food · life curation

Free Online Courses for Improved Wellness

One of the pleasant side effects of our current crisis is the increased interest in improving our health through natural methods. If we can employ safe, effective natural remedies to complement conventional (Western) medical treatment, then maybe we can promote better health, improved vitality and increased longevity.

In my desire to learn more about natural remedies (as you know, I’ve been studying The Women’s Herbal Apothecary by JJ Pursell), I took to the Web to see what complimentary courses I could find to deepen my knowledge. I was delighted by what I found!

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Coursera is currently offering a five-part specialization program in Integrative Health and Medicine. Each of the five courses in this program covers a different aspect of using alternative medicine to support overall wellness. I’ve signed up for a couple of the courses because I’m very interested in what will be taught! The course will be taught by University of Minnesota professors, so you can be assured that what you will learn is akin to what may be taught in a course on campus. You can either sign up for a paid subscription to Coursera or you can audit the courses, which allows you to view the instructional material for free but does not offer a certification if you complete the assignments in a timely fashion.

Another fantastic course that I found while searching for free online alternative medicine courses is this free Introduction to Aromatherapy course offered by Aromahead. I really like the fact that this is a self-paced course, so you can complete it as you have the time available to do so. I have a small collection of essential oils so I’m excited to learn more about tapping into their power and harnessing the maximum benefit.

Finally, the American Herbalist Guild has generously provided a library of archived webinar materials for free. This may be great for you if you don’t want to commit to a full-fledged course but still want to learn more about herbs and natural remedies. I like that these concentrated teaching sessions can help you get targeted information about a specific topics. 

There are many more free online herbal and alternative medicine courses that you can find by simply doing a Google search, but these were my favorites that I wanted to share with you.

I hope you all are having a great day! Take care, and I’ll be back tomorrow.



(This post contains affiliate links)



Fibro Fridays: Nervine Herbs

In the quest to reduce my fibromyalgia symptoms and treat my condition with as few chemicals as possible, I’ve began exploring and experimenting with natural supplements. I don’t claim that these options will work for everyone, but for those that are curious, there are certain plants that may relieve some of the common symptoms associated with fibro.

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I have been reviewing The Woman’s Herbal Apothecary by JJ Pursellquite a bit over the past few months. This book offers a condensed herbal dictionary and a host of natural remedies to try. One of the best things about this book is how the various effects of certain herbs is summarized for each plant listed. I was intrigued by the herbs that have nervine properties.

My constant companion over the past few months

Nervine herbs can influence the nervous system. It can soothe the nerves and reduce the reaction within the nervous system. Since fibromyalgia is essentially an overactive nervous system that exaggerates sensation in the body, a nervine herb could, theoretically, relax some of those nervous responses and cause the system to calm down.

Below, I’ve listed some of the nervine herbs outlined in the book (the author includes several more).

  • Angelica Root
  • Black Cohosh
  • Chamomile
  • Gotu Kola
  • Hop Flowers
  • Lemongrass
  • Sage
  • Skullcap
  • St. John’s Wort

I’ve personally used chamomile tea, and I’ve made a tea from fresh sage. I have noticed that I am noticeably more relaxed after consuming either tea. I may eventually try experimenting with using these teas as a way to wean myself off of prescription medication, but for now, I’m pleased with the gentle effects from occasional use.

My current favorite chamomile tea blend

On the occasions when my grocer runs out of sage,I’ll order it from Amazon

Have any of you tried any nervine herbs? I’d love to hear about your experiences!






*Disclaimer: this post is not intended as medical advice. Please consult your doctor for any medical recommendations and advice.

**This post contains affiliate links.

life curation

What I’m Enjoying This Week

Despite being temporarily confined to my home, I’ve been making it a point to enjoy small pleasures each day. This really helps me to maintain a positive attitude and keeps my energy high. I take delight in indulging in little self-care rituals each day.

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I continue to use a modified version of the Korean 10-step skincare approach. My skincare routine has been a source of comfort and relaxation for me. Unfortunately, some of my favorite essence options have increased significantly in price, and I’d rather spend my money on other things. So I have been using the Bliss Rose Gold Rescue Toner Mist as an essence instead. It’s more affordable and easy to use. I’ve found this product to be gentle and lovely. So far, I’ve enjoyed using this tremendously.

I’ve been very interested in optimizing my immune system and giving my body the best chance to operate at its peak. So, I’ve been enjoying this delicious Tiesta Tea Immunity Tea: Chocolate Ginger Turmeric Spiced Cocoa Rooibos Tea. This incredible tea contains delicious bits of chocolate and caramel to offer some subtle sweetness while providing the nutritional benefits of turmeric and ginger. I love to sip this in the evenings as I unwind and prepare for bed.

Because I enjoy the ceremony of drinking a beautiful tea (you all may recall the last time I wrote about my love of tea), I’ve been especially enjoying my tea cup and saucer. I have the Mikasa Love Story set (I’ve shared it here before) but, if you aren’t interested in purchasing the full set, you can get the cup and saucer separately. I love these pieces and use them regularly.

My favorite cup and saucer set

While sipping my tea and unwinding in the evening, I’ve been making it a point to read a good book. Recently, I’ve been reading The Woman’s Herbal Apothecary by JJ Pursell. I’m curious about how herbs, teas and tinctures can be used to heal our bodies. I’m also starting to stock my cupboards with the herbs that I find may be most beneficial on my journey to optimal health.

That’s just a little of what I’m enjoying this week. How about you all: what has been giving you a little peace during this time? I’d love to hear about it!

*All links shared in this post are affiliate links.