Latest Blog Posts

icelandic angelica

Angelica: Herb of the Week

By Katja Swift

I didn’t really understand Angelica until I went to Iceland, but since then, I can’t get enough of it! Angelica LOVES Iceland, and it grows as tall as me – or taller. It’s got a strong, tall stalk and huge flower head, with leafy arms that reach for the sky and the sun that never…

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burdock seeds

Dying Back

By Katja Swift

as herbalists, we are closely tied to the plants, and to the cycles of the year. it’s appropriate to take time to contemplate those cycles sometimes! herbalism is also an exercise in self-mastery: not the bludgeon of discipline (though discipline is often good), but the more compassionate acknowledgement of who we are as individuals, of…

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Rose: Herb of the Week

By Katja Swift

A lot of people think of Roses when they think of Valentine’s Day, but there is so much more about Rose to love! Let’s start with the thorns – which you might think is somewhat strange, but the thorns are exactly what makes Rose such an amazing protector of small furry creatures and little feathered…

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Nettle in Flower

Nettle: Herb of the Week

By Katja Swift

Nettle is one of the most-loved herbs – and there’s so much to love! For starters, Nettle is one of the most super of all the super foods. High in vitamins, minerals, even protein – Nettle is deeply nourishing. According to the USDA, “Nettle is probably one of the richest sources of minerals among plant…

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mullein flowers

Mullein: Herb of the Week

By Katja Swift

Mullein is a fuzzy plant that starts out small, but in its second year can grow over six feet tall! Mullein is a good friend to people who challenge their lungs – whether it’s with smoke, particulate, or any other crud we breathe in. It’s particularly great when that “crud” is dry, dusty, and caked…

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arctic thyme

Thyme: Herb of the Week

By Katja Swift

Thyme remains one of my very favorite herbs for colds, the flu, and other respiratory gunk. Thyme has a very high volatile oil content – in other words, the constituents that make it smelly – and those volatile oils are super anti-microbial. The trick is, you have to get them in contact with the microbes…

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ginger slices

Ginger: Herb of the Week

By Katja Swift

There’s so much to say about Ginger, so I’ll start with something unexpected: believe it or not, Ginger is one of my favorite herbs to help me get to sleep at night. Why? Because it’s strongly antispasmodic – which means that it helps tense muscles relax. Whether those muscles are crampy gut muscles, crampy skeletal…

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Yarrow: Herb of the Week

By Katja Swift

Yarrow, Achillea millefolium, is a warrior’s plant. Named for Achilles, the mythological Greek hero of the Trojan War who was nearly invulnerable in battle. And for centuries, Yarrow has been considered “battlefield medicine”, because of its ability to staunch the flow of blood. How does it work? I like to describe it like this: Yarrow…

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chamomile bunch

Chamomile: Herb of the Week

By Katja Swift

I once had a client who said, “and don’t you go telling me I need something stupid like Chamomile! this is a serious situation!” And all I could think was, “Wow, you actually DO need chamomile!”

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Goldenrod: Herb of the Week

By Katja Swift

Goldenrod, Solidago spp., is a super important herb in our apothecary. It’s delicious and so helpful in so many ways!

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