Episode-1456- Sam Coffman on Herbal Medicines — 42 Comments

  1. My Christmas book list just keeps getting longer. Well, in some ways , everyday is Christmas when it’s time for TSP.
    Jack, great show, I’d say 95% of your shows hold me til the end listening and feeling very fortunate to have your resource. Looking forward to our PermaEthos complition and GenForward rollout.

  2. In this episode at min 48, Jack says that most modern diseases have an autoimmune component. Jack says that our bodies haven’t changed from 1900-2014, but it is our separation from soil contact (and our entire lifestyle) that results in widespread ‘new’ diseases.
    I think Jack is incorrectly disregarding the main change in our bodies over the last century; and that is the 93% decrease in infant mortality rate (wiki infant mortality). Most all infants now survive diseases which would have killed them 100 years ago. Thus, adults today are not as scrappy as those 100 years ago.
    I am not saying that our diet is not causing us to be sick; however the weakening of our genetics as we step outside of natural selection with the help of modern medicine has (and will continue to have) an enormous (though not discussed) effect on the health of our population.
    No one wants to discuss this because of eugenics; however we all understand that dog breeds will get weaker when even sick and weak pups are helped to grow into adult dogs, and those adults are bred and produce their own pups.

  3. Wow! great podcast. Sam is a veritable font of herbal info and has proven that it is possible to talk faster than Mr. Quick. 😉 Good stuff to know.

  4. In Mexico we know Creosote bush by the name of Gobernadora. At the ranch, locals used it for two things: to clean radiators and to break kidney stones. The trick was to get the tea infusion right. For kidney stones, I was told, that dipping a small branch just a couple of times or enough to lightly stain the water was enough. Anymore and you could damage your kidneys permanently.

    Another awesome plant for curing diarrhea was Amargoso (althorn goat bush). A tea cup puckers your gut nicely, at least to sleep overnight.

    And there is also a plant root that grows in the same region (Coahuila desert) that locals use to tighten loose teeth as a result of gingivitis but I can’t remember the name. I’ll be visiting in December and I’ll get the name.

    Oh! one more bush that I was told by my grandfather never to eat is called Coyotillo. It has a toxic berry that cripples animals that eat it, except Coyotes. They seem to pass it whole.

    Man! This episode just took me back to my younger years and really opened up that sore in me that keeps scabbing superficially but that from time to time opens up. What the hell am I doing in Frisco?

  5. Hi Patrick. Not all Lantanas are the same in regards to tissue healing.
    The botanical names ones that I have used very successfully are: Lantana camara and Lantana urticoides
    The key I have noticed is a very skunky, minty kind of smell that you get from the leaf when you crush it. Without that smell (and several species do not have it) the Lantana does not appear to exhibit the tissue proliferation properties.
    Hope that helps,
    Sam Coffman

  6. Hi Roscoe – Algerita – Berberis trifoliolata.
    It is more regional (SW USA a little, and Central TX mostly). Most of the barberry plants and Oregon Grape could substitute in there for it, although not exactly the same. But similar.

  7. Hi Sam,
    Im responding to this post because you are kind enough to stick around and interact, most guests don’t do that. You are a wonderful person with so much knowledge and Im thankful you are willing to share. Ive been studying herbalism for years now and its all because of you, so thank you for giving me hope after facing many years of poor health. Im now fully capable of taking care of myself and my family. Some day I hope to take one of your classes. Thanks again, and God Bless!

    • Hi Rob, I’m glad to hear that I’ve been a motivation for you. I look forward to seeing you in one of my classes. As for the Comfrey, whether it is invasive or not just depends on the opportunity and where. It doesn’t have a chance to become opportunistic here, for instance, and I have to grow it in pots. It will be destroyed by insects and is not very drought tolerant. The Comfrey to use is the officinalis species (Symphytum officinalis) which the species name of “officinalis” means that it is/was part of the official pharmacopeia. In this case, for a few hundred years at least, as it is an old world herb.

      • Perfect. Thanks for the explanation Sam, I will most likely grow it in containers like my horsetail. Speaking of horsetail, do you have a preferred species? I’m not sure which species I have since it wasn’t labeled where I purchased it from(an herb store). Any way to ID it properly. Thanks again 🙂

        • Yes, the Equisetum arvense is the accepted medicinal species again by the US and European pharmacopeia. There is a guy in the US who claims the arvense is “toxic” and the species you need to get is the “hymale.” Don’t be fooled. Of course, he is the only one selling the overpriced hymale species. Both species are fine. The arvense is what I use, and the claims that it lowers B1 uptake in the body have been disproven. It’s not for long term use (any species) though as it builds up toxicity in the kidneys over time. 3 weeks on, 3 weeks off if you need to use it more than 3 weeks. That’s internally, I mean. Externally use as much as you want.

      • Im glad you said that, I was wondering if it was a scam as well. Is there anyway to ID the arvense vs the hymale? I want to know what species I have at least. Ive been using it to treat a small too issue for my son.

  8. HI Same, I also forgot to ask if the less invasive species of comfrey will work the same as regular comfrey? Im concerned with it spreading too much even though I have a major polyculture going on.

    • Hi Rob, There is a good site that will help you ID the different horsetails, but for some reason this thread won’t allow me to post the link. Feel free to email me at sam (at) thehumanpath (dot) com if you want me to send you the link.

  9. Rob, I recommend listening to Jack’s podcast all about comfrey. It will clear that up for you.

    • Thanks Jim, I do remember that podcast regarding growing it, but not the medicinal properties. Ill have to check again.

  10. Loved this episode, need to listen again this weekend & take more notes. Also ordering Sam’s book.

  11. Hey Jack,

    Great episode I had to listen to it twice! When I click on the link for, I get sent to a parked link.

  12. Nice show Jack. I’ll be signing up for Sam’s online course as soon as I finish the Permaethos PDC. I would love to take a class in person.

  13. So will the enchinea purpura leaves and flowers I have soaking in vodka still be effective for at least colds?

  14. Wow! I enjoyed that very much. Thank you. Your example about the study of chickens and antibiotics reminds me of a study my mother told me about in which they discovered that even though you wash your hands, feces spreads like that and is everywhere.
    As for herbs, I’ve used various “home remedies” most of my life, as I was born just post-great depression. After living in Korea for almost seventeen years, I developed a keen interest in using the bulk herbs from health food stores. About twenty years ago I began to forage for food, becoming more aware of the wild medicine plants, too. I’ve always had trouble learning about the actions and preparations, so this past summer I bought Timothy Lee Scott’s ‘Invasive Plant Medicine’ in which he includes those things and even TCM. It’s been my summer project to collect the invasives in my locale and dried them to work on during the winter. My biggest surprise was forsythia and honeysuckle. I even made cough syrup from Mullein flowers. I’m so excited about this topic, so again, Thank you. I’ll be checking out your website and courses.

  15. I just had to add this was another outstanding episode. Wow. Already listened to it twice. TSP is really firing on all cylinders and I just feel fortunate to be part of this community.

  16. I have to agree with all the commenters – this was an awesome episode! Sam, the work you are doing is sooooo needed right now and I’m grateful this country has you. I hope the word of herbalism continues to spread. We need all tools at our disposal for optimal health. Thanks again, Jack and Sam, for another great podcast 🙂

    I also agree with Nick who commented above. I feel fortunate and thankful as well that I’m a part of this community. It really lights me up inside and gets me motivated to change my world.

  17. What was the herb that was used for the herpes virus, it sounded like a mushroom? Chanterelle? I may be way off. Thanks