Latest Blog Posts
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
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? The red seaweeds we work with most often are dulse (Palmaria palmata), nori (Porphyra umbilicalis), and irish moss (Chondrus crispus). There are lots of others – about 7000 defined species…Read More
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 anything is. All seaweeds used as food or medicine are extremely mineral-rich, often carrying a complement of minerals and trace elements not found easily in land plants. Seaweeds are renowned…Read More
Red clover (Trifolium pratense) is this week’s herb of the week! Infused With Nutrients This red clover is growing right outside the Field’s Corner T station in Dorchester – plants will grow anywhere there’s a bit of dirt. They teach us lessons about persistence. Red clover is a favorite herb for many herbalists, and is…Read More
Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum) is actually a mushroom and not a plant – but hey, the way we define “herb”*, it definitely counts. Acclimate to Altitude It took me a long time to figure out reishi, partly because when you research it, it seems like there’s nothing reishi can’t do – so where do you even…Read More
This week’s #herboftheweek is yerba mate (Ilex paraguariensis)! A caffeine-bearing plant from South America, this is a particular friend for us “not-a-morning-person” people. Mindful Stimulation You might think mate is just a weak version of coffee – no way! It does have caffeine, though somewhat less than coffee, but it has so much more to…Read More
In honor of Clara, the awesome editor of our new book, this week marshmallow (Althaea officinalis) is our herb of the week! She was pregnant during the writing and editing phase, and just went on maternity leave. We couldn’t have done this without her, but the coolest thing for us was how enthusiastic she was…Read More
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…Read More
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