Herbalism Certificate Program

Aloe can be used to promote healthy skin and soothe sunburn. Oatstraw can support the nervous system to promote a sense of calm. Elderberry syrup and fire cider can be used during cold and flu season. Calendula salve is soothing and can be used as an antibacterial for skin abrasions. For thousands of years plants have been used to promote healthy natural living; this is the base for the new hobby Herbalism Certificate Program at Denver Botanic Gardens.

With a hands-on teaching approach and seed-to-product goal, our instructors guide students through every step of using plants for health and wellness. This program offers a unique learning experience to transform each student into a confident, knowledgeable and resourceful steward of plants by providing an introduction to practical and powerful herbalism knowledge.

A variety of medicinal plants are introduced, including some grown on site at the Gardens and those native to Colorado. With some of the regions finest herbalists assembled to lead, students learn in the classroom, in the Gardens and out in the field.


Price: $645, Public


2021 Class Schedule

Registration will open May 3, 2021


Infusions, Decoctions and Nutritive HerbsSaturday, June 12, 2021, 9 a.m. noonInstructor: Blake Burger

Learning the basics of infusing herbs is an important stepping stone on the path to becoming a great herbalist. The valuable information provided in this class creates a foundation for making herbal remedies at home. Learn about water, vinegar, oil, honey and witch hazel infusions and which herbs are best for infusing. We also discuss the benefits of nutritive herbs. Nutritive herbs are high in vitamins and minerals, feed gut flora and provide deep nourishment for the body, mind and soul.


Herbal Allies for the Respiratory System: Prevention, Support & RecoverySaturday, June 26, 2021,9 a.m. - noonInstructor: Amberle Suski

Immense attention has been brought upon our respiratory health during the COVID-19 pandemic. Explore herbs and remedies for supporting the prevention, treatment and recovery from respiratory-related illnesses and strengthening the immune system to defend against intrusive bacteria and viruses. Create helpful remedies for personal use at home and discuss other helpful recipes to have in your arsenal like teas, syrups, oxymels, steams, vapor salve, tinctures and aromatherapy to relieve symptoms and aid in recovery.


Skin SpaSaturday, July 10, 2021, 9 a.m. - noon.Instructor: Blake Burger

Learn to effectively make affordable skin care products that are all natural, garden fresh and excellent for your skin. There are many herbs growing here in Colorado that help clear, moisturize and revitalize your skin. This class covers which plant oils are great for your skin.


Building Your Kitchen ApothecarySaturday, July 24, 2021, 9 a.m. - noonInstructor: Susan Evans

Learn how to create your own home apothecary from herbs and spices readily available from the kitchen and garden. Discover how to use herbal allies to support your health, immunity and resilience, and help alleviate common ailments. Learn how to make a soothing lavender/calendula oil and healing balm and salve, boost heart health with delicious hibiscus tea, concoct a potent fire cider for cold and flu maladies and more. Create unique herbal seasonings and blends to add delicious taste, variety and vitality to meals. Discover the secrets of the home apothecary and the joy of creating your own!


Natural First AidSaturday, August 14, 2021, 9 a.m. - noonInstructor: Cat Pantaleo

This class introduces students to the myriad ways in which a variety of botanicals and other natural remedies can be utilized safely and effectively for first aid situations, including burns, sprains/strains, poison ivy and insect bites/stings. We cover both internal and external applications, including homeopathy and poultices.


Hiking and Plant IdentificationSaturday, August 28, 2021, 9 a.m. 2 p.m.Blake Burger and Kimberly Rose

In our nature-deficit times, herbalism is a doorway and herbalists hold the key to re-connection and health. In this outing we engage the opportunity and responsibility to be knowledgeable, ecologically literate and nature-connected herbalists through a focus on bioregionalism and awakening your native awareness. During this time outdoors, we integrate botany, ecology, plant identification, knowledge of local edible/medicinal/survival plants, landscape observation, sensory awareness and explorations in perception. Deepen your relationship to land while adding to your confidence as a regional herbalist. This session will be held in Bailey, about 1 hour drive from Denver. More details to come as the program date approaches.


Fall Foraging on the Wild SideSaturday, September 11, 2021, 9 a.m. noonInstructor: Susan Evans

Take a morning walk around Chatfield Farms and discover the tasty, nutritious, edible and medicinal plants that grow wild all around you. Build your winter pharmacy with plants that provide nutrition, boost immunity and help with seasonal maladies. Discover delicious purslane, high in Omega 3s for salads and stir fries, elderberries for immune boosting, rose hips for teas and syrups, and much more. Handout with recipes included.


Plant Songs and StoriesSaturday, September 25, 2021, 9 a.m. noonInstructors: Shelley Torgove and Monticue Connally

Shelley Torgove and Monticue Connally share tales of adventure, laughter, and teachings from amazing herbalists, visionary teachers and humble traditional healers. These practical and inspiring teachings are designed so you can bring forth a safe and inspiring circle for your community. Learn favorite medicine songs, passed down and sung by our elders in circles around the world, in healing sessions and classes, outdoors in wild places and to our children. Drum, laugh, sing and reclaim your innate connection to plants and herbal wisdom.


Herbal Allies for Optimal Vitality and ResilienceSaturday, October 9, 2021, 9 a.m. noonInstructor: Cat Pantaleo

Adaptogen is a term coined by Russian scientists in the 1960s and refers to botanicals that have been used for centuries to increase vitality and the capacity to endure life's stressors. In this class we discuss the basic anatomy of function of the endocrine system, the vast array of detrimental effects of stress on health and explore the efficacy and safety of five well known adaptogens and how best to use them for optimal health and longevity.


Smoke in Herbal Practice and Spirit Herbal RemediesSaturday, October 23, 2021, 9 a.m. noonInstructor: Blake Burger

Many of us burn palo santo or sage in our homes but do not know the reason why, or the history behind the practice. You have likely been to a traditional sauna or visited a church and have noticed plants and resins being smoked or burned, but perhaps didnt know the benefits. In this class, we make those connections and see how we have evolved to include smoke medicine in many areas of life. You also learn how smoke can restore lungs and ease respiratory complaints. When administered properly, smoke is a great vehicle for the nourishing constituents contained within plants to enter into the body.

This class covers herbs we can smoke or burn for ceremony, ritual, and restoration. There are several plants native to the Rocky Mountain region that have been traditionally used to clear energy, ward off illness and promote health. Learn about these sacred herbs as well as the many other plants used for smoke medicine. Learn how to conduct your own ritual and meditation at home using resins, barks and plant material. A portion of the class covers smoking herbs such as mullein, tobacco, chamomile and lobelia.



Instructors: Blake Burger, Monticue Connally, Susan Evans, Cat Pantaleo, Kimberly Rose, Amberle Suski, Shelley Torgove


Blake's passion for plants began at a young age gardening in Illinois and only grew stronger once he moved to Colorado in 2000 and began hiking in the wilderness areas of Colorado. There, he began to cultivate a great curiosity and appreciation for the diverse flora found along the hiking trails. In 2007, he left his career as a food scientist and worked as a seasonal gardener for Denver Botanic Gardens. After one year, he was hired full time as a horticulturalist. Throughout his years at the Gardens he has worked with tropical plants, native plants, vegetables and herbs. After receiving his Herbalist Certification here in Denver, Blake immediately began working with the vast array of medicinal plants growing in the Gardens. He founded the Denver Medicinal Plant Society in 2015, created and maintains several medicinal plant beds at the Gardens  York Street location, and has laid the foundation for the Gardens  first Herbalist Certificate Program. As a certified yoga instructor, Blake has led more than 1,000 yoga classes over six years and created a nationally recognized yoga program here at the Gardens. Blake believes in a multifaceted approach to health and wellness: eat well, move your body, never stop learning, get outside and connect.


Monticue is an African American plant healer, herbalist, music artist and certified reiki master. He is also the co-owner of Jiridon Apothecary, a pop-up herbal entity offering great teas and other natural products to aid in the healing of body, mind and spirit. He teaches classes and leads local herb walks. His enthusiasm and charismatic demeanor make him pure fun to learn from. Intuitive wisdom combined with a deep working knowledge of plants makes him a practitioner skilled in meeting people where they are.


Susan specializes in empowering people to improve their health and lifestyle through herbal and wellness education. Let Susan introduce you to herbs for healing, cooking, gardening and crafting.

Susanhas been cultivating and working with herbs for more than 30 years. She managed garden centers and greenhouses in Denver before starting her own organic landscaping business, Flowerscapes, which she owned and operated for 12 years. She has worked as a master gardener and volunteer naturalist for Jefferson County, Colorado.

She has a certificate in advanced clinical herbalism from the Rocky Mountain Center for Botanical Studies in Boulder and has over 1,500 hours of clinical study and experience in the uses of medicinal plants. After attaining her certification in 1997, she founded Chrysalis Herbs. Since then, she has devoted herself to sharing her love and knowledge of herbs and gardening, helping people to reconnect with the beauty and healing aspects of the natural world.


Cat is a holistic practitioner and wellness educator with 19 years of professional experience assisting people to achieve optimal physical and emotional health. Utilizing her skills as a certified herbalist, nutritionist, nature and forest therapy guide, and practitioner of nonviolent communication, she skillfully incorporates a combination of wellness practices into her work with the intention of empowering people to co-create optimal wellness for themselves and their communities. Currently, her focus is facilitating resilience, restoration and deep nourishment for body, mind and spirit through optimal nutrition, plant medicine and nature immersion. She offers a variety of community classes, plant walks and nature connection experiences, and is pursuing a master s degree in ecopsychology in alignment with her commitment to bridge the perceived gap between humans and the natural world for the benefit of both.


Kimberly is passionate about facilitating deep relationships between people, nature and animals. Kimberly holds a Masters degree in Counseling and a Bachelors degree in Outdoor Education and Plant Biology. Currently she is owner and operator of both The Canine Effect, her dog training business, and Relational Rewilding Nature Guiding. Kimberly has designed and led environmental and humane education programs at state parks, outdoor education centers and animal shelters throughout the country. She is a Master Naturalist, a Native Plant Master, and has participated in continuing education programs through Wilderness Awareness School, 8 Shields Institute, and The Tracking Project - training in cultural and natural awareness, animal tracking, plant studies, bird language, primitive skills, and community building.


Amberle has been working as a holistic healthcare practitioner and plant fanatic in the Denver community for almost a decade. She is trained in community herbalism, permaculture design, organic low-till farming, reflexology, reiki, wellness coaching and is a Colorado Master Gardener. Amberle endeavors to connect with people in search of support to enable them to mindfully, skillfully and confidently care for themselves, others and their environment. She believes that people flourish as they take ownership of their health and quality of life through tapping into resources like education, intuition, empowerment, community, ritual, nature, spirit and sharing the highs and lows of life. She can usually be found farming, gardening and regaling anyone who will listen with tales about nature while experimenting with them in an unending variety of inspired ways. Borage & Berry Apothecary is Amberle s ongoing passion project, offering unique herbal remedies, integrative healing sessions, educational opportunities and therapeutic gardening services that are thoughtfully tailored to each person and project.


Shelley has been practicing and teaching both Western herbal medicine and traditional healing practices in Denver for 25 years. She currently teaches a women's herbal and ethnobotanical medicine program in Denver through Artemisia & Rue and leads herbal adventures to the Yucatan.


What to know before you visit:

Working with municipalities and the state, we are complying with all guidelines and requirements related to COVID-19. But it is only with your cooperation as a visitor that we can succeed in this re-opening. Please follow the procedures outlined here.

All classes will take place exclusively outdoors with social distancing. Please dress accordingly for weather, bring sunscreen, hat and water.

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