The Forager's Path - School of Botanical Studies

Category Archives: Plant Profiles

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 >>>

Plant Profile: Red Root

Botanical Name: Ceanothus fendleri and Ceanothus. spp. Many species are used and most herbalists use their local species. Ceanothus fendleri is common in the ponderosa forest around Flagstaff and in northern Arizona. This species has a low bush, ground cover growth habit. It grows about 2′ in height and 2′-5′ in diameter. Family: Rhamnaceae Common… Continue >>>

Plant Profile: Pulsatilla

Plant Profile: Pulsatilla

Botanical Name: The botany can be confusing. It is sometimes referred to as Anemone and other times labelled Pulsatilla. In the herb community, I learned it as Pulsatilla. I consider the two names interchangeable. Many species are used therapeutically including Anemone patens, A. tuberosa and A. occidentalis. With some extra TLC, I have been able… Continue >>>

Plant Profile: Globe Mallow

Plant Profile: Globe Mallow

Botanical Background: The Malvaceae family has many plants familiar and useful to herbalists. Marshmallow is Althea officinalis but this is not found in the dry Southwest and is a challenge here even as a cultivated herb. More common in the Southwest is one of the Sphaeralcea species with blooms of various shades of orange. Hibiscus… Continue >>>

Plant Profile: Yerba Santa

Plant Profile: Yerba Santa

Botanical Name: Eriodictyon angustifolium is the narrow leafed species found around Sedona, the Verde Valley and the Superstition Mountains. This is the one I have used the most. E. californicum is a much broader leafed species from northern California. It is more common in the wholesale herb trade. I consider these two species to be… Continue >>>

Plant Profile: Catnip

Plant Profile: Catnip

Botanical Name: Nepeta cataria Family: 

Laminaceae Common Names: Catnip Primary Characteristics for Field ID: The classic square stem and opposite leaves of the mint family. Part Used for Medicine: 
 The leaves are the primary parts used although flowers and fresh tips can also be included. The stems are large enough that they should be… Continue >>>

Plant Profile: Silk Tassel

Plant Profile: Silk Tassel

Botanical Name: Garrya spp. Family: Garryaceae Common Names: Silk Tassel is the name mostly used in my experience using it in New Mexico and Arizona. Michael Moore lists other common names as Quinine Bush, Bear Brush, Guachichi, Cuauchichic Primary Characteristics for Field ID: They have beautiful and showy white trailing flowers in spring, prompting the… Continue >>>

Plant Profile: American Ginseng

Plant Profile: American Ginseng

Botanical Name: Panax quinquefolium Family: Araliaceae Common Names: American Ginseng Primary Characteristics for Field ID: Native to the Appalachians, Panax is not found in the wild in the West. Part Used for Medicine: Root Habitat in Which it is Found/ Harvesting Season/ Special Considerations: It is never wildcrafted in the Western US. Buy the best… Continue >>>

Plant Profile: Osha

Plant Profile: Osha

Botanical Name: Ligusticum porteri Family: Apiaceae Common Names: Osha Chuchupate Bear Root Porter’s Lovage Part Used for Medicine: Its aromatic root. The seeds are classic Apiaceae seeds and similar to fennel, dill, caraway and ajwain. They are edible but not as commonly used. Southwest Habitat: It prefers slopes and higher elevation meadows, in partial shade… Continue >>>

Latest Courses

How to Teach Herbal Medicine

How to Teach Herbal Medicine

What:A three hour live online workshop that walks you through, step by step, how to teach in the herb community.This includes information, strategies and tips learned from my 35+ years in education and 26 years of teaching herbal medicine.Detailed class notes are provided in a .pdf format. Topics Include:Why Teach Herbal Medicine?Deciding What to TeachWhat… Continue >>>

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 >>>

Educational Resources

How to Teach Herbal Medicine

How to Teach Herbal Medicine

What:A three hour live online workshop that walks you through, step by step, how to teach in the herb community.This includes information, strategies and tips learned from my 35+ years in education and 26 years of teaching herbal medicine.Detailed class notes are provided in a .pdf format. Topics Include:Why Teach Herbal Medicine?Deciding What to TeachWhat… Continue >>>

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