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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 the CommonWealth Center for Holistic Herbalism.

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

Language:

English


Episodes

4 Herbs We Give To Our Dog

1/24/2021
An herbalist’s dog is going to get some herbs in her dinner every now and then. Our dog Elsie sure does! Choosing herbs for dogs doesn’t need to be complicated or difficult, and there are a lot of them that can help a pup feel her best. In this episode we highlight four herbs we give to our own puppa: SeaweedsSolomon’s sealPumpkin seedChamomileWe also briefly discuss nettle, Japanese knotweed, teasel, and catnip for related intentions. Working with herbs for dogs effectively depends on...

Duration:00:32:53

Herbs Help Us Feel Our Way Through Difficult Times

1/17/2021
It has been a rough few… weeks? Years? Well, a while, anyway! In the last month more than ever, people have been asking us how to get some space, how to find ways to feel grounded, how to find some calm. So we thought, maybe it would be good to share the things that we are doing to get through the days. Being an herbalist doesn’t mean you never get sick, and it doesn’t mean you never have emotional issues either – emotional exhaustion, despair, uncertainty, panic sometimes – all the things...

Duration:01:12:16

An Herbalist's Guide to Successful Self-Experimentation

12/20/2020
In this episode we explore the skills and disciplines necessary to conduct a successful self-experiment. Self-experimentation in this context might mean making changes to dietary, lifestyle, & movement habits; developing stress management skills; or trying out herbal medicines. First we address why and how self-experimentation can fall into self-justification, and how to avoid this. Then we highlight the skills of perception, reflection, and connection which are the bones of a good n=1...

Duration:01:14:16

COVID Revisited

12/11/2020
This week we take another look at COVID-19 and its long-term effects. First, we check in on what have been our top 5 herbal interventions for COVID: Herbal steamsGarlic & thyme teaElecampane decoctionGinger (& chamomile) teaMarshmallow root cold infusionThose all still hold up! They continue to be important in acute, recovery, and long-haul cases. We go on to discuss those long recovery periods and lingering symptoms, and describe how we approach them as holistic herbalists. Herbs...

Duration:01:04:31

A Case Study: Herbs and Nightmares

11/20/2020
Dreaming matters: it’s a critical part of our identity-building and experience-processing work, and vital to our ability to regulate our emotions. But not all dreams are good. When nightmares happen, especially if they happen chronically, they can make dreaming itself feel unsafe. But never fear: when we need help we can always turn to herbs, and nightmares are no exception. In this episode we present a very personal case study about working with herbs and nightmares to improve one’s...

Duration:01:19:43

4 Medicinal Mushrooms: Shiitake, Maitake, Reishi, Lion's Mane

11/6/2020
Yes, they are herbs too! Medicinal mushrooms are an important part of our herbal practice, but it looks like we haven’t profiled them on the podcast before today – so it’s time to correct that lapse. In this episode we’ll look at some of the key activities of four of our favorite fungi: shiitake (Lentinula edodes), maitake (Grifola frondosa), reishi (Ganoderma lucidum), and lion’s mane (Hericium erinaceus). Essentially all medicinal mushrooms share some features of interest to the...

Duration:01:16:10

Herbs and Grief, at the Death of the Year

11/1/2020
Samhain, Halloween, the death of the year – this is a good time to talk about grieving, and about how herbs and grief can go together. It’s a universal human experience, but one we don’t often allow ourselves to experience and explore, because it is painful and difficult. It can often seem like there are only a few ‘approved’ ways to move through a grieving process, but everyone grieves in their own way. Learning how to respond, rather than react, to our grief is something we must each...

Duration:01:16:49

Herbs As Mantra - Mental Reset & Redirection

10/24/2020
This week we listened to a talk by a Buddhist teacher about mantra chanting practices, and one particular facet of their purpose: to be a mental reset or redirection, a way to get a hold of your mind when it’s spun up & agitated. It inspired us to think about herbs as mantras, as mind tools – which herbs are, just as much as they’re physical supports. Herbs can help us introduce new mental patterns and change the way we relate to our minds. People have been working with mantra and other...

Duration:00:50:58

Six Herbs for Cognitive Decline Prevention

10/17/2020
Maintaining a sharp & healthy mind has always been one of the things people ask us about most often. Whether it’s a nagging difficulty recalling words, or a tendency to forget why you walked into a room – or more seriously, a relative showing early signs of dementia – lots of folks are wondering if there are herbs for cognitive decline prevention. And here’s the good news: there are! When we’re trying to diminish the risk of dementia, herbs can help in a few different ways. For one, they...

Duration:00:58:22

Accessible Herbalism for Respiratory Ailments

10/12/2020
When thinking about how to start working with herbalism for respiratory ailments, you might get really focused on WHICH ailment it is, and which herbs are “good for” that ailment. As herbalists, though, we don’t work with diagnoses; we work with what we see. So whether it’s a cold, bronchitis, or asthma, we’ll respond to what we see, hear, and feel by choosing herbs to match the current state of the body. It’s not difficult once you start working with the plants! Some conditions are dry:...

Duration:01:15:10

Accessible Herbalism for Emotional Support

10/3/2020
Our emotions part of our health just as much as our physical organs & system. When we have difficulties like anxiety and depression, we can draw on practices in holistic herbalism for emotional support. Even when we know what’s causing us to feel stress, often there’s little or nothing we can do about it. When the stressors are systemic or unavoidable given our current circumstances, we can’t simply walk away from them. Instead, we need to find ways to help our bodies and minds cope with...

Duration:01:17:54

Accessible Herbalism for Digestive Discomforts

9/25/2020
Digestive issues are extremely common, and are one of the leading causes of missed work and reduced quality of life. The good news is, herbs can help! There’s much relief to be found in the study of herbalism for digestive discomforts. For each individual person, digestive issues can manifest a little differently, even if the causes are the same. Very many folks have indigestion or IBS due to stress on the one hand, and incompatible foods on the other. But regardless of cause, we can work...

Duration:01:04:07

Accessible Herbalism for Wound Care

9/7/2020
Everyone gets hurt sometimes. Knowing how to take care of injuries at home is an excellent skill to have. You can prevent a minor injury from becoming something serious with a few simple steps: stop the bleeding, clean & disinfect, then help the healing process. Bringing in herbalism for wound care support is going to be a major boost to this process, making it go faster & more certainly in the right direction! We also discuss strategies for coping with chronic wounds. When we work with...

Duration:01:07:59

[REPLAY] How To Not Be A Guru

8/28/2020
In August we're going to re-air some episodes we think may be helpful given everything going on right now. We'll return to our Accessible Herbalism series at the end of the month! 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 seek that...

Duration:00:53:34

[REPLAY] Resilience Not Dogma

8/24/2020
In August we're going to re-air some episodes we think may be helpful given everything going on right now. We'll return to our Accessible Herbalism series at the end of the month! 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, and provide guidance on...

Duration:00:25:21

[REPLAY] How Herbs Enhance Holistic Lifestyle Interventions

8/14/2020
In August we're going to re-air some episodes we think may be helpful given everything going on right now. We'll return to our Accessible Herbalism series at the end of the month! This week we're airing a replay, but it's one you may not have heard yet even if you've followed our podcast from the start. That's because this episode originally aired on the HerbRally podcast - it was episode 102 over there, and it aired in December 2018. This one's about a fundamental idea that shapes our...

Duration:00:49:18

[REPLAY] Alternatives to Adaptogens for Burnout

8/9/2020
In August we're going to re-air some episodes we think may be helpful given everything going on right now. We'll return to our Accessible Herbalism series at the end of the month! This week we're running a replay of episode 014 from February 2018. 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...

Duration:00:40:21

[REPLAY] Vacation Is Mandatory & Jiaogulan

8/3/2020
In August we're going to re-air some episodes we think may be helpful given everything going on right now. We'll return to our Accessible Herbalism series at the end of the month! This week we're running a replay of episode 032 from June 2018. 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...

Duration:00:43:54

Accessible Herbalism for Sleep

7/26/2020
We work with herbs for sleep improvement purposes very frequently, because sleep is so critical to good health. During sleep, your body works through a to-do list, including: detoxification, hormone ‘balancing’, wound healing, muscle growth, immune surveillance, fat burning, clearing inflammation, cleaning wastes from the brain, and even mood regulation! Lots of things in the modern world interfere with sleep, and lots of people have insomnia or sleep disruptions of one kind or another....

Duration:01:13:21

Accessible Herbalism for Pain Management

7/17/2020
“Pain is a signal to change your behavior.” This motto comes from our friend the herbalist Tammi Sweet, and perfectly sums up the holistic approach to working with herbs for pain. Something’s gotta change! In this episode we’re particularly focusing on recurring & chronic pain, but these strategies help acute pain as well. What we want to do is threefold. First, let’s change the pain signal – we can slow it down, or overwhelm it with other signals. Second, we need to quell excessive...

Duration:00:58:39