The Forager's Path - School of Botanical Studies

Category Archives: Wild Foods

Plant Profile: Amaranth

Plant Profile: Amaranth

Botanical Name: Amaranthus retroflexus is very common and 60+ spp. worldwide Family: Amaranthaceae Common Names: Pigweed Primary Characteristics for Field ID: Leaves are lanceolate and alternate along the main stem. Stems are red. Part Used for Food: Fresh leaves and young tips of stems. Older leaves and stems are either bitter, stringy or fibrous. Cultivated… Continue >>>

Apiaceae for Herbalists

Apiaceae for Herbalists

The common names for the Apiaceae family are either the carrot or parsley family. The old family name was Umbelliferae; some books still show this and occasionally botanists still use this older name out of habit. This is an *extremely* important family to know. One reason is that it has abundant herbs, spices and foods.… Continue >>>

Plant Profile: Wild Mustard

Plant Profile: Wild Mustard

Botanical Name: Sisymbrium irio Family: Brassicaceae Common Names: Wild Mustard, London Rocket Southwest Habitat: Between 1,000’ and 7,500’ – the growing season depends on the elevation. While not native to North America, it is widespread and commonly found in disturbed soil. This is a plant found along trails during Sonoran winter hikes, under juniper trees… Continue >>>

A Fresh View of the Paleo Diet

A Fresh View of the Paleo Diet

I am pleased to share an article by Arthur Haines that helps clarify some of the misconceptions around the Paleo Diet. Arthur has some of the very best thinking on diet, health, wild foods and our ancestors from various traditional cultures. The article originally appeared here. This is an Exist Anew guest post by Arthur… Continue >>>

Plant Profile: Poison Hemlock

Plant Profile: Poison Hemlock

Whether foraging for greens or wildcrafting herbs, knowing the few toxic plants in one’s environment is essential. Poison hemlock is a potentially deadly plant that is frequently encountered in the forests and meadows of northern Arizona. This article and collection of photos is meant to help you identify this plant in your outdoor explorations and… Continue >>>

Plant Profile: Desert Rhubarb

Plant Profile: Desert Rhubarb

Botanical Name: Rumex hymenosepalus Family: Polygonaceae Common Names: Red Dock, Desert Rhubarb, Wild Rhubarb Part Used for Medicine: Tubers Habitat in Which it is Found/ Harvesting Season/ Special Considerations: It is found in sandy areas between 3,000’ and 6,000’. Common in the Verde Valley and the many sandy areas around Page, Arizona. The farthest north… Continue >>>

Plant Profile: Chenopodium album

Plant Profile: Chenopodium album

Botanical Name: Chenopodium album Family: Chenopodiaceae Spinach, beets, chard and quinoa are also in this family Common Names: Goosefoot, Lambsquarters Primary Characteristics for Field ID: The leaves are in the shape of a goose’s foot which helps with the field ID for a non-botanist. Part Used for Medicine: Fresh leaves and fresh tips Habitat in… Continue >>>

Brassicaceae for Herbalists

Brassicaceae – Mustard This family is characterized by flowers that have four petals and are shaped like a crucifix, hence the previous family name of Cruciferae. These plants are often edible and tend to have a spicy, hot energy and flavor although some of the domesticated varieties have been bred for a mild flavor. Besides… Continue >>>

Botany Resources for Herb Students

Botany Resources for Herb Students

Botany Books Whether one is foraging for food or wild crafting medicinal herbs, the primary botanical reference for our region is “Botany in a Day” by Thomas J. Elpel. It is extremely well written and user friendly.  Several of the following internet sites build off the foundation of this book. It should be the #1… Continue >>>

Plant Profile: Nettle Leaf

Plant Profile: Nettle Leaf

Botanical Name: Urtica dioica Family: Urticaceae Common Names: Nettles, stinging nettles Southwest Habitat: Nettles like rich, black, damp soil in partial shade. It is most likely found in riparian areas, near seeps or in shady areas where deciduous trees have had the opportunity to help build the soil. It is not at all common in… 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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