materia medica Available

fennel and beetle

Fennel: Herb of the Week

Winter is the Fennel time of year! Fennel is a warming herb that improves digestion and liver function, which is why you see it in recipes for sausage and other heavy or fatty meats. Fennel is particularly suited to the cold, stagnant digestive conditions that we see so commonly in our culture today. A lot…

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inula

Elecampane: Herb of the Week

If you listened to last Friday’s podcast, you know that Ryn was sick last week with what we affectionately called the “Lung Crud Plague”. If you’re also sick with lung crud, Elecampane is the herb for you! But before we talk about the why, let’s just get this right out in the open: Elecampane tastes…

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ashwagandha seedling

Ashwagandha: Herb of the Week!

Ashwagandha is one of my very favorite herbs: it supports the adrenals and other endocrine organs, improving the function of those organs and helping the body to better cope with stress. You’ve probably heard about the “HPA axis” – which is the connection recognized between the hypothalamic, pituitary, and adrenal glands. But I submit that…

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hawthorn berries

Hawthorn: Herb of the Week

Hawthorn is often categorized as an “exhilarant” in old herbal literature – strongly uplifting to the spirit. Along with Rose, Vanilla, Vetiver, and others, Hawthorn is a great “rescue remedy”. Whether it’s sadness from a deep loss or just baked-on, caked-on gloom and doom, Hawthorn can help. I love to make an elixir of Hawthorn…

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prunella in iceland

Self-Heal: Herb of the Week

Self Heal, Prunella vulgaris, is one of those plants that seems able to do everything. Writing in the 16th century, Gerard said that no herb equals Self Heal for healing wounds, and a whole host of other things. Self Heal is used all over the world – by Native Americans, Europeans, and all across Asia,…

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ground ivy Charles River

Ground Ivy – Herb of the Week

Ground Ivy, Glechoma hederacea, is a small, unassuming little plant. You might know it as “Creeping Charlie” or “Gill-Over-The-Ground”, or (if you’re from England) as “Alehoof”. It often grows low to the ground, spreading horizontally instead of vertically – but if it’s in an area that isn’t mowed too often, it’ll stand up for a…

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icelandic angelica

Angelica: Herb of the Week

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

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Rose – Herb of the Week

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

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Nettle in Flower

Nettle: Herb of the Week!

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

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mullein flowers

Mullein: Herb of the Week!

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

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arctic thyme

Thyme: Herb of the Week

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

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ginger slices

Ginger: Herb of the Week

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

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Yarrow: Herb of the Week

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

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chamomile bunch

Chamomile: Herb of the Week

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

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Goldenrod: Herb of the Week

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

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Herb of the Week: Elder

Elder, Sambucus canadensis, nigra, is one of our favorite herbs. You may have heard that elderberry syrup can help with the flu. You may have wondered, is that actually true? IT IS! Elderberries are chock full of vitamin C and anthocyanins, which are antioxidant. Both of these are great for supporting good health every day.…

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Herb of the Week: Calendula officinalis

Calendula is the herbal (and botanical) name for pot marigold: Calendula officinalis. It’s not only good at keeping pests off your tomato plants, it has a whole host of medicinal actions. Calendula is commonly made up into an oil or salve, and is useful for just nearly anything that happens to your skin. Campfire burns,…

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Savoring Salicylates

Who’s Afraid of Phytochemistry? part 1 of ?   Don’t let the diagrams scare you! Don’t let the long names drive you away. Phytochemistry can be intimidating at a first look, but it does have some useful insights to offer even the most folksy of healers. The best parts of it are those that bear…

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Herbs for National Take Your Daughter To Work Day!

I LOVED Take Your Daughter To Work Day when I was a kid (thanks, Dad!! <3), and today, my daugther Amber came to the school with me to talk about our favorite herbs! To be fair, through Amber’s life, most days were take my daughter to work days, and she was always super helpful. I…

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Herbs for Passover: Horseradish, Parsley, and Chicory!

Check out the whole Herbal Holidays video playlist here!

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Ostara and Nettles: An Herby Holiday Video!

An herbal tribute to the Spring Equinox! There are more free videos for you at our YouTube channel!

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Fun Free Videos!

This year, we’ve been making short herbal videos to celebrate every holiday we can think of! We pick one or two herbs for each one and talk about them, so you can have some fun learning about holidays and herbs together! Here’s our most recent one about Hops for St. Patrick’s Day: And you can…

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First Aid Kits For Everyone!

Why should you carry a first aid kit? Think about the places you go every day – the grocery store, a restaurant, the subway, a kids’ soccer game: if something happened, do you know where to find a first aid kit? If you did find one, would you know how to use it? Would it…

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You’re a Trainwreck.

Hi. My name is Katja. I’m a total Trainwreck. Hi, Katja…

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Linden and Tulsi: Two Great Herbs that Go Great Together!

Looking for a fail-proof cup of tea? Look no further! Linden and Tulsi can turn that frown upside down.

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Licorice Oil for Eczema

When my daughter was born, she had very severe eczema. Eczema is almost always related to food allergies, and hers were gluten and dairy. Giving up food allergens is important, but skin issues, especially long standing ones, take a while to resolve. Here’s a simple topical that will cut your waiting time: Licorice oil!

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Solomon’s Seal: Beyond Sprained Ankles

Solomon’s Seal is a favorite herb around here. We love it for any kind of sporty injury: sprained ankles, pulled muscles, you name it. The reason we like it so much is that Solomon’s Seal helps connective tissues heal. When you pull a muscle, maybe you think in terms of muscle pain, but it’s not…

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Sage: a Favorite Nervine

You’ve heard of Sage (Salvia off.) used as a throat gargle, an antiseptic mouthwash, you know it’s good for headaches. You’ve used it to help weaning mothers dry off their milk supply, and women in menopause ease the transition. An aid to digestion before, during, or after a meal, not to mention a tasty addition…

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Seven Herbs for Summer Health

Every season has its associated issues: in winter, I would say we can’t live without things like Thyme, Sage, Garlic, Onion – potent plants that get us through cold and flu season. Here are seven plants that will make your summer much more enjoyable!

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Seaweed as Food and Medicine

In the summer of 2010, I went out to harvest kelp with Larch Hanson, who has been harvesting seaweed for the last 40 and more years up in WayNorth Maine, along with his son Jay and his apprentice, Micah Woodcock. We source all of our seaweed from Micah – AtlanticHoldfast.com

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herbal medicine for beginners - book cover

Our Book is Now Available on Amazon.com

Our first book is here!

This is the perfect introduction to a powerful yet manageable apothecary of 35 herbs and teach you how to apply them to common ailments.

We keep it simple and practical, and along the way teach you how to think effectively about herbs & herbalism, laying the foundations for deeper study.

The book is available through Amazon.com