May 13, 2015 | Featured Instructor

medicinalDid you know that many of the plants growing right around you have medicinal properties? From weeds like dandelion and mullein to natives growing in the nearby hills like willow and arnica, as well as culinary garden plants like thyme, lavender and sage. You are surrounded by nature’s pharmacy! All of these and so many more are easy to find, grow, preserve and use. 

Preparations can be as simple as adding the plants to foods, making a tea or preserving in alcohol or vinegar. Most are safer and often more effective than over-the-counter medications when used correctly.  Putting your own energy into growing or harvesting and preparing medicinal plants helps us to create relationship with the plants and can actually enhance the healing power of the plants. 

Plants growing near to us are more in tune with our body’s needs; we share the same water, soils and climate demands. And they want to be used by us!  Just like using local plants for food, using local plants for medicine is kinder to the earth and much more sustainable than bringing in plants from hundreds or thousands of miles away.  It is fun and empowering to learn what grows around us and the gifts that Mother Nature offers. 

To discover the many medicinal uses of the plants growing around you, join instructor, Mary O'Brien for Meet Your Local Medicinal Plants on Saturday, June 13 (9:30 a.m. -3:30 p.m.) at our Chatfield location. Learn about the medicinal plants growing in your backyard, along you favorite hiking trails or even cracks in the sidewalk. This class will include an herb walk to meet the many healing plants, both garden and wild, growing at Chatfield. We will talk about ways these plants can be grown and used in your own garden pharmacy. In the afternoon we will make medicine and a salve and participants will go home with a gift. Register online or call 720-865-3580.

Mary O’Brien has been studying and practicing herbal medicine since 1987. She studied with many renowned teachers like Rosemary Gladstar, Brigitte Mars, Stephen Buhner and Michael Moore, and completed the Chartered Herbalist program with Dominion Herbal College. A Colorado native, she has lived in Steamboat Springs over 20 years, where she teaches herbal medicine, leads medicinal plant walks, wildcrafts, makes herbal products and maintains a medicinal garden for Yampa River Botanic Park. Her journey has led her to also study the medicine wheel, sacred plant medicine, massage therapy, energy work and permaculture.  She is certified in Advanced Permaculture Design and teaches introductory permaculture classes. 


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