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The Holistic Herbalism Podcast

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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. We even have some strategies for if you accidentally get exposed – or even if it was accidentally-on-purpose! PLUS: Listen in to get a coupon code for 25% off ANY of our...


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 – give something unique this year! PLUS: Listen in to get a coupon code for 25% off ANY of our online courses, good from now until December 21st Herbs...


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 – as if that weren’t enough! PLUS: Listen in to get a coupon code for 25% off ANY of our online courses, good from now until December 21st! Herbs discussed include sage,...


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 to be more grounded, centered, resolved, or emotionally flexible, herbs can help you get there! Herbs discussed include lady’s mantle, yarrow,...


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 pine, sage, ground ivy, boneset, elecampane, ginger, catnip–elderflower–chamomile, and lemon! Mentioned in this podcast: Herbstalk’s Wintergreen MarketHerbal Oracle CardsHerbal Medicine for Beginners~ If...


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 lot of issues close to the herbal world as well as that of artisanal chocolatier-ing: ethical ingredient sourcing, navigating certifications, prioritizing pollinator protection, and...


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 stimulant herbs for midwives (and anyone who may have long nights ahead). Then, Ryn shares some of his discoveries on looking for exceptions to the herbalist’s...


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 reasonswe ask these questions in this way and how they help us change our ingrained patterns of thinking. We’re also sharing some particularly great answers from this year’s group! ~ If you...


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 them to their traditions) through plant medicine, and their experiences in the free clincs we’ve been running here together for the past three years. We also...


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, mugwort, heather, st john’s wort, and za’atar (which is a spice blend, but totally still counts – right?). So give it a listen and meet some of our best friends! Mentioned in this podcast: Our Wedding...


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 podcast we'll break it down and give you the details on each individual herb, as well as the formula as a whole. Spice it up! Mentioned in this...


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 practical considerations about food and water, sleep, and stress - and then moving on to some herbs you can match to your particular triggers and symptoms. Mentioned...


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 to do with botulism: where it comes from, how to prevent it, and how [un]common it really is. The short version is: if you follow good...


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 clinics - both in our own space here in Boston, as well as out in communities in need. We wanted to share it in case you missed it, and also because we're preparing for another trip to work in a free clinic in West Virginia mountaintop-removal coal mining country, which also uses this model and has been very successful in bringing...


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, linden, catnip, chamomile, & goldenrod. Mentioned in this podcast: HerbRallyHow To Not Be A Guru ~ If you like our...


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 that can help with the stress, fears, and excitement swirling around this transitional season - for both kids and parents - along with strengthening strategies to improve immune resilience so...


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 understand how it can in fact interfere with sleep, even many hours after consumption. Herbs discussed include tulsi, ginger & chamomile, coffee, & tea. Mentioned in this...


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 to dig deeper into essential oil safety, and will lead to some revisions of his liniment and muscle rub recipes. Special thanks this week to Jennifer Lombard of Earth and Aether Aromatherapy for the heads-up, and for...


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,...