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

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 >>>

10 Month “Foundations of Herbal Medicine” Course for 2019

10 Month “Foundations of Herbal Medicine” Course for 2019

Our 10 month Foundations of Herbal Medicine program is full and registration is closed until registration for the 2020 session opens in August, 2019. ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~ 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… Continue >>>

Educational Resources

Resources for Therapeutic Mushrooms

Resources for Therapeutic Mushrooms

There are many mushrooms used therapeutically in the herb community with Reishi (Ganoderma spp.) being the the best known. One of the challenges to effectively using these gifts from the fungal world is knowing how to process them. While plants have cellulose, mushrooms have chitin. This substance is extremely hard and makes extraction difficult. The… Continue >>>

Diet Strategies for Reducing Chronic & Systemic Inflammation

Diet Strategies for Reducing Chronic & Systemic Inflammation

Included below are the notes used during the Diet, Nutrition and Inflammation portions of our curriculum. It is a succinct look at how the foods we eat affect our internal inflammatory state. While the actual classes go into more detail, the foods listed here are good places to begin improving one’s health in this area.… Continue >>>

Plant Profile: Usnea

Plant Profile: Usnea

Botany: Usnea spp. (Parmeliaceae) Usnea is a lichen, not a plant. Looking closely at its structure, one sees the internal core to be a white thread which is a fungus while the bluish-green outer surface is algae. The algae of its outer skin enables it to utilize sunlight and carbon dioxide for food production. The… Continue >>>

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