Friday, January 3, 2014

2014 Folk Herbalism Series

Herbal medicine has been the medicine of the people in all cultures since ancient history. Only in recent times have we lost our connection with the healing plants that our ancestors knew and relied on. But the plants are still here, growing all around us, and waiting for us to remember their gifts. This series of three hour classes was designed with the beginner in mind, as a way of offering practical ways of using these safe healing herbs, and reconnecting with the plants around you. Each month we focus on one topic, but I always include brief herb walks in the garden to introduce the living plants. Also, folks will bring home from each class either a living plant for their garden, or an herbal product we make in class. This year's classes will all be held on the second Sunday of the month, except for May, which will be on the first Sunday because of Mother's Day.

April 13th  Food as Medicine-
Spring tonics growing wild in your yard
Identify the herbs and weeds that are most nourishing and toning to our systems. Learn how to harvest and use these plants as edibles and infusions. Prevention is the best medicine, and many of the wild plants are loaded with the nutrients we need to stay healthy and energized throughout the season. We will be tasting some simple recipes made with these nutritious and tonic plants.

May 4th Herbal First Aid
Learn what herbs to reach for when those little emergencies happen. We will look at my favorite plants to turn to for cuts, scrapes, bruises, bleeding, pain, poisoning, diarrhea, infections, bites, burns and other minor emergencies. Nature offers abundant and safe solutions to heal our traumas. We'll be getting to know some of my most relied upon plants.

June 8th Tinctures and Elixirs
Learn to make your own tinctures and elixirs to last all winter. These potent and portable herbal preparations will preserve your herbal bounty, and making them is easier than you think. We'll be making some in class.

July 13th Oils and Salves
Herbal oils and salves can heal and soothe, stimulate or relax. In this class we'll make some together and look at recipes and techniques for making your own at home. 

August 10th Poultices and Fomentations
From chew and stick poultices in the field to carefully prepared fomentations in the kitchen, we'll look at the lost art of laying on the herbs. These techniques are useful for anything from treating minor skin problems to helping broken bones heal faster to drawing out toxins and poisons and infections.

photo by Amelia Rehrman

September 14th Harvesting and Preserving
We'll cover harvesting techniques for varies plants and their parts, with a bit of wildcrafting ethics thrown in. We will also discuss various ways to preserve your herbal harvest.
(tinctures and oils will be briefly discussed in this class, but are more thoroughly covered in previous classes)

October 12th Digging the Medicine
Fall is the time to dig the roots, both physical and proverbial. We'll be talking about underground medicine (literally and figuratively). Come unearth some healing roots while discussing the history of the suppression of herbal medicine and why it continues, like a stubborn root in the garden, to persist.

November 9th Teas and Syrups
Tisane, Infusion, Decoction...what's the difference? Teas are among the most simple and effective of herbal medicines. We'll sip some in class and make some sweet syrup too. This class will also focus on herbs and recipes that are useful as we move into cold and flu season.

All classes will be from 10am to 1pm
 at my home and garden outside of Oxford, Pa.

Space is limited to 15 per class, so sign up early to reserve your spot.

Cost is $40 per class ($10 for interested young people)
In the event of cancellation due to weather, 
classes will be rescheduled for the following Sunday

**Adults who wish to sign up for the entire season of classes can do so for a 
discounted price of $280
(however, I cannot refund money for missed classes)

To sign up, e-mail me at

I look forward to sharing another season of herbal medicine!

Photos in this post by Earth Mama

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