Posted by Lindsay Kluge on Tuesday, January 22, 2019

I spent the past week planning out my 2019 bookshelf (aka my personal book nook). Every January, I make a list of books and herbal courses I want to take, and it helps keep me on track to actually finish one before starting another. This year my mind and soul have been really drawn to more sensory, tactile, and hands-in-the-dirt learning. In years past I’ve kind of buried myself in the clinical work and research aspect of herbs and nutrition and I’m feeling a shift away from that over the past few months. My brain and body shifted a lot last year, and my spirit is craving new things and new directions in learning and experiencing. My mind feels like a sponge right now, and I literally can’t stop listening to new podcasts and getting my hands on new books, new ideas, new teachers and resurrecting old parts of my education that have been dormant for years. Namely – my botany skills.

Fun fact: I got my undergrad degree in Horticulture and Landscape Design and used to be a plant ID rockstar. My botany skills were legit on point, and for one of my former jobs at a botanical garden I was the one writing the dichotomous keys. (My brain short circuits when I even look at them now.) Then I went to grad school for herbal medicine (on the super clinical end of the spectrum) and didn’t practice my plant ID for YEARS. Thus, top of my list to resurrect that part of my expertise this year.

What’s in my book nook coming up this year (so far):

Boundaries & Protection / The Archetype Diet / The Wild Remedy / Unsheltered / Soul of an Octopus / The Overstory

New herbal courses I’m taking this year (SO excited for these!)

Herbal Medicine Making Course (150 hours) from The Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine. Oh. My. Gosh. I can’t wait to start this course around March. I make tea formulas and some salves pretty regularly, but getting back into making tinctures, compresses, herbal honeys, infused vinegars, shrubs, facial serums, flower essences, compound butters, mushroom concoctions, fire ciders, infused oils…GAH!. I won’t want to leave my kitchen for days at a time.

Medicine’s from the Earth Conference (Black Mountain, NC). This will be my 7th year attending this conference. I always love the lectures and speakers that come here every single year. Also, GORGEOUS venue.

Botany and Wildcrafting Course with The Herbal Academy to REALLY get my plant ID skills up to snuff. I’m super pumped to learn more about plant ecology, pollinator attraction, and sustainable/responsible plant collection in the course too.

Every month, I’ll choose one book to read or listen to while working through one of the courses. It’s my goal this year to continually self-study and keep a balance between teaching and also learning. Over the past six years I drifted way too far away from the learning part and heavily focused on my clinical work and teaching, and hit a burnout point faster than I expected. This year, I’m honoring that shift and stepping back a little from the clinical side of things and being more of a student again. I’m so excited to start these courses and attend the Medicines from the Earth Conference this year. My excitement lets me know it’s absolutely the right direction for me this right now.

Also! The Herbal Academy course registration freeze has finally lifted and they have revamped so many of their courses to now include hard copy print materials! Both the Introductory and Intermediate Herbal Courses have been expanded to include dozens of new videos, brand new recipe and monograph books, and materia medica charts for each body system + new downloadable booklets! I’ve taken several of their courses in the past and can’t recommend them enough if you’re wanting to learn more about herbal medicine or how to start your herbal career. Their herbal courses are curated by an impressive staff of professional clinical and folk herbalists as well as medical professionals offering well-rounded curriculums representing all walks of life. For an online learning platform, the community-centered spirit of teaching is one of the reasons I enjoy them so much.

Now through February 20th is their early bird registration and you can receive $25 off courses (and a $70 Herbal Academy goodie bag – including a set of 25 Recipe Cards, 4 Botanical Bookmark Set, 72 Apothecary labels, and other fun herby gifts). If you’re signing up for any of these this year, let me know! I’d love to go through them with you!

Posted by Lindsay Kluge on Friday, January 18, 2019

Getting outside is one of my favorite things. In winter, it’s also one of the hardest things (for me, at least). I’m a perpetually cold person, and winter is my toughest season. I have Raynaud’s syndrome, and this definitely impacts how much time I can spend outdoors when it’s cold, and is physically limiting to my ability to move certain parts of my body (my hands in particular). Raynaud’s causes vasospasms of the arteries and reduces blood flow to the fingers and toes. If I stay cold for too long, my fingers become immobile, and unresponsive to movement commands. Also, super painful and a freakish shade of blue/white. Eventually, my toes (and nose and lips, ugh) feel the same way. So, I’m clearly inclined to stay inside next to a roaring fire from basically December – April. Over the years I’ve found supports for this to keep me extra warm so I can get outside and make my heart happy. This January, I made extra extra efforts to get out in the snow, and fill my heart cup with some winter foraging. Here’s what I’m brining along:

Textile: January adventures call for extreme warmth, and my go-to fabric for this is thick, durable wool. I layer up in wool sweaters every day, even indoors, but they’re a staple layer when I’m outside. Wool garments are ideal for Raynaud’s in particular because it absorbs water vapors and moves them away from the body to evaporate in the air, making it extra breathable and keeping you less clammy if you’re active outside.  I’ve found wool to be the fabric that keeps my core the warmest in the coldest temperatures, which in turn supports circulation to my extremities. Favorites over the years have been Patagonia’s wool layering pieces, PrAna wool sweaters and Smartwool hiking socks.

Tea: When I plan an outdoor adventure day, I always keep a thermos of ginger tea with me. Ginger (Zingiber officinale) is the ultimate circulatory mover. It’s energetically hot, drying, pungent and moving and has a particular affinity for the circulatory system. I sip this for hours while I’m outside, and it definitely helps to promote blood flow to my fingers and toes over time. My favorites are Traditional Medicinals Ginger tea, and Pukka Three Ginger formulas. Once I get home, I brew up a pot of heart centered tea, currently loving Linden flower with Hawthorn and Lemon Balm. It feels like it holds my heart space in an elevated state as I decompress, thaw out, and continue documenting my foraging adventure / write down all my notes from the day.

Foraging: My goal when I go outdoor foraging is to just go slow. Feel what’s calling to me, and gather mindfully. Everything sleeps in the winter, and I don’t want to disturb too much. My heart feels like it’s singing when I dig under the snow and find some sleeping greenery. It reminds me spring is always on the way (aka “Aslan is on the move!”). I like to collect gnarly branches for funky table centerpieces; dried flower heads or pods; evergreen branches and holly berries, and especially lush GREEN mosses for kitchen table greenery along with some beeswax candles. Brining the outside IN is how I best connect with this grounding season. I keep small pouches with me for the little things, large totes for the unwieldy branches (usually something like a canvas grocery bag), and my favorite foraging notebook for notes and journaling.

Topical Tonics: Once I’m back inside, I lather my hands (and feet sometimes) in a warming salve to keep the circulation promoted. It takes a long time for my hands to feel functional again if they get too cold, so I immediately put on something topical to speed up the process. I’ve used Badger’s Sore Muscle Rub for this purpose for years, and it’s amazing. The addition of cayenne + ginger in this blend creates extra extra warmth topically (and hydrates my hand from extreme dryness). I also run my hands under warm water for about 2-3 minute right when I get inside to kick-start the circulation process right before I lather on a salve.

Heart Practice: I’ve been really committed to heart centered meditations for the past couple of months and it’s made such a difference in my overall spirit. It’s simple. I take 20 minutes before I fall asleep at night, and work the Daily Reprogramming exercise (DRE) from To Be Magnetic. It’s a guided meditation practice, focused on unblocking negative patterns and increasing self worth. And it literally has felt like it’s opening my heart more and more every time I go through a DRE.

I’ve made an effort to get out in the snow twice this month for several hours, and will venture out twice more before February hits. Fortunately, my dog keeps me accountable for this because she loves the snow. Good thing one of us does. If you’re out and about this season, foraging, collecting and getting some heart happiness in the winter magic, I’d love to see what you’re collecting and creating! Tag your photo’s with #myotherhouseisagreenhouse  to share with us!

Happy adventuring, friends!

Monday, January 7, 2019
Tuesday, December 18, 2018
Monday, December 10, 2018
Sunday, December 2, 2018

Herb Lover Gift Guide 2018

By Lindsay Kluge

Tuesday, November 27, 2018

Intuitive Tea Blending

By Lindsay Kluge

Saturday, November 10, 2018
Friday, October 26, 2018
Wednesday, October 17, 2018