Latest Blog Posts

Snake Oil

By Katja Swift

I was reading an article last week about PSA being an ineffective marker for testing for prostate cancer. This morning I was thinking about chronic pain affecting simple daily habits and fibromyalgia. And at the breakfast table I blurted out, Medical testing is the new Snake Oil.

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Sit on the Floor!

By Katja Swift

When you take a class at the CommonWealth School of Herbal Medicine, like as not, you’ll sit on the floor. Oh, don’t worry, we have a table and even a “comfy chair” if you’re feeling squishy. But in general, we much prefer to have a seat on a cushion on the floor. Why? Like most…

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What’s For Lunch?

By Katja Swift

One of the biggest challenges for families who are eliminating grains and dairy and/or limiting carbohydrate intake is what to put in children’s lunchboxes. Making this problem even more difficult is that most schools have nut-free policies, so one obvious staple is immediately out. (I definitely think schools should be a safe place for all…

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No Cure for Cancer: Healing This Client

By Ryn Midura

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 another “Cancer Cure Found!?” headline. And since everything’s more concise in couplets: when fleshly red turns tumor-black, of this you may be sure: though whitecoat’s works may push it back,…

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A long infusion steeping in a French press.

Nettle and Friends – Nutritious Miracle Tea

By Katja Swift

I can’t believe this wasn’t the very first thing we posted. How did we miss it? Nettle and Friends is our very favorite tea – it’s the first thing I think of in nearly every situation. It’s high-mineral, high-vitamin, and full of anti-oxidants. It’s good for your kidneys, your liver, your blood, your lymph, even…

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Wood Betony by Melanie Shaw, on flickr

Two Teas for Tense Times

By Ryn Midura

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, or even [not-so-]simply trying to figure out where their lives are taking them. And that’s all before we get to the nightly news’ quotidian catastrophe, or the pundits’ panic, or…

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“Cure” vs. Health

By Katja Swift

A fellow called me the other day to talk about vitiglio, asking whether I could do something about it. I began to explain that vitiglio is an auto-immune condition, and so the majority of my protocol for working with him would be similar to those for other autoimmune conditions, and that we may also add…

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Sage: a Favorite Nervine

By Katja Swift

You’ve heard of Sage (Salvia off.) used as a throat gargle, an antiseptic mouthwash, you know it’s good for headaches. You’ve used it to help weaning mothers dry off their milk supply, and women in menopause ease the transition. An aid to digestion before, during, or after a meal, not to mention a tasty addition…

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Rooted & Ready

By Ryn Midura

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 ginger 1 licorice 1/2 kava This is a great-tasting, grounding blend that really roots you in your body and gets you ready to use it.

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Varicose Veins – A Useful Lotion!

By Katja Swift

An update to this post has, at long last, been written! You’ll find it here. Comments on this post will no longer be attended. Varicose veins run in my family. I had one near my knee already when I was in college, and over the years, especially while I was pregnant, I developed quite a…

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