Every month we have the honor to talk to an alumni from our school. We get to share their journey with you and give you some insight into the different folks that come through our school. Read more Herbal Journeys here.
This month we caught up with Tyler Anderson, DACM, L.Ac. He graduated from our three year program in 2014. What started as a simple curiosity turned into a lifelong career on interdisciplinary holistic medicine. Now, he combines acupuncture, cupping, moxibustion, herbal medicine, nutritional counseling and Tui Na massage to offer a full spectrum of therapies.
Here’s Tyler’s story.
The Journey to Herbalism of Tyler Anderson DACM, L.Ac.
My interest in herbalism started while growing up and playing in nature, and doing lots of camping and backpacking. I’ve always liked hiking off the beaten path and exploring. I was introduced to herbal medicine as a teenager via my mom studying acupressure and Chinese medicine. I started reading her books and remember one, “Staying Healthy With the Seasons” had a big impact. I started making teas and other recipes on my own and then learning about individual herbs. I also began to dabble with taking Chinese and western herbal formulas.
In my early 20’s I met a teacher who introduced my to plant spirit medicine and told me to fast for a couple of days and sit with a redwood tree. That experience really showed me that plant medicine is much more than what can be understood in a book and it can also be very individualized. My interest in studying herbs in depth didn’t start until my late ’20’s when I took the first year course at the Berkeley Herbal Center.
Curiosity to Client Work
I was just curious and enjoyed the magic and mystery of plant medicine. Having taken medication for epilepsy since I was a teenager, I also wanted to know about herbal remedies. It was not my intention to become an herbal clinician, but I really enjoyed going on camping trips, learning about plants in their environment, harvesting herbs and making medicines.
Then, learning the clinical practice of doing intakes and creating formulas for patients came easy to me, so I just kept going with it. When I completed the 3 year program I realized I wanted to understand diagnosis on a deeper level.
I already had a little background in Chinese medicine and decided it was a good route to gain deeper knowledge of both holistic and western approaches to medicine and diagnosis.
What is Tyler Doing Now?
After completing the 3 year program at Berkeley Herbal School I went on to get a doctorate degree in acupuncture and Chinese medicine.
Now I am working in a clinic in San Francisco and have started my own practice, Sage Against the Disease, providing acupuncture and herbal
medicine. Many clients come in for pain management and chronic injuries, but I have more of an interest in neurological and other chronic internal medical conditions.
Tyler Anderson’s Topical Liniment Formula
Over the last few years one of the herbs I’ve recommended the most is stinging nettle. Many patients with arthritic conditions and myalgia find relief when drinking a couple of cups/day up to a couple quarts/day.
One product and topical formula that is great acute turning chronic stage
injuries is called di da jiao. It be handmade as a liniment or oil, or purchased online through kamwo herbs.
Topical formulas can really speed up the recovery time of an injury such as a sprain, or post-surgical procedure. Applying this formula to an injury and massaging it for 5-10 minutes can prevent an injury from becoming chronic.
Di da jiao
- dang gui 1 lb
- chi shao 1 lb
- chuan xiong 1 lb
- tao ren 1 lb
- hong hua 1 lb
- ru xiang 1 lb
- mo yao 1 lb
- san qi 1/2 lb
- gui zhi 1/3 lb
- da huang 1/3 lb
- huang qi 1/3 lb
Other topical formulas for sports injuries can be purchased through kamwo herbs in the Tooth From A Tiger’s Mouth product section: