How “Mad” is the Mad Herbalist?

DestinySurvival Radio returned yesterday with a new program, and I’ll tell you about it shortly.

First, bear with me as I put my heart on my sleeve for a few minutes. I could really use your feedback when you’ve read what follows.

I do my best on both this site and on DestinySurvival Radio to share a broad range of topics. I don’t shy away from controversial subjects. I try to pass along credible and reputable information as best as I know how. You can view my disclaimer page for more of my thoughts on that.

I believe it’s important to introduce wide ranging ideas whenever they’re relevant to preparedness and survival for you and me.

Herbalism and natural healling comprise one such subject. Unfortunately, it can be difficult to get reliable, safe and healthful information. It’s a subject often attacked because, as with many other fields of study, there are both truth-tellers and charlatans. And it can be confusing sorting them out.

Which did I interview on DestinySurvival Radio yesterday? Could I have possibly interviewed my most controversial guest?

That guest was Kal Sellers who calls himself the Mad Herbalist. I found out about him because he has his own program on the Preparedness Radio Network (PRN). That’s the same network where you hear DestinySurvival Radio.

Those of us who are show hosts are encouraged to interview one another from time to time, since we’re each preparedness resources in our own rite. Plus, everybody’s show has a different audience, and you may not have heard of some of the other hosts on the network.

Surely, network founder James Talmage Stevens, a.k.a. Doctor Prepper, wouldn’t let just anybody host a regular show without checking them out, would he? I’d like to think not. He knows his business well, and PRN is a growing concern. I don’t think he’d stake his reputation or the network’s on a liability.

But back to yesterday’s guest.

I’ve only heard a few of Kal’s shows and I’ve found them to be packed with interesting and useful information. He’s very knowledgeable. But his Web site makes some very sensational claims, especially regarding what conditions you and I can supposedly treat in emergency situations.

In fact, a friend told me I shouldn’t have Kal on as a guest because some of those claims are indeed “mad.” He said having Kal on my show could reflect badly on me and do a disservice to you.

So what’s the deal? When I interviewed him, Kal didn’t seem to be out of his tree. The truth is we were on such a roll that the show producer let us go an extra half hour. A 90 minute show is a DestinySurvival Radio first.

Our conversation wasn’t a “grill Kal” show. Nor was it one of those shows where you can find out what herbal remedy soothes Grandma’s ingrown toenail. I thought we covered a lot of good ground. Much of our discussion centered around basic concepts of looking at the bigger picture for healing, rather than using herbal remedies as nothing more than treatment for certain symptoms. That’s what conventional medicine does.

When asked about a good desk reference, Kal pointed out that no one becomes a good natural healer by referencing a single book. If you’ve used reference books on herbalism, you know they can be helpful or confusing. It helps to have training in clinical knowledge and hands-on herbalism.

With that in mind, his recommendation for a good starter reference is The Green Pharmacy Herbal Handbook: Your Everyday Reference to the Best Herbs for Healing, by James A. Duke.

Finding the right herb for the right person is Kal’s aim. He believes it’s important for the body’s organs to be operating properly so blood chemistry is in balance. The body is smarter than we are when it comes to healing itself. Specific symptoms are the body’s way of compensating for an underlying problem.

Kal says the courses he offers cover applicable info on herbology, massage, accupressure, lifestyle and thinking. That sounds good, doesn’t it?

So why such an apparent contrast to that when you first view the claims on his site? Is the Mad Herbalist thing nothing more than a corny gimmick? Does that hurt his credibility more than he realizes? Does it discourage you from wanting to do business with him? Does he merely have a public relations problem?

Why not listen to DestinySurvival Radio for November 3rd and see what you think. Is Kal really “mad,” or am I the one who’s loopy for having had him on as a guest?

There are plenty of other sources who can pass along solid information on herbalism and natural healing, and I hope to have more of them on my show. Of course, if you’ve got any comments or suggestions on any of this, please feel free to share your thoughts by leaving a comment below.


Author: John Wesley Smith

John Wesley Smith writes and podcasts from his home in Central Missouri. His goal is to help preppers as he continues along his own preparedness journey.

2 thoughts on “How “Mad” is the Mad Herbalist?”

  1. John, good to see you back on the air. Congratulations on the 90 minute show. Before I can give you specific feedback as you requested, I will have to listen to your show. That might be a difficulty as right now I don’t see where to shake loose a spare 90 minutes. So instead I will just jot down a few of my own thoughts here. On a recent blog post, I noted all the refined sugar and sugar related products we consume. What does 10 billion doughnuts per year, enough to form a chain 1.3 times the distance to the moon, do to our health as a society? How does the 136.2 pounds of refined sugar per person per year that is consumed in this country affect our immune system? What happens to us when we drink 50 gallons of soda and other sweetened drinks per person per year? This is the condition of the “Average American”, and you ask herbal remedies (or perhaps any remedy) to work against the weight of all that abusive behavior? I stagger under the weight of what we, as a society, are up against because of our dietary habits alone. Maybe your guest addressed this point. I hope so. Clearly the “preparedness” approach is going to have to begin with some major changes in the way we, as a society, approach daily life.

    1. Good points. Yes, a change of lifestyle and thinking are in order for anybody who’s prepping and taking survival seriously. One thing Kal and I discussed is that many approach herbal remedies the same way they do conventional medicine. Take the right pill for the given symptom and all will be well. Not so. There’s more to it than that.

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