where people turn to local plants first for healing before going to the drugstore.” Yahola Herbal School - April Punsalan, left, leads a class on Sullivan’s Island in the fall of 2021 during an outing and lesson on wild herbs.