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Karen Vaughan

Basic Information[edit]


My love and obsession is herbal medicine, and I have been in clinical practice for over 20 years after many years of amateur use of natural substances. As a kid I had vats of dandelion wine fermenting in my room and haunted the library for wildcrafting books, 18th and 19th century cookbooks and the pre-prohibition copies of Henleys' Recipes, Formulas and Chemical Processes where I learned to make (and did make) metal alloys, medicinal liqueurs and apparatuses for cool stuff. I grew up with a research scientist and an artist on land bordering an oak forest where I spent my free time.

I came to Oriental Medicine when I moved to New York and developed chronic illness which was only cured by acupuncture and herbs. I studied at Pacific College of Oriental Medicine in New York City. New York City has herbs and people trained in traditional herbal medicine from all corners of the globe, forested land in all boroughs and it is a place where you can live with a low carbon footprint. You can hop on a train and be on the Appalachian Trail within an hour of Grand Central station. It isn't the feared place I heard about growing up in northern California.

I am engaged in a process of bringing good information to Wikipedia on herbal medicine, Category:Herbalists, herbal organizations, pharmacognosy, and herbal research (the well-designed ones, that follow Consolidated_Standards_of_Reporting_Trials (CONSORT) rules and are done by persons who have some clinical knowledge of herbs and can tell what species they are using, who select the correct part of the plant, know what the assayed strength is, use a proper pharmaceutical dose is and know the difference between the constituents of a plant and the whole plant which may act very differently since the active ingredient of an herb is the herb itself.) I also want to direct reviewers to the Consolidated_Standards_of_Reporting_Trials (CONSORT) standards on herbal research which tends to be ignored.

I enjoy writing, talking and lecturing about herbs. I have been interviewed on the ABC Morning Show, Manhattan and Brooklyn cable television, guest lecture at The Bodies exhibition, Teacher at the Brooklyn Center for Environmental Studies and other venues. I keep up recommended booklists on and am residential herbalist for several nonprofessional online communities. I have been extensively quoted in Natural Medicine First Aid Remedies: Self-Care Treatments for 100+ Common Conditions by Stephanie Marohn and was a source for Hilary Jacobson's Mother Food.

Recent Wikipedia Entries[edit]

I started or extensively rewrote the following pages (This is just a sample: for a full listing see My Contributions pages above)

Things that still need to be done to herbalize Wikipedia (by anyone who knows what they are doing)[edit]

  • Alteratives
  • Nervines
  • Herbalists Paul Bergner, Christopher Hobbs (Herbalist), Ed Smith (HerbalEd), David Hoffman (Hebalist) and others (note 3 different noncommercial websites and notable contributions must be cited to meet notability criteria.)
  • Photos for David Winston, Michael Moore (herbalist), Keewaydinoquay or other herbalists including historic herbalists
  • Expand sections on Thompsonian medicine (Rewrite Samuel Thompson)
  • Add Physiomedicalism, improve Eclectic Medicine
  • Edit Lobelia inflata and Echinacea articles and articles on the Eclectics
  • Extensive revision of the herbalism article, moving the how to sections to a different linked page, consolidating the voice and level of English and adding more about research and the need to conform to CONSORT standards.
  • Separating the Ginseng article into American Ginseng and Chinese Ginseng
  • Ashwaganda needs expansion.
  • Coordinate plants needing articles with herbal plants needing articles
  • Remove "folklore" and similar sections from herb articles and replace with "traditional uses" or do a section on research
  • Consider revisions to "30 Essential Chinese Herbs" list
  • When poorly done research is cited on herbs, explain why the research is inapplicable- low dosage, wrong form of herb, lack of assay, mispelling/misidentification, confusion of isolated constituents with naturally buffered herb, etc.
  • Improve footnotes in existing articles so that they lead to real studies instead of secondary sources.
  • Do a linked list of herb books written by clinical herbalists
  • Do a section or linked list of reputable herbal journals, including archives of old ones

And I don't know how to put together an Herbalism project, but one is needed.

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