Sally Handlon

Interview - Fall 2020

Sally Handlon

Sally Handlon is a business consultant, a certified Integrative Nutrition Health Coach, and the author of Your Journey to Aging Well: Drink, Move, Eat, Sleep.

How did you first become interested in herbal medicine?

The motivation that started this journey, beyond just a passing interest, was my mother. In her late life she was subject to western medicine’s segregated treatment approach which had her taking 15 medications a day without a total body impact evaluation. Unfortunately, she passed during my second year of herbal studies so I was just minimally able to help her. I then determined that my life’s intention would be excellent health -one not dependent on western medicines - and share what I could with others.

You are a business consultant with 40 years experience. Do you find that your experiences in that realm impact your herbal work and vise versa? In what ways?

My years of experience have provided me with the opportunity to enjoy investigating and research. The investigating is my “personal/individual” experience and the research, the traditional article/book reviews. I have definitely done more investigating since I began my herbal work as I am more inquisitive about individual impact. The individuality aspect of herbal therapies and subsequently nutritional choices has provided me with a more balanced approach to my consulting clients. My herbal studies have influenced my flexibility in all situations.

Talk about your herbal training and how you found David Winston.

My two courses with David’s program were life changing for me. I dabbled in trying to understand alternative practices through publications like Prevention Magazine and my chiropractor. However, David’s courses provided me with the understanding and background that resulted in a more formal and complete understanding. His wealth of experience both with herbs and client impact was amazing. He had great stories of the ancient ways and protocols that were fascinating and helped to ground my belief in the importance of herbal therapies. He also opened my eyes to the importance, application and appreciation of some of our “weeds.”

I don’t know how David was able to conduct these 3-4 hour, weekly sessions. His knowledge probably could have easily doubled that time. He was always open to questions, and mine were perhaps the least educated ones. I was in class with practitioners and even though I asked questions from a novice perspective; he was always gracious. I appreciate that David was willing to accept students from a variety of educational/knowledge backgrounds.

Do you have any favorite David Winston formulas?

Although through conferences I have been exposed to other providers, having the knowledge of the quality that goes into David’s formulas is extremely important.

The blends that he has developed for various health concerns are effective. The ones that I will most often share with family, friends or use myself include:

Bitters compounds –I share with folks that believe they have too much gastric fluid. I ask them to start with this first as they may not have enough gastric acid.


Immune support – I will vary depending upon the season. Our immune systems are under great stress most of the time. I believe that especially now in COVID-19 time, we need to be supporting our immune system more than ever.

Sinus Support Compound – In the NE, as soon as it gets cold, many sinuses react. I encourage use of the compound prior to one’s usual exposure time.

Blueberry Solid Extract – tastes great and I like the eye, circulatory, and oxidative support features

Iron Extract – I tend to have low blood iron and it is occurring more as I age. This has become my first “go to” when I get those results.

Muscle/Joint Tonic - For those of us with arthritis or doing too much exercising, this helps with inflammation.

When approached by family or friends, I always review the David’s book Herbal Therapeutics: Specific Indications for Herbs and Herbal Formulas for details on his formulas, so I continue to learn.

Tell us about the book you just published.

This book is a culmination of more than 35 years of interest in health, environment, and wellness. Although I majored in physical education, then parks and recreation in college, I was young and didn’t see these majors as a way to address wellness, nor did I really give thought to wellness. The real journey began with my subscription to Prevention magazine when I was in my early thirties. I continued to learn more about the body’s capabilities through my work with a special alternative practitioner, Justin Kelley, DC.

This led to an interest in herbs as medicine and an introduction to herbalist David Winston, RH (AHG). Although I took three years of study with David’s courses, I knew that I would always be a student herbalist. I realized that unless I devoted myself full time to this learning, I would remain a resource for family and friends only and never hang out a shingle.

Still my journey wasn’t over. It took me eight years to find the missing factor. It was discovering the connection between wellness, herbs, and nutrition that helped to forge my new path. My intent has always been to find a way to share the knowledge that I obtained, starting with herbal training. While I was researching and writing this book, I realized that the seed for this book was planted many years ago, during my first year of herbal training.

So, the concept for this book was to take four key body systems and four key actions (drink, move, eat, sleep) and help the reader to understand the impact of choices in those areas both positive and negative. Since we are all individuals, no one approach works for all, but our bodies can help us to choose appropriate approaches, if we listen to it.

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