In June of 2023, we embarked on a journey to meet with one of our farm partners in Wazuka, Japan. After a long and exciting travel day, we arrived in the bustling city of Osaka.
Our old friend, Masashi, welcomed us with excitement and an eagerness to share the 350-year-old tea plantation with us. We loaded into his sedan and headed for the misty hills of Wazuka. We first toured the fields where we learned about the growing, shading, inspecting, and harvesting of the fresh and vibrant green leaves. From there we got a behind-the-scenes look at how these organic tea leaves are turned into the vibrant powder we know and love. After fully experiencing the tea planation and all of the heartfelt work that went into making this fine tea powder, we were invited to take part in a traditional matcha tea ceremony.
Having worked with this farmer for over a decade, it was an honor to connect with him in a way that celebrated his culture and to recognize the people that grow and process this special tea for the world to enjoy.
Enjoy a cup of ceremonial matcha: https://mountainroseherbs.com/matcha-tea
Try matcha with a traditional whisk and spoon: https://mountainroseherbs.com/matcha-set
Dr. Athene Eisenhardt, Licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist, found her path in life by way of the plant world. Working professionally as a field botanist for Yosemite National Park led her to begin wildcrafting and using native California plants as medicine, and to study the Taoist 5 elements in nature. She maintains a private practice in Oakland, California, offering 5 Element Acupuncture and Integrative Herbalism. Athene is also on the Herbology faculty at the Acupuncture & Integrative Medicine College in Berkeley, CA.
Athene and Jiling discuss:
The Five Elements of East Asian medicine
How the five flavors relate to the Five Elements
Examples of native California plant and Five Elements’ interrelationships
How climate informs plant intelligence
Ethical harvesting of native plants
Some of Athene’s favorite plant meditations!
Toby began studying East Asian medicine in 1997 with Sunim Doam, a Korean monk trained in the Saam tradition. In 2016, he completed a PhD in Classical Chinese Medicine under the guidance of 88th generation Daoist priest Jeffrey Yuen. Toby just published his first book this April, “An Introduction to Chinese Medicine: A Patient’s Guide to Acupuncture, Herbal Medicine, Nutrition, & More”. It offers a concise overview of the landscape and therapeutic potential of traditional East Asian medicine.
Jiling and Toby discuss Chinese herbal medicine, nourishing life (yang sheng 養生) East Asian medicine seasonal considerations for diet and exercise, yin-yang, and more!
Visit Toby Daly at FlourishMedicine.com and ChineseNutritionApp.com
This adaptogenic moon milk recipe harnesses the benefits of ashwagandha root, chaga mushroom, and warming spices to invoke a sense of well-being. Ashwagandha and chaga have both earned a reputation for helping to quiet the mind and revitalize the bodies of those who find themselves overwhelmed or stretched thin. Welcome this tasty and functional beverage into your evening routine for better sleep and stress support. Take a deep breath, sip, and repeat.
This week on Plant Stories, we’re releasing our interview with Michelle Guerrero Denison. Michelle is an herbalist, formulator, educator, and the founder of The Twig & Feather. Michelle resides in Southern California and talks about how through her family’s own health challenges, she found herbalism and holistic wellness.
Refreshing, engaging, and open-minded, Michelle’s plant stories are human centric. It’s clear her passion resides in listening to and assisting others on their personal wellness paths. Michelle’s life experiences and philosophy transfer over to her approach to herbalism as well as the ways she shares her herbal knowledge. We hope you enjoy this wonderful conversation with our friend Michelle!
Inspired by the needs of her family, Michelle has been studying herbalism for the past decade or so and opened her online shop in 2019. She practices western herbalism, with a holistic focus. She has had the opportunity to study with several wonderful teachers, and readily admits that she will probably be learning for the rest of her life. Her true passions lie in personal consultations, teaching, and writing. All of these are opportunities to get personal and see how herbs can change a life.
This podcast episode is the presentation that Kiva Rose Hardin gave for the Fall 2022 Free Herbalism Project. This was a virtual event that took place over Zoom on October 14, 2022.
Kiva states, Vervain, Wood Betony, and St. John’s Wort were some of my earliest herbal allies when I took my first steps on the plant healer’s path. These three herbs are nervines, but so much more! They have a long history as sacred and magical plants across many cultures. Medicinally, all three are often categorized as calming but also have profound tonifying effects and myriad healing actions that are not always as well-known as they should be. In the class, I will cover my personal experiences with the herbs, including specific indications, application, medicine making, dosage, folklore, and more!
Eating a healthy, balanced diet of whole, minimally processed foods is the best way to harness the long-term nutritional benefits, important fiber, micronutrients, phytochemicals, and other organic compounds that support a healthy body and mind. But did you know that an easy way to boost those all-important nutrients, fill in nutritional gaps, and add supportive herbs is to make herbal powders part of your daily life?
Powdered herbs—whether we speak of culinary spices like cinnamon and garlic powder or nutritive herbs like acai, nettle leaf, and mushrooms— are highly nutritious, easily absorbed by our bodies, wonderfully convenient, and versatile in how we can use them. When stored correctly, they retain their nutrients, fiber, and flavor for months at a time. We can cook with them, make tea from them, add them to smoothies and juices, put them in capsules, or simply take them with water. They can also be added to skin and hair-care products and used as poultices and compresses.
Check out these 11 herbal powders that make it easy to bring added health benefits into your life!
Powdered herbs—whether we speak of culinary spices like cinnamon and garlic powder or nutritive herbs like acai, nettle leaf, and mushrooms—bring together the best of several worlds. They are highly nutritious, easily absorbed by our bodies, wonderfully convenient, and versatile in how we can use them. When stored correctly, herbal powders retain their nutrients, fiber, and flavor for about a year. And they are supremely easy to use. We can cook with them, make tea from them, add them to smoothies and juices, put them in capsules, or simply take them with water. They can also be added to skin and hair-care products and used as poultices for everyday insect bites/stings or minor abrasions. For many of us, herbal powders are the first herbs we ever used: in the form of the dried spices and herbs we add to our food for flavor. Let’s take a look at some of the healthful powdered herbs that are as easy to incorporate into our daily lives as adding salt and pepper to a meal.
This podcast episode comes from Dr. Christopher Hobbs’ presentation for the Fall 2022 Free Herbalism Project. This was a virtual event that took place over Zoom on October 14, 2022. Dr. Hobbs discusses why herbs and herbal medicine is fundamentally different than drugs. Since the pandemic, the popularity of herbal medicine in households has continued to grow rapidly. Dr. Hobbs help us to look closely and practically at how herbal medicine can transform your health and wellness while helping to relieve symptoms and chronic ailments. His presentation also details why choosing herbal medicine as our first line of prevention and treatment in most ailments can not only benefit us—side benefits rather than side effects—while being completely sustainable and beneficial for our beautiful planet and all the inhabitants. Dr. Christopher Hobbs occasionally references slides throughout his presentation. You can find his slides by watching the presentation on our YouTube channel.
Jiling and Maria discuss favorite easy-to-grow herbs for a medicinal herb garden, “remedy gardens,” favorite herbs for delicious teas, increasing access for herbal classes within a for-profit business model, and more. We hope this conversation inspires your spring planting, growing, learning, and harvesting projects!