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Feb 9, 2024

Travis Cartwright and Marie Zak are clinical herbalists from Althaea Herbals, an apothecary in Nelson, BC, Canada. They join us on the show today to talk about herbalism as a way of being in the world, as well as a clinical practice.

We also explore why herbalism is not just a plant replacement for pharmaceuticals; how an animistic worldview can empower us to cultivate a direct and living relationship with plants and nature as a whole; how we can learn to communicate with plants through the direct experience of the body; some of Travis and Marie’s favourite herbs; where psychedelic plants and fungi fit in a practice of herbalism; and how herbalism can support us in our experiences with psychedelic plants. 




For links to Travis and Marie's work, full show notes, and a link to watch this episode in video, head to


B E L O N G I N G -- A PATHWAY HOME (course)

Marie and Travis are running a 7-week long online course to deepen your capacity to connect with plants and practice herbalism in your own life. Sundays, beginning on February 18th, for seven weeks. Registration closes Feb 17, 2024

More info here:
Use the promo code JESSO for 15% off


Episode Breakdown

  • (0:00) Opening
  • (2:31) BELONGING, Altheae’s upcoming course | Info here
  • (3:43) Patron Thanks
  • (4:32) Interview begins
  • (5:08) What herbalism is (and isn’t) | An explanation of vitalistic herbalism
  • (11:51) Clinical herbalism to balance the vital energies of the body | not just a “green pill” approach
  • (19:37) The limitations of herbal practices
  • (23:40) When to seek a clinical herbalist | when to not seek and herbalist
  • (30:29) Animism and being in direct relationship with plants
  • (35:40) The personal and collective benefits of building a direct relationship with nature
  • (43:59) Heart-centered communication, non-rational engagement, and co-attunement with plants
  • (47:48) Learning from and through the plants, through the direct experience of the body | somatic experience
  • (1:03:11) Where psychedelic plants and fungi fit in a practice of herbalism
  • (1:14:35) Where synthetic chemicals like MDMA fits in herbalism
  • (1:19:16) Travis and Marie’s personal favourite herbs, and why
  • (1:22:36) Where to start with herbalism in your life
  • (1:27:35) Belonging: A Pathway Home; their online course in building a personal practice of herbalism
  • (1:33:23) Follow-up links and contact details:
  • (1:34:14) Outro




*** Huge thanks to my patrons on Patreon!

In particular, my $23+ patrons; Andreas D, Ian C, Yvette FC, Alex F, Eliz C, Nick M, Joe A, & Heather S. 
And a special thanks to Martin F. for the generous paypal donation.