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Podcast 040: Wildfires, Trainwrecks, and Cold Digestion in Hot Weather

The world’s on fire, no one wants to admit they’re occasionally catastrophic, and sometimes all you want to eat is ice cream. In this episode we’ll talk about herbs to support respiratory health in times of dryness and smoke inhalation. We’ve also got a dramatic* reading of Katja’s favorite blog post ever, You’re A Trainwreck.…

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Podcast 039: Herbs for Introverts & Extraverts

Introverts & extraverts, as patterns of personality, each have their strengths and weaknesses. In this episode we’ll discuss herbal allies to accommodate common discomforts experienced by those who identify with one or another pole of this spectrum. Introversion & extraversion don’t need to be “fixed”, but their extremes can be balanced and their weak points…

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Podcast 038: Our Top Ten Tinctures

A listener asked us what would be our five favorite tinctures to have on hand, so this week we’re each going to share with you a list of herbs we just can’t live without! We talk a bit about each one’s virtues and the way we ourselves work with these herbs. Katja’s list: ghost pipe,…

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Podcast 037: Herbs for Summer Camp & Extra Senses of Perception

Katja’s daughter Amber is off to summer camp this week, so she shares with you the list of things they packed into Amber’s herbal first aid kit. If you have kids headed off to camp – or are going to one yourself – you’ll want to listen in! Ryn muses on the capacity for receiving…

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Podcast 036: First Aid for Burns & Sprains

This week we share some practical first aid herbalism for burns and sprains. Whether you’re hiking far out in the woods or simply have an accident at home, these tips will help you take care of yourself effectively & naturally with herbs. A few resources for you: Dressing A Burn – this is the video…

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Podcast 035: Cinnamon, Vanilla, & Cacao

Katja & Ryn discuss how these “exotic spices” came to be ubiquitous among Americans, and how we can learn from the history of plant trade, cultivation – including some bitter history and present affairs of colonization and slavery. We try to recognize and explore the chain of relationships between the farmers and ourselves, and give…

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Podcast 034: Herbal Affinities & Softening In Service

Ryn leads off this week with a discussion of herbal affinities – the ways in which herbs may be centered in their effects on a particular organ or type of tissue in the body – and how these can help you make good herbal choices or make more effective formulas. Katja shares some thoughts about…

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Podcast 033: Back Pain & Sparkling Summertime Herbal Drinks

This week Katja had a bit of back pain, and has some thoughts to share with you about how this can happen an what to do about it. From mindset management to gentle movements for the release of tension and improving alignment, of course with the support of herbs, here are a few quick tips…

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Podcast 032: Vacation Is Mandatory & Jiaogulan

Katja this week reflects on a bit of wisdom surrounding downtime, and on the ways in which stress management can sometimes be the most difficult of our fundamental pillars of health, or the one that gets sacrificed first. Ryn shares his love of jiaogulan (Gynostemma pentaphyllum), a particularly excellent adaptogen for the dry and tense…

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Podcast 031: Resilience Not Dogma

Katja shares a hard-fought lesson: that health is not equivalent to merit, and that as herbalists it’s important for us to stay away from idea that there is A Right Way and We Know It. Instead our role should be to offer a wide variety of tools to try that can help build greater resilience,…

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Podcast 030: Tulsi & Formulating Absent Friends

Since it’s Herbstalk’s 2018 Herb of the Year, Katja wants to finally give Tulsi its due with a quick monograph for you today! As promised last time, Ryn shares an exercise in herbal formulation: attempting to re-create the actions and qualities of an herb you don’t have, by mixing together several other herbs. We each…

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Podcast 029: Sore Throat Herbs & Classic Cancer Cure-alls

After seeing Rising Appalachia the other night, Katja wanted to sing! She sang so much she gave herself a sore throat. So today she’ll tell you all about her favorite herbs for soothing sore throats! Ryn breaks down a couple of “classic cancer cure-all” formulae you may have heard of: Hoxsey and Essiac. He talks…

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Podcast 028: Herbal Allies for Eating Disorders & Herbal Muscle Rub

Katja shares her thoughts on herbal supports for those who are coping with eating disorders. Herbs can help reduce anxiety, center us in the body, stimulate appetite, and make it easier to manage cravings. Ryn gives you some guidelines for building a warming, relaxing herbal muscle rub. This will help speed recovery after an intense…

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Podcast 027: Exploring Energetics With Our Book & Getting Through A Tough Day

Ryn describes a method you can use to expand your understanding of energetics by comparing ailment profiles and the herbs recommended for them in our book. If you love lists, this is for you! Katja shares her best strategies for getting through a day when you wake up feeling zonked – from uncoffee to yerba mate formulation…

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Podcast 026: A Woman In (Herbal) Science & Heartburn 1-2-3

This week Katja has some thoughts about the number of syllables in neuraminidase and what it means to be a woman in science. Ryn tries to keep it simple with a basic protocol for heartburn. Mentioned in this podcast: Behave, Robert Sapolsky Student-faculty research suggests Oreos can be compared to drugs of abuse in lab…

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Introducing our new book – Herbal Medicine For Beginners

Our first book is here! We’re so excited to present our first book, and appropriately for a first book, it starts at the beginning! Herbal Medicine for Beginners is a great book for folks who are completely new to herbalism – and our students have said that it’s also a great, concise reminder of how to keep it…

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Podcast 025: Anti-Inflammatory Herbs Beyond Turmeric & Dreaming With Mugwort

Turmeric is a great herb and an effective anti-inflammatory, but it’s not the be-all end-all it’s sometimes made out to be, usually by folks who want to sell it to you! This week Katja shares some other anti-inflammatory herbs you may not have considered. Meanwhile, Ryn’s been thinking about dreaming – or dreaming about thinking?…

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Podcast 024: Taco Seasoning Herbs & -Ency vs -Icity

This week Katja talks about the herbs that defined taco seasoning in her Texas upbringing, and their qualities when as medicinal herbs. Along the way, she takes a moment to appreciate the life of World War I herbalist and author, Maud Grieve. Ryn goes over an important lesson in phytochemistry – that no one compound…

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Podcast 023: Schisandra & Peppermint

No, that’s not an herbal tea pairing suggestion! This week, Katja sets off on a 100-day experiment with schisandra berries, and Ryn discusses the nuances of peppermint’s energetics – is it warming or cooling? Listen in and find out what we think! Don’t forget! Herbal Medicine for Beginners, our first book, is available for pre-order…

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Podcast 022: A Movement & 3 Herbs For Back Pain

This week Ryn walks you through a short movement sequence he finds helpful when his low back gets tense, and Katja shares (most of) a recipe for a tincture blend that also helps tense muscles – the rest is to be found in our book! Find the video of the kneebend sequence here! And while…

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Podcast 021: Herbs for Braces & Constituents from the Plant’s Perspective

This week Katja shares some allies who’ve helped out with the (several!) kinds of pain which accompany her braces – gentle vulnerary astringents for the cuts in the mouth, anodynes for the bone pain, and a special guest to help drain fluids from the sinus. Ryn talks about one way we try to understand herbal…

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Podcast 020: Birth-Day Herbs & Support The Mama

Katja’s daughter Amber is about to turn 15 years old, so this week Katja reflects on her birth experience and offers up some herbs to help mamas in the last stages of pregnancy, and Ryn shares one of his favorite Mama-support formulas. Herbs discussed include lobelia, ginger, betony, ghost pipe, chamomile, kava, & vanilla. Mentioned…

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Podcast 019: Good Health Is Your Responsibility

We say it every week: we are not doctors, you are responsible for your own good health. This week, we wanted to expand on that a bit more, explain the philosophy behind it, and the reasons we think it’s so important to our practice as herbalists. We discuss the differences between conventional and traditional systems…

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Podcast 018: Pleurisy In Daughter-Caregivers

This week, in honor of International Women’s Day, Katja shares some of her thoughts and experiences with adult daughters who became caregivers for their elderly parents. There’s a particular pattern of compromised lung health she’s seen emerge in these women, which has been tightly tied to the complex stresses and emotional challenges of the role.…

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Podcast 017: Three Sleep Strategies + What I Should Have Done

This week, Ryn shares some strategies he turns to when (as frequently happens) he recognizes that he needs to sleep, but can’t quite convince himself to go to bed. Katja relates what happened earlier this week, when polyurethane fumes from a home improvement project in our apartment building gave her a massive headache and made…

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Podcast 016: Emotional Support for Mothers & Teens

This week, Katja discusses several herbs to help support mothers and teens who are coping with the difficulties of the adolescent years – especially in the face of the stressors unique to today’s world. Herbs discussed include motherwort, rose, hawthorn, yarrow, tulsi, milk thistle, and st john’s wort. Mentioned in this podcast: Herbs for Psychological…

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Podcast 015: Harm Reduction Herbalism + African Ashwagandha

This week, Katja describes a way of working with herbs to reduce the harm done when lifestyle factors like diet, sleep, and movement are less-than-ideal. (Because really, how often is everything in your life perfectly “right”?) Ryn identifies a mental blind spot in the course of “discovering” that aswhagandha is in fact native or naturalized…

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Podcast 014: Alternatives to Adaptogens for Burnout

Adaptogens are marketed as a solution to stress, burnout, hormonal imbalances, and a lot more. They can help a lot! But they’re not always appropriate. Today we discuss a few cases in which adaptogens might not be the best solution for feelings of burnout and exhaustion, and offer some alternative herbs you might consider instead.…

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Podcast 013: Herbs & Strategies for Physical Labor

We moved! We made it with just a few bumps & bruises and some sore muscles. That was no accident – we thought ahead and stayed mindful with some mental, physical, and herbal supports to make our moving week as smooth as possible. Mentioned this week: Kings Road Apothecary – maker of the lovely kava…

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Podcast 012: Simple Herbs for Digestive Health

This week we’re sharing a class Katja delivered recently about basic applications of herbal remedies to improve digestion and relieve digestive discomforts. Enjoy! We’ll be off next week as we are moving from one apartment to another. We’ll return the following Friday, don’t worry! Our theme music is “Wings” by Nicolai Heidlas.

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Podcast 011: Our Students Love Linden

This weekend we kick off the year for our Advanced Studies Program, so we invited our students to participate in the podcast. Somehow, without any prior coordination, everyone seemed to have linden on the mind! Listen in and hear a few different formulas and perspectives on this helpful friend. Our theme music is “Wings” by…

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Podcast 010: Simple Herbal Self-Care Tips + A Joint Support Decoction

Katja shares three simple ideas for integrating some herbal self-care into your life, especially during the work day, which have helped us a lot during the writing of our forthcoming book. Ryn’s taking a MovNat certification course this weekend, so he offers a formula for supporting joint health. Our theme music is “Wings” by Nicolai…

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Podcast 009: Year-End Reflections

As 2017 draws to a close, we look back over our year and some of the herbs who helped us get through it. Our theme music is “Wings” by Nicolai Heidlas.

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Podcast 008: Goldenrod for Hanukkah + A Solstice Elixir

Katja draws parallels between the Hanukkah story of unexpected abundance, and the gift of goldenrod for helping us persevere through adversity and exhaustion. Ryn shares this year’s solstice elixir formula and the medicine of captured moments. Our theme music is “Wings” by Nicolai Heidlas.

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Podcast 007: Yaupon + On Being A Boring Herbalist

Ryn talks about the yaupon holly, a caffeine-bearing plant of North America, as well as a few ideas that apply to caffeine herbs in general. Katja is happy to be reading The Wee Free Men again, and tries to come up with a boring formula for everyone, but it turns out to be awesome. Our…

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Podcast 006: Dynamic Desk Work + Crazy for Cranberries

This week, Ryn notices he’s been getting stuck in the same sitting positions too frequently while working on the manuscript, and talks about different ways to avoid getting sedentary at home or in the office. Katja shares her enthusiasm and recipes for working with cranberry, one of our local “superfoods”. Our theme music is “Wings”…

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Podcast 005: Ryn Gets Sick + Katja’s Herbal Introspection

In this episode, Ryn tells you about the herbal strategies he’s been using to cope with a respiratory infection for the last few days. Katja shares some thoughts spurred on by the creation of her Herbal Oracle and Study Cards, about the parallels we find between physiological and psychological effects of herbal remedies. (Katja wanted…

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Podcast 004: Some Favorite Herbal Books

We love books! In this podcast we discuss a few of our absolute favorite herbal books for everyone from beginners to experienced practitioners. Here are the books we mentioned: Practical Herbs & Practical Herbs 2, Henriette Kress – you can also pre-order her Practical Herb Cards! The Herbal Medic, Sam Coffman Icelandic Herbs, Anna Rósa…

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Podcast 003: Small But Mighty + Unconditionals

Katja stands up to proclaim the strength and potency of the “pretty little flowers” chamomile and self-heal, and reminds us that gentle doesn’t mean weak. Ryn muses on the many applications for herbs that have little or nothing to do with “treating” a “condition”, and some of the ways this ties in to our evolutionary…

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Herbal Resilience Broth @ Wintergreen Market

Join us for this free talk at this year’s Wintergreen Herbal Market, Herbstalk’s holiday event! We’ll discuss herbs, mushrooms, & seaweeds for immune resistance, stress mitigation, and deep nourishment. We’ll include tried & true recipes both for adventurous palates & picky eaters! Saturday, November 25th, 2017 2:00 – 2:45pm (market open 11:00am – 5:00pm) The…

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Podcast 002: Avoiding Adaptogen Debt + Emotionalymphatics

In our second episode, Katja gives you her take on adaptogens and their propensity for overuse, outlining her preferred way to work with this category of herbs and offering a favorite recipe: notCoffee! Ryn works through some thoughts on the resonance between the physiological activities of herbs and their impacts on mental and emotional patterns,…

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Podcast 001: I’ll Have What They’re Having + Apples & Oranges

Welcome to the inaugural edition of our podcast! In this episode, Katja talks about her new strategy for herbal self-care: taking home a bit of each tea or tincture blend she mixes up for a client (within reason, of course). She describes a current favorite, a formula for building mental & emotional flexibility while lifting…

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Herbs for National Take Your Daughter To Work Day!

I LOVED Take Your Daughter To Work Day when I was a kid (thanks, Dad!! <3), and today, my daugther Amber came to the school with me to talk about our favorite herbs! To be fair, through Amber’s life, most days were take my daughter to work days, and she was always super helpful. I…

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homemade herbal cocktail bitters

DIY Herbal Bartending: Homemade Cocktail Bitters

At bars all over the country, house-made herbal bitters are seeing a resurgence in popularity, and this is good news! Bitter herbs offer some of our most striking, unique, and complex flavors. Beyond taste, they’re also fantastic medicine, especially for digestive upsets & complaints. And what better way to take your remedy than in a…

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bottles of homemade herbal mead

DIY Herbal Bartending: Homemade Herbal Mead

The oldest of humankind’s experiments with fermentation, and certainly one of the most delicious, mead is a special alchemy of honey and yeasts. Not just another alcohol, mead is an excellent carrier for the medicinal actions of herbs! In fact, one of the names for herb-infused mead, metheglin, speaks to its original use as a…

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DIY Herbal Bartending: Herb-Infused Wines

This is one of our most popular classes – with good reason! Infusing herbs into your wine is easy to do and is a great way to make a special dinner particularly fancy. Not only that, but it can really improve the flavor of a cheap wine, too. So whether you’re looking to add some…

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Building Your Herbal Business

You’ve had a lot of herbal study and now you’re ready to embark on a business, but you’re realizing: building a business requires a whole different set of skills! How can you turn your dreams into reality? Join the Herbal Business Mentorship 9-month online program! Our students have gone on to start their own private…

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Family Herbalism Intensive

Do you want to feel the independence that comes with knowing how to handle common health issues? Are you drawn to care for yourself and your community in sustainable ways? Join us for this 5-day Family Herbalism intensive program to build your herbal skills! In this program, we’ll be covering some of the most common…

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Materia Medica Intensive

This class already happened, but if you missed it, you can do it online! Check out the Materia Medica online program! Materia Medica is the way herbalists refer to their “dictionary” or “tool box” of plants. It is, literally, the “medicinal materials” – herbal allies ready to assist in times of need! Are you ready…

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Holistic Fertility

With our culture’s strong focus on birth control and avoiding pregnancy, many people are left in the dark when they actually WANT to become pregnant! If I eat peanuts, will my baby have nut allergies? Is it true that too much folic acid is related to childhood asthma? How much is too much? Should I…

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Free Herbal Clinic Day

We want to make our services available to everyone. Some can’t spare the time for one of our standard appointments, or can’t afford to pay for appointments. Recognizing this, we are offering short, focused mini-consultations, including one herbal preparation, free to all comers. This is your opportunity to talk with a practicing herbalist, share any…

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Peter McCoy – Radical Mycology

We are excited to host Peter McCoy, author of Radical Mycology, on Wednesday, September 28th for a free talk open to the public! Mushrooms are a hot topic of study right now – come find out why! Wednesday, September 28th, 2016 7:00pm – 9:00pm 25 St. Mary’s Court, Brookline Entry is free; donations accepted. Help…

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Herbs for Midwives and Doulas

Birthworkers are often interested in herbs to help things go more smoothly, but there’s not always good information available about which herbs are useful, which are safe to use, and which are just herban legends. Join us for this four-week series that will help you help your clients herbally! We’ll discuss herbs that help calm…

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Herbal Fermented Foods

Fermentation is a traditional food preservation technique found throughout the world: cultured foods are as old as human culture. Modern research has proven that this process also boosts the nutritional value of foods and provides beneficial bacteria to keep the gut healthy. Today, there are a plethora of fermented food products like sauerkraut, kimchi, and…

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Alternative Approaches to Multiple Sclerosis

Katja writes: Multiple Sclerosis stinks, which I say from personal experience. Normally we write some witty stuff about our classes, but there’s just nothing funny I can think of to say about having MS. What I can say is this: for the last 12 years I’ve been able to live almost 100% symptom-free, with no…

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Herbal Smoking Blends

We’re pleased to host the founders of Sterling Smokes, Lian Bruno and Sam Kravitz, who will be teaching this class in our space. Humans have an intricate and ancient relationship to smoke. In this class you will learn about the history of smoking and its place in modern herbal practice. We’ll discuss the actions of…

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Practical Herbs for Diabetes

Type 2 Diabetes is epidemic in our society today, and is a major source of misery – and medical bills! – for a growing number of Americans. Many people afflicted with it have difficulty understanding how or why they got to this point, and believe that pharmaceuticals are their only option. Yet, understanding the underlying…

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Making Herbal Medicines: The Power of Powders

When extracting herbs into alcohol or infusing them in water, we can only pull a fraction of the plant’s constituents in either solvent. For many plants this suits our purposes fine, but some have both water- and alcohol-soluble constituents, and we’d like to keep both in our finished medicines. Powdering is one of the best…

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Emergent Responder

A complete one-year course in the skills required to organize and manage an effective response team in the days and weeks after a disaster.

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Heartburn: the Root and the Remedy

Over-the-counter antacids and acid-blocking drugs like proton pump inhibitors are some of the most commonly used pharmaceuticals in our society today, but growing numbers are realizing that these do not address the fundamental causes of heartburn, acid reflux, or GERD. Worse, they may worsen the very problem they are supposed to solve, leading to dependence…

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Homemade Herbal Skin Care

Your skin is a highly permeable surface – a large percentage of what you put on it is absorbed into the body. So why would you put anything on your skin that you wouldn’t put in your mouth? And why pay a premium for “green” skincare products when they’re so easy to make in your…

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Botany for Herbalists

Botany, or the study of plant biology, is one of the oldest branches of science. Originated by herbalists in medieval times, botany was developed to help share specific information about medicinal and poisonous species of plants. We can think of botany as a form of communication, and knowing the language of plant taxonomy can aid…

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Permaculture for Herbalists

We are nature, learning. Permaculture and herbalism have a lot in common: they both utilize a holistic perspective to identify patterns in systems and their interconnections with other systems. Both can have an impact on ecosystems of all types – the ecosystems of gardens, farms, forests, and parking lots; the social ecosystems of people, relationships,…

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Herbal Psychological First Aid

Psychological injury and pain are as much in need of relief as phsyical hurts. First aid providers need to be able to address anxiety, panic, shock, and other disruptions of mental state. Join us for this class and learn basic competencies and herbal aids to work of this nature. Wednesday, May 11th, 2016 7:00pm –…

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Making Herbal Medicines: Elixirs

The word itself is evocative, rich: elixir. The medicine itself is even more so! Learn how to make your own delightful and medicinal herbal elixirs using honey, spirits, and herbs. These are delicious and potent remedies with a long history. Honey and alcohol are both excellent menstruums for the medicinal properties of plants, and each…

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Plant-Based Dyes for Natural Fibers

It’s not only eggs that are dyed in spring but also wool, cotton and linen! Come discover the joy of pulling unexpected hues from plant-based dyes. People have historically gone to great lengths to harvest plant dyes for their fabrics for the same reason we look forward to spring flowers – the mind loves a…

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Supporting Kids through Puberty

The complete course is available now! Details in green below. Do you have kids going through puberty, or who are about to? This 4-week course is designed for parents of pre-teens and teens, practitioners who work with adolescents, and is suitable for adolescents themselves, as well! If you (or your teen!) have been feeling like…

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Elements of Detoxification

The complete course is available now! Details in green below. “Detox” is a trendy word these days, and there are lots of products on the market that promise to “chelate your heavy metals” and “cleanse your colon”. But what does that mean? What are toxins, and how can we really clear them from the body?…

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A Holistic Approach to Lyme Disease

The complete course is available now! Details in green below. This 5-session course is designed both for folks who are dealing with Lyme disease themselves, as well as practitioners and care givers. We cover in-depth solutions for mitigating chronic Lyme and its co-infections, including multiple case studies. You’ll come away with concrete strategies that you…

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Herbal First Aid: Managing Pain

Anodyne and analgesic herbs provide direct relief from pain, but each one has its specific talents and applications. Learning to distinguish the many types and causes of pain, and matching herbs to them, is a subject for long study and practice. There are, however, a few herbs which are very potent and immediate in their…

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Herbs to Hold After an Abortion

Statistics show that one in three American women will have an abortion before age 45. There is a good chance this affects somebody you care about! This class, taught by an herbalist and abortion doula, highlights holistic ways to support someone who is having a clinical or medication abortion. We will cover the basics of…

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Spring Cleaning for a Healthy Home

Many of the cleaners on the grocery store shelves contain known neurotoxins, endocrine disruptors, and carcinogens – a danger to children and pets who might get into them. Once we’ve washed our homes clean, they disappear down the drain and into the water system – but our treatment facilities do not treat for these kinds…

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Winter Bud Identification

Medicinal bark is harvested in late winter and early spring as the sap rises and before the plant breaks dormancy. Learn to distinguish trees and shrubs by their buds and bark. Trees can be identified year round mainly by bark and growth habits but the pattern of scales on leaf buds appearing in late winter are…

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Herbal Strategies for MRSA

MRSA is a staph infection that antibiotics have a hard time killing. At first, the acronym stood for “methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus” – methicillin being an antibiotic which came to prominence in the 60’s, when staph bacteria developed resistance to penicillin. Nowadays, it’s more accurate to let it signify “multi-drug resistant S. aureus”, as the species…

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Simple Herbs for Sound Sleep

The average human requires a minimum of eight and a half hours of sleep each night to function normally. During sleep, the body recovers, rebuilds, and detoxifies from the day’s damages and stresses. Sound, deep sleep is vital to health — but many people today find it difficult to get to sleep at night, and…

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Love Your Liver: Herbal Detoxifiers

“Detox” is a trendy word these days, and there are lots of products on the market that promise to “chelate your heavy metals” and “cleanse your colon”. But what does that mean? What are toxins, and how can we really clear them from the body? Are fasts, cleanses, and laxatives really necessary? When it comes…

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Homemade Herbal Mead

The oldest of humankind’s experiments with fermentation, and certainly one of the most delicious, mead is a special alchemy of honey and yeasts. Not just another alcohol, mead is an excellent carrier for the medicinal actions of herbs! In fact, one of the names for herb-infused mead, metheglin, speaks to its original use as a…

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Herbs for Back Pain

Lower back pain is a very common affliction. As the NIH’s Back Pain Fact Sheet observes: About 80 percent of adults experience low back pain at some point in their lifetimes. It is the most common cause of job-related disability and a leading contributor to missed work days. In a large survey, more than a…

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Herbal Support for Seasonal Depression

A New England winter can be a tough prospect. Mark Twain purportedly said that if you didn’t like the weather here, you could just wait fifteen minutes – but in February you might cycle through snow, sleet, freezing rain, frostbite, and melted-enough-to-be-muddy all in one week. Add to that the post-holiday crash, and it’s no…

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Herbal Remedies for Strains & Sprains

This class continues our series on first aid skills, to help you get prepared to care for your family and loved ones in the event of a disaster – whether that’s a hurricane, a car accident, or a kitchen mishap. The more you know, the more calm you can stay in an emergency, and a…

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Herb-Infused Wines

This is one of our most popular classes – with good reason! Infusing herbs into your wine is easy to do and is a great way to make a special dinner particularly fancy. Not only that, but it can really improve the flavor of a cheap wine, too. So whether you’re looking to add some…

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Silent Forest Retreat

Here in the city, it can be hard to get good and still, and clear your head. But in the woods, there are so many ways! You can sit in the brook and listen to the water singing. You can climb a tree and watch the birds and squirrels going about their day. You can…

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Herbs for Fertility

With our culture’s strong focus on birth control and avoiding pregnancy, many people are left in the dark when they actually WANT to become pregnant! With the trend toward older ages for first-time parents (especially around Boston), many are wondering how to prepare their bodies best for parenthood. Why does it seem like everybody has…

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Secrets of the Flame: Weekend Fire Building Workshop

Fire is endlessly fascinating. We need it to survive, we fear it, we love to look at it… But do you know how to make it? Lighting the grill with a can of lighter fluid isn’t the same as really understanding the mechanics of building a fire, but that understanding could save your life! In…

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Herbal Wound Care

We’re kicking off a long series of classes on first aid skills, to help you get prepared to care for your family and loved ones in the event of a disaster – whether that’s a hurricane, a car accident, or a kitchen mishap. The more you know, the more calm you can stay in an…

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Herbal Lotions for Dry Winter Skin

Cold wind outside, forced hot air inside – winter in New England can dry you out both coming and going. Dry lips, chapped hands, and cracked skin are uncomfortable and persistent. Commercial moisturizers often contain alcohol and can irritate the very skin they’re supposed to heal. Fortunately, it’s simple enough to make your own herbal…

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Herbal Care for Cold & Flu

Are you sniffling, sneezing, coughing, aching, stuffy-head, fever, and need some rest? Don’t suppress it, support it! Cold medications suppress your body’s ability to fight back against wintertime viruses – and leave you drudging into work like a zombie. There’s another way – you can learn to give your body the support it needs to…

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Wilderness Herbal First Responder with Sam Coffman 2016

We’re thrilled to have Sam Coffman, founder of The Human Path and Herbal Medics, back in the Boston area for another Wilderness First Responder certification course – this time taught in Royalston, MA at the school property just 90 minutes out of Boston. Sam will be offering the Wilderness Herbal First Responder course. This includes…

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Herbal Kitchen Remedies

More than just for pasta sauce, the major culinary herbs have been efficacious herbal remedies for thousands of years. They are so important to health that their presence in our kitchens has remained unquestioned even as other herbs fell out of common usage. We will discuss the valuable plants found on every pantry shelf and in…

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Herbs for Headaches

Headaches are all too common, and can be frustrating to deal with. Conventional wisdom would have it that over-the-counter drugs are the easy answer, but there are grave risks associated with the use of common painkillers, especially as a habit of frequent use. Fundamentally, though, this one-size-fits-all approach is flawed: there are many kinds of…

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Making Percolation Tinctures

Percolation tincturing is a way of preparing an herbal extract from dried powdered herbs. Its primary advantage over maceration tincturing is that your medicines can be finished in mere hours, instead of waiting weeks to months. Percolation can also help increase the strength of the finished tincture. This class will cover the practical steps to…

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Rushelle Frazier Poetry Slam!

Saturday, September 26 at 7:00pm Rushelle Frazier will be performing right at our school! Rushelle is a queer black feminist writer, permaculture educator, urban farmer, counselor, and organizer. And herbalist! She’s also a member of the 2015 Worcester Slam Team and co-coordinator of Choice Words Poetry Series. Video clips are viewable at www.rushellefrazier.com and you…

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Decolonizing Herbalism: A Community Discussion

Herbal medicine is the people’s medicine, so its practitioners must serve the people. Herbalism is medicine from the edge, so herbalists must build community with those who are marginalized. Herbalism is “alternative” medicine in our society today, so its practitioners must advocate for the underrepresented. To do this, we need to acknowledge the presence of…

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Cannabis as Herbal Medicine

Medical marijuana continues to gain legal status in more and more states, and even recreational use has been legalized by Colorado and Washington. Opinions abound as to how, when, and by whom it should be used – and in the fracas it sometimes gets lost that this medicine is an herb, not a drug. And…

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Herbs for Stress

As if it weren’t already bad enough on its own, stress makes us more susceptible to illness. When the mind and emotions are disturbed or overtaxed, the body is less able to fight off infection and manage the repair and rejuvenation of its cells. Living with chronic stress is more of a threat to good…

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Herbal and Nourishing Broths

Mineral deficiency is rampant in our society – contributing to a whole host of chronic and acute illnesses. Depleted soils mean that our fruits and vegetables don’t have the same mineral content that they once had. To make things worse, we no longer favor mineral-rich foods in our diets: organ meats, seaweed, and bone broths…

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Herbs for Pregnancy and Birthworkers

Are you pregnant, or hoping to be, and wondering how to safely and effectively use herbal remedies? Do you work around pregnancy and wish you knew what types of alternatives are good to suggest? Many folks approach midwives, lactation consultants, and doulas for insight on pregnancy and postpartum support herbs. This class, taught by a…

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Tammi Sweet: Stress, Relaxation, and the Heart

We are absolutely thrilled to welcome Tammi Sweet, one of Katja’s personal heroes, to teach a special weekend workshop at our school Saturday October 31 & Sunday November 1. Tammi will be teaching on one of her favorite topics: stress and the way our bodies respond to it! She’ll weave information about the nervous system,…

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Herbs for Pets

Wild animals are natural herbalists. From bears to panthers to deer, they have been observed selectively foraging for medicinal plants when ill or injured, able to recognize the appropriate medicines by instinct. Domestic animals, too, retain this affinity for herbal medicine, and respond well to the use of herbs for their own ailments. Come learn…

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herbal medicine for beginners - book cover

Our Book is Now Available on Amazon.com

Our first book is here!

This is the perfect introduction to a powerful yet manageable apothecary of 35 herbs and teach you how to apply them to common ailments.

We keep it simple and practical, and along the way teach you how to think effectively about herbs & herbalism, laying the foundations for deeper study.

The book is available through Amazon.com

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