Wise Women Traditions Feed

Addressing the Fears currently surrounding the use of Elderberry Products!

A Season of Peace & Joy (32)

Good afternoon everyone! Wherever this finds you , I hope that it finds you well and happy, safely surrounded by your loved ones! 

I've written this article in response to an email that has been making the rounds concerning the possibility of elderberry products exacerbating the dangerous phenomenon that is known as the Cytokine Storm, which we are hearing about constantly right now as we are learning more and more about COVID-19. This email was sent to me last night, but this wasn’t the first I’d heard of the concern about elderberry and cytokine storm. I'm a herbalist who likes to work with the medical community, even though I’ve always been a proponent of traditional herbalism.

For me, simply getting the facts without demonizing a generally helpful herb just makes sense. What I discovered when doing the research the other day for someone else who brought this concern to me, was that much of this misunderstanding was coming from several articles posted on some of the mothers  groups. There’s even one that uses an article from the Lancet to try to back up the claims. I spent all afternoon combing the Lancet articles and they had been completely taken out of context, simply to prove the point with no mention of elderberry at all. 

What is going on with this new scare is not unlike the anti-vaccine conversation, where many vague hypotheses have turned into statements of “fact”, blurring the real truths usually found in the center between both sides of any argument. I mean no offense to anyone who is anti-vaccine but once that happens, hysteria breaks out in this information age and that is what appears to have happened here. This has many of us who are involved in herbal education really upset right now. It’s happening because people are so scared and I don’t blame them but they need to use the information they find correctly and without making simple assumptions out of fear.  

This email was sent to me by someone whose pediatrician sent it to her.  I don’t blame the Pediatrician for being upset at all and for asking their patients to discontinue using it. The liabilities  would be huge if anything were to go wrong, even if elderberry had nothing really to do with it. We live in a very litigious society. I have since I received it seen this posted several different places in unrelated sources which leads me to believe that it's being grabbed and dispersed without any real research. 

That being said, most of the pediatricians, functional and family physicians who work directly with herbs and herbalists believe that elderberry does not contribute to the phenomenon of the cytokine storm. That being said, they/we are also very cautious about suggesting it to anyone who is known to be immune compromised. That is just common sense. We’ve known forever in the herbal community that elderberry can ramp up the immune system and  like I said last night, it should never be suggested to anyone who is known to be immune compromised or anyone for that matter who is using any medicines to help promote an immune response.

If you have rheumatoid arthritis, multiple sclerosis or lupus, you really need to discuss using elderberry with your Doctor. For instance, my brother is diabetic and also on anti- rejection drugs. There’s no way he should ever consider taking it. When my father was fighting an antibiotic resistant superbug, we did not use it because his immune system was already too compromised and because he was also fighting a host of autoimmune issues. He was on Proscar for his prostate and Plaquenil for his rheumatoid arthritis and we   felt that elderberry could have stimulated his immune system too much.

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 Elderberry should never be used by anyone who is taking Theophylline for asthma or other respiratory conditions because it can reduce the levels of those drugs causing them to not work as well. If you are taking a diuretic it’s a no go because elderberry is already a diuretic. Diabetics need to be really careful because elderberry can reduce blood sugar too much and too quickly. It’s contraindicated for anyone on chemotherapy as well. These are very practical things though and this information is easily available from any pharmacist and most good herbalists already know it because we have to be so careful. In my own experience, these contraindications are often not as well known by many Doctors, which is why I always say to become your pharmacists best friend!

Personally, elderberry is not part of my immunity arsenal except in cases like this when I am trying to be extra cautious. For times that aren’t as urgent I personally rely on a really healthy diet, lots of sleep, meditation, movement, plenty of water and green tea, bone broth to which I’ve added lots of fresh ginger, garlic and fresh turmeric, zinc  (in low amounts), vitamins C, D and B, refrigerated Probiotics, Prebiotics, astragalus, olive leaf extract and a reishi mushroom mixture.

When a nasty bug is circulating I’ll generally begin to take elderberry right after I’ve had the direct exposure and continue it for about 7 days. If I still get sick what I’ve noticed for myself is that I generally recover faster. I discontinue its use very quickly, generally about three days into my illness and move on to zinc and Umcka, an African Geranium that is thought to help with recovery from colds and flus.  That’s  been the standard way most of us have used elderberry for years, it’s only recently that it’s become used as a daily prophylactic, as it's benefits became more widely known by the general public.  

However, these are different times. I don’t blame anyone for using it that way right now ( I do blame them for hoarding it, that’s just silly!) and for most, it’s generally very safe provided it’s made correctly, even if you take it daily which I do not ever personally recommend. Most commercial preparations are made very well and are generally safe. Several years ago I spent months teaching so many young mothers who were trying to making the syrup themselves. Their kids were taking their syrup and vomiting because they had been using unripe berries and some stems as well as the ripe berries!  Unknown to many, elderberry is totally poisonous if not produced correctly. The plant is full of cyanide so there is a proper way to harvest it and produce it and for the record, most homemade elderberry syrup if produced correctly is as safe as anything you can buy.  

 I have been waiting for Aviva Romm to weigh in on this before I wrote about this. Aviva is one of the only Doctors (Yale Medical School) that I know of who is also a highly trained herbalist and midwife. I’ve loved and followed her work for years.   She’s always "no nonsense" which is one of the things I love about her. No bullshit. Speaking of which, I just remembered that elderberry does have some laxative qualities! She has created a COVID-19 site and you can find the link here. I am grateful to be able to share it with you; it is full of valuable information that we all need right now. 

I have sent the link to an article she wrote last night, but I took this piece out of it as it directly relates to her feelings about this.  

“What about Elderberry? There’s an enormous amount of  information and misinformation circulating on the internet about elderberry, COVID-19, and a phenomenon called ‘cytokine storm.’ The bottom line is that most of the evidence for elderberry is for the treatment of flu when taken during the first 72 hours of symptoms, not for the prevention of either colds or flu, though one study showed a reduced duration and severity of colds (upper respiratory infection) in air travelers compared to those who didn’t use it.

Cytokine Release Syndrome (CRS), or in its extreme, cytokine storm is an immunologic phenomenon that occurs in advanced states of infection, for example, in ARDS, as mentioned above, a potentially severe advanced COVID-19 complication, sepsis, also a possible severe COVID-19 complication, or with certain specific immunologic medications (i.e., monoclonal antibodies). It was considered a major cause of death in the Spanish Flu, SARS, and H1N1 Interleukin-6 is a term often dropped in these conversations because it is an immune mediator that acts as both a pro-inflammatory cytokine but, simultaneously it also acts as an anti-inflammatory. The association with elderberry and cytokine storm is implausible;  elderberry is not able to cause cytokine storm whether used for prevention or infection, or during infection. Were one to be experiencing cytokine storm, one would be far too sick for herbal therapies; this is an ICU/life support level crisis. Bottom line: elderberry is unlikely, based on what we know at this time, particularly relevant for COVID-19 prevention or even treatment of mild-to moderate symptoms and if you’re concerned about cytokine release syndrome or cytokine storm as a result of this herb, don’t use it. “


It’s always important to check in with your primary physicians, pediatricians and pharmacists before starting any herbal supplements, especially in a risky time like this. The problems usually come when people don’t. Because herbs are herbs they are assumed to be safer. They are for the most part EXCEPT that people forget that they are medicines... some of the oldest in the world. In this age of modern pharmaceuticals they can be dangerous because of how they can contraindicate with those medicines, something everyone needs to know and check out for themselves. For example, take the benign and delicious cranberry... healing for most, but not if you are taking blood thinners as it can possibly increase the risk of bleeding.
I always tell my clients, "You are responsible for your own health. Don't give your power away. In this day and age of Google, ignorance is definitely  a choice. Learn everything you can and ask as many questions as you need!"  
 I do love Dr. Aviva Romms site and she’s always really on top of things. If you get a chance, take a look .. I think you’ll like her too and find her to be a wealth of really good and practical information!

I hope this helps! Stay well , safe and if I can be of help in any way please let me know!

Yours in beauty and magic,


Medical Disclaimer: In accordance with FDA and other government entity rules: the information and products you may learn about in regard to Herbal Wellness as a result of your association with Beth Schreibman Gehring are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease. You, and you alone, are legally responsible for any and all decisions you make regarding the health of yourself, your family, children and your friends, clients and even your pets. Always seek the advice of your physician or other qualified health provider with any questions you may have regarding a medical condition. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking it because of something you have learned as a result of your association with Beth Schreibman Gehring. Reliance on any information provided by me is used solely at your own risk.

Milady's Tinctures, Tonic and Teas: Claire's Herbs - Cannabis and Hemp


 For reasons that would be considered "Spoilers" until 90 percent of the world is done reading Diana Gabaldon's brilliant "In my own Hearts Blood"...I will not disclose the why's,  when's and wherefores of this particular little bit of writing. Just read the new book...you will love it. It's absolutely brilliant in the way that only DG can be and you will know in due time why I wrote this...


I am still such a happy, silly old hippy. I just can’t help myself…. I seriously take great joy in living part time in a state where Marijuana is barely criminalized, and definitely enjoyed by a huge percentage of the local population openly and without fear on a fairly regular basis. Indeed , Cannabis needs absolutely no introduction to anyone who came of age in the 60’s and 70’s and I don’t think that it’s popularity has ever dwindled, regardless of the mass prohibition and vilification that this incredibly helpful herb has had to tolerate for the at least last 70 years. Its remarkably fragrant qualities and euphoria producing tendencies make it a very attractive and comforting intoxicant for those who really don’t like to drink but want to enjoy a relaxing state of being that really doesn’t  produce a nasty hangover in the morning or leave you wondering if you said or did anything that you shouldn’t have!

My own history with  marijuana goes way back to the early 1970’s when I was coming of age as a teenager. Quite frankly I loved it and I found smoking a joint or two with my friends around a bonfire to be a fair relaxing way to pass an evening.  We weren’t causing much trouble at all, unless you can call a bunch of pretty intelligent kids sitting around listening to Genesis, Yes and discussing politics, existentialism and quasi pagan philosophies well into the night trouble. Who needs complications of alcohol when you can have a   a delicious brownie or two? I loved the smell of it..burning maple leaves and just a bit of illicit spice. I loved the fact that when I smoked it, I could simply relax and wax poetic for awhile. 

To understand the politics of Marijuana  in America , you truly have to look no farther than the corporate interests that widespread use of Hemp and Cannabis would impact.  Hemp, one of the Cannabis cousins is an incredibly useful plant with nary a fraction of the “enlivening”  components of Cannabis Sativa.  It also makes fabulous paper, cloth, food, oil, and can be converted into energy.  By now everyone knows that the original Declaration of Independence was written on hemp paper and that Jefferson , Washington et al. were hemp farmers. One doesn’t need to read between the lines to see that the reintroduction of legal hemp farming across the United States would completely impact the timber, cotton and paper industries.  

The reasoning behind the prohibition of Hemp is that simple and it’s the powerful impact of industrial Hemp farming on other industries that keep it from widespread legalization here in the United States. In 1938 the Dupont Corporation had already patented the processes for creating paper from wood pulp and many of the powerful industry captains of that time were  heavily invested in the factories that would be creating paper products. There were studies done at the time showing that paper made from hemp instead of wood pulp was not only a better and more stable product, but was easier on the environment.  The processes used to produce hemp products are much less toxic than the ones used to produce paper and it was widely known that hemp was incredibly useful.  However the enormous wealth of men like William Randolph Hearst enabled them to persuade our government to outlaw it because of the vast amounts of money that they stood to lose at the time.   


Henry Ford on the other hand....

“Why use up the forests which were centuries in the making and the mines which required ages to lay down, if we can get the equivalent of forest and mineral products in the annual growth of the hemp fields?” 




The many incredible health benefits of using Cannabis Sativa wisely as medicine  are well documented.   There are studies now that show the ability of marijuana to help children and adults with Attention Deficit Disorder gain focus in their lives and the effects of Cannabis on Glaucoma have been well understood for years. People with deadly asthma no it as a bronchiodilator and many with cancer and fibromyalgia use it to find relief from pain without the horrendous side effects and addictive tendencies of traditional pain medications. Cannabis is also an appetite stimulant as many who suffer from the loss of appetite as a result of traditional treatment can attest. Crohns patients and those with IBS and other inflammatory bowel diseases who are fortunate enough to live in states where Cannabis has been decriminalized can find easy relief from the painful  and completely debilitating  pain and intestinal spasms that they experience daily as part of their disease .  There are even new groundbreaking studies that show that breast cancer can be put into remission by a daily dose of cannabis and patients suffering from the horrific side effects that chemotherapy produces can easily and safely find relief by ingesting a simple  THC med strip, a sublingual delivery system that  dissolves under your tongue and has the pain relieving properties of two  Vicodins without the terrible side effects.  

Personally I look forward to the day when marijuana is as legal and as easy to purchase as a bottle of vodka, which I consider to be far more damaging.  Living in San Diego part of the time, I experience daily many terrifying stories of the murderous drug wars that are raging on approximately 45 minutes from my lovely coastal home.  At a dinner party last year I met a government agent who had been brought into San Diego specifically to help secure the Tijuana border. His made his feelings very clear, that Americans need to insist upon the legalization of marijuana immediately in this country.  Regulate it like alcohol, tax it  (it’s California’s largest cash crop!) and shut down the need for the illegal trade that results in so much horrific bloodshed along our Mexican borders.   

Perhaps I’ve said enough of the reasons that I believe that Cannabis should be decriminalized in this country.  It’s never made sense to me that I could go out and legally drink myself silly, potentially leaving myself open to reeking some real havoc on some unsuspecting souls life forever yet if I wanted to indulge myself by smoking a bit of pot   and relaxing in my living room I could really get into some serious trouble for it. That finally seems to be changing in this country and perhaps it is as simple as all the boomers are coming of age. The last staggering statistic that I heard on National Public radio was that approximately 54 percent of American seniors still admitting to smoking it and perhaps that is why we are many steps closer to finally demanding its total decriminalization. In Colorado it's completely legal and I am told that although there are definite difficulties with the law that  close to 70 percent of the residents do not wish for the law to be revoked, only reworked. At this point in California and many other states, medical marijuana is available in all forms to the lucky residents and all you would need  to procure it without risk to life and limb is a qualifying diagnosis from your physician .  There are strictly enforced dispensaries where those lucky enough to enjoy the privilege will find all sorts of ways to indulge themselves. There are fancy edibles like lollipops, ice cream and brownies and even sodas made with cannabis for those who wish not to smoke their medicines.   


 tea set

  Personally, I don't think that there's anything lovelier then a pot of Cannabis, Bee Balm , Catmint, Rose and Lemon Thyme tea with honey when I'm in a state where I can legally drink it.

Relaxing, Romantic and simply one of the Sexiest sips ever......


For more of My Outlander Love Affair i hope that you'll bookmark : https://www.facebook.com/Outlanderloveaffair 

If you'd like to speak with me, please sign up for a free, absolutely no strings attached 50 minute gift session with me at http://beth-gehring.healthcoach.integrativenutrition.com/lets-connect-1




Wise Woman Traditions: Maiden, Mother, Crone - Moving through the many moons of Womanhood


In The Diseases of Women, by Trotula of Salerno (possibly a woman physician) published in the 13th century, it says: 

'Since in women not so mcuh heat abounds that it suffices to use up the moistures which daily collect in them, their weakness cannot endure so much exertion as to be able to put forth that moisture to the outside air as in the case of men. 

Nature herself, on account of this definciency, has assinged for them a special purgation namely the menses, commonly called flowers . .Now a purgation of this sort usually befalls women about the 13th or 14th year or a little earlier or later according to whether heat or cold abounds in them more. It lasts up to about the 50th year if she is lean; sometimes up to the 60th or 65th year if she is moist; in the moderatelyu fat up to about the 45th."



Dear reader, If you're anything like me, symptoms of peri/menopause took you totally by surprise! What are those hot flashes? That moodiness? The fatigue? The feeling that if your head weren't attached to your neck that you'd lose it?

I remember being in North Carolina on a family vacation when it occurred to me that it wasn't business as usual and in that moment I took control of my menopause instead of letting it control me! I spent years discovering the foods to eat, lifestyle changes and the herbal,vitamin and mineral supplements to take that kept me from having to rely on traditional hormone replacement therapy.  I became a real biohacker....Someone who spent their days really looking at what was making their body tick and learning everything that she could about making the changes that would bring abut the most balance through a personal recipe of nutritional , medical ,  philosophical studies and because I'm truly a geek,  the use of the latest technologies!  

 I made the choice to turn menopause into one of the sexiest and most satisfying times of my life and you can too! My 50's are better than my 30's ever were..no question! I look and feel better at 54 than I ever did at 24 ! I'm not saying that it was always easy because it required some very hard work and more than a little courage on my part, but it was worth it! Just ask my husband who was really patient and kind through the whole process once he understood what was really going on! 

So you can trust me when I say that life can be good..even great as you move through these changes! Goodbye mercy sex! When we're done you'll want to flirt more, love more , hug more and trust me, sex IS even better than before because you will learn to get comfortable enough to express what you really want in bed. You want your best friend back? Trust me..he's as confused as you are! You'll be thrilled because you're going to stop putting up with what you don't want and start having a life you love filled to the brim with the vitality and sensuality you deserve. Doesn't that sound like lot's more fun?

One of the things that I learned  in my journey is that you've got to know where to look for help and that starts with getting clear about how you're feeling about things.You're not alone here so don't be afraid to ask for help.Choose courage...you'll never regret it!

As a result of my personal journey through hormonal hell,  I was led to Dr. Sara Gottfried's book "The Hormone Cure" and after loving what I read and practicing her protocols on myself, I chose to become trained to coach  her methodologies so that I could add these brilliant techniques to what I already knew about  creating optimal hormone balance through primary food and wellness  management.   

 To be clear, you're not crazy...your sex drive did just disappear overnight and your hair is probably getting thinner. Yes, that's teenage acne and I know that you're in your 40s! That muffin top around your middle that no diet in the world has gotten rid of? You're not lazy...your cortisol levels are probably out of balance. I can promise you that you probably don't hate your husband, but maybe you've got an inbalance of estrogen or a sluggish thyroid!   You haven't had a good nights sleep in months? Lets take a look at your cortisol levels, your blood sugar and melatonin. Sex hurts? You've got aching joints? Serious crabbiness & drastic mood swings?  95 percent of the time the answers to these problems can be found in your lab work and once we have those answers, the solutions can be as easy as some very simple nutritional and lifestyle changes. 

I'm living proof that you can get all of your vitality back and more without necessarily having to submit to hormone replacement therapy in your 40's or birth control pills in your 50's ! I even had my gynecologist ask me why I thought I needed him, but that's why he's my Dr....

So here's what I know. From your first to your last period, there are unique challenges that all of us will face and you shouldn't have to do it alone.

  I can help you and if I can't , I'll know where to send you so that you can get the knowledgable medical help that you seek and then I will work hand in hand with your Doctor to  make sure that you get the support that you need. Believe it or not, most of these complaints can be addressed through simple lifestyle changes. Like I said, I'm living proof! If not, there are physicians who will be happy to help you heal without making you feel like an idiot. I'll give you ask all of the right questions to ask, so we get you all of the right answers! 

So ladies its time to toss the botox, the unnecessary emotional baggage AND the baggy sweat pants - Are you ready to fall madly in love with your whole life? Contact me and I'll send you a link to a quick quiz that you can take that will give us an initial yet effective assessment of where your hormones aren't in balance! Then we'll schedule a time to talk by phone where you'll get a complimentary half hour with me  to discuss your results. There's no time to waste ; only happiness and health to gain!  Contact me at [email protected]. I'm ready to help!


Gorgeous Photograph courtesy of http://fc09.deviantart.net/fs70/i/2010/341/a/a/maiden__mother_and_crone_by_unripehamadryad-d34figs.jpg

Milady's Tinctures, Tonics & Teas

“What are you doing?” he asked. His hands rested gently on my shoulders.

“Looking for that plant,” I answered, sticking a finger between the pages to mind my place. “The one I saw in the stone circle. See…” I flipped the book open. “It could be in the Campanulaceae, or the Gentianaceae, the Polemoniaceae, the Boraginaceae—that’s most likely, I think, forget-me-nots—but it could even be a variant of this one, the Anemone patens.” I pointed out a full color illustration of a pasqueflower. “I don’t think it was a gentian of any kind; the petals weren’t really rounded, but—”

Excerpt From: Gabaldon, Diana. “Outlander.” Bantam Dell, 1991. iBooks.
This material may be protected by copyright.

Everyone who knows me , knows of my passion for all thing Outlander and especially the character of Claire Beauchamp Randall Fraser...wife, lover , mother, herbalist, Nurse and Doctor. So I've decided to create a page in her honor and once a week address a different medicinal, fragrant or nutritional herb from the vantage point of my favorite question - " What would Claire do with it ?" Stay tuned!

Milady's Tinctures, Tonics & Teas

Wise Woman Traditions : Wassail !

12th night

It's Twelfth Night...known as the Epiphany to some and to us who prefer the older, wilder ways it's a time to engage in bit of revelry and celebration before the Yule tree comes down. In the older, Goddess centered scheme of things, 12th Night is also a time to Wassail the orchard or in other words to take a bowl of cider into the orchard and feed the fruit trees with it to ask for the gift of an abundant harvest. We have an enormous storm heading our way here in Ohio, but fortunately I was able to get outside with Jim before it hit and together we toasted our fruit trees and fed them this wonderful bottle of Apple wine from Julian, California. 

"Our bowl is made of a white Maple tree, with a Wassailing Bowl we'll drink to thee!"


Good Health to You!

With love from The Windesphere Witch


From Wikipedia- 

In the cider-producing West of England (primarily the counties of Devon, Somerset, Dorset, Gloucestershire and Herefordshire) wassailing also refers to drinking (and singing) the health of trees in the hopes that they might better thrive.

An old rhyme goes: “Wassaile the trees, that they may beare / You many a Plum and many a Peare: / For more or lesse fruits they will bring, / As you do give them Wassailing.”

The purpose of wassailing is to awake the cider apple trees and to scare away evil spirits to ensure a good harvest of fruit in the Autumn.{"England In Particular", Common Ground 2007} The ceremonies of each wassail vary from village to village but they generally all have the same core elements. A wassail King and Queen lead the song and/or a processional tune to be played/sung from one orchard to the next, the wassail Queen will then be lifted up into the boughs of the tree where she will place toast soaked in Wassail from the Clayen Cup as a gift to the tree spirits (and to show the fruits created the previous year). Then an incantation is usually recited such as this:

“Here's to thee, old apple tree, That blooms well, bears well. Hats full, caps full, Three bushel bags full, An' all under one tree. Hurrah! Hurrah!”

A folktale from Somerset reflecting this custom tells of the "Apple Tree Man", the spirit of the oldest apple tree in an orchard, and in whom the fertility of the orchard is said to reside. In the tale a man offers his last mug of mulled cider to the trees in his orchard and is rewarded by the Apple Tree Man who reveals to him the location of buried treasure."


Wise Woman Traditions: The Training of a Reluctant Healer



All of my life I've been drawn to helping others create lives of full self expression. I spent most of my time in high school "counseling" my friends who would seek me out because somehow they thought that I had the answers. During a time of highly charged personal challenges that I was facing as a very young woman in a very young marriage, I spent much of my time with a marvelous social worker who encouraged me to look more deeply within myself and to express the passion and gift that I had for healing work , a concept which at that time seemed a bit New Agey to me, but was absolutely spot on.

Starting in 1984,  I spent the next 2 decades learning everything that I could from LaWanna Rine about traditional herbalism and essential oils. I became obsessed with the teachings of the Sacred Feminine and the Wise Woman Traditions. At the same time I was spending some weekends at the Phoenicia Pathwork Center in New York State with my mentor Robert Tobey and a group of amazing healers learning to work with the energy that flowed almost uncontrollably from my hands. It was a wonderful time for me. In Phoenicia I learned that the energy that I was experiencing wasn't "mine", but instead I was the conduit for something that to this day I don't quite understand, but acknowledge as a gift from a universal source. It was the very lesson that I needed to be able to use the  abilities I'd been given. I spent my time there working with others while at the same time healing my own wounds. Facing my own demons allowed me the wisdom and compassion to truly begin to work with others in a way that was safe, expressive and powerful.  

When I wasn't in Phoenicia, I was working with a group of extraordinary healers that my husband and I started, offering bodywork to anyone who needed it through the laying on of hands in the safe, loving space of our home. I'm convinced that anyone has the capacity to be a healer, mostly you just need to get out of your own way. Healing can happen anywhere at anytime.  

That whole time I was living a dual life. I was the President of one of the most prominent gift stores in the city of Cleveland, yet at I'd find myself sitting on the loveseat in my store with my hands on a customer who was sobbing because they'd just confided in me about some of the things happening in their lives. Finally my husband said to  me, " Do you think that you're missing something?" but I still wasn't sure that I was comfortable with the concept of "Beth , the Healer".

Around that same time I took a course called the Landmark Forum, a curriculum that really taught me so much about what it mean't to live a life of integrity. What I realized from that moment on was that I didn't have the answers, but what I was able to do for people was listen to them carefully and provide the supportive space for them needed to be fully present to themselves, their pain and their desires. I also realized very quickly the inauthenticity of living my life expressing only part of myself. I stopped ignoring the obvious, faced my fears and threw myself onto the playing field as a lifecoach!

 A few years later I found myself facing the death of both my parents and wondering after being their caregiver for so many years  just what was next. I watched my mother die from severe complications stemming from her type 2 diabetes, a disease which is largely environmental and in many cases easily controllable through diet and exercise. The epiphany came while siblings and I were working almost non-stop using herbs and other alternative modalities to keep my fathers immune system functioning well in the nursing home where he lived. There was illness everywhere, ranging from chronic urinary tract infections to staph, mrsa , klebsiella and cedif. It was easily traceable to the food that the residents were served, food that was cheap,  poor quality , unappealingly prepared and of the lowest nutritional value. I realized that many of the problems that we were facing with my father were systemic throughout our American culture. It is a simple truth....food matters and so does quality of lifestyle. We truly are what we eat. At that moment I began to look for a school that could give me the tools that I needed to help others learn to eat and live well no matter their means. 

I received my training as a Health Coach from the Institute for Integrative Nutrition's cutting-edge Health Coach Training Program.

During my training, I studied over 100 dietary theories, practical lifestyle management techniques, and innovative coaching methods with some of the world’s top health and wellness experts. My teachers included Dr. Andrew Weil, Director of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine; Dr. Deepak Chopra, leader in the field of mind-body medicine; Dr. David Katz, Director of Yale University’s Prevention Research Center; Dr. Walter Willett, Chair of Nutrition at Harvard University; Geneen Roth, bestselling author and expert on emotional eating; and many other leading researchers and nutrition authorities.

My education has equipped me with extensive knowledge in holistic nutrition, health coaching, and preventive health. Drawing on these skills and my knowledge of different dietary theories, I work with clients to help them make lifestyle changes that produce real and lasting results.

If you'd like to speak with me, please sign up for a free, absolutely no strings attached 50 minute gift session with me at http://beth-gehring.healthcoach.integrativenutrition.com/lets-connect-1

Also , please feel free to connect with me on my facebook page  


Wise Woman Traditions: Numan: The Nature of Plants

This is  an absolutely beautiful documentary about herbs and other healing plants and the amazing gifts that they give to us. You can watch it in it's entirety for free until the 30th!



"NUMEN TRAILER 2013 - Free online screening of complete film Oct 20-30!

from  PLUS 3 weeks ago ALL AUDIENCES

We are thrilled to announce the free online screening of the new edition of the documentary, Numen: The Nature of Plants, for ten days, from October 20–30th. To watch the film go to:


10% discount, free domestic shipping, and bonuses on all screening licenses purchased before Oct. 30th. $0.99 shipping on all personal use DVDs as well!

Numen is the first feature-length documentary to celebrate the healing power of plants. The film features stunning footage of medicinal plants and thought-provoking interviews with Drs. Tieraona Low Dog and Larry Dossey, the late Bill Mitchell, ND, author Kenny Ausubel, herbalists Rosemary Gladstar, Phyllis Light and many others and calls for a re-awakening of traditional knowledge about plants and their uses.

Our hope is that Numen will spark new conversations and debates about health and wellness and inspire real, tangible actions to build a grassroots, ecologically sustainable healthcare movement. To help sow the seeds of this movement, we are making the film available for free online for a limited time.

We owe it to our children and grandchildren to do everything we can to make the world more sustainable, including making better choices about the medicines we consume. Numen encourages viewers to think deeply about the sources of their medicine and how those choices affect themselves and the larger web of life. It inspires us to deepen our relationship with the natural world and reminds us of the healing made possible by re-embracing our place in the wider web of life. And it shows that all of these changes can begin with the simple act of growing thyme in a pot in your window or harvesting nettles from a field behind your home.

To watch the film go to: numenfilm.leadpages.net/8min/"


Healing Happens~ Getting Back into the Water!


The other day I saw the most remarkable thing. Let me digress...When I was young I learned to surf in Hawaii. To be out on the water, just you and a large board and waves that break over you like thunder is one of the most amazing feelings in the world. It's pure freedom...everybody should experience it at least once . My son inherited my love of the sea and when he's out here he plays in the waves every chance he can. As I type my husband , son Alex and his girlfriend are out enjoying a particularly amazing set! We've been here in San Diego celebrating the wedding of my nephew and his high school sweetheart and the waves have been fabulous everyday. Pure unadulterated bliss!


When I was out taking a walk on Friday, I saw a large group of surf instructors and a ton of volunteers out on the beach. That's not unusual...what was different were the vast number of completely disabled veterans in wheelchairs. Then, I saw the instructors and volunteers helping them out to the ocean and on to surfboards.They took them way out into the wave sets. Then I watched in amazement as they helped each one have the joy of riding in! I was completely blown away. These guys came in and everyone cheered and clapped. There were double amputees, quadriplegics, PTSD victims..you name it they were out there experiencing the ocean with the help of those dedicated volunteers.


I stood there with tears rolling down my cheeks and then marched off to find out who was in charge. It turns out that the program was sponsored by my favorite surf shop in La Jolla- The Surf Divas www.surfdiva.com  who run the best surfing school in town. I spoke with the owner of the school and told her that over the next year, I'm getting back in the water and I will be there next year ready and willing to assist.


The takeaway? My clients are screwed and I say that lovingly but I really mean it. I'm screwed... No more excuses. So many of us take our bodies for granted. We abuse them, eat the wrong foods, smoke too much, drink too much and have way to many excuses to not exercise. Watching this really drove home to me just how lucky so many of us are. We've got our health...hell most of us have all of our limbs and we don't even try to move them. I hear so many excuses not to and I've used all of the same ones myself. We're too tired , to busy...the list goes on. If you've got all your limbs you've really got no excuse. Believe me...the men and women I just saw would give anything to have theirs back. Given that they lost theirs in service to us  i truly believe that we might owe it to them to make sure that it wasn't in vain.


Here's a link to a wonderful news clip!  http://fox5sandiego.com/2013/09/16/clinic-introduces-wounded-vets-to-adaptive-sports/#axzz2fCig2Ris




Gaia's Gardens: Heaven on Earth


One of the joys of being an active member of The Western Reserve Herb Society is the abundant talent and intellect of the group. Far from being just a "ladies who lunch" club, this is a working group that spends its time caring for the established herb gardens down at The Cleveland Botanical Garden as well as having  teaching meetings at it's members homes and down at the gardens. Yesterday's meeting was no less extraordinary. I was told to bring a picnic type dish to share and come prepared to be amazed. I can't give you the exact location of these beautiful gardens , but I will say that they are nestled along the banks of the beautiful Chagrin River.  As you can see, I arrived and found myself completely lost in paradise.

It was a wonderful day spent with friends partaking in a glorious Japanese Tea Ceremony , breaking bread together and wandering this extensive and utterly gorgeous monastery garden. I'd be hard pressed to choose my favorite of the beautiful structures but I'd have to say that if I could have taken one of them home it would have been this one. I left feeling refreshed , heart-filled and truly inspired.  



Gaia's Gardens: Heaven on Earth

Gaia's Gardens: Heaven on Earth

Gaia's Gardens: Heaven on Earth

Gaia's Gardens: Heaven on Earth

Gaia's Gardens: Heaven on Earth