Ryn Midura

Milk Thistle: Herb of the Week

Milk thistle (Silybum marianum) is one of the simplest herbs to work with, and one of the safest. It’s an excellent herb for beginners to…

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Dandelion: Herb of the Week

Oh, the dandelions! One of our earliest flowers and one of the last to hang on at the end of the season, dandelions (Taraxacum spp.)…

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Prickly Ash: Herb of the Week

The southern prickly ash (Zanthoxylum clava-herculis) and the eastern prickly ash (Z. americanum) are relatives of the Sichuan hot pepper (Z. simulans, Z. bungeanum). This…

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Betony: Herb of the Week

Wood betony is our Herb of the Week this time, and for this one you’ll want to make sure you check the botanical name, because…

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Catnip: Herb of the Week

If you watch a cat who’s eaten some catnip (Nepeta cataria), you’ll observe that there’s an initial rolling-rubbing-wriggling response, usually followed by a bout of…

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Motherwort: Herb of the Week

Lion-Hearted Mother Imagine a mother whose child is having a terrible anaphylactic allergy attack, and is being rushed to the hospital. The mother stays close…

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Sumac: Herb of the Week

Want to make herbal pink lemonade? Staghorn sumac (Rhus typhina / R. hirta) is the herb for you! Sour Is Sweet In Summer’s Heat Staghorn…

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Red Seaweeds: Herb of the Week

Continuing with our seaweed explorations from last week, this time we turn to the red seaweeds. Introducing the Reds First, who are we talking about?…

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Kelp: Herb of the Week

Not all herbs live on the land! This week we’re featuring kelp, bladderwrack, and all the brown seaweeds. Minerals in Kelp Seaweeds are superfoods, if…

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Gah! Gout! Simple Herbs for Gout and Kidney Support

Pain in your toe? It could be gout. This relatively common issue presents as recurrent attacks of acute inflammatory joint pain. The big toe is…

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Mugwort for Dreaming

Fiona Apple says, i’ve got my feet on the ground and i don’t go to sleep to dream. But, sometimes, you do. The Uses of…

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Savoring Salicylates

Who’s Afraid of Phytochemistry? part 1 of ?   Don’t let the diagrams scare you! Don’t let the long names drive you away. Phytochemistry can…

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Go-To Herbal Joint Liniment

A good herbal joint liniment can make the difference between a slow, drawn-out, and incomplete healing process and one that proceeds quickly to complete recovery.…

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Toxins and Terrain

When someone starts to talk about detoxification or cleansing, I often find myself st[r]uck with a question: “What do you mean when you use that…

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What to Do When You’ve Been Glutened

Even the most assiduous label-readers among us sometimes miss “barley malt” buried in an ingredients list, or trust the word of a well-meaning friend who’s…

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herbal preparations

Herbalism and the Law: The Practice of Medicine in Massachusetts

The most common way an herbalist can find herself in a court of law is by appearing, intentionally or unknowingly, to be practicing medicine without…

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Trademarking Tradition: the Fire Cider® Controversy

[For the purposes of this discussion, let’s use fire cider to refer to the traditional herbal medicine preparation, “fire cider” to refer to the term,…

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Men’s Cycles and Self-Reliance

Often, discussions of “women’s health” or “men’s health” are limited to the reproductive systems. When I teach about men’s reproductive health, I like to include…

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Gut-Heal Tea

Eliminating food allergens from the diet can bring substantial relief from inflammatory gastrointestinal disorders such as IBS, Crohn’s disease, and celiac. These ill-tolerated foods –…

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Successful Self-Experimentation, part 5: Putting it in Practice

In short: first perceive, then reflect, then connect. In slightly-less-short: first, practice perceptive skills of intuition, interoception, and mindfulness; then, keep a record that accurately…

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Successful Self-Experimentation, part 4: Connection

Humans are very good at pattern recognition. We’re so good at it, in fact, that we “trick ourselves” into seeing familiar patterns in clouds or…

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Successful Self-Experimentation, part 3: Reflection

Reflection is a bending back. It requires some flexibility. Reflecting is intimately bound up with recording. If a recording does not reflect well its original,…

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Successful Self-Experimentation, part 2: Perception

When engaging in self-experimentation, there are certain skills that must be put into play in order to get useful results. First are the sensory skills…

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Successful Self-Experimentation, part 1: Introduction

Diet and lifestyle changes are ideally made with the guidance of an experienced and trusted practitioner, but sometimes that’s impractical or impossible. Sometimes, you don’t…

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No Cure for Cancer: Healing This Client

Katja’s recent article on the [mis]conception of “cure” in our culture reminded me of a related thought, one that comes to mind whenever I see…

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Wood Betony by Melanie Shaw, on flickr

Two Teas for Tense Times

We all have stress. I have very few friends who aren’t working two jobs, or working while raising kids, or scraping by month to month,…

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Rooted & Ready

Almost every herbalist I know has a “root beer” tea variation. Here’s mine (numbers are “parts”): 2 sarsaparilla 2 sassafras 2 ashwagandha 2 eleuthero 2…

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Vital[ist] Lifestyle Interventions

We practice and teach Traditional Western Herbalism in the vitalist tradition. We believe that the strongest factor in healing is the body’s own spirit or…

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Weaving Our Way Fourward

An answer to the question: What is Traditional Western Herbalism? It is sometimes suggested, and often presumed, that the present practice of herbalism in the…

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