Latest Blog Posts
A while back, a person who listens to our podcast wrote me a letter asking, more or less, how do we get through a day as herbalists in this crappy system(s) that we are living in, and how do we do the most good where we are? They were thinking about colonization and racism and…Read More
Here are some of the delicious gluten-free, dairy-free, soy/corn/other things-free treats I made for the holidays this year: Herbed Sugar Cookies Start with the recipe for the Ginger-Chamomile cookies. Instead of Ginger and Chamomile, powder white pine needles. Add 1 tablespoon at a time and taste – the flavor will come through a little more…Read More
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 work with, and at the same time it’s one we continue to turn to in our clinical practice, even for very complex cases. Safe and Simple Most herbs don’t work…Read More
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.) are with us for most of the year here in New England. They’re cosmopolitan, human-following plants, found all over the world. They’re weeds – that is to say, resilient and…Read More
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 is a spice, by the way, that is safe for people with nightshade allergies, who shouldn’t consume cayenne or other hot peppers which are in the nightshade family (the Solanaceae).…Read More
This is an email I just wrote to our Advanced Students. I read several different things this morning that came together in my mind as an illustration of holistic herbalism, and it got me really inspired. When I get inspired, I naturally want to share it with our students, and since this kind of holistic…Read More
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 there’s at least one other popular and important herb who goes by the common name “betony”. Which Betony? In this case, we’re referring to Stachys officinalis. (In some older texts…Read More
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 “the zoomies”, and then a contented curl-purr. The Cats’ Herb There have been many theories over the years about exactly what catnip does to cats and why they like it…Read More
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 by and tries to keep a brave face: keeping eye contact, holding the child’s hand, speaking soothing reassurances, projecting safety while the medics hover and flit. That’s motherwort mind. Motherwort…Read More
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 sumac is in the Anacardiaceae, the family of plants which includes cashews and poison ivy. It’s a common roadside and greenspace volunteer. Once you learn to see its distinctive horn-shaped…Read More
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