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Herbalism Basics For Humans And Animals ft Heather from Herbal Academy

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Show Notes

Heather from Herbal Academy joins Nicole to discuss herbalism basics for humans and animals in this episode Backyard Bounty podcast.

What You’ll Learn

  • Where can you find research on various herbs in the Herbal Academy platform
  • Which herbs beginners should focus on
  • What space you will need to get started growing herbs
  • How to preserve your herbs

Our Guest

Heather is a clinical herbalist, While she was learning her craft she made her living in or around farms and horticulture, or allied with naturopathic medicine in a rural community.

Herbal Academy is founded by Marlene Adelmann who came to learn about herbalism after using herbs in a culinary way and after studying and practicing herbalism joined herbalists with many different talents to build a school that could reach more people.

The Herbal Academy has become a wildly popular program with participants worldwide. Courses are aimed at both brand new herb learners as well as those who are becoming more advanced or starting a business.

Offering various programs The Herbal Academy caters to those who wish to be in an online community, or for those who prefer self-study only or want to pick and choose from the content, The Herbarium is also available with many participants doing both a course and subscribing to The Herbarium.

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Announcer: 0:01

Welcome to the Backyard Bounty podcast from, where we aim to educate and inspire you by sharing practical information to help your homestead thrive. And now, here's your host, Nicole.

Nicole 0:16

Hello, everybody. And thank you so much for joining me for another episode of backyard bounty. I'm your host Nicole and today I'm joined by Heather who is a clinical herbalist and the herbal educator for the herbal Academy. And today, you guessed it, we are going to talk about herbal ism. So, Heather, thank you so much for joining me today.

Heather 0:35

Yeah, thank you so much, Nicole, I love what you do. And it's really great to be here representing as one of the educators for Herbal Academy. So thank you so much.

Nicole 0:45

Absolutely. I'm really excited to have you on and and pick your brain. I know that herbalism in general seems like it's really sort of gaining some traction. I don't know that it's it's ever been unpopular, but it seems like it's really becoming more popular lately. And so I'm just really excited to kind of learn the basics of herbalism and talk about some really good plants for beginners and how to get started. But before we dive into all of that, I know that you have a pretty impressive background in in herbalism. Can you share a little bit of that with us?

Heather 1:18

Sure. Yeah, I like the way you said that, too, that it's becoming more popular, because sometimes people consider it sort of obscure, but to us, it's pretty central. So for me, I was actually a student in kind of natural resources as well as health sciences and really loved plants and was introduced to an herbalist in the same town as my college. And was so so fascinated because this was like what I would like to do, but I didn't really realize that this sort of existed still as like a profession or discipline, or that there was anywhere to learn. So I've been through a couple different clinical herbalist programs, and then had a business, a tincture making business for actually about 10 years in Vermont. And that was my bigger stretch of like growing herbs. And also getting some exposure to people using herbs for animals, both personally and with like farmers who would be at the same farmers markets as me, and we talk every week. So that might be kind of relevant today in our talk. And then I also did a bit of teaching, and then joined herbal Academy, which is my main thing now. And we have students all over the world, actually, mostly US and Canada, but but certainly International. And so it's great because we really get a breadth of topics that we get to teach and also personally continue learning about. So I'm excited to be there.

Nicole 2:43

Yeah, it's it sounds like a really wonderful place. I know, I've been familiar with the Herbal Academy for years, and I've always just been impressed to how much information is available there. And just the depth of information. So when we say herbalism, I feel like there can be some misunderstandings with that term. herbalism Can you define it or kind of give us an idea of what the accepted definition of herbalism is?

Heather 3:10

Yeah, I love the way you ask these questions too, because it you know, shows some insight, you know, and some thought about it. So herbalism is many things to many people. Every once in a while I get this thought that maybe we should just say like herb use because herbalism isn't necessarily like one unified thing, although there's lots of overlap and lots of knowledge that's been passed through many, many, many generations to present. You know, one way of putting it is basically any way that we're using plants that goes a little bit more specific than food uses. Certainly people include nutrition as part of the continuum, but I consider when we have plants or constituents of plants that have like a little bit more specific action, you know, we try not to say medicinal or therapeutic but like a little bit more specific action and a little bit more sort of like health steering sorts of action. So that can be informed from traditional use, and almost every tradition really has you know, history of use of herbs and is also informed by modern research too. And then the other thing is like the different forms that the herbs can be and you know, a lot of the traditional use has been just literally using teas, infusions, sort of food like preparations and and some more complex. And then in sort of modern and what we might call Western herbalism. We have lots of like tinctures. So preparations that are in alcohol or capsules, you know, there's a huge range of sort of what it can mean. I work a lot with like tinctures, capsules, powders.

Nicole 4:42

And what about like essential oils and things like that? Is that part of it as well?

Heather 4:46

Yeah, that is herbalism as well. I do love to like pause on that topic because I think there's so much talk about essential oils and promotion of it that sometimes that's the main thing that people have been exposed to.

Nicole 4:57


Heather 4:58

And so sometimes it's sort of all They see which is okay. You know, it's like anything new someone's learning about you start out with what you've been exposed to. But sometimes I find people, you know, automatically think that I'm an essential oils practitioner or a homeopath. And those are tools. But there's really a lot more to it as well, you know, you can kind of find what sort of application is sort of more agreeable to your own personal use or your own sort of philosophy. So I like to kind of encourage people to learn more than just the first couple things that he or see about herbalism.

Nicole 5:32

Sure, I like to talk about essential oils here and there. And admittedly, I am in one of the MLMs. But I joined just for myself, just just for myself. And so when I tell people that name, they automatically I think put up a wall and say, "I really don't want to hear anymore". When I'm not trying to sell them anything. I just want to talk to them about the joys of oils.

Unknown Speaker 5:53

Yeah, essential oils are a great, like concentrated direct delivery method or lots of things. I think, you know, picking up what you're saying is sometimes the aggressive marketing of SEO. Like "My sister in law does that. Uh, oh".

Nicole 6:09

Yeah. Exactly.

Heather 6:11

"I've heard about you."

Nicole 6:12

Yeah, stay away.

Heather 6:14

But there's room for all of it really. So.

Nicole 6:16


Heather 6:17


Nicole 6:17

So you mentioned earlier that there is kind of the historical use of just herbs in general, but also that there are some scientific backing Is there much scientific researchers, a lot of it kind of just anecdotal, you know, and passed down over generations?

Heather 6:35

Yeah, there's surprisingly, a really a lot of scientific research. You know, I will give the skeptics this that we don't always see or we don't often see like, as big and robust studies, as we see with like a pharmaceutical that's been brought all the way to market and approved etc, for, you know, for treatment for use. But there's really surprisingly, a lot of studies for many, many, many herbs most that I have cared to look into, you know, sometimes they are like limited in numbers, you know, small trials, we like to see clinical studies where it's like, closer to how we're really using it in practice. But I've been astonished at like, even an herb like Skullcap that doesn't seem like it's like a super, super mainstream to find 1000s of research studies, there really is quite a lot. And so I always like to tell people, you know, just because you haven't seen the research doesn't mean it doesn't exist. And actually, I will plug our Herbarium we have a page that is not a course, but a sort of subscription. I it's kind of encyclopedic really, called the Herbarium. And in that we have monographs of over 200 plants, and really have kind of brought the mostly clinical and also most relevant research into something written by a practicing herbalist. Oh, wow. So that's something honestly, even if I didn't work for Herbal Academy, I would keep my Herbarium subscription is super affordable and super information rich. So that's a good filter and sort of condensed spot to find the research.

Nicole 8:17

Okay, great. That's good to know, I think that that's definitely one of the areas of hesitancy with people that maybe heard about somebody else that use herbs or have tried them themselves. And, you know, maybe they didn't have instantaneous results or see something right away. And so they kind of maybe lost faith or, you know, I've heard of a similar situation. So I think that by seeing that there is some research behind it, I think that that's, that's inspiring, helpful.

Heather 8:46

Yeah, it's really important to many people, and you know, and also just because there's research doesn't necessarily mean that it will help a person situation but you know, the herbs tend to work a little bit slower and gentle, or at least the types that we would suggest that people learning or using. So that can take some diligence in a lot of cases. Not all but certainly there's a good amount of research out there.

Nicole 9:08

So what are some of the better herbs for beginners? And either as far as growing them or using them or just kind of the general application?

Heather 9:19

Yeah, no, I love that topic. I think I'll kind of go with some of the ones that are both really useful and also pretty easy and practical to have in a garden.

Nicole 9:28


Heather 9:28

So my number one is Calendula and that's partially because people might already have it in their garden. And also because you know if someone is maybe a little bit interested in herbs, but they aren't sure you know, if they're going to do a lot with it or a little Calendula is also a really good garden beneficial in much in the same way as like the Marigolds are, it's helpful in attracting some of the insects that are beneficial in the garden. It's called a magnet plant for some of the pests that we would rather if they're there, beyond Calendula then on our Tomatoes for example, and it's a great pollinator it's a great herb for bees it's not only like really nice for them to land on and like rich in pollen but it has resin. So it's a great source for resin for propolis which I think you're offering an article on as well I will link to which is awesome. That's a question that we often hear from students but we haven't said too much about so I'm excited about that. I am too but the use is for Calendula so based on the resin that's just on the petals, it's that simple orange flower actually have a little bit of it dried here. So the when it's fresh, especially and even when it's dried, it's a little bit sticky. And that resin has a little bit of kind of like antimicrobial properties. And so we love it for topical things like just common, you know, topical application is sort of like a healing salve or anti sort of slightly anti septic type of application. It's also in you know, the traditional uses as a lymph mover, kind of like a spring tonic, you know, just kind of helps to like refresh the system, get the blood moving, etc. And the main way that I use it is in creating things like topical oils or salves. I have one of my just like simple ones, which is, you know, really easy to make, but I like it because it's both anti inflammatory, It's said to be a little bit antifungal, soothing. So it's kind of just like an all around topical herbs. The topical uses are kind of a little bit more friendly for people to get started with.

Nicole 11:32


Heather 11:32

And I find you know, if you want to sell things, perhaps at a farmers market or something that's also a bit more friendly for customers to use. So Calendula is a great one. And even if you don't use it as an herb, you can use it as an edible flower. It'll help your garden etc. Others so there's one that might even be a weed in people's garden, which is Chickweed and I'm offering you guys an article on that, because it's a great chicken food. It's really rich in minerals. It's said to be soothing for the digestive system for humans. I don't know for sure that that extends to chickens, but people think so and it's just they love it. So it's nice to have around the garden, I would say for like smallish gardens maybe not large scale farming but for gardens. It can even be sort of like a nice friendly cover crop. It's sort of like Calendula in that it's soothing, it's anti inflammatory, we call it demulcent it's another great kind of topical soother, a topical kind of first aid remedy whether it's made into a salve or used as like just a plain poultice which is just when you you know put the herb in between gauze and apply it or perhaps as a wash. So it has internal uses as well but it's another great like topical soother topical demulcent others, Echinacea so that's one that's maybe kind of like familiar to people already. If you grow it and don't even use all of it. It's still like a nice garden plant good for bees, you know, you don't have to do a lot to care for it. But the ways that herbalists and others use it is of course is like a gentle immune booster can be used you know, these things don't have to be super intimidating. You can just make tea of it or we have an Herbal Preps 101 class that will teach you how to make tinctures or glycerin. It's like a shelf stable kind of thing and sometimes a little bit more like palatable sure the whole plant can be used with Echinacea so yeah, yeah, the see the leaf flower even though it will the root. And so it's kind of a nice sort of pick as you need sort of plant. If you have a Market Garden, it's one thing that herbalists and even general public are always interested in buying. So that's kind of, you know, for bigger scale is interesting. I also really love Valerian, I love Valerian because so many people want and need support with sleep. And there really are a lot of sleep herbs, we have a couple of courses related to like sleep and relaxation. But personally I find Valerian is the one that really has a little bit more. It doesn't work for everyone. But for me it has a little bit more reliability and action. And it's one that more people know of. So some people it doesn't seem to work for as well. We do know that the constituents in the plant change a little bit when it dries.

Nicole 14:22


Heather 14:22

Yeah, and so you can use dried but if you have herbs that have been like on a shelf for a really, really really long time, like you know, it stores in through commerce, it can be quite different than a product you've made yourself. So I like to have it in the garden for that reason.

Nicole 14:40

So what about since you mentioned growing them? Do we need a lot of space to grow them or are they kind of something that we can grow in a more compact area? I'm not sure really, you know, in order to have enough Echinacea to be beneficial. Do you need a lot of it or just a little bit of it?

Heather 14:57

As far as like having an herb garden, for sure. To the satisfaction of it, there's really the whole range. You know, we have I've seen students of ours post in our online community where they've made like a little planter, you know, and they have their maybe six or a dozen herbs and that's what they can do this year. And I've also went living in a city had a very, very full balcony garden, very full. But I've also done you know, like 11 or 12 acre farm and a little bigger and I know of growers who do 100 acres in just akinesia or just skullcap or a couple plants that have like really a lot of demand for them. I love the way you put that like if you have if you had like just a couple Echinacea plants would that be enough, some plants do take a little bit longer to harvest so Echinacea you won't necessarily get a lot or an appreciable amount to harvest in like the first year. Okay, even if you have like a small garden, let's say someone has like a 25 by 25 foot plot or something that's what a lot of community gardens are, you can grow certainly enough to make substantial batches for like a household and maybe even sharing even if it was a mix of herbs, you know. So one nice thing is with things like the tinctures like this is the glycerin but it's a similar preparation is some of the extraction mediums we use concentrate the active constituents a little bit more than a tea does. And also helps with storage a little bit makes the storage a little less bulky. So I've certainly done a lot with a 25 by 25 foot plot and a little bit with porch garden.

Nicole 16:43


Heather 16:43

The more the better.

Nicole 16:44

Of course. I imagined it probably varies from herb to herb, but how do you go about properly harvesting them drying them if you need to, and then storing I know you talked a little bit about making them shelf stable, but is there anything special that needs to be done along the way to make sure that you don't lose any of those bioactive goodness that's in there?

Heather 17:10

Yeah, yeah, no, that's a great question too. Personally, I don't like to like get people to feel too you know, like they've done something wrong it's a little personality based to like how stringent these preparations are. But I would say that there's a few different ways of preserving herbs once you've harvested them the simplest and kind of oldest way is just to to dry them and kind of the way that people are kind of like intuitively familiar with or have seen is like hanging you know hanging in like a loft or a kind of drier space than the house or perhaps barn. You know, that's okay. Although I would say that if you're able to like chop up the plant material a little bit more, and you want to try to dry it in like a shorter period of time without like super intense heat. So like airflow and warmth and dryness, you know, are the main criteria. If you're doing something really big scale and you're doing like garlic then certainly hanging it in a barn or like hanging it is going to be probably the best way to go. If you have like just small precious batches of things and you don't have as much space to do it to even indoor spaces like on top of a refrigerator or setting up a few fans the refrigerator because it's warm up there are suddenly a few fans or even just very available like plastic dehydrators are very good, very effective. So basically the idea is like not super high heats by airflow and a sort of consistently dry environment put it away before it gets damp at night again if if it's dried in a day or two. But I have personally liked to do things like make infused oils with either fresh or dried herbs where you're you know washing well chopping things pretty finely infusing it into oil. Some like to do this when it's dried because you're not introducing water so there's less possibility for to spoil. I kind of used to like to do lots of fresh infused oils and then you just kind of let the water evaporate out for the first day. And we talked about those techniques in the making Herbal Preparations 101 mini course and then there's also glycerin or tinctures. And so those are when you're putting either fresh or dried herbs into alcohol if it's tincture, or glycerin which is another it's a liquid kind of syrupy substance that's a vegetable based and actually isn't a true sugar nutritionally you know if that's a concern, or you can infuse them in honey or vinegar, which might be more, you know, tangible for the person who's not wanting to like invest in lots of supplies they might not otherwise use vinegars and honey is make really really lovely excellent herbal preparations are just kind of the vinegar or the honey will extract a little bit of the active constituents and also preserve the plant closer to how those constituents Or when the plant was fresh, or, you know if you've dried it closer to soon after, because things just degrade a little bit with time.

Nicole 20:08

So is there's sort of a shelf life for for dried products after so long, it's probably a good idea to start over. I know you kind of mentioned that earlier. But is there kind of, you know, out at one or two years, or does it depend on the earth?

Heather 20:22

Yeah, it depends on the herb a little bit. I know, Herbal Academy tends to say, around a year. And that's also the you know, kind of works with the seasons, if you're able to like wild craft, which is our word for a wild harvesting, or if you're harvesting where you didn't plant it, whether it's someone else's farm, where you've asked them or in the wild, generally, you know, we think for common plants, you can re harvest per year, for plants you're growing, you can re harvest per year, you know, a lot of things do tend to lose a little bit of the aromatic constituents. So like if you have something like mint family plant, or something where part of the action or the experience is the scent, and also those aromatics and be a little bit moving, like moving to the circulation moving to the digestive system, the aromatics tend to volatilize they're just you know, they're affected by air and light. And so the those herbs that are more aromatic will change more. And actually, interestingly, tends to be like above ground parts of plants, like leaves and flowers, not as a total absolute rule, but those parts will kind of change in their, you know, composition a little bit faster. And then things like roots or seeds, you know, are basically, you know, made to kind of last longer, especially seats. And so those you can often I think you can use a little bit longer store a little bit longer. And if you're going after the minerals and the plants, minerals won't, won't go anywhere. So if you if you're just going for like a nutritive mineral rich tea of something like metal, it might lose a little bit of its flavor and color, but the like the iron and other minerals are still there. Yeah.

Nicole 22:04

Good to know. So you mentioned also, you know, the ability to use herbs with our animals. Can you touch on that more? Do we use them in the same way that you would use them with people? And is there if it's safe to use with people? Would it be safe to use with most animals?

Heather 22:21

So you know, with anything with humans or with animals, you know, we do always say that, you know, herbs don't really replace like a, you know, professional assessment and treatment. But we also know that there are times when there are things that sort of care at home is the recommendation. So are all the herbs that are safe for humans safe with animals? No, not necessarily, I definitely recommend that people who want to work with animals kind of learn, like a handful and maybe like five or six that are you know, for talking about working with cats and dogs find you know, five or six herbs learn five or six that are useful, that are safe. If you're talking about cows, or horses same and so on, you know, some things that are useful or say for most are Echinacea. And Echinacea is pretty familiar to people is a nice kind of like antimicrobial. Garlic is useful for most, you know, same kind of professionals use Echinacea and Garlic with cows during calving season as well. So that's one two kind of note that's perhaps a little bit more useful and kind of specific and advanced use, but still really familiar herbs. But there are some plants that are very safe that seemed totally safe for humans. One we haven't mentioned yet is Elecampane. It's like a nice respiratory tonic. And if you have like a cow or horse pasture, you might likely have it growing. But that's because I'm part because it's poisonous to cows and horses and I yeah, so I have seen, I have heard when I lived a little bit more rural life, people who'd had you know, like an intern on the farm that was learning herbalism and wanted to use a Echinacea with a calf that had a respiratory issue and it got worse. So it's good to like not necessarily extrapolate everything from humans to animals. And I like to suggest that you're seeing that not just one person is recommending it but you know, several sources perhaps like you know, other people in your community or elders and perhaps like a veterinary source. So we also have an Herbs for Animals class. Well, it's a it's a intensive which is kind of like a short class to the Herbarium but it gives you I'd say probably exposure to around a dozen plants and so you can learn some that are a little bit safe. So I will give you a little bit more though. Calendula and Chickweed are pretty universal for topical use and also for internal use sometimes as well. I say sometimes because we have kind of more topical uses than we have internal. There is a kind of an interesting one that's a lot of people might You know, be able to identify Blackberry Root, so you know, Blackberries because you like to eat them. So blackberry root is very, very astringent. And it is, yeah. And it's used and actually in pretty small amounts for diarrhea. But yeah...

Nicole 25:20

There you go! Interesting...

Heather 25:21

Basically, it's not necessarily an anti microbial. So it's not going to like treat dysentery or something, but it reduces water loss. And so I actually learned that first as one that you know, people who are caring for for livestock used frequently as needed with young animals in particular. And so it's small amounts and as far as like how to use the herbs you know, it's it's kind of depends on the animal like larger animals were typically giving you know, little bits or giving just the raw herbs in feed or infusions, cats and dogs, you might have to like manipulate them a little bit more to eat things and you know, small amounts, but I would say start by learning just like a few things that are safe for the particular animal you're working with. And then we know that all the you know, aromatic plants that we can put in our garden are we think are beneficial for bees as well. That's a nice way to cross herbalism and animal care as well.

Nicole 26:24

Sure. I know that part of my garden is is just a little herb bed in the corner and some mix of culinary herbs and some herbs for, you said not to say "medicinal".

Heather 26:35

You can say it. I can't

Nicole 26:36

I got some medicinal herbs that I love the ones that the bees I tried to be a little bit more selective and pick the ones that the bees and stuff will enjoy as well.

Heather 26:48

Yeah, they're good for Yeah, like Thyme and Hyssop probably Lemon Balm.

Nicole 26:53

Yeah, they love the time and the Parsley. So if I forget the Parsley, and it goes to flower, they just go nuts over that's had Borage too, of course.

Heather 27:03

I forgot about that one. But most herbalists are crazy about it. So yeah, that's a great beneficial and you know, old, old old use, or that has many different applications and is gentle nutritive.

Nicole 27:14

Yeah. And it's pretty, I like think it's pretty, too. So what are some common, maybe misconceptions or beginner questions or hardships or things like that, that you guys come across pretty regularly through your educational platforms?

Heather 27:30

Yeah, um, you know, I'd say one of the ones that I hear the most. And this is in part, because I had a lot of years like talking with people like just in the general public who maybe wanted to were curious about buying, you know, a tincture or like using herbs a little bit. And so one thing is, I find people are a little bit paralyzed by the idea that they're going to combine some things in an unsafe way. It is true that herbs and conventional medications or drugs can have unsafe or problematic combinations, like if you have two that are sort of driving things in the same direction, or else two that are kind of opposing each other. Although truly generally with herbs, or at least like with most of the herbs that I would have, you know, beginner to intermediate, and even most advanced students learn on things that would be like presented, kind of in our materials and in most herb books, to herbs that are like safe and make sense for an individual are generally not going to have some kind of dangerous or problematic interaction. There's no sort of like grand chemical reactions going on. The only time really, that we tend to see like a problem would be if someone was using two very, very strong herbs like what we call low dose botanicals. And so as far as like just blending herbs that are sort of familiar, generally safe in teas, or tinctures. Or like if someone's taking a capsule of something that's like a pretty common use herb, and they also want to use spices or teas. And tinctures, I really have not seen that be a problem with lots of exposure to you know, clients and customers using things. So that's kind of my main, like, don't be too tense about experimenting a little bit, as long as the herbs you're using are generally safe. Yeah, I guess that's kind of the main I mean, the other misconception we sort of covered is that it's all that people like latch on to the first thing they learned about herbs, but I'd say you know, you can combine safe herbs safely with each other.

Nicole 29:42

So there seems like there's a lot of a lot to learn, I guess, to put it simply, I mean, just in in the short time that we've talked, it's been slightly overwhelming on just the depth of information. So what are some good ways that we can learn more?

Heather 30:00

No, your your question is very common also, and sometimes I, you know, see it in people's eyes or see it and people's questions when they're new with us. And it's just like, "Whoa, you know, there's so like, there are hundreds of herbs". The great thing about herbalism is there's no like, there's no deadline for like learning at all. And it's something that you can always build upon. So I encourage people to kind of learn, you know, learn a few herbs pretty well, like taste them, maybe grow them, if you have the possibility, focus on, you know, a few maybe like a, you know, six or a dozen or things that are already in her garden. And then it is true that because if someone goes online and Google's or if somebody you know, opens up 10 different herb books, it's going to be overwhelmed, right, because like almost every herb is listed for almost every action in some of the books. So I always suggest that people at the very least, maybe pick a couple of trusted herbalist authors to stick with and start there to kind of develop their kind of like herbalist worldview, although even more so I would suggest people come and learn with us, we have our Intro course, is probably the best beginner foundation, which is pretty, it's a bit of a commitment, it's around a year course, we also have a couple things, we have a free becoming an herbalist mini course, that doesn't teach so many herb uses, but it kind of gives you an idea of like, what is sort of involved and how you might, you know, practice herbalism, you know, I encourage people to just don't feel like you have to know it all at once just kind of get a good footing on the things that you are interested in using for you and your family or things that you can grow. And then it's the kind of like learning a language or learning anything, once you have like a foundation, it's a little easier to build on it once you're like confident, you know, in sort of a foundational set of things, which is going to be different for every learner too.

Nicole 32:06

That makes sense. And the the Herbarium that you mentioned earlier, do you have to take a course to be able to access that or is that kind of a standalone thing that people can connect?

Heather 32:18

Yeah, that's for everybody. I'm really glad you came back to that too. Because, you know, often we try to like emphasize certain courses in these things. And I'll mention a few more. But like personally, I seriously love the Herbarium, because it really is very accessible. It's a few dollars a month, I think you do it per year. But in that we have different topic articles by different herbalist that are very approachable and user friendly, but still more advanced longer and more in depth than like what we have on our blog, which is also great information. But you can get a little deeper in the Herbarium, a little bit, like longer lessons and articles. And then the monographs are kind of what gets me the most excited, you can really learn so much you can get like almost complete about one herb just in, you know, like a single document that's been really carefully researched and written by a few a few herbalists. And then we also have courses there. So like once you've or intensives, we call them we have a couple different names for what they are, but they're things that you can complete in a shorter amount of time than that, that intro course that I mentioned. And, and once you have the herbarium, like most of the courses, or intensives that are in the Herbarium are just included. So our herbs for animals, of course, is there it is a mini it's kind of a mini course, you know, it's like a, you know, I'd say like several sittings or a couple weeks worth of like learning and studying, but I'm sure some animal herbalist specialists have written most of that. So that's a fun thing to find.

Nicole 33:55

We have different terms of mini course to me mini courses, a few hours of several weeks worth of content sounds like an even better thing, because it sounds like there's a lot more information in there.

Heather 34:06

It might depend on how deep you go and how you treat it. But it's a range. So yeah, yeah.

Nicole 34:12

Sure. Of course, it obviously sounds like there's a breadth of information and pretty in depth as well.

Heather 34:19

Yeah, we try to, to get deep on specific topics and but also make it presentable for someone who's new.

Nicole 34:29

Yes, sure. I know when I'm reading about something new, I don't necessarily want to know just this is it, I want to know why this is it or you know the details. So that's that's good. And then do you guys have any upcoming events or any other courses or things that you'd like to share?

Heather 34:46

Yeah, yeah. So right now Spring of 2021. Our Mastering Herbal Formulations course is new. It's been a long time in the making, but it's newly available. So that is one that is, you know, for someone who might like to blend a line of teas or, you know, has a little bit of herbal knowledge and wants to kind of learn how to combine, make their own recipes, do that sort of thing. And that has several different herbalist teachers in it and a little bit of phytochemistry, which is fun, because I like to see the science part too. But it also has just some sort of practical wisdom as well, so that people don't get to, you know, paralyzed by the details either. So that's when that is I recommend. And then we also have, let's see, we mentioned the Herbs for Animals right now, we have sort of Resources for Cancer, free opt in, it's sort of an offshoot of our newsletter, so that may not last forever, we may not be running that information forever. But if it's Spring of 2021, we'll be running that through June. And it's totally free. It's not a course. But it's kind of like video lessons with experts and sort of resources that have been vetted by team members or the founder. So that's something kind of unlike anything we've done before. And also, if you're watching in the spring, we have the foraging course, which comes around is always available, but is fun to do in the spring.

Nicole 36:22

Yeah, absolutely. And then could you just give us your website and where all people can find?

Heather 36:28

Yes, so we are the Herbal Academy. And let's see the main the site, we'll put a couple things in show notes or links, but the main site is the "". And so that's where you find you can actually find the links to the Herbarium and you know, you can find most of our resources through that page. And we'll also give you the newsletter sign up for people who might kind of want to just keep an eye on us and think about it.

Nicole 37:02

Definitely. And of course, we'll put the links in the show notes too, so that people don't get, don't get lost looking for something very specific.

Heather 37:10

Thank you. Thank you.

Nicole 37:13

Well, Heather, thank you so much. I really appreciate you sharing your herbalism knowledge with us today. And just just your wealth of information and your resources where we can learn more.

Heather 37:24

Thank you so much for having me and, you know, having me to represent what we're doing at Herbal Academy.

Nicole 37:31

Of course, of course, it's been a pleasure. And for those listening thank you so much for joining me for another episode and we'll see you again next week.

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