Category: Herbal Medicine

Warm Up with Autumn Herbs and Spices

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Autumn, with its crisp air and vibrant colors, has a special way of inviting us to cozy up with warming dishes and beverages. The tradition of using herbs and spices to stave off the chill is ancient and continues to be a rich area of study. Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) offers in-depth knowledge in this arena through its Nutrition and Herbal Medicine programs. Let’s explore some of the heartwarming herbs, spices, and recipes inspired by this wisdom. 

  1. Cinnamon

A favorite spice in many fall recipes, cinnamon is known not just for its aromatic qualities but also for its warming and circulatory properties. Try a cinnamon-infused tea or add it to your favorite apple dishes. 

  1. Ginger

Another star of autumn, ginger can warm the body and soothe digestive discomforts. Ginger tea or a ginger stir-fry can be both therapeutic and delicious. 

  1. Turmeric

Closely related to ginger, turmeric provides a warm, earthy flavor, and a golden hue to dishes. It’s renowned for its anti-inflammatory properties. Warm up with a turmeric latte or golden milk. 

  1. Cardamom

Often used in chai blends, cardamom provides a unique aromatic warmth. Its sweet and spicy nature makes it perfect for autumn baked goods. 

  1. Clove

Cloves, with their intense and spicy aroma, are perfect for simmering stews and warm beverages. They possess antiseptic properties and can even be chewed to freshen breath. 

  1. Star Anise

With its star-shaped pods and licorice-like flavor, star anise brings both beauty and warmth to autumn recipes. Commonly used in broths and mulled beverages, it’s a seasonal favorite that adds depth and a subtle sweet-spicy note to dishes. 

Recipe: Cozy Autumn Herbal Tea 


1 tsp dried ginger root 

1 cinnamon stick 

2 cardamom pods, crushed 

1 clove 

1 star anise 

1 tsp honey (optional) 


Combine all the herbs in a teapot. 

Pour boiling water over the herbs and steep for 5-7 minutes. 

Strain, add honey if desired, and savor the warmth.

As the leaves change and the temperature drops, there’s no better time to delve into the wonders of nutrition and herbal medicine. MUIH’s Master of Science in Herbal Product Design and Manufacture offers a comprehensive understanding of herbs, from extraction to therapeutic applications. 

If you’ve ever been fascinated by the natural powers of herbs and spices or have a passion for nutrition, MUIH is the place to turn that interest into expertise. Warm up this autumn with the knowledge and skills acquired from world-class educators and become a part of the next generation of holistic health professionals. For more information on MUIH’s graduate programs in Nutrition and Herbal Medicine, visit MUIH’s website. 

The Natural Wonders of MUIH: The Western Herbal Dispensary

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The quest for holistic health and wellness has led many to explore alternative and natural remedies. The Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH) has long been a pioneering institution in the field of integrative health, and one of its standout resources is the Western Herbal Dispensary. This herbal haven is a treasure trove of botanical wisdom, offering a range of benefits that cater to the diverse needs of its community. In this article, we’ll delve into the advantages of the Western Herbal Dispensary and why it’s a vital resource for those seeking a more holistic approach to health.

Access to a Wealth of Knowledge

MUIH’s Western Herbal Dispensary is staffed by highly trained herbalists and practitioners who possess a wealth of knowledge about the medicinal properties of plants. This expertise ensures that visitors receive tailored recommendations and guidance on selecting the most suitable herbal remedies for their specific health concerns. Whether you’re a seasoned herbal enthusiast or a newcomer to the world of natural healing, the dispensary offers a valuable educational experience.

Customized Herbal Formulations

One of the standout benefits of the Western Herbal Dispensary is the ability to access personalized herbal formulations. The staff at the dispensary takes into account individual health goals and specific requirements, crafting bespoke remedies that target unique health challenges. This tailored approach goes a long way in enhancing the effectiveness of herbal treatments.

High-Quality, Ethically Sourced Herbs

MUIH places a strong emphasis on sourcing herbs of the highest quality, emphasizing ethical and sustainable practices. This commitment to sourcing premium ingredients ensures that the herbal remedies created at the Western Herbal Dispensary are both potent and environmentally responsible. By choosing these products, visitors can feel confident in their healing journey while also supporting sustainable practices.

Complementary Healthcare Solutions

The Western Herbal Dispensary doesn’t operate in isolation. It’s an integral part of MUIH’s broader approach to integrative healthcare. This means that visitors can access a variety of complementary therapies and services that align with their herbal treatments. Whether it’s acupuncture, nutrition counseling, or yoga therapy, MUIH offers a holistic approach to well-being.

A Community of Support

The Western Herbal Dispensary at MUIH isn’t just a place to pick up herbal remedies; it’s a community that fosters support, learning, and growth. Visitors can connect with like-minded individuals who share an interest in natural health, forming a network that can provide emotional support and camaraderie on their wellness journey.

Empowerment Through Knowledge

MUIH’s commitment to education extends beyond the classroom. The Western Herbal Dispensary empowers visitors to take control of their health by providing them with knowledge about the herbs and remedies they use. This educational aspect is invaluable for those who wish to understand the healing properties of plants and incorporate them into their daily lives.

Enhancing Overall Wellness

The Western Herbal Dispensary is more than just a resource for addressing health issues; it’s a hub for enhancing overall wellness. The remedies available here can be used for preventive health, helping individuals maintain their well-being and vitality. This proactive approach to health is at the heart of MUIH’s philosophy.

The Western Herbal Dispensary at MUIH stands as a beacon of natural healing and integrative health. Its benefits extend far beyond the dispensing of herbal remedies, offering visitors a holistic approach to well-being, empowering them with knowledge, and connecting them with a supportive community. It is a unique and valuable resource of the Herbal Medicine academic programs, which provides the tools and space for students to get hands-on experience creating, formulating, and compounding herbal preparations. The dispensary is also a source of high-quality, custom-compounded formulations produced for clients of the MUIH Natural Care Center and clients of MUIH alumni. Whether you’re seeking a personalized herbal remedy, education on botanical healing, or a network of like-minded individuals, the Western Herbal Dispensary has something to offer. It is, without a doubt, a valuable resource for those embarking on a journey toward holistic health and wellness.

CGMP Compliance and Herbal Products: A Guide to Regulatory Requirements

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Written by Faculty member, John Courie, M.S.

Over the last few years, the herbal products industry has seen remarkable expansion, further accelerated by the COVID-19 pandemic, with market forecasts approaching 360 billion USD by 2032. Alongside this growth, there’s been a heightened emphasis on regulatory adherence and quality assurance from not only governing bodies but also major retailers and increasingly savvy consumers. Central to the regulatory framework for this industry are Current Good Manufacturing Practices (cGMPs). This article aims to unpack how these practices apply to herbal products while shedding light on key elements such as label claims and disease structure function claims.

Herbs are Dietary Supplements

Before exploring the intricacies of cGMPs, it’s vital to establish that herbs fall under the category of dietary supplements in the U.S., as per the Dietary Supplement Health and Education Act (DSHEA) of 1994. Notably, DSHEA grants the FDA the authority to regulate these products for safety but doesn’t require pre-market approval for efficacy. This framework, detailed in 21 CFR 111, defines the regulatory landscape for herbal supplements. Similar regulatory structures exist in Europe and other jurisdictions, ensuring a global focus on quality and safety for these products.

Supplements are Food Based on DSHEA

DSHEA classifies dietary supplements as a subset of foods. This classification impacts not only how these products are regulated but also how they are produced and marketed. Unlike pharmaceuticals, which are subject to a stringent set of rules even before they hit the market, dietary supplements do not require pre-market approval. However, they still need to adhere to specific guidelines for safety and manufacturing processes, which is where cGMPs come into play.

Understanding Label Claims

One of the first steps in achieving cGMP compliance is getting the labeling right. The Federal Food, Drug, and Cosmetic Act has laid down clear guidelines on what a product label can and cannot claim as well as elements that must be standardized such as a
nutrition facts panel so that consumers can easily understand the contents of the supplement. Broadly, these claims fall into three categories: health claims, nutrient content claims, and structure/function claim (which are explained below). Importantly, any structure/function claims must include an FDA disclaimer and all content claims—such as stating “contents: 10mg of caffeine” as opposed to simply “contents: green tea”—need to be substantiated during manufacturing to be compliant. There are many techniques for designing labels and verifying the composition of an herbal product, our Masters program in Herbal Product Design and Manufacture explores the techniques used for this in the modern dietary supplement industry in great detail.

Disease Structure Function Claims

While dietary supplements, including herbal products, cannot make explicit disease claims, they can make structure/function claims. These claims describe how a product may affect the structures or functions of the body but must be accompanied by a
disclaimer that the FDA has not evaluated the claim. These nuanced differences in label claims can have a substantial impact on how the product is received by consumers and regulated by authorities. So for example, let’s say you are making a chamomile,
valerian, skullcap tincture to sell on etsy from your harvest over the summer. On your store page if you say “Helps promote a sense of relaxation for better sleep.” it’s a generalized statement that doesn’t claim to treat a specific condition or disease. But if you wrote in the product description “Effective in treating insomnia.” This claim directly states that the product can treat a specific medical condition, and it is now functioning as a drug rather than a dietary supplement, subjecting it to a different and much more stringent set of regulatory requirements. The key difference is that structure/function claims are more general and focus on well-being, whereas disease claims directly address a medical condition and are subject to much stricter regulatory oversight. Writing effective structure function claims and building the evidence for the claims you want to make about your products is a central element of our program at MUIH.

Navigating cGMPs for Herbal Products

cGMPs are designed to ensure that products are produced to specific quality standards. For herbal supplements, cGMPs cover everything from the quality of the raw materials to the final packaging of the product. A good shorthand for what the cGMPs cover is

“People, Premises, Processes, Products, Procedures”

Compliance is assessed through documentation and inspections, and failure to meet these standards can result in a variety of enforcement actions, ranging from warning letters to product seizures.

Ensuring Quality through Documentation

One of the cornerstones of cGMP compliance is robust documentation. Manufacturers are required to document various processes including ingredient verification, quality control, and even employee training. This ensures traceability and accountability, which are critical for both regulatory compliance and consumer trust. Increasingly, the consumer marketplace is asking for this documentation in the form of seed to sale or soil to sale programs or programs where you can look up the facts about the specific batch of a supplement you have by entering a serial number on the manufacturer’s website or scanning a barcode on the bottle.

Navigating the complex landscape of cGMP compliance for herbal products can be challenging but is crucial for market success and consumer safety. Understanding the regulatory environment, including how herbal products are classified and labeled, can
provide a solid foundation for meeting these compliance requirements. By staying informed and adhering to cGMP standards, herbal product manufacturers can not only ensure the quality and safety of their products but also gain a competitive edge in this
rapidly evolving market. If you are interested in learning more please consider our Herbal Products Design and Manufacturing program at MUIH

Herbal Product Design and Manufacture at MUIH

MUIH’s one-of-a-kind herbal medicine programs recognize the power of the natural world and plant medicines in promoting health and wellness. Through the integration of time-honored uses with contemporary science and research, graduates support the growing consumer use of herbal medicine in community health and wellness, clinical care, research, manufacturing, and retail settings.

Maryland University of Integrative Health offers the only M.S. Herbal Product Design and Manufacture degree in the U.S. Graduates of this program are prepared with the skills and knowledge in herbal medicine and scientific practice and research needed to contribute to the growing field of herbal supplement development and manufacturing. Students develop expertise combining the abilities of medicinal plant researcher and herbalist with that of a medicine maker.

Unlocking the Future: The Power of a Degree in Herbal Product Design and Manufacture

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In an age where health and well-being are paramount concerns, herbal medicine has emerged as a time-honored and effective solution to various ailments. With an increasing demand for natural remedies, the field of Herbal Product Design and Manufacture offers a unique opportunity for individuals seeking a fulfilling career that combines science, innovation, and the healing power of nature. At MUIH, you will explore the vast potential and significance of pursuing a degree in Herbal Product Design and Manufacture, with a special emphasis on the invaluable role of herbal medicine.

Embracing the Renaissance of Herbal Medicine

In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in herbal medicine due to its holistic approach to healing and the increasing preference for natural alternatives to conventional pharmaceuticals. A Master’s Degree in Herbal Product Design and Manufacture equips students with a comprehensive understanding of the medicinal properties of plants and their safe and effective integration into modern therapeutic products.

Nurturing the Marriage of Tradition and Science

One of the unique aspects of studying Herbal Product Design and Manufacture is the blending of traditional knowledge with cutting-edge scientific advancements. By fusing time-tested herbal wisdom with evidence-based research, students in this field learn to develop innovative herbal products that are both safe and effective. This particular perspective is highly sought after by the industry and is quite rare.

Meeting the Growing Market Demand

As consumers become more health-conscious and environmentally aware, the demand for herbal products is reaching new heights. This presents a lucrative opportunity for graduates of Herbal Product Design and Manufacture programs to enter a flourishing job market. Whether it’s working with established herbal medicine companies or launching their own startups, graduates are poised to make a meaningful impact on public health.

Addressing Global Health Challenges

Herbal medicine has long been a key component of traditional healthcare systems across various cultures. By pursuing a Master’s degree in Herbal Product Design and Manufacture, individuals can play a crucial role in addressing global health challenges. From developing sustainable herbal supply chains to creating herbal remedies for specific health issues, graduates can contribute to making herbal medicine more accessible and affordable worldwide.

Fostering Eco-Friendly Practices

With a growing awareness of the impact of human activities on the environment, sustainability is a central concern for consumers and businesses alike. Herbal medicine offers a naturally eco-friendly approach to healthcare, and a degree in Herbal Product Design and Manufacture encourages students to adopt environmentally responsible practices throughout the entire product lifecycle.

Collaborating with Experts from Various Fields

The journey towards becoming an Herbal Product Design and Manufacture expert involves collaborating with professionals from diverse fields, such as botany, pharmacology, chemistry, and marketing. This interdisciplinary approach enriches the learning experience and fosters a comprehensive understanding of the complex world of herbal medicine.

A Master’s degree in Herbal Product Design and Manufacture opens the door to a rewarding career that embraces the healing wisdom of nature and the advancements of science. As the world embraces the resurgence of herbal medicine, the demand for skilled professionals in this field is set to rise. By championing the cause of herbal medicine, graduates can make a positive impact on public health, the environment, and the future of healthcare. Embrace the power of herbal medicine, and embark on a journey of discovery, innovation, and transformation with a degree in Herbal Product Design and Manufacture.

MUIH offers the only Master of Science in Herbal Product Design and Manufacture program in the U.S. The program is designed for individuals whose passion for herbal medicine focuses on producing herbal products instead of practicing as a clinician. The program integrates traditional perspectives on the use of herbs with evidence-based scientific research as a foundation for improved development and commercialization of herbal supplements. Our graduates engage with existing companies or as entrepreneurs in multiple roles, providing quality assurance, research, product development, and Federal regulatory guidance.

Embrace the Soothing Power of Aloe Leaf: Your Summertime Herb for Radiant Skin and More!

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summertime herb

As the sun’s rays grow stronger during the summer months, our skin yearns for rejuvenation and protection. One of nature’s most treasured gifts for summertime self-care is the aloe leaf. Beyond being a staple ingredient in skincare products, aloe vera offers a plethora of benefits that make it the perfect herb to embrace this season. In this article, we will delve into the various ways aloe leaf can enhance your summer experience while keeping you refreshed and revitalized.

Natural Sunburn Relief:

Nothing can ruin a fun day in the sun quite like a sunburn. Luckily, aloe leaf comes to the rescue with its remarkable healing properties. The gel extracted from aloe vera leaves contains powerful anti-inflammatory compounds that can soothe and cool sunburned skin. Applying a thin layer of fresh aloe gel to affected areas promotes healing, reduces redness, and provides immediate relief from pain and discomfort.

After-Sun Care:

While sunburn prevention is crucial, sometimes prolonged exposure to the sun is inevitable. Aloe leaf’s cooling and healing properties make it an ideal after-sun care remedy. By applying aloe gel generously to sun-exposed areas, you can alleviate pain, reduce inflammation, and promote faster healing. Aloe’s soothing effects also help prevent peeling and keep the skin hydrated, allowing you to bounce back from a sunburn and enjoy the rest of your summer adventures.

Hydration Booster:

Staying hydrated is crucial during the summer, and aloe leaf can help with that. Aloe vera juice, made from the inner gel of the leaf, is a fantastic natural hydrator. Packed with essential nutrients and vitamins, it replenishes the body’s water levels and aids in maintaining optimal hydration. By incorporating aloe vera juice into your daily routine, you can stay refreshed, combat heat exhaustion, and promote overall well-being.

Skin Rejuvenation:

Longer days spent outdoors often lead to increased exposure to environmental stressors, leaving our skin dull and tired. Aloe leaf, with its rich source of antioxidants, offers a natural solution for reviving your skin’s radiance. Applying aloe gel or using skincare products containing aloe vera can moisturize and nourish the skin, minimizing the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles. Furthermore, aloe’s antimicrobial properties can help combat acne and prevent breakouts, making it a versatile summertime herb for maintaining a healthy complexion.

Digestive Aid:

Maintaining good digestive health is essential, especially during the summer when we indulge in outdoor gatherings and barbecues. Aloe vera juice acts as a natural digestive aid, assisting in proper digestion and easing common summer-related digestive issues such as bloating and acid reflux. Consuming aloe vera juice before or after meals can soothe the digestive system, promote regularity, and contribute to an overall sense of wellness during the summer season.

As the temperature rises, harnessing the power of aloe leaf becomes increasingly valuable for maintaining your well-being throughout the summer. Whether you need relief from sunburn, hydration for your body, a rejuvenating skincare routine, or support for your digestive system, aloe vera is the go-to herb. Embrace this summertime treasure and enjoy its countless benefits. Let aloe leaf become your trusted companion for a radiant, refreshed, and revitalized summer experience.

Remember to consult a healthcare professional before using aloe vera internally or if you have specific health concerns. If you are looking to have an herbal medicine consultation with a practitioner, call or email our Natural Care Center. You can also learn more about herbal medicine through our integrative health programs at Maryland University of Integrative Health (MUIH). Find all of our herbal medicine programs here.

So, go ahead, soak up the sun, and let the wonders of aloe leaf enhance your summertime adventures!

7 Tips for Springtime Health

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The transition from winter to spring can be challenging for our bodies. The shift in seasons and increase in allergens can affect our sleep patterns, energy levels, and mood. When we are mindful of these changes and take intentional steps, it can be easy to support our health during this time.  

Bevin Clare, Program Director for the Master of Science in Clinical Herbal Medicine at Maryland University of Integrative Health offers seven tips to help our bodies transition from winter to spring. 

  1. Eat more sour and bitter foods. These flavors are associated with springtime and can help to cleanse and detoxify the body. A few examples include drinking water with fresh lemon or eating fresh grapefruit, endive, arugula, spinach, artichokes, or chicory. Many excellent, warm, nourishing soups are perfect for spring and a wonderful way to cleanse or detoxify. 
  2. Drink detox teas. Consuming teas that support detoxification is a fantastic way to support the liver and lymphatic system. Some of the best detox teas for springtime include dandelion tea and red clover tea. 
  3. Limit your exposure to allergens. Springtime is the peak season for pollen allergies. If you are allergic to pollen, try to limit your time outdoors or wear a mask when outdoors.
  4. Try herbs for allergy prevention and relief. Some herbs, like nettles, are considered natural antihistamines that may inhibit the receptor sites where histamine typically activates. Licorice root can be helpful as an anti-inflammatory. Eyebright and Euphrates Mint herbs can help with colds and allergy relief and have anti-inflammatory actions. 
  5. Try local honey for allergy prevention. Local honey is a fantastic way to introduce yourself to local pollen and prevent seasonal spring allergies. 
  6. Get moving. Movement is a great way to support your lymphatic system. Even raising your arms above your head is simple and effective practice. Ashwagandha is an herb you can try to support overall stamina and energy levels during the day.
  7. Use a diffuser. Get an aroma therapy diffuser and diffuse supportive herbs, such as lavender or eucalyptus for lung health. Doing some deep breathing can also be extremely helpful.

For more tips, watch the replay of Bevin’s recent webinar, Ask The Herbalist: Springtime Health for the Whole Family. and sign up for another webinar to support your health and wellbeing.  MUIH’s one of a kind herbal medicine programs recognize and respect the power of nature and herbs in promoting health and wellness, by integrating cultural traditions and contemporary science and research. 

For 40 years, patients have received healing experiences from the Natural Care Center, the student clinic at Maryland University of Integrative Health. To craft a personalized nutrition plan, experience relaxation with yoga therapy and acupuncture techniques, and achieve balance with herbal medicine, visit 

Five Herbs for Fall

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herbs for fall

Author: Donna Koczaja, MS, RH(AHG) is a Registered Herbalist and a graduate of MUIH’s Herbal Medicine program. She is the owner of Green Haven Living, LLC, where she helps individuals achieve their wellness goals using herbs. She also occasionally helps out at the MUIH Herbal Dispensary – a healing place of its own. Learn more about Donna, what she does, and why she does it at

Fall is underway!

The days and nights are cooler, the air is crisp, and nature is preparing to hunker down for the winter. When I think of “herbs for fall”, I think of roots and seeds, and warm, spicy herbs for the chilly nights.

In the cycle of the seasons, it is natural to correlate roots (and seeds) with autumn – the natural decline of the growing season. This is because the herbaceous parts of plants begin to die down and start to put their energy into fortifying the roots to overwinter and re-emerge in spring. Traditionally, fall is the peak time to harvest root herbs for this reason – their nutrient and medicinal content is maximized at this time.

Perhaps not coincidentally, the root herbs I tend to associate with fall are also warming, spicy, and hearty – just the ticket for those cooler, darker days. To that end, here are 5 herbs that I would consider essential partners as we head into fall:

Ginger root (Zingziber officinalis)

No list of warming, fall root herbs would be complete without ginger. In fact, renowned British herbalist, Simon Mills, often says that if he had to pick only two herbs to use, ginger would be one of them! (Hint: His other go-to herb is at the end of my list!).

Ginger is perhaps best known for its anti-nausea effects. Remember when your Mom gave you ginger ale for an upset stomach? Mild, gentle, and zingy, a warm, ginger tea is quite soothing. Pregnant women sometimes use it for morning sickness, and cancer patients can also benefit.

Not a one-trick pony, ginger also boasts anti-microbial and anti-inflammatory properties, and is a great febrifuge (induces sweat to help break a fever). And it tastes great!

Burdock root (Arctium lappa)

Continuing with the root theme, burdock is a hearty, earthy herb primarily used to enhance digestion. In particular, burdock root promotes the production and secretion of bile from the liver and gall bladder. Bile is necessary for fat digestion, so it would be useful to have burdock root handy for the Thanksgiving meal and other upcoming holiday festivities. As a bonus, burdock is also helpful in maintaining bowel regularity, and even assisting when bowels are, well, ‘not so regular’.

Dandelion root (Taraxacum officinalis)
I consider dandelion root a sister herb to burdock, because its medicinal properties are similar. Both the leaves as well as the root are used medicinally (and sometimes even the flower – not just for dandelion wine!), but each plant part has slightly different properties. Sticking to my ‘roots’, though, like burdock, dandelion root also increases bile production and secretion. It’s slightly bitter, and as a general rule bitter herbs enhance digestion by stimulating digestive enzymes. Think about when you taste something very bitter – does your mouth water? That’s actually very good, because saliva breaks down carbohydrates right at the beginning of the digestive tract.

Cardamom seed (Elettaria cardamomum)

The therapeutic part of cardamom is actually the small seeds enclosed in a larger seed pod. It’s classified as an herbal aromatic due to its spicy, warm, and even tingly taste. Yet it’s quite different from ginger (but pairs well!). Cardamom is a common ingredient in herbal chai teas, giving chai that distinctive, spicy flavor. Medicinally, cardamom is considered a ‘carminative’, which is a fancy word meaning ‘relieves gas and bloating’. It helps to relieve spasms in the gut, which in turn breaks up painful gas bubbles. Like burdock, a must-have for your Thanksgiving dinner!

Cinnamon inner bark (Cinnamomum cassia, C. verum)

You guessed it – cinnamon is Simon Mills’ other go-to herb. Not a root or a seed, but an important fall herb nonetheless. Like ginger, it’s spicy and warm, but it’s more sweet. In addition to flavoring your muffins and other delectables, it has a wealth of health benefits. I use cinnamon as a very mild circulatory and/or digestive stimulant, and its mild astringency means it is also indicated for loose bowels. I also use it for my clients who need a little help with regulating their blood sugar. And, of course, like most herbs and spices, cinnamon is also anti-inflammatory. I love the taste of all things cinnamon, and I suggest using it liberally in cooking. In fact, cinnamon is also a natural preservative, so adding it to baked goods can prolong their shelf life as well as make them extra tasty!

Why I love these herbs for Fall

These are just 5 of my favorite herbs for fall. All are very safe for regular, daily use, and are very easy to find. Many health food stores have bulk herbs at reasonable prices – buy some and try blending your own teas to taste. Root, seed, and bark herbs are best simmered in a covered pot over direct heat for about 20 minutes before straining and enjoying.

Powders are great to sprinkle on your oatmeal, yogurt, or applesauce. Just keep in mind that burdock and dandelion roots are slightly bitter. But it’s well worth the taste – the bitter is actually what makes these herbs so effective!

Finally, ginger, cinnamon, and cardamom are also wonderful additions to fall-favorite baked goods such as pumpkin breads and muffins. Add a therapeutic punch to your autumn traditions!

Gastrointestinal Inflammation & Licorice Root

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licorice root

Written by: Dr. Haneefa Willis – Johnson, Western Herbal Dispensary, Assistant Manager

Licorice Root for the use of Gastrointestinal Inflammation

Reactive oxygen species (ROS) are small enzymatic molecules that are produced by cells in the mucosal lining of the intestines as well as activated innate immune cells. ROS enzymes: superoxide (02-), hydroxyl (OH), and hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) are pivotal in fighting infection and wound healing however it is essential that epithelial exposure to ROS is balanced. A breakdown in the antigenic signaling pathway can result in a hyperinflammatory response. A toxic level of ROS production jeopardizes the integrity of the intestinal lining & efficient pathogen removal leading to chronic gastrointestinal (GI) inflammation (Aviello, 2017). In adults (>18 y/o), the occurrences of GI inflammation have risen by 0.9% since 1999 (National Center for Chronic Disease Prevention and Health Promotion, 2019). Conventional treatments include aminosalicylate (5-ASA) drugs, immunomodulatory agents like corticosteroids, and hematopoietic stem cell transplantation from an antigen-matched donor (Aviello, 2017).

Alternatively, Licorice root Glycyrrhiza glabra is a traditional medicinal plant that has exhibited an impressive propensity to combat inflammation activity (Eichenfield, 2007). A major phytoconstituent of Licorice is the bitter-tasting triterpenoid saponin, glycyrrhizin. Numerous therapeutic capabilities of glycyrrhizin have been linked to antiviral, antibacterial, antihepatotoxic, and cytoprotective effects (Murray, 2020, p.642-643). Additionally, evidence-based laboratory research shows that glycyrrhizin also balances the excessive accumulation of neutrophil-mediated ROS (Akamatsu, 1991). Neutrophils are innate immune cells that activate in the presence of an antigen or allergen (Hosoki, 2016). Researchers Akamatsu, Komura, and Niwa (1991) looked at the three main functions of neutrophils (1) mobility to a target, (2) ability to ingest a target, and (3) generation of ROS each in assay systems concentrated with 0.05, 0.5, and 5.0 mg/ml of glycyrrhizin. Akamatsu et al. (1991) found that the presence of glycyrrhizin at any concentration made no impact on the neutrophil’s mobility or phagocytic capacities. However, they found a significant decrease (P <0.05) in the neutrophil-mediated ROS production (O2-, OH, H202) which directly correlated to the glycyrrhizin concentration. The inhibition of neutrophil metabolism of ROS in the presence of glycyrrhizin can reduce the damaging effects seen in chronic gastrointestinal inflammation by limiting a hyperresponsive immune system (Akamatsu, 1991). Together, this finding and the scientific discovery of bitter taste receptors (T2R) in the GI lining clarifies the medicinal benefits observed clinically in a wide variety of cultures that expand thousands of years (Wu, 2002).

This newsletter article is for educational purposes only. It is not a substitute for professional care by a physician or other qualified medical professionals. It is provided on the understanding that it does not constitute medical or other professional advice or services. If you are looking for help in your journey, we recommend you seek out a qualified MUIH herbal practitioner that can personalize herbal formulas specific to your needs. Contact us at (410)888-9048 ext. 6676 or for more information. Licorice root is not for use in persons with hypertension, liver disorders, edema, severe kidney insufficiency, low blood potassium, or heart disease.

MUIH Herbal Dispensary

Interested in purchasing herbs from the Herbal Dispensary at MUIH? The dispensary provides herbal teas, powders, and liquid extracts that are custom compounded to the unique specifications of practitioners who have tailored these products to meet the individual needs of their clients. Email  to request an account. Sign into your account here.

Herbal Medicine Programs at MUIH

MUIH’s one of a kind herbal medicine programs recognize and respect the power of nature and herbs in promoting health and wellness, by integrating cultural traditions and contemporary science and research. Graduates support the growing consumer use of herbal medicine in community health and wellness, clinical, research, manufacturing, and retail settings. The Herbal Dispensary at Maryland University of Integrative Health is a unique and valuable resource of the Herbal Medicine academic programs. The dispensary provides the tools and space for students to get hands-on experience creating, formulating, and compounding herbal preparations.


Akamatsu, H., Komura, J., Asada, Y., & Niwa, Y. (1991). Mechanism of Anti-Inflammatory Action of Glycyrrhizin: Effect on Neutrophil Functions Including Reactive Oxygen Species Generation. Planta Medica, 57(02), 119–121. doi:10.1055/s-2006-960045

Aviello, G., & Knaus, U. G. (2017). ROS in gastrointestinal inflammation: Rescue Or Sabotage?. British journal of pharmacology, 174(12), 1704–1718.

Eichenfield, L. F., Fowler, J. F., Jr, Rigel, D. S., & Taylor, S. C. (2007). Natural advances in eczema care. Cutis, 80(6 Suppl), 2–16.

Hosoki, K., Itazawa, T., Boldogh, I., & Sur, S. (2016). Neutrophil recruitment by allergens contribute to allergic sensitization and allergic inflammation. Current opinion in allergy and clinical immunology, 16(1), 45–50.

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Inside the Herb Garden: Summer, Fall, and Winter Blooms

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Though we are in the dead of heat now, summer has been flying by and the crisp air of fall will be upon us soon. In preparation for the summer season peak, we sat down to chat with Andrea Miller, a student in the Master of Science in Therapeutic Herbalism program and the new gardener in the herb garden at MUIH. Andrea shared her knowledge with us about what’s in season, what we should plant now in preparation for cooler months, and what some of her best practices for gardening include.

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MUIH Faculty Tips: Keep Your Immune System Strong This Winter

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We’ve got a few more weeks left of winter – wouldn’t it be great to stay strong and healthy during this time? We asked several faculty members from our yoga, nutrition, herbal medicine, health and wellness coaching, and acupuncture and Oriental medicine programs to answer this question: What are some of the top tips you’d give a client to help them maintain a strong immune system during this time of year?

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Five Top Wintertime Herbs

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When I think of some of my favorite wintertime herbs, I am drawn to warming, moving, and nurturing plants that help provide balance to the colder, more sluggish and stark energies of winter. As a believer in food as our primary medicine, I have chosen herbs that can all be added to one’s meals or sipped on as an enjoyable tea—bringing our medicine into our daily lives with ease.

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