Herbal Basics 2022-23




The purpose of this class is to learn to bring herbs into daily life, learn to identify the plant helpers in your yard, build health and resilience for yourself, your family and your community. And, to have fun!


Our class will meet on one Sunday a month. from 10:00 a.m. to 3:00 p.m.at the lovely Geercrest Farm near Silverton. The cost is $50 per class. 


Class will include lecture time described in the syllabus, plant identification and medicine making time. Our kitchen time will be fruitful and you’ll take home remedies and their instructions each month. We’ll have plenty of Q and A and time for everyone to share their experiences and wisdom. We’ll share a potluck lunch, the weedier the better! 



Making Change-Alterative Herbs: 

Our circulatory systems are the river of life. Alteratives have historically been thought of as “blood cleansing” agents, I find it useful to think of them as change agents. We’ll look at how we can help problems as diverse as skin problems to mood through the use of alterative herbs. Includes an introduction to the use of herbs for culinary, cosmetic and medicine and some fun with basic medicine making. 



Soothing the Body, Mind and Spirit:

Relaxation is one of the first reasons folks turn to herbs. Even Peter Rabbit’s mama knew about chamomile tea. We’ll study nervine, antispasmodic and stimulant herbs, and learn about safe and effective sleep and mood helpers. We’ll also look at issues like sleep apnea and other physical complaints that interfere with sleeping. We’ll learn about stimulant herbs (not the usual suspects) those that increase the sensitivity of the nerves and that stimulate and energize the entire body. Introduction to aromatherapy, homepathy, flower essences and other vibrational healing.


Winter of our lives

Learn to make your own cough, cold and flu remedies. We’ll talk about demulcent and expectorant herbs and the respiratory system and strategies for acute problems like cold and flu and chronic problems like asthma and apnea. We’ll also look at herbal care for those issues that arise as we age including end of life issues.  

Formulating and herbal care for the sensitive ones in our lives. Are essential oils ok for babies, should elders take herbs? Change the taste and the texture for the finicky  ones, tricks and tips for compliance. Learn about herbal care for babies, children, elders and pets. 



We’ll spend the day gathering greens and making holiday gifts for our loved ones and enjoy the film “Juliette of the Herbs” Class will meet on the First Sunday at Embree Farm, weather permitting, or another private location



Home and Hearth 

January is a great month to set new routines and plan for the year, stay inside and drink warm tea. We’ll share our homekeeping tips as well as spending time making products to clean with herbs, including laundry, pets, bath, and kitchen. There are ways to clean without killing off all our good microbes as we clean.  We’ll also spend some time learning the herbal remedies that are already in your kitchen when you need them RIGHT AWAY!  Kitchen Remedies A to Z.


Hearts and Chocolate and Roses

Historically, the heart has been considered a source of wisdom, courage, thought, and emotion. This was a place of instinct, of psychological and spiritual insight, and the home of our higher Self. A hand placed over the heart was a symbol of loyalty, sincerity, and truthfulness, as well as a declaration that I am. It wasn’t until the Industrial Revolution that we began to take a more reductionist perspective, thinking of the heart as primarily a physical entity, whose function was simply to pump blood. We’ll look at herbs for heart health Then we’ll turn our thoughts and hands to Botanica Erotica and make some special treats.



Smooth Move

A look at digestive health. New information about the microbiome is coming out constantly. Learn about how herbs, wild foods and especially nourishing herbal infusions can help your digestion. Discuss common digestive complaints and herbal strategies to heal them. Learn about anthlemitic and carthartic herbs.(Yes kids and pets still get worms, we sometimes still need them!) This is also a great time to study the immune system and learn about tonic herbs. Tonic herbs slowly build up strength, energy and health when we are recovering from a run down condition (or trying to prevent one)  by improving our appetite and encouraging increased absorption of nutrients and encourage elimination of wastes with natural diuretics.



Because it is Bitter:

Learn about the foods as medicine and medicine as foods that keep that have a cleansing, toning and regulating effect on our liver, gall bladder, spleen and pancreas. We’re all exposed to plenty of toxins these days so it’s wise to pay attention! We’ll learn about herbs and techniques to keep us hseptic Every Action-The Endocrine Cascade:We’ll use Margi Flint’s Understand the Endocrine  Cascade booklet to learn about the functions of our glands and hormones.



Down There

More than Emmenagogues and “Guynecology”

Learn about herbs that cleanse, tone and strengthen our reproductive organs and make some fun treats to take home. We’ll discuss candida and other ailments along with herbal strategies to heal them. Safe herbs for pregnancy. We’ll look at Susun Weed’s books and James Green’s Herbal for men and boys. 


Oh my aching…

We'll look at the musculoskeletal system and talk about herbal anodynes and analgesics. One of the primary reasons people go to see a doctor these days is for physical pain- whether

acute or chronic. To have skill sets and holistic tools to assist someone in the treatment and

management of their pain is one of the most important strategies we can learn. Standard over-the-

counter anti-inflammatory drugs or the more powerful prescription opiate class of drugs can have some nasty side effects. We.’ll look at readily available, gentle means to help with chronic pain and inflammation.



First Things First

Actually most accidents in the home occur in the bathroom. For me, most occur in the kitchen. So wherever they happen, there’s usually always something right at hand to take care of them if you know what that is. 

There’s also times when you can’t take care of it and you should know when to call 911. But, first aid is also a state of mind, it is a matter of being available and prepared with an open mind when we are needed. Many of us have bandaged a wound, bathed a scraped knee and kissed away the pain. Our class will be based more on the latter. Through the year we will make preparations so that when we come together for this class we will prepare kits.



Beauty is NOT Skin Deep:

In August it’s our tradition to stay out of the heat and celebrate ourselves with a day of pampering. We'll start the class learning about our (second) largest organ, the skin. We’ll talk about skin and wound care with herbs that reduce infection without killing off all our good microbes.  And then the fun begins with natural skin care (beauty isn't skin deep) and then prepare everything we need for a facial steam, cleanse, mask, tone and moisturize and do a facial. BRING a large bowl and towel to this class, please. If you don't want to, you'll never need to buy products for this again! We'll make sure to make plenty for you to take home so bringing small containers would be great.