From Jemez to the San Juans: Introducing Higher Elevation Medicinals

    Our Southern Rockies class just ended with a bang on July 4.  We started in the Santa Fe National Forest near Jemez Springs on the edge of the Rockies and moved our way North into the San Juan National Forest near the WeminucheWilderness. We started by getting adjusted to altitude with some breathwork on our […]

    Our Southern Rockies class just ended with a bang on July 4.  We started in the Santa Fe National Forest near Jemez Springs on the edge of the Rockies and moved our way North into the San Juan National Forest near the WeminucheWilderness. We started by getting adjusted to altitude with some breathwork on our way to Jemez Falls and a first aid class.  On the way we met Uva Ursi, Ponderosa Pine, Heracleum, Wild Rose, Wild Strawberry, False Solomons Seal, and more(along with the regular plants of disturbance-yarrow, mullein, plantain, and dandelion).  We finished off our hikes that day with a dip in Spence Hot Springs.  That night a gentle drizzle put us to sleep and we woke up and drove up to the Williams Creek in the San Juan National Forest in Colorado.  We stopped along the way for a plant walk in the drier, lower elevations where we saw Artemisia tridentata, Juniper, Grindelia, and Cholla.  We found an excellent campsite surrounded by tall spruce, pine, and aspens.  The forest floor was covered with wild strawberry, potentilla, fireweed, and chipmunks.   We took a great hike nearby where we found everything from Aconite(poison), Veratrum(poison), Actea, Arnica, Huckleberry, Wild Rose, Wild Strawberry, Violets and Elder.  The forest was a little dry this summer but cool and beautiful and wild.  Only one mishap with altitude sickness, which was treated with gingko, ginger, green tea and lots of water.  After a few hours they were ready to join us on a walk.  It is such an honor to be able to go to these areas and show people medicinal plants.  The challenge is how to teach the plants in such a way that people don’t hurt the plants or themselves later.  I have a great love for the wilderness and for medicinal plants.  I hope to continue to evolve these classes so that I can both protect what I love and share what I love.