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We continue this week with Katja’s series: Starting Your Herbal Business! Today the focus is on the practice of clinical herbalism. Building and running a practice as a clinical herbalist isn’t only about your interview skills, your ability to formulate a personalized remedy, or your capacity to build a holistic health plan in collaboration with yo…
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When you’re an herbalist, it’s normal to get questions from people about herbs. Usually they’re thinking that it’s a simple question, and expecting a simple response: “What’s good for IBS?” “Chamomile.” But the truth is a lot more complex than that! When you learn about herbalism, you come to understand that there are no herbs “for” any disease sta…
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We continue this week with Katja’s series: Starting Your Herbal Business! Today the focus is on an herb shop or herbal apothecary, with or without a tea bar for tastings and treats. Running an herb shop involves a fair amount of administrative work: ordering, stocking, inventory, payment processing, taxes, etc. Sharpen up your spreadsheets, folks! …
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This week Katja brings you the first in a new series we’ve been wanting to produce for you: Starting Your Herbal Business! Today the focus is on herbal products – tinctures, salves, elixirs, tea blends, all that good stuff! Listen in for a simple explanation of what you’ll need to know if you want to build an herbal products business of your own. I…
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Today we reach the end of our apothecary shelves! This series started way back with episode 170 on Achillea & Acorus, and today in episode 227 we’ve finally come to Zingiber. Today’s entire episode is all about ginger. (Yes, it deserves its own entire episode. If you don’t already believe it, we will convince you!) We discuss Katja’s evolving prefe…
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We’ve reached our penultimate Herbs A-Z episode this week, and we’re highlighting ashwagandha & prickly ash – it’s prickly ashwagandha! Withania somnifera, ashwagandha, is an herb Katja takes every single day. Usually, she gets it in the form of “notCoffee”, a formula of various roots and herbs blended to offer sustained energy and endocrine supppo…
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We have just three episodes remaining in our Herbs A-Z series! Today’s show features mullein and blue vervain. Verbascum thapsus, mullein, deserves its reputation as an effective remedy for dry respiratory conditions. Its leaf is a great ally when your home heating system dries out the air inside, or when your area is hit by wildfire smoke. But mul…
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DECEMBER SALE: 20% off every course & program we offer, all month long! Use code KINDNESS at checkout! As we draw near the end of our tour of the home apothecary herbs, today we come to nettle and bilberry. Urtica dioica, nettle, is an herb who can help with a really vast array of health issues. Sometimes we half-jokingly refer to “nettle deficienc…
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DECEMBER SALE: 20% off every course & program we offer, all month long! Use code KINDNESS at checkout! This week we return to our home herbal apothecary shelves and discuss two medicinal barks: slippery elm and cat’s claw. Ulmus rubra, slippery elm, is an at-risk plant. We don’t work with it frequently, for this reason – other demulcents will usual…
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Today our featured herbs are red clover & damiana – two complementary fluid-moving remedies. Red clover (Trifolium pratense) has a reputation as an herb that “cures breast cancer”. That’s not the way we talk or think about it, but it’s worth digging in to why people say that! What underlies the claim is an observable effect: the plant can diminish …
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We’re on the final shelf of our home apothecary, and today we’re talking about thyme & linden! Thyme (Thymus vulgaris) is our absolute favorite herb for a steam. Herbal steams are an amazing way to bring the plant’s medicinal actions into the lungs and sinuses – and the ear canal and eyes, too! Thyme’s a great steam herb because it’s so rich in vol…
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Our herbs for this week are dandelion & cedar! Both are diuretic, but their similarities pretty much end there. We are big fans of gardening your weeds, and we took another opportunity here to advocate for it. It’s easy to do, and you don’t have to stress about upkeep. Plus, you get nutritious or medicinal plants ready to hand! Dandelion is a great…
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Today we proceed futher along our shelves, looking at the herbs we keep in our home apothecary. In this episode we discuss goldenrod and wood betony. When using the botanical Latin name for goldenrod, we write Solidago spp. – that “spp.” means “species plural”; there are many varieties in the genus. It can hard to tell them apart! Fortunately, your…
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Today we’re continuing our “herbs on our shelf” from A to Z series! This week, our herbs are schisandra and skullcap. Schisandra (Schisandra chinensis) is SOUR. That flavor stands out most strongly when you taste the herb. But it’s also bitter, pungent, acrid, and a little bit sweet – that’s why it’s sometimes called five-flavor berry. Schisandra’s…
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20% OFF EVERYTHING for the month of July! Use code ALLTOGETHER at checkout! There’s one reality, that of the human need for fundamentals like nourishing food, restorative sleep, consistent movement, ways to mitigate stress, and community support. Then there’s the other reality: that so much of this is not accessible for so many people in our societ…
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We’re continuing our “herbs on our shelf” series from A to Z today! This time our herbs are elder and sassafras. The most famous part of elder (Sambucus nigra) is the berry, which is indeed an effective remedy for viral infections including colds, flu, and COVID. It’s a rather safe one, despite occasional herban legends do the contrary. (No, the be…
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There’s a basic rule when it comes to herbal businesses in the US: “Don’t tell and sell.” Due to rules and regulations set forth by the Food & Drug Administration (FDA) and the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), there are many limits on what one can say about herbal products. You may already know that it is not allowed to make “disease claims” on prod…
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We almost never do interviews, but our friend Anna Rósa is collaborating with The Lotus Flower to empower refugee women in Kurdistan to care for their own health, their families and communities, and to start herbal businesses to support themselves as they rebuild their lives. We are so excited to support her efforts, and we wanted to tell y’all all…
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Today’s herbs are sage & rosemary – two herbs whose botanical name Salvia indicates they can keep us “safe, healthy, and secure”, if we go with a literal translation. Sounds pretty good to us! And tastes good, too… Sage, Salvia officinalis, is the subject of a great many old sayings & adages, like “if a man would live for aye [forever], then should…
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In this period of Fallow Month (see previous episode), we're re-airing a couple of our favorite episodes from the archives. This one was originally episode #145, originally aired December 20th 2020. In this episode we explore the skills and disciplines necessary to conduct a successful self-experiment. Self-experimentation in this context might mea…
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In this period of Fallow Month (see previous episode), we're re-airing a couple of our favorite episodes from the archives. This one was originally episode #120, originally aired April 4th 2020. Previously, we've urged you to look at learning herbalism like learning a language or instrument – something that requires daily practice. This week, we’re…
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In ancient agriculture, the farmers observed the need to let fields rest every year or two, so they could recover their fertility. Letting the fields lie fallow in this way actually yielded more food than trying to force them to grow every year. We can apply this same insight to the learning process. You cannot cram in more information forever, jus…
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Today we’re discussing the entire genus of Rubus plants! We focus most on blackberry & raspberry, because we know them best, but with 1400+ species found on every continent, there’s certainly a local Rubus to be found wherever you go. Blackberry (Rubus fruticosus) & raspberry (R. idaeus) leaf and root are excellent astringents. Not just for the pel…
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Snow-delayed by a couple days, here’s our next episode! Today we’re talking about yellow dock and rose. Yellow dock (Rumex crispus) is also known as curly dock. We also like to work with broadleaf dock (R. obtusifolius) in all the same ways. These herbs can be tinctured or prepared as decoctions. They’re great help for constipation, and if you prep…
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Is it more accurate to say “I am an herbalist” or “I’m doing herbalism”? To us, if “herbalist” is an identity, a name, a noun – then you’re subject to imposter syndrome. Why? Because you’re treating it as something you can be, once and for all, based on a credential or status. But like all living and growing things, herbalist is a verb. If “herbali…
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Today we’ve got two astringent herbs to discuss, though their similarities pretty much end with that quality. Rhodiola and staghorn sumac are our topic! Rhodiola rosea has been commercialized and popularized as an adaptogen and “antidepressant” herb. It’s quite warming, drying, and tonifying – really great if you need to row a viking ship across th…
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Today’s herbs from our apothecary shelf are self-heal and lungwort! Self-heal, Prunella vulgaris, is a lovely lymph-moving herb who we often find in woodland trails. You can find it in lots of places – “vulgaris” does mean “common”, after all – but you probably won’t find it very readily in commerce. It’s not the easiest plant to grow for profit, b…
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Relaxants come in many varieties. Today we come to two herbs who relax tension patterns in the body, yet are quite different from one another. Pedicularis densiflora, P. canadensis, and P. groenlandica are just a few of the “louseworts”, also sometimes known as wood betony. We ourselves usually mean Stachys officinalis when we say “betony”, and eas…
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Our herbs this week are pine and plantain! A mighty tall tree and a humble herb of the packed earth. Pine trees come in many varieties. Around Boston we mainly find white pine (Pinus strobus) and red pine (Pinus resinosa), but many others are similar. Pine can help sustain energy and mood, so we consider it a stimulant – but not like coffee. Pine w…
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A seaweed and a vine-flower, how are they alike? We started out this episode feeling like these two herbs were completely different from one another. By the time we got to the end, though, we found a unifying quality or two. Dulse, whose Latin name is Palmaria palmata, is our favorite choice for those who are new to seaweeds. It has a mild flavor, …
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Today’s herbs are two excellent friends to the human nervous & emotional systems. Tulsi and evening primrose are both nervines, and although they are rather different from one another, they fit together nicely. Tulsi or ‘holy basil’, Ocimum sanctum aka O. tenuiflorum, has featured on our podcast many times previously: as a supportive herb for psych…
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Happy new year everyone! May 2023 be an herb-filled year for all of us! Monarda species plants are sometimes known as bee balm, wild bergamot, horsemint, or a variety of other names, but we usually just call them monarda. These lovely mint-family members produce an abundance of hot, “sharp” aromatics which are extraordinarily helpful in infectious …
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20% OFF ALL COURSES & PROGRAMS FOR THE ENTIRE MONTH OF DECEMBER – USE CODE DECEMBER2022 AT CHECKOUT! Today we’re profiling a few of our favorite “minty” mints! We discuss spearmint, peppermint, & pennyroyal. Spearmint (Mentha spicata) has a light flavor and impression, with moderate menthol content. It’s gotten a lot of attention in herbal circles …
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Tonight we’re talking about two of our favorite herbs, and two of the tastier herbs in our materia medica. Goji berry, Lycium barbarum / L. chinense, is an excellent post-workout adaptogen. It’s a very good herb to consume as food, whether a simple handful of dried berries, included in a trail mix, cooked into rice, or decocted into dissolution in …
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This week we highlight lavender & motherwort! Lavandula angustifolia (and many other Lavandula species), a well-known scent to everyone, recognizable and soothing. Lavender relaxes and releases tension. It has a warmth to it, which is more noticeable the more you take or the longer you take it. The flowers are the part that are most popular and ava…
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We’re back to our apothecary shelf herb profile tour! This week we have a pair of herbs who both support respiratory function. They demonstrate two types of heat: pungency and the hot aromatics. The root of elecampane, Inula helenium, taste in a way we fondly refer to as “peppery mud”. This herb is fantastic for cold, damp lung conditions. When you…
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We’re almost moved! This week our episode is about the herbs we’ve kept on the shelves so that we have them available every day. These are plants that are helping us get through the physical exertion, dust!, and stress of packing & moving. We talk all about why we love them in this episode, and some formulae for infusions & decoctions we’ve been dr…
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Ryn says: We've got another replay for you this week, and it's one of my personal favorites. (It also happens to be from right around the last time we moved!) It's episode 95 from 10/5/2019, and it's an episode we made right after I attended the MovNat Level 3 certification challenge. It was a 4-day course/test/immersion in natural movement. It was…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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…
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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 …
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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…
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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…
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