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The Plant Path

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The Plant Path

with Sajah & Whitney Popham, founders of The School of Evolutionary Herbalism. Herbalist, Spagyricist, Medical Astrologer

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The Plant Path is a window into the world of the herbal medicine. With perspectives gleaned from traditional western herbalism, Ayurveda, Chinese Medicine, Alchemy, Medical Astrology, and traditional cultures from around the world, The Plant Path provides unique insights, skills and strategies for the practice of true holistic herbalism. From clinical to spiritual perspectives, we don't just focus on what herbs are "good for," but rather who they are as intelligent beings, and how we can wor ...
 
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When you’re studying alchemical herbalism, the first step towards making spagyric medicine is with making the seven basics. You can complete this process in two ways; by looking outside yourself for quick answers or by developing a relationship that requires time and patience. Although the first may be tempting, taking your time yields an unparalle…
 
Herbal medicine is and has always been, the peoples’ medicine. Just as there’s significant variation in the people and cultures that fill our world, there’s a myriad of medicine-making techniques that reflect these differences. What are some traditional forms of medicine making and how do they compare to today’s more "scientific" approaches to herb…
 
Detoxification felt like a big fad for a while, where like everyone was cleansing and detoxing and trying to purge a lot of things that shouldn't be in the body out of the body. And they turn to herbal medicines in order to assist in that process. While it’s great that folks are considering their health and wanting to make sure that their bodies ar…
 
Most herbs tend to be drying in nature. They're bitter or they're warming or they're astringent. The dynamic of dryness in terms of the state of our tissues or the state of someone's constitution is common. We live in a culture that is common for people to have an underlying state of dryness. So I tell my students that it's best to learn and know a…
 
Why do we get sick? When we're speaking about getting sick from some sort of pathogen, do we get sick because there are pathogenic germs that get into our body and make us sick, or do we get sick because of the terrain of the body, the ecosystem of the body, that is creating an environment that is then hospitable to those germs? It's almost a “Whic…
 
It's common for folks to think about willow as an alternative to aspirin. Most people know that willow bark also contains salicylic acid, which is the main compound in aspirin. But if we think of willow just as an herbal form of aspirin, it can oftentimes lead to misuse of this plant, which can lead to possible adverse side effects if you give it t…
 
Herbal oil applied to the skin is an excellent form of self-care. Oils provide several benefits: there’s the healing from the medicinal constituents of the herb, the affirmation that we’re taking care of ourselves, and the self-healing power of physical touch. We need to overcome the incorrect notion that infused oils are for skincare or to look pr…
 
Using plants to address ADD and ADHD can be beneficial for children on so many different levels, not just helping them navigate our standard educational model, which isn't always suitable to all learning types, but also helping to keep these kids off of some of these stronger medications that they're put on and some of the detrimental side effects …
 
As Ayurveda has become popular, interest in eating according to your constitutional type has grown. Over the last few years we've seen this dynamic of eating and tailoring your diet to specifically suit your unique dosha. And while I think there are some great aspects to that, I also think there are a few risks in terms of how we approach food, how…
 
A student from Africa asked some questions about how to start to fit herbs into our Western model of understanding them when that information isn't readily available. In Africa, there are lots of local medicinal plants that you can't look up in your typical materia medica reference book. But if you are studying Western herbalism, it's helpful to un…
 
On this week’s episode of The Plant Path, Whitney is joined by herbalist Rosalee de la Forêt. They have a discussion around wildcrafting practices; how to build relationships with the plants that grow around you by learning how to honorably harvest, tend, and care for land in your bioregion; how to work with the wild plants around you for food, med…
 
Say there's a remedy that you really want to work with, but you don't have it available, or maybe it's an at-risk plant that has a threatened ecological status. What are the things that you want to look at in order to find an ideal replacement herb? The discussion today is about how goldenseal is used and some ideal replacement remedies for goldens…
 
A number of medicinal plants directly influence our nervous system and can have an influence on healing our mind and our psychological state. ———————————— CONNECT WITH SAJAH AND WHITNEY ———————————— To get free in depth mini-courses and videos, visit our blog at: http://www.evolutionaryherbalism.com Get daily inspiration and plant wisdom on our Fac…
 
Oftentimes with medicinal plants, there will be other species in a particular genus that can be used in the exact same way as the standardly accepted species that we typically use in herbal medicine. ———————————— CONNECT WITH SAJAH AND WHITNEY ———————————— To get free in depth mini-courses and videos, visit our blog at: http://www.evolutionaryherba…
 
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. In modern herbalism, we tend to think of alcohol as great for dissolving herbal constituents and preserving things well. They …
 
Bitter herbs have been gaining a lot of popularity over the years, 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, primarily because our GIs are under …
 
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, or they have a really bad reaction to that herb. What ar…
 
Upper respiratory allergies can sometimes be a little bit tricky to work with as an herbalist. In this post, we’ll focus on giving some lists of some remedies to consider for treating upper respiratory tract allergies, but really on a deeper level, looking at core actions and energetics and categories of remedies that you would consider, and I’ll a…
 
Astrology is a holistic system that sees not just the whole plant or the whole person but their connection to the whole cosmos, to the wholeness of nature. It's looking at the wholeness of life itself and the connections between the various expressions of life. Astrological tools can help you to understand your plants more holistically and to be ab…
 
On this week’s podcast episode, I talk with my good friend Jason Scott. We talk at length about astrological herbalism, the doctrine of correspondences and the doctrine of signatures, and especially how Jason uses those doctrines in his work with mushrooms. We also discuss the best way to study and understand alchemical herbalism, one of the most c…
 
In this episode, Robert and I have a deep discussion on the differences between chemistry and alchemy. Robert reveals how chemistry has had a profound impact on his study of alchemy and spagyrics, what his work as a chemist allowed him to do that other alchemists couldn’t (and what he hopes future alchemists can do to build on his work), his answer…
 
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. It's not common that the dynamic of intention is discussed in standard herbal medicine making, but it's an important part that's discussed quite openly in the alchemical tradi…
 
As we walk the plant path, there eventually comes a time when we come up against certain blocks that prevent us from reaching that next level in our practice of herbalism. While it's critical that we learn the external skills, strategies, principles and practices to become an herbalist, there is also an internal component to our work as an herbalis…
 
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