Season 7 Episode 8: Benefits of Calamus Root
with jim mcdonald

Share this!

Benefits of Calamus root with jim mcdonald

Would you prefer watching or reading this episode? If so, click here for the 'Benefits of Calamus Root' video and transcript.

Episode Summary

My dear friend, herbalist jim mcdonald, returns to the show to share all about calamus root benefits. Among its other gifts, calamus root is known as an herb that can help you clear away mental cobwebs and enhance your focus. jim is a gifted storyteller and I know you’ll enjoy hearing how an early experience with calamus root set the stage for how he approaches learning about herbs to this day.

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

► The many gifts and medicinal benefits of calamus root. 

► Does it matter what species of calamus you work with?

► Is calamus root safe?

► How you can grow calamus at home.

For those of you who haven’t already met him, in 1994 jim mcdonald's life changed when he drank tea from a wild plant he harvested from the land he lived upon. Since those first sips of strange tea, his life in the woods and meadows of southeast michigan has been centered on the plants & ecosystems of that land, and how he might share their virtues to restore wellness with those around him. jim's approach to herbcraft is deeply rooted in the land he lives upon, and blends traditional european folk influences with 19th century eclectic and physiomedical vitalism, which he conveys with story, experience, humour, common sense and lore to students, clients, random passersby and readers of his websites & He's taught classes throughout north america, is one of the organizers of the Great Lakes Herb Faire and is currently alternately writing Foundational Herbcraft and A Great Lakes Herbal, in addition to articles for journals and other publications. jim is a community herbalist, a manic wildcrafter and medicine maker, and has been an ardent student of the most learned teachers of herbcraft… the plants themselves.

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

I didn’t just learn about calamus from chewing on it and feeling how did I feel before and how did I feel after, I learned a way of learning about plants.


What You'll Learn from This Episode

  • [00:00] Introduction
  • [05:11] jim’s first encounter with calamus
  • [14:38] Finding calamus in the wild for the first time
  • [17:02] How jim grows, harvests, and works with calamus
  • [20:10] One of Rosalee’s first memories of jim
  • [20:51] Other ways to work with calamus root
  • [29:04] Isn’t calamus dangerous?
  • [35:47] ID and growing tips for Acorus calamus
  • [40:32] Closing thoughts about calamus
  • [46:02] jim’s herbal happenings these days
  • [50:39] Learning is not a competition

Connect with jim

Connect with Rosalee

Are You Ready for More Herbal Inspiration?

The best way to get started is by joining my herbal community and weekly newsletter where I share my best herbal tips and insights.

When you join you’ll also get access to The Herbal Jumpstart Course which helps you figure out the best herbs for you.

Sign up below!


Sign me up for weekly herbal tips, recipes, and insights. 

We respect your email privacy

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.  

Choose the best herb for you!

The secret to using herbs successfully begins with knowing who YOU are. 

Get started by taking my free Herbal Jumpstart course when you enter your name and email address. 

By signing up for my free course you’ll also be joining my weekly newsletter where I send my best tips and herbal recipes. I never sell your information and you can easily unsubscribe at any time.

Information found on this website is meant for educational purposes only.
It is not meant to diagnose medical conditions, to treat any medical conditions or to prescribe medicine.
Copyright 2010-2022 by Rosalee de la Forêt
Affiliate Disclaimer