Katja Swift

Thoughts on Decolonizing, or, How to be a Good Houseguest

1 February, 2019

A while back, a person who listens to our podcast wrote me a letter asking,…

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Emergent Responder

29 January, 2019

The skills you need to be confident and prepared to care for yourself, your family,…

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Holiday Treats 2018

17 December, 2018

Here are some of the delicious gluten-free, dairy-free, soy/corn/other things-free treats I made for the…

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Thinking Holistically Can Change The World

24 July, 2018

This is an email I just wrote to our Advanced Students. I read several different…

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Red Clover: Herb of the Week

11 June, 2018

Red clover (Trifolium pratense) is this week’s herb of the week! Infused With Nutrients This…

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Reishi: Herb of the Week

24 May, 2018

Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) is actually a mushroom and not a plant – but hey, the…

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Yerba Mate: Herb of the Week

10 May, 2018

This week’s #herboftheweek is yerba mate (Ilex paraguariensis)! A caffeine-bearing plant from South America, this…

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Marshmallow: Herb of the Week

4 May, 2018

In honor of Clara, the awesome editor of our new book, this week marshmallow (Althaea…

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Violet: Herb of the Week

27 April, 2018

Violet (Viola odorata) is one of the first plants up in the spring, and we’re…

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White Pine: Herb of the Week

19 April, 2018

White pine is one of my very favorite herbal teas – it’s so delicious! “Like…

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Solomon’s Seal: Herb of the Week

13 April, 2018

Next week is the Boston Marathon, and we’re prepping for a class on runner’s health…

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Centaury: Herb of the Week

6 April, 2018

Centaury (Centaurium erythraea) was Ryn’s very first “herb of the month” when he began studying…

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Plantain: Herb of the Week

29 March, 2018

The common plantain plants – Plantago major & P. rugelii & P. lanceolata – are…

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Meadowsweet: Herb of the Week

24 March, 2018

This week’s featured herb is meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria)! A Boon for Braces Meadowsweet has been…

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Basil: Herb of the Week

16 March, 2018

Garden basil (Ocimum basilicum) may seem like just an ingredient in pesto, but wait! There’s…

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Calamus: Herb of the Week

8 March, 2018

Calamus (Acorus calamus) is this week’s herb of the week! There is so much amazing…

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Linden: Herb of the Week

16 February, 2018

Also known as basswood, lime flower, and tilleul, linden – Tilia spp. – is our…

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Sage: Herb of the Week

10 February, 2018

Sage is the other plant in our logo – lavender for me, and sage for…

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Lavender: Herb of the Week

18 January, 2018

Lavender is one of the plants in our logo, and has been since I began…

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St. John’s Wort: Herb of the Week

13 January, 2018

The St. John’s Wort card in my oracle deck says: blooming at the height of…

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Fennel: Herb of the Week

17 December, 2017

Winter is the Fennel time of year! Fennel is a warming herb that improves digestion…

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Elecampane: Herb of the Week

12 December, 2017

If you listened to last Friday’s podcast, you know that Ryn was sick last week…

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Ashwagandha: Herb of the Week

12 December, 2017

Ashwagandha is one of my very favorite herbs: it supports the adrenals and other endocrine…

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Best Herbal Books and Mason Jar Products

29 November, 2017

If you’re an herbalist, there are two things you probably love: Mason Jars and Herbal…

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Hawthorn: Herb of the Week

26 November, 2017

Hawthorn is often categorized as an “exhilarant” in old herbal literature – strongly uplifting to…

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Pretty Paleo Pecan Pie Bars

21 November, 2017

OMG, these are delicious! This all started because I saw a recipe for Paleo Pecan…

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Self-Heal: Herb of the Week

20 November, 2017

Self Heal, Prunella vulgaris, is one of those plants that seems able to do everything.…

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Herbs for Colds and Flu

14 November, 2017

Winter’s coming here in the Northeast, and along with that comes the standard “seasons changing”…

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How to Pay for Herb School: Herbal Support Boxes!

13 November, 2017

Excited about the prospect of going to Herb School, but not sure how to pay…

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Ground Ivy: Herb of the Week

13 November, 2017

Ground Ivy, Glechoma hederacea, is a small, unassuming little plant. You might know it as…

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Angelica: Herb of the Week

7 November, 2017

I didn’t really understand Angelica until I went to Iceland, but since then, I can’t…

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Dying Back

31 October, 2017

as herbalists, we are closely tied to the plants, and to the cycles of the…

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Rose: Herb of the Week

29 October, 2017

A lot of people think of Roses when they think of Valentine’s Day, but there…

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Nettle: Herb of the Week

19 October, 2017

Nettle is one of the most-loved herbs – and there’s so much to love! For…

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Mullein: Herb of the Week

7 October, 2017

Mullein is a fuzzy plant that starts out small, but in its second year can…

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Thyme: Herb of the Week

29 September, 2017

Thyme remains one of my very favorite herbs for colds, the flu, and other respiratory…

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Ginger: Herb of the Week

23 September, 2017

There’s so much to say about Ginger, so I’ll start with something unexpected: believe it…

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Yarrow: Herb of the Week

16 September, 2017

Yarrow, Achillea millefolium, is a warrior’s plant. Named for Achilles, the mythological Greek hero of…

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Chamomile: Herb of the Week

8 September, 2017

I once had a client who said, “and don’t you go telling me I need…

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Goldenrod: Herb of the Week

31 August, 2017

Goldenrod, Solidago spp., is a super important herb in our apothecary. It’s delicious and so…

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Elder: Herb of the Week

25 August, 2017

Elder, Sambucus canadensis, nigra, is one of our favorite herbs. You may have heard that…

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Purple Loosestrife: Herb of the Week

18 August, 2017

Purple loosestrife, Lythrum salicaria, is an under-appreciated herb, and it’s been villianized with the tag…

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Calendula: Herb of the Week

14 August, 2017

Calendula is the herbal (and botanical) name for pot marigold: Calendula officinalis. It’s not only…

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Boston for West Virginia

13 July, 2017

Last year Ryn went to Coal River Valley, West Virginia as part of an Herbal…

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I Can’t Believe I’m Getting Braces

22 May, 2017

I recently told a friend that I’m getting braces and I thought she’d make some…

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Herbs for Passover: Horseradish, Parsley, and Chicory!

13 April, 2017

Check out the whole Herbal Holidays video playlist here!

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Ostara and Nettles: An Herby Holiday Video!

26 March, 2017

An herbal tribute to the Spring Equinox! There are more free videos for you at…

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Not Everything Is Going To Be Perfect.

23 March, 2017

For those of us who are actively experimenting and taking action to improve our health,…

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My Favorite Gluten-Free and Dairy-Free Substitutes

17 March, 2017

Even if you avoid gluten and dairy products, sometimes you still want a bagel and…

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Fun Free Videos!

17 March, 2017

This year, we’ve been making short herbal videos to celebrate every holiday we can think…

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Trauma and Story

9 March, 2017

As an herbalist in these times, the reality is that we deal with trauma, and…

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A Tea for Change

1 February, 2017

Ok, you guys. I’ve been eating WAY too much sugar lately, and it’s time to…

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De-stigmatizing Self-Harm

15 January, 2017

If the first thing we think when we hear the words self-harm is something like…

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Harm Reduction for Everyone

14 January, 2017

Usually, when you hear the words “harm reduction”, you’re thinking about illegal drugs or perhaps…

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notCoffee is notBad!

9 January, 2017

As promised in the post about moving your body in spite of body issues, here…

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Movement for People who Hate to Move

7 January, 2017

I LOVE Katy Bowman. Like, a lot. Like, I wish I could buy a house…

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Ginger Chamomile Cookies

9 December, 2016

Ginger Chamomile is my favorite after dinner or bedtime tea. Today I decided to try…

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N’Oatmeal Raisin Cookies

28 November, 2016

Yesterday, we were really craving oatmeal raisin cookies, but I typically avoid oats, even gluten…

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Paleo Apple Fritters

19 November, 2016

OMG. This morning I was getting some groceries, and there were apple fritters for some…

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Raspberry Cream Cheese Danish. Really.

18 November, 2016

Gluten free? Dairy free? Paleo? Yup! These Raspberry Cream Cheese Danishes are exactly what you…

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First Aid Kits For Everyone!

3 January, 2016

Why should you carry a first aid kit? Think about the places you go every…

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You’re a Trainwreck.

29 November, 2015

Hi. My name is Katja. I’m a total Trainwreck. Hi, Katja…

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Farm Food February: The Wrap Up

18 March, 2015

Well, the February Farm Food project is over. Our meat still comes from Chestnut Farms,…

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Varicose Veins: The Updated Post

9 March, 2015

The original varicose veins post is by far the most popular thing on this blog.…

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Don’t Just Stand There!

21 February, 2015

Standing desks are all the rage, and we love ours. Recently I’ve seen several Kickstarter…

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Farm Food Update #2

17 February, 2015

Well, it’s the middle of the month, and this project has been quite a project…

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Coconut Treats

16 February, 2015

I was just writing to a client about ways to increase coconut oil in her…

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February Food Project Update: Week One

13 February, 2015

The first week of our Farm Food February project has been very successful, and very…

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Farm Food February

2 February, 2015

Each year, our students do projects related to food, lifestyle, sleep, and more. All of…

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Motivation to Succeed

24 January, 2015

Whether you’re an herbalist or a parent (or a teacher, or anyone who works to…

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Phoenix Cookies

5 November, 2014

Tonight, we’re teaching our Food Allergies for the Holidays class – we teach it every…

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Tapeworm? No problem!

7 October, 2014

Our dog… You know, some people love fine wines. Some people appreciate fancy truffle oil.…

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Tea of the Month: April

13 April, 2014

You can tell a lot about a person from what’s in their teacup. Here’s a…

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Muffin Madness!

26 March, 2014

Love muffins? Tired of eggs and bacon for breakfast? Committed to sticking to your paleo*…

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Paleo Pumpkin Muffins!

21 November, 2013

It’s almost Thanksgiving and that means, among other things, PUMPKIN! Pie isn’t the only thing…

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The Beauty of Imperfection and a Tea for Gracelessness

7 May, 2013

I teach, a lot. Life as a teacher essentially means being on stage, most of…

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31 March, 2013

We are a culture of More. We like words like SuperSize, Maximize, and Fullest Potential.…

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On the Merits of Plain Speech

8 February, 2013

Words are pretty amazing things. We can use them to make people feel good about…

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Green Cleaning

9 January, 2013

When I was a kid, we had “Mr. Yuk” stickers. Mr. Yuk was a sickly…

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On the Merits of Fluctuation

20 November, 2012

This week, one of my pharmacy students stayed after class to ask for help. She…

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Classroom Experiment: Kadha (Fried Dumplings)

19 November, 2012

Today my Pharmacy students and I tried out a Thanksgiving experiment. Last week two students…

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Chai for a Busy Day

6 November, 2012

Chai is delicious. But it’s even better when your Chai will get you through your…

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Tips for Staying Sane in a Stressful Time

16 October, 2012

The holiday season is fast-approaching (if you’re a parent of a trick-or-treater, it’s just nearly…

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Family Reunion Cookies

4 September, 2012

OMG, you have to make these cookies. I’m really not kidding! We just got back…

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Raising Healthy Children, Part 6

14 August, 2012

When I was a kid, my mom sent us out to play. We went out…

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Raising Healthy Children, Part 5

8 August, 2012

Herbal remedies are often much better choices for illness than over-the-counter or prescription pharmaceuticals. It’s…

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Raising Healthy Children, Part 4

2 August, 2012

Sleep is absolutely critical to good health. While we sleep, we repair damaged tissue (including…

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Raising Healthy Children, Part 3

17 July, 2012

Our last post was on cultivating your child’s inner foodie: here is one of the…

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Raising Healthy Children, Part 2

9 July, 2012

Food is the absolute number one most important factor in a person’s health. In my…

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Raising Healthy Children, Part 1

5 July, 2012

When we become parents, we suddenly realize, kids don’t come with instruction manuals! But let’s…

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Linden and Tulsi: Two Great Herbs that Go Great Together!

19 June, 2012

Looking for a fail-proof cup of tea? Look no further! Linden and Tulsi can turn…

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Offal: It’s Not Awful!

22 April, 2012

Maybe the thought of eating liver, kidney, and heart makes you say “gag me with…

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Interview with a Paleo Kid

10 April, 2012

My 9-year-old daughter Amber is gluten-free, casein-free, soy-free, and most of the time, paleo. She…

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Bone Broth Demystified

4 April, 2012

Mineral deficiency is rampant in our society – depleted soils mean that our fruits and…

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Cod with Greens and Kumquats

9 March, 2012

Fish is a challenge for me. Where I grew up in Texas, fish choices were…

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Licorice Oil for Eczema

7 February, 2012

When my daughter was born, she had very severe eczema. Eczema is almost always related…

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Solomon’s Seal: Beyond Sprained Ankles

22 January, 2012

Solomon’s Seal is a favorite herb around here. We love it for any kind of…

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Holiday Trimmings – Allergen Free!

21 December, 2011

Your family has great traditions for the holidays, and you don’t have to miss out!…

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Egg Nog

19 December, 2011

Think living dairy-free means you have to give up Egg Nog? Think again! We whipped…

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