by Counseling and Wellness Center of PittsburghOctober 1, 2020 clinical herabalist, clinical herbalist pittsburgh0 comments
Annie Fox Derek (She/Her/They/Them) is a clinical herbalist, animist, and folk healer. They have over 10 years of experience studying plants, first completing a BS in Plant Biology, followed by 4 years of study in clinical herbalism with Ola Obasi at the Well of Indigenous Wisdom School. Since then, they have trained with herbalists and folk healers from around the world, and devoted countless hours of independent study to learning the local edible and medicinal flora of western Pennsylvania. They also helped to start the Three Rivers Free Clinic for the People and have taught about herbal medicine and foraging to hundreds of people throughout Pittsburgh and beyond.
Annie promotes health sovereignty with the use of natural, sustainable, and often local plant and herbal agents, they encourage people to feel actively engaged and empowered in their own health and wellness. They believe deeply in the holistic nature of healing, the connection between mind, body, emotions, and spirit, and the profound wisdom and love that plant medicines have to offer each of us.
Are you wondering what to expect as a client or participant in a Herbal Consultation?
You can expect during an herbal consultation that Annie will ask you about your medical, mental health, and psycho-social or personal history to gauge exactly what barriers and strengths she may enlist in the optimization of your wellness. Annie is respected for her use a variety of clinical diagnostic tools to better understand your personal constitution. Following the session, they will create a unique wellness plan for you that includes hand-blended herbal formula(s), dietary/nutrition suggestions, and personalized rituals to help you on your journey towards wellness. Follow-up sessions will track progress and offer the opportunity to adjust herbal formulas as needed.
How long do Herbalist Appointments Last?
Each session is one hour long and can be offered in person in Pittsburgh or Telehealth. A typically duration of treatment for herbalist support can vary from 1-10 sessions depending on the severity of your concerns and the kinds of modifications that are utilized to strengthen and enhance your wellness. Appointments include the opportunity to order dried plants and herbs directly from Annie Fox Derek.
Annie specializes in deep listening, holding non-dual awareness, and cultivating loving acceptance, all with a healthy dose of playfulness. Their favorite activities include exploring local forests and swimming holes, participating in earth-based rituals and ceremonies, talking to plants, singing around fires, playing board games with friends, and hanging out with their feline companion, Nimbus. They are actively engaged in decolonization and anti-racism practices and carry this throughout their work.
Annie is available for telehealth and in-person consultations at the Pittsburgh Counseling and Wellness Center location.
by Counseling and Wellness Center of PittsburghMay 5, 2018 anxiety, clinical herbalist, complementary medicine, depression, holistic health, integrative mental health, natural health, turmeric0 comments
The Amazing Natural Substance that treats Depression and Anxiety
Want to manage anxiety and depression as well as double down on a dose of wellness? We have one incredible natural health, food substance to report to you. Turmeric is a rhizome and a member of the ginger family. Turmeric a major ingredient of Indian curries and has also been used to dye clothing throughout history, due to its vivid yellow color. The scientific community continues to research its uses as a healing substance, specifically trying to gauge the mechanism of action and effectiveness of the active substance, curcumin.
Curcumin is known as the most active ingredient in turmeric and continues to intrigue the medical community with its ability to providing relief for symptoms like depression and anxiety. According to a recent metanalysis funded by The National Institute of Health, curcumin was shown to be safe and effective in reducing symptoms of depression (Hewlings, 2017). That study recommended that while there are some conclusive therapeutic effects in treating depression, more research should be done to determine it’s clinical role in the treatment of anxiety.
Turmeric entered the clinical limelight when researches wanted to investigate the differences in cancer rates between westerners and some eastern and Indian populations. Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine have used these plants for thousands of years. Natural and holistic health options find ways to use the medicinal properties of commonly used foods to enhance well-
being. Some common ways of administering them are by grinding them into a fine powder, then using it topically as a salve or ingesting them to treat multiple ailments ranging from skin lesions to memory enhancement.
While the mechanisms of Turmeric’s health and wellness benefits are not completely understood, it is believed that curcumins ability to reduce inflammation, is one of the major health enhancing properties which can affect the brain, cancer, lupus, and renal disease. Curcumins also have other functions in addition to reducing symptoms of depression, it benefits the entire body and can be used as protection from liver toxic substances, to manage Crohn’s disease, reduce symptoms related to irritable bowel syndrome to name a few (Gupta, 2013). In addition to reducing symptoms, this amazing root is reported to also enhance post work out recovery, (Hewlings, 2017. ) Turmeric is not a replacement for pharmaceuticals treating depression. Patients should still seek advice from medical professionals since other medical conditions need to be ruled out. Nor does it replace the benefits of managing the symptoms of depression or anxiety by getting counseling. Rather, it viewed as complementary to current therapeutic options.
The beneficial effects of turmeric on health is dose-dependent. It is not sufficient to heap an extra serving of curry at your favorite Indian restaurant in hopes of healing the brain and body. The clinically relevant dose of turmeric is upwards 600 mg several times per day. We recommend that the reader consult with a clinical Herbalist or Nutritionist to assess the appropriate regimen to manage the symptoms that you aim to address. Most sources recommend turmeric in capsule form to standardize the dosage. Some also enjoy turmeric in a latte or smoothie for added tasting pleasure. There is also some research being done about whether it may be further beneficial to use turmeric as an accompaniment to black pepper and some other fats like coconut milk, which are known to allow greater absorption of the active compounds. With no known side effects and so much to gain, curcumin seems like a great place to start if you want neuro-protective and physically benefits all in one delicious root!
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- Gupta, S. C., Patchva, S., & Aggarwal, B. B. (2013). Therapeutic Roles of Curcumin: Lessons Learned from Clinical Trials. The AAPS Journal, 15(1), 195–218. http://doi.org/10.1208/s12248-012-9432-8
- Hewlings, S. J., & Kalman, D. S. (2017). Curcumin: A Review of Its’ Effects on Human Health. Foods, 6(10), 92. http://doi.org/10.3390/foods6100092
- Lopresti AL, Drummond PD (2017) Efficacy of curcumin, and a saffron/curcumin combination for the treatment of major depression: A randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled study. J Affect Disord.