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Encyclopedia > William LeSassier

William LeSassier was an influential herbalist and acupuncturist who lived from 1948 to 2003. He developed William’s Triune System of Formulation continues to be taught by herbalists such as David Winston who has significantly expanded LeSassier's materia medica.[1] LeSassier taught and inspired many of the major herbalists currently practicing in the United States including Matthew Wood, David Winston, Margie Flynt, Kerry Adams and Dina Falconi and his influence is significant.[2] His classes were taped and continue to influence herbal medicine in the United States. David Winston is an herbalist and ethnobotanist who, for the last 26 years has practiced herbal medicine in United States. ... Matthew Wood is an American filmmaker who is currently the Supervising Sound Editor (2003) employed at Skywalker Sound in Marin County, California. ... David Winston is an herbalist and ethnobotanist who, for the last 26 years has practiced herbal medicine in United States. ...



LeSassier was born in 1948 to Cajun family in Texas. He grew up in Midland, then moved to Southern California where he learned theosophy, palmistry, color therapy, and herbalism and where he audited the first two years of medical school at UCLA. By the age of 20 he was an active healer. In the late 1960s, LeSassier opened The Christos School of Herbal Medicine in Taos, New Mexico where he ran an herb store and had a daughter. By the 1970s, he was one of the most well-known herbalists in the country. In the 1960s he wandered around the US, Mexico and the Amazon and taught, selling herbs as he went. He wrote some of the very first herb articles in Well-Being Magazine, one of the first publication on alternative medicine. Around 1970 he found a teacher of Chinese medicine and persuaded the man to allow him apprentice with him, learning about the energetics of medicinal herbs and an individualized differential diagnosis. In the 1983, he settled in New York City where he opened Chiron’s Magic Minerals, where he practiced and taught energy work. He married again, had a son in 1985 and entered acupuncture school, where he graduated in 1998. He met his partner Daniela Noe in 1987 and spent time in a vacation home/school/nature preserve in the Blue Ridge Mountains. He died in 2003 from complications of cirrhosis of the liver associated with hepatitis C and past alcoholism.[3]

Triune Formulas

One hallmark of most serious herbalism is the use of herbs in a formula. LeSassier had been exposed to Chinese medicine where "One disease many formulas" and individualizing formulas to the strengths and weaknesses of the patient was a hallmark. Herbs in the Chinese system are recognized by their effects on specific organs and meridians or organ systems. Chinese formulation generally has a "king" herb that addresses the major problem, supported by "ministers" that support it or address weak organ systems and "servant" herbs that harmonize and carry herbs to specific parts of the body. However a system that bridged the various herbal traditions was lacking. Traditional Chinese medicine shop in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong. ... Meridian is: Meridian (astronomy): an imaginary circle perpendicular to the horizon. ...

The Triune <sic> System of Formulation was inspired by a vision LeSassier had during a period of personal difficulty, a vision that changed the direction of his herbal practice. He saw a triangle and Pythagoras giving him a book. The formulation was based on visually drawing one triangle inverted within a larger triangle, with the client’s constitution/core condition in the center and supporting organ systems in the flanking sides. According to the system, 9 herbs would be used, three in larger amounts to support the core problem with lower amounts for the supporting systems. Herbs were classified by their ability to build or tonify (+), react amphoterically which means to stabilize or harmonize (0) and to eliminate. (-). Herbs on the apex of each triangle represented the "king," the ruler/significant herb/neutral signified by a circle, a "minister" the herb that communicates to other plants and takes the message to the king, signified by a plus sign, and a "servant" the reciprocal part of the formula that acts upon/eliminates through the "doorways of the body." Measurement of herb was formulated by energetic strength, not weight.[4][5]


See also

Traditional Chinese medicine shop in Tsim Sha Tsui, Hong Kong. ... Dioscorides’ Materia Medica, c. ... Pharmacognosy is the study of medicines from natural sources. ... Pinguicula grandiflora Botany is the scientific study of plantlife. ... Ethnobotany is the study of the relationship between plants and people: Fromethno - study of people and botany - study of plants. ...

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