The Forager's Path - School of Botanical Studies

Category Archives: Plant Chemistry

Photo-Toxic Essential Oils

Some essential oils contain furanocoumarins. These organic chemical compounds can cause phyto-photo-dermatitis, which is the skin’s hypersensitivity to the UV rays of sunlight. Possible skin reactions include stinging, itching, blisters and burning. When using essential oils on the skin, it is important to either avoid using furanocoumarin oils or avoid exposure to the sun for… Continue >>>

Comfrey & Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids

Comfrey & Pyrrolizidine Alkaloids

Safety issues connected to the internal use of various Comfrey (Symphytum officinale, S. uplandicum x) species has 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 >>>

Demulcent Herbs: Action & Energy

Demulcent Herbs: Action & Energy

Demulcent (internal) or Emollient (external) Moistens tissues, soothes inflammation Energy is moistening  and usually cooling Works systemically, does not need to come in contact with a particular surface, such as the lungs or bladder Many contain mucilage, has a slimy, viscous feel Will loosen and relax tissues that are tense due to dryness Uses Dryness… Continue >>>

How to Make Pine Resin Salve

How to Make Pine Resin Salve

Salve made from the resin of our native pinon pine tree (Pinus edulis) has an exquisite aroma and is useful as a topical anti-microbial. While the final product is popular these days, the processing of tree resin into a finished product is a bit different than the standard salve making process. It seems like each… Continue >>>

Plant Metabolites & Herbal Medicine

Plant Metabolites & Herbal Medicine

A recurring question when studying herbal medicine is how and why plants have a beneficial affect on people’s health. The answer to this question varies by the cultural filter through which the plant world is viewed. One view that has helped my understanding of herbal medicine is the subject of Plant Metabolites. Nature does not… 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

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 the learning and use… Continue >>>

Educational Resources

Pregnancy and Parenting Resources

This article provides resources for promoting health-balance-support during the pregnancy, birth and nursing stages of life for the baby, mother and father/co-parent. It is most definitely *not* meant as a complete substitute for healthcare from a certified medical provider. One of my mentors, Dr Aviva Romm, says it best – “When in doubt, check it… Continue >>>

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 >>>

Tips for Healthy Holiday Eating

Tips for Healthy Holiday Eating

Many people struggle with food during the holiday season that runs from late November through early January. During this season, the issues that come up most often in my herb practice are: -The quality of food goes down -The quantity of food goes up -The ability of the digestive system goes down This article gives… Continue >>>

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