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

Our ideas about health are often context-dependent, and clinging too tightly to rules about what is “good” and “bad” can really get us into trouble when context changes. It can also get in the way of communicating and sharing knowledge with people who live in contexts that are different from our own.

Like many herbalists, we teach and practice the avoidance of sugar in most situations. Most… but not all! Recently we posted a video about how to make an elderberry syrup with sugar, and got a lot of negative feedback. “You should only ever use raw local honey!” was a common refrain in these comments. But sometimes, there are good reasons to make your syrup with sugar – it does result in a non-alcoholic, shelf-stable product, and that could be necessary for some people. And in the end, an elderberry sugar syrup is better than no elderberry syrup at all!

Similarly, there are sometimes reasons to make your liniment with rubbing alcohol, or to work with herbs in ways that are unusual or uncommon. Oftentimes, these are in fact uncommon or unusual only in a given cultural or historical context. Getting too hung up on the “perfect” method can blind us to “good” methods that someone else teaches.

Purity tests help no one, and actively discourage collaboration and collective evolution. So listen in as we push on some dogmas… including some that we ourselves have espoused in the past! We’re not perfect either, but we do try to be good. 🙂

Mentioned in this episode:


In this episode we talked a lot about post-disaster situations. These have always been with us, but climate change is bringing them with new ferocity and to new places. California’s fire season is well underway – does it ever stop anymore? – and the Kincade and Getty fires are still uncontained.

As long as they are, we’re offering a sale on our Emergent Responder program. It’s a deep dive into post-disaster and austere herbalism, first aid & long-term care, and emergency clinic management. This program is situated at the intersection of personal preparedness and community disaster response. It gives you the skills and confidence to function calmly and efficiently in an ongoing or post-disaster scenario, providing effective support for your loved ones and community – no matter what the situation is.

There just aren’t enough first responders to help us all, but if you get prepared, YOU can be a community responder. You can be the confident force that organizes your community and makes the difference between chaos and calm. Whether it’s a wildfire, flooding, hurricanes, tornados, whatever – being prepared means you don’t have to be afraid.

Use the coupon code kincade at checkout to get 50% off the program price until those fires are contained – they’re both at about 60% right now, so you still have a few days to get in on it.

Emergent Responder
50% off!
code: kincade


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