Category Archives: SHA Module

SHA Intermediate Course: Male Reproductive: Pathophysiology, Herbs, & Energetics


Saturday, July 30  9a-4p

Location: Tucson, AZ

Instructor: John Slattery

Class Fee: $60


The male reproductive system is possibly the least understood aspect of physiology today. Coupled with an aversion to visit the doctor for such issues, men stand a higher chance of suffering from reproductive system ailments due to unaddressed issues, or poorly understood conditions. Arguably, many men have suffered due to inappropriate preventative prostate interventions and operations. Somewhere in the middle is a well-informed, well-attuned male equipped to address the health of his reproductive organs in an optimal way.

This class will delve into some of the major issues such as prostate cancer, prostate enlargement, prostatitis, testicular cancer, erectile dysfunction, infertility, and hydroceles. We’ll explore pathophysiology from a Vitalist perspective, cover herbal materia medica, and include a discussion of plant energetics as well as working with plants and the elements to heal lower chakra trauma.

One cannot view the reproductive health of the modern male, I believe, outside of the current paradigm which involves ample cultural and personal trauma ultimately affecting the individual at their most base level – creativity, reproduction, connection to their root. This is where intimate work with plants can shed relevant light down a path towards personal healing by bringing “our story” to our awareness. This will be discussed and detailed as well.

This class is for clinical herbalists, practicing, or in-training, men concerned with their well-being, or women interested in helping the men in their lives. Each participant will receive written class notes to go along with the material including a list of materia medica and practices for developing and maintaining optimal reproductive health.


Price: $60.00

2016 SHA Module, Session 16: All About Acorns

shelled southern live oak acorns November 19   9:30 – 5p

Location: Tucson, AZ

Instructor: John Slattery

Our final module of the year offers a full day of working with acorns. Two species of acorn will be our main focus: southern live oak (Quercus virginiana) and bellota (Quercus emoryi), the former we’ll be viewing with ripe acorns. We may also view another non-native, cork oak (Quercus suber) from Spain. The former is found in abundance as a locally landscaped oak, and the bellota is our prominent wild acorn, locally. These delicious and tremendous local food resources will be looked at in depth during this class, and we will also go through all stages of processing from dry acorn to fully leached flour. Some food prep will be involved and pre-made samples will be available.

Although processing acorns does take some time, there are ways to manage it rather well. I will be sharing from my experiences as we go through the process of preparing our local acorns for consumption.

southern live oak acornThe mighty oak is renowned throughout the world as a symbol of strength, courage, integrity, vitality, and protection. There is no other food which has sustained the human race to such an extent as the acorn. And today most are barely aware that it can be eaten. How can such an abundant food go unnoticed for so many generations? The time of reawakening to the vitality and nutrition present in the oak’s acorns is upon us, and with much culinary delight!

We are entering the age of the acorn renaissance! I hope you can join me.

Our meeting place will be in central Tucson to discuss and view fruiting oak trees. After a couple of hours in the field, we’ll head to the Desert Tortoise Botanicals office for processing the acorns.


Price: $98.00


2016 SHA – Session 5 Field Study: Molino Basin (Segments Enrollment)

DSC_0335Three separate segments of Session 5 at Molino Basin, in the Santa Catalinas near Tucson, AZ are available to individual enrollment for a limited time!

For more details on the location and other trip details click HERE where you can also enroll in the entire Session at a discounted rate from the individual segments.

Listed below are the options for enrolling in individual segments of Session 5 at Molino Basin. Choose multiple segments from the dropdown menu to receive a discounted rate.

Note: Segments #1 & #2 will offer the most intensive field botany training of this course, however, the entire Session will be infused with field botany training.

Segment #1 Thursday, April 14  6:30a-4:30p  

Price: $150.00

Segment #2 Friday, April 15  7a-4p    

Price: $140.00

Segment #3 Saturday, April 16  7a-5p      

Price: $150.00

We’ll be exploring the plants of the Catalinas, from low to high elevation (3,000′ – 9,000′), from our base camp at Molino Basin. All hikes will be relatively short in duration (less than 1 mile) and of a gentle pace. We will car caravan to a variety of locations on the mountain from our daily start at Molino Basin campground.

I hope you can join me for this adventure!

Camping options are available for Thursday, Friday, and/or Saturday night. Please specify upon registration (in the comments section or by separate email) if you prefer to camp with the group on any one, or all of the nights.

Any further questions, email

2016 SHA Module, Session 12: Prickly Pear Food & Medicine

prickly pearSeptember 17     6a – 4p

Location: vicinity of Tucson, AZ

Instructor: John Slattery

Class Fee: $125

Prickly pear is a native cactus of the American deserts which can now be found all over the world. Perhaps the most emblematic wild plant food of the North American deserts, prickly pear is particularly abundant in the higher portions of the Sonoran Upland Division where cattle grazing has multiplied its abundance considerably. This terrain happens to be essentially encircling Tucson, AZ, the site of our day long exploration of the prickly pear as food and medicine.

This class will involve a morning visit to a wild population of fruiting prickly pear cactus with hands-on discovery of the flavors and tastes of prickly pear fruit. Plant identification, harvesting techniques, optimal harvesting times, and medicinal applications (first-aid and chronic ailments) will be explored here in-depth. We will conclude our class indoors in central Tucson to complete the processing of our fruit into juice and for later storage. Different processing and storage options will be discussed and demonstrated. We’ll also demonstrate (and taste!) some delicious prickly pear drinks, including ferments.

Each participant will walk away with a better understanding of when to harvest the fruit (not just when they’re red!), best practices for processing the fruit for juice, and an expanded awareness of its great variety of medicinal applications.

Questions: Contact


Price: $125.00

Refund Policy: Full refund by September 3, 2016. 50% refund after September 3, 2016 (unless you can fill your spot by a referral). Zero refund after September 13, 2016. Note: Any refunds applied over 60 days after registration will incur a 3% fee.

2016 SHA Module, Session 11: Field Study – Chiricahuas

ChiricahuasSeptember 6-11    *5 nights camping

Trip Fee: $575  (includes 6 days of instruction and handout materials)

Instructor: John Slattery

This module features 5 nights camping in the wild and rugged Chiricahua mountain range of the Desert Archipelago. Here Sierra Madre Occidental meets the Rocky Mountains – each at their extreme edges.

Our days will be spent in contemplation with the plants, exploring, discussing what we find, gathering plants for food and medicine (maybe some mushrooms, too), processing and preparing medicine in the field, and exercising our full faculties to gain knowledge from the place which we inhabit. This is the longest module of the 2016 SHA Program, allowing participants to sink deeply into place and plants creating strong relationship bonds. These bonds deeply inform the medicine we know and receive from plants. This is the hidden gem within Bioregional Herbalism. It must be experienced to begin to understand its power and relevance.

No other Sky Island in the US is quite like the Chiricahuas. Whether for unique geology, convergence of ecotones, diversity of plants, animals, and insects, or unique cultural heritage and energetic resonance. Here we will encounter such important medicines as lobelia, Sonoran grape root (relative of Oregon grape), red root (3 species), self-heal, poke, vervain (3 species) and chaparral; and such unique or unheralded plants such as bidens, silk tassel, Wright’s eryngo, lead plant, indigobush, mariola, wild oregano, pony’s foot, Arizona cypress, beebush, and many, many more.

Camping will be in primitive camp sites with outhouses and picnic tables. Good drinking water is available at one spring, and drinking water can be filtered from a nearby stream. Transportation is each participants’ responsibility, but carpooling may be arranged upon registration; 4wd or high clearance is not necessary, but may be helpful. All camping equipment is each participant’s responsibility, but limited number of items (tents, sleeping bags, sleeping mats) are available for a $4 rental fee per item. Each participant will be responsible for their own meals on the trip.

Questions, email:

Registration for this Session is now closed


2016 SHA Module, Session 10: Field Study: Sierra Blanca – Mid-Summer

DSC_0057August 25-27     *2 nights camping

Trip Fee: $295  (includes 3 full days of instruction and handout materials)

Instructor: John Slattery

This module offers a return to the high elevations of the Sierra Blanca which we first visit and explore in July. Now the tremendous verdancy will be at its peak, rivers and creeks will be flowing with the force of frequent summer downpours, and the land will offer extensive opportunities to explore plants for nourishment and healing.

The summer rains will be at their peak and the nights beginning to reach down toward freezing at the higher elevations of the range. Autumn has just begun, but the verdancy is still tremendous and the plants abundant. Some of the special plants we will encounter on our travels through the Sierra Blanca include blue elder, oshá, betony/lousewort, gentian, star solomon’s seal, cutleaf coneflower, Artemisia species, Siberian elm, Canadian fleabane, red osier dogwood, spikenard, nettle, and so much more.

Camping is primitive, but we will have access to water for drinking and washing. We will begin and end our session in the town of Alpine where good drinking water is available, as well as gasoline, restaurants, basic groceries, showering facilities, laundry facilities, and motels/cabins for those looking to stay before or after the workshop. We may also pass through Alpine during our session for brief stops to re-supply.

Questions, email:


Price: $120.00

*When choosing “Single Day” or “2 Days” you will be able to specify which day/s in subsequent email correspondence


2016 SHA Module, Session 9: Field Study – Pajarito Wilderness

Peña Blanca LakeAugust 18-20     *2 nights camping

Trip Fee: $240  (includes 2 and a half days of instruction and handout materials)

Instructor: John Slattery

This module features 2 nights camping in the border region of the Pajarito Wilderness where oak woodlands meet savannah, and the rare jaguar prowls over intricately laced canyons. Unique, endemic vegetation surrounds us with plants reaching their northernmost location touching those which extend down from the north. A rare and beautiful opportunity to delve into the tremendous flora inhabiting this rarely visited territory.

The monsoons should be well underway and the hillsides moist and green covered in tall grasses and unusual forbs. Here we will discover the very edible saya and its prickly neighbor mala mujer. Kidneywood, manzanita, beebush, lobelia, wild oregano, Sonoran giant hyssop, skullcap, cudweed, altamisa, soapberry, verbena, estafiate and many others will be found throughout our field of study. Numerous plants will be covered in depth. We will practice deep relationship with several plants, and plant energetics will be woven throughout this field session. Clinical applications underlay all aspects of our study and discussion. Healing with plants is a broad subject; many aspects of herbal medicine will be touched upon throughout.

Our camp site is primitive and dry. We will need to pack in all of our water. Depending on availability (and our group size), our camp sites may or may not have tables or outhouses adjacent (however, some sites do and outhouses are within 1 mile of any camp site). Otherwise, there are no facilities where we will be for the entire trip. Swimming is available in the nearby lake and there are swimming holes to visit on one of our canyon hikes. It is a wonderfully stunning place to be in.

Questions, email:


Price: $105.00

*When choosing “Single” or “2 Days” you will be able to specify which day/s in subsequent email correspondence

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:

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


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:

$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:

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

Register here: 

Price: $475.00