The Forager's Path - School of Botanical Studies

Category Archives: Plant Profiles

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 >>>

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 >>>

Plant Profile: Yarrow

Plant Profile: Yarrow

Botanical Name: Achillea millefolium, A. lanulosa  There is an ongoing discussion whether these species are the same. A. millefolium is more commonly used. Named after Achilles the warrior, the plant has a long tradition of stopping external bleeding. Millefolium refer to the alternate leafed ‘thousand leaves’ of the foliage. Blooms from May through September in… Continue >>>

A Special Yucca at the Grand Canyon

A Special Yucca at the Grand Canyon

 I had a nice surprise in mid-March during a hiking trip in the western end of the Grand Canyon. My group came across “Hesperoyucca newberryi” in full bloom. This was a first for me and quite special. This plant used to be (and sometimes still is, depending on the source) in the Yucca genus, where… 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 >>>

Plant Profile: Shatavari

Common Name: Shatavari in Ayurveda Tien Men Dong in TCM Botanical Name: Asparagus racemosa – Shatavari Asparagus cochinchinensis – Tien Men Dong Energy & Taste: Cool, moist Traditional Uses: Increases breast milk Reproductive tonic, it is best known for women but works well with men also Supports endocrine system which helps to balance hormones Moisturizes… Continue >>>

Plant Profile: Hawthorn Berry

Plant Profile: Hawthorn Berry

Botanical Name: Crataegus spp. There are many Crataegus species. While there are personal favorites among many in the herb community, there are no definitive therapeutic differences among the various species. Family: Rosaceae Common Names: Hawthorn(e). The small tree flowers in May so some form of this month’s name is often used such as Mayflower or… 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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