Just another late fall/early winter week in New England with herbalists Mindy and Marc!

Tonight’s “Herb Nugget” is about believing. Believe in what works for you and forget all the negative hype!

The “Herb of the Podcast” is Passionflower (Passiflora incarnata) Marc discusses the historical religious aspect of this plant, as well as its practical uses in modern society.

Mindy’s “Backed by Science” article is: Villet Stéphanie, et al. Open-label observational study of the homeopathic medicine Passiflora Compose for anxiety and sleep disorders. Homeopathy, Volume 105, Issue 1, February 2016, Pages 84–91.

“Wildcrafting and Homesteading updates” include Marc’s recent cold and the foraged herbs he used to feel better. Marc made elderberry syrup and Mindy made a basket from a common reed. (Phragmites spp.)

The Worldwide Herbal and Foraging News articles are this one, this one, this one, and this one. New rules for homeopathic medicines, radioactive Chernobyl berries, taking on the Green Revolution, and robot weedkillers.

Also, listener email and movie review.

Enjoy the podcast!



Spend some quality time with this amazing husband and wife herbal twosome!

Marc’s “Herb Nugget” emphasizes daylight saving time and its unique ability to confuse us all!

The “Herb of the Podcast” is Lavandula angustifolia, or Lavender. A member of the mint family, this fragrant flower has been used for centuries; most notably for its essential oil.


Mindy’s “Backed by Science” article is: A. Kunicka-Styczynska, et al. Preservative activity of lavender hydrosols in moisturizing body gels.  Letters in Applied Microbiology, Volume 60, Issue 1, Pages 27-32.

“Wildcrafting and Homesteading updates” include Mindy’s successful soap making project, Marc’s slippery elm balls, and other gardening features.


The Worldwide Herbal And Foraging News articles are this one, this one, this one, and this one. Irish folklore herbal collection,  new naturopath laws, cows texting farmers, and man finds lost wedding ring in carrot.

Enjoy the podcast!


THE WALKING HERBALIST PODCAST – EPISODE 32. The “Its Gettin’ Hot in Here” Herbalism & Staghorn Sumac Show


Podcasting (and sweating) at the Bunker, Marc & Mindy sacrifice air conditioning to get the latest awesome episode of The Walking Herbalist Podcast up for you!

Marc’s “Herb Nugget” gives a list of (dumb) ways to keep cool in this sweltering heat.


The “Herb of the Podcast” is Staghorn Sumac, or Rhus typhina. Marc enlightens us on its many uses, including his love of sumac-ade. The photos with red berry clusters are our Staghorn friends…

Mindy’s “Backed by Science” article is: Parveen A, et al. Challenges and guidelines for clinical trials of herbal drugs. 2015; 7(4): 329-333. A full-length version is available here.

“Wildcrafting and Homesteading Updates” talks about Sumac-ade (otherwise known as Rhus juice), including when to harvest the berries. Marc 20160716_155838made a gallon of ginger beer which will be ready to bottle tonight. Mindy foraged (and ruined) a handful of hazelnuts (see picture) by removing their husks too soon. The duo harvested another 4 pounds of basil from their home garden, and are dehydrating it both in an electric dehydrator as well as using the trunk of their hatchback car as a solar dehydrator.

The Worldwide Herbal and Foraging News articles for this episode are this one, this one, and this one. A high tech farming 15 year old entrepreneur, an apartment jungle in Brooklyn, and Canadian weed pulling vs. herbicide fight represent!

Have a terrific weekend, and stay cool!

THE WALKING HERBALIST PODCAST – EPISODE 31. The “Weeds are Friends” Herbalism & Purslane Show


Mindy can’t help but talk about her poor little car, which is sitting dead on the side of the road. Turns out the starter went. But thankfully she made it home before it died, reminding herself to count her blessings.

Marc’s “Herb Nugget” reminds us that garden weeds are not entirely the nuisance that they may seem to be. Make friends and learn from them! And eat some as well!


The “Herb of the Podcast” is Purslane, or Portulaca oleracea. This garden weed is actually a delicious addition to your salad, plus a great source of omega-3 fatty acids amongst other compounds with a heart healthy reputation. Purslane, shown in the first large


20160713_111433picture should not be confused with spurge, shown in the photos on the left. As always! Do your homework! If you break open spurge, you can see a white milky sap (shown), which is not present in the succulent stems of purslane.

“Wildcrafting and Homesteading Updates” (yup, we have renamed this section, because we want to focus on all aspects of utilizing your land) talks about what berries are ripe (blueberries, black raspberries, some blackberries), the abundance of peppergrass (poor man’s pepper) which is a great culinary spice, and milkweed flowers nibbles. Marc has been running the dehydrator non-stop, including crumbling thyme, oregano, lemon balm, and basil spices. Delicious! And we made beef jerky from flank steak (Marc ate it all!)

Mindy’s “Backed by Science” article is: Sabzghabaee AM, et al. Clinical effects of Portulaca oleracea seeds on dyslipidemia in obese adolescents: a triple-blinded randomized controlled trial. Med Arh 2014; 68(3):195-199. A .pdf file is available here.

The Worldwide Herbal and Foraging News articles for this episode are this one, this one, and this one. Robot farmers, garden pests, and noxious weeds are all the rage!

Have a great weekend, and get to know your plants!





THE WALKING HERBALIST PODCAST – EPISODE 28. The “Pay Attention to the Seasons” Herbalism & Lemon Balm Show

Marc and MIndy open the podcast by discussing hugelkultur and wonder if listeners practice the technique in their gardens. There is a nice discussion on it here. If you would like to chime in, give our voicemail a call at 617-622-3916 and we may play your recording on the podcast.

Marc’s  “Herb Nugget” talks about seasonality, and that even though we are in the midst of summer, it is actually already time to start thinking about the preparations we need for the winter months.

The “Herb of the Podcast” is Lemon Balm, or Melissa Officinalis. Marc tells us all about how lemon balm and bees are intertwined chemically. He discusses Melissa’s many traditional uses as a relaxant, antidepressant, antispasmodic, and yes, even an insect repellent. We use lemon balm tincture, and have grown a bunch of it (nearly 100 plants!) for this year’s garden. The featured photograph is of lemon balm in a container in our garden.

Mindy’s “Backed by Science” article is: Alijaniha F, et al. Heart palpitation relief with Melissa officinalis leaf ex20160621_124024tract: double blind, randomized, placebo controlled trial of efficacy and safety. J Ethnopharmacol 2015; 164: 378-384. The researchers show that lemon balm is useful in decreasing the number of heart palpitations and anxiety levels in adults who suffer with benign palpitations.

20160621_124234We give up the book review this week, and try out a new segment instead: “Wildcrafting with Marc & Mindy”.  This was inspired by Michigan listener, Nicole, who left us a voicemail regarding our use (or lack thereof) of mushrooms. She suggested powdering the mushrooms and addin20160621_124627g the powder to our cooking. So we did it! See the photos for proof! We talk about foraging for yarrow, cultivating a wild raspberry plant that showed up in our yard, and snagging some urban deadfall (from basswood / linden trees) for woodcarving.

The Worldwide Herbal and Foraging News articles for this episode are this one, and this one, and this one.  Front yard food gardening is attacked in Florida, whereas Fort Worth TX is trying to pass city regulations supporting urban agriculture. Bees help a young man afflicted with fetal alcohol syndrome.

Finally, Marc and Mindy talk about the first harvest of their basal plants this season. They are dehydrating as we speak…

Enjoy the show!


THE WALKING HERBALIST PODCAST – EPISODE 27. The “Get Your Plant Walk On!” Herbalism & Catnip Show

The “Herb Nugget” focuses on getting into your Plant Walking Groove, especially now that summer is around the corner! Marc & Mindy talk about Herbstalk, and give garden updates. Does anyone know why we are getting chlorosis of our basil leaves?

Marc’s “Herb of the Podcast” is Catnip, or Nepeta cataria. Amongst other things, Marc tells us how to use catnip to keep small rodents out of the garden…by attracting cats! We use catnip in teas and tinctures, and grow some for our kitty. Nepetalactone is the chemical compound that drives cats bananas!

Mindy’s “Backed by Science” article is: Gilani AH, et al. Chemical composition and mechanisms underlying the spasmolytic and bronchodilatory properties of the essential oil of Nepeta cataria L. J Ethnopharmacol 2009; 121: 405-411. Or download a copy of the full article here. The researchers show that that catnip essential oil is effective in decreasing intestinal motility, as well as relaxing the airway, and thus its folk uses (namely for diarrhea and bronchial symptoms) are supported by science.

The “Book Review” is on Identifying and Harvesting Edible and Medicinal Plants in Wild (and Not So Wild) Places by “Wildman” Steve Brill and Evelyn Dean. The full review can be found here. This is a forager’s must-have text!

The Worldwide Herbal and Foraging News articles for this episode are this one, this one, and this one. These talk about goats as the ultimate survivalist tool, urban farming, and sleeping trees.

Finally, we give a shout out to Josee, the newest family member, an 8 week old german shepherd mix!

THE WALKING HERBALIST PODCAST – (Mini) EPISODE 24. Memorial Day Break (with Steph Zabel & Calendula Bonus Audio!)

seedling trays 2

Marc & Mindy are taking a break from a full-length podcast in honor of Memorial Day Weekend! This truncated episode of The Walking Herbalist Podcast features Bonus Audio from the founder of Herbstalk, Steph Zabel. Listen to her talk about the featured herb of this year’s 2016 Herbstalk, Calendula! We hope to see everyone in Somerville, MA next weekend (June 4 and 5) for the big event, where we will be doing live on-scene interviews!  We will be back next week with our extra special episode, our interview with Iris Weaver. Enjoy the photos of our seedlings hardening off and fritters made from battered dandelion buds!  Happy Memorial Day everyone!

dandelion buds 2 fritters 2