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Calamus Medicine with Karyn Sanders
Episode 108th March 2023 • Herbs with Rosalee • Rosalee de la Forêt
00:00:00 00:38:08

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It was an honor and a deep pleasure to have this informative conversation about the medicine of calamus root (rhizome) and leaves with Karyn Sanders. Herbalism is about so much more than “this herb for that condition” and Karyn personifies that truth. Her deep connection with this lovely and versatile plant shines throughout as she shares the many ways of working with calamus medicinally, such as:

► Lending its grounding qualities to facilitate trauma work, soothe nervous energy, smooth the edges around times of rapid change like puberty or menopause, and more

► Calming the gut when there’s heartburn, ulcers, cramping, or chronic gassiness

► Soothing toothaches and teething pain, relaxing the throat (Karyn even included it in a throat spray for professional singers!), and strengthening and supporting the healing process from hiatal hernia

► and so many more…

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

► What makes calamus “deep medicine” – and what can it help with?

► Who should avoid calamus – and when?

► How one city worked with calamus for water purification

► What is the dosage for calamus?

► How you can make a yummy summer tea with calamus leaf

Here is one of my favorite takeaways from our conversation: 

“Be humble, humble, humble. These [plants] are gifts and they’re beings and they’re sharing those gifts… If you took the herbs away from herbalism, you wouldn’t be doing a whole lot.”

Karyn has been working with plants for most of her life. She was first trained in Native American traditional plant medicine by her grandmother. In her mid-teens she apprenticed with a Mexican curandera and has subsequently studied with various traditional teachers as well as Western herbalists. Karyn has been teaching and practicing herbal medicine from an energetic perspective for over 47 years. 

Karyn has been a teacher at the Blue Otter School of Herbal Medicine for over 20 years. She also has had a live radio show, The Herbal Highway, that has aired weekly since 1997 on KPFA, 94.1FM out of Berkeley, California.

If you’d like to hear more from Karyn, which I highly recommend, then head to the show notes where you can get easy links for her website and social media. You can also find the transcript for this episode in the show notes.

I’m thrilled to share our conversation with you today!


Get full show notes and more information at:

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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