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 >>>

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 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 >>>

Latest Courses

Family Herbalist Program for 2024

Family Herbalist Program for 2024

This program is full and registration is closed for the 2024 session. If you would like to be notified of the 2025 Family Herbalist Program, send your contact info to mmasek@theforagerspath.com. Registration for the 2025 program opens September 1, 2024.   Choosing the path of herbal medicine can be a life-changing event. It was for… Continue >>>

Advanced Topics in Herbal Medicine

This course is currently full and registration is closed. Contact us to be on the waiting list for the next offering. This 3 weekend class offers topics for continuing education to herbalists that have working knowledge of: Herbal Energetics – Materia Medica – Herbal Pharmacy – Wildcrafting & Botany and other foundation areas in using… Continue >>>

Educational Resources

Family Herbalist Program for 2024

Family Herbalist Program for 2024

This program is full and registration is closed for the 2024 session. If you would like to be notified of the 2025 Family Herbalist Program, send your contact info to mmasek@theforagerspath.com. Registration for the 2025 program opens September 1, 2024.   Choosing the path of herbal medicine can be a life-changing event. It was for… Continue >>>

Advanced Topics in Herbal Medicine

This course is currently full and registration is closed. Contact us to be on the waiting list for the next offering. This 3 weekend class offers topics for continuing education to herbalists that have working knowledge of: Herbal Energetics – Materia Medica – Herbal Pharmacy – Wildcrafting & Botany and other foundation areas in using… Continue >>>

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