The AHA Herbal Blog

Bursary applications for students enrolled in the ​January to December 2021​ educational year are now open! Applications will be received until October 31, 2020. Bursary amount(s) will be awarded by December 31,2020. Bursaries are funds for students in financial need. Unlike loans, they do not have to be repaid.

Bursary amount for the 2021 year is one bursary of $500. To be eligible for an AHA bursary, you must be able to demonstrate financial need for the 2021 year and meet the enrollment requirements.

Financial-need criteria

1) Exhaustion or shortfall of available funding sources, including government student loans,savings including TFSAs, scholarships and awards, and family support

2) Demonstration of financial plan to fund herbal educational program or career plan of choice

3) Exceptional or extenuating circumstances causing financial shortfall

Other requirements

1) You must be in satisfactory academic standing or greater based on your most recent term grades if currently attending a herbal institution (overall average of 70%)

2) You must be currently attending classes at a herbal institution either in class or on-line at the time of your application OR

3) You must be registered for the academic year in which this bursary applies

4) Both full-time and part-time students are eligible to apply

5) Herbal practicum costs in the current bursary year that are part of a herbal institution degree are also eligible

6) You must be a current student member of AHA and maintain your membership during the awarded bursary year.

7) Your main residence must be in Alberta

8) Student members that already have volunteer hours with AHA will be given preference.9)The student(s) awarded the bursary must write a short article (500 words) for the AHA spring newsletter describing their career goals and how the bursary helped them.

Note: If you do not meet the eligibility requirements above due to an extenuating circumstance but you would like us to consider your application, please contact with an explanation of your situation before applying and we will advise you whether or not to proceed.

How to apply

1) Review the above guidelines

2) Become a AHA Student Member.

2) Visit the Member's Resources page and complete the application form.

The application will be open from June 1st to October 31st each year, contingent on available funding.​ The number and amount of bursaries varies and is contingent on the current yearly amount of donations, membership fees and ​Alberta Herb Gathering​ revenue. ​Any questions about the application can be sent to

Notification Process

Applications are assessed in the order they are received, then reviewed and the recipients of the bursary are selected by the AHA board in November. Notification of the results of your bursary application will be approximately 2 - 4 weeks from the November AHA board meeting.

How to accept and receive funds

If you receive a bursary offer, you will be notified by e-mail and upon your acknowledgement of the email and a 500 word written article as stated in the criteria, you will receive the bursary amount via cheque or Paypal.

Note: Your acceptance email will include a deadline. If you do not accept the offer before the deadline, it will be revoked and given to another applicant.

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Blue skies, warm nights, and even warmer days. The busy-ness of summer is in full swing and you may find yourself having difficulty sleeping and feeling a bit on edge. This is the perfect time to be introduced to Green Flowering Oats (Avena sativa) . Talking to oat farmers, the green oats will be ready in the next couple weeks to harvest and make the best nervine tincture for the rest of the year.

Both the grass and the seed have this amazing rejuvenating ability to soothe the frayed nerves, improve sleep and provide you a profound sense of calm. Ellingwood (1919) remarks the usefulness of the oats for convalescence from prostration due to mental overwork or great anxiety and worry, and even nervous exhaustion. Seems like just what is needed in the current times. It is one of the few herbs which ‘feeds’ the nervous system, acting as both stimulant for the exhausted and relaxant for the overwrought (Hoffman, 2003).

The nervine quality of this herb also makes this herb valuable for the management of difficult menses both for challenging emotions and far too often headaches that accompany the monthly bleed. Oats are even useful for the challenges of menopause, allowing women to navigate the changing waters of their hormonal evolution (Ross, 2010).

And want to hear a funny fact, you know cat grass that you see in the store, that is often oats. So as you are making your tincture or tea, your cat can happily munch on the herb as well.

Green Flowering Oat Tincture

1 cup of Green Flowering Oat tops

750 mL Everclear or (95% alcohol)

Fill a 1L jar with the Green Flowering Oat tops and then cover with the alcohol until the oats are totally covered. Place in a cool dark place. Check on it every day. Typical tinctures take 6 to 8 weeks to prepare, but I find that you’ll know this ready when all the green is leached out of the oats and the tincture is the pretty emerald green you ever did see.

Works Cited

Ellingwood, F. (1994). American Materia Medica, Therapeutics and Pharmacognosy 11th Edition (1919). Sandy: Reprinted Eclectic Medical Publications.

Hoffman, D. (2003). Medical Herbalism - The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester, Vermont: Healing Arts Press.

Ross, J. (2010). A Clinical Materia Medica. Wald, Germany: Greenfields Press.

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We have crested the halfway mark of the year and the balmy days of summer are truly here -perfect timing to talk about Lemon Balm (Melissa Officinalis). Did you see what I did there? Mom humor at its best.

Lemon Balm - Credit Kate Talbot RAc, RH

Lemon Balm, sweet, lemony, fast growing and beautiful, a wonderful addition to any sun tea and a lovely aid to ease you into sleep on those warm summer nights. As it swells over the shelf above my kitchen sink in the beautiful drapery of foliage that few herbs attain, I like to consider and learn about the past of this herb. Lemon balm has recorded historical uses dating back to 1551 (Gerard, 1633) known to comfort the heart, doeth away all the melancholy and sadness. Driving away troublesome cares and thoughts from the mind. And truly when you crush the crisp green leaf in your hand, deeply inhaling the lemony scent there is a feeling of hope and summer.

This deceptively humble herb also has even more profound traditional uses like a spasmolytic for upset stomachs and unfortunate flatulence– helpful for those big summer barbeques (Bone & Mills, 2013). And an easing and fast healing for those skinned knees of bike rides when combined with a couple other herbs and made into a cream (Buhner, 2013). Lastly for the emergence of those nagging summer colds, hot tea made with lemon balm will relax your body into sleep and support your immune system to have you back frolicking amount the clover before you know it (Hoffman, 2003).

Lemon Balm is easily cultivated in your garden, though remember it grows like peppermint so govern it accordingly. Planting it in a hollowed-out coffee can, or the like, is a simple and effective way to prevent runners – keeping it neat, tidy and manageable. To truly reap the most benefits from this garden treat, fresh lemon balm leaves can be used to make a hot infusion, sun tea or tincture.

Balm of skinned knees and sore skin

2 ounces of lemon balm leaf

2 ounces of birch bark

2 ounces of calendula flower

2 ounces of rosemary leaf

Combine the herbs in a crockpot with 32 ounces of water and bring to boil. Reduce heat and simmer for 3 days. Turn off heat and allow to cool completely to strain. Return to heat, bring to boil and reduce to simmer until reduced to approximately 2 ounces (mind yourself, as it burns quickly at this stage). Add 1 ounce of organic bees wax or until consistency. Pour into airtight jar.

Apply 3 to 5 times per day. This will promote healing, reduction in pain, usually within a couple days.

Works cited

Bone, K., & Mills, S. (2013). Principles and Practice of Phytotherapy. Toronto: Churchill Livingstone.

Buhner, S. H. (2013). Herbal Antivirals - Natural Remedies for Emerging & Resistant Viral Infections. North Adams: Storey Publishing.

Gerard, J. (1633). The Herbal or General History of Plants. New York: Dover Publications.

Hoffman, D. (2003). Medical Herbalism - The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester, Vermont: Healing Arts Press.

Ross, J. (2010). A Clinical Materia Medica. Wald, Germany: Greenfields Press.

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