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The Holistic Herbalism Podcast

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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. We'll wrap it up with a listener question about cold digestive systems in hot weather. * Not in a bad way. Herbs discussed include tulsi, calamus, mullein, linden,...


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 strengthened through the work of herbal medicines. Listen & learn how! Herbs discussed include cayenne, tulsi, mate, yarrow,...


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, tulsi, calamus, ginger-chamomile, lobelia. Ryn's list: solomon's seal, catnip, yarrow-sage, kava, cayenne. Mentioned in this podcast: The Hidden Life of TreesHerbal Medicine for BeginnersKatja's...


037: Herbs for Summer Camp & Extra Senses of Perception

Katja's daughter Amber is off to 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 information from some parts of the body that don't make the Top Five Sensory Organs list (eyes, ears, nose, tongue, hands), but which are very perceptive indeed . . . if they're thoughtfully trained. He even has some...


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 BurnGo-To Joint Liniment ~ If you like our podcast, you might like learning from us in a more intentional way - like with our Herbalism 101 program! It's a great way to start incorporating herbs into your daily life,...


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 thanks and respect to the hands that touch these precious herbs. A few resources on ethical cacao: Ethical Consumer's shopping guideSlave Free Chocolate13 Fair...


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 how to cope with the political crisis machine by finding ways to enter into service for the good of others - it turns out, it helps you too! If you find it difficult to get there, don't worry: she also...


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 to get you bending and flexing again. Ryn shares a couple ideas for herbal liquid extracts to combine with sparkling water in a bit of delightful herbal indulgence - that's herbalism too! Herbs discussed...


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 to settling-in at bedtime. Herbs discussed include betony, catnip, chamomile, linden, yerba mate, tulsi, ashwagandha, & rosemary. Mentioned in this podcast: Herbal...


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: BehaveStudent-faculty research suggests Oreos can be compared to drugs of abuse in lab ratsWhat Happens to Your Body If You Drink a Coke Right Now? Herbs discussed include marshmallow, meadowsweet, calendula, plantain, licorice, & calamus. Don't forget! Herbal Medicine for...


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? - with the help of mugwort, a city-dwelling weedy friend who is very talented when it comes to deepening the dream experience. Mentioned in this podcast: If I...


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 accounts for all the observed effect of an herb - considering this today as it applies to specific qualities: so demulcency & astringency aren't reducible to mucilaginicity &...


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 now on Amazon!


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 you're at it, feel free to follow us on Instagram. ;) Herbs discussed include ashwagandha, solomon's seal, ginger, and mullein. Don't forget! Herbal Medicine for Beginners, our first book, is available...


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 it hard to sleep - both what she actually did to cope in the moment, as well as what, in hindsight, would have been more effective. Herbs discussed include mugwort,...


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 First AidfreeMarch For Our Lives


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 in large parts of Africa and has a long history of use there. (Did you, too, think of it only as an Indian/Ayurvedic herb?) Mentioned in this 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.


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 ApothecaryAtlantic HoldfastInstinctive sleeping and resting postures: an anthropological and zoological approach to treatment of low back and joint painthis 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 relive 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!