The Forager's Path - School of Botanical Studies

Category Archives: Bushcraft & Wilderness Survival

Wild Greens for the Community Herbalist: Sow Thistle

Wild Greens for the Community Herbalist: Sow Thistle

Botanical Name: Sonchus oleraceus Family: Compositae Common Names: Sow Thistle Primary Characteristics for Field ID: The flower closely resembles a dandelion. The leaves are whorled. An annual. Part Used for Food: The leaves and tender portion of the stems Habitat in Which it is Found/ Harvesting Season/ Special Considerations: This plant likes disturbed soil so… Continue >>>

Plant Profile: Amaranth

Plant Profile: Amaranth

Botanical Name: Amaranthus retroflexus is very common and 60+ spp. worldwide Family: Amaranthaceae Common Names: Pigweed Primary Characteristics for Field ID: Leaves are lanceolate and alternate along the main stem. Stems are red. Part Used for Food: Fresh leaves and young tips of stems. Older leaves and stems are either bitter, stringy or fibrous. Cultivated… Continue >>>

Apiaceae for Herbalists

Apiaceae for Herbalists

The common names for the Apiaceae family are either the carrot or parsley family. The old family name was Umbelliferae; some books still show this and occasionally botanists still use this older name out of habit. This is an *extremely* important family to know. One reason is that it has abundant herbs, spices and foods.… Continue >>>

Plant Profile: Wild Mustard

Plant Profile: Wild Mustard

Botanical Name: Sisymbrium irio Family: Brassicaceae Common Names: Wild Mustard, London Rocket Southwest Habitat: Between 1,000’ and 7,500’ – the growing season depends on the elevation. While not native to North America, it is widespread and commonly found in disturbed soil. This is a plant found along trails during Sonoran winter hikes, under juniper trees… Continue >>>

Plant Profile: Poison Hemlock

Plant Profile: Poison Hemlock

Whether foraging for greens or wildcrafting herbs, knowing the few toxic plants in one’s environment is essential. Poison hemlock is a potentially deadly plant that is frequently encountered in the forests and meadows of northern Arizona. This article and collection of photos is meant to help you identify this plant in your outdoor explorations and… Continue >>>

Plant Profile: Chenopodium album

Plant Profile: Chenopodium album

Botanical Name: Chenopodium album Family: Chenopodiaceae Spinach, beets, chard and quinoa are also in this family Common Names: Goosefoot, Lambsquarters Primary Characteristics for Field ID: The leaves are in the shape of a goose’s foot which helps with the field ID for a non-botanist. Part Used for Medicine: Fresh leaves and fresh tips Habitat in… Continue >>>

Latest Courses

Herbal Skin Care Workshop

Herbal Skin Care Workshop

Join us for this informative class that shows you how to make: -skin lotion -healing salve -herbal oil in your own kitchen. These herb-based skin care products and techniques have been used for 20+ years in my own herb practice. Using only the best quality ingredients, these products surpass any available off the store shelf.… Continue >>>

Colorado Herbal Medicine Field Study

Colorado Herbal Medicine Field Study

This is the itinerary for the optional field study trip offered to students enrolled in the Foundations of Herbal Medicine program for 2019. More details will be shared at the first class meeting in February. Students are responsible for food, lodging (camping or hotel) and transportation. The dates for the 2019 program are July 22-25.… Continue >>>

Educational Resources

Variables in Determining the Strength of Herbal Pharmacy

Variables in Determining the Strength of Herbal Pharmacy

1. Time – within reason, the longer the better. The specific time duration depends on the solvent. 2. Heat – Warmth increases movement. Warming a carrier oil, honey, water or sometimes even alcohol increases extraction 3. Agitation – either continuous or intermittent 4. Surface to Volume Ratio – Within reason, the smaller the herb particles,… Continue >>>

Healing Resources for PTSD and Moral Injury

The following links provide resources for a better understanding of these issues and show examples of the work that people are doing to promote healing in their own communities. I want to acknowledge that both PTSD and Moral Injury exist outside the military combat experience. I have chosen to keep the links on this page… Continue >>>

Herbal Support of the Nervous System in Chronic Disease

It is well known that being stressed causes dis-ease. But the fact that disease causes stress is often overlooked. This is why supporting the nervous system is helpful in many (most, all?) health conditions even if the Chief Complaint is not directly related to nerves. The engagement of the nervous system is seen in multiple… Continue >>>

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