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Education
Alternative Health
Self-Improvement
Health & Fitness

The Holistic Herbalism Podcast

Updated about 24 hours ago

Education
Alternative Health
Self-Improvement
Health & Fitness
Read more

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.

Read more

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.

iTunes Ratings

165 Ratings
Average Ratings
154
5
2
1
3

Tulsi! 😍🥰♥️

By hemptoit - Feb 16 2020
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I just started listening to your podcast last week and have enjoyed every single second! I am a home health nurse and do a lot of driving, so you guys have traveled many miles with me already! I discovered Tulsi through you and tried it for the first time today, and let me tell you, I AM IN LOVE!!! The smell alone made me feel so warm and content and I just knew I was going to love it, and I did! I do!!! Tulsi tea literally tastes like comfort to me and I can’t help but smile with each drink! Thank you both so much for what you do! I’m so excited to continue to learn more!!! ♥️

Bone broth

By Carlos8amtz4 - Jan 29 2020
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I really enjoy listenig to your podcast while making some soaps, embroidering or infusing something with something you just talked about! Looking forward to the bone broth podcats, thank you for sharing! -Pilar (from Mexico)

iTunes Ratings

165 Ratings
Average Ratings
154
5
2
1
3

Tulsi! 😍🥰♥️

By hemptoit - Feb 16 2020
Read more
I just started listening to your podcast last week and have enjoyed every single second! I am a home health nurse and do a lot of driving, so you guys have traveled many miles with me already! I discovered Tulsi through you and tried it for the first time today, and let me tell you, I AM IN LOVE!!! The smell alone made me feel so warm and content and I just knew I was going to love it, and I did! I do!!! Tulsi tea literally tastes like comfort to me and I can’t help but smile with each drink! Thank you both so much for what you do! I’m so excited to continue to learn more!!! ♥️

Bone broth

By Carlos8amtz4 - Jan 29 2020
Read more
I really enjoy listenig to your podcast while making some soaps, embroidering or infusing something with something you just talked about! Looking forward to the bone broth podcats, thank you for sharing! -Pilar (from Mexico)
Cover image of The Holistic Herbalism Podcast

The Holistic Herbalism Podcast

Latest release on Feb 15, 2020

The Best Episodes Ranked Using User Listens

Updated by OwlTail about 24 hours ago

Rank #1: Our Top Ten Tinctures

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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:



 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, to keep you and your loved ones healthy and resilient all year round!
Our theme music is "Wings" by Nicolai Heidlas.

Support the show (https://commonwealthherbs.com/supporters/)

Jul 27 2018

1hr

Play

Rank #2: Simple Herbs for Digestive Health

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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!

Support the show (https://commonwealthherbs.com/supporters/)

Jan 19 2018

1hr 35mins

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Rank #3: Anti-Inflammatory Herbs Beyond Turmeric & Dreaming With Mugwort

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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: 

ginger, rosemary, ginkgo, peppermint, tulsi, ashwagandha, rose hips, hibiscus, elder, calendula, self-heal, red clover, and mugwort.

   Don't forget!
Herbal Medicine for Beginners, our first book, is available for pre-order now on Amazon!


Support the show (https://commonwealthherbs.com/supporters/)

Apr 27 2018

51mins

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Rank #4: Holistic Herbalism for Anxiety

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Anxiety is a feeling of exposure, a feeling that one is without protection. The much-maligned ‘safe space’ is in fact a necessity for all humans. (Those who malign it tend to be speaking from a place of unchallenged safety.) But how to create that for yourself, in an environment that feels hostile? Herbs can help, and in more than one way! Working with the principles of holistic herbalism for anxiety involves several interwoven threads.

Building healthy boundaries is a way to protect your inner space – both to keep unfriendly things out and to leave room for you to focus on your present moment. Anxiety is fundamentally an expression of tension, so relaxing tension in the muscles and nerves, and in the emotions themselves, is almost always needful. Anxiety both causes and results from elevated stress hormones, and reducing cortisol in particular helps mitigate the physiological effects of stress.

Holistic lifestyle changes are the core of the work, and herbs help us enact these intentions. The synergy between them is what we mean when we talk about employing holistic herbalism for anxiety. Listen in for lots of ideas as to how they can fit into your life!

Herbs discussed include: motherwort, yarrow, lion’s mane, chamomile, linden, skullcap, passionflower, betony, calamus, kava, tulsi, ashwagandha, turmeric, cinnamon, & st john’s wort.

Mentioned in this episode:


Our End-Of-Year Sale is going strong! Don’t miss out – use the code 2019 to get 19% off any of our courses or programs today!


As always, please subscribe, rate, & review our podcast wherever you listen, so others can find it more easily. Thank you!!

Our theme music is “Wings” by Nicolai Heidlas.

Support the show (https://commonwealthherbs.com/supporters/)

Dec 15 2019

1hr 36mins

Play

Rank #5: Herbs to Control Sugar Cravings

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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 some of our favorite herbs to control sugar cravings and help you change your relationship to sweet treats.

We always combine our herbalism with rational lifestyle interventions, so we’ll also discuss holistic strategies to cope with an oversized sweet tooth. Establishing a “sugar budget”, identifying your favorite low-sugar treats, keeping dessert close to mealtime, and finding ways to treat yourself that don’t involve food are all key here. Beneath that, there’s also value in recognizing what a sugar craving really is: a communication from the body, letting you know about an unmet need. This helps stave off guilt and shame!

Mentioned in this podcast:

Herbs discussed include: cinnamon, schisandra, tulsi, nettle, ashwagandha, licorice, calamus.

If you’d like to learn more about sugar, its effect on the body, more herbs for sugar cravings, and (almost) everything else about food and your health, check out our Fundamentals of Holistic Nutrition course! In it, we teach you the foundational principles of nutrition which apply to any diet type, while identifying particular diet adjustments that can help with common troubles. We also look at herbs as nutritive in their own right – as providers of mineral, vitamin, and phytonutrient compounds that can bolster a diet that’s otherwise lacking. Learn more and get started right here: Fundamentals of Holistic Nutrition

Support the show (https://commonwealthherbs.com/supporters/)

Apr 21 2019

1hr 5mins

Play

Rank #6: Exam Time!

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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 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, to keep you and your loved ones healthy and resilient all year round!

Support the show (https://commonwealthherbs.com/supporters/)

Oct 27 2018

50mins

Play

Rank #7: Some Favorite Herbal Books

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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: 

Support the show (https://commonwealthherbs.com/supporters/)

Nov 23 2017

52mins

Play

Rank #8: Herbs for Introverts & Extraverts

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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, motherwort, rose, sycamore, calamus, kava, green tea, betony, pedicularis, jiaogulan, schisandra, nori, ginger-chamomile, hawthorn, and linden. (Yeah, it was kind of a lot this week.)

Mentioned in this podcast:



 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, to keep you and your loved ones healthy and resilient all year round!
Our theme music is "Wings" by Nicolai Heidlas.

Support the show (https://commonwealthherbs.com/supporters/)

Aug 04 2018

1hr 14mins

Play

Rank #9: Herbs for Healthy Skin Care

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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 herbs for healthy skin care in a variety of situations. Simple kitchen ingredients and inexpensive herbs are the focus, as always!

The best herbs for healthy skin are the ones that match your own constitution and your current state, so we offer insights into how you can choose the right herbs for your skin type. We’ve got tips for working with herbs to reduce acne, and herbal strategies for resolving eczema. And because we always keep things holistic, we share considerations around movement, stress, food, & sleep and how they can affect the skin. Lots of factors affect skin health, which is a good thing – it means you have lots of options for how to get started! Listen in to hear the choices and make your first steps.

Herbs discussed include yarrow, chamomile, thyme & oregano & monarda, rose, witch hazel, licorice, turmeric, marshmallow, linden, & the seaweeds.

Our We’re All In This Together sale end on July 31st – there are only a few days left! Don’t miss out – use the code TOGETHER to get 15% off any of our courses or programs today!

As always, please subscribe & review our podcast wherever you listen, so others can find it more easily. Thank you!!

Our theme music is “Wings” by Nicolai Heidlas.

Support the show (https://commonwealthherbs.com/supporters/)

Jul 27 2019

55mins

Play

Rank #10: A Few Herbs On Our Shelf

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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:

And here’s everything else in the way of loose dry herbs on our shelf right now:

  • ashwagandha
  • angelica
  • elecampane
  • tulsi
  • ginger
  • linden
  • chamomile
  • calamus
  • orange peel
  • plantain
  • schizandra
  • mate
  • hawthorn
  • motherwort
  • self-heal
  • uva ursi
  • betony
  • jiaogulan
  • goldenrod
  • cedar
  • calendula
  • ground ivy
  • thyme & monarda
  • astragalus
  • … plus, cooking spices – most importantly: cumin, garlic, caraway, berbere, cayenne, cinnamon, pumpkin spice, fresh-ground black pepper, vanilla, and fresh basil

We’ll talk about them in a future podcast, so make sure to subscribe!

~

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, to keep you and your loved ones healthy and resilient all year round!

Our theme music is “Wings” by Nicolai Heidlas.

Support the show (https://commonwealthherbs.com/supporters/)

Oct 12 2018

50mins

Play

Rank #11: Sleep - Of Cravings, Comedians, & Caffeine

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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 podcast:



 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, to keep you and your loved ones healthy and resilient all year round!
Our theme music is "Wings" by Nicolai Heidlas.

Support the show (https://commonwealthherbs.com/supporters/)

Aug 25 2018

1hr 1min

Play

Rank #12: Harm Reduction Herbalism + African Ashwagandha

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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: 

Support the show (https://commonwealthherbs.com/supporters/)

Feb 16 2018

33mins

Play

Rank #13: Tinnitus & Headaches

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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 in this podcast: 

  • The Whole30 Program
  • ConcenTrace from Trace Mineral Research - a liquid multimineral & trace element supplement
  • If you'd like to help out and transcribe a portion of our video program for our incarcerated student, contact us! Ditto if you'd like to sponsor a book donation!Herbs discussed include: 

ground ivy, goldenseal, black cohosh, feverfew, skullcap, passionflower, ginkgo, marshmallow, linden, lemon balm, willow, meadowsweet, wood betony, ginger, chamomile, calamus, peppermint.

~

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, to keep you and your loved ones healthy and resilient all year round!
Our theme music is "Wings" by Nicolai Heidlas.

Support the show (https://commonwealthherbs.com/supporters/)

Sep 29 2018

1hr 8mins

Play

Rank #14: Schisandra & Peppermint

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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!


Support the show (https://commonwealthherbs.com/supporters/)

Apr 13 2018

33mins

Play

Rank #15: Small But Mighty + Unconditionals

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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 history of exposure to lots of plants in lots of ways.

Support the show (https://commonwealthherbs.com/supporters/)

Nov 17 2017

31mins

Play

Rank #16: How To Start A Free Herbal Clinic

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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 herbs to some people who really need the help. Wherever you are, this format can help you bring a free herbal clinic to your community!

Mentioned in this podcast:



 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, to keep you and your loved ones healthy and resilient all year round!
Our theme music is "Wings" by Nicolai Heidlas.

Support the show (https://commonwealthherbs.com/supporters/)

Sep 15 2018

37mins

Play

Rank #17: Simple Herbal Self-Care Tips + A Joint Support Decoction

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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.

Support the show (https://commonwealthherbs.com/supporters/)

Jan 05 2018

35mins

Play

Rank #18: Rooted & Ready Alterative/Adaptogen Herbal Formula for Endurance, Resilience, & Detox

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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 help that action in lots of ways, and an alterative herbal formula like Rooted & Ready will do just that. Oh, and did we mention it tastes like root beer?

But the key to this formula is the combination of alteratives with adaptogens. Adaptogens make us better able to adapt to stress of all kinds, so they don’t cause us so much trouble. And believe it, stress causes real, physical health troubles! Because adaptogens support this function, and because stress is so pervasive and destructive, these herbs can be helpful for a surprising range of imbalances. When their influence is in the system, returning to baseline balance is a smoother transition. You don’t waste resources needlessly, and as a result you feel calmer and more focused.

This formula serves to stimulate the liver & kidneys (key organs of elimination), improves endocrine function and coordination in response to stressors, and stimulates the circulation of heat and blood to the periphery of the body. It’s fit for decoction, tincture, elixir, and perhaps a few other creative home remedy methods. It’s a good spring tonic and a solid ally when there’s work to be done. (Listen to the pod for proportions and preparation notes, including constitutional adjustments!)

Herbs discussed include: sarsaparilla, sassafras, ashwagandha, eleuthero, rhodiola, ginger, licorice, birch, alder, wintergreen, kava, calamus.

Rooted & Ready is one of a whole slew of formulas Ryn deconstructs in the last part of his course, Elements of Detoxification. This course takes a fresh look at the concepts of “toxicity” and “detoxification”, a holistic perspective that goes beyond “cleanses” and products. Learn a memorable, practical model for understanding how the body’s detox functions work, along with the roles herbs can play in supporting them. And, take a look at some key formulas like Rooted & Ready, that bring together taste, action, and energetics for maximum effect. Check it out!

Support the show (https://commonwealthherbs.com/supporters/)

Mar 22 2019

51mins

Play

Rank #19: Lymphatic Herbs

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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 the trick.

In this episode we’ll lay out some of the many reasons why lymph is so important, how to support lymph circulation & combat lymphatic stagnation. We highlight seven of our favorite lymphatic herbs and give you the rundown on their specific talents regarding lymph movement and disorders of the lymphatic system.

Herbs discussed include: calendula, self-heal, ground ivy, red clover, violet, chickweed, cleavers.

We’re All In This Together Sale!
Listen to the end for a discount code that will get you 15% off any of our courses or programs! This offer is good for the month of July 2019, so don’t delay – get your herb on today!

As always, please subscribe & review our podcast so others can find it more easily. Thank you!!

Our theme music is “Wings” by Nicolai Heidlas.

Support the show (https://commonwealthherbs.com/supporters/)

Jul 01 2019

1hr 16mins

Play

Rank #20: Friends of Nettle (Herbal Formulas In Pairs)

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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 single other herb to make a tasty tea.

Nettle has a number of important medicinal effects. It’s a nutritive, a diuretic, an anti-inflammatory, and so much more. Pairing it with other herbs is a way to emphasize specific aspects of its medicine. For instance, nettle and rosehips are each nourishing herbs, and when taken together they cover more bases than either one could do alone. This is one of the basic goals of herbal formulation: to selectively enhance a particular facet of the herbs’ activity.

Other times, the goal in herbal formulation is a matter of counterbalance. Nettle is a very drying herb, and for some constitutions it’s not a good match. But what if you still want its nutritive and kidney-supportive benefits? Well, pair it with linden or cinnamon! This kind of formulation intent is also very common, and again, it’s best to start with a simple pair to experience and understand this strategy.

Herbs discussed include nettle, tulsi, ginger, linden, rosehips, cinnamon, & calendula.

Want to learn more?
If this episode makes you want to learn even more about the wonders of nettle, you’re in luck – we’ve put together a mini-course All About Nettles! This course includes more than an hour of video content about how to work with Nettles, three different ways to make nourishing infusions of Nettles, and a close-up video herb walk that shows you each phase of Nettle’s growth so that you can identify it in the wild. There are printable quick guides, recipes, reference articles, and audio files so you can listen & learn on the go! This mini-course is only $10, so get it now to get yourself in the spirit and ready for Herbstalk 2019!

Support the show (https://commonwealthherbs.com/supporters/)

May 24 2019

50mins

Play