The Forager's Path - School of Botanical Studies

Category Archives: Plant Profiles

Plant Profile: Mullein Leaf – Flower – Root

Plant Profile: Mullein Leaf – Flower – Root

Mullein has specific uses for its leaves, flowers and roots. This Plant Profile includes all three plant parts and some of the many uses for Mullein. Botany: Verbascum thapsus (Scrophulariaceae) Common Names: Mullein Southwest Habitat: Mullein loves disturbed soil and is one of the first plants to move into a burned area. It is often… Continue >>>

Plant Profile: St Johns Wort

Plant Profile: St Johns Wort

  Botanical Name:
 Hypericum spp. H. perforatum is most commonly used in herbal medicine. The species commonly found growing in northern Arizona is H. scouleri. Family:
 Hypericaceae Common Names:
 St. John’s Wort Primary Characteristics for Field ID: H. perforatum has tiny holes in the leaves that are visible when held up to the light, hence… Continue >>>

Sources for Fresh Herbs or Fresh Plant Extracts

For the Community Herbalist, acquiring dried plants is a straightforward process in the current herb market. Plants that are best processed and/or used fresh can be more challenging to find. In the modern world of everything being instantly available 24/7, the seasonality of fresh herbs often surprises people. Important – Plan Ahead – sometimes several… 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 >>>

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 >>>

Plant Profile: Milky Oats

Plant Profile: Milky Oats

Botany:
 Avena sativa is the cultivated species and is most common Avena fatua is the wild species Family: Poaceae Common Names: Milky Oats, Milky Oat Seed, Wild Oats Southwest Habitat:
 It is not common in the wild in the Southwest. I have seen it a bit in Oak Creek Canyon and along the Verde River.… Continue >>>

Plant Profile: Lobelia

Plant Profile: Lobelia

Botanical Name: Lobelia inflata is most common in Western herbalism Lobelia cardinalis is most common in the Southwest Family: Lobeliaceae, also known as the Bellflower Family Common Names:
 Indian tobacco, Pukeweed, Cardinal Flower Part Used for Medicine: The seeds are considered the strongest medicine. Flowers and leaves are usually collected along with the seeds Habitat… Continue >>>

Plant Profile: Verbena

Plant Profile: Verbena

Botany: 
 Many Verbena spp. are used in the herb community. V. officinalis is common in Europe V. hastata is common in North America Verbena macdougalii is common in northern Arizona In the Verde Valley and Sedona, Glandularia spp. is in the same family and is used the same as Verbena. The family is Verbenaceae.… Continue >>>

Plant Profile: Lemon Balm

Plant Profile: Lemon Balm

Botany:
 Melissa officinalis (Laminaceae) Common Names: Lemon Balm Southwest Habitat:
 Commonly cultivated. I have never found it growing wild. The best place to look for it outside of cultivation is near old homesteads like those in Oak Creek Canyon. Energy & Tastes:
 A delightful lemon-y taste. The energetic view of sour varies by herbal tradition.… Continue >>>

Latest Courses

Outdoor Survival for Plant Lovers

Outdoor Survival for Plant Lovers

**This workshop was initially put together after speaking with many in the plant community who voiced concern over their safety when doing field work. However, it is open to the general public as these skills apply to everyone regardless of occupation.   The minimum age to attend is 13. Anyone under the age of 18… Continue >>>

10 Month “Foundations of Herbal Medicine” Course for 2020

10 Month “Foundations of Herbal Medicine” Course for 2020

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 Survival for Plant Lovers

Outdoor Survival for Plant Lovers

**This workshop was initially put together after speaking with many in the plant community who voiced concern over their safety when doing field work. However, it is open to the general public as these skills apply to everyone regardless of occupation.   The minimum age to attend is 13. Anyone under the age of 18… Continue >>>

Mike’s Wood Stove Winter Root Dish

This is a dish, especially for winter, easily made on a wood stove or baked in a conventional oven Mike’s Winter Wood Stove Root Dish Use a cast iron fry pan, 12 inches in diameter. Get a variety of winter root veggies. There are many possibilities and I have used beets, garlic, carrots, ginger, onions,… 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 >>>

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