The Forager's Path - School of Botanical Studies

Category Archives: Wild Foods

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 >>>

Herbal & Foraging Field Guides for the American Southwest

Herbal & Foraging Field Guides for the American Southwest

Book & Internet Resources for Herbal Field Study in Arizona and the Colorado Plateau Field Guides for the Southwest The focus of these books is plant identification rather than herbal usage. In general,  books arranged by plant families and that use pen and ink drawings are considered more academic and geared to more experienced botanists. Books… 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 >>>

Cranberry Relish Recipe

November is the time of year when fresh cranberries are readily available.  This fruit, native to North America, is a member of the Heath family which connects it to our local Manzanita along with Uva Ursi and blueberry. It is also very high in antioxidants, specifically flavonoids, which makes this especially good for the Cardiovascular… Continue >>>

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