Season 10 Episode 6:
Beard Lichen (Usnea) with Leigh Joseph

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Usnea with Leigh Joseph

Episode Summary

It was an honor to get to interview Leigh Joseph, the author of Held by the Land: A Guide to Indigenous Plants for Wellness! This book was love at first read for me. Really, so many of the themes and concepts Leigh writes about describe everything I strive to be as an herbalist. And Leigh expresses them in such a beautiful way. I know you’re going to love listening in as Leigh shares about plants, reciprocity, and connection in today’s episode!

Leigh also shares her love for mimts or beard lichen (Usnea spp.) in this episode. You’ll get to hear two powerful stories about how mimts acted as an ally in the backwoods, when more standard Western medical aid wasn’t readily at hand. Finally, don’t miss downloading your free, printable recipe card for Mimts' First Aid Powder.

By the end of this episode, you’ll know:

► How to identify mimts and harvest mimts sustainably

► What it means to be in relationship with plants and the land

► The importance of honoring those who walked before us

► How plant and land-based knowledge can be expressed and shared in different yet complementary ways

► and more…

For those who don’t already know her, Leigh Joseph is an ethnobotanist, researcher and entrepreneur from the Squamish First Nation. She contributes to cultural knowledge renewal in connection to Indigenous plant and land-based relationships.

Leigh holds a BSc in Botany, MSc in Ethnobotany and is completing her PhD in Ethnobotany. She is the co-director and subject of the documentary Walking with Plants, nominated for 3 Leo Awards.

As founder of beauty brand Sḵwálwen Botanicals, Leigh brings together Indigenous science and self care, providing luxury skincare and wellness products that draw from the ceremonial aspects of plants.

Leigh aims to contribute her voice as an Indigenous academic so that other Indigenous authors and students will feel themselves represented and reflected in ethnobotany literature. Her first book, Held by the Land: A Guide to Indigenous Plants for Wellness, is part narrative, part field guide and recipe book that draws on her lived experience as an Indigenous woman, her training in Western Science, and her cultural journey toward identity.

I’m so very happy to share our conversation with you today!

Would you prefer reading this episode? If so, click here to download a transcript.

Would you prefer watching this episode? If so, scroll down below.

Connect With Leigh

What You'll Learn from This Episode

  • [01:09] Introduction to Leigh Joseph
  • [04:29] How Leigh found her plant path
  • [07:52] Held by the Land
  • [11:42] Land-based mindfulness and visualizations
  • [18:26] Why Leigh loves mimts (beard lichen, Usnea spp.)
  • [25:16] Mimts First Aid Powder
  • [25:36] Leigh’s current projects
  • [33:40] Herbal teachers who have impacted Leigh
  • [42:02] Herbal tidbit



  • 00:00 – Introduction to Leigh Joseph
  • 04:32 – How Leigh found her plant path
  • 07:59 – Held by the Land
  • 11:53 – Land-based mindfulness and visualizations
  • 18:48 – Why Leigh loves mimts (beard lichen, Usnea spp.)
  • 26:03 – Mimts First Aid Powder
  • 26:23 – Leigh’s current projects
  • 34:48 – Herbal teachers who have impacted Leigh
  • 43:16 - Herbal tidbit

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Rosalee is an herbalist and author of the bestselling book Alchemy of Herbs: Transform Everyday Ingredients Into Foods & Remedies That Healand 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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