Season 8 Episode 7:
Oak with Greg Monzel

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Oak with Greg Monzel

Episode Summary

Oak trees (Quercus spp.) probably aren’t the first plants that come to your mind when you think of herbal medicine. But as today’s guest, Greg Monzel, shares, oak trees are more than bountiful with their gifts!

“Plant x for problem y” is how many people start out thinking about herbal medicine… and oak is not without this type of benefit. To give one example, oak is a powerful astringent that’s helpful as a wound wash and as an ingredient in tooth powder that can help to tighten up your gums.

But oak doesn’t stop there. It gives you an invitation to go deeper. 

As a hub in the web of life, oak teaches you about connection… to the land and to the other creatures we share it with. If you have roots in the Northern hemisphere, acorns even give you a way to connect with your ancestors as you fuel your body. And the quiet, stately beauty of oak is a medicine in itself, a pleasure to spend time with.

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

► How to process acorns into flour (and why you’d want to)

► How to make a nutrient-dense treat from acorns (be sure to download your recipe card for acorn crackers!)

► When to work with red oak vs. white oak (and why)

At one point during this interview, I forgot I was doing a podcast. Instead I was caught up in all that Greg was sharing and simply there for the conversation.

For those of you who don’t already know him, Greg Monzel is a student of nature with a gift for nourishing deep connections between people and plants. He first experienced the medicinal power of plants as a teenager when he successfully treated his chronic strep-throat with raw pineapple. He has been a practicing herbal educator, medicine maker, and grower since 2008. Greg and his wife Colleen co-founded Persimmon Herb School in 2015 to hold plant-centered space and build a healing community.

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

We’re disconnected… We don’t feel connected to those same biscuits that you make from wheat flour or from the $.99 a pound bag of wheat compared to those dense acorn muffins that you can make where you know what tree you were under when you gathered those. You can smell the air again. You can see the squirrels scurrying around. You just feel connected to your land and to the place that you’re in.


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Connect With Greg

What You'll Learn from This Episode

  • [01:10] Introduction to Greg Monzel
  • [02:11] The pineapple strep throat story
  • [05:19] How a wilderness adventure inspired Greg’s herbal path
  • [08:30] The story behind Persimmon Herb School
  • [09:41] Why Greg loves oak trees
  • [12:58] How much work is it to process acorns into flour?
  • [16:08] How to make acorn flour
  • [21:37] Colleen’s Acorn Crackers recipe
  • [23:41] Intersections between conservation and herbalism
  • [30:49] Oak as medicine
  • [38:09] Closing thoughts about oak
  • [40:01] Offers and projects at Persimmon Herb School
  • [43:26] The learn-from-our-mistake herbal “oops” that Greg and Rosalee both made
  • [52:02] Herbal love letters
  • [52:32] Oak tidbit



  • 01:13 – Introduction to Greg Monzel
  • 02:14 – The pineapple strep throat story
  • 05:28 – How a wilderness adventure inspired Greg’s herbal path
  • 08:52 – The story behind Persimmon Herb School
  • 10:14 – Why Greg loves oak trees
  • 13:43 – How much work is it to process acorns into flour?
  • 17:05 – How to make acorn flour
  • 22:50 – Colleen’s Acorn Crackers recipe
  • 25:02 – Intersections between conservation and herbalism
  • 32:46 – Oak as medicine
  • 41:05 – Closing thoughts about oak
  • 43:03 – Offers and projects at Persimmon Herb School
  • 46:50 – The learn-from-our-mistake herbal “oops” that Greg and Rosalee both made
  • 55:36 – Herbal love letters
  • 56:06 – Oak tidbit

Connect with Rosalee

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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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