The Forager's Path - School of Botanical Studies

Category Archives: Plant Profiles

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: 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

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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