CSHS now awards Continuing Education Units (CEU’s) to nurses for specific courses.
Need to pay your class balance? please see instructions on the registration page.
Located two miles west of Forestville, in beautiful Sonoma County, the California School of Herbal Studies is one of North America’s oldest centers for herbal education. Founded in 1978 by Rosemary Gladstar, and led today by School Directors Rebecca Maxfield and Jason Miller, along with Program Coordinator Autumn Summers, CSHS continues in the spirit in which it was created.
Our full-time, 8-month intensive offers students a broad-based foundation in herbal medicine. For those who can't make a fulltime commitment we also offer a broad range of weekend series courses and one-day workshops. Successful graduates of our intensive program leave here with the knowledge they need to enter and contribute to the field of herbalism. Upon graduation students receive certificates of completion that are highly regarded by the herbal community.
CSHS is located on a lovely, rustic 80 acre sanctuary known as Emerald Valley. Our campus includes a classroom with an adjacent kitchen, a one-half acre garden with over 400 herb species, a medicine making building and forested hiking trails. Forestville is an hour and a half drive north of San Francisco. Visitors to the school are welcome, but please call first so we can be sure someone will be available to greet you! We look forward to meeting you and sharing friendship and herbal experiences.
herb of the month: Elder (continued from left)
indications: Observed by traditional herbalists to be "a pharmacy unto itself," Elder has a wide range of useful healing properties, depending on which part of the plant is used and how it is prepared. The Black Elder is a traditional remedy with documented medicinal use in European history and magical folklore. There is a similar species native to North America which has also been used historically by indiginous people and then by colonists. The two species are used interchangeably by modern day herbalists. There is a North American Red Elder that looks similar, but beware: it is toxic.
The traditional use of Elder as a medicine is a vast subject, with countless accounts throughout history of different uses for each part of the plant, and dozens of different preparations for each. As a magical plant the Elder is powerfully significant. In modern herbalism, several of the traditional uses are widely accepted and agreed upon, and some of these uses have been scientifically confirmed.
Internally, Elderflower has been used across time & cultures as a cold and flu remedy that helps sweat out a fever and 'release surface heat' (as they say in Traditional Chinese Medicine). Elderflower tea can also help loosen and bring up phlegm in upper respiratory infections like influenza, bronchitis or sinusitis. Elder berries, like the flowers, can be useful to progress fevers and move respiratory catarrh. Elder has been scientifically recognized as an effective treatment for colds & flu, and some findings imply that Elder has direct virus inhibiting actions on the level of the cell membrane.
Elderberries taken internally can help build the blood in the case of anemia and may bring relief with rheumatism. The berries are also gently laxative and antispasmodic to the digestive tract. Elder leaf, used topically, is historically known to help soothe and heal wounds, cuts, burns, swollen bruises and fluid retention, and may be useful in treating tumors. Cold elderflower infusion can used topically as an eye wash to relieve inflammation or soreness.
contraindications: Flowers & Berries of Black and Common Elder are safe and non-toxic. Be sure you are not using toxic Red Elder by mistake. Avoid consuming leaf bud, bark or root - they can be harmfully emetic & laxative.
note: This information is not a replacement for a trained herbalist. Please consult your medical professional before treating yourself or others with this or any other herbal remedy.