Alchemising the Essence of Traditional Medicine with Dr. Jimi Wollumbin {Podcast #007}

Lets not only explore some of the gems, techniques and knowledge from a range of traditional medicine but let's cultivate capabilities to relate with the essence of these ancient lineages in order to heal using a more direct, holistic and powerful approach.

Set at the feet of Mt Wollumbin (Mt Warning) in the Northern Rivers of NSW at Jimi’s healing sanctuary, this interview explores traditional healing gems and techniques derived from a diverse catalogue of ancient lineages.

That is what Dr. Jimi has uniquely cultivated. An ability to cross-pollinate medical traditions then apply that in his clinic and teachings while maintaining professional sovereignty.

Jimi sheds insight into the root causes of disease by exploring deep and subtle primary wounds.

His approach is understanding and communing with the essence of a herb, a medical device, a body system, disease or a patient, in order to heal holistically. This is what makes a physician at the top of their game.

This interview is basically me picking Jimi’s brain on all cool things traditional medicine while he shares his philosophical views and approach. I also enquire about his journey of moving from tradition to tradition to cultivate his own flavour of healing while maintaining respect and authentic identity.


About Dr. Jimi Wollumbin

Whether he is presenting at the UN or at a village health co-operative in rural India, Jimi is always a highly engaging speaker, writer and educator. With 19 years clinical experience and almost as much in community development, Jimi combines his deep knowledge of holistic medicine with a passion for social causes and world health. As the social entrepreneur that founded One Health Organisation in 2005, he has since steered it to become the largest holistic and integrative healthcare NGO in the world - having distributed roughly 9 metric tonnes of medicine to hundreds of thousands of disadvantaged communities across the globe. Jimi’s private clients value his obvious passion for traditional medical practices and the way in which he combines aspects of the traditions of India, China, Tibet and Persia that continue to inspire him.


In this Episode we Discuss:

  • How Jimi got the name Wollumbin - the indigenous name of the mountain where Jimi lives.
  • Mt Wollumbin as the “Ajna” (third eye) of Australia. (6:10)
  • Cross-pollinating medical modalities and reviving living traditions. (8:30)
  • Jimi’s personal journey and experience with medicine. (13:30)
  • Jimi’s journey with Ayurveda.
  • The common grammar that underlies Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic Medicine. (16:30)
  • Ayurveda and herbal medicine is a labour of love. (22:34)
  • Jimi’s platform of practice - alternative to the alternatives. (23:10)
  • Accessing deep and subtle primary wounds as root causes of disease. “What really needs to be healed here?” (24:30)
  • Pulse diagnosis: deep intimacy of sentients touching sentients. (35:35)
  • Starting to learn Pulse Diagnosis. How to approach it. “Feel” the pulse. (39:35)
  • Leech Therapy: Raktamokshana (Blood liberation). (44:05)
    • Used in 30 hospitals alone in NSW.
    • Why in the European tradition they used to call physicians “leeches.” (47:50)
  • Pan-Indo European Culture: Root culture of Europe encompassing 450 languages. (48:18)
  • Understanding the essence of a medical instrument or herb. Understanding the basic gestalt of the pattern, principle, idea, notion or spirit of a herb or medical device (such as a leech) in order to know how to apply that to the basic gestalt, pattern and principle of a disease. (50:23)
  • The qualities and nature of a leech: dark, night, yin, cool, feminine, water, flowing. (52:25)
  • Uses of leech therapy:
    • Use for something that is hot and not flowing.
    • The most potent anticoagulant known to man (hirudin).
    • All conditions of the blood and excess heat.
    • “Just as the swan drinks only the milk from a diluted milk, similarly the leeches drink only the bad blood first from the pool of (vitiated) blood.” ~ Vaghbata.
  • Other body treatments Jimi utilises: Svedana, Bastis, Shirodhara. (59:46)
  • Healing response of Kati Basti: Warm oil penetrates drives deep down into the tissues and doshas which allows vata (the primary vital force and subtle winds of the body) to flow and for blood to move.
  • 3 Modes of Ayurvedic Blood Letting and Cupping: (01:01:43)
    • Historically used to suck the disease-causing spirits out of the body.
    • Now used to suck the wind out.
    • Move stagnant blood without opening the vein (a mild form of venesection).
    • Toning through taking blood out.
    • Taking a little blood out of a weak person to stimulate the marrow for strength.
    • Treat “hot” infections.
  • Why anaemic people can die from getting fed iron supplements.
  • Disease is a spiritual phenomenon. Ayurveda is old as nature actually. (01:03:14)
  • Disease manifesting due to violation of natural law.
  • Excess iron causing immunological problems, liver strain and cardiac risk. Especially in men who don’t have a chance to shed iron need iron clearance. (01:08:15)
  • Causes of excessive iron: (01:09:40)
  • Iron age. To much arien arterial energy and not enough venus like yin energy.
  • We have stopped blood letting.
  • Earth pollution and heavy metals interacting with iron.
  • Jimi’s favourite herbs: (01:12:28)
  • Angelica:
    • Finland’s sacred and most revered herb.
    • Shamans would use in a range of shamanic practices.
    • Gained its fame during the plague. It was revered by angels and it was an angel that told suffering humanity that angelica would assist in fighting off the plague.
    • Pungent taste (Katu rasa) helps with phlegmatic, kapha, leukkoria, phlegm on lungs - bronchial infection. Low agni and invisible phlegm.
    • Useful for phlegmatic psychologically and physiologically issues (similar to Kapha).
    • Immune booster.
    • Gentle enough for children to use.
  • Adrenal boosters that are stimulants in disguise vs. adaptogens. (01:15:18) - Ginseng, rhodiola, cordyceps - high doses makes them stimulates, exhausting and healing. In low doses they won’t be.
  • Adaptogens have deep tonic properties are Qi tonics and kidney tonics that form ojas faster.
  • Ashwagandha - an adaptogen whose root literally smells like a horse. Balances vata and the nervous system. The “sleepy nightshade.” (01:18:50)
  • Today’s most common health issues Jimi sees in practice: Endocrine disharmony and hormonal problems that have adrenal fatigue at their root due to flight or fight constantly turned on. (01:21:32)
  • Parasympathetic nervous system: “Rest and digest.” “Feed and breed.”
  • Digestive disorders of vata blowing out agni due to nervous system imbalance.
  • Hypothyroidism - approaching the endocrine system as a web rather than separate glands.
  • Reductionism as a problematic approach to medicine.

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