podcast

Podcast 101: How Herbs Are Different From Drugs

Herbs differ from pharmaceuticals in important ways. Understanding how they’re different helps us make better choices about what to take, and how to take it, to get the effect we’re looking for. It also helps us avoid common misunderstandings about herbs and herbalism – like thinking that the effect of an herb can be reduced…

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Podcast 100: The Definitive Guide to Herbalism

Wouldn’t it be nice if there were one book you could read, one teacher you could study with, one website you could scroll through – that would tell you everything you need to know about herbalism? Sometimes it seems like there ought to be a definitive guide to herbalism – and for our 100th episode,…

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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,…

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Podcast 098: Holistic Strategies & Herbs for Joint Pain

Yes, there are herbs for joint pain, and they really work! But when we’re working with this problem, we like to pile on – lots of herbs (in lots of ways), plus some changes to the diet, plus gentle movement, plus better sleep & stres management. This is what holistic herbalism looks like: combining strategies…

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

Everyone gets stressed out sometimes. So if you’re among “everyone”, you might like this herbal stress remedy formula! It’s one of our favorites and we turn to it again and again. Like all our formulas, this one can be customized to meet your own needs & personal taste. In this episode we describe what each…

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Podcast 096: Small Healthy Changes Help You Make Big Ones

Change is hard. It’s hard for everyone, not just you! Acknowledging this is important, whether you’re trying to make a change in your own life or guide others through that process. Since making change is at the heart of holistic herbalism, finding ways to make it easier is critical to success. Sometimes, the best catalyst…

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

Earlier this month, Ryn attended a Level 3 certification event for MovNat – a 4-day course/test/immersion in natural movement. It was quite the challenge! On this week’s episode, we talk about all the herbs he took to prepare beforehand and the ones he brought along to help him get through. If you want to work…

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Podcast 094: Creating A Culture of Support

Good health takes effort. It doesn’t just happen, and our cultural norms definitely don’t make it easy. You have to plan for it! But it can feel difficult to do all that planning on your own, and you know what they say about the best-laid plans… What’s needed here is a culture of support for…

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Podcast 093: Herbs for Athlete’s Foot

The itchy, inflamed, sensitive presentation of a fungal skin infection is something no one wants. These kinds of infections can be difficult to resolve whether you’re trying with herbs or with pharmaceutical agents, but don’t give up! With a few pointers and a solid plan, you can be successful working with herbs for athlete’s foot.…

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Podcast 092: How We Make Our Winter Elixir

This winter elixir is our #1 cold & flu remedy! We make a big batch every year around this time, when most of the plants that go into it are fresh and ready to harvest. They need about a month to extract fully into the elixir, so we can’t wait until we’re already sick to…

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Podcast 091: Nicole Rose & The Prisoner’s Herbal

Creating this community garden, and teaching families in your area how to grow food and look out for each other – that is abolition. We’re humanizing people again, and working for community health and ecological health, and all of those things are completely opposite to what the prison-industrial complex is trying to do. So in…

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Podcast 090: 3 Medicinal Invasive Plants

Where does loosestrife belong? Is barberry a badberry? And what’s with all the knotweed everywhere?! Most folks will tell you it’s simple: “These are invasive plants. They’re bullies, who take over an area and crowd out “native” plants! They need to be pulled out, root and branch! No use for ’em – not a good…

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Podcast 089: Herbs for Healthy Skin Care

Your skin is your largest organ, and it’s your presentation to the world – so it’s important to take care of it! It’s not just vanity. For most purposes, a simple daily routine will do the job. In this episode Katja shares her own personal daily routine, and then we discuss how to work with…

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Podcast 088: Sweet Herbs & Their Medicines

Sweet herbs aren’t only flavoring agents – there’s real medicine in there. When an herb has a sweet flavor, that gives you information about the way it will affect the body. These herbs tend to be moistening, building, and restorative. They’re great for correcting dry, atrophied, or depleted states of health, whether those are constitutional…

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Podcast 087: Herbal Awareness Rituals for Everyone

This week we’re talking about something a bit different for us. If you’re a regular listener, you know we’re very interested in science and in the historical & traditional ways of working with plants. But there’s a side of plant medicine we don’t talk about too often, and that’s the spiritual & ritual side. The…

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

Coffee is surely America’s favorite herb. So many people rely on it as part of their morning ritual, and it’s easy to see why! The aroma, the flavor, the stimulation – there’s a lot to like. But what if caffeine gives you the jitters, or rumbly guts? You can go with simple decaf, but even…

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Podcast 085: Lymphatic Herbs

The lymphatic system is criminally underestimated! It’s intimately tied to the function of your circulatory system, your digestive function, your immune responsiveness – pretty much everything. Conventional medicine doesn’t have much to offer in the way of pharmaceuticals to alter lymphatic activity, but fortunately there are a number of excellent lymphatic herbs that can do…

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Podcast 084: Herbal Smoking Blends & Herbs To Quit Smoking

An herbal smoking blend may not sound like your cup of tea – and it isn’t! – but it’s still an effective method of working with medicinal plants. When smoked, herbs have rapid effects on the lungs and the central nervous system, including antimicrobial, astringent, relaxant, and nervine or anxiety-reducing activities. This traditional practice is…

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Podcast 083: Our Wedding Herbs

If you’re an herbalist and you marry an herbalist, well, you’re going to need some special wedding herbs! We sure did. We loved the idea (and the herbs themselves) so much, we got them tattooed on us right after our honeymoon! Not all herbalism is about what you drink & “take”! In this episode we’re…

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Podcast 082: Common Herbs and Cancer

Cancer is not as rare as we once thought. Recent research has discovered that even healthy cells can contain potentially cancerous mutations, and that this is a normal occurrence in healthy individuals. As holistic herbalists, this conclusion doesn’t actually surprise us much! We’ve long taught that precancerous changes in cells are a normal part of…

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

Boston’s homegrown local herb conference, Herbstalk, is next weekend, and the plant of the year is stinging nettle! In honor of this, we wanted to make an episode focusing on this keystone plant. In this episode we share some of our favorite ways to make simple nettle herbal formulas, starting by pairing it with a…

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Podcast 080: The Role of Herbs In Heroic Medical Interventions

When we talk about “heroic” medical interventions, we mean the high-potency, high-risk (and potentially high-reward) tools that define conventional medicine. Pharmaceuticals, surgeries, cutting-edge experimental procedures – that kind of thing. While these kinds of treatments tend to get all the credit, they depend for a large part of their success on unglamorous, workaday support. A…

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Podcast 079: Motherwort for Mother’s Day!

Mother’s day can mean different things for different people, but whatever your situation is, Motherwort can be a supportive friend. Physiologically its effects are to soothe and relax the heart and arteries, but this crosses over into mental and emotional effects too. Those are what we find most interesting in connection between the herb and…

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Podcast 078: DIY Herbal Spring Cleaning Products

When it comes to chemical-free cleaning, there’s a lot of good stuff out there – but it can get pricey. And there’s a lot of “greenwashed” stuff, too – products that look “natural”, but really aren’t. But the good news is, you can make your own herbal spring cleaning products, and they’re not only effective,…

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Podcast 077: Urban Wildcrafting Ethics & Guidelines

It’s springtime! The plants are popping up everywhere in their colorful displays. This time of year, we always start to get more questions about wildcrafting and foraging, so we wanted to share some thoughts on the subject in this episode. Living in a city can make gathering your own plants seem more difficult, and there…

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Podcast 076: Herbs to Control Sugar Cravings

Is Easter really the best time to give up sugar? Well, given that there’s always another holiday around the corner, there’s never really an objectively better or worse time to try it. So why not try it now? You don’t have to do it alone – herbs can help! In this episode we’ll talk about…

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

Everyone is different, and healthcare should be individualized for each person – especially when it comes to herbalism! But, on the other hand, people are also quite alike in many ways, and it turns out that there is in fact a general approach to building health. That’s what this episode is about: foundational health strategies…

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Podcast 074: Herbal Energetics: Tissue States

When choosing herbs for a health issue, herbalists like us use a system of organization called energetics. In this week’s podcast, we have an excerpt from our Energetics & Holistic Practice course about a key component of herbal energetics: tissue states. This term refers to the quality and activity present in a given organ or…

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Podcast 073: Herbs for Psoriasis

Psoriasis is a chronic, autoimmune inflammatory skin problem. Problems like this are complex, because they don’t hinge on a single genetic anomaly or chemical imbalance in the body. This makes them difficult for conventional medicine to solve, but holistic healing methods are exactly what’s needed here! We can work through multiple interventions, including diet changes…

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

This is one of our favorite herbal formulas for endurance situations, whether that’s physical, mental, emotional, or all three. These herbs help build up your resilience, in part by improving your ability to clear the system of wastes and irritants. (Call it “detox”, the body’s daily action to process and eliminate such things.) Herbs can…

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Podcast 071: Herbs for Seasonal Allergies

It’s just about time for seasonal allergy … um, season … to begin here in Boston! Sniffy noses and red eyes are peeking around every corner. So let’s talk about some of our favorite herbs for seasonal allergies, and see if we can get you more comfortable outside. We lead with a brief discussion of…

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Podcast 070: Health Is Your Right … And Your Responsibility

This is what we say at the beginning of every episode: We are not doctors. We are herbalists and holistic health educators. The ideas discussed in this podcast do not constitute medical advice. No state or federal authority licenses herbalists in the US; these discussions are for educational purposes only. Everyone’s body is different, so…

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Podcast 069: How To Choose The Right Herbs For Sleep

Just going to the internet and searching for “herbs for sleep” isn’t very effective – how do you know the right one for you? First, you need to suss out why you can’t sleep – not all insomnia is created equal! In this podcast, we break sleep problems down into a few basic categories and…

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Podcast 068: Herbs for Stress-Induced Heartburn in Teens

I don’t know if you’re aware of this, but it’s stressful to be a teen! Sometimes, that stress shows up as heartburn. As herbalists, we can help out! Here’s a discussion of some of our favorite herbs for stress-induced heartburn in teens. Some are for directly addressing the burning pain and discomfort; others are for…

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Podcast 067: Two Herbalists Get The Flu

Yes, it’s true: even herbalists get the flu. Two in one house sometimes, even! Each of us gets it a little bit differently, as our constitutions are balanced differently. But at least we can take care of each other. Listen in and learn all our tricks for getting through Actual Flu with a little more…

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Podcast 066: Herbs for Psychological First Aid

It may not have occurred to you that “psychological first aid” is even a thing, let alone that there might be herbs for psychological first aid! But let us assure you, it is very real and very important, and herbs can play a leading role. When working as a street medic or first responder, you’ll…

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Podcast 065: How To Not Be A Guru

Things are complex, and there are many factors. But guru syndrome is bad for the teacher and for the student, both. And believe it or not, active measures are required if you want to know how to not be a guru. Because humans have these tendencies: as students, to seek a guru; as teachers, to…

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Podcast 064: Herbs for First Aid & Disaster Response

There are so many fantastic herbs for first aid purposes, it’s hard to name them all! But if we focus our thoughts specifically on a post-disaster situation, this helps us narrow it down. Even better, think about the most likely emergency situations that might arise where you live, and you can keep your kit nice…

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Podcast 063: Top 7 Herbs for Nutritionists and Dietitians

If you’re a practitioner of food-as-medicine and are interested in integrating herbs into your work – or just a health-seeker wondering if herbs can support dietary interventions – this is the episode for you! We present what we think are the seven best herbs for dietitians and nutritionists to learn about and to integrate into…

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Podcast 062: Herbal Hygge

Hoo-ga? Hue-guh? However you pronounce it, hygge is big right now! And it makes sense: this time of year, we could all use a bit more comfort, coziness, and cuddly contentment as we contemplate the context of our current collective consciousness! . . . Or, uh, just have a nice way to find some warmth…

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Podcast 061: Holistic Herbalism for Chronic Headaches & Migraines

This week Ryn & Katja share some thoughts on how to address chronic headaches – not just “getting rid of it” in the acute moment, but reducing the frequency & severity of your headaches across the board. This will require some changes to your habits around food, sleep, movement, and stress – but herbs are…

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Podcast 060: Herbal Resolutions

New Year’s Eve is right around the corner, and we, like many folks, are ready with our list of resolutions. Let’s all make them more about self-care and becoming who we want to be in the world, and less about guilt & shame! In this podcast we’ll give you some tips how to do that,…

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Podcast 059: Herbs & the Holidays: Solstice

Solstice is the quiet time, a moment of pause between the dying of the old and the rebirth of the new year. This week we share some meditations, stories, and traditions that shape the way we think about this time of year and its effects on our habits & our health. Listen in with a…

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

Holiday foods are delightful & delicious, but what if you’re allergic to some of the ingredients? Never fear! In this episode we’ll share some of our best tips & tricks for when gluten, dairy, or other allergens are a no-no. Whether making a simple substitution, or trying out something entirely new, we’ve got you covered.…

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Podcast 057: Herbs & the Holidays: Herbal Gift Ideas

Handmade herbal remedies and self-care items are a great solution to the conundrum of gift-giving. In this episode we’ll share three DIY herbal gift ideas that you can make at home and share with all your loved ones: herb-infused wines, coffee-pecan cocktail bitters, and an evergreen-scented sugar scrub. The gift of herbs shows you care…

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

This week we continue our exploration of herbal holiday traditions with a quick chat about some of the ways herbs turn up in holiday foods. Whether it’s a nice herbed roast, a ginger-enhanced cranberry sauce, or a paleo mulling-spice cookie (yep, we’ve got a recipe for those!), herbs add more than flavor to your season…

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Podcast 055: Herbs & the Holidays: Emotional Support

Today we’re kicking off a series of podcasts on herbs and the holidays! We begin with emotional support, because no matter how you feel about the holidays, those feelings are probably pretty big. In this episode we take an energetics-based approach to sorting out emotional categories and matching supportive herbs to them. Whether you’d like…

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

Every time we talk about cold & flu herbs, we seem to start out with elderberry syrup and a good old thyme steam. Well, this time we’re going to talk about something different! Here are a few good friends to have on hand as we move into cold & flu season. Herbs discussed include white…

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Podcast 053: The Apothekers

This week our episode is an interview with Shari & Russ Apotheker of Apotheker’s Kitchen, makers of fine honey-sweetened confections and longtime friends of ours. We visited them at their homestead in Way Up There, VT, to chat about their work and how it’s changed over the years. Along the way we talked about a…

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

This is our one-year anniversary episode! This week we cover a lot of ground. Katja talks about ways adding a little inconvenience to your home environment helps encourage you to move more. She also talks about how she came around to appreciating rhodiola as an herb on our honeymoon to Iceland, and offers some non-caffeine-containing…

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Podcast 051: Exam Time!

Every year, our Advanced Studies Program ends with a weekend-long exam. There’s a written portion with short answers, essays, and case analysis, and an in-person oral & practical exam as well. This week, we wanted to share with you some of our favorite questions from the exam, mainly to focus on the reasons we ask…

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Podcast 050: West Virginia Herbal Medics

This week we’re out in Coal River Valley, West Virginia, helping out at a free herbal clinic for folks in this area who’ve been affected by mountaintop removal mining. We interviewed three members of the local Herbal Medics team – Maureen, Hannah, and Lauren share their connections to the area, connecting with locals (and reconnecting…

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Podcast 049: A Few Herbs On Our Shelf

This week we do a lightning round of “minigraphs” on some of our favorite herbs. We started by taking a look at what we’ve got on our herb shelf (okay . . . *shelves*) in the kitchen right now, and selecting a few semi-randomly until our 45 minute timer went off. We covered reishi, catnip,…

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

It’s not just for lattes anymore: the ubiquitous pumpkin spice blend is in fact an herbal formula! The standard pumpkin [pie] spice mix is cinnamon, ginger, clove, allspice, nutmeg. From an herbalists point of view, this is a mix of aromatic, pungent, carminative spices, very antioxidant-rich, and most of which are also antimicrobial. In this…

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Podcast 047: Tinnitus & Headaches

Ryn leads off this week with a variety of herbs to try reducing the ringing in the ears called tinnitus. Herbs to drain stuck fluids, quell nervous irritation, and increase cerebral circulation can all help out with this distracting problem. Katja has some great ideas for you headache sufferers out there – starting with some…

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Podcast 046: Caring for Eldercaregivers & Botulism

Caregiving is exhausting, thankless, necessary work, and becoming increasingly more common. In the first half of this episode, Katja shares some insights into the difficulties facing those who are caring for elders, and herbal allies who can help them as they help others. In the second half, Ryn shares what he found after investigating everything…

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Podcast 045: How To Start A Free Herbal Clinic

This week we bring you a podcast we originally aired on the HerbRally podcast as its inaugural episode, last July, all about the model we use for running free herbal clinics – both in our own space here in Boston, as well as out in communities in need. We wanted to share it in case…

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Podcast 044: Empty Nests & Challenges

If back-to-school means the nest is empty, you may want some herbal support! Katja shares her favorite allies for this difficult transition. Ryn reflects on a forest movement immersion event he experienced recently, and shares some lessons he [re]learned there about challenge, adaptability, and seeing the complex context. Herbs discussed include hawthorn, motherwort, sage, catnip,…

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

This week, Ryn leads off with some thoughts on salad: why it’s often boring and nutritionally deficient, and how to boost it up with some wild greens, herbal pesto, spice blends, and feral berries – and how to get these from the grocery store when it’s not spring or summer. Katja goes over some herbs…

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

In this episode both Ryn & Katja have things to share related to sleep. Katja leads off with a listener question about alcohol cravings at bedtime, then discusses some of her own strategies for coping with restless thoughts that interfere with rest. Ryn lays out the effects of caffeine in the body to help you…

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Podcast 041: Pets’ Paws & Topical EO Safety

This week, a case of histiocytoma on a dog’s paw leads Katja to talk about wound care for animal companions. What to do when a furry friend has a wound? Help it out with herbs! It’s not as hard as you might be thinking. Ryn received a helpful email this week that made him want…

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

The world’s on fire, no one wants to admit they’re occasionally catastrophic, and sometimes all you want to eat is ice cream. In this episode we’ll talk about herbs to support respiratory health in times of dryness and smoke inhalation. We’ve also got a dramatic* reading of Katja’s favorite blog post ever, You’re A Trainwreck.…

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Podcast 039: Herbs for Introverts & Extraverts

Introverts & extraverts, as patterns of personality, each have their strengths and weaknesses. In this episode we’ll discuss herbal allies to accommodate common discomforts experienced by those who identify with one or another pole of this spectrum. Introversion & extraversion don’t need to be “fixed”, but their extremes can be balanced and their weak points…

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Podcast 038: Our Top Ten Tinctures

A listener asked us what would be our five favorite tinctures to have on hand, so this week we’re each going to share with you a list of herbs we just can’t live without! We talk a bit about each one’s virtues and the way we ourselves work with these herbs. Katja’s list: ghost pipe,…

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

Katja’s daughter Amber is off to summer camp this week, so she shares with you the list of things they packed into Amber’s herbal first aid kit. If you have kids headed off to camp – or are going to one yourself – you’ll want to listen in! Ryn muses on the capacity for receiving…

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Podcast 036: First Aid for Burns & Sprains

This week we share some practical first aid herbalism for burns and sprains. Whether you’re hiking far out in the woods or simply have an accident at home, these tips will help you take care of yourself effectively & naturally with herbs. A few resources for you: Dressing A Burn – this is the video…

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Podcast 035: Cinnamon, Vanilla, & Cacao

Katja & Ryn discuss how these “exotic spices” came to be ubiquitous among Americans, and how we can learn from the history of plant trade, cultivation – including some bitter history and present affairs of colonization and slavery. We try to recognize and explore the chain of relationships between the farmers and ourselves, and give…

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Podcast 034: Herbal Affinities & Softening In Service

Ryn leads off this week with a discussion of herbal affinities – the ways in which herbs may be centered in their effects on a particular organ or type of tissue in the body – and how these can help you make good herbal choices or make more effective formulas. Katja shares some thoughts about…

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Podcast 033: Back Pain & Sparkling Summertime Herbal Drinks

This week Katja had a bit of back pain, and has some thoughts to share with you about how this can happen an what to do about it. From mindset management to gentle movements for the release of tension and improving alignment, of course with the support of herbs, here are a few quick tips…

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Podcast 032: Vacation Is Mandatory & Jiaogulan

Katja this week reflects on a bit of wisdom surrounding downtime, and on the ways in which stress management can sometimes be the most difficult of our fundamental pillars of health, or the one that gets sacrificed first. Ryn shares his love of jiaogulan (Gynostemma pentaphyllum), a particularly excellent adaptogen for the dry and tense…

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Podcast 031: Resilience Not Dogma

Katja shares a hard-fought lesson: that health is not equivalent to merit, and that as herbalists it’s important for us to stay away from idea that there is A Right Way and We Know It. Instead our role should be to offer a wide variety of tools to try that can help build greater resilience,…

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Podcast 030: Tulsi & Formulating Absent Friends

Since it’s Herbstalk’s 2018 Herb of the Year, Katja wants to finally give Tulsi its due with a quick monograph for you today! As promised last time, Ryn shares an exercise in herbal formulation: attempting to re-create the actions and qualities of an herb you don’t have, by mixing together several other herbs. We each…

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

After seeing Rising Appalachia the other night, Katja wanted to sing! She sang so much she gave herself a sore throat. So today she’ll tell you all about her favorite herbs for soothing sore throats! Ryn breaks down a couple of “classic cancer cure-all” formulae you may have heard of: Hoxsey and Essiac. He talks…

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

Katja shares her thoughts on herbal supports for those who are coping with eating disorders. Herbs can help reduce anxiety, center us in the body, stimulate appetite, and make it easier to manage cravings. Ryn gives you some guidelines for building a warming, relaxing herbal muscle rub. This will help speed recovery after an intense…

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

Ryn describes a method you can use to expand your understanding of energetics by comparing ailment profiles and the herbs recommended for them in our book. If you love lists, this is for you! Katja shares her best strategies for getting through a day when you wake up feeling zonked – from uncoffee to yerba mate formulation…

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

This week Katja has some thoughts about the number of syllables in neuraminidase and what it means to be a woman in science. Ryn tries to keep it simple with a basic protocol for heartburn. Mentioned in this podcast: Behave, Robert Sapolsky Student-faculty research suggests Oreos can be compared to drugs of abuse in lab…

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

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 be, usually by folks who want to sell it to you! This week Katja shares some other anti-inflammatory herbs you may not have considered. Meanwhile, Ryn’s been thinking about dreaming – or dreaming about thinking?…

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

This week Katja talks about the herbs that defined taco seasoning in her Texas upbringing, and their qualities when as medicinal herbs. Along the way, she takes a moment to appreciate the life of World War I herbalist and author, Maud Grieve. Ryn goes over an important lesson in phytochemistry – that no one compound…

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Podcast 023: Schisandra & Peppermint

No, that’s not an herbal tea pairing suggestion! This week, Katja sets off on a 100-day experiment with schisandra berries, and Ryn discusses the nuances of peppermint’s energetics – is it warming or cooling? Listen in and find out what we think! Don’t forget! Herbal Medicine for Beginners, our first book, is available for pre-order…

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Podcast 022: A Movement & 3 Herbs For Back Pain

This week Ryn walks you through a short movement sequence he finds helpful when his low back gets tense, and Katja shares (most of) a recipe for a tincture blend that also helps tense muscles – the rest is to be found in our book! Find the video of the kneebend sequence here! And while…

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

This week Katja shares some allies who’ve helped out with the (several!) kinds of pain which accompany her braces – gentle vulnerary astringents for the cuts in the mouth, anodynes for the bone pain, and a special guest to help drain fluids from the sinus. Ryn talks about one way we try to understand herbal…

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Podcast 020: Birth-Day Herbs & Support The Mama

Katja’s daughter Amber is about to turn 15 years old, so this week Katja reflects on her birth experience and offers up some herbs to help mamas in the last stages of pregnancy, and Ryn shares one of his favorite Mama-support formulas. Herbs discussed include lobelia, ginger, betony, ghost pipe, chamomile, kava, & vanilla. Mentioned…

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Podcast 019: Good Health Is Your Responsibility

We say it every week: we are not doctors, you are responsible for your own good health. This week, we wanted to expand on that a bit more, explain the philosophy behind it, and the reasons we think it’s so important to our practice as herbalists. We discuss the differences between conventional and traditional systems…

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Podcast 018: Pleurisy In Daughter-Caregivers

This week, in honor of International Women’s Day, Katja shares some of her thoughts and experiences with adult daughters who became caregivers for their elderly parents. There’s a particular pattern of compromised lung health she’s seen emerge in these women, which has been tightly tied to the complex stresses and emotional challenges of the role.…

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

This week, Ryn shares some strategies he turns to when (as frequently happens) he recognizes that he needs to sleep, but can’t quite convince himself to go to bed. Katja relates what happened earlier this week, when polyurethane fumes from a home improvement project in our apartment building gave her a massive headache and made…

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Podcast 016: Emotional Support for Mothers & Teens

This week, Katja discusses several herbs to help support mothers and teens who are coping with the difficulties of the adolescent years – especially in the face of the stressors unique to today’s world. Herbs discussed include motherwort, rose, hawthorn, yarrow, tulsi, milk thistle, and st john’s wort. Mentioned in this podcast: Herbs for Psychological…

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Podcast 015: Harm Reduction Herbalism + African Ashwagandha

This week, Katja describes a way of working with herbs to reduce the harm done when lifestyle factors like diet, sleep, and movement are less-than-ideal. (Because really, how often is everything in your life perfectly “right”?) Ryn identifies a mental blind spot in the course of “discovering” that aswhagandha is in fact native or naturalized…

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Podcast 014: Alternatives to Adaptogens for Burnout

Adaptogens are marketed as a solution to stress, burnout, hormonal imbalances, and a lot more. They can help a lot! But they’re not always appropriate. Today we discuss a few cases in which adaptogens might not be the best solution for feelings of burnout and exhaustion, and offer some alternative herbs you might consider instead.…

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Podcast 013: Herbs & Strategies for Physical Labor

We moved! We made it with just a few bumps & bruises and some sore muscles. That was no accident – we thought ahead and stayed mindful with some mental, physical, and herbal supports to make our moving week as smooth as possible. Mentioned this week: Kings Road Apothecary – maker of the lovely kava…

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Podcast 012: Simple Herbs for Digestive Health

This week we’re sharing a class Katja delivered recently about basic applications of herbal remedies to improve digestion and relieve digestive discomforts. Enjoy! We’ll be off next week as we are moving from one apartment to another. We’ll return the following Friday, don’t worry! Our theme music is “Wings” by Nicolai Heidlas.

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Podcast 011: Our Students Love Linden

This weekend we kick off the year for our Clinical Skills Program, so we invited our students to participate in the podcast. Somehow, without any prior coordination, everyone seemed to have linden on the mind! Listen in and hear a few different formulas and perspectives on this helpful friend. Our theme music is “Wings” by…

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

Katja shares three simple ideas for integrating some herbal self-care into your life, especially during the work day, which have helped us a lot during the writing of our forthcoming book. Ryn’s taking a MovNat certification course this weekend, so he offers a formula for supporting joint health. Our theme music is “Wings” by Nicolai…

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Podcast 009: Year-End Reflections

As 2017 draws to a close, we look back over our year and some of the herbs who helped us get through it. Our theme music is “Wings” by Nicolai Heidlas.

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Podcast 008: Goldenrod for Hanukkah + A Solstice Elixir

Katja draws parallels between the Hanukkah story of unexpected abundance, and the gift of goldenrod for helping us persevere through adversity and exhaustion. Ryn shares this year’s solstice elixir formula and the medicine of captured moments. Our theme music is “Wings” by Nicolai Heidlas.

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Podcast 007: Yaupon + On Being A Boring Herbalist

Ryn talks about the yaupon holly, a caffeine-bearing plant of North America, as well as a few ideas that apply to caffeine herbs in general. Katja is happy to be reading The Wee Free Men again, and tries to come up with a boring formula for everyone, but it turns out to be awesome. Our…

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Podcast 006: Dynamic Desk Work + Crazy for Cranberries

This week, Ryn notices he’s been getting stuck in the same sitting positions too frequently while working on the manuscript, and talks about different ways to avoid getting sedentary at home or in the office. Katja shares her enthusiasm and recipes for working with cranberry, one of our local “superfoods”. Our theme music is “Wings”…

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

In this episode, Ryn tells you about the herbal strategies he’s been using to cope with a respiratory infection for the last few days. Katja shares some thoughts spurred on by the creation of her Herbal Oracle and Study Cards, about the parallels we find between physiological and psychological effects of herbal remedies. (Katja wanted…

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Podcast 004: Some Favorite Herbal Books

We love books! In this podcast we discuss a few of our absolute favorite herbal books for everyone from beginners to experienced practitioners. Here are the books we mentioned: Practical Herbs & Practical Herbs 2, Henriette Kress – you can also pre-order her Practical Herb Cards! The Herbal Medic, Sam Coffman Icelandic Herbs, Anna Rósa…

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Podcast 003: Small But Mighty + Unconditionals

Katja stands up to proclaim the strength and potency of the “pretty little flowers” chamomile and self-heal, and reminds us that gentle doesn’t mean weak. Ryn muses on the many applications for herbs that have little or nothing to do with “treating” a “condition”, and some of the ways this ties in to our evolutionary…

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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

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