I enrolled in and started Botanical Medicine Movement in August of last year. This course teaches plant id, ethnobotany, and medicinal botany. The first in-person class was at Pinckney Park on James Island. After the introductions we walked around the park to pick a plant that stood out to us; I picked a Partridge pea. I also brought home wax myrtle to work with.
April, the teacher of Botanical Medicine Movement, posted letting everyone in class know that one of her neighbors had to cut down a wax myrtle tree that was loaded with berries after the storm and that it was sitting on the curb waiting for yard debris day if any of would like some. I had gone over and collected a lot of branches to try and process into wax.
A classmate and Nana came over and helped me process the wax myrtle berries into wax. I started before they arrived since I had read that it is an all-day process. After 1-1.5 hours of boiling covered, we strained the liquid into a different pot, added clean water to the berries, and started them boiling again. We did these 2 or 3 times before we stopped seeing “wax” come to the surface. While we were processing the wax myrtle we also started camphor and cypress oil with the items I had collected on an herb walk earlier that week.
Later in the month, another classmate came over to learn how to make liniment, creams, and other herbal products. She wanted something for her hands that hurt badly. She has inflammation and nerve issues. If you are an Herber you can see what we made in Quick Lessons
This class has lit a fire in me to make herbal products. I decided I didn’t know what to get everyone in the family for the holidays so I would just make them stuff. I came up with a list of about 18-20 items. When one of my classmates heard I would be doing all this they asked if they could come to help and learn. We spent about two weeks making everything and getting it together.
This was the last month of class and I decided I wanted to thank everyone in the class for such a wonderful time and learning environment. I made a batch of pain cream and Chapstick for everyone in the class. Everyone loved them but it was pointed out that I managed to misspell chapstick as champstick. This is still a running joke and the original formula for my chapstick is now named Champstick in honor of this class.
We had an alumnus gathering where April asked me to bring some of my herbal products to leave out to sell. I didn’t have any on hand, so I made a bunch of things which I took with me but didn’t sell any of. Most likely because I forgot I brought them and didn’t “tend” the table or leave out testers. Oh well, they have come in handy around the house and the gathering was great fun.
If you are looking to learn plant id, ethnobotany, or medical botany I HIGHLY recommend this course.