Benefits of Ginger with Camille Freeman


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Listen in as I explore the many benefits of ginger with clinical herbalist and nutritionist, Camille Freeman. You’ll also receive Camille’s recipe for Warming Autumn Tea, a fresh ginger tea with cinnamon that is perfect for the cold and flu season, whether you enjoy it at the first sign of a tickle in your throat or as an accompaniment to a good book on one of those cozy winter days.

Camille has been in practice since 2003 with a focus on fertility and menstrual health. She mentors other highly-trained herbalists who need help with complicated cases and/or with building and growing their practices. Camille is also a professor in the Department of Nutrition and Herbal Medicine at the Maryland University of Integrative Health, where she teaches physiology and pathophysiology online. She holds a doctoral degree in clinical nutrition from MUIH, as well as masters' degrees in physiology/biophysics from Georgetown and herbal medicine from MUIH.

Listen in for:

► Why ginger is one of Camille’s five desert island herbs 

► How to work with ginger for menstrual cramps

► How simple, easy things can make a big difference  


-- TIMESTAMPS -- 

  • 01:19 - Introduction to Camille Freeman
  • 02:28 - Camille’s path to becoming a clinical herbalist
  • 07:35 - Why Camille loves ginger (Zingiber officinale)
  • 08:46 - How ginger can support women’s pelvic and reproductive health
  • 15:38 - Ginger tea at the first sign of illness during the cold and flu season
  • 17:10 - Camille’s Warming Autumn Tea recipe
  • 18:43 - Tips for using ginger topically for women’s reproductive health issues
  • 21:22 - Why it’s important to match ginger (or any herb) to the person, rather than to the illness
  • 21:58 - Ginger for modulating inflammation
  • 22:43 - How to tell if ginger is a good match for you
  • 24:52 - Ginger for nausea and vomiting during pregnancy (and what to try instead if ginger isn’t the right herb for you)
  • 29:07 - Camille shares her herbal projects, including her Monday Mentoring program for clinical herbalists and her In the Clinic podcast
  • 32:56 - How herbs have surprised Camille


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Transcript of the Benefits of Ginger with Camille Freeman Video

Rosalee de la Forêt:

Hello, and welcome to the Herbs with Rosalee podcast, a show exploring how herbs heal as medicine, as food, and through nature connection. I'm your host, Rosalee de la Forêt.

I created this channel to share trusted herbal wisdom so that you can get the best results when relying on herbs for your health. I love offering up practical knowledge to help you dive deeper into the world of medicinal plants and seasonal living.

Each episode of the Herbs with Rosalee podcast is shared on YouTube as well as your favorite podcast app. Also, to get my best herbal tips, as well as fun bonuses, be sure to sign up for my weekly herbal newsletter at the bottom of this page. Okay. Grab your cup of tea and let's dive in.

I'm so thrilled to bring you this conversation with Camille Freeman. Camille has been in practice as an herbalist/nutritionist since 2003, with a focus on fertility and menstrual health. She mentors other highly trained herbalists who need help with complicated cases and/or with building and growing their practices.

Camille is also a professor in the Department of Nutrition and Herbal Medicine at the Maryland University of Integrative Health, where she teaches physiology and pathophysiology online. She holds a doctoral degree in clinical nutrition from MUIH as well as master's degrees in physiology, biophysics from Georgetown and herbal medicine from MUIH. Welcome to the podcast, Camille.

Camille Freeman:

Thank you so much for having me.

Rosalee de la Forêt:

Oh, such a pleasure. I've been following your newsletter for so long. I'm so impressed with so many of the things that you're doing. So I'm really excited to get to know you a little bit more, hear about your plant path, talk about ginger, all of that. But let's start with your plant path and how you got started on this journey.

Camille Freeman:

Yeah, well, my very first exposure to herbs was when I was a junior in high school, shout out to my English teacher, Mrs. Stunk, who recommended that I write a term paper on echinacea. And I spent a whole half of a school year writing about echinacea. I actually wrote off a letter, a self-addressed stamped envelope, a SASE if you will, to Jim Duke.

Rosalee de la Forêt:

Wow. Yeah.

Camille Freeman:

And because at that time, that was 1995 and we didn't have all this Internet, et cetera, we were like old school with the letters and the card catalog at the library. So I did a whole project and I had never thought about herbs in that way before. And it was really interesting, but I had no idea that being an herbalist was a profession, that was the thing that you do.

And I still didn't really get it from that project. I was like, "Oh, this is a historical thing. People used to use echinacea for all these things. Interesting. And maybe it could help with colds."

And so then fast forward after undergrad, I was like, maybe I want to go to naturopathic school. And I looked at the catalogs and I was like, "Wow, this is a lot of money when the only classes I'm interested in are the botanical ones." And so I still didn't know that there was such a thing as an herbalist, but I was like, "Oh, I just don't think I can do that."

So I set it aside. And then one day, I was traveling by Greyhound across the country, which I do not recommend, no, it's a no go. But I was traveling across the country and I was in New Mexico. I thought I would check out a massage school there and they had a farmer's market and there was a little table with an herbalist and she had a sign up that said 'apprentice wanted' and her name was Monica Rude.

And I was like, I think that's for me. And so I packed up my paltry belongings. I moved into a plastic yurt on her farm in New Mexico, apprenticed for the summer. It was primarily growing and medicine making. So we did fire cider. We did salves, grew a lot of holy basil. We bopped around in the mountains with Michael Cottingham. It was really fun.

And then I realized I wanted the clinical component. And at that time, MUIH, then Tai Sophia, had a master's degree that was just starting, the very first cohort in Maryland. And Jim Duke was on the faculty. I saw his name was associated with it. And I was like, "Oh, it's a blast from the past."

And so I went and interviewed and decided to go there. I was in the very first cohort to go through the herbal program. And that was two and a half years. And then after that I was a clinical herbalist. So that's kind of my introduction to herbalism.

Rosalee de la Forêt:

I'm still curious how your English teacher came up with echinacea as a term paper?

Camille Freeman:

She was an incredibly perceptive English teacher. I think she knew I was interested in sort of alternative health things. And so I think she decided that would be a good one. She'd probably seen the headlines at that time.

Rosalee de la Forêt:

Right, right.

Camille Freeman:

Echinacea was the one. So I think that's probably where she came up with it, but I actually credit a lot of my professional success to her because she was a very exacting writing teacher. And so I feel like a lot of where I've been able to get in my life is because I can write well. So, anyway...

Rosalee de la Forêt:

Oh, that's interesting. I love that story. I feel like the plants often call us. And in that story, they just kept like, "Okay, Camille, Camille, Camille, Camille," until, finally, you're all in.

Camille Freeman:

It's so true. It's very circuitous. And I wound up being very good friends with Jim and spending a lot of time with him, among many other mentors teachers along the way, of course.

Rosalee de la Forêt:

You also brought up a memory for me of something I haven't thought about in... I don't even know how long... is that when my creative writing teacher in high school, she had this writing prompt for us where she told us to grab magazines and flip through them and just find an ad or find a headline and then just free write about it.

And I remember finding an ad for kava kava. I had no idea what kava kava was. I can remember that much. I didn't know what it was. But I remember doing this long free write about kava kava based on that ad and being really curious about it. But then I set it down for a long time but it's kind of similar or calling out in one way or another.

Camille Freeman:

Yeah. Wow. I love that. Very interesting.

Rosalee de la Forêt:

Well, we're going to talk about an herb that I don't really go that long without working with it. It's something that's such a strong presence in my life, so I'm excited to hear what you have about ginger. And I always like to hear why you decided on ginger.

Camille Freeman:

Well, when you sent me the invitation to come and speak with you, I was like, "Okay, I have a core set of herbs that I really just couldn't live without, probably."

Somebody was asking me the other day about my five desert island herbs and ginger is one of them, for sure. I would really need ginger to get through any period of time, personally and professionally. And I thought, well, it's fall season, coming on winter. It fits really nicely with that energetic. And one of the things I love about ginger is it's just so many facets to it. And it's got the digestive component and it's got the reproductive, menstrual component and it's got the immune building component, just the overall warming component. And I'm like, "Oh, there's so many things with the ginger." So I thought, well, let's go with ginger.

Rosalee de la Forêt:

Yeah. It is that in itself, it's a whole medicine cabinet, really. Let's dive in. What are some of the ways you like to work with ginger?

Camille Freeman:

Yes. Well, so ginger, oh, I feel like, where do I even start? One of my favorite things about ginger? My clinical focus is reproductive health and fertility, specifically. And one of the things that I've noticed with my clients is that, especially during COVID times, there's an awful lot of sitting going on. Lots of desk time, a lot of sitting time.

And I found that there's pelvic stagnation that can go along with that and I really love ginger in that context. I feel like it has a specific affinity for the hips and the pelvic area. And so I love to use ginger in people who are spending a lot of time sitting, or I have some clients who need to be in bed for extended periods of time for various reasons. And I feel like ginger is another lovely herb there; A, because it just generally improves circulation; but B, because of that core pelvic movement that it brings.

So that's one of my very favorite uses. And most people, I think these days, could use a little bit more energy going on in the pelvis. So that's one component.

Another component: I love to use ginger as a synergist in my formulas. I feel like it brings a bunch of things together. So I will often use a very small amount, even if I'm not doing a big whack, a therapeutic dose if you will, I often use just a little bit in there to kind of tie everything together, if the energetics are right for people. I could go on, how much time do we have?

Rosalee de la Forêt:

I want to circle back to the reproductive organs. And because that is something that, when I was in clinical practice, I would often work with cinnamon and ginger together as moving energy there. And I found that it helped so many people when they had cramping with menstruation or clots.

Also, sometimes they could tell me like, "Oh, my lower abdomen feels cold or I feel cold." And that was always a really great indication, but I feel like there can be obviously so many underlying reasons to look at why someone might be having pain or clotting with menstruation, but that can be something that helps in the meantime. And I've seen so many people be able to not take as much ibuprofen, or none at all, just by using those two plants and just that wonderful moving.

And I always love that in a way... It's just what's an ibuprofen equivalent for menstrual cramps? It's kind of like, I don't know, what is that? But when you think about somebody's feeling cold, they have pelvic stagnation, all those things fit together and thinking, just the way you described it, as moving the energy, helping with that stagnation. It's just that herbalist perspective that I find so much more nuanced and fun than pop an ibuprofen, which is sometimes necessary, but cinnamon and ginger...

Camille Freeman:

Cinnamon and ginger. And we were just talking about this in my mentoring group, actually, the use of ginger acutely for menstrual cramps. And one of the really lovely things about ginger, in this context, is that you don't really need a huge amount for it to make a difference.

So I've found that just a couple grams acutely for menstrual cramping can be enough to really get people through the day or through the next wave of cramps. So I love ginger in that context, and I agree that cold, that sensation of cold or stuck, either one or both, I find really nice.

I'm often drawn to ginger in the menstrual cycle when people have a lot of spotting prior to the heavy flow. I feel like, again, it's that same movement where we want to just get things going instead of lingering along like boop de doop de doop before everything starts. I think ginger's really nice in a formula throughout the cycle in those cases, too.

Rosalee de la Forêt:

Oh, well, thank you so much for sharing that. I don't often hear about ginger in that way, so it's nice to hear it's being worked with in that way and just your insights with that as well.

Camille Freeman:

Yeah. One of my other favorite things about ginger is how accessible it is because even my clients who are very tentative about herbs or they are kind of like, "I don't know, taste is very important to me," or they don't want to get all involved in a bunch of weird stuff.

I'm like, "Okay, well, we can go to the grocery store. We can get some ginger, we can make this very basic, doesn't have to be fancy." I feel like most people know the flavor, know if they like it or not. And most people do. And I just love that kitchen medicine component of it. I feel like it's a great gateway herb to everything else. Yeah.

Rosalee de la Forêt:

Yeah. And that being said, I also wish that ginger was a lot more available. I just recently had an experience where I was traveling and I think I just had nervous anxiety with traveling, but I was feeling nauseous and I often carry like Gin-gins or other ginger candy on me, but I didn't have any, I just forgot to put some in my purse or whatever.

So we stopped at a place to get gas, convenience store. And I walked in and they had nothing. I was like, I got to find something for just feeling nauseous. And there was nothing there. And I was just like, gosh, how cool would it be if every place, if everyone just knew that a quick tummy upset, because it's good for nausea, for all sorts of problems, of things are not going well, stagnant digestion, something doesn't sit right. I mean, ginger can just be your one-stop shopping for so many acute minor digestive things.

And yeah. What a world we could live in if it was just by every cash register. There's the ginger that everybody knows is helpful.

Camille Freeman:

Oh, my gosh. Yes. That would be amazing. I would love that. There's so many reasons that you might need to swing by and grab a little bit.

Rosalee de la Forêt:

Grab some ginger. In the end I was like, "Oh, I have to go to a specialty store to get ginger." It just seemed wrong. But one day, we might see that one day. I mean, they do have the 12-hour energy ginseng drinks or whatever by the cash register. So maybe there's hope one day that we'll have some nourishing herbal stuff by the cash registers.

Camille Freeman:

Oh, I love it. I love it.

Rosalee de la Forêt:

Let's see, ginger... You mentioned the respiratory system and I know we have a recipe to share, but let's first talk about respiratory stuff and ginger.

Camille Freeman:

Yeah. Well, I feel like there's a lot of the same energetics, at least the way that I use ginger in the respiratory system. I love it anytime people start to feel a little something, something happening with the respiratory system, like "Is that a tickle in my throat? Am I feeling a little bit cold-y?" Ginger is my go-to for that.

And again, I love it because when my clients email me or message me and they say "Hey, Camille, I think I might be getting sick. Is there anything I can do?" They almost always have ginger or they can send someone out to grab a little bit at the grocery store and it's so easy, so easy. It's not like, "Oh, wait while somebody formulates a tincture and mails it to you or whatever." It's right there. Just make it up. And I find that it's really, really lovely for those first twinkles of maybe there's something going on.

Rosalee de la Forêt:

Yes. It's one of my favorites, too, for that very same reason. I'm really excited about your recipe because this is a tea that, I haven't made this particular tea, but I've made a thousand variations of it, as you know there is, because it's a powerful tea that's so easy to make and it really makes a difference. And it's also just yummy and comforting, too. And I just can't go wrong with ginger tea. Would you explain the recipe for us?

Camille Freeman:

Oh, yeah. And I thought maybe I should have a fancy or more complicated recipe, but then I was like, you know what? This is the one that I actually use, so it seems pretty basic, but I'm just going to go with this one.

Yeah. So the idea is, and I had a hard time coming up with the exact quantities. This one, I'm more of an eyeball it kind of situation. But what I will do is take an inch or two of fresh ginger, slice it up with the peel on, put it in a sauce pan or any kind of pot, whatever you've got, with some cinnamon. I usually use one cinnamon stick. I cover it with a couple cups of good quality water and simmer it for 20 or 30 minutes, something in that range. Strain, add whatever you want, like honey, lemon, little dash of maple syrup, little apple cider. I love this with apple cider. And then drink it down.

It's really, really warming and special and delicious. Yeah. That's it. That's the recipe.

Rosalee de la Forêt:

Yeah, it's brilliant, because it is that recipe that becomes your favorite that you turn to over and over again. And again, not only because it's comforting and delicious, but because it really does help with those feelings of coldness and warding off something as well.

Camille Freeman:

Yep. And it is something that someone else can pretty easily make for you if you're really feeling worn down. I think it's also just lovely on a cold winter morning, as well, even if you feel totally fine.

Rosalee de la Forêt:

I agree. Yeah. Anytime I feel kind of cold inwardly, it's fun to bundle up with a cup of ginger and a good book and just have one of those cozy days.

Camille Freeman:

Oh yeah, absolutely. Absolutely.

Rosalee de la Forêt:

Do you ever use ginger topically?

Camille Freeman:

I do sometimes use a ginger pack for my clients. So it's kind of like what some people might think of as castor oil pack, but with ginger. So you take the fresh ginger, you grate it up, which can be a delicate operation, got to watch those fingers with that, because, I've had a few accidents in that scenario.

But you grate it up, you put it in a pan with just a little bit of water, heat it up, put down a thin cloth. Put it on top of that. Cool it down a little bit and then flip it over, put it on. I have people put it on their abdomens usually and then you cover it with another towel, maybe a hot water bottle, maybe another towel on top of that.

And rest, that's I think a key part of this recipe, the resting part. It's not like, "Oh, do that and answer your emails and check the weather and watch TV and all that." You rest, maybe read a book, listen to some music, visualize, do something like that.

But I'll have people do it over their abdomen in cases where we are working on fibroids, we're working on healing after a miscarriage, something along those lines, where we're just really trying to bring a lot of warmth and energy to that area. Just have people do that a couple times a week and yeah, it's great.

Here's a little tip. You can grate up a lot of ginger all at once and then freeze some of it, because you've got to get the grater out and all that. So sometimes I'll have people just really go for it and freeze what they don't use and then it's a lot easier to make it like that.

Rosalee de la Forêt:

Yeah. Great tips. Thanks, Camille.

This message is for the listeners. As you probably know by now, I love to share recipes when we talk about these plants. Recipes are a wonderful way for you to get involved and create your own experience with herbs. It's one thing to hear cool facts about ginger, but an entirely other thing to form your own relationship with this plant through observing, tending, and tasting. To help you get to know ginger more deeply, Camille is sharing a warming autumn tea recipe. You can download your recipe card by clicking the link above this transcript.

I know ginger makes a lot of scientific researches about how it's a general anti-inflammatory. Is that a way that you think of as ginger being useful?

Camille Freeman:

Yes, I do. Although, like any herb, I found that there are people for whom ginger is a little too hot for them. So I feel like not everybody can use it in that way or any of these ways. Sometimes people are just too hot for ginger. And so it's not that it's not anti-inflammatory in those people, but I feel like it's just an energetic mismatch.

And you'll know within a day or two, in my experience; you're not going to wonder if it's a good fit or not. Outside of those folks, I mostly work with people kind of in that fertility age range, but I have worked with, over the years, a number of people who are undergoing chronic pain, who are having arthritis or that sort of thing. And I find that ginger can be really a lovely part of a protocol in those folks. I often will use it.

Rosalee de la Forêt:

And one thing that's coming to my mind, too, is that just as you say that, obviously sometimes it's too heating and stimulating for some folks, is working with ginger for headaches and even migraines. Again it is kind of like an acute solver and that can work so well for some folks and absolutely not well for others. So it is one of those, it's not for everyone.

And I was thinking maybe we should mention what it looks like when ginger doesn't work for someone, for people who might not be energetically inclined or not know what that means. But what I've seen is people just feel so hot, they're unpleasantly hot. They'll feel like their head, especially, is hot. Sometimes their digestion feels too much is going on. It's too hot. Is there anything else when ginger doesn't work for someone?

Camille Freeman:

Yes, I've had all of those show up for people. I've had people feel like it causes a little bit of indigestion, maybe a little bit of reflux, in some cases, again where they're already hot. I wouldn't expect it to cause that in other people.

I've also had people feel like it makes them a little bit more irritable. They're more volatile. And I have some clients who just don't like it. It's not their herb, which I think is fair. Fair enough. Just not your thing. That's okay.

When you were talking, though, I realized I hadn't put this together, but I have a client who is on a heavy ginger formula for menstrual cramps. She uses it acutely. And she was telling me that she recently went and got her COVID booster and her arm was really bothering her for several days after, more than she would expect. And she was like "I just decided to take some of that formula." And she said within 30 minutes, her arm wasn't hurting anymore.

Rosalee de la Forêt:

Oh, interesting.

Camille Freeman:

Had not thought of it in that context, but I might in the future because there are certainly people who are having that heavy arm or arm thing going on.

Rosalee de la Forêt:

It does promote circulation so well. Like you said, it's such a wonderful synergist in formulas and really moves things around. So I wonder, with some things, we just never really know the exact mechanism of what the herb is doing, but my vision is like, it's just if there's something stuck, stagnant, painful, inflamed, it's moving things along.

Camille Freeman:

Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely.

Rosalee de la Forêt:

Are there any other ways that you'd like to share your love of ginger with us?

Camille Freeman:

Well, I think I would probably be remiss if I didn't mention the nausea and vomiting of pregnancy, because that's a classic ginger use. And I will share that I find that ginger is effective in maybe 30% of people who are having nausea and vomiting associated with pregnancy.

I don't feel like it's the cure all that you would think if you were cruising along the Internet about what to do when you're feeling gross in early pregnancy. So it's really helpful for some people and other people, it really doesn't touch it at all. And anyway, I like to put that out there because sometimes people are like, "Oh, well, I tried herbs and that didn't work. So now I got to go on to take the prescription medication or do other things."

And one of the things, we're off the topic of ginger now, but one of the things I do really find helpful in that group, especially if ginger isn't going to work, is dandelion root.

Rosalee de la Forêt:

Oh, interesting. Wow. That's a really great tip. Thanks for sharing that.

Camille Freeman:

So a little tip for the pregnant people, I infuse it rather than decoct it. So it's a little more gentle and just do a couple grams infused, and I think the bitter kind of cuts through the nausea, for some people. Side note.

Rosalee de la Forêt:

I love hearing from clinical herbalists like yourself because it is that knowledge that goes beyond the self or even the family, or a few people of just like, "I've worked with this many people. So I've seen these results in this way," and that's just always so enlightening, because I've never heard that.

I've known that ginger doesn't work for everyone for nausea and vomiting with pregnancy, but to be able to even put a rough number of about 30%. I mean, that's something to know. And like you said, just put realistic expectations on that. So like you said, there's not like, "Oh, I tried it, it doesn't work. Herbs don't work."

Camille Freeman:

Yeah.

Rosalee de la Forêt:

Because that happens so often, which is why I am constantly recommending that people work directly with a clinical herbalist when they have complex health problems, because a clinical herbalist is pulling on all sorts of training, knowledge, experience and can really help personalize and troubleshoot, when things don't go. When it's not just to "Take this for that. Done." It's never really like that.

So I always say, if you want safety, if you want to be effective with herbs and you have a complex health thing, go see a clinical herbalist.

Camille Freeman:

Yeah, totally. Absolutely. Yes. There's so much more to it than just matching up this herb is for that. There's so much more.

Rosalee de la Forêt:

So many steps along the way too. There's the first step and then healing is just never like this one punch thing. And there's what do you do with the second step, the third step?

And to have someone that you can rely on for their experience truly is priceless in that way. And I know that herbalism is often taught of herbs for the people, people's medicine, which I wholly believe in, and there is so many things we can do, with grabbing your cup of autumn wellness tea and having that when we're feeling a cold. And like you said, ginger is so accessible, helps us so much and those things.

But when we start getting into a little bit more complex things, it's so nice to have someone you can trust and rely on to help you through the process. I know, as myself, I'm like the worst herbalist when I'm sick, too. It's like everything goes out the door, all perspective.

Camille Freeman:

I was just going to say that I find that I need outside help when it comes to me or my family members. I have no perspective. I need someone else to come in and assess the situation.

Rosalee de la Forêt:

Well, Camille, one of my underlying reasons for inviting you here on the podcast is that I have been following your newsletter for, I feel like years now. And I'm just so impressed with so many of your offerings and just what you're doing and your mentoring. And so I'm excited to talk about what projects you're doing and hear what's up in the Camille herbal world.

Camille Freeman:

Oh, you're so kind. The main thing I'm doing right now is my Monday Mentoring program, which is for people who are already trained herbalists and we get together once a week. It's a community of practice. And I love that because it's a group of people who are all engaged in this practice of herbal medicine and we're just coming together, not in a "One person is the right person. And we're just going to learn from that person."

But in a way that's like, "Let's all pool our resources and our experience and our knowledge and all the things that we bring to the table and work together on these cases and on having a business," which is not what most of us thought we would be doing, is running a business, but here we are.

So we just gather once a week for an hour and talk about cases. People bring cases and we go over them. And then we talk about running a practice and what do you do when your client doesn't show up and dealing with your website, all those types of things.

And I just love doing it. It's a project that I started, I was like, "Oh, maybe people are interested in this" just over a year ago. And it's been incredible to have such an amazing community of people to be with every week. And I don't think I personally would want to practice without that group anymore. It really enriches my own practice. And I love doing it.

Rosalee de la Forêt:

Oh yeah. It sounds so wonderful. And what a just incredibly valuable thing and what a precious thing in that this didn't exist two or three decades ago within the United States or Canadian herbal world.

There wasn't case study get-togethers that were widely available, anyway. They might have existed out there, but to be able to have these offerings, because that is just so valuable to be able to get together and hear what works, what doesn't work, common practice. And, like you said, so many of us as herbalists, so we did not envision becoming entrepreneurs or business owners and that's this whole other thing to navigate, much less matching herbs to people.

Camille Freeman:

Yeah. And I think it speaks to the work of all the people who started herb schools and the people like you who are doing so much to promote the field. And then we have all these herbalists here who are out there doing amazing work. And I love it. It's so nice to gather with people who are kind of the fruits of everyone's labor coming before all. It's really cool.

Rosalee de la Forêt:

Yeah. It's a really special time to be an herbalist and have the camaraderie and be able to find and gather and share in this way because they're not so few and far between anymore.

Camille Freeman:

Yeah. It's amazing. It's great.

Rosalee de la Forêt:

And Camille, you also have an herbal podcast that I would love for you to share a bit about.

Camille Freeman:

Oh, thank you. Yes I do. It's called In the Clinic with Camille and it's a very short, teeny, tiny podcast. Most of the episodes are 10 to 15 minutes and I just share little clinical tidbits for other practitioners that might be useful, either about plants or running your practice or just being in the field as an herbalist.

Rosalee de la Forêt:

I love the podcast. Like you said, it is 10 to 15 minutes, so it's super easy to listen to. And I love that you, as a clinical herbalist, you're sharing both practical things about running a practice as well as herbal stuff. So, it's definitely worth checking out in the podcast world.

Camille Freeman:

Oh, thanks so much.

Rosalee de la Forêt:

Well, Camille, for my last question, it's a question I'm asking everyone in Season Two. And that question is: what along the herbal path has surprised you?

Camille Freeman:

Hmm. Well, I think one of the most surprising things for me has been how simple, easy things can make such a big difference. And I work with a lot of complex cases where you've got lots of different meds and they've tried hundreds of things. They've been to all the doctors and all the things and you feel like, oh, so many diagnoses and it's very complicated.

And it's so easy for me even after, I don't know, 15 years in practice or however long, probably more than that at this point, I'm not going to count. But even after all those years, it's so easy to be like, wow, it's a complicated case, so I should have a complicated solution. I want to give them their money's worth. I want to give them something very in-depth and lots of herbs and lots of suggestions.

And what I found actually works the best with those people is just the same thing, which is matching the people up with the plants. And you think you probably need some really exotic plant for a really exotic problem and a complicated thing. And I'm like, no, you can get so much done with our basic weeds, our basic local plantains and your calendulas and your violets and your gingers and... All these basic things can go so far.

And I constantly have to kind of keep bringing myself back to this, that because it's a complicated case doesn't mean it has to be a complicated recommendation. And one of the things I'm always telling my mentoring people is, "Don't try the fancy stuff until you've tried the basic stuff first, because there's a good chance the basic stuff is going to work and then you don't have to get very fancy. Keep it simple."

Rosalee de la Forêt:

Oh, I love that so much because the simple can be so powerful and it's a good philosophy in everything. Even when we're looking at Western medicine... Whatever kind of healing we're approaching let's start small and simple and then we can move out from there. But it is like you said, truly amazing what our lovely weeds and local medicines and simple plants can do.

Camille Freeman:

Yeah. Love it. Love it.

Rosalee de la Forêt:

Well, thank you so much for being here, Camille, and for sharing all this insight and wisdom and for sharing about your love of ginger, as well.

Camille Freeman:

Oh, thank you so much for having me. It's been really fun.

Rosalee de la Forêt:

Don't forget to click the link above this transcript to get free access to Camille's Warming Autumn Tea recipe. You can also visit Camille directly at camillefreeman.com. If you enjoyed this interview, then before you go, be sure to subscribe to my newsletter below so that you'll be the first to get my new videos, including interviews like this.

I'd also love to hear your comments about this interview and this lovely, spicy plant. I deeply believe that this world needs more herbalists and plant-centered folks. I'm so glad you're here as part of this herbal community. Have a beautiful day.


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 has taught thousands of students through her online courses. Read about how Rosalee went from having a terminal illness to being a bestselling author in her full story here.  



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