Determining Interchangeable Species

I frequently get asked about whether different types of species or subspecies or varieties of medicinal plants are interchangeable with the primary species that we typically use in Western herbalism. These interchangeable species are known as herbal adjuncts. When you look up an herb in herb books, it’s common to see the main species of…

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The Role of Alcohol in Herbalism

As herbalists, we tend to rely pretty heavily on alcohol as one of our main ways for extracting and preserving the medicinal properties of plants. Herbal tinctures are one of the most commonly used forms of herbal medicine by herbalists.  So what’s the deal with alcohol? What’s the best type of alcohol to use? Is…

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The Benefits and Dangers of Bitters

Bitter herbs have been gaining a lot of popularity over the years within herbalism, and they’re sometimes seen as a magical cure, especially for the digestive system. Some people say that everyone should be on bitters because they’re so amazing for digestion. Many people these days have a lot of issues with the digestive system,…

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Adverse Reactions to Herbs – What they are and how to avoid them

One of the biggest fears that we have as herbalists and as practitioners is that not only will our remedies potentially not work or heal the person that we’re working with, but that they might actually do harm, that we might give someone a plant and it creates an issue for them in their body,…

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Allergies and Asthma

In this week’s post, I wanted to share with you some of the overarching categories of herbal actions and energetics and properties that are used to treat upper respiratory allergies and asthma. Upper respiratory allergies can sometimes be especially tricky to work with as an herbalist. Oftentimes it’s because what we see in a lot…

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Intention, Alchemy, and Medicine Making

When we’re thinking about herbal medicine making, some of the topics that generally come up amongst herbalists are linear in their approach to how we prepare herbal medicine. What part of the plant do we use? Should it be fresh or should it be dried? What percentage alcohol should we use? Is it better as…

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Developing Your Herbal Competence and Confidence

Today I want to talk about some critical turning points that all of us face when we’re walking the plant path: developing competence and confidence as an herbalist. If there’s one thing that I’ve realized over the last 10+ years of being an herbalist myself, as well as interacting with a lot of beginner, intermediate,…

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The Herbal Equation: Plants AND People

I know how it goes when you first start studying herbalism, you get SO excited about learning about all of these beautiful amazing plants. I mean after all, isn’t that what usually gets us into herbal medicine to begin with, an absolute love for plants? But they are just one half of the “herbal equation.”…

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The Human Body: Machine or Ecosystem?

Lately, I’ve been talking a lot about this concept of vitalism and how vitalism is one of the more traditional models and approaches to not just practicing herbal medicine but a way that we see life, of being able to see that the natural world is intelligent, that it has consciousness, that it has purpose…

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Gifts for Herbalists

With the holidays coming up, many herbalists are compiling lists of gifts for themselves and for their friends and families.  Maybe you want to give herbally oriented gift to someone who likes herbal medicine, or maybe you’re just getting started on your path as an herbalist and want to share some gift ideas with a…

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