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We're replaying some of our favorite episodes from the back catalog of the Holistic Herbalism Podcast. In this one, originally aired as episode 142 on 11/6/2020, we highlight four of our favorite fungi: shiitake, maitake, reishi, & lion's mane. Essentially all medicinal mushrooms share some features of interest herbalists. Famously, they can modula…
 
We realized that the Autumnal equinox is coming up soon: Thursday 9/22 at 9:04 PM, for those of you keeping track! This made us want to re-air episode 155, a discussion of our Equinox Thoughts on Balance & Amphoteric Herbs, originally aired on 3/20/2021. This episode is all about balance. Equinox is the time of year when day & night have equal leng…
 
One of our habits as herbalists and teachers is to avoid the word “use” with reference to plants. We don’t say “I use meadowsweet for headaches” or “I use Japanese knotweed for Lyme disease”. We don’t say “I use chamomile for stomach cramps” or even “I use ginger as a stimulating diaphoretic”. And when students ask “how do you use schisandra berrie…
 
Yellow leaves, undeveloped fruit, long “leggy” stems between the leaf nodes – these are some of the key signs of a plant under stress. But if you’ve never met this species before, you might not know something’s off! Other signs are not so visible, and require you to know the plant stand for a season or a full year before you can see them. The point…
 
We’re back! We had a bit of an interruption in our podcasting schedule, and we’re sorry! We’re moving to our “forever home” very soon, and the podcast took a back burner to online course production work. But we’ve got a plan! This episode and the next two constitute a mini-series on herbalism and climate change. After that, we’ll re-air a few of ou…
 
July sale! Use code TOGETHER2022 at checkout for 20% off any course or program! This week we’re presenting an exercise in practical herbalism. In this instance we’re describing a case of anxious insomnia. We outline the situation, and then you can pause the show and come up with some ideas about how you would help this individual. Then, we share ou…
 
Today we have abandoned the alphabet! Well, not entirely, just for purposes of bringing you a pair of relaxant diaphoretic herbs in this summer heat. These are two plants who are both helpful for releasing inner heat (whether physical or emotional) and allowing cooler heads to prevail. Linden, Tilia spp., is a common city tree where we live. It’s v…
 
Today’s featured herbs are excellent in sun tea. Simply spoon them into a jar, pour in water, cover it up, and place it in the sun for several hours. Sun tea makes a light herbal infusion and is best for herbs that can be well extracted in a short hot infusion. The calyx of Hibiscus sabdariffa is distinct from those of other species in the genus. I…
 
Today our apothecary shelves present us with a pair of adaptogens! As we continue our series looking at the herbs we keep on hand at home, this week we encounter two particularly excellent herbs for stressed-out folks with dry constitutions. Licorice’s botanical Latin name tells us straight out that the herb is sweet: Glycyrrhiza glabra means “smoo…
 
We’re back on track! Today we continue our exploration of herbs in our home apothecary, giving you some unscripted thoughts about these herbs we work with very frequently. They’re the plants we want to have with us always, and it’s been fun to see the synchronicities that emerge as we progress in alphabetical-by-Latin order. Today’s plants make an …
 
All herb schools are different, in their focus and their style. When you’re choosing an online herb school, whether for a short course or a long program, here are some key questions to consider: How can you ask questions to the teachers & admins? Is there a free course you can take first? What’s the teaching method (text, audio, recorded video, liv…
 
Collapse is not a single event that occurs everywhere, once and for all. It occurs in fits and starts, unevenly distributed across communities. When there are floods and fires, when there are supply chain disruptions, when there is war and strife – these are expressions of collapse. Recognizing them is not in any way saying we shouldn’t bother to t…
 
We’re continuing on as we highlight the herbs in our home apothecary. Today we reach the end of our first shelf! Erigeron canadensis, E. strigosus, & E. annuus are the species of fleabane we have worked with. We like the Canada fleabane best, but they’re all helpful herbs. All the fleabanes are very easy to grow – put some in your “feral garden” ar…
 
This week we’re talking about cardamom & eleuthero! About Elettaria cardamomum, cardamom, we actually do have “one weird trick” for you today! Here it is: get yourself a cardamom-crushing stone. It is so much easier than using a spoon to crush the pods and release the pungent aromatic seeds. Cardamom is great to “ground” a very aromatic formula, an…
 
In today’s episode we continue our exploration of the herbs on our home apothecary shelves. This week we made an extra effort to share formulation ideas for these herbs! The hawthorns – Crataegus spp. – are best-known for protecting the heart and vasculature. The quercetin, anthocyanins, and bioflavonoids in the leaf, flower, & berry of this giving…
 
Today’s plants are both precious and powerful. Codonopsis pilosula, codonopsis, is deeply restorative. We locate its center of activity in the marrow, where it feeds the production of both white and red blood cells. It is not a stimulant, yet it’s very helpful for those who are feeling fatigue – whether that is a post-viral chronic illness, or simp…
 
This week’s herbs are orange peel & cinnamon. Each one has multiple varieties: sweet orange, bitter orange, cassia cinnamon, “true” cinnamon, etc. Citrus x aurantium and C. x sinensis are the bitter and sweet orange, respectively. Not just an excellent flavoring agent (although that counts for a lot!), citrus peel makes a nice gentle digestive bitt…
 
Happy new year! We’re continuing our Herbs A-Z series in 2022, starting off strong with gotu kola & chicory. These widespread herbs both have long histories & active presents of medicinal application. Centella asiatica, known best as gotu kola, is today mostly thought of as a neuroprotective or even “nootropic” herb. It does indeed protect the nerv…
 
This week we highlight two herbs who are close to our hearts. Heather is a plant we both met together and have come to appreciate each in our own way. Centaury was “Ryn’s first herb” in many ways and made a huge impact on his digestive health when he was originally learning herbalism from Katja. Both are friends we turn to frequently! Calluna vulga…
 
This week’s herbs are fluid-movers, with drying and tonifying effects. They’re both excellent topical remedies which can also be helpful when taken internally. We prefer water or alcohol extracts of them in most cases, but birch makes a decent infused oil and calendula is excellent in oil. Betula spp. are birch trees – all the different kinds are s…
 
This week’s herbs from our apothecary shelf are shatavari and astragalus! These are a couple of slow-acting herbs for long-term work. Their restorative properties take some time for full effect, but they’re worth building the habit. We prefer to prepare both of these as decoctions. Asparagus racemosus, called shatavari, is an Ayurvedic herb with co…
 
This week we have two more herbs from our shelf – rooibos & pleurisy root! We’re working our way along the shelves and giving every plant a bit of attention, to explore the variety of helpful herbs that exist. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut, so we’re giving everyone an equal shot. Asclepias tuberosa is known as pleurisy root, and also butterfly we…
 
Here we go with some more of the herbs on our apothecary shelves! This week our spotlight is on uva ursi & mugwort. Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, known as bearberry, uva ursi, or kinnikinnick, is a very astringent herb. It can knit wounds together, combat infections, and squeeze stuck fluids out of tissues. When we drink it it has a lot of action on the…
 
We’re turning our attention to all the herbs we keep on the shelves in our apothecary, two at a time, in this ongoing series. (Check out the podcast stream for previous episodes!) We know that we tend to focus on a small group of favorite herbs, and we’re trying to make sure we don’t neglect helpful plants out of habit. Wormwood, Artemisia absinthi…
 
As herbalism is becoming more popular, the sustainability of plants themselves needs to be a primary focus for all of us. But like all issues of environmental sustainability, it’s not just about individual decisions and habits. We must pay special attention to the activities of large corporations, because they can have much larger impacts than sing…
 
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