Commonwealth Holistic Herbalism public
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Robyn Bentley is a gifted holistic living practitioner, author and media personality dedicated to the study of vibrational arts and sciences for the purpose of helping others achieve good health and a better life. Robyn's feng shui has been featured nationally and internationally in the Wall Street Journal, First For Women, Canadian Living, and Nirvana Woman. She is a frequent guest expert on radio stations around the world giving out tips as Feng Shui Diva and has also appeared on televisio ...
 
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We’re back on track! Today we continue our exploration of herbs in our home apothecary, giving you some unscripted thoughts about these herbs we work with very frequently. They’re the plants we want to have with us always, and it’s been fun to see the synchronicities that emerge as we progress in alphabetical-by-Latin order. Today’s plants make an …
 
All herb schools are different, in their focus and their style. When you’re choosing an online herb school, whether for a short course or a long program, here are some key questions to consider: How can you ask questions to the teachers & admins? Is there a free course you can take first? What’s the teaching method (text, audio, recorded video, liv…
 
Collapse is not a single event that occurs everywhere, once and for all. It occurs in fits and starts, unevenly distributed across communities. When there are floods and fires, when there are supply chain disruptions, when there is war and strife – these are expressions of collapse. Recognizing them is not in any way saying we shouldn’t bother to t…
 
We’re continuing on as we highlight the herbs in our home apothecary. Today we reach the end of our first shelf! Erigeron canadensis, E. strigosus, & E. annuus are the species of fleabane we have worked with. We like the Canada fleabane best, but they’re all helpful herbs. All the fleabanes are very easy to grow – put some in your “feral garden” ar…
 
This week we’re talking about cardamom & eleuthero! About Elettaria cardamomum, cardamom, we actually do have “one weird trick” for you today! Here it is: get yourself a cardamom-crushing stone. It is so much easier than using a spoon to crush the pods and release the pungent aromatic seeds. Cardamom is great to “ground” a very aromatic formula, an…
 
In today’s episode we continue our exploration of the herbs on our home apothecary shelves. This week we made an extra effort to share formulation ideas for these herbs! The hawthorns – Crataegus spp. – are best-known for protecting the heart and vasculature. The quercetin, anthocyanins, and bioflavonoids in the leaf, flower, & berry of this giving…
 
Today’s plants are both precious and powerful. Codonopsis pilosula, codonopsis, is deeply restorative. We locate its center of activity in the marrow, where it feeds the production of both white and red blood cells. It is not a stimulant, yet it’s very helpful for those who are feeling fatigue – whether that is a post-viral chronic illness, or simp…
 
This week’s herbs are orange peel & cinnamon. Each one has multiple varieties: sweet orange, bitter orange, cassia cinnamon, “true” cinnamon, etc. Citrus x aurantium and C. x sinensis are the bitter and sweet orange, respectively. Not just an excellent flavoring agent (although that counts for a lot!), citrus peel makes a nice gentle digestive bitt…
 
Happy new year! We’re continuing our Herbs A-Z series in 2022, starting off strong with gotu kola & chicory. These widespread herbs both have long histories & active presents of medicinal application. Centella asiatica, known best as gotu kola, is today mostly thought of as a neuroprotective or even “nootropic” herb. It does indeed protect the nerv…
 
This week we highlight two herbs who are close to our hearts. Heather is a plant we both met together and have come to appreciate each in our own way. Centaury was “Ryn’s first herb” in many ways and made a huge impact on his digestive health when he was originally learning herbalism from Katja. Both are friends we turn to frequently! Calluna vulga…
 
This week’s herbs are fluid-movers, with drying and tonifying effects. They’re both excellent topical remedies which can also be helpful when taken internally. We prefer water or alcohol extracts of them in most cases, but birch makes a decent infused oil and calendula is excellent in oil. Betula spp. are birch trees – all the different kinds are s…
 
This week’s herbs from our apothecary shelf are shatavari and astragalus! These are a couple of slow-acting herbs for long-term work. Their restorative properties take some time for full effect, but they’re worth building the habit. We prefer to prepare both of these as decoctions. Asparagus racemosus, called shatavari, is an Ayurvedic herb with co…
 
This week we have two more herbs from our shelf – rooibos & pleurisy root! We’re working our way along the shelves and giving every plant a bit of attention, to explore the variety of helpful herbs that exist. It’s easy to get stuck in a rut, so we’re giving everyone an equal shot. Asclepias tuberosa is known as pleurisy root, and also butterfly we…
 
Here we go with some more of the herbs on our apothecary shelves! This week our spotlight is on uva ursi & mugwort. Arctostaphylos uva-ursi, known as bearberry, uva ursi, or kinnikinnick, is a very astringent herb. It can knit wounds together, combat infections, and squeeze stuck fluids out of tissues. When we drink it it has a lot of action on the…
 
We’re turning our attention to all the herbs we keep on the shelves in our apothecary, two at a time, in this ongoing series. (Check out the podcast stream for previous episodes!) We know that we tend to focus on a small group of favorite herbs, and we’re trying to make sure we don’t neglect helpful plants out of habit. Wormwood, Artemisia absinthi…
 
As herbalism is becoming more popular, the sustainability of plants themselves needs to be a primary focus for all of us. But like all issues of environmental sustainability, it’s not just about individual decisions and habits. We must pay special attention to the activities of large corporations, because they can have much larger impacts than sing…
 
There are so many medicinal plants! In an effort to pay some more attention to herbs that aren’t quite our favorites, we’re profiling all of the herbs we keep on the shelves in our apothecary. (Check out the podcast stream for previous episodes!) Angelica, Angelica archangelica, is an herb who thrives in extremes. Long days or nights, hot and cold …
 
Every herbalist has their core favorite herbs. Sometimes we lose sight of the vast array of plants we have to work with. In an effort to not neglect our less-than-favorites, we’re profiling all of the herbs on the shelves in our apothecary. (The herbs go marching two by two, hurrah hurrah!) This week our pair of herbs is two plants who are both ver…
 
This week we’re continuing our review of herbs in our current apothecary, from A to Z by their botanical Latin names. We want to give all our herbs an opportunity to get in the spotlight and share their particular talents. Anise hyssop (Agastache foeniculum) is neither an anise nor a hyssop! Its flavor and digestion-warming actions may remind you o…
 
Hi everyone! We’re back from a brief hiatus, and kicking off a new series on our podcast feed. We’re going to be profiling every one of the herbs on the shelves in our home apothecary. Why? Because we definitely have our favorites, herbs we work with really frequently – and these also tend to be the herbs we talk about most on the show. So we want …
 
Climate change affects everyone, and that includes the plants. Medicinal herbs and food plants growing across the world are changing, moving – and sometimes, struggling or dying – as a result of the changing climate. As herbalists, and as stewards of medicinal plants, we need to recognize these shifts and respond in ways that will help protect & su…
 
This is #3 in our series on herbalism & climate change! Fires are most devastating where they occur, but the smoke and particulates they release into the air affects vast areas of space. So it’s good for all of us to be aware of the problem and have practical solutions to protect ourselves. In addition to practical DIY methods for improving air qua…
 
This week we continue our series on herbalism & climate change. Flooding causes great devastation, and it also brings many risks. Foremost among these are isues of pathogenic load: mold, bacteria, and other pathogens spread through flood waters. Minor wounds can easily get infected, breathing in the spores of mold can make one sick, and it’s diffic…
 
This episode begins a series on herbalism & climate change. Heatwaves have struck the US and many places throughout the world, and all signs indicate this is going to be our “new normal”. Climate change affects everyone and requires us to recognize our interdependence. We need to cultivate community care as a social ethic & public good before and u…
 
Recently it seems like there’s been a proliferation of hop-flavored beverages on the market. Not just beer, but also sodas, fizzy waters, and other gently bitter elixirs are competing for attention with kombucha and fancy herbal infusions. This seems like a good thing to us – more people getting some bitters in their lives couldn’t hurt! But it als…
 
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