Every summer, SCNM faculty member Feather Jones takes several SCNM students to the Rocky Mountains in Colorado for a botanical medicine selective course. In this wonderland filled with mountain meadows and forests, students spend a few days experiencing the healing properties of herbs in their native environment. Taking their botanical medicine studies beyond the textbook and into practical use, students learn how to harvest the herbs and use the plants to create medicinal remedies such as teas and tinctures.
SCNM student Patty Tang loved being immersed in nature during the course and “seeing all those plants we learned in our botanical medicine classes for NPLEX (exams), but instead of on a PowerPoint slide inside a classroom, we experienced them out in a forest or field.”
Yet this selective is a course that is valuable at any stage of the medical school journey. “Taking this class at the beginning of my botanical medicine course series has really provided a strong foundation of knowledge, and it’s a great way start my academic botanical medicine journey,” said 2nd year student Samantha Levy.
Botanical medicine selectives will help students once they graduate and begin recommending herbal supplements to their patients. Many SCNM alumni choose to make or purchase herbal supplements to sell in their own clinics, and as SCNM student Amanda Marshall noted, “This trip has helped me to realize how necessary responsible harvesting practices are. I will definitely be looking into the harvesting practices and quality of companies that I choose to purchase herbs from.”
After their adventures in wildcrafting and medicine making, students returned to Arizona with colorful herbs and medicinal tinctures (not to mention wonderful memories), as well as a newfound appreciation for the healing qualities and fascinating history of plants native to the mountain and desert landscapes of the west.
Do you want to learn more about botanical medicine and the other natural modalities taught in the naturopathic medicine program at SCNM? Visit: www.scnm.edu/programs/doctor-of-naturopathic-medicine/program-of-study/
We would also like to thank one of the students, Patty Tang, for providing us with these beautiful photos!