The “Colorado Plateau Herbal Intensive” is a multi-day program designed to introduce people to the medicinal and edible plants of the southwest flora. This program is traditionally offered in late summer, when the wildflowers are at their peak bloom and the land is offering its bounty of food and medicine. The elevation range covered is from approximately 6000’ up through the Ponderosa zone to 8000’ in the fir and aspen.
While botany is a major part of the course, much more is shared during the daily, outdoor plant walks. The information covered for each plant includes:
- Identification of family, genus and species
- The general life zone in which it is found (ex: ponderosa zone, pinon-juniper zone)
- Any micro-climates that are relevant within the larger life zone (ex: in the shade, on a slope, under a juniper)
- If, how and when to wildcraft sustainably
- Traditional uses, either for food or health
- Contraindications and safety issues
We are meeting the plants outdoors, in their own environment. Students should be able to walk 2 – 3 miles per day over mostly flat and occasionally rocky ground and be outdoors for a few hours at a time.
In addition to the outdoor portion of the course, part of each day is spent indoors, turning fresh or dried herbs into a variety of herbal preparations and edible dishes. The hands-on demonstration of herbal preparations include:
- Topical salves – both general salves and a special way to prepare pine resin salve
- Cough syrup
- Teas: infusion and decoction
- Alcohol extract
- Topical herbal oil
- Alcohol free skin lotion
- Herbal honey
- Mineral-rich herbal vinegar extract
This class benefits anyone who desires to better understand the plant life of the American Southwest and the Colorado Plateau. Neither prior experience nor study is needed in botany, healing or herbal medicine. Neither should there be an expectation that one becomes a certified, registered, or master herbalist after completing this course.
The goal of the class is to empower students to develop a stronger and deeper connection to nature and to learn safe, effective and practical uses of native flora. The curriculum is not designed to present complete training in either herbal medicine or living off the land. It does, however, provide a strong foundation for future study and many past students with varying levels of training and experience have found this program to be beneficial.
For out of town students, a variety of lodging choices are available. In Flagstaff, there are many hotels, motels and hostels for all price ranges. Nearby campsites are numerous, from developed privates sites with showers to primitive national forest sites with no facilities. Please contact us for more information on lodging
The tuition for this course is $390. This includes all instruction, handouts and materials for medicine making during the lab portion of the course. Students provide their own transportation, lodging and meals.
Date: July 15 – 18, 2020
Where: The course is based out of Flagstaff and there are daily field trips
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