Saturday, May 19, 2012

Medicinal Herb Class at Holistic Living School, FL


Part of my preparation to continue a sustainable project in Haiti, is the study of Herbal Medicine. Herbs can be useful in developing countries when prescription medicines are unattainable. It is my desire to become certified as a Family Herbalist and later a Community Herbalist so I can teach those who are in need of other options for natural healing.

The Holistic Living School is a 501c3 nonprofit educational organization with the mission to “Cultivate the sustainable community by empowering individuals through philosophy-in-practice education that promotes holistic living.” This summer, I am an intern at the Florida School of Holistic Living and will be attending a week long intensive course to be certified as a Family Herbalist. This blog entry is on the Roots of Herbalism course which I took as a preparation for the Family Herbalist Certification.

Roots of Herbalism class:


The Roots of Herbalism course was May 12 – 13, 2012. Emily Ruff is an amazing teacher and it was a pleasure to learn from her knowledge. I enjoyed making new friends and learning more about medicinal herbs.


We all had a chance to smell, observe, and taste different herbs. You can tell the quality of herbs by their smell, color, taste, and effect they have on the body. On the left are dried Cayenne and on the right is dried chamomile. Drying is one of the best ways to preserve herbs. This can be done with a dehydrator, using racks, or hanging in bundles.


Each tisane (tea) had a unique flavor. This tea has a vibrant red color which is produced by the Hibiscus plant. It also goes by the names Cranberry Hibiscus and Roselle. Now, you may be wondering why I said tisane instead of tea. In class, we learned that tea is actually a beverage made from Camellia sinesis extracted into water. Other herbal beverages should be referred to as tisane.


We learned about 20 herbs during the course and I took LOTS of notes. My hand was moving most of the class. With the herbs, we learn how to make infusion and tincture. A tincture is medicine made by dissolving a drug in alcohol. If you dislike the idea of using liqueur, try using distilled apple cider vinegar or vegetable glycerin.

The other common method of capturing an herbs medicinal value is an infusion. First, get water to a boil. Then pour water over fresh or dried herbs that are in a mason jar. Infuse 15 to 20 minutes.

Walk through Medicinal garden

beauty berry


chamomile 2



The Dandelion cafe is across the street from the Holistic Living School. It is right next to medicinal garden. It is an organic cafe with fresh Florida grown food.  


Special thanks to Emily Ruff who is an amazing teacher and friend.


  1. That thing is serious! I would put it smack into the middle of my edibles garden so there would be some structure there instead of just a big odd space! Gosh, it's really beautiful.

    Garden Centre Aylsham

  2. Hi Elizabeth, I enjoyed reading your article and seeing some of the photos you posted from the garden. It was great to meet you in Roots of Herbalism class and I hope to see you again soon!


  3. Elizabeth,

    I found your article very interesting. Thank you for sharing this great experience in your journey of living holistically.
    I have mentioned your entry in my website and have provided my readers with a link for them to read it here.