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June 14, 2017

Medicine Making 101 with Flowers, Roots and Bark

Senior AIMC Berkeley Student Carleen Cotter taught a hands-on Salve Making Workshop on Saturday, June 10th.

More than 15 AIMC Berkeley students and a clinical supervisor came to learn the art of medicine making. At the end of the class, everyone got to take away their own salve made with three yellow herbs—Philodendron root, rhubarb root and skullcap flower. The project was funded through AIMC Berkeley’s student council and the student activities fee.

“Carleen’s salve making class was hands-on and fun!” said Joyce Kwok, L.Ac, PT, an AIMC Berkeley Clinical Supervisor. “I learned great techniques and infromation that I’ll add to my practice.”

Students ground the herbs in the AIMC Berkeley pharmacy and cooked and strained them to make a flowery essence. At one point after squeezing the essence from a cheesecloth they wiped down their wet hands on one another’s arms with the remaining juices. This was just one of the moments that produced smiles and giggles from the participants. Everyone got to take home a sample of their own “Three Yellows” salve which is designed to treat wounds and remove excess heat.

“I loved this workshop!” said said Brooke McClelland, a senior AIMC Berkeley student and an officer of AIMC Berkeley’s student Council. “It was hands-on and gave us concrete skills in herbal medicine-making. Carleen took us through the process from selecting your herbs, to making an infused oil, to turning that into a salve. We learned the ratios used in herbal medicine-making, the materials needed, and proper hygiene and labeling. I really appreciated Carleen’s expertise and her willingness to share other recipes with us!”

Carolyn James, a first year AIMC Berkeley student, enjoyed the workshop and said that it was a nice complement to her studies: “I think the ability to make our own custom formulas is a great addition to our Traditional Chinese Medicine skill sets. I would like to see more of these workshops. They are a very nice way to round out our studies, and it’s fun seeing what other students are doing with their knowledge.”

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