The Forager's Path - School of Botanical Studies

Category Archives: Botany

Sourcing Bulk Herbs

Sourcing Bulk Herbs

Herb courses at our school emphasize the ability of students to create their own herbal pharmacy. The results are both more affordable and higher quality than purchasing finished products off store shelves. Some plants can be harvested from a backyard garden while others can be wildcrafted from the broader landscape. The ability to sustainably wildcraft… Continue >>>

Old Fashioned Botanical Prints – Part 2

Old Fashioned Botanical Prints – Part 2

For Part 1, click here. I am especially fond of the old time hand drawn and colored plant illustrations that were common before the age of *immediate.posting.of.photos.on.social.media* became the norm. Don’t get me wrong. I am a huge fan of photography and love sharing my own plant images on the web. But there is something… Continue >>>

Laminaceae for Herbalists

Laminaceae for Herbalists

Laminaceae – Mint The square stem and opposite leaves are dependable markers for this family although there are a few exceptions: • Thymus is a genus that lacks a square stem • Verbena and Nettles are non-mints with square stems. As these exceptions are rare and easy enough to remember, these guidelines remain helpful. Many… Continue >>>

Pinaceae for Herbalists

Pinaceae for Herbalists

The Pinaceae family, commonly known as the Pine family, includes the Spruce (Picea) and Fir (Abies) genera in addition to the Pine (Pinus). Cedar is also in this family although the common cedar in the southwest is actually juniper, a member of the Cypress family. There are no true cedars native to the area. Therapeutically,… Continue >>>

Comfrey & Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids

Comfrey & Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids

Safety issues connected to the internal use of various Comfrey (Symphytum officinale, S. uplandicum x) species have been a controversial topic since I became active in the herb community in the early 1990s. Many presentations in articles, blogs, classes and conferences prefer to address the therapeutic benefits of this plant and avoid directly giving information… Continue >>>

Fabaceae for Herbalists

Fabaceae – Commonly known as the Pea, Bean or Legume Family One of the largest families in the world, large enough to have subfamilies and tribes This family has irregular flowers with the shape famously described as “banner – wings – keel” The seed pods have the classic green bean, pea pod form. Leaves are… Continue >>>

Poaceae for Herbalists

Poaceae – Grass Family Background Info -This family includes major food crops worldwide. The domestication and cultivation of grass seeds allowed (forced?) hunter-gatherer cultures to stay longer in one place and develop farming techniques and villages. -Grass stems are hollow and round with nodes where the leaves are located -Almost all grass seeds are edible… Continue >>>

Malvaceae for Herbalists

Malvaceae for Herbalists

Malvaceae – Mallow This family is well known for its demulcent qualities and is very widely used by most herbalists. Commonly used herbs and food: Marshmallow (Althea officinalis) Globe mallow (Sphaeralcea) – common at many elevations in the Southwest Malva neglecta – common mallow or cheese wheel Hibiscus Hollyhock (Alcea spp.) Okra   Continue >>>

Anacardaceae for Herbalists

Anacardaceae for Herbalists

Anacardaceae – Commonly known as the Cashew or Sumac Family Plants in this family can be poisonous, medicinal or edible Some edibles are: Cashew Mango Pistachio The Toxicodendron genus includes poison ivy, poison oak and poison sumac. These plants all contain urushiol oil which gives the leaves a waxy look and causes the infamous itch… Continue >>>

Latest Courses

Outdoor Herbal Apprentice Program 2021

Outdoor Herbal Apprentice Program 2021

Total Beginners are Welcome!Much of the herb community is going to online education in 2021 to provide safe social distancing. While this is necessary for health reasons, I realized I would greatly miss being outside with the plant world and sharing it with fellow herbalists. The Outdoor Herbal Apprentice Program is a way to meet… Continue >>>

9 Month “Foundations of Herbal Medicine” Course for 2021

9 Month “Foundations of Herbal Medicine” Course for 2021

Total Beginners are Welcome! Many people begin using herbs in small steps – something for sleep, a cold or maybe a headache. As one continues on the herbal path of independent study, information is pulled from many sources. After a few years, this person begins to identify as an herbalist and continues to increase both… Continue >>>

Educational Resources

Winter Herbal Health Kit

Strategies for Robust Health During the Winter Cold and Flu Season (More products are available in our Community Herb Store) Throughout most of his career, 19th century French chemist Louis Pasteur insisted that germs were the cause of disease. It wasn’t until Pasteur was nearing the end of his life that he came to believe… Continue >>>

Clinical Herbalism: How to do an Herbal Consult

After the: ~Plant Walks~Herb Conferences~Tincture and Salve Making~Plant Chemistry Charts~Essential Oil Smelling~Energetics Analysis ~and Monograph Writing…How do you put it all together and apply it to actually doing an herbal consult? This is a live online workshop that walks you through the steps of doing a consult.This information and ability can be used both in… Continue >>>

Client Compliance When Using Herbs

One of the key challenges in the successful use of herbs is actually ingesting the plant preparation, known as compliance. This is a basic issue and one that often gets overlooked. Regardless of the quality of the herb or the herbal tradition from which it is given, herbal medicine will not be successful if the… Continue >>>

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