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The Holistic Herbalism Podcast

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Practical herbalism from practicing herbalists. Conversations, botanical deep-dives, Q&A with clinical herbalists Katja Swift & Ryn Midura of CommonWealth Holistic Herbalism.

Practical herbalism from practicing herbalists. Conversations, botanical deep-dives, Q&A with clinical herbalists Katja Swift & Ryn Midura of CommonWealth Holistic Herbalism.

Location:

United States

Description:

Practical herbalism from practicing herbalists. Conversations, botanical deep-dives, Q&A with clinical herbalists Katja Swift & Ryn Midura of CommonWealth Holistic Herbalism.

Language:

English


Episodes

Interview with Shawn Donnille of Mountain Rose Herbs

10/16/2021
As herbalism is becoming more popular, the sustainability of plants themselves needs to be a primary focus for all of us. But like all issues of environmental sustainability, it’s not just about individual decisions and habits. We must pay special attention to the activities of large corporations, because they can have much larger impacts than single people – for good or for ill. One company working for good in this way is Mountain Rose Herbs. They are one of the biggest herbal suppliers in...

Duration:00:51:03

Herbs A-Z: Angelica & Artemisia dracunculus

10/9/2021
There are so many medicinal plants! In an effort to pay some more attention to herbs that aren’t quite our favorites, we’re profiling all of the herbs we keep on the shelves in our apothecary. (Check out the podcast stream for previous episodes!) Angelica, Angelica archangelica, is an herb who thrives in extremes. Long days or nights, hot and cold temperatures, wind, rough soil – these conditions make strong angelica. We draw on that strength when we drink decoctions of the roots. When we...

Duration:00:40:33

Herbs A-Z: Alnus & Althaea

10/3/2021
Every herbalist has their core favorite herbs. Sometimes we lose sight of the vast array of plants we have to work with. In an effort to not neglect our less-than-favorites, we’re profiling all of the herbs on the shelves in our apothecary. (The herbs go marching two by two, hurrah hurrah!) This week our pair of herbs is two plants who are both very helpful with the regulation of fluids in the body. First up is alder, Alnus incana and other species. Alder is a plant with excellent...

Duration:00:58:06

Herbs A-Z: Agastache & Alchemilla

9/27/2021
This week we’re continuing our review of herbs in our current apothecary, from A to Z by their botanical Latin names. We want to give all our herbs an opportunity to get in the spotlight and share their particular talents. Anise hyssop (Agastache foeniculum) is neither an anise nor a hyssop! Its flavor and digestion-warming actions may remind you of fennel, or of black licorice candy (which is anise-flavored). Its capacity to relax respiratory tension and quell coughs may remind you of...

Duration:00:39:43

Herbs A-Z: Achillea & Acorus

9/18/2021
Hi everyone! We’re back from a brief hiatus, and kicking off a new series on our podcast feed. We’re going to be profiling every one of the herbs on the shelves in our home apothecary. Why? Because we definitely have our favorites, herbs we work with really frequently – and these also tend to be the herbs we talk about most on the show. So we want to make sure everyone gets a bit of attention! We begin this week with Achillea & Acorus. Yarrow (Achillea millefolium) is an herb with complex...

Duration:01:04:29

Herbalism & Climate Change: The Plants!

8/13/2021
Climate change affects everyone, and that includes the plants. Medicinal herbs and food plants growing across the world are changing, moving – and sometimes, struggling or dying – as a result of the changing climate. As herbalists, and as stewards of medicinal plants, we need to recognize these shifts and respond in ways that will help protect & sustain our herbal allies as much as possible. Three steps any herbalist can take in this effort include: Changing our habits – of harvesting...

Duration:00:43:55

Herbalism & Climate Change: Fires

8/5/2021
This is #3 in our series on herbalism & climate change! Fires are most devastating where they occur, but the smoke and particulates they release into the air affects vast areas of space. So it’s good for all of us to be aware of the problem and have practical solutions to protect ourselves. In addition to practical DIY methods for improving air quality in the home, herbs can be very helpful. Some of the herbal actions & specific herbs discussed in this episode include: gentle herbs for...

Duration:01:03:17

Herbalism & Climate Change: Flooding

7/24/2021
This week we continue our series on herbalism & climate change. Flooding causes great devastation, and it also brings many risks. Foremost among these are isues of pathogenic load: mold, bacteria, and other pathogens spread through flood waters. Minor wounds can easily get infected, breathing in the spores of mold can make one sick, and it’s difficult to avoid introducing germs to the digestive system in these conditions. Herbs can help. Antimicrobial herbs can be taken to protect against...

Duration:01:02:55

Herbalism & Climate Change: Heatwaves

7/16/2021
This episode begins a series on herbalism & climate change. Heatwaves have struck the US and many places throughout the world, and all signs indicate this is going to be our “new normal”. Climate change affects everyone and requires us to recognize our interdependence. We need to cultivate community care as a social ethic & public good before and until it becomes necessary as a disaster response. Herbalism offers a great deal to us in this regard. Heat is dangerous. Heat with high humidity,...

Duration:00:55:00

Does Hops Cause Depression?

7/9/2021
Recently it seems like there’s been a proliferation of hop-flavored beverages on the market. Not just beer, but also sodas, fizzy waters, and other gently bitter elixirs are competing for attention with kombucha and fancy herbal infusions. This seems like a good thing to us – more people getting some bitters in their lives couldn’t hurt! But it also brought to mind this week’s topic: a common warning herbalists make, that there’s potential for cases where hops cause depression, or worsen...

Duration:00:39:54

3 Herbs for Toothache Relief

6/25/2021
Ryn’s got a toothache this week, so this seems like a great time to teach about herbs for toothaches! When your tooth hurts, you want to relieve the pain, and you want to make sure you prevent or manage any infection. Fortunately, herbs are great at both of these jobs! Spilanthes & kava are great for relieving pain. Spilanthes also increases localized immune activity. Berberine-bearing herbs like goldenseal and barberry are fantastic at fighting pathogenic microbes, and kava’s no slouch...

Duration:00:26:07

Can Seaweeds Fix Everything?

6/17/2021
Seaweeds are really talented. Like, really talented! They can help out with such a wide array of problems that you might feel a little skeptical at first. “Come on, how could seaweeds fix everything on that list?? I mean… what do high blood pressure, osteoporosis, and leaky gut syndrome even have in common, anyway?” We understand the skepticism! But the truth is, seaweeds really can help out with a ton of different troubles. How? They’re addressing core deficiencies and needs of the body,...

Duration:01:01:14

Breathing Exercises & Herbs for Breath Work

6/4/2021
“Take a breath, it’ll help!” You’ve heard it before. But what if breathing is difficult or constrained? Breathwork is the answer. Breathing is like any other movement: there are ways to build efficiency and resilience through practice. Simple exercises can get you breathing deeper, and give you a visceral massage or “inside yoga”. And there are herbs for breath work, too! They can remove the obstacles to deep breathing and help to enhance your practice. In this episode we’ll share some...

Duration:01:02:07

Top 3 Herbs for Seasonal Allergies

5/29/2021
Whenever we choose herbs for health issues, we work to match the qualities of the herbs to the state of the body. These three plants we work with as herbs for seasonal allergies are each drying in nature. So, if you run dry or have dry symptoms, then make sure to pair them with something moistening like marshmallow or violet. But if you’re on the watery side, these will be a great help! Nettle (Urtica dioica) is a superstar plant with a variety of beneficial effects. Not all of them are...

Duration:00:49:37

Herbal Tattoo Care

5/15/2021
Herbal tattoo care starts a while before your appointment. You’ve got to prepare the skin in advance, get hydrated, and ideally do a little work to keep inflammation down in the lead-up time. You want that skin to be in the best possible shape before you get work done. You might even want to get some test spots done, if you have very reactive skin. We don’t actually like to throw a ton of different plants together in our herbal tattoo care preparations. Instead there are just a few...

Duration:00:46:51

Listen-Along Plant Sit Meditation

5/2/2021
Today’s episode is a little different from our usual. We’re sharing a listen-along plant sit meditation! You can take this episode with you to sit outside with a plant, and we’ll guide you through the meditation practice. Plant sit meditations are an excellent way to develop your powers of observation and your awareness skills. Plants have a lot to teach us, and this is one way to learn directly from the plants themselves. When we slow down, take time, and devote our attention to a single...

Duration:00:36:39

Saw Palmetto Doesn't Discriminate On Gender

4/19/2021
Have you heard that black cohosh is “for menopause”? Or that red clover is a “natural estrogen replacement”? Or that saw palmetto (Serenoa repens) is “for men” or “for BPH”? Herbs are not gendered, and they’re not “for” conditions. They have qualities and actions, and they act in context – the context of each individual body. Herbs act on particular types of tissue, and it turns out that in the reproductive system, the various forms and functions mask a deeper similarity, a more fundamental...

Duration:01:35:40

Ground Ivy: Sometimes It's Hard To Hear

4/4/2021
Ground ivy (Glechoma hederacea), also known as alehoof, creeping charlie, and gill-over-the-ground, is one of our favorite herbs to gather in early spring. We like to prepare a tincture of it in brandy, and we work with it for troubles in the ear-nose-throat. It helps a lot with tinnitus and with difficulty hearing that comes from stagnant fluid in the ears. Here are just a few comments on this ability of ground ivy, over a 300-year span: Botanologia, or The English HerbalHealth from...

Duration:00:41:59

Herb of the Month - An Essential Herbalism Learning Method

3/28/2021
Herb of the Month is one of our most powerful learning methods for students of herbalism – and honestly, it’s great for experienced practitioners too! It’s deceptively simple: just choose an herb and work with it extensively every day for a month, in as many ways as you can come up with. At the same time, research the herb as far and wide as you can. In this way you can foreground your own direct experience with the plant, while also exploring the variety of possibilities the herb presents...

Duration:01:02:15

Equinox Thoughts On Balance & Amphoteric Herbs

3/20/2021
We’re discussing the notion of amphoteric herbs today, because it’s the Spring equinox and we’re thinking about balance. The term amphoteric is orginally a chemistry term meaning “having characteristics of both an acid and a base”. Herbalists use the word to mean an herb that has a balancing activity, one that is capable of acting in ways that seem opposite, depending on the context in which it’s taken. But to understand how amphoteric herbs could be balancers in this way, first we need to...

Duration:01:07:03