Category Archives: Sonoran Herbal Class

2016 SHA Module, Session 8: Field Study: Sierra Blanca – Early Summer

Sierra BlancaJuly 20-24     *4 nights camping

Trip Fee: $590  (includes 5 full days of instruction and handout materials)

Instructor: John Slattery

*Featuring an in-depth segment on Phytochemistry (8hr)

This module features 4 nights camping in the high elevations of the Sierra Blanca of Arizona. An area of diverse habitats and where the sources of our major riverways descend from high mountain springs. The perfect backdrop for the budding bioregional herbalist to learn the principle of contextual awareness through experiential learning.

As the summer rains begin to moisten the Earth once again the vegetation of the mountains explodes filling all valleys and covering mountainsides. During this first session in the Sierra Blanca we will be exploring all available seasonal herbs while addressing and discussing some wild plant foods as well. The seasons of wild oregano, yerba del lobo, skullcap, wild mint, and St. John’s wort will be at their height. The fresh tips of spruce, Douglas fir, and white fir will be covering the higher mountains. Several of our root and seed harvests of the autumn will now be easily recognizable for their foliage and flowers. The study of the forest for its medicine will be our intent, gathering up experiences to inform our paths of healing and sharing with those we encounter. These 5 full days serves as an immersion in the healing plants of the Sierra Blanca, the White Mountains of Arizona, of the Apache, and those who have lived here throughout time.

Additionally, this module features an in-depth exploration of phytochemistry. All major classes of plant constituents will be covered, and we will discuss, in-depth, the phytochemical makeup of several plants we visit on this trip. Handouts will be given to accompany the lecture.

Camping is primitive, and we will have 2 different campsites to reduce driving time overall. We will have access to water for washing although drinking water will have to be hauled in (unless purified on site). We will, however, make passes through the town of Alpine where good drinking water is available, as well as gasoline, restaurants, basic groceries, and motels/cabins for those looking to stay before or after the workshop.

Questions, email: john@sonoranherbalist.com

$90 Discount if you register by May 15, 2016  Use Coupon code: SIERRA8

 Register:

Price: $590.00

2016 SHA Module, Session 6: Field Study: Happy Valley

spud rockMay 12-15   *3 nights camping

Trip Fee: $450  (includes 3 nights camping, 4 days instruction, and handout materials)

Instructor: John Slattery

This module features 3 nights camping at the foot of the Rincon Mountains in the San Pedro watershed. Here the Chihuahuan desert meets the Sonoran desert meets Chaparral plant communities, meets Sierra Madrean Occidental, meets Rocky Mountain flora – all within several miles walking distance. The Sky Islands boast the greatest diversity of mammals in North America, and the plant diversity is equally impressive.

As we near the end of spring and the beginning of the dry summer season, the mid-elevation canyons present some of the most abundant and lush vegetation available to us in southeast Arizona. We will visit a variety of canyons and riparian watersheds from our oak woodland campsite. Some of the plants we can hope to see include: yerba mansa, cottonwood, Emory oak, Mexican blue oak, turpentine bush, agave, sotol, silk tassel, manzanita, penstemon, bricklebush, elder, black walnut, ash, wild grape, wolfberry, Sonoran giant hyssop, Texas betony, yerba santa, watercress, and more.

This session will reinforce previous lessons of Plant Energetics, Field Botany, and Habitat Observation as the full-time students continue to practice their skills in these areas. Drop-in enrollment participants will be included in all exercises and lessons throughout this module.

Camping is primitive with no restroom facilities or running water (with the exception of nearby seasonal creeks). We will need to bring in all of our water and food. However, there is plenty of wood for camp fires.

Questions, email: john@sonoranherbalist.com

$75 Discount if you register by March 15, 2016  Use Coupon code: HAPPY

Register here:  

Price: $450.00

2016 SHA Module, Session 5: Field Study – Molino Basin

Glandularia gooddingiiApril 14-17   *3 nights camping

Trip Fee: $476  (includes 3 nights camping, 4 days instruction, and handout materials)

Instructor: John Slattery

*Enroll in Segments*

This module features 3 nights camping in the Santa Catalinas, which boasts the greatest diversity of flora of all the Sky Islands, or Desert Archipelagos. From our oak grove base camp in Molino Basin we will visit a variety of plants growing in diverse habitats such as Mexican palo verde, oreganillo, ocotillo, silk tassel, Arizona cypress, hop tree, douglas fir, valerian, aspen, and beargrass.

Becoming a bioregional herbalist means learning to identify the plants in your region. Yes, having a skilled teacher along with you to show you the way is the preferred method for most, if not all. And although this Program offers just that, it is important to remember that everyone will continue to meet new plants as they continue to grow and expand their knowledge. Thus, this module has a focus on learning the skills of field botany and how to begin to glean knowledge from plants you don’t know and haven’t even met before. Although these skills are woven throughout the entire SHA Program, this module takes a depth look at the process of “keying out” plants in the field, or using a botanical key to identify the plants we meet even if we have no idea what they are to begin with. This detailed process takes practice, and practice we will throughout this session. In addition to becoming more familiar with the keying out process, we will review several resources for keying out plants from our region – from the basic to the most sophisticated (or, complicated, for that matter). Additionally, we will build upon our field discoveries overlaying the principles and methods of individual research which can lead to enlightening discoveries of how our local plants can be utilized for food and medicine. Our explorations will include engaging in the process of developing relationship with plants, exploring plant energetics, discussing possible resources for research on plants, and sharing our discoveries and processes as a group.

Questions, email: john@sonoranherbalist.com

$77 Discount if you register by February 15, 2016  Use Coupon code: MOLINO

Register here: 

Price: $475.00

 

2016 SHA Module, Session 4: Medicine-making II

herbal vinegarJuly 16-17   9a-3p, both days

Class Fee: $155

Instructor: John Slattery

Location: Tucson, AZ

How would you like to learn to make your own herbal remedies? AND, at a fraction of the cost of purchasing these remedies!

This 2-day class will cover a variety of basic herbal medicine making techniques, including syrups, oxymels, and honey preparations. All of our preparations in this class will feature local wildflower honey as a solvent and a healing agent. Honey is perhaps one of the oldest medicinal substances known to humankind. It is, in fact, where the word medicine is derived from (as well as “mead”). It is said that the origin of the word medicine stems back to ancient Egypt where it derives from the application of honey so frequently as medicine.

Oxymel is an ancient term referring to a preparation made with vinegar and honey. We’ll explore a variety of possibilities with various vinegars (some homemade) and herbs well-suited to oxymel preparations. There are oxymels for any occasion and climate. Simple formulation strategies discussed in this class help to optimize the enjoyment and effectiveness of the oxymel.

 As the student begins to explore the techniques many possibilities are illuminated. Variations are endless. Herbal medicine making is an art above all, but the science of it will be discussed at length during this class.. Additionally, detailed handouts for all the preparations we make in class (including recipes) will be delivered. 

Bring your curiosity for creativity with healing plants, to take away endless ideas for creating with widely available and locally available plants.

Questions: Contact john@sonoranherbalist.com

Register:  

Price: $155.00

2016 SHA Module, Session 3: Medicine-making I

DSC_0044March 25-26   9a-4p, both days

Class Fee: $170

Instructor: John Slattery

Location: Tucson, AZ

How would you like to learn to make your own herbal remedies? AND, at a fraction of the cost of purchasing these remedies!

This 2-day class will cover a variety of basic herbal medicine making techniques, including oil infusions, salves, creams, tinctures, percolations. Such preparations make the foundation for a wide array of commonly used remedies and formulations with both internal and topical applications. Participants will learn these techniques, hands-on, while being encouraged to explore the world of herbalism safely, and with great creativity. Herbal medicine making is an art above all, but the science of it will be discussed at length. Additionally, detailed handouts for all the preparations we make in class (including recipes) will be delivered. 

Bring your curiosity for creativity with healing plants, to take away endless ideas for creating with widely available and locally available plants.

Register:  

Price: $170.00

Refund Policy: 100% Refund within 7 days of purchase. Zero Refund given within 3 weeks of the class (even if within 7 days of purchase.

There is no credit given for missed classes.

2016 SHA Module, Session 2: Field Study – Catalina State Park

IMG_0660March 17-20     *3 nights camping

Regular Trip Fee: $476

20% Discount through midnight (MST) Saturday, March 12: $380.80

 Use Coupon code: CATALINA1

 Instructor: John Slattery

Module 2 of the 2016 Sonoran Herbalist Apprenticeship (SHA) Program is available for enrollment. Our first overnight field study of the year is in glorious Catalina State Park at the foot of Mt Lemmon at over 9,100 feet elevation. Here, Sonoran Upland Division desert is marked by palo verde and saguaro cactus amidst bouldered hillsides and small mesas where ancient indigenous settlements overlooked desert riparian drainages coming down from the high elevation. Oak and juniper descend the canyon, while desert lavender and limberbush inhabit the hot rocky hillsides above.

Arriving at the height of spring floral abundance, our 3 nights and 4 days will be spent exploring various parts of this vast state park and adjacent forest service land. Several dozen plants will be viewed, discussed, and tasted as medicine. Several basic medicine making techniques will be demonstrated and explored in detail (including hot and cold infusions, decoctions, poultices, steam inhalations, and fomentations).

34 Training Hours

Register:  

Price: $476.00

Refund Policy: 100% Refund within 7 days of purchase. Zero Refund given if cancelled within 30 days of the class start (even if within 7 days of purchase).

There is no credit given for missed classes.

2016 SHA Module, Session 1: Plant Energetics I & II

March 5-6   9a-5p, both days

Location: Tucson, AZ

Class Fee: $196

Instructor: John Slattery

Pulsatilla patensOur first session of the year will begin with introductions, a short orientation, and an overview of our Program. Then we will delve into the study of Plant Energetics. John has been studying the plants of the Sonoran desert for over a decade, compiling notes on their energetics in reference to the sophisticated categorizations of traditional systems of healing such as Chinese, Greek, Arabic, Ayurvedic, and so on.

Each student will receive a copy of Energetics of Materia Media, a work-in-progress mapping out the energetics of the medicinal plants used in John’s practice over the past 10 years. A unique reference featuring plants of the Sonoran desert bioregion which are unknown to other works on the subject.

Our class time will be split between indoors and out in nature. Discussion, herb tasting, and spending time with plants will be balanced over the course of the weekend to help the student carry away a greater sense of the inter-relationships found when working with Plant Energetics, and how to further one’s experience and knowledge through focused exercises and application of principles on the subject.

Register:  

Price: $196.00

Refund Policy: 100% Refund within 7 days of purchase. Zero Refund given within 3 weeks of the class (even if within 7 days of purchase.

There is no credit given for missed classes.

Cerro de Aconchi

Sonoran River Valley Ethnobotany

October 27-29     *2 nights camping

Trip Fee: $350

*Use Promotion Code DAMIANA to register for $300 by Winter Solstice December 22, 2015

Instructor: John Slattery

This field study trip follows our Sonoran Coastal Thornscrub & Wild Food and Medicine of the Seri (Mexico) up through the picturesque Sonoran River valley. The Río Sonora is believed to have once been inhabited by the Ópata people. Here, their mestizo descendants continue the traditions of farming and gathering wild plant foods such as bellotas, chiltepines, and agave, or mescál, for the distillation of bacanora. The beauty and tranquility of the Sonoran river valley touches the heart of many who pass through it. 

Our home for these 2 nights will be an encampment at the aguas termales, or hot springs, beneath El Cerro de Aconchi, a Sky Island ringed by organ pipe cactus, tree ocotillo, and riparian mesquite forests. We will have access to numerous bathing tubs, outhouses, tables, and the nearest town, Aconchi, is a 20 minute drive.  

Our days will be spent hiking and exploring the valley and talking with local people about their relationship with wild plants, whenever possible. We will visit and discuss the medicine of damiana, tree ocotillo, elephant tree, organ pipe cactus, pochote, cacahuiste, chicura, and many other curious plants of the Sonoran river valley. There will be a guided tincture making class in the field or at our campsite. And for a very special treat we will clamor up into the hills in search of the ripened wild chiltepines (Capsicum annuum var. glabriusculum). Following, we’ll have a go at creating a variety of traditional chiltepín preparations with what we’ve gathered – pickled unripe fruits, chiltepín-quince salsa, chiltepín-garlic salsa, and more!

DSC_0788For those not present on the Sonoran Coastal Thornscrub field study (10/19-23), we will be meeting on highway 15 just north of Hermosillo before caravanning as a complete group up highway 14 along the Río Sonora. Complete directions will be given upon registration.

Trip Participation Requirements:

  • Complete Registration
  • Valid Passport
  • Reliable transportation -or- Rideshare within our group
  • Basic Camping Equipment

More specific trip details will be sent upon registration.

Register: 

Price: $350.00

2016 SHA Module, Session 7: Vitalist Clinical Applications

Sunday, May 29    9a – 4p

Class Fee: $85

Vitalism. You may have heard of it. Vitality? Yes, of course. What, then, is Vitalism?

Several ancient systems of healing from around the world have gained recognition in the West over the previous several decades including Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda. Several other countries and cultures developed similar theoretical backdrops for a life of well-being and for treating illness and disease states. Whether from Japan, Greece, Mexico, Thailand, Korea, or from the ancient Mayans all these systems could be classified as Vitalism, generally speaking.

At the core of Vitalist principles is “do no harm.” This reflects the great respect given to the innate ability of the body to heal itself. Vitalism, in essence, is the practice of enhancing and encouraging the natural flow of this healing force, or will to live, within the body, and seeking to remove any obstacles which inherently resist the flow of this force. Clinical applications abound in which these concepts can be put to good use.

This class will cover the basic principles of Vitalism and how these can be applied to our daily lives and in a clinical setting. The truth is that if more people were educated in these principles and practices once again, the work of the Vitalist practitioner would ultimately be more effective and more efficient in its practice.

This class is a perfect tie-in to the 2016 SHA Session 1 which covers Plant Energetics. Applying the energetics of herbs through the principles of Vitalism greatly enhances their effectiveness. Not only does the application of these principles enhance the effectiveness of the herbs, they also help deepen the awareness of the practitioner as to how, why, and when the herbs may be applied. This, of course, does not have to be restricted to just practitioners in a clinical setting, but may be applied to the lives of us all – as we are all practitioners at this thing we call Life.

Although this is a lecture class, we will be engaging with plants via tinctures and teas to further our discussion of the application of plant energetics in a Vitalist model of healing.

Class size is limited, so register now to reserve your space!

Register:  

Price: $85.00

 

 

Plant Energetics: Building Immunity

Monarda fistulosa var. menthifoliaSaturday, December 12, 2015 10a – 4p

Location: Desert Tortoise Botanicals, 4802 E. Montecito St. Tucson 85711

Instructor: John Slattery

This class will focus on a variety of herbs (for example, wild oregano, spikenard, & yerba santa) which we can utilize to help strengthen and stabilize our immune response. Through skilled combination we will create several herbal medicines which each participant will bring home.

Exploring the energetics of plants opens a world of discovery. As we discover a plant’s Nature, we begin to develop intimate relationship which offers unlimited possibilities.

Several herbs will be tasted and discussed within the context of the priniciples of Vitalism, and the way in which our bodies are nourished and healed. Following discussions we will make a variety of herbal remedies together, including syrup, oxymel, and tea blends.

This class will be held at the office of Desert Tortoise Botanicals. Please bring a lunch as we will take a short lunch break midday. A discount of 10% off all Desert Tortoise Botanicals products as an added benefit to all class participants.

Class fee: $75  *All materials fees included.

  

Price: $75.00