Herb Basics 101: All herbs are not created equal

herb

All herbs are not created equal.

Herbs fall into three general categories:

1. Tonic
2. Medicinal
3. Poisonous

A tonic is something you can consume daily with no ill effects.

Nettle is a good example of a tonic. Oat straw is another. In common parlance, these are “super foods” (just a whole lot cheaper). Consuming them daily is like putting money in your health bank.

A medicinal herb is consumed … Read more

Herb Basics 101: How to make an infusion

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Herbals teas are a big business and that’s a good thing. Not everyone wants or needs to drink caffeine when they drink a hot beverage.

But here’s something not even 1 out of 100 people who drink herbal teas know…

The health effects of herbs don’t kick in until the healing properties have been extracted from the plant.

A commercial herbal tea bag steeped for a couple of minutes in … Read more

Creating food meadows


Download the mp3 here

There’s farming which can include big corporate farms, small family farms, and gardens.

Then there’s foraging which is roaming around looking for “free” food to pick and eat.

Is there something in between?

Yes there is.

In this wide ranging conversation with Tama Matsuoka Wong we talk about a middle way in which wild edible plants are encouraged to grow.

This is a “new” idea to … Read more

Ancient Wisdom, Modern Practices

One of my favorite places: The New York Botanical Garden.

One of my favorite projects there: Their thirty year project to discover and study the medicinal plants of Belize in respectful conjunction with local healers.

Here’s the whole story straight from the people who lived it.

PlantWisdom.org did an in depth interview with Rosita about her life and work and you can listen to that here.

The book they’re … Read more

In praise of plantain

The Amazing Golden Thread
Bushcraft on Fire
 
Plantagos, Plantains
Eat the Weeds
 
Common Plantain
Northwest Forager
 
Nature’s Miracle Healer
Rick Van Man
 
Plantain – Anti-bacterial band-aid plant
Wisewoman Tradition
 – Ken McCarthy
PlantWisdom.org

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Insights from the healing forest

Ethnobotanist and herbalist Rocio Alarcon grew up in the Andean highlands of Ecuador in a family that respected and used plants, depending on them for their daily survival.

As a young adult she received an academic training and then went to the Amazon to conduct her real studies.

In this talk from the excellent YouTube channel Herb TV, she discusses the social dimensions of ayawaska use and other shamanic practices … Read more

The other pharmacy

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Everyone knows (i.e. has been indoctrinated to believe) that when you’re not feeling well you go to the pharmacy for over-the-counter meds.

Or – if you have the time, the money, the patience and a decent doctor – you go to your doctor for a prescription.

While it’s great that these resources are available when needed, there’s a wee bit of a problem with this:

1. In 2010 alone, there … Read more

Small scale urban farming

Lots of people have the dream of farming as a living.

If you feel this in your heart, what’s stopping you?

If your image of farming is owning 20 acres in the country, maybe it’s that image that’s getting in your way.

You can grow, you can make money, and you can get started with a lot less than you think.

Farming is a business and if you go about … Read more

All the leaves of the forest

If you knew the story of all the leaves of the forest, you would know all there is to be known about the gods of Dahomey.

– Dahomean proverb

– Ken McCarthy
PlantWisdom.org

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The GMO fraud

Although genetic engineering receives disproportionate attention, traditional crop breeders have been more successful at raising yields.

Although genetic engineering receives disproportionate attention, traditional crop breeders have been more successful at raising yields.

Monsanto has succeeded in subverting virtually every mainstream news outlet and academic plant science program in the US. Those it has not bought off, it has terrorized into silence.

Of the handful of legitimate scientists who have published research questioning the safety of GMOs more than one has had their careers ruined by pressures … Read more