Pascale Richalet, June 2019 – East West School of Planetary Herbology


Born and raised in France, I came to Boston with my family about twenty years ago to pursue a scientific education in biochemistry and biophysics. An avid Aikido student for many years, I have always been attracted to Eastern philosophies. While working my first science job, I took evening classes and earned a Zen Shiatsu degree, which anchored an East-West healing theme that is still within me to these days. In June 2016, I took an herbal class with Brittany Wood Nickerson, founder of Thyme Herbal in Amherst MA, which was a tipping point: I started experimenting with teas, decoctions, tinctures and salves, read many books and attended workshops.

On December 31, 2017, I came upon the East-West School of Planetary Herbalism and immediately registered for the professional herbalist course: I was familiar with some of Michael Tierra’s books already, and I just knew that this was the right herbal path for me. More than half way through the program, I am more sure of that initial feeling than ever before! This course is an invitation to explore herbal healing traditions from various cultures and times. Revolving around the structure and reasoning of Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and its materia medica where plants are classified according to their energetics and actions, it uniquely weaves in plants from the Ayurvedic and Western traditions. The result is the unraveling of a brilliant, elaborate and robust diagnosis system linked to an extremely rich and diverse planetary materia medica, designed to restore balance and health. The scientist in me is astounded at the evidence of strong phytochemical basis underneath an empirical and millennia old TCM tradition, such as in Ehrman et al, 2007.

As I am going through the course, my admiration and respect for the work of art of Planetary formulas designed by Michael deepens. Touched and inspired by my dear teachers and fellow students, I am planning to finish the professional herbalist course by the end of the year, start the mentored clinical herbalist course early 2020, and attend our yearly seminar in spring 2020, while maintaining my scientific consulting activities. Ultimately, I hope to weave in science and Planetary herbalism, writing articles and books, diving more into integrative pharmacology and being part of down to Earth herbal movements to bring balance to our communities and to our planet.

When not working, I enjoy yoga, hiking, helping my friends at Muddy River Herbals and painting. I am grateful for Lesley and Michael to have paved the road to clinical herbalism in such a powerful way!



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