Deep Roots Class Notes: Demystifying Preparation and Delivery

We began by reading Kiva Rose’s beautifully vivid and timely excerpt Enchanting Medicine Making, shared from a downloadable Plant Healer Apothecary guide that arrived just as we were to speak about it. Well worth checking out.

We toured a few menstruum bases that can be used for making herbal medicine preparations, and various forms of delivery.

water base – hydrosol, flower essence, decoction, tisane, infusion, baths, steam, homemade homeopathic, extraction temperature of constituents in steeping and uses of temperature in application

oil/butter base – salve, oil, perfume, bolus

vinegar base – liniment, dressings, oxymels

alcohol base – tincture, liniment, prep step for others

sugar base – syrups, oxymels, lozenges, honeys, glycerine tincture, fizzy drinks

gelatin base – broth, gummies, jellos, popsicles

plant base – poultice, fomentation, juice, adornment, altar, incense, powders,  fermentations

And we explored a framework for simplifying intersecting considerations – appropriate preparations at hand, compliance & investment (including support, urgency and appeal), delivery access to location including systemic/topical, layers of self to address (body, soul, emotion, cognition, environment). And practiced the logic with a couple of scenarios.

Two trusty medicine maker’s guides are Richo Cech’s Making Plant Medicine and James Green’s The Herbal Medicine-Maker’s Handbook: A Home Manual.

And your take-home mystery herb this week was the lovely tincture of elecampane root.


Absolutely loved teaching this foundational series! It’s my hope to help you connect with the plants and deeper systems around us in an embodied, authentic way that empowers you to grow freely as an herb lover. Will refine and run it again sometime.

Deep Roots Herbal Foundations Week Three

This is the final week in our Deep Roots Herbal Foundations series ~

In our the first class of the series we experienced practical sensory ways to explore the energetics and actions of a plant. In the second we followed up with widening our view to explore the vitalist perspective and an herbalists’ role in transition, mindful of the relationships between components and systems.

In our last class, we get a fly-over tour of choosing the right preparation and delivery forms for your challenges. This is not about choosing which plant to use, which we explored in our sensing/energetics class and will more in the future, or about combining and formulation, the poetic layering of herb choices within a given preparation, which we’ll also cover in future classes.

This one’s about the overlapping considerations in deciding which preparations most practically approach the person, state and condition. We’ll talk about well-matched uses for:

This preparation form has some obvious benefits and drawbacks (:

altar offerings
steam with aromatics
first aid powders
flower waters
suppository and pessary
fermented sodas
essential oils (not for kitchen creation – we’ll just talk about their proper role in preparations and when to substitute)
you can even create low-potency homeopathics at home in a pinch

We’ll cover them individually in more depth in the future, but for the DIYer this class offers a system to organize your preparation choices, and for the budding herbalist it draws a picture of how herbs can be brought into your life.

All levels welcome

Head on over to sign up at Deep Roots if you’d like directions to join us

Deep Roots Class Notes: Widen the Circle

Teachings and concepts coming up this week include:

Paul Bergner and Lisa Ganora at the Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism, who combine rigorous scientific understanding of constituents and physiology with the systemic pattern-honoring vitalist tradition

Phyllis Light has a new book out synthesizing her years of study of the Appalachian system of folk medicine

Embodiment practices that an herbalist can use to help clients with trauma include many forms of tapping-into-subconscious, including Emotional Freedom Technique. Basics from Peter Levine‘s work are worth absorbing, and the concept of titration… edging back and forth at the boundary of tension/change… is an important one to understand in all forms of somatoemotional healing. A fundamental step is bringing the internal (interoceptive) perception into the body and the present moment as a beginning place for allowing them to gently notice and transform patterns, unless the energetic charge is too strong. At some point in the future we’ll have a class on basic somatic tools for herbalists, and importantly recognizing trauma. Judith Blackstone’s books hold some wonderful embodiment practices.

In alignment with the paradigm shifts we discussed are Didi Pershouse’s Fertile Health: Parallels between Sustainable Agriculture and Sustainable Medicine and Dark Kitchen: Making Friends with Microbes 

And to further our discussion of an herbalist’s role in transitioning times, this interview with Renee Davis is a treat







Deep Roots Class Notes: Sensory Impressions of Herbal Actions

A fulfilling beginning, thank you for connecting ~

Isn’t it eye-opening how much we can discover about the actions of a plant on psyche and soma, with just our senses?

To learn more about herbal energetic patterns in your own studies, in addition to the the classes I’ll be teaching locally there are some wonderful long-distance resources.

Rosalee de la Foret teaches her cook-friendly model at Taste of Herbs

Kiva Rose has talked extensively about energetics and actions at Kiva’s Enchantments

Matthew Wood talks about his approach at Sunnyfield Herb Farm

Jim McDonald teaches energetics, actions and tissue states with the humours at Herb Craft

And here’s a worthwhile talk that ties it all together from Sajah Popham at The School of Evolutionary Herbalism

Your Take-home mystery tasting herb was Blue Vervain.

7song talks about it here and Kiva Rose gives a write-up here

Next week we’ll look at the art of systemic witnessing, healthy harvest, concoction-crafting focus, and more foundations for this emergent path in unraveling times


Deep Roots Herbal Foundations series coming up Monday!
Tap into your inner knowing and build your earth medicine skills.

Sharing a glimpse of the space I work with, and the field of consciousness we’ll be playing in with our somatobotanical practices, is a review that came in this week for my book: “It helps me to recognize parts deep inside of me, where I don’t have conscious access. I feel refueled. It encourages me to find my own words… Deeply healing for the most important part of my inner space.”

Is this class series for you? Check the Deep Roots page for signup.

ps – The day this review arrived, so did a copy of the new paperback version of Dance Through It. Fun to hold.

Dance Through It Paperback