Friday, April 8, 2016

Handcrafted Herbalism

Handcrafted Herbalism
A free Mini Course by Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine

At the end of March, I was given the opportunity to take an herb class. A few of my Maryjane Farmgirl Sisterhood gals were discussing it in Farmgirl Chit Chat. I thought this would be a wonderful chance to learn about the healing qualities and plant identification when growing or forging for wild foods. The Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine is located in the botanically rich Appalachian Mountains, just outside of Asheville, NC. They provided this wonderful course that I participated in.

All Photos  Credit: The Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine

In our first class, we learned that humans have been ingesting medicinal  food long before we even evolved the ability to make fires for our tea. Animals seek out medicinal plants to eat as remedies for specific ailments— early humans were no exception. I learned that herbs that might be  typically picture as medicine (teas, capsules or tinctures) can also be made into —pestos, sauces, popsicles, vinegars, salads, salts, broths, soups, and more! 


• Chickweed (Stellaria media, Caryophyllaceae) • Calendula (Calendula officinalis, Asteraceae) • Violet (Viola sororia, Violaceae) • Burdock (Arctium minus and A. lappa, Asteraceae) • Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale, Asteraceae) • Nettles (Urtica dioica, Urticaceae) • Hawthorn (Crataegus spp., Rosaceae) • Elderberry (Sambucus nigra, Adoxaceae) • Hibiscus (Hibiscus sabdariffa, Malvaceae) • Tulsi (Ocimum tenuiflorum, Lamiaceae) • Monarda, Wild Bergamot (Monarda fistulosa, Lamiaceae)

As the class progressed we learned the most important rule.... 

Be absolutely positive of your identification before you harvest and ingest any wild food or medicine. 

It is common sense that you should know what you are harvesting. If in doubt, do not gather! Consult with local herbalists, botanists, and field guides. A story was told of how one woman died from eating a poisonous plant. This is why it is so important to take courses by trained professionals such as The Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine.

All Photos Credit: The Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine
The class offed many videos and goes into great detail each part of the plants botany/floral terms. What I liked best was the booklet and audio lessons that were able to be downloaded and used for future reference.

The Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine also provided many links and future classes. Juliet Blankespoor the Green Mastermind at the Chestnut School provides a wonderful free and many other courses such as their Online Herbal Immersion Program. I really enjoyed the mini class and look forward to joining other programs.

This blog post is shared on Our Simple Homestead Blog Hop, Farmgirl Chit Chat, and Maple Hill 101 Blog Hop and


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