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SL: ENVS 195 Plant-Based Healing Medicine

Summer 2016
CRN# 60672 Z1
Katherine Elmer Westdijk 802-870-0982
Meets weekly: Tuesdays, Wednesdays, Thursdays, 9:00 am 12:45 pm
May 24 June 11
Classroom: Terrill Hall 308
Teaching Assistant: Chrissy Doherty

Full Disclosure Disclaimer: The content of this course is intended to be for educational
purposes. The instructor of this class is not a physician. The ideas, protocols, and suggestions
presented in this class are intended to supplement, not replace, the medical and legal advice of
trained, licensed medical professionals. Any attempt to diagnose and/or treat an illness should
be done under the direction of a health care professional. The instructor is not responsible for
any adverse effects or consequences resulting from the use of any suggestions, preparations,
formulas, or procedures discussed or possibly sampled in class. The instructor maintains a
teacher-student relationship with students and not a practitioner-patient relationship with same.

In addition, this course is not sufficient training to qualify any student as a trained, practicing, or
clinical herbalist.

Course Objectives:
To familiarize students with both the science and the art of
herbalism/herbology/phytotherapy and its approach as a holistic healing modality.
To explore plant-based medicine from a botanical, ecological, and phytochemistry
perspective, laying the groundwork/bridge to herbal therapeutics (the interaction of
ecology/phytochemistry and human physiology).
To experience growing and harvesting of medicinal plants on UVM campus and in the
nearby community, and contribute to local herbalism efforts through service-learning.
To introduce plant-based medicine from a multi-cultural and diverse epistemological
perspective- herbalism as science, magic and folk tradition (including european, american
first nations and post-colonial, ayurvedic and chinese perspectives).
To introduce the holistic (natural medicine) approach to health and healing; the relative
safety-toxicity spectrum of botanicals; and the role of nutrition, botanicals, and lifestyle
support in preventative health.

Course Topics and Major Activities:

Students explore the historical perspectives of Herbalism, as well as its present-day context
within both the realms of complementary/integrative and Western allopathic biomedical
medicines. The sustainable harvesting, preparation, and storage of herbs are covered, in
addition to specific herbs as support for specific organs or systems of the body. A weed walk
to view medicinal plants growing on the UVM campus is included. Additional trips may include
RAILYARD Community Apothecary and Clinic and Rock Point's medicine plant-rich land. Guest
speakers include area herbalists, gardeners and integrative health practitioners.
This service-learning course engages students as contributors to local community herbalism
efforts to provide affordable, local, plant-based medicine for all members of our community.


Students: You are responsible for checking your UVM email daily as my communications to you
will be via this medium. There will also be announcements posted on Blackboard from time-to-

For satisfactory completion of this course you need to attend all classes and stay the entire
class time. Unexcused lateness or absences will result n points off your final grade (5 points per
class). Inform the instructor in advance of any attendance changes. including the need to leave
class early. Absences are excused in case of extreme sickness, death in the family, or other
extreme documented circumstances. Please do not be late to class. Three (3) or more
unexcused absences result in an automatic failing grade of F.

Religious Holidays:
Students should inform the instructor if students will be missing classes so that they may
observe their religious holidays. All course work needs to be made up and it is the students
responsibility to find out what was missed in her/his absence.

Late Assignments:
To be fair to students who submit their work on time, 2 points are taken off for each day that
an assignment is late. If there are pressing circumstances such as those mentioned above (see
Attendance), the student and Instructor will work out a revised assignment due date.

Academic Integrity and Honesty:

All written ideas and expressions that are submitted without attribution to other sources must
be the creative product of the student. Properly cite all text passages taken from the works of
other authors. Students may not claim as their own work any portion of any assignment or exam
that was completed by another student. See the University of Vermont Code on Academic

If the student has a concern about a grade received, bring this up with the instructor within 5
days of receiving the grade. The following is grading criteria for this course:
Class Participation. Note that at least 2 hours labor working in UVM herb gardens counts
towards class participation. - 20%
Quality of Dried Herbs assignment - 10%
2 Reflections on Numen film and Community Herbalism service project - 30%
Plant of the Week journal - 10%
Plant monograph research and observation assignment - 10%
Final Reflection Assignment - 20%

Syllabus and Reading Assignments:

Readings are from Guido Mases Wild Medicine Solution, James Greens The Herbal
Medicine-Makers Handbook, and Human Body. In addition, read any handouts that you
receive in class or are directed to read on Blackboard. You may consult various books that are at
the Reserve Desk at Bailey Library (under ENVS 195 Plant-Based Healing Medicine) as well.
WM = Wild Medicine Solution
HMMH = Herbal Medicine-Makers Handbook BB = Course Blackboard site
Date Subject Readings:

May 24 Course Introduction and schedule review BB: Modern Herbalism,

Ways of knowing in modern herbalism and Science + Art, Relative Safety,
The science and art of herbalism. Principles of Natural Medicine
A historical perspective; herbalism and the holistic approach to WM 1-33
healing/health; The relative safety-toxicity of medicinal plants; HMMH 9-19,
Principles of natural medicine and holistic health. 292-295, 319-335

May 25 Campus Herb Walk: Introduction to embodied research with plants BB: Herb Harvest
The ethics of sustainable harvesting/wildcrafting; Determining good HMMH 41-64
quality dried herbs; Harvesting barks, leaves, flowers, seeds, roots;
Drying herbs; Storage of herbs. Review Plant of the Week Assignment

May 26 Community Herbalism: inner and outer resilience

Service Project: UVM's Living Apothecary with the UVM Student Herbalism Club


May 31 Trip to Rock Point School for garden work day

Guest Lecturer: Kara Buchanan
HMMH 103-115
Dress for the weather!! Bring beverages & snacks.

Reflection on Numen film due

June 1 Teas/tisanes (infusions and decoctions); BB: Healthy Eating

Diet and life choices that support the use of herbs and optimum Relative Energy
health and well-being. WM 34-82;
Herbs and inner resilience 83-111 Pick 1
Self-Assessment tools used to determine our health status. Aromatic plant to
A brief look at practicing as a clinical herbalist. read about

June 2 Compresses and poultices: demo. HMMH 21-39;

Herbal Formulation: Actions and Synergy 275-289
United Plant Savers and Sustainable Harvesting Practices BB: Vulnerary Poultice

Quality of Dried Herbs Assignment due

Check Plant of the Week Journals
June 7 Creating an Herbal First-Aid kit HMMH 193-218
Demo making salves and balms- Guest: Emma Merritt BB: First Aid Kit
Mapping the Community Herbalism System Monograph Template
Theories of Community Transformation
Intro Monograph Assignment
Reflection on Service Projects due

June 8 Urban Community Herbalism WM 112-160;

Trip to RailYard Apothecary and Clinic; Urban Community Herbalism 161-183
Guest: Guido Mase', RH AHG pick one plant
Sacred plants in indigenous cultures that are misused/abused in our to read about
culture; the study of Entheology; BB: Sacred Plants;
Holistic treatment of addictions and habituations. Addiction

June 9 Research skills: evidence base for botanical medicine

Botanical Medicine in modern Integrative Health Care BB: Research Skills;
Guest speaker: Andrea Fossati, MD Collaborative Healthcare
from UVM Program in Integrative Health


June 14 Field trip to the UVM Horticulture Farm WM 184-250

Farm to Medicine Cabinet pick one plant
Medicinal plants in the food system to read about

Monograph Assignment due

June 15 Globalization, Energetics and the practice of herbalism WM 251-255

Traditional Herbalism- Introduction to Chinese and Ayurvedic herbalism BB:
Guest: Baylen Karl Slote, LAc Chinese Herbalism;
Yoga of Herbs

June 16 Review: Ways of Knowing in Modern Herbalism; Acknowledging your toolkit

Basic Herbs for Health and Well-being: Digestion, Mood Support, Sleep
Herbal tea and treats party
HMMH 73 98, 145 - 192

Final Reflection Assignment is due - What's your "flavor" of community herbalism?

There are many references on reserve and in general circulation at the Bailey Library that
provide additional information on these subjects. Of particular use are:

Gladstar. Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health

Baggaley [Ed.], Human Body
Mills & Bone. The Essential Guide to Herbal Safety
Murray & Pizzorno. The Encyclopedia of Natural Medicine
Berkow, Ed. The Merck Manual of Medical Information
Hoffman. Medical Herbalism
Newcombs Wildflower Guide