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

There are a lot of myths about herbal aphrodisiacs – they don’t make you into an irresistible sex monster, let’s get that out of the way right up front! But they do help you release tension that can distract you from your partner or from the present moment. And they do help you feel more comfortable in your own body, so you find & share enjoyment with yourself & others.

In this episode we share some of our favorite valentine treats. We’ve got recipes for a lovely damiana-cacao-cayenne infused wine, a rose-chamomile elixir, a raspberry-chocolate cordial, some lovely truffles, and a sun-kissed massage oil. And, just in case Cupid hasn’t visited lately, we have a tea formula for broken & healing hearts. 💔+🌿=💖

Herbs discussed include damiana, cacao, cayenne, rose, chamomile, raspberry, vanilla, lemon balm, cardamom, ginger, kava, angelica, evergreens, hawthorn, linden, tulsi, betony, yarrow, & lady’s mantle.

Mentioned in this episode:

Wondering where can you learn how to work with herbs? In the Herbal Medicine-Making course, of course! There are 47 close-up, step-by-step videos showing how to make all the kinds of herbal preparations – plus recipes, printable instruction cards, and more. You can ask us questions on anything you’re wondering about, both in the discussion threads or in our twice-weekly live Q&A web conferences. You get to learn on your own schedule and have live access to Katja & Ryn! It’s the best of both worlds.

As always, please subscribe, rate, & review our podcast wherever you listen, so others can find it more easily. Thank you!!

Our theme music is “Wings” by Nicolai Heidlas.

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Episode Transcript

Katja: 00:00:01 Hi, I’m Katya.

Ryn: 00:00:15 And I’m Ryn.

Katja: 00:00:15 And we’re here at the Commonwealth Center for Holistic Herbalism in Boston, Massachusetts.

Ryn: 00:00:19 And on the internet everywhere, thanks to the power of the podcast.

Katja: 00:00:21 Well it’s January 31st.

Ryn: 00:00:27 It is. Yeah.

Katja: 00:00:27 And that says nothing to me more than Valentine’s day.

Ryn: 00:00:36 You gotta prepare.

Katja: 00:00:36 You gotta prepare.

Ryn: 00:00:37 Right? You gotta start ahead.

Katja: 00:00:38 Yeah. So we wanted to share some Valentine’s day herbal goodness now, so that you can be ready in a couple of weeks when the big day comes. And I also want to say right from the outset that some people do not love Valentine’s day and that is completely legit. So we have some herby goodness for that as well. And I want to say that none of the awesome, fun things that we’re going to talk about today require having a partner..

Ryn: 00:01:07 No way. You can absolutely make these for yourself. And that’s fair. Go for it.

Katja: 00:01:07 Yeah. We call that self care.

Ryn: 00:01:16 So let’s start out with our re-claimer and remind you that we are not doctors, we are herbalists and holistic health educators.

Katja: 00:01:22 The ideas discussed in this podcast do not constitute medical advice. No state or federal authority licenses herbalists in the United States. So these discussions are for educational purposes only. Everybody’s body is different. So the things that we’re talking about may or may not apply directly to you, but we hope that they’ll give you some good information to think about and to research further.

Ryn: 00:01:44 And we wish to remind you that good health is your own personal responsibility. The final decision in considering any course of therapy, whether discussed on the internet or prescribed by your physician is always yours.

Katja: 00:01:56 Yes.

Ryn: 00:01:56 Yours. Okay. So let’s talk about some herbal aphrodisiacs, huh?

Katja: 00:02:06 Yeah.

Ryn: 00:02:07 We can take two minutes and talk about the idea of aphrodisiac.

Katja: 00:02:10 I was going to say that’s such a weird word. And I think that when people hear the word aphrodisiac, I think maybe it’s changing now, but I still think that there’s that idea of love zombies chasing after you. And that that’s not what we’re talking about here, which doesn’t make them any less awesome.

Ryn: 00:02:30 Yeah, I mean, if I knew about an herb that would turn somebody into a love zombie, I don’t know that I would really want to tell everybody.

Katja: 00:02:39 I don’t think I would want it.

Ryn: 00:02:39 I don’t know.

Katja: 00:02:41 Yeah. It would be like all the stories about love potions and how they backfire and it’s not really…

Ryn: 00:02:47 Every time.

Katja: 00:02:48 Yeah. It always backfires. And even when they work, it’s not real. And then that’s not satisfying and fulfilling.

Ryn: 00:02:55 You don’t want that. So these aphrodisiacs will not turn you into loves zombie. They will work. They will do things in your body and in your mind. But by and large what’s going on with these herbs is that they help you to relax, to release some tension, and have other methods of bringing you to the moment, bringing you to the present.

Katja: 00:03:17 I feel like today so many people who have a person that they would love to get snuggly with, there’s so much else going on all of the time. There’s so much stress, there’s emails that need to be checked and not just because maybe your aunt Talula has written you an email and you’re going to need to write back. But because your work culture expects that you will check your emails multiple times in the evening.

Ryn: 00:03:52 And if it’s not your work, then it might just be your, I don’t know, parents or something. And I don’t mean that maybe anybody individually is out there being like, why don’t you answer my emails faster? I mean, if that happens, okay, it does. And it works for them.

Katja: 00:04:05 I’ve definitely had bosses like that.

Ryn: 00:04:05 You know, they can have some vervain or whatever that might help. But yeah, it’s just the fact that it’s always available. And so, carrying the internet around in your pocket is cool because you can have anything that you’re interested in at a moment’s notice. But it’s also a problem because you can have anything at a moment’s notice. And because a lot of times what grabs your attention with the red logo and the little badge with a number on it and everything else is stuff that’s designed to just keep you in the machine. Right? And when you’re in your machine, you’re not in your body, or not in the same way.

Katja: 00:04:38 Yeah. And so even though you might be literally sitting next to somebody who you really care a lot about. And maybe even five or 10 years ago, you used to snuggle on the couch and watch a movie together and whatever. And that’s not really happening anymore. And a lot of that is simply because our minds are not in the present moment. Not because we’re bad, but just because there’s so much mental stimulation and so much distraction. So that’s where these herbs come in.

Bringing you to the Present Moment

Ryn: 00:05:16 Right. Because when we get stressed, we respond with tension. And that’s not really a great way to start some play. So relaxing herbs are often going to be playing a big role here. And then like I was saying other ways of bringing you to the present moment. So some herbs are going to stimulate circulation and wake up all of your nerve endings in the skin. And be like, Oh, I live here, yeah.

Katja: 00:05:39 Here I am. I’m in my body.

Ryn: 00:05:39 This is my body. Wow. What could we do with this? So that’s another big piece here too. But we’ll talk about the herbs as we go along.

Katja: 00:05:52 Well, I also want to mention that there are some herbs… And like speaking as a person who has a lot of body issues, that for some people it’s not very comfortable to be in your body. Because maybe you’ve got some issues with your body and you’re like trying to find a way to work those out. And there are herbs that can really assist there too, just to ease the discomfort. So it’s not just in terms of like waking up the body so that the body and the mind are in the same place at the same time. But also making it comfortable for you to feel safe in your body. Making it comfortable for you to feel acceptable, accepted in your body. Even if your body isn’t exactly what you want it to be right now. Even if it will never be exactly what you want it to be, to just be able to feel like, well, but it’s all right. You know, like there’s stuff I don’t love about my house. I would maybe put a different window here or this there, but I like my house. I’m glad I live here. And I can feel the same way about my body. You know, I may not be perfect, but I’m glad I live here. And I’m thinking about Wood Betony in particular has been an herb that has helped me out with that a lot. But there are other plants that will come through here that have that particular aspect. And I think that is important when we’re thinking about snuggling.

Infused Wine: Damiana, Cacao, Cayenne

Ryn: 00:07:29 Yeah. Well, okay, let’s just get started with some recipes then. So, one of our very favorite things to make, in February and lots of other months, honestly…

Katja: 00:07:39 Really anytime, honestly, anytime.

Ryn: 00:07:42 Yeah. Whenever. …Is an infused wine. So, if you are brand new to herbalism, you may have maybe worked with a tincture here and there. You may have made one of your own. But if not, then don’t worry. It’s super easy. And if you’ve done tinctures with other alcohol, but not with wine before, don’t worry. It’s just as easy.

Katja: 00:08:02 It’s even easier.

Ryn: 00:08:04 Even easier. So one really cool thing here is that a standard bottle of wine is 750 milliliters. And that fits really nicely into a quart size jar with room for some herbs.

Katja: 00:08:16 Yeah. Even though when you put the jar on the counter and the bottle of wine on the counter, you’re going to be like, there’s no way this is going to fit in here. No, it’s going to fit. Don’t worry.

Ryn: 00:08:25 Yeah. If you have an extra size bottle, then like, okay.

Katja: 00:08:28 Well then you can just drink an extra cup while you’re…

Ryn: 00:08:31 You can make two jars…

Katja: 00:08:32 Yeah. It’s fine.

Ryn: 00:08:32 …of infused wine. It’ll be great. So what we do is we take a quarter sized jar, and we put in like three tablespoons or so of damiana leaf, and then two tablespoons or so of cacao nibs, and one single dried cayenne pepper.

Katja: 00:08:49 Not two.

Ryn: 00:08:50 Because that’s all you need.

Katja: 00:08:51 Not five, definitely not five. Just one. I mean you could put more if you want to.

Ryn: 00:08:56 Yeah. I should have an equivalent here for if you only had Cayenne flakes or something.

Katja: 00:09:03 Oh goodness. Like…

Ryn: 00:09:04 A teaspoon?

Katja: 00:09:04 No, no, no, no, no, no. Like between a quarter and a half of a teaspoon.

Ryn: 00:09:10 Not so much.

Katja: 00:09:10 Yeah. Really. Not much at all.

Ryn: 00:09:13 You can always add more spice later, but you can’t take spice away later.

Katja: 00:09:16 Okay, wait there. You can.

Ryn: 00:09:18 You can dilute it.

Katja: 00:09:18 If this happens, if you get too spicy, you can add more wine. You can add half again as much wine or whatever you need to not water it down, but wine it down. So there’s really no way that you can’t rescue yourself if you do possibly get this a little bit too spicy. But if you stick with one cayenne pepper, a dried one, that will do it. Yeah. That, that’s, that’s really just right.

Ryn: 00:09:55 So about these herbs. So Damiana, that’s one of those herbs that increases circulation out to your periphery and up to the surface of your body, which is where your skin lives. And, it can invigorate the nerves there. It can awaken your sense of touch, and help you to feel really, really pleasant there. It has a lot of other things to speak about, but…

Katja: 00:10:22 You know, I think that we could just say the relaxation part a million times. Because that is a huge factor of not even just, okay, great, my body’s awake and I’m remembering that I have one. But my shoulders are still up around my ears. Like I maybe need to relax that down a little bit too.

Ryn: 00:10:45 Yeah, I could imagine, I guess some something that got you really aware of your body but didn’t loosen tension or didn’t improve flow at all. That would not be really great.

Katja: 00:10:53 It wouldn’t be really great. No.

Ryn: 00:10:55 You just be more aware of feeling tense and stressed. Fortunately, Damiana is going to bring all these influences at the same time. And it feels great.

Katja: 00:11:04 It really does. Plus I find Damiana to be super duper delicious. Just really tasty.

Ryn: 00:11:10 Yeah. Not everybody does. Not everybody does, but that’s okay, because in this blend, you’re going to be tasting the cacao. You’re going to be tasting the Cayenne. And hey, don’t forget the red wine.

Katja: 00:11:20 Right. You know, we didn’t mention, so this is really excellent with a heavy red wine, like a Carmine or a Malbec, a Pinot noir, a Merlot, if that’s all you’ve got. Whatever.

Ryn: 00:11:32 Or if that’s just what you love. I mean, that’s fine. But you want something with some body to it.

Katja: 00:11:39 Yeah. I mean, since we’re talking about bodies here. And it doesn’t have to be a fancy wine. That is one of the wonderful things about infusing herbs into wine is that you can buy a not expensive bottle of wine and fancy it up with some herbs. And now what you ended up with is a much fancier thing than you started with.

Ryn: 00:12:10 Yeah. It’s going to be great. Well, Cacao nibs, I mean, it’s Cacao, right? So what more needs to be said in the realm of delight.

Katja: 00:12:17 Delicious! Well, you know, there’s some theobromine stuff going on that has aphrodisiac documentation along with it.

Ryn: 00:12:29 For sure. Yeah. Right? Theobromine is a stimulant. It’s in the same kind of chemical group as caffeine. Not as overt with the kind of stimulation it provides, but in that same direction of like wake up and feel a little more energized, a little more bright eyed. Look all around.

Katja: 00:12:45 Bushy-tailed.

Ryn: 00:12:45 Yeah. The whole thing. And Cacao is also a simultaneously going to help to relax blood vessels in your body, which improves the movement of blood, the flow, circulation, and can also help to bring down blood pressure. And again, there’s lots of great reasons to have Cacao nibs in your life regularly.

Katja: 00:13:09 You know, I think one of the real pivotal aspects of Cacao in this particular blend is it’s exhilarant action though. It’s like, okay, great. We’re feeling relaxed, right? Like I remember I’ve got a body and I might like to snuggle it with somebody else’s. Great. But politics is depressing and so maybe I’m not feeling very excited. Maybe I’m like, well okay, I have this body, but I’m feeling like all I want to do is be wrapped up like a burrito and sit like a lump on the couch. And, and this is where Cacao really comes through. Because the definition of an exhilarant, it’s a category of herbs. And it’s herbs that make your heart sing. I keep trying to illustrate pulling my heart up here. But that’s what it’s like. It just fills your heart and just makes you feel lovier. And whether that is like loveier for yourself or lovier for the person you want to snuggle or just just more lovey about the world in general. It can be all different forms of lovey. But I’m remembering in Harry Potter where after the terrible, bad Dementor hope-sucking whatever those creatures were.

Ryn: 00:14:43 Dementors, yeah.

Katja: 00:14:43 After they would come around and like make everybody depressed and feel hopeless. Then the antidote to that was chocolate. Yeah. And I don’t know. I’m sure she just wrote. I don’t know anything about these books except that I’ve read them. Like I don’t know anything about the author or what her background is or whatever. And I can’t imagine that she knew any of the photochemical properties of chocolate. And probably just loved chocolate and was like, Oh, chocolate makes everybody happy. Except the thing is that that’s actually true. Like that is what an exhilaration is. And so on one hand she probably was just writing it because, Oh, everybody loves chocolate. But that is such a thing about herbs is that even when we have forgotten herbalism. As a culture, we’ve just forgotten it. The underlying stuff is still in there. We’re still aware of it. We just don’t realize that we’re aware of it because when we’re sitting, writing a book and saying, Hmm, what would be the antidote to hopelessness? Oh, I guess it would be chocolate. It was like, yes, that’s an exhilarant. That is the thing that fills your heart again, after you feel like everything has been sucked out of it. That’s an exhilarant. That’s Cacao. Yeah. Yeah. Incidentally, also vanilla..

Ryn: 00:16:04 Right. Who will make an appearance later on. And Tulsi and a couple of others that are going to show up in this episode. But just to complete our recipe here, right, we had the Damiana leaf, we had Cacao nibs, and we’re going to put in that one cayenne pepper for the spiciness, for the fieriness.

Katja: 00:16:21 For the fieriness. I mean, okay. It also gets your blood moving and sometimes you need a little bit of that in terms of getting snugly. Like sometimes there are actual cardiovascular problems that sort of stand in the way. And so anything that has an actual cardiovascular stimulating effect is actually gonna be helpful. But here really the fire, you know. That’s what it’s all about.

Ryn: 00:16:51 It is. Yeah. And if you look at it, especially the further back you go, the things people consider aphrodisiac, they’re more and more in the realm of like fiery spices. Like Ginger and Cardamom and things like this that were like, yeah, that’s nice for a pumpkin pie. But what are you talking about? Sex drive? what? But yeah, they are that heat, that warmth.

Katja: 00:17:07 Okay. But remember that study about the smells. And they tested all these smells. And they found that pumpkin pie was a smell that was very functional as an aphrodisiac. Yeah.

Ryn: 00:17:26 Well, anyway, so that’ll go in the jar. You pour in the wine. It all goes in there together and then you just need a week or two. Honestly, with this one, if you wait a couple of days, it’ll have a lot of that flavor and it’ll be great. But if you give it a week or two, then that’ll be fantastic. You’re going to strain it right out. And then you can just re bottle it right into that wine bottle. Right. You just need a funnel, or I guess very steady hands. I mean, I’ve seen you do that before.

Katja: 00:17:54 It is like an occupational skill to be able to pour things into other things without spilling it.

Ryn: 00:18:02 I always get a little nervous and then I’m like, wait, trust the Lady Bird. She’s got this handled.

Katja: 00:18:08 it is my super power. I can pour things into other things and not spill them.

Ryn: 00:18:12 So that may be your superpower, or you may just get a funnel, whatever, you know. But yeah, put it right back in that wine bottle. Right. You can smack a pretty label on there. To die! You’re fancy.

Katja: 00:18:19 So fancy.

Ryn: 00:18:19 This is great. Yeah. It’s wonderful. And then you can drink it together with your whoever and it’ll be great.

Katja: 00:18:29 Anytime. It is also just delicious. And so you really can have this anytime.

Ryn: 00:18:34 Right. And I mean this would also be a good like cardiovascular health maintenance blend. Literally every ingredient in there including the red wine has proven benefits for long-term cardiovascular health. So, I mean.

Katja: 00:18:47 That’s your scientific study voice.

Rose-Chamomile Elixir

Ryn: 00:18:49 It was my scientific study voice. You found me. All right. All right, let’s move on. Let’s talk about a Rose Chamomile elixir.

Katja: 00:18:57 You know, I can see you making sure that we have enough time to talk about all of these recipes without…

Ryn: 00:19:03 I’m trying.

Katja: 00:19:04 And I’m like, well, we have to talk about Rose Chamomile forever.

Ryn: 00:19:10 You could, right?

Katja: 00:19:10 You could. You really could.

Ryn: 00:19:11 Either one of those herbs alone or certainly both of them together. There’s a lot going on.

Katja: 00:19:17 Yes. So, first off, maybe let’s do this inverted. Let’s start with the Chamomile. Chamomile is an herb that I just think everybody under under rates, under values, under appreciates. Chamomile. I think that we do it because you can get it anywhere. But you can get it anywhere because Chamomile is so critically important. And Elsie is trying to find a comfy bed here. She’s feeling relaxed just hearing about Chamomile. But that’s actually, I think that is right on. Okay. You’re going to be like, why is she talking about the dog now? Well, it’s Valentine’s day. You gotta love your dog too. But our dog, Elsie is an Australian cattle dog and she has a lot of energy. And over the years she’s had some injuries here and there that have required her to be still for several days. And that’s hard for her to do. And the way that we help her do that is with Chamomile. We just add like a half a cup or so of dried Chamomile flowers right into her dinner and you know, put a little gravy on top.

Ryn: 00:20:39 Yeah. If you’ve got a pot of bone broth going, like a scoop of that, a handful of Chamomile flowers. Stir everything together.

Katja: 00:20:44 Yep. But she’s happy to eat them. And well, I mean, a little gravy on top and they’ll be happy to eat most things. But it really helps her to settle in when things are not the way that she wants them to be. And I feel like that is almost the motto for our times. Like right now things are not the way we want them to be. There’s so much going on in the world right now that is just not the way we want it to be. There’s stuff breaking and stuff disaster-ing, and people not being nice to each other. And just all kinds of stuff that is not the way we want it to be. And we feel jittery about it. We feel anxiousness about it. And I was going to say we feel anxiety about it and I feel like that word has kind of lost its meaning because it gets said so often. But anxiety is a buzzing. Anxiety is a, like, not shaking. There’s a word, like a trembling. And Chamomile just calms that right down. And so this is just really perfect for someone who maybe they just can’t even get into the space of being with a person that they really love. I mean, they’re together, but they can’t get into a space of like putting everything in the world down for a minute to just spend time together. And I feel like that is what Chamomile really does in here. Yeah.

Ryn: 00:22:23 Yeah. So lovely and soothing. Well, and then we like to put that together with Rose. And Rose is going to come up a lot today. It’s a Valentine’s concept. So, but Rose is a really lovely exhilarant, right. Lifts your spirits, lifts your mood. It does have some benefit on circulation and on blood movement. It has some relaxing qualities to it. It has a lot of nice effects on nervous activity. To help you to feel settled and to feel calm. And you know, it’s familiar and people recognize and they say, Oh, it’s a Rose Elixir, for me? Wow. Alright!

Katja: 00:23:04 Everybody knows that Rose is fancy. Oh wait, there’s one other aspect here, and that is the honey. Because that is also very fancy. Now it’s the middle of winter, so it’s going to be hard to make an herb infused honey right now because it requires fresh plant matter. So if you don’t happen to have any Rose infused honey already on hand, then you can purchase a Rose glycerite for this. I think it would be hard to find Rose infuse honey online. Maybe someone you know has some, but I don’t think that is so commonly found for purchase. But Rose glycerite you’ll definitely find. And so that will definitely work here. But I much prefer to just every summer make sure that I get some really nice wild Rose petals. We’re not talking about garden Rose petals that you got from a garden store and planted in your front yard. Because those often have a lot of fungicides and other kinds of chemicals on them that get into the roots and stuff. And maybe if you’ve had one from many years, but really we prefer the wild roses. And the key here is that they need to smell like roses. They need to be good and smelly in order for this to work. Because those smells, those are the phytochemicals that we’re trying to get into the honey. The volatile oils and all the good stuff. So you’re literally just going to take the Rose petals, put them in a jar. Pour a bunch of honey over it. And in a couple of weeks the honey will thin a little bit because it’s literally going to suck the moisture out of the Rose pedals. But that’s okay. You don’t have to worry. It shouldn’t mold or anything like that. If you’re worried, you can put it in the refrigerator. But that’s my favorite way to to get sweetened Rose petal goodness. I like it better than a glycerite just because I really love honey. But it’s the middle of winter, so you can totally just grab a glycerite for now.

Ryn: 00:25:33 Right. And then we’d be mixing that together with equal parts, I’d say. An equal amount of Chamomile tincture. So you could either start from the very beginning. If you happen to be listening to this somewhere in the world where roses are growing right now. And you could get two jars about the same size, not too big. And take one and fill it like two thirds of the way full with Chamomile flowers. Pour on some brandy or other alcohol and close it up. And in your other jar you can stuff it full of Rose petals. Pour on some honey in there until it’s filled in all of those little spaces and cover that up. And you can let them both infuse there for a couple of weeks. Up to four weeks. Longer than that, there’s not much point. If you’re in a rush, you could probably do it in a week, at least with the tincture, if you shake it a lot.

Katja: 00:26:19 Yeah, the more you shake it. No, the honey, I think you might get away with a week if you really had to.

Ryn: 00:26:26 But yeah, and then you’re going to go ahead and strain them out. You’re probably going to want to warm up the honey before you do that. It does thin when you infuse the Rose petals, But it’s even easier if you warm it a bit before you start trying to strain it.

Katja: 00:26:39 Usually I will put it through a strainer and then cover the whole thing with a cloth and let it sit for at least 24 hours so that the honey can drip down off of the Rose petals. But then I keep the Rose petals, because you’re not going to get all of the honey off the Rose petals. So I just keep them and then I add them to tea. And now I have candied Rose petals to put into tea and that’s pretty exciting also.

Ryn: 00:27:02 Yeah, that is pretty good. Well, yeah. Sure. So now they’ve strained and then you mix them and then you go ahead and bottle it and label it and you’re good to go.

Raspberry Chocolate Cordial

Katja: 00:27:16 Yeah. And make a fancy little label. It’s fun. Well you reminded me of this Raspberry Chocolate Cordial recipe that you had that I don’t know how I forgot about this.

Ryn: 00:27:29 This is your recipe.

Katja: 00:27:30 No, this is my recipe? Well, I don’t know how I forgot about cordials.

Ryn: 00:27:36 It’s been awhile since we made this one.

Katja: 00:27:38 It really has and I really think that I need to make it as soon as we’re finished recording because this is the most delicious thing ever. And I don’t know, I think if you’re just starting as an herbalist, or it doesn’t even matter how long you’ve been an herbalist. Get a book, like a journal and just go ahead and write down your favorite recipes. I had a phase for a while where I had like scrap paper next to the tea and I would write down every single day the tea that I made, because we just formulate on the fly most of the time for ourselves. But then sometimes one of them is really amazing.

Ryn: 00:28:20 Yeah, you mix it up. And you are like, Oh, this is probably okay. You know, you set the boiling water and you let it infuse. You come back an hour later and you’re like, wait, this is amazing!

Katja: 00:28:28 This is the best tea I’ve ever made.

Ryn: 00:28:30 What did I put in here?

Katja: 00:28:31 Yeah, I then you can’t remember. So my point here is do not be me with the Raspberry Chocolate Cordial. Keep a book of all your favorite recipes and then go back and look at it every so often just to remember like, Oh, remember three years ago when I made that really awesome thing that was so delicious. I want that again. So anyway, I’m super glad that you unearthed this recipe for today.

Ryn: 00:28:57 And if you’re there with your pencil ready, then here’s the ingredients we’re gonna use in this one. We’ve got three quarters of a cup of water. We’ve got about a cup and a half of granulated sugar. We have five tablespoons or so of cocoa powder, unsweetened. It’s going to be fine for this. We’re going to use about three cups of vodka, about two cups of raspberries, and one beautiful vanilla bean split right down the middle.

Katja: 00:29:23 Now if you just heard that sugar and you’re like, Aaaagh…

Ryn: 00:29:26 Herbalists don’t use sugar.

Katja: 00:29:28 Yeah, well, when you make a cordial, traditionally they are made with sugar. But you can substitute that for honey if you prefer. Or if you want to put sugar and just have less of it, that’s also fine. Cordials can be the amount sweet that you want them to be. So these measurements represent a very standard style of cordial, but you can absolutely work with honey instead. You can absolutely have less sugar instead. Totally fine.

Ryn: 00:30:04 Yeah. So you’re going to take about three quarter cups of water. You’re going to put that into a saucepan and then you’re going to put in that sugar. And the way the standard, like a rich syrup that you’re making for this is done is you’ve got twice as much volume of sugar as you have of water to start with. But you can do a one-to-one, right? So just three quarter cup of water, three quarter cup sugar, or even less. Try it. Try a bunch of things. See what you like.

Katja: 00:30:29 Yeah. See what you like best.

Ryn: 00:30:30 Experimentation is absolutely essential to being an herbalist. So be enthusiastic about experimenting and don’t wait for permission.

Katja: 00:30:38 Yes. Just do it a lot.

Ryn: 00:30:40 Yeah. All right. So we’re going to put all these things together.

Katja: 00:30:43 The water, the sugar, and the cocoa.

Ryn: 00:30:43 The cocoa. Yup. We’re going to bring it to a boil. Medium heat. You know, you’re going to stir it every now and then, but we’re just trying to let everything dissolve. So stir, simmer until it all dissolves. And then once that happens, we’re going to remove it from the heat and we’re going to let it cool.

Katja: 00:31:01 Yeah. And I hate to say stir occasionally

Ryn: 00:31:07 Stir constantly. Stir unremittingly.

Katja: 00:31:08 Well, because here’s the thing. I get distracted in the kitchen and I’ll be like, Oh, I need to stir this. And then I walk away and do the next thing and then I come back and I’m like, I should have stirred that a lot more. So I would say stir it a lot because you’re going to get distracted.

Ryn: 00:31:26 Stir meditatively.

Katja: 00:31:26 Yeah. If you expect to stir it a lot and you get distracted and you come back, what you will end up with is stir occasionally. Right. But if we say stir occasionally, and you get distracted, it will not actually be stirred.

Ryn: 00:31:42 Okay. Stay focused on your cordial. That’s the message I’m getting here, right? So, okay. Then we’re going to just go ahead and pour that into a glass jar, like a quart size jar ought to fit everything we’re trying to get in there. And then we put in the vodka, we put in the raspberries, we put in that vanilla bean, and then we close it up and we cover it tightly and we store it in a dark place for a couple of weeks or so.

Katja: 00:32:05 See that’s why we have to say this now so that you have enough time.

Ryn: 00:32:08 Yeah. Right. You’ve got to start. Start today. Start tomorrow. And stir it, shake it, something every day. Get it moving. Yeah. Okay. And then after as much time as you’ve got or two weeks, whichever comes closer, then you’re gonna want to set up an arrangement where you have a coffee filter that you can dump everything into and it can strain through that. So what we usually end up doing is like a wire mesh strainer with the coffee filter sitting inside of it. And then we pour slowly at first onto that to make sure all of the material is staying inside the filter containment unit. And let it sit in there and it’s going to take some time to drip.

Katja: 00:32:46 It is, it’s really annoying.

Ryn: 00:32:48 It’s going to be thick.

Katja: 00:32:49 So you just have to, you know, if you have like a Chemex or one of those cool coffee things now you can use that too.

Ryn: 00:32:58 Yeah. I’m kind of wondering if our tincture press would be helpful at this stage. So maybe, I’m not sure.

Katja: 00:33:04 The thing is that the cocoa is powdered and we’re trying to not have the end results have that powdery cocoa in it. We want only the dissolved cocoa to filter through and we don’t want to be left with particulate. So that’s why we bother to take a lot of time. If you don’t mind having some particulate than just strain out the raspberries and it’s fine.

Ryn: 00:33:32 Right. I mean we’ve had some really great thick cocoa elixirs that have definite powder situation going on. Looking at one right now and yeah, there’s a ton of powder in it. And that’s fine. You know, so it’s going to be depending on how much patience you have for the filtering and how much you care about a little bit of finely ground cocoa powderiness in there.

Katja: 00:33:52 You like that?

Ryn: 00:33:52 I like it.

Katja: 00:33:54 So yeah, it does not have to strain clear, but if you want it to be extra fancy then the straining is going to take awhile.

Ryn: 00:34:02 You may even need to like pile everything on one filter and then after a while, get a fresh one and flump it all over on to that, and let it strain through.

Katja: 00:34:09 Yeah. Or use a spoon to stir it around and kind of press it through the filter. This is one that will get better with age. Most cordials are like that. So, I mean, you can start working with it immediately, but…

Ryn: 00:34:31 Yeah, you probably don’t want to consume your entire quart of cordial on Valentine’s day. I don’t really advise that.

Katja: 00:34:41 I mean, unless you’re having a really big party. But this will be better with age. So kind of pay attention to that as you are tasting it afterwards and notice how does it taste immediately when you first have it all pressed out and then how does it taste a month later and a couple of months later. This is one that Kathy Langelier at Herbal Revolution made. Oh, whoops. The dropper got stuck in there. We’ll have to taste it later, I guess.

Ryn: 00:35:16 We’ll have to get that out some other time.

Katja: 00:35:17 But this is a really nice one.

Ryn: 00:35:21 That was a good one. Yeah. I’ll see if she still offers that through the online shop.

Katja: 00:35:23 Yes, did I say Herbal Revolution? She’s so good.

Ryn: 00:35:30 If that’s currently available, I will put a link to it in your show notes.

Katja: 00:35:33 I think that I maybe saw her making it recently, like a picture of it posted online.

Ryn: 00:35:43 All right. Great. So we’ve got some Damiana, Cacao, Cayenne infused wine. We’ve got some Rose-Chamomile elixir. We have some Raspberry Chocolate Cordial. Yeah. That’s looking pretty good. You know, so much of this stuff is in the realm of chocolatey goodness. And if you don’t like chocolate, you still have options. You could make a vanilla cordial instead.

Katja: 00:36:06 You could, you absolutely could.

Ryn: 00:36:09 You’ve got a few ways to go. But that said, we do have one other chocolatey thing.

Katja: 00:36:12 It could actually be a Vanilla Kava Cordial. Then instead of raspberries, it would have like Cardamom and stuff in it. Yeah.

Chocolate Truffles

Ryn: 00:36:22 So if somebody is out there being like, I don’t like chocolate. Why doesn’t anybody ever make up tasty things for me? Stay tuned. We’ll come up with something. But for now, let’s talk about some chocolate truffles.

Katja: 00:36:35 You guys, I like chocolate. So truffles are very fancy and very easy actually. So here we go. The key here is that we’re just going to take some regular chocolate, like just get your favorite bar of chocolate. I like Chocolove. That’s pretty good. There’s a bunch of other ones too. You can also get a bag of chocolate chips. And what we’re going to do is we’re going to heat up a bunch of coconut milk and then add that to the chocolate, whether it’s dark chocolate or chocolate chips or whatever. And let that melt it and like stir it all together. And we’re going to add some herbs in and some maybe chopped up nuts or whatever. And then just roll this into balls. And what we’re going to end up with is these really wonderful coconut milk chocolate herby truffle awesomeness that are very, very fancy. But literally it’s faster than cookies. It’s really doesn’t take very long at all. So this can totally be a last minute thing.

Ryn: 00:37:50 Yeah. For sure. So you could start by taking about eight ounces of chocolate. And pound it or chop it up into little pieces, like pea sized pieces.

Katja: 00:37:59 Like chocolate chip pieces.

Ryn: 00:38:00 Or just start with chocolate chips. Pretty easy. You’re gonna put that into a medium size bowl and we’re going to put that together with some powdered herbs. And if you like some chopped nuts, you’re going to put them in there, but they should be pretty finely chopped.

Katja: 00:38:16 Yeah. This isn’t a place for chunky nuts. You can put chunky nuts later if you want to, but if you put nuts in at this point, you should go ahead and chop them up small because we need to be able to stir this well. So the herbs that I would recommend putting in here, although you can go bananas. You can put anything you like, but here are some that I’m a big fan of. Vanilla. And actually Mountain Rose Herbs and other places too, sells ground vanilla bean. And it’s like the little bits of vanilla. It’s so delicious. It’s expensive, but you can get the smallest package that they have. And it’s totally sufficient. You’ll have plenty. And it’s so good. So I would go with that and some powdered Rose petals, some powdered Cardamom, and maybe some powdered Ginger. And the finer that these are powdered the better. So even though you can grind them at home in a coffee grinder, this is another time that I would just go ahead and buy them ground already from Mountain Rose or from another place near you. Just because they have industrial grinders that grind it really, really fine and very uniform, and that’s going to be part of making the truffles just very fancy.

Ryn: 00:39:49 Yeah. I mean, you could also put some lemon balm powder into there too.

Katja: 00:39:54 You could, or a little lavender. A smidge of lavender could go in there. This could be a place where you could put just a little bit of Wood Betony too. It has a mild enough flavor that, especially with the Cardamom and the Ginger and the Vanilla, it really isn’t going to interfere with what’s going on at all. And if you are a Cayenne in your chocolate kind of person that can go in, or Cinnamon if that appeals to you. But so any of the herbs on that list, what we’re going for is, oh, maybe like two or three teaspoons total. You don’t want it to be too much, because we don’t want these to be gritty. So we just want enough so that it’s really there. So for eight ounces of chocolate, like two teaspoons total. Two to two and a half teaspoons total of your herbs is good. And then great. So we’ve got the chocolate in the pan or the bowl. We’ve got the powdered herbs in there. And now we can take the coconut milk and we can warm it up so that it’s not bubbling, but it’s the last minute before it bubbles. So that it’s really good and hot.

Ryn: 00:41:19 Right. But first you have to go back in time a little bit to before you got started and you need to put your can of coconut milk into the refrigerator.

Katja: 00:41:26 Oh, that’s right. I forgot about that part.

Ryn: 00:41:29 Because nowadays there’s so many kinds of coconut milk that you have to be more specific.

Katja: 00:41:33 RIght. So if you just get regular coconut milk, it needs to be the full fat kind. But if you just got regular coconut milk, that separates. And you end up with like a creamy part and a watery part. So if that’s what you get, put it in the refrigerator the night before to separate it out so that you only end up using the creamy part in this recipe and not the watery part, because that won’t make a nice chocolate. You can also, now you can buy just coconut cream. And so if that is the case, then that’s also fine. We need like two thirds of a cup of coconut milk. And so that is about what you get out of a can of regular coconut milk once you separate out the water.

Ryn: 00:42:20 Is there a trick for that? I know you always do this, but I don’t watch you.

Katja: 00:42:23 I put it in the refrigerator, for like a day. Like the night before I want to have it. And then when you open the can, all of the coconuty part will be on top. And so I just sorta of, either I say I should have opened the other end. And then I do that and I pour out all the liquid and then have the just the coconut left in the can. That’s actually the ideal way. But usually I opened the wrong end and I’m like, Oh, all the coconut is at this end. And then I just carefully scoop it out without getting any, as close to not any of the water as possible.

Ryn: 00:42:59 Cool. All right, so now you’ve got to warm it up.

Katja: 00:43:03 Got to warm it up and once it’s warm, then we’re going to pour it right into the bowl with the chocolate. Because the warmth of the coconut milk with no water in it is going to be enough to melt the chocolate. So pour it in there, whisk it. And all of it will be melted together, and stirred together, and we want it to have a really nice smooth consistency.

Ryn: 00:43:31 Yeah. You’ve got to keep stirring that powder to get it evenly dispersed.

Katja: 00:43:34 Yes. And just stir it like crazy. You can’t stir this too much. Then eventually it will cool enough that it is starting to harden up. And at that point your whisk is no longer effective. Take a fork, scrape anything off of it. And once we get to that point, we want to continue to let it cool until it’s like Playdoh almost. And what I like to do is take a dried cherry and get a little bit of chocolate into my hand and then put a dried cherry into that dob of chocolate. And then put a little more chocolate and sort of roll it together so that you have a ball with a dried cherry in the middle. And then have a dish of shredded coconut or finely chopped nuts. This will be the time to get the macademia nuts, even though they’re expensive. It’ll be so, so tasty. Or powdered Rose petals or whatever and roll it in one of those. And that will keep them from sticking to each other while they’re cooling. And that’s it. If you prefer a good crunchy truffle, then put like half a macadamia nut in the middle. Or whatever, like a walnut or whatever you like, and just make a little ball around that and then roll it in whatever. Cinnamon powder, whatever appeals to you. And put it on a platter and it’s ready.

Ryn: 00:45:08 Yeah. Keep them in the fridge.

Katja: 00:45:09 I mean, or make them at the last minute, and then just eat them.

Evergreen Massage Oil

Ryn: 00:45:13 Or that. These are your choices. All right. Pretty good. So here’s one that doesn’t have any chocolate in it. So this is an idea for a massage oil that you could put together. And, you know, the possibilities are endless. So here I was thinking of the sun and warmth and bringing that into a cold February day. Um, and so the ingredients I was thinking of here were Ginger, Kava, Angelica, and some evergreen needles.

Katja: 00:45:51 Yeah, I’m pretty excited about this. This is really lovely.

Ryn: 00:45:59 So massage oil is pretty simple. It’s just an infused oil with which you massage.

Katja: 00:46:04 Yes. I mean, it’s just an oil until you massage somebody, at which point then it becomes a massage oil. Yeah.

Ryn: 00:46:12 Yeah. You need help for fully, what is it, actualizing, your massage oil?

Katja: 00:46:20 Yes. I really love this combination because the evergreen…we have an exhilarant action again. And also it just smells so darn good. It’s warming. It’s very activating. It helps with circulation. And then with the Ginger and the Kava and Angelica, we also have that warming action, that activation. Scent-wise, it’s a little earthier. It’s like grounding the scent. And so what you end up with in terms of like perfume-ology or whatever, is something that’s very well balanced and has its full body of aroma. But the Ginger, the Kava, and the Angelica, all of these have muscle relaxing action. They have anti-inflammatory action. And that can be a lot, not like, Oh, it kinda made me relax some. But like I’ve had really knots in my back or like gross, painful whatever. And you have gotten some Kava or some Ginger or some Angelica or whatever and massage that in and suddenly it’s just like, I do not hurt anymore. I was hurting and now I am not hurting. This is excellent. So I don’t want to discount the power that these plants have to really just relax the pain right out of you.

Ryn: 00:47:54 So, as an example to get started and you know, you’ll adjust this in your batches as you go along to the way you like it. But an example would be to start with an eight ounce jar and you’re going to put in there like three tablespoons or so of Ginger, a couple of tablespoons of Kava, and probably just one tablespoon of Angelica. And then a good, big handful, of whatever you can fit basically, of evergreen needles, whether that’s spruce or fir or pine or…

Katja: 00:48:24 Cedar would even be fine.

Ryn: 00:48:25 Whatever you’ve got around you, ideally fresh off of the tree.

Katja: 00:48:30 I think I’m not willing to compromise on that. I think it really needs to be fresh off the tree. I would love the Ginger to be fresh too.

Ryn: 00:48:39 That gives us a bit of a quest. You know, you must walk into the forest until you find the evergreen tree. And from it, look around on the ground and see if there’s any recently fallen branches. Because that’s the best way to harvest from your evergreens.

Katja: 00:48:48 Yes, and retrieve them for your love. Yes.

Ryn: 00:48:54 Bring them home.

Katja: 00:48:55 Your love that is evergreen.

Ryn: 00:48:57 There we are. Yeah. So you’re gonna bring it home. Strip off all of the evergreen needles. Combine them with the dried herbs. Put them into the jar. And then put on like six-ish ounces of, I would really advocate here for almond oil.

Katja: 00:49:10 Me too. I feel pretty uncompromising about that as well. I mean, unless you have a nut allergy then don’t. But smell wise…

Ryn: 00:49:19 Olive is going to be too much for this one.

Katja: 00:49:19 It’s definitely going to be, And so the almond oil, first off, it’s light. But it does have a smell. And the smell is exactly in the direction we want to be going in. So, yes. Very, very lovely.

Ryn: 00:49:39 So we’re going to just pour in enough almond oil to cover the herbs over. We’re going to cover up our jar. And then, and this is important, you have to keep this somewhere warm, because we’re starting with mostly dried herbs here. So we just need to have the heat to really encourage those constituents to come out of the plant material, get into the oil where they’re going to be helpful down the line. So keep it in a warm place. That could be up on top of your refrigerator. It could be if you have like those little cabinets over your stove.

Katja: 00:50:09 Yup. Those get warm. Some people have yogurt makers and, or I’ve even heard people take a dehydrator and just take the shelves out of it and pop oils in there because it’ll keep it at like 120 degrees or whatever. And that’s a real nice temperature.

Ryn: 00:50:30 You can set it where you want. Or, you know, if nothing else, you can get some sturdy brown paper bag. Put your jar into there and set it in a sunny window sill. You could wrap it up in some dark cloth and do that same thing.

Katja: 00:50:42 It’s the middle of winter. You can put it on top of your radiator.

Ryn: 00:50:45 There you go.

Katja: 00:50:46 You know, put it next to your heater, whatever.

Ryn: 00:50:48 Yeah. But you want to keep it warm. And during this process,if your jar seals really well…

Katja: 00:50:56 Which honestly you want it to. Because we want to catch the volatiles from the evergreen.

Ryn: 00:51:01 So we’re trying to get it to seal really well. But I just specify this because I have taken a jar filled with infusing oil. And it was a good, good sturdy Mason jar. And then giving it a good hard shake and then there was some leaking.

Katja: 00:51:18 There was some mess, I think is what.

Ryn: 00:51:18 So learn from my experience there. So if your jar seals up really well, go ahead and shake it. Otherwise like swirl with care, you know, but swirl regularly, right? We want to have some movement happening in there. And we’re going to let it infuse there for a couple of weeks. And then we’re going to strain it. And we’re going to use cheesecloth or coffee filters or whatever seems necessary.

Katja: 00:51:40 Even like just a French sieve. That’s fine too.

Ryn: 00:51:41 Sure. And then bottle it up and label it. And you know, here, for bottles, if you have like one single eight ounce bottle to put it in, you’re probably going to have a flat cap on there. And then you’re going to need to kind of like pour a little into your Palm.

Katja: 00:51:57 Yeah it’s awkward.

Ryn: 00:51:57 You know, it’s awkward. My favorite thing for massage oils is these pump tops, right? A dropper top can work.

Katja: 00:52:07 I mean, it’s better than nothing.

Ryn: 00:52:09 It’s better than nothing. If there was any possibility that you were gonna like leave it in the jar or the bottle for a really long time, then you want to switch it out and put a flat cap on. Because oil when it stays in contact with the rubber, it degrades it over time. But if it’s, you know, just for you. If you’re using this regularly, working with this regularly and going to go through it, then whatever. Put a dropper top on, that’s fine. But my favorite though is those little pump tops.

Katja: 00:52:36 Those are pretty swanky. I’m pretty sure you can get those at Mountain Rose. I know you can get them at Berlin Packaging. Yeah. And actually if you have a local herb shop, they probably have that stuff too. Like in the bottles and tins section or whatever.

Ryn: 00:52:58 Cool. Massage oil. Yes.

Katja: 00:53:02 Yeah, it’s pretty great.

Heartbreak Tea

Ryn: 00:53:03 Yeah. All right. Well we have one more formula for you today. And this is for those of you who are probably not very hyped about Valentine’s day and would prefer not to think about it, maybe because you’re feeling lonely, maybe because there’s been a recent heartbreak.

Katja: 00:53:20 Yeah. And so this the beginning of a tea blend. And again, like all of our recipes adjust in ways that appeal to you. Just to like hold your heart and help you to feel, you know, like you can get through this. And so let’s start it off with Hawthorn. I like Hawthorn Berry. The leaf and flower is great as well. And we’re going to also put in Linden leaf and flower. And that these two can be equal parts. And we’re going to let them be a big part of the formula. Honestly, all of it could be equal parts, but let a little extra of the Hawthorn in the Linden. These two together are so heart supportive. When there is a loss, and it doesn’t have to be a loss from death, it can be the death of a relationship. It can be loss of a thing that you never had. A thing that you want and you haven’t had yet. There are so many ways to define loss and grief and a hole in the heart. And Hawthorn doesn’t discriminate. Hawthorn and Linden will hold you no matter where that comes from. So these are just the hug-your-heart portion of this formula.

Ryn: 00:54:52 Yeah, for sure. Hawthorn has a fortifying effect as well, both on a very physiological level about improving the integrity of connective tissue and vascular tissue in your body. But Hawthorn also has that, that sense of safety attached to it. And then Linden is just so soothing and calming and it releases tension that you may be carrying around not realizing it for a very long time. Yeah, they’re a wonderful pair.

Katja: 00:55:27 Tension in the body, tension in the heart, tension in the nerves.

Ryn: 00:55:31 Yeah. It’s very loosening.

Katja: 00:55:33 You know, we can put Rose petals next. And you might be thinking, well that’s on theme, but maybe, yeah, I didn’t want that. But Rose petals also have a really amazing protective aspect to them. Remember roses have thorns. And when roses grow in the wild, they grow in these big brambles. And they are like safe hiding places for little furry creatures, because the foxes and the hawks can’t get into the brambles to get in there and eat them. And sometimes that’s what you need, especially when the whole world has red hearts everywhere. And you’re like the Grinch about the red hearts and you just want it all to stop. Feeling like you have a place to hide where there are giant thorn brambles all around you and nobody can get to you is kind of amazing.

Ryn: 00:56:29 it’s pretty great. Yeah. So this is that, again, that element of safety. And safety, not just from something’s going to get me, I’m under threat. But safety to loosen, safety to soften, safety to open the heart. And that can be hard. If you’ve been hurt, if you’ve been let down, it can be really hard to open up your heart again. And a lot of us were never trained to do it in the first place by our culture. So, you know, herbs that can bring in that influence of attending to the heart, taking care of it, protecting it, softening tensions that are affecting it, that’s really valuable. And not just on Valentine’s day, but all the time.

Katja: 00:57:13 All the time.

Ryn: 00:57:16 But, you know, in addition to those things of softening and releasing and opening, we also want to uplift, right? We want to bring in some cheer. And so the Rose is helping with that. Absolutely. For sure. But this is why we want to add Tulsi to this mixture. Tulsi, Holy basil, whatever you call it. It’s a friend. Tulsi lifts you up. Tulsi makes you feel relaxed. Tulsi helps you to cope with stress more smoothly and calmly and evenly. Tulsi helps your digestion. Tulsi helps so many things. But if we think about the emotions in the heart, Tulsi is enlivening. It helps you to feel like you’re seeing the world with fresh eyes.

Katja: 00:57:56 Yeah. And then we can put some Betony in here too. Some Wood Betony and specifically, I mean Stachys officinalis. That’s for the sort of like it’s safe to be here aspect. Especially because when there is heartache or heartbreak, there can be a ruminating quality to that. It can be hard to stop thinking about it.

Ryn: 00:58:28 And thinking about it in the exact same way over and over again.

Katja: 00:58:31 Yes. And Betony is so helpful to just come out of that thinky space and back into the body even though maybe it’s not super comfortable in the body. Because all over I’m feeling the discomfort of heartache, but still at least it stops the thinking that is sort of controlling you and carrying you away. If you just imagine a cartoon of a person holding onto a very large helium balloon and they’re being swept away. And if you feel like that. If you feel like your thoughts are just sweeping you away and you are just dangling from the string of it, that’s when Betony is really, really who you need.

Ryn: 00:59:22 And then sometimes you do need a little bit of extra armor, or a little bit of extra cloaking. And whether that’s cling on or the invisibility cloak or whatever else, whatever method you like. So there’s a couple of herbs that we think of for these cases. And when you’re feeling a little extra sensitive, a little extra exposed, then I think of Yarrow there. Yarrow, its Latin name or its botanical name is Ach-IL-lea or ACH-il-lea, depending on where you like your stress, millefolium. But that refers back to Achilles. And remember the big myth around Achilles was that he was invincible except where he wasn’t, right? He had that weak spot. But most people that he ran into noticed the part where you could hit him with swords and he didn’t seem to mind.

Katja: 01:00:17 Yes. Mostly everybody saw the invincible part. Mostly that was his experience, too. Just right until that last minute.

Ryn: 01:00:19 Yeah. So, there’s this idea of protection with Yarrow. This idea of giving you a thicker skin. And that can be really necessary if you feel like, you know, you’ve been exposed and all your nerve endings are right there out on the surface.

Katja: 01:00:41 I feel that way about Lady’s Mantle too. It’s another really lovely herb for just…You know, I have a weighted blanket, and I love it. And I particularly love it when I’m feeling a lot of anxiousness or when I’m feeling that discomfort because it just sort of weighs you down the perfect amount. And I feel that way about Lady’s Mantle. Like it lends just the right amount of weight to the situation so that you feel like you’re covered. Like you’re safe in there and like you’re protected.

Ryn: 01:01:20 Yeah. Delightful. So whether you call it heartbreak tea or just I need to get through some rough time tea, this will help. This will definitely help your heart to feel a little safer, a little more protected, a little uplifted, a little more centered. But also a little softer. A little more willing to encounter other hearts perhaps. Somewhere down the line. All right. Well, so there was a lot of medicine making in this particular episode today.

Katja: 01:01:52 Yeah. If you’re a person who makes a lot of herbal medicines at home all the time, then probably you followed all that and you’re like, Oh yeah, I could just put this in here and Oh, I don’t have any of that, but I do have this. I could just substitute it in. But if you’re a person who maybe you’re just starting at this and you already feel like you need to replay this episode like 57 times to write everything down because maybe some of the things were unfamiliar, we have a solution for that.

Ryn: 01:02:19 We do. It’s called the Herbal Medicine Making Course.

Katja: 01:02:22 Yeah. Because audio is not always the best way to learn a new method of something that’s completely new to you. So the medicine making course, like all of our courses, is video instruction. And there are closeups, step-by-step videos of how to make all the different kinds. Way more than this. There’s like currently 47 different types of things in there. If there’s something you don’t see, let us know, we’ll add it. But yeah, so if you are like, I would love to be a person who’s comfortable enough to just talk about recipes that I make myself all the time. And just whip them out whenever I need them, even at the last minute, and feel confident and comfortable about that. Then this will help you do that.

Ryn: 01:03:12 Yeah. So along with the video content, you also get some printables, you know, PDFs or recipe cards or things like this that come along right with it. And like all of our courses, you can ask us questions as you work through the material in a couple of different ways. There are integrated discussion threads right there next to every lesson. So you don’t even have to go to a different tab or whatever. It’s all right there. So you can reach us directly that way. And then you also get access to our twice weekly live Q & A sessions. And so this way you get to learn on your own schedule and you also get direct access to the both of us when you need us.

Katja: 01:03:53 Yes. And we love to answer student questions. It’s a live web conference and you can just, anything that’s on your mind, anything that you’re working on. We cover it there. And that’s one of my favorite parts. I especially love seeing all of our students supporting each other.

Ryn: 01:04:13 It’s been good.

Katja: 01:04:13 Yeah. As people ask questions, we have a chat thread going at the same time. And so other students are starting to answer questions and say, Ooh, I would try this. Or Hey, I just tried that too and it was really good, or whatever. And it’s so fun.

Ryn: 01:04:32 Yeah. So check it out. Big old links in the show notes for that one. All right, so let’s close it up with some shout outs. First to lapin_amie, who was really into the thoughts we had about regenerative practices.

Katja: 01:04:48 Yay. Nice. Also to mommas-home159 and byanne-s and also hatha.lena on Instagram, all of whom popped in to let us know that they’re listening to the pod. And we send you all herby hugs. We’re so excited you’re here.

Ryn: 01:05:05 We have a shout out to Carrie who likes to add herbal syrup’s to her iced tea and shared her thoughts with us on herbal syrup making. Love it.

Katja: 01:05:13 Yes. You know, also I wanted to mention that Julie in Australia, who is a long time listener of the pod, lives in fire affected areas in Australia. And we started chatting most recently because of the regenerative practices episode. And she was talking about her farm. And in her area, her farm is one of the few that was not severely damaged. And so she still has a place to live and her animals are safe. But in her community most people’s homes were destroyed. And the pastures don’t have any grass for the animals anymore. And there’s no shelter for the animals. And the post-disaster relief system is really different there than it is here. Although honestly, no matter where you are, post-disaster relief really hinges on donations.

Ryn: 01:06:12 Yeah, that’s true. So we’re launching a fundraiser so that our herbal community, including you, can help Julie’s herbal community.

Katja: 01:06:20 This funding is primarily going to go to providing short-term assistance for food and shelter for community members to help them bridge the gap as they’re waiting to rebuild. And also to feed and shelter their animals who don’t have safe grazing space anymore or a shelter from the heat. So we’ll be posting all the details on social media tomorrow morning and also in our newsletter. So find us at Commonwealth Herbs on your social media platform of choice.

Ryn: 01:06:52 Or go ahead and sign up for our newsletter, right on our website, Commonwealth herbs.com. Great. Well, thank you for listening. We hope that now you have some good plans and schemes in place for your upcoming Valentine’s day or any other pleasant day that you intend to have.

Katja: 01:07:10 Or any old day of self care. Also fantastic. I mean, I don’t think you ever need a reason for chocolate.

Ryn: 01:07:23 Yeah. All right. Well, we’ll be back next week with some more Holistic Herbalism podcast for you. Until then, take care of yourselves. Take care of each other. Drink some tea.

Katja: 01:07:49 Drink some tea.

Ryn: 01:07:33 And enjoy being alive.

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