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 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 >>>

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

How to Teach Herbal Medicine

How to Teach Herbal Medicine

What:A three hour live online workshop that walks you through, step by step, how to teach in the herb community.This includes information, strategies and tips learned from my 35+ years in education and 26 years of teaching herbal medicine.Detailed class notes are provided in a .pdf format. Topics Include:Why Teach Herbal Medicine?Deciding What to TeachWhat… Continue >>>

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 >>>

Educational Resources

Community Herb Store

Our Community Herb Store is a collection of small batch, homemade herbal products that have been used in my clinical, family and personal healing for 25+ years. The inventory is ever changing and often reflects seasonal availability. At any one time, you will find 100+ individual herb extracts, herb-infused oils, salves, cough syrups, herbal honeys… Continue >>>

Tincture Making: Macerations

Tinctures can also be called : Alcohol-Water Extractions or Hydro-Ethanol Extracts Vocabulary1. Menstruum – any fluid used to extract therapeutic properties from plants. Usually a water-alcohol mix.2. Marc – the herb being extracted3. Maceration – the soaking of the marc in the menstruum. The final product will be a mixture of water and alcohol. This… Continue >>>

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