The Holistic Herbalism Podcast

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 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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Podcast 035: Cinnamon, Vanilla, & Cacao

7 July, 2018

Katja & Ryn discuss how these “exotic spices” came to be ubiquitous among Americans, and how we can learn from…

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Podcast 034: Herbal Affinities & Softening In Service

29 June, 2018

Ryn leads off this week with a discussion of herbal affinities – the ways in which herbs may be centered…

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Podcast 033: Back Pain & Sparkling Summertime Herbal Drinks

22 June, 2018

This week Katja had a bit of back pain, and has some thoughts to share with you about how this…

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Podcast 032: Vacation Is Mandatory & Jiaogulan

15 June, 2018

Katja this week reflects on a bit of wisdom surrounding downtime, and on the ways in which stress management can…

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Podcast 031: Resilience Not Dogma

9 June, 2018

Katja shares a hard-fought lesson: that health is not equivalent to merit, and that as herbalists it’s important for us…

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Podcast 030: Tulsi & Formulating Absent Friends

9 June, 2018

Since it’s Herbstalk’s 2018 Herb of the Year, Katja wants to finally give Tulsi its due with a quick monograph…

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Podcast 029: Sore Throat Herbs & Classic Cancer Cure-alls

25 May, 2018

After seeing Rising Appalachia the other night, Katja wanted to sing! She sang so much she gave herself a sore…

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Podcast 028: Herbal Allies for Eating Disorders & Herbal Muscle Rub

20 May, 2018

Katja shares her thoughts on herbal supports for those who are coping with eating disorders. Herbs can help reduce anxiety,…

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Podcast 027: Exploring Energetics With Our Book & Getting Through A Tough Day

11 May, 2018

Ryn describes a method you can use to expand your understanding of energetics by comparing ailment profiles and the herbs…

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Podcast 026: A Woman In (Herbal) Science & Heartburn 1-2-3

4 May, 2018

This week Katja has some thoughts about the number of syllables in neuraminidase and what it means to be a…

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Podcast 025: Anti-Inflammatory Herbs Beyond Turmeric & Dreaming With Mugwort

27 April, 2018

Turmeric is a great herb and an effective anti-inflammatory, but it’s not the be-all end-all it’s sometimes made out to…

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Podcast 024: Taco Seasoning Herbs & -Ency vs -Icity

20 April, 2018

This week Katja talks about the herbs that defined taco seasoning in her Texas upbringing, and their qualities when as…

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Podcast 023: Schisandra & Peppermint

13 April, 2018

No, that’s not an herbal tea pairing suggestion! This week, Katja sets off on a 100-day experiment with schisandra berries,…

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Podcast 022: A Movement & 3 Herbs For Back Pain

6 April, 2018

This week Ryn walks you through a short movement sequence he finds helpful when his low back gets tense, and…

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Podcast 021: Herbs for Braces & Constituents from the Plant’s Perspective

30 March, 2018

This week Katja shares some allies who’ve helped out with the (several!) kinds of pain which accompany her braces –…

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Podcast 020: Birth-Day Herbs & Support The Mama

23 March, 2018

Katja’s daughter Amber is about to turn 15 years old, so this week Katja reflects on her birth experience and…

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Podcast 019: Good Health Is Your Responsibility

18 March, 2018

We say it every week: we are not doctors, you are responsible for your own good health. This week, we…

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Podcast 018: Pleurisy In Daughter-Caregivers

9 March, 2018

This week, in honor of International Women’s Day, Katja shares some of her thoughts and experiences with adult daughters who…

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Podcast 017: Three Sleep Strategies + What I Should Have Done

2 March, 2018

This week, Ryn shares some strategies he turns to when (as frequently happens) he recognizes that he needs to sleep,…

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Podcast 016: Emotional Support for Mothers & Teens

23 February, 2018

This week, Katja discusses several herbs to help support mothers and teens who are coping with the difficulties of the…

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Podcast 015: Harm Reduction Herbalism + African Ashwagandha

16 February, 2018

This week, Katja describes a way of working with herbs to reduce the harm done when lifestyle factors like diet,…

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Podcast 014: Alternatives to Adaptogens for Burnout

9 February, 2018

Adaptogens are marketed as a solution to stress, burnout, hormonal imbalances, and a lot more. They can help a lot!…

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Podcast 013: Herbs & Strategies for Physical Labor

3 February, 2018

We moved! We made it with just a few bumps & bruises and some sore muscles. That was no accident…

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Podcast 012: Simple Herbs for Digestive Health

19 January, 2018

This week we’re sharing a class Katja delivered recently about basic applications of herbal remedies to improve digestion and relieve…

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Podcast 011: Our Students Love Linden

12 January, 2018

This weekend we kick off the year for our Clinical Skills Program, so we invited our students to participate in…

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Podcast 010: Simple Herbal Self-Care Tips + A Joint Support Decoction

5 January, 2018

Katja shares three simple ideas for integrating some herbal self-care into your life, especially during the work day, which have…

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Podcast 009: Year-End Reflections

29 December, 2017

As 2017 draws to a close, we look back over our year and some of the herbs who helped us…

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Podcast 008: Goldenrod for Hanukkah + A Solstice Elixir

22 December, 2017

Katja draws parallels between the Hanukkah story of unexpected abundance, and the gift of goldenrod for helping us persevere through…

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Podcast 007: Yaupon + On Being A Boring Herbalist

15 December, 2017

Ryn talks about the yaupon holly, a caffeine-bearing plant of North America, as well as a few ideas that apply…

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Podcast 006: Dynamic Desk Work + Crazy for Cranberries

8 December, 2017

This week, Ryn notices he’s been getting stuck in the same sitting positions too frequently while working on the manuscript,…

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Podcast 005: Ryn Gets Sick + Katja’s Herbal Introspection

1 December, 2017

In this episode, Ryn tells you about the herbal strategies he’s been using to cope with a respiratory infection for…

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Podcast 004: Some Favorite Herbal Books

23 November, 2017

We love books! In this podcast we discuss a few of our absolute favorite herbal books for everyone from beginners…

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Podcast 003: Small But Mighty + Unconditionals

17 November, 2017

Katja stands up to proclaim the strength and potency of the “pretty little flowers” chamomile and self-heal, and reminds us…

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Podcast 002: Avoiding Adaptogen Debt + Emotionalymphatics

10 November, 2017

In our second episode, Katja gives you her take on adaptogens and their propensity for overuse, outlining her preferred way…

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Podcast 001: I’ll Have What They’re Having + Apples & Oranges

3 November, 2017

Welcome to the inaugural edition of our podcast! In this episode, Katja talks about her new strategy for herbal self-care:…

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