The Holistic Herbalism Podcast

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Conversations and Q&A with clinical herbalists Katja Swift & Ryn Midura of the CommonWealth Center for Holistic Herbalism.

Subscribe to our podcast and learn about holistic plant medicine

Conversations and Q&A with clinical herbalists Katja Swift & Ryn Midura of the CommonWealth Center for Holistic Herbalism.
Support our podcast with a monthly contribution!
$5             $10

Podcast 134: Accessible Herbalism for Sleep

26 July, 2020

We work with herbs for sleep improvement purposes very frequently, because sleep is so critical to good health. During sleep,…

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Podcast 133: Accessible Herbalism for Pain Management

17 July, 2020

“Pain is a signal to change your behavior.” This motto comes from our friend the herbalist Tammi Sweet, and perfectly…

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Podcast 132: Accessible Herbalism for Weight Management

11 July, 2020

The holistic approach to herbalism for weight management doesn’t start with a search for “fat-burning herbs”. Instead, we focus on…

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Podcast 131: Accessible Herbalism for Edema

6 July, 2020

Edema is stuck fluid: stagnant blood and lymph that isn’t flowing the way it should be. Puffy ankles and swollen…

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Podcast 130: Accessible Herbalism for Diabetes

28 June, 2020

Diabetes is very common and can lead to a number of serious health issues. Holistic methods can improve diabetes by…

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Podcast 129: Accessible Herbalism for High Blood Pressure & High Cholesterol

20 June, 2020

High blood pressure and high cholesterol are two very common cardiovascular issues that you can safely improve with herbs. You…

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Podcast 128: Herbalism & Mutual Aid

12 June, 2020

What do we want to build in place of the unjust systems we are living in? Everyone plays a role…

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Podcast 127: Herbs for Trauma Recovery & Resistance

5 June, 2020

America is blanketed in righteous protests against police brutality and impunity. This is necessary. In the course of this work…

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Podcast 126: The Fifth Pillar Is Community

30 May, 2020

Our model of the primary determinants of health is the Four Pillars: food, sleep, stress, and movement. These things are…

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Podcast 125: This Is Not The Practice Of Medicine

24 May, 2020

The pharmaceutical model is the dominant paradigm for medicine in our culture. For those of us who grew up in…

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Podcast 124: A Holistic Herbal Tick Bite Protocol

15 May, 2020

Finding a tick embedded in your skin is distressing, even without the spectre of Lyme disease and other tick-borne pathogens.…

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Podcast 123: Four Herbs for Moms

9 May, 2020

Happy mother’s day, 2020! The truth is, any herb could be an herb for moms, because not all moms are…

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Podcast 122: Where Do We Go From Here, Corona?

4 May, 2020

The battle’s done, and we kind-of won… Well, actually, the battle’s not entirely done either. But things are certainly shifting…

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Podcast 121: Six Herbs for COVID Anxiety

25 April, 2020

The pandemic has got all of us in a heightened state of alert. The news changes fast, stories come and…

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Podcast 120: How To Practice Herbalism Every Day

4 April, 2020

Last week we urged you to look at learning herbalism like learning a language or instrument – something that requires…

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Podcast 119: Learn Herbalism Like an Instrument or Language

30 March, 2020

Herbalism is experiential: you have to DO it to KNOW it. It’s like learning to play a musical instrument –…

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Podcast 118: Herbal Home Nursing Basics

22 March, 2020

It’s not just coronavirus, there’s a lot going on right now! Between the usual circulating strains of flu, some spring…

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Podcast 117: A Week In The Life Of Two Herbalists

15 March, 2020

Whew! There’s a lot going on right now. Between coronavirus, the election cycle, and the approach of spring, we’ve been…

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Podcast 116: Herbs for Coronavirus Preparedness

3 March, 2020

The new pandemic coronavirus, COVID-19, is on everyone’s minds lately. As herbalists, we’ve been asked a lot about our thoughts…

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Podcast 115: Rebecca Altman & The Wonder Sessions

27 February, 2020

Join us for a discussion with our friend Rebecca Altman about the importance of self-awareness in the practice of herbalism…

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Podcast 114: Formulating Cocktail Bitters for Flavor & Action

22 February, 2020

This week we took a trip to New York City, because we were invited to teach a workshop on formulating…

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Podcast 113: Grow Your Own Herbs

15 February, 2020

It might seem difficult to grow your own herbs, but like so many things in herbalism, it’s all about being…

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Podcast 112: Working With Herbs For Chronic Pain

8 February, 2020

Pain is complex. Many factors can contribute to pain, or worsen it, including the food we eat, the sleep we…

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Podcast 111: Handmade Herbal Aphrodisiacs for Valentine’s Day Delight

31 January, 2020

There are a lot of myths about herbal aphrodisiacs – they don’t make you into an irresistible sex monster, let’s…

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Podcast 110: New Moon Down Time

24 January, 2020

It’s really hard to really take a break these days – with smartphones and connected devices everywhere, the pressure to…

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Podcast 109: Sustainability for Herbalists

17 January, 2020

There are many facets to sustainability for herbalists to consider, from maintaining your personal energy reserves to establishing sustainable working…

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Podcast 108: Herbs to Supercharge Bone Broth

11 January, 2020

It’s 2020, we don’t need to convince you that bone broth is good for you! But in case you’ve been…

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Podcast 107: Herbs for Whole30: Help Reduce Cravings, Improve Digestion, & Boost Nutrition

3 January, 2020

The Whole30 is one of our favorite diet plans – or, as we prefer to call them, food experiments! It’s…

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Podcast 106: Real Life Resolutions

28 December, 2019

What do you want to bring into the new year with you? Our first piece of advice is to be…

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Podcast 105: Holistic Herbalism for Anxiety

15 December, 2019

Anxiety is a feeling of exposure, a feeling that one is without protection. The much-maligned ‘safe space’ is in fact…

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Podcast 104: Hawthorn

6 December, 2019

The hawthorns are some of our most generous and protective herbs. Hathorn offers abundant berries, rich with heart-supporting medicine –…

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Podcast 103: Maybe You Don’t Have To

29 November, 2019

It’s easy to get caught up in your to-do list and everything you “have to” do. Sometimes, it’s ok to…

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Podcast 102: How To Learn A New Herb

22 November, 2019

As a brand new student of herbalism, you might think there are a lot of herbs to learn. As an…

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Podcast 101: How Herbs Are Different From Drugs

16 November, 2019

Herbs differ from pharmaceuticals in important ways. Understanding how they’re different helps us make better choices about what to take,…

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Podcast 100: The Definitive Guide to Herbalism

10 November, 2019

Wouldn’t it be nice if there were one book you could read, one teacher you could study with, one website…

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Podcast 099: Don’t Let The Perfect Be The Enemy Of The Good

1 November, 2019

Our ideas about health are often context-dependent, and clinging too tightly to rules about what is “good” and “bad” can…

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Podcast 098: Holistic Strategies & Herbs for Joint Pain

25 October, 2019

Yes, there are herbs for joint pain, and they really work! But when we’re working with this problem, we like…

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Podcast 097: Everything Will Be Fine: A Simple Herbal Stress Remedy

18 October, 2019

Everyone gets stressed out sometimes. So if you’re among “everyone”, you might like this herbal stress remedy formula! It’s one…

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Podcast 096: Small Healthy Changes Help You Make Big Ones

15 October, 2019

Change is hard. It’s hard for everyone, not just you! Acknowledging this is important, whether you’re trying to make a…

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Podcast 095: Herbs For Physical Challenges (What Ryn Took To MovNat Level 3)

5 October, 2019

Earlier this month, Ryn attended a Level 3 certification event for MovNat – a 4-day course/test/immersion in natural movement. It…

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Podcast 094: Creating A Culture of Support

8 September, 2019

Good health takes effort. It doesn’t just happen, and our cultural norms definitely don’t make it easy. You have to…

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Podcast 093: Herbs for Athlete’s Foot

31 August, 2019

The itchy, inflamed, sensitive presentation of a fungal skin infection is something no one wants. These kinds of infections can…

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Podcast 092: How We Make Our Winter Elixir

23 August, 2019

This winter elixir is our #1 cold & flu remedy! We make a big batch every year around this time,…

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Podcast 091: Nicole Rose & The Prisoner’s Herbal

16 August, 2019

Creating this community garden, and teaching families in your area how to grow food and look out for each other…

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Podcast 090: 3 Medicinal Invasive Plants

2 August, 2019

Where does loosestrife belong? Is barberry a badberry? And what’s with all the knotweed everywhere?! Most folks will tell you…

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Podcast 089: Herbs for Healthy Skin Care

27 July, 2019

Your skin is your largest organ, and it’s your presentation to the world – so it’s important to take care…

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Podcast 088: Sweet Herbs & Their Medicines

19 July, 2019

Sweet herbs aren’t only flavoring agents – there’s real medicine in there. When an herb has a sweet flavor, that…

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Podcast 087: Herbal Awareness Rituals for Everyone

13 July, 2019

This week we’re talking about something a bit different for us. If you’re a regular listener, you know we’re very…

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Podcast 086: notCoffee – Katja’s Decaf Herbal Coffee Replacement

7 July, 2019

Coffee is surely America’s favorite herb. So many people rely on it as part of their morning ritual, and it’s…

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Podcast 085: Lymphatic Herbs

1 July, 2019

The lymphatic system is criminally underestimated! It’s intimately tied to the function of your circulatory system, your digestive function, your…

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Podcast 084: Herbal Smoking Blends & Herbs To Quit Smoking

21 June, 2019

An herbal smoking blend may not sound like your cup of tea – and it isn’t! – but it’s still…

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Podcast 083: Our Wedding Herbs

18 June, 2019

If you’re an herbalist and you marry an herbalist, well, you’re going to need some special wedding herbs! We sure…

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Podcast 082: Common Herbs and Cancer

10 June, 2019

Cancer is not as rare as we once thought. Recent research has discovered that even healthy cells can contain potentially…

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Podcast 081: Friends of Nettle (Herbal Formulas in Pairs)

24 May, 2019

Boston’s homegrown local herb conference, Herbstalk, is next weekend, and the plant of the year is stinging nettle! In honor…

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Podcast 080: The Role of Herbs In Heroic Medical Interventions

17 May, 2019

When we talk about “heroic” medical interventions, we mean the high-potency, high-risk (and potentially high-reward) tools that define conventional medicine.…

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Podcast 079: Motherwort for Mother’s Day!

10 May, 2019

Mother’s day can mean different things for different people, but whatever your situation is, Motherwort can be a supportive friend.…

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Podcast 078: DIY Herbal Spring Cleaning Products

4 May, 2019

When it comes to chemical-free cleaning, there’s a lot of good stuff out there – but it can get pricey.…

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Podcast 077: Urban Wildcrafting Ethics & Guidelines

26 April, 2019

It’s springtime! The plants are popping up everywhere in their colorful displays. This time of year, we always start to…

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Podcast 076: Herbs to Control Sugar Cravings

21 April, 2019

Is Easter really the best time to give up sugar? Well, given that there’s always another holiday around the corner,…

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Podcast 075: Foundational Health Strategies & Evolution’s Expected Inputs

13 April, 2019

Everyone is different, and healthcare should be individualized for each person – especially when it comes to herbalism! But, on…

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Podcast 074: Herbal Energetics: Tissue States

8 April, 2019

When choosing herbs for a health issue, herbalists like us use a system of organization called energetics. In this week’s…

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Podcast 073: Herbs for Psoriasis

31 March, 2019

Psoriasis is a chronic, autoimmune inflammatory skin problem. Problems like this are complex, because they don’t hinge on a single…

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Podcast 072: Rooted & Ready Alterative/Adaptogen Herbal Formula for Endurance, Resilience, & Detox

22 March, 2019

This is one of our favorite herbal formulas for endurance situations, whether that’s physical, mental, emotional, or all three. These…

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Podcast 071: Herbs for Seasonal Allergies

16 March, 2019

It’s just about time for seasonal allergy … um, season … to begin here in Boston! Sniffy noses and red…

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Podcast 070: Health Is Your Right … And Your Responsibility

9 March, 2019

This is what we say at the beginning of every episode: We are not doctors. We are herbalists and holistic…

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Podcast 069: How To Choose The Right Herbs For Sleep

1 March, 2019

Just going to the internet and searching for “herbs for sleep” isn’t very effective – how do you know the…

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Podcast 068: Herbs for Stress-Induced Heartburn in Teens

23 February, 2019

I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but it’s stressful to be a teen! Sometimes, that stress shows up…

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Podcast 067: Two Herbalists Get The Flu

18 February, 2019

Yes, it’s true: even herbalists get the flu. Two in one house sometimes, even! Each of us gets it a…

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Podcast 066: Herbs for Psychological First Aid

8 February, 2019

It may not have occurred to you that “psychological first aid” is even a thing, let alone that there might…

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Podcast 065: How To Not Be A Guru

1 February, 2019

Things are complex, and there are many factors. But guru syndrome is bad for the teacher and for the student,…

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Podcast 064: Herbs for First Aid & Disaster Response

25 January, 2019

There are so many fantastic herbs for first aid purposes, it’s hard to name them all! But if we focus…

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Podcast 063: Top 7 Herbs for Nutritionists and Dietitians

18 January, 2019

If you’re a practitioner of food-as-medicine and are interested in integrating herbs into your work – or just a health-seeker…

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Podcast 062: Herbal Hygge

14 January, 2019

Hoo-ga? Hue-guh? However you pronounce it, hygge is big right now! And it makes sense: this time of year, we…

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Podcast 061: Holistic Herbalism for Chronic Headaches & Migraines

4 January, 2019

This week Ryn & Katja share some thoughts on how to address chronic headaches – not just “getting rid of…

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Podcast 060: Herbal Resolutions

28 December, 2018

New Year’s Eve is right around the corner, and we, like many folks, are ready with our list of resolutions.…

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Podcast 059: Herbs & the Holidays: Solstice

21 December, 2018

Solstice is the quiet time, a moment of pause between the dying of the old and the rebirth of the…

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Podcast 058: Herbs & the Holidays: Handling Food Allergies & Sensitivities

14 December, 2018

Holiday foods are delightful & delicious, but what if you’re allergic to some of the ingredients? Never fear! In this…

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Podcast 057: Herbs & the Holidays: Herbal Gift Ideas

8 December, 2018

Handmade herbal remedies and self-care items are a great solution to the conundrum of gift-giving. In this episode we’ll share…

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Podcast 056: Herbs & the Holidays: Medicinal Virtues of Culinary Herbs

1 December, 2018

This week we continue our exploration of herbal holiday traditions with a quick chat about some of the ways herbs…

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Podcast 055: Herbs & the Holidays: Emotional Support

23 November, 2018

Today we’re kicking off a series of podcasts on herbs and the holidays! We begin with emotional support, because no…

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Podcast 054: Cold & Flu Herbs (Beyond Elderberry Syrup & Thyme Steam)

16 November, 2018

Every time we talk about cold & flu herbs, we seem to start out with elderberry syrup and a good…

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Podcast 053: The Apothekers

10 November, 2018

This week our episode is an interview with Shari & Russ Apotheker of Apotheker’s Kitchen, makers of fine honey-sweetened confections…

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Podcast 052: Intentional Inconvenience, Rhodiola Rhapsody, Stimulants for Midwives, & “Poisonous Mints”

2 November, 2018

This is our one-year anniversary episode! This week we cover a lot of ground. Katja talks about ways adding a…

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Podcast 051: Exam Time!

27 October, 2018

Every year, our Advanced Studies Program ends with a weekend-long exam. There’s a written portion with short answers, essays, and…

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Podcast 050: West Virginia Herbal Medics

20 October, 2018

This week we’re out in Coal River Valley, West Virginia, helping out at a free herbal clinic for folks in…

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Podcast 049: A Few Herbs On Our Shelf

12 October, 2018

This week we do a lightning round of “minigraphs” on some of our favorite herbs. We started by taking a…

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Podcast 048: Pumpkin Spice – That’s Herbalism Too!

7 October, 2018

It’s not just for lattes anymore: the ubiquitous pumpkin spice blend is in fact an herbal formula! The standard pumpkin…

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Podcast 047: Tinnitus & Headaches

29 September, 2018

Ryn leads off this week with a variety of herbs to try reducing the ringing in the ears called tinnitus.…

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Podcast 046: Caring for Eldercaregivers & Botulism

29 September, 2018

Caregiving is exhausting, thankless, necessary work, and becoming increasingly more common. In the first half of this episode, Katja shares…

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Podcast 045: How To Start A Free Herbal Clinic

15 September, 2018

This week we bring you a podcast we originally aired on the HerbRally podcast as its inaugural episode, last July,…

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Podcast 044: Empty Nests & Challenges

7 September, 2018

If back-to-school means the nest is empty, you may want some herbal support! Katja shares her favorite allies for this…

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Podcast 043: Salad Isn’t Salad & Back-To-School Herbs

31 August, 2018

This week, Ryn leads off with some thoughts on salad: why it’s often boring and nutritionally deficient, and how to…

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Podcast 042: Sleep – Of Cravings, Comedians, & Caffeine

25 August, 2018

In this episode both Ryn & Katja have things to share related to sleep. Katja leads off with a listener…

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Podcast 041: Pets’ Paws & Topical EO Safety

25 August, 2018

This week, a case of histiocytoma on a dog’s paw leads Katja to talk about wound care for animal companions.…

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Podcast 040: Wildfires, Trainwrecks, and Cold Digestion in Hot Weather

16 August, 2018

The world’s on fire, no one wants to admit they’re occasionally catastrophic, and sometimes all you want to eat is…

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Podcast 039: Herbs for Introverts & Extraverts

4 August, 2018

Introverts & extraverts, as patterns of personality, each have their strengths and weaknesses. In this episode we’ll discuss herbal allies…

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Podcast 038: Our Top Ten Tinctures

27 July, 2018

A listener asked us what would be our five favorite tinctures to have on hand, so this week we’re each…

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Podcast 037: Herbs for Summer Camp & Extra Senses of Perception

21 July, 2018

Katja’s daughter Amber is off to summer camp this week, so she shares with you the list of things they…

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Podcast 036: First Aid for Burns & Sprains

12 July, 2018

This week we share some practical first aid herbalism for burns and sprains. Whether you’re hiking far out in the…

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