The Forager's Path - School of Botanical Studies

Category Archives: Plant Profiles

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 and are only seasonally available so it is best to plan ahead. The following methods have worked for me over the years. 1. Grow your… 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 >>>

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 >>>

Latest Courses

Herbal Skin Care Workshop

Herbal Skin Care Workshop

Join us for this informative class that shows you how to make: -skin lotion -healing salve -herbal oil in your own kitchen. These herb-based skin care products and techniques have been used for 20+ years in my own herb practice. Using only the best quality ingredients, these products surpass any available off the store shelf.… Continue >>>

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 >>>

Educational Resources

Variables in Determining the Strength of Herbal Pharmacy

Variables in Determining the Strength of Herbal Pharmacy

1. Time – within reason, the longer the better. The specific time duration depends on the solvent. 2. Heat – Warmth increases movement. Warming a carrier oil, honey, water or sometimes even alcohol increases extraction 3. Agitation – either continuous or intermittent 4. Surface to Volume Ratio – Within reason, the smaller the herb particles,… Continue >>>

Healing Resources for PTSD and Moral Injury

The following links provide resources for a better understanding of these issues and show examples of the work that people are doing to promote healing in their own communities. I want to acknowledge that both PTSD and Moral Injury exist outside the military combat experience. I have chosen to keep the links on this page… Continue >>>

Herbal Support of the Nervous System in Chronic Disease

It is well known that being stressed causes dis-ease. But the fact that disease causes stress is often overlooked. This is why supporting the nervous system is helpful in many (most, all?) health conditions even if the Chief Complaint is not directly related to nerves. The engagement of the nervous system is seen in multiple… Continue >>>

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