The Rocky Mountain Field Botany Program at the Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism

The Rocky Mountain Field Botany Program at the Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism


I see that there comes a time in every herbalist’s career where they ask the question of themselves, “Where am I getting my herbs? Where are my herbs coming from?” And, there’s usually a push towards wanting to be the one going out and forging the relationships with the stand of plants, with a specific species that they really enjoy. Harvesting that for medicine, using that in their apothecaries and in their practice. That urge, and then the actual doing it, there’s a gap there. And that gap is usually because the botanical terminology and language that’s required to ID the plants, to actually
go out and make sure that the plant that you want is the one you have, is daunting. It’s
daunting to learn the terms – the carpal, the pistol, the stamen – what are those things? And without a mentor, teacher, or someone to guide through that process, typically it
amounts to opening a botany book, looking at the terms, being overwhelmed, and putting it down. The botany program at the Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism is really designed to create a community of like-minded students, where everyone is excited to learn the stuff together. Where actually looking at plants, looking at the descriptions, and comparing them – it starts to make sense when you actually see it in real life. And, the magic of that
process usually amounts to taking the green world that you see, its usually a swath
of green, and picking out the characters, recognizing the characteristics of the rose family, or the figwort family, and being able to place that wherever you go – whether you’re on the east coast or the west coast or wherever you go in the world. With botany, it really
gets you to explore deeper with the plants. And then from there it gets you to explore
deeper with yourself as well. So with botany, you’re looking very closely at the physical
level of the plants, but then that leads you into looking at all these other levels of
the plants. That’s the type of thing that you’re able to learn, and it creates relationship with the landscape. It kind of lets you tap into that life force that the plants have. It’s just another way of coming at a deeper connection with plants. If any of that interested you, you can find more information on the Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism’s website.

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