Sharol Tilgner

author & pollinator
+ Follow
since Dec 30, 2011
Merit badge: bb list bbv list
Who is Sharol Tilgner?: I am an herbalist, licensed naturopathic physician, farmer/gardener, teacher and herbal medicine maker. My mission is to inspire and empower you with the healing wisdom of herbs. Learning about herbs gives us a tool to live a vital and energetic life. I have spent much of my 58 years wildcrafting, growing, preserving and using medicinal herbs. I am a fourth generation Oregonian, an organic/biodynamic farmer, physician, and herbalist. I teach others to grow, and preserve their food and medicine and stay healthy via natural methods. I reap tremendous joy from teaching people to take charge of their health care. Writing is one of the best ways to reach people, and share my knowledge as a physician/herbalist/farmer. I use blogging, books, free website information and classes as a way to share tools, as I endeavor to co-create a beautiful world.
Dr. Tilgner's past includes director of the Portland Naturopathic Clinic pharmacy, molding an old cattle ranch in Cottage Grove, Oregon into an organic herb farm and founder and prior owner of the herbal manufacturing company Wise Woman Herbals. She also founded the Pacific NW Herbal Symposium, The NW Herb Fest, was the editor of Herbal Transitions and associate editor of Medical Herbalism. She has produced 2 herbal videos entitled Edible and Medicinal Herbs, Volume 1, and 2 " and is author of the books , "Herbal Medicine From the Heart of the Earth", "Herbal ABC's,the Foundation of Herbal Medicine" and "Herbal Formulas."
Dr. Tilgner is a nationally known speaker who prior to becoming a farmer, lectured at medical colleges and conferences across the United States. She is an herbal consultant to both physicians and the herbal industry.
For More
Apples and Likes
Total received
In last 30 days
Total given
Total received
Received in last 30 days
Total given
Given in last 30 days
Forums and Threads
Scavenger Hunt
expand Pollinator Scavenger Hunt
expand First Scavenger Hunt

Recent posts by Sharol Tilgner

To keep spiders away, I use orange essential oil in a spray bottle. I add 40% alcohol and 50% water and  10% orange essential oil. You can probably use less, but I don't measure and actually just pour a bit of essential oil in. It is around 10%.   The alcohol keeps the essential oil in suspension. I put this all into a glass bottle with a spray top and it lasts forever. Spiders do not like it and it helps keep them out of areas where they are not welcome. Unfortunately, it does volatilize and disappear. Orange peels might also work and last longer, but I have not tried them.  Guess I should.

As far as Brown Recluse bites, I have treated myself as well as others, including individuals with terribly bad bites that have had severe necrosis.  I use sodium bentonite clay mixed with Echinacea tincture (must be good Echinacea tincture - You will know if you have good Echinacea tincture as it should make your mouth tingle a lot, and cause you to salivate profusely when you put it in your mouth without diluting it). Usually, you would mix dry powdered clay with water, but I substitute Echinacea tincture.  This clay/Echinacea mix is then applied to the bite as soon as it happens. It is changed 1-2 times per day and should keep the bite from progressing to necrosis. If the bite has started to become necrotic, I then also give the person Echinacea tincture internally. The Echinacea/clay mix can be kept in the refrigerator for some time. I really have not paid attention to how long it lasts, but if you leave it in for months it will mold. Be careful to not contaminate it and it usually lasts for weeks.

Why do I use Echinacea? There are constituents in Echinacea that have been shown to inhibit hyaluronidase.  Hyaluronidase is an enzyme that catalyzes the breakdown of hyaluronic acid. Hyaluronic acid is like an intercellular glue. Hyaluronidase which is found in venom of some snakes, and spiders, and is secreted by some bacteria can break down the intercellular glue, causing tissues to break down and allowing the venom or microbes to move more freely through the tissues.  So, by stopping the hyaluronidase from working, it slows down and stops necrosis. I am very liberal about my use of the Echinacea and clay as I have seen what happens if you are not on top of this and it is not a pretty picture. Don't try to save money by mixing water with the Echinacea either.

I find when someone has first been bit by the spider, if you put the clay and Echinacea tincture on immediately, it does not progress, but if you wait you will get some progression and scaring, but it will stop it from getting worse, and you can usually see results in 24-48 hours. I expect to see necrosis stop within 24-48 hours minimum and if not, something is not working correctly as this is how it always works for me. You have to really be on top of this. If necrotic this is serious and you have to be using a lot of clay, and Echinacea tincture as well as take a lot of tincture internally. If necrotic, it is best to work with a practitioner such as a Naturopath, or any other practitioner who has experience treating these bites so they can decide what you need to do as far as how much and how often to use the Echinacea tincture internally. Each person is different and you might have some special need that they can address.  Call and ask them if they have experience with Brown Recluse bites before going, so you don't waste your time.
9 months ago
If you shake your tincture and it does not settle back down under the menstruum (the alcohol and water level) then there is not enough menstruum in the product.

Regarding a tincture gone bad: I have made tinctures for over 40 years and never had one go bad, so can't tell you what they would look like. However, if I had one where the marc was above the menstruum such as you described, one might get the smell and visual indications of bacterial or fungal spoilage if the marc was sitting in the air for a long time. Same as with any food product. The fact that the marc was soaked in alcohol would protect it for some period of time. Depending on what it was, it might take place faster or slower.

I have completely free directions on my website for making both tinctures with the folk method as well as tinctures with the percolation method. You will find the links to both as well as how to make other herbal products (all for free) at

Tinctures are one of the more forgiving types of herbal products. Glycerites are the most likely of the preserved herbal products to go bad on someone.

Good luck.

1 year ago
Sometimes people think of herbs as foods. Some herbs are foods, and if we consume them in the same high amounts as we do with most foods it would truly not be good to eat them every day all the time, but herbs are usually used in smaller amounts, and the use is based on need for either acute, short term situations, or chronic long term situations. The data on using herbs internally for two weeks is only going to be applicable to certain situations. Every herb is different and every person is different and the condition they have can also present in different manners. There is no rule on time of use for herbs that can be used as a general rule. I wish life was that easy to be able to use one single rule, but it is not in actual practice of herbal medicine.

For example, in relation to the common herb Echinacea, I often use it short term for acute situations, but have also used it in some chronic conditions for months at a time with good results. There are herbs that are considered toxic, or low dose botanicals that I would only use for short periods of time and in small amounts. I might not want to use them more than a day,  few days , a week or a matter of a few weeks. There could however be a situation where I use it in very tiny amounts over the long term, as part of a larger formula, for a specific person, with a specific condition, presenting in a specific manner.  How long I decide to use any herb depends on the specific herb, what  it is being used for, the dose being used and the individual. These factors are quite varied.

For some chronic conditions such a  person who has lets say a transplanted organ, they may need to take specific herbs every day forever to help protect their organ from damage due to the drugs they are taking, or to help the organ survive in general.  It has been my experience that these people can stop taking herbs or supplements short term when wanting a holiday from them, but if they stop too long, you may see their lab indices start to deteriorate. If they only took them two weeks, it would be completely unhelpful of course. Someone who has a genetic condition of one kind or another that  makes them more susceptible to some health conditions is another situation where they also may need to take specific herbs for longer than two weeks. Most chronic conditions are such that two weeks of an herb is not going to be enough. You may at some point need to change what the person is using, but that would not be based on a known period of time. It would be based on the fact that this herb no longer works, or it is causing a reaction in the person or the person for some other reason no longer wants to take it.

A whole book could be written on how to prescribe herbs, but I hope this is enough information to give you an idea of why we can't make a rule that herbs should be taken for only two weeks. This is not going to work in the real world. There are conditions where the body will start reacting to an herb, or the body will no longer be helped by an herb for one reason or another, but even in these instances, you  change up the herbs depending on the need at the time as it does not relate  to a two week period.

Regarding your toddler's situation,  external applications are similar to internal ones. You create the dose and the application rate and length of application of the treatment based on the situation. You change the herb, the dose or other aspects of the application when the situation tells you that you need to change the application. If an application is working wonderful, and the person has no reaction to it, there is no need to stop using it.

When you say dermatitis, I am not sure what is taking place. Dermatitis means inflamed skin and can be used as a term for many skin conditions. If you are talking about a specific dermatitis such as the common seborrheic dermatitis (which causes dandruff and various skin reactions), this is thought now to be largely caused by the fungus Malassezia. Some types of oils will make Malassezia grow, so you have to be careful about this.  It can depend on the species and variant of Malassezia too. Some people will use a nice olive oil as a base in their salve only to find it does not help, or makes the issue worse as they have species and variants of Malassezia that grow great with oleic acid - basically feeding the fungus.  I usually suggest people use a base of high C-8 MCT oil that has no or almost no lauric acid in it if they find things like olive oil or other oils in products are bothering them. Some people are ok with coconut oil, while some are bothered by the lauric acid as again it depends on the species of Malassezia. Therefore to be safe, I just tell folks to use the C-8 MCT oil with little or no lauric acid in it. This can also help with other skin conditions associated with Malassezia. I am half way through writing a book on this entire subject as people don't understand that many skin conditions are related to overgrowth of Demodex and Malassezia and that there are people who have genetic susceptibility that makes them over-react to these mites and fungi or that there are variants that act pathogenic rather than acting as commensals as has been thought in the past. For those with genetic reasons for reacting to Malassezia in an excessive manner these folks need to work with the dysfunctional immune system and be vigilant with skin care. Usually a functional medicine doc or naturopathic doc can be helpful in these situations.

There are issues currently with getting good products and I am no longer sure if I can trust all products. If you use a high C-8 MCT oil that claims it has low or no lauric acid, and the individual reacts to it, we have to be suspect that the manufacturer may not be telling the truth.
1 year ago
Hello Dorit, So sorry I am seeing your post after the event. It ended at midnight last night, so too late to find out what was going wrong. I hope you figured it out.
2 years ago
Responding to those who said thank you: It is my pleasure. I hope you enjoy it. I think it is treated as a normal kindle book which means you can loan it out to a friend for a couple weeks at no cost also. Don't ask me how to do that though, as I don't know. I am sure you can find it online if interested.
2 years ago
The kindle books can be read in other manners as you are finding, but most people use the free kindle app that can be downloaded on the same page as where you get the free book. Getting the kindle app on your computer, tablet or phone allows people to have the book as long as they want.  As Nicole mentioned, you do need an Amazon account to download the app and book. It sounds like you clicked on the kindle unlimited members button. There is so much on the page that it is confusing. On the right side of the page you should see an orange button that says buy now with 1-click. Above that button it should say Kindle price $0.00. When the free period is over it will not say $0.00 any more and will change to $9.99. So, only click on it while it says $0.00 above the Buy Now button. If you need the app. It is to the right of the book photo, below the kindle box. It says "read with our Free App". Click on it and it should take you to a page where you can tell them what electronic devise you need an app for. Click on the app and download it before clicking on buy now and things will go smoother.
2 years ago
Regarding the idea that Amazon might be charging fees for the free app you download to read the book, I did not have that happen to me. I downloaded one of their kindle apps to make sure my book looked okay on it, and two years later have never been charged a fee for that app. Perhaps they are secretly getting data off my computer as you say through the app. but I have not seen any signs of it, nor has my computer expert reported anything like that. However, if you are worried about them collecting data from the app. I would suggest for your own sanity, to simply not download the app.
2 years ago
Hello Tom,

Don't worry Tom,  Jeff Bezos makes no money on you getting a free book through Amazon.  This is why they don't allow people to give books away for very long or for very often. They probably hope you will continue to get other paid books with kindle after getting that free book, but you don't have to do that.

2 years ago
Herbal Medicine: 190 Herbs To Know And Use" - 760 page kindle book - free for 4 days.

Mark your calendar so you do not miss this opportunity.

This e-book is available on Amazon as a kindle book for free to everyone, April 1st starting at 12:00 AM PDT - April 4th ending at 11:59 PM PDT, 2022. (Friday thru Monday)  through a special limited offer program at Amazon.

This link: will take you to Amazon where you will see the free offer. Don't worry, you don't have to be a kindle unlimited member to use the free link during these 4 days. On this same page to the right, you will see a big yellow box that says "buy now with 1-click". Above this box, it should say Kindle price $0.00, save $9.99. Click on the "buy now with 1-click" and it will be downloaded to your kindle application on April 1st-4th, 2022. No worries if you don't have kindle, you can download a free app. by clicking on "Read with our free app" to read the book on almost any electronic device. This app. can be downloaded on the same Amazon page as this book,  and it is easiest for you if you download the app first before clicking on the free kindle book.  

This should be all the data you need, but if not, go to for the details on how to download this book for free. Remember, it does not start until April 1st and ends on April 4th, 2022.
2 years ago
I have grown beans for many years. I find fresh beans (in the first year) are so much tastier and vital than even 1 year old plus beans. I don't even like them much at 3 years. I usually store them in 1 gallon glass jars with tight fitting lids, but still I notice them losing vitality after a year. The one year beans also srpout better and grow better than 3 year old beans. Again, they just seem to have more vitality.  I have never had store bought beans that taste as good as my home grown beans, but I have purchased beans from other organic farmers who's beans taste great.  It was mentioned that beans have constituents in them that can be problematic, but soaking for a minimum of overnight (I usually soak 12-24 hours) and cooking them thoroughly helps to remove the phytates, lectins and enzymes that seeds such as beans contain.  The following information on these constituents is taken from an article on reactions to corn that I wrote, but it is pertinent here too. The whole article is rather long and the rest of the article not listed below does not relate to beans. I have only included data that has some relationship to the phytates, lectins and enzymes found in seeds, including beans. If you are interested in the corn article in total you can find it at
Phytate, or phytic acid is mostly found in the outer hull of seeds. It is in a variety of plant products with them predominating in  whole grains, beans, and also found in nuts. Any actual food item that could be used as a seed to grow a new plant is suspect of having a lot of phytic acid.

Phytic acid is the primary storage compound of phosphorus in seeds. It is strongly negatively charged and the phosphate in phytic acid strongly binds to metallic cations of calcium, iron, postassium, Magnesium, Manganeese and Zinc, making them insoluble and thus unavailable as nutritional factors. Phytate mainly accumulates in protein storage vacuoles as globoids, predominantly located in the aleurone layer (wheat, barley and rice) or in the embryo (corn). During germination, phytate is hydrolysed by endogenous phytase(s) and other phosphatases to release phosphate, inositol and micronutrients to support the growing seedling.

The process of fermentation, and sprouting can be used to remove phytate from corn and other seeds. Nixtamalization of corn has also been shown to reduce phytates.

Enzyme Inhibitors
Just as seeds contain phytates, they also contain enzyme inhibitors. These enzyme inhibitors inhibit seeds from sprouting but they also inhibit our digestive enzymes. This can lead to all manner of mild or serious digestive problems. These enzyme inhibitors prevent the seeds from sprouting until just the right conditions come along. The right conditions are usually water, warmth, and slight acidity such as found during fermentation. So, just as with phytates, soaking, or fermentation can remove enzyme inhibitors.

I mentioned above that corn has been found to contain prolamins called Zein, that cause allergy reactions similar to gluten. They are lectins and it is important to know that humans can be benefited or made ill by different types of lectins. Lectins are carbohydrate-binding proteins that are present in both plants and animals. The prolamin lectin in corn appears to be causing an allergic reaction in some people. They are known to interact  with the brush border of the intestine (which may impact cell viability and/or barrier function in addition to allowing transport of the toxic lectin into the body); and they are biologically active once they enter the body.

Most grains contain a prolamin similar in structure to gluten, and zein, such as orzenin in rice or avenin in oats. These prolamins contribute to the cross-reactivity experienced by so many with a gluten sensitivity, and yet grains that contain them are often used as gluten-free alternatives.

Besides corn, lectins are found in other grains, (especially wheat and wheat germ), quinoa, rice, buckwheat, oats, rye, barley, and millet, all legumes, including dried beans, soy and peanuts contain these potentially toxic lectins. Dairy is another source and some think this is due to feeding cows/goats grains rather than being entirely grass fed.

Secretory IgA binds lectins and protects us from them, but some people do not make secretory IgA, and some mycotoxins which are too often associated with corn and other grains, have been shown to decrease production of secretory IgA.

There is data suggesting that lectins are also inactivated by soaking, sprouting, cooking (high temps like boiling) and fermenting.
2 years ago