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104. Herbal Wisdom, Folklore and the Medicinal Magic of Plants, Nature and Our Planet with Judith Berger, Herbalist & Author of “Herbal Rituals”

Have you ever used lavender essence to relax before bedtime, ginseng or ginger in your tea or perhaps elderberry syrup to boost your natural immunity?

If you answered yes to any of those, guess what? You have been practicing herbal medicine, just the way nature intended it! More than ever before in our modern world, people are searching for natural ways to support the health of their minds and bodies. This episode offers timely wisdom and insight from one of the most influential urban herbalists and authors on plant medicines of our time: Judith Berger, writer of the ever-relevant Herbal Rituals. In my opinion, it’s much more than a book, and definitely more than a common reference for naturally treating health conditions: it is a lyrical homage to the ancient practices of herbal medicine.

Judith Berger is an herbalist, a prolific author, a poet and Physician Assistant who was born and raised in Brooklyn, NY. As you’ll hear in this episode, her earliest contact with nature was through the prism of fairy tales, the wilds of her father’s backyard garden and the dark corridors of the local plant nursery where she first cherished the scent of soil. She spent ten years in New York City studying and practicing as an urban herbalist before pursuing a degree as a Physician Assistant to integrate natural medicine with the modern medical model.

This episode will take you on an adventure into the world of plants and medicine! We talk about the soul of nature and the subtle, complex medicine of plants and mushrooms. Judith shares her thoughts on the digital overwhelm of our time, and offers insight on how herbal treatments can soothe our nerves to balance the stress of everyday life. We discuss the many changes the field of herbalism underwent since the writing of Herbal Rituals, and Judith shares her experiences of herbal effectiveness and contrasting medical philosophies realized through her training as Physician Assistant. We also cover the history and folklore of certain medicinal plants, the contributions of St. Hildegarde of Bingen, common herbal misconceptions and myths, and valuable resources for purchasing your own herbs or seeds. You can find Judith’s wonderful offerings, writing and more at

*If you like this episode you might also enjoy episodes #86 with Monica Gagliano and #79 with Molly Larkin/Bearheart!

00:08:32 Amy’s Glowing Review of Herbal Rituals

00:12:31 Judith’s Intentions for her Book

00:17:19 Judith’s Childhood in Brooklyn

00:23:08 Retaining the Magic

00:28:47 D’aulaires’ Book Of Greek Myths

00:34:25 Judith’s Experience as a PA

00:37:45 The Wise Woman Traditions of Herbalism

00:39:44 Pharmaceuticals Based on Herbs

00:44:36 Memories of Connection between Human and Nature

00:51:44 The Hands-Off Herbalist

00:57:48 Talking To Trees?

01:04:51 The Properties & Voice of Black Cohosh

01:10:04 The Tale of the Elder Tree

01:14:50 St. Hildegarde Of Bingen

01:19:26  Misconceptions and Myths

01:23:52 Resources for High Quality Herbs

01:26:30 Where to find Judith Berger

You can find Amy at and watch this episode on Awakening Aphrodite Podcast/FitAmyTV! For special discounts on some of her favorite products, visit her affiliate page!

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Amy Fournier® is a former People-Pleaser turned Healthy Lifestyle Entrepreneur who specializes in developing self-awareness and total mind-body transformation. She is a fitness and health expert, host of the Awakening Aphrodite podcast, author, inspirational speaker, artist, international cover model and a powerhouse of inspiration for looking and feeling your best no matter what your age, background or ability. With over 30 years of experience in fitness, health and personal development, Amy’s mission is to help YOU realize the power you have to control the way you look and feel and do it in a way that you enjoy and to optimize your ENERGY and life! Amy considers herself to be a student of life and a work in progress and most importantly, she also loves to nap and is a lucky Mom to cute little fur-baby, Charlotte.:)

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