The Forager's Path - School of Botanical Studies

Category Archives: Plant Profiles

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 >>>

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 >>>

Latest Courses

Outdoor Herbal Apprentice Program 2021

Outdoor Herbal Apprentice Program 2021

Total Beginners are Welcome!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… Continue >>>

9 Month “Foundations of Herbal Medicine” Course for 2021

9 Month “Foundations of Herbal Medicine” Course for 2021

Total Beginners are Welcome! 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… Continue >>>

Educational Resources

Winter Herbal Health Kit

Strategies for Robust Health During the Winter Cold and Flu Season (More products are available in our Community Herb Store) Throughout most of his career, 19th century French chemist Louis Pasteur insisted that germs were the cause of disease. It wasn’t until Pasteur was nearing the end of his life that he came to believe… Continue >>>

Clinical Herbalism: How to do an Herbal Consult

After the: ~Plant Walks~Herb Conferences~Tincture and Salve Making~Plant Chemistry Charts~Essential Oil Smelling~Energetics Analysis ~and Monograph Writing…How do you put it all together and apply it to actually doing an herbal consult? This is a live online workshop that walks you through the steps of doing a consult.This information and ability can be used both in… Continue >>>

Client Compliance When Using Herbs

One of the key challenges in the successful use of herbs is actually ingesting the plant preparation, known as compliance. This is a basic issue and one that often gets overlooked. Regardless of the quality of the herb or the herbal tradition from which it is given, herbal medicine will not be successful if the… Continue >>>

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