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Calamus root benefits with jim mcdonald
Episode 822nd February 2023 • Herbs with Rosalee • Rosalee de la Forêt
00:00:00 00:59:38

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My dear friend, herbalist jim mcdonald, returns to the show to share all about calamus root benefits. Among its other gifts, calamus root is known as an herb that can help you clear away mental cobwebs and enhance your focus. jim is a gifted storyteller and I know you’ll enjoy hearing how an early experience with calamus root set the stage for how he approaches learning about herbs to this day.

By the end of this episode, you’ll know:

► The many gifts and medicinal benefits of calamus root. 

► Does it matter what species of calamus you work with?

► Is calamus root safe?

► How you can grow calamus at home.

Here is one of my favorite takeaways from our conversation: 

“I didn’t just learn about calamus from chewing on it and feeling how did I feel before and how did I feel after, I learned a way of learning about plants.”

For those of you who haven’t already met him, in 1994, jim mcdonald's life changed when he drank tea from a wild plant he harvested from the land he lived upon.  Since those first sips of strange tea, his life in the woods and meadows of southeast michigan has been centered on the plants & ecosystems of that land, and how he might share their virtues to restore wellness with those around him.  jim's approach to herbcraft is deeply rooted in the land he lives upon, and blends traditional european folk influences with 19th century eclectic and physiomedical vitalism, which he conveys with story, experience, humour, common sense and lore to students, clients, random passersby and readers of his websites &  He's taught classes throughout north america, is one of the organizers of the Great Lakes Herb Faire and is currently alternately writing Foundational Herbcraft and the A Great Lakes Herbal, in addition to articles for journals and other publications.  jim is a community herbalist, a manic wildcrafter and medicine maker, and has been an ardent student of the most learned teachers of herbcraft… the plants themselves.

I’m so happy to share our conversation with you today!


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On the podcast, we explore the many ways plants heal, as food, as medicine, and through nature connection. Each week, I focus on a single seasonal plant and share trusted herbal knowledge so that you can get the best results when using herbs for your health.

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Rosalee is an herbalist and author of the bestselling book Alchemy of Herbs: Transform Everyday Ingredients Into Foods & Remedies That Heal and co-author of the bestselling book Wild Remedies: How to Forage Healing Foods and Craft Your Own Herbal Medicine. She's a registered herbalist with the American Herbalist Guild and teaches many popular online courses. Read about how Rosalee went from having a terminal illness to being a bestselling author in her full story here