The Forager's Path - School of Botanical Studies

Category Archives: Plant Chemistry

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 >>>

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

Outdoor Herbal Apprentice Program 2021

Outdoor Herbal Apprentice Program 2021

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 in person while… Continue >>>

9 Month “Foundations of Herbal Medicine” Course for 2021

9 Month “Foundations of Herbal Medicine” Course for 2021

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

Outdoor Herbal Apprentice Program 2021

Outdoor Herbal Apprentice Program 2021

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 in person while… Continue >>>

9 Month “Foundations of Herbal Medicine” Course for 2021

9 Month “Foundations of Herbal Medicine” Course for 2021

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 >>>

Tools for Wild Crafting

Tools for Wild Crafting

Here is a list of tools used for the vast majority of the harvesting, gardening and general plant collecting I do for my clinic, the herb school and personal reasons. Keep in mind the variables involved with choosing this type of tool collection. These variables include:Personal preference and budgetPlant parts collected – bark, leaves, rootsSoil… Continue >>>

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