23 episodes

Delving into the plant-powered world of herbalism.
A podcast for budding herbalist and botanical beginners alike, subscribe to the Herbcast and explore how herbs can be integrated in our every day lives.
Meet some of the world’s most renowned herbalists, here to inspire you to use herbs safely, effectively and sustainably.

Herbcast Herbal Reality

    • Health & Fitness

Delving into the plant-powered world of herbalism.
A podcast for budding herbalist and botanical beginners alike, subscribe to the Herbcast and explore how herbs can be integrated in our every day lives.
Meet some of the world’s most renowned herbalists, here to inspire you to use herbs safely, effectively and sustainably.

    Wild Foraging with Robin Harford

    Wild Foraging with Robin Harford

    “That coming together, gathering foods and gathering medicines is deeply healing and satisfying and an enjoyable way to experience life. And it’s simple and it’s free.”
    Robin Harford established his wild food foraging school in 2008, and his foraging courses are listed at the top of BBC Countryfile’s ‘Best foraging courses in the UK’. He is the creator of eatweeds.co.uk. Michelin chef Richard Corrigen recommended the site for inclusion in The Times' Top 50 Websites For Food and Drink. 
    Robin refers to himself as an ethnobotanical researcher who is interested in the relationship between plans and people which has resulted in his extensive travel around the world to document and record wild food plants’ traditional and local uses in indigenous cultures. His work has taken him to Africa, India, SE Asia, Europe and the USA. His work has been recommended in BBC Good Food magazine, Sainsbury’s magazine, The Guardian, The Times, The Independent, The Daily Telegraph, etc. He is a member of the Society for Ethnobotany and the Botanical Society of Britain and Ireland.
    Robin talks on:
    Best practice gathering guidance- abundance and sustainability principlesThe relationship of plants and people in different culturesHis foraging courses which focus on the sensory method of plant identificationThe media's coverage of foraging and lack of ecological understandingThe Special Client Project - plant ambassadors and community-based teaching.His personal transformation through foraging and gathering plants for mental health and addiction recovery.
    Find out more about what Robin does at eatweeds.co.uk
    Find out more about Herbal Reality on Instagram @herbal.reality or visit www.herbalreality.com 
    Herbcast is produced by Decibelle Creative: @decibelle_creative / www.decibellecreative.com 
     

    • 47 min
    Combating adulterants with Mark Blumenthal

    Combating adulterants with Mark Blumenthal

    “If something is irreparably defective, either because it's adulterated intentionally or accidentally contaminated, then it should be removed from the supply chain. ”
    With 50 years of diverse experience as an herbal advocate, consultant, educator, researcher, writer, and advisor, Mark Blumenthal has an extensive comprehensive background in herbs and medicinal plants. Mark is the Founder and Executive Director of the American Botanical Council (ABC). An independent, nonprofit organisation, ABC is dedicated to disseminating accurate, reliable, and responsible information on herbs and medicinal plants. Mark is the Editor-in-Chief and Publisher of HerbalGram, an international peer-reviewed quarterly journal, the contents of which reflect the educational goals of ABC. 
    He is also Founder and Director of the Botanical Adulterants Prevention Program, a consortium of nonprofit organisations that researches and educates industry members and other stakeholders on the adulteration of botanical raw materials, extracts, and essential oils in the global supply network. 
    His commitment to rigorous research and evidence-based information has helped bridge the gap between traditional herbal knowledge and modern science. In addition to his advocacy and educational efforts, Mark Blumenthal has been championing quality control and standardisation in the herbal industry. 
    Mark talks on:
    The beginnings of HerbalGram and the American Botanical Council (ABC)The role of the ABC in setting quality standards in the herbal industry.The impact of the US dietary supplement legislationThe sector-led initiative to combat adulterants and destroy irretrievably damaged goods from the supply chain. Exploration of changes and opportunities in the herbal community.The Sustainable Herbs Program and the importance of sustainable and regenerative practices in herb production.
    Find out more about the American Botanical Council and its journal HerbalGram at https://www.herbalgram.org/

    Find out more about Herbal Reality on Instagram @herbal.reality or visit www.herbalreality.com 
    Herbcast is produced by Decibelle Creative: @decibelle_creative / www.decibellecreative.com 

    • 47 min
    Men’s Health with Phil Deakin

    Men’s Health with Phil Deakin

    “Suicide is the biggest cause of death in men under 50”
     Phil’s route to herbal practice has encompassed work as a doctor in hospitals, primary care and unscheduled care settings. Although he now identifies as a herbalist, his experiences in conventional healthcare have equipped him to reference a number of perspectives when supporting people with their health and wellbeing as a herbal practitioner. 
    Phil has presented guidance and created resources for herbalists and students on possible approaches to men's health issues - both in terms of physiological wellbeing and through the lens of perceived masculinities and their impacts on men's mental health and help-seeking behaviours. 
    More recently, his career development has focussed on some work around equality, diversity, and inclusion, emphasising LGBTQ+ issues. Currently, Phil works in Sheffield where he lives with his husband and a small white mischievous cat. 
    In this episode, Phil chats with Simon about why he transitioned from a GP to a herbalist and how herbalism is the best environment to tackle men’s health issues.
    Phil talks on:
    The pandemic - why were men more affected?How masculinity affects men’s health and help-seeking behaviours.Vulnerabilities in men’s health.Herbalism on mental and spiritual wellbeing.The dangers of purchasing herbal products without guidance.How to frame and discuss men’s health in herbal consultations.Strategies and tools to empower the patient.Top-tier men's health issues that can identify red flags.
    You can reach Phil via email at herbdoctorphil@gmail.com
    Find out more about Herbal Reality on Instagram @herbal.reality or visit www.herbalreality.com 
    Herbcast is produced by Decibelle Creative: @decibelle_creative / www.decibellecreative.com 

    • 50 min
    The Role of Food in treating skin conditions with Herbalist Alex Laird

    The Role of Food in treating skin conditions with Herbalist Alex Laird

    “Keeping our blood sugar within limits and eating slow-releasing food is absolutely fundamental to inflammatory disease”
    Alex is a practising medical herbalist and phytotherapist with more than 20 years of experience. She runs the UK's first herbal clinic in hospital dermatology at Whipps Cross University Hospital, where she is tutor-practitioner to BSc herbal students. She also practises at Breast Cancer Haven and privately. She is a council member of the College of Practitioners of Phytotherapy (CPP), and formerly of the Aromatherapy Organisations Council. She has published clinical research and is a visiting lecturer to universities including Westminster, East London, Hertfordshire and the Royal Free Medical School. She is a founding director of the charity, Living Medicine, which teaches people how to use food and herbs in self-care, exchanging and updating knowledge from all cultures to feed into public health. Originally a TV producer, she then worked as an aromatherapist for staff at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital, with drug users and those with HIV while training as a medical herbalist.
    Alex’s driving passion is discovering how life is designed at all levels – reconnecting to each other, our rhythms, food and nature to follow our design are key to resilience.
    Alex has built impressive research around the powerful impact of herbalism in dermatology. Whilst supporting community and cultural sensitivities at Whipps Cross, Alex has shown that a personalised approach can really make a difference even with the most complex of skin conditions. 
    In her chat with Simon, we learn about several lightbulb moments that have taken Alex on a journey of discovery and why she is so passionate about the role of nutrition when it comes to improving our health.
    Alex talks on:
    Herbal approaches to complement cultural beliefs within communities.Making herbal medicine accessible.Documenting treatment results & wellbeing using Westminster University’s Measure Yourself Medical Outcome Profile (MYMOP.) Looking beyond the diagnosed condition to treat all issues and internal factors. Educating patients and reconnecting them with food. Her commonly used herbs for treating skin conditions.The story of Living Medicine - education support for communities, delivered by herbalistsHer mission as an educator in reminding people of their own resilience.Blowing the research trumpet.
    Find out more about Living Medicine on their website, www.livingmedicine.org or contact Alex on alex.laird@livingmedicine.org
    Grab a copy of Alex’s book Root to Stem: a seasonal guide to natural remedies and recipes for everyday life (Penguin 2019) at https://www.penguin.co.uk/books/311757/root-to-stem-by-laird-alex/9780241371213
    Find out more about Herbal Reality on Instagram @herbal.reality or visit www.herbalreality.com 
    Herbcast is produced by Decibelle Creative: @decibelle_creative / www.decibellecreative.com 

    • 48 min
    Herbal approaches to caring for cancer with Herbal oncologist Chanchal Cabrera

    Herbal approaches to caring for cancer with Herbal oncologist Chanchal Cabrera

    “It isn’t just like, crank up your immune system and you’ll fix your cancer, there’s a lot more specicifity than that.”

    • 57 min
    Treating depression and anxiety with Ayurvedic practitioner and herbalist, Todd Caldecott

    Treating depression and anxiety with Ayurvedic practitioner and herbalist, Todd Caldecott

    “We are very simple animals and we need to maintain that physical connection to one another.”

    • 1 hr 1 min

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