Herbalism & Foraging
Adult Programs: East Pathway
The relationships that traditional people had with the plants in their environment was significant in every aspect of their life and culture. The songs, ceremonies and daily choices revolved around the shrubs that were in fruit, the herbs that were in seed and the roots underground. Every poisonous, edible and medicinal plant was known. The quality of wood of each species was known from the tension and compression performance for making bows, to the chemical composition for smoking and tanning hides. By the age of 8 a child in a traditional culture would have the knowledge base of the plants in their bio-region comparable to a modern PHD in botany.
Approaching the world of plants can be intimidating, but it is extremely rewarding. Having the knowledge to step outside in any season to grab a handful of wild edible plants is empowering. If you are a survivalist or person of the outdoors this is essential knowledge.
We use a variety of methods to approach the “Wall of Green.”
Through the sit spot routine, journalling, the use of the Newcomb’s and Families identification systems, as well as attending courses with our Instructors in Herbalism and Foraging, you will be well on your way to an entirely new relationship with your environment.
Gathering one’s own food and medicine plants is an ancient and highly rewarding endeavor. In doing so, we connect not only with our environment and the plants who live there, but also our intuitive and instinctual self. Plants become imbued with meaning and value, enriching and nourishing our everyday lives. The lines between us and nature, food and medicine, weeds and vegetable begin to blur. We begin to see that all around us and under every footstep are the fabric of life woven through the forms of wild plant communities.
(formerly Foraging and Herbalism)
Here in the West, traditional herbal medicines have been supplanted by pharmaceuticals, many of them historically plant-derived, as the popular medicine. Herbal extracts, while relegated to “dietary supplement” status, are nonetheless relevant and viable alternatives to support and maintain daily health. Many supplement companies that package and sell herbs have notorious issues with integrity, quality, and purity of their supply chain, such that many off-the-shelf herbal products do not even contain the plants that they claim on the label. The best way to ensure you are getting a quality, medicinal-strength product (besides buying from a reputable herbalist) is to make your own products from plants that you can positively identify and gather yourself.
(formerly Herbal Medicine Making)
In every indigenous culture, one can find a body of herbal knowledge and practices at the core of traditional medicine. In much of the world, herbal medicine still comprises the modern, mainstream medicine for the masses. Traditional medicine systems view health as a balance of elemental energies at work in the body and in all of one’s choices, relationships and interactions. Western herbal medicine historically uses the humoral or four-elements approach to understanding energetics. The practitioner’s job is to understand the energetic nature of their patient, how their life choices and environment affect that balance, and to offer their best guidance to restoring and promoting health.
Details for this class can be viewed in the Event