The Sage Herbal Foundations Program is an intensive certification course consisting of 28 exciting herbal classes, providing a rich educational foundation of holistic self care taught through a combination of lectures, hands-on supervised practical applications, walks in herbalists' gardens and in nature as well as take-home activities.
The 2023 program has been enhanced and updated to offer 6 exciting new classes! In the 2023 program you will find the following new offerings: Midwifery as an Alternative Childbirth Option, co-taught by a Midwife and a Doula, Sacred Psychoactives, Comfrey Magic, Adventures with Dandelion, Food as Medicine as well as Beauty by Nature.
We are especially proud of our exceptional faculty, including clinical herbalists with over 100 years of combined experience as well as an Associate Professor from UCCS and a pharmacist.
Other topics covered include herbal materia medica taught by body system, identification in the field, harvesting, processing, multiple herbal preparation classes, herbal actions, natural skin care, holistic nutrition, aromatherapy and much more. See below for the full program schedule. The classes are held on Saturdays, from April – October, with five holidays and breaks between classes.
WHAT TO EXPECT:
These classes provide a solid foundation of herbal training for those wishing to incorporate herbal healing into their own lives or to begin a career in the healing arts. Students will have the opportunity to absorb and share information in an exciting atmosphere of participation and community. Graduates are given the tools necessary to create beginner herbal protocols and preparations for many common health imbalances within their circle of family and friends.
EARN A CERTIFICATE:
Students will have the option to complete hand's on projects and written assignments in order to earn a certificate. Optionally, they may audit the program if preferred. Students planning on earning a certificate will be responsible for weekly homework and other assignments, one Student Teacher Days class presentation, as well as designing and creating their own herbal preparations and herbal protocols for student projects. Students should prepare to spend 2-3 hours per week on study and homework and should plan to attend classes and complete assignments.
TAKING INDIVIDUAL CLASSES:
if the 2023 foundations progra is not overly full, we will be able to offer a very limited number of individual classes to the public. If you are interested in signing up for individual classes, please call the store and ask for Janee or Yaremi and they will add your name on the 2023 list.
Valerie Blankenship: Classes are taught by Sage Consulting & Apothecary’s herbal clinician, Valerie Blankenship, with over 32 years experience as Clinician, herbal educator and formulator. She also teaches classes at UCCS and for the Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism. Valerie is a Registered Herbalist with the American Herbalist’s Guild. She was chosen as one of the Best Holistic Practitioners in the Colorado Springs Community over seven years. Valerie will be joined by the following Instructors:
Dr. Margaret Harris, PhD, MS HC, Associate Professor of Nutrition at Helen and Arthur E Johnson Beth-El College of Nursing and Health Sciences and gradulate of the 2013 Herbal Foundations Program. Dr. Harris specializes in the study of the gut microbiome and dietary supplements.
Yaremi Dávila is a pharmacist, trained in herbal preparations as well as laboratory quality control. She is a graduate of the Sage Herbal Foundation Program. She is currently applying her knowledge and experience in Quality Control to the herbal field. Yaremi believes that food is the best medicine for our bodies.
Brigitte Mars is an herbalist and nutritional consultant of Natural Health with almost fifty years of experience. She teaches Herbal Medicine at Naropa University, and School of Health Mastery in Iceland. She has taught at Omega Institute, Esalen, Kripalu, Sivananda Yoga Ashram, Envision, Tribal Visions, Unify, Sister Winds, Arise Festivals, and even The Mayo Clinic. She is a founding and professional member of the American Herbalist Guild.
Brigitte is the author of many books and DVDs, including The Natural First Aid Handbook, Natural Remedies for Mental and Emotional Health, The Country Almanac of Home Remedies, The Desktop Guide to Herbal Medicine, Beauty by Nature, Addiction Free Naturally, The Sexual Herbal, Healing Herbal Teas, Rawsome! and co-author of The HempNut Cookbook. Her latest project is a phone app called IPlant. Brigitte is also a psychedelic sitter and end-of-life doula. Please check out www.brigittemars.com
Jeanie Taylor with over 32 years teaching experience, a life-long gardener with a Permaculture Design Certificate and 2015 graduate of the Sage Herbal Foundations Program, which she considers “a live-changing learning experience”.
April 15th • AM: The History of Herbalism – with Valerie Blankenship
We will delve into the fascinating history of the rise and fall to the current resurgence of herbalism. You will meet the amazing women and men (as well as some dastardly characters) who played an important role in the riveting story of herbalism throughout ancient history until modern day.
April 22nd • AM: Healing Digestive Disorders – with Dr. Margaret Harris
This class will cover the digestive system and how to maintain its health. We will look at major digestive imbalances, including constipation, diarrhea, IBS, colitis, parasites and candida. Included in the class will be information on food combining, juicing, raw food diets, cleansing and weight loss basics.
April 29 • AM & PM: Life-Changing Fermented Foods – with Valerie Blankenship
Fermented foods have been used by traditional people all over the world for thousands of years. If used on a regular basis, fermented foods can provide amazing health benefits to help reverse many wide-ranging conditions. In this exciting new hands-on class, you will learn the traditional methods of preparing cultured foods of all kinds in your own kitchen. Together, we will prepare a delicious fermented dish for you to take home for your own use.
May 6th • AM: Healing Cardiovascular Disorders – with Dr. Margaret Harris
This class will cover the cardiovascular system, including the heart, arteries, and veins. We will examine the root causes of heart disease, varicose veins, high and low blood pressure, poor circulation, and cholesterol imbalances and how to reverse these disorders using herbal strategies and proper diet.
Valerie in the clinic
May 13th • AM: Healing the Pancreas – with Valerie Blankenship
In this class we will learn the causes of diabetes and hypoglycemia. Proper nutrition and supplementation with herbs and other nutrients can reverse these disorders if caught in time. We will review what optimal blood sugar levels are, and you will get to take a glucose test in class to determine whether your blood sugar is in balance.
May 13th • PM: The Central Nervous System - with Zuleyka Hamilton
Learn to soothe the emotional body for better stress relief, mood, sleep, and joy. You will be given tools and techniques for rejuvenating the body and quieting the mind to achieve optimal balance in the Central Nervous System.
May 20th • AM: Herbal Medicine Making I: Infusions, Decoctions, Syrups & Capsules – with Valerie Blankenship
In this interactive herbal preparations class, you will learn the correct way to prepare medicinal infusions, decoctions three ways, medicinal syrups and capsules. In addition to these preparations, their will be a fun, bonus preparation, plus lots of recipes for you to try at home.
May 27th • Memorial Weekend - no class
June 3rd • AM: Herbal First Aid – with Valerie Blankenship
This class is always a student favorite. You will be surprised at your ability to address many first aid emergencies using natural ingredients and preparations. Many of the first aid supplies can be found in your own kitchen! Included will be treatments for spider and animal bites, allergic reactions, poisonings, and heart attacks, as well as more common issues including cuts and scrapes.
The lovely Brigitte....
June 10th • AM: A Low Elevation Herb Walk in a Magical Garden – with Brigitte Mars
(We will meet at a local garden) You will learn to identify and use many edible and medicinal plants that grow wild in the Colorado area. You will be introduced to the art of wildcrafting, plant lore, botanical pharmacology, and medicinal uses to the plants. Learn the basics of holistic healing where nature is the classroom. Plant walks emphasize understanding the medicinal actions of plants through taste and smell, as well as through traditional and clinical indications.
June 10th • PM: Sacred Psychoactives – with Brigitte Mars Learn about the history, physiological effects and how to create a safe setting for a healing and positive psychedelic adventure.
June 17th • AM: Herbal Medicine Making II – Oils, Salves & Poultices – with Valerie Blankenship
Immerse yourself in this hands-on class, where you will learn to make your own herbal medicines for yourself and your family! You will be making herbal oils, salves and poultices in Part I. In addition to learning how to make these herbal medicines, there will be a fun, bonus preparation, plus lots of recipes
June 24th • AM: Gardening, Harvesting and Processing Medicinal Herbs – with Jeanie Taylor
Get inspired to grow your own food and medicine. We will discuss site evaluation, soil building, appropriate herbal and edible plantings, pollinators, and garden maintenance. We will visit a local garden with many examples of herbs and edible plants.
During this experiential class, you will also learn how to properly harvest, process, and dry medicinal leaves, flowers, roots and seeds, each in their correct season to capture medicinal constituents at their peak.
July 1st • July 4th weekend - No Class
July 8th • AM: A High Elevation Herb Walk – with Valerie Blankenship
(We will meet on a trail in Woodland Park) On a beautiful winding nature trail in Woodland Park, you will learn many of the Colorado front range high elevation plants. There will be a focus on the medicinal properties, preparations and uses of these plants, and you will learn the most important plant characteristics needed to identify the many edible and medicinal plants that grow wild at this higher elevation.
July 15th • AM: Herbal Medicine Making III – Tinctures & Percolations – with Yaremi Dávila
You will be learning how to calculate and prepare tinctures and percolations in this herbal preparations section. You will learn the medicinal properties of some important herbs, and you will leave with lots of useful recipes.
July 22nd • AM: Student Teacher Days
During this class, you will have the opportunity to take a deep dive into the herb-related topics that interest you the most. On this day, students will be the teachers who will share their research with the rest of the class
July 29th • AM: Herbs for Women's Health – with Valerie Blankenship
Learn to use food, herbs, essential oils and other natural remedies to improve menstrual and breast health, libido, fertility and to ease through the menopausal years smoothly.
July 29th • PM: Midwifery – teachers TBA
Midwifery as an Alternative Childbirth Option, co-taught by a Midwife and a Doula. More description to come....
August 5th • AM: Healing Kidney & Bladder Disorders – with Valerie Blankenship
In this class will explore the function of the kidneys, bladder, and urinary tract and the common disorders associated with them. Bladder weakness, kidney infections, UTIs, and kidney stones will all be covered. You will learn how to properly treat these imbalances using herbs from several important categories, including demulcents, astringents, antibacterial & diuretics.
August 12th • AM: Student Teacher Days
During this class, you will have the opportunity to take a deep dive into the herb-related topics that interest you the most. On this day, students will be the teachers who will share their research with the rest of the class.
August 19th • AM: Pain and Inflammation; Healing Musculoskeletal Disorders – with Valerie Blankenship
Our bones, joints and muscles and teeth provide the framework for our entire system. What happens when inflammation and degeneration begin to weaken our valuable musculoskeletal system? How do we address the pain and stiffness experienced with arthritis and thinning bones? In this class, you will learn to use herbs to balance musculoskeletal conditions and strengthen your muscles, bones, and teeth.
August 26th • AM: Amazing Dandelion Medicine - with Valerie Blankenship
Dandelions are the perfect herbal medicine....abundant, gentle, yet extremely useful and diverse medicine in all of their parts for humans. Providing early spring nectar for the precious bees. They are important to know....from roots to their cheerful, heart warming flowers.
September 1st • Labor Day - no class
September 9th • AM: Healing Respiratory Disorders – with Valerie Blankenship
Delve into the patterns of acute and chronic respiratory disease, and learn how to regain the health of the upper and lower respiratory system using diet, herbs and special therapies. You will also learn about the side effects of common medications given for colds, flu, allergies and asthma, and how to apply safe, effective herbal alternatives.
September 16th • AM: Healing the Immune/Lymphatic System – with Valerie Blankenship
Your immunity is an integrated system with many moving parts. In this class, we will focus on the amazing lymphatic system, a critical part of the immune system that is able to identify and destroy foreign pathogens, providing you with protection from infection and autoimmunity by strengthening the immune system.
September 23 • AM: Aromatherapy Basics – with Dr. Margaret Harris
In this fun, interactive class, we will cover the principles and applications of aromatherapy. You will be learn how oils are produced, how to tell a poor quality oil from a high quality one, and how to use oils therapeutically. You will be introduced to the scents, applications, and dilutions for 10 or more important essential oils and learn practical applications and dilutions for each.
September 30th • AM: Food as Medicine - with Brigitte Mars
Learn about eating with the seasons, how the colors and flavors give hints to the health benefits of various foods. We will discuss trends and the pros and cons of various dietary paths. How to save time, money and your health through better food choices.
September 30th • PM: Beauty by Nature - with Brigitte Mars
Learn about food, herbs and supplements and essential oils for beautiful and healthy skin, hair, nails and weight.
October 7th • AM: Comfrey Magic & Graduation Ceremony – with Valerie Blankenship
Before you go out on your own, let's talk more in depth about one of my favorite Queen Herbs, the majestic, the exotic, wound mender. She is magnificent in her magic.
Registration is now open! To sign up for this program:
1) download and fill out the application below
2) pay the deposit of $350 (we will hold the deposit pending your acceptance into the program)
3) schedule an interview with the program director Valerie Blankenship by calling 719-473-9702.
If you have any additional questions, email [email protected], call 719-473-9702, or better still, stop by in person at Sage Consulting and Apothecary - 2727 N. Tejon St. Colorado Springs, CO 80907.
For most Saturday classes, 1 AM Class will be held from 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
On several Saturdays there will be two classes, an AM and a PM class from 9:30 pm - 4:30 with a 1 hour lunch break.
We are offering a limited number of spaces for classes online. Please let us know if you wish to attend our program via zoom. Note: several of the classes listed above will not be offered as part of the online program due to their hands-on nature. Please note your request on your application.
Classes will be held in the Sage Consulting & Apothecary building classroom at 2727 N. Tejon St., Colorado Springs. There will be field trips to a high elevation herb walk in Woodland Park, a low elevation herb walk at Mesa Gardens, as well as an herbalist's garden.
Pay in full by April 3rd, 2023 and receive a $100 discount!
(After March 7th deposits are no longer refundable)
Deposit .............................. $350 deposit
April 3rd …………………...............$250 due
May 1st …………………...............$250 due
June 5th...........…….....….........$250 due
July 3rd..............……..........…..$250 due
Total .................…......……..... $1,350
We ask that applicants carefully consider their commitment to this program. This course will be closed after the first day of class and we will not be able to fill any vacated seats. Therefore, we offer a prorated refund after attending the first class, and a 50% refund of the full program cost for withdrawing within the first 30 days. No refunds are offered following the first 30 days of the program.
The following books are recommended but not required for students of the Sage Herbal Foundations Program. Although not required, they are reliable sources written by knowledgeable herbalists with clinical experience and are highly useful for research in and out of the classroom.
Other Recommended Resources
Henriette’s Herbal Homepage
http://www.henriettesherbal.com/ A wonderful resource of Herbal FAQ’s, downloaded herbal texts and so much more. Created by Henriette Kress.
Southwest School of Botanical Medicine: www.swsbm.com
The late Michael Moore was a brilliant and generous herbalist whose website is loaded with herbal information, downloaded herbal classics, medicinal plant images and more. You can also download his Herb Manuals for free.
“Thank you for this program. I am grateful for the plethora of information…for the enlightening and fun hands-on experiential learning that we enjoyed, and for Valerie’s generous willingness to share her amazingly vast knowledge of the field. Thank you for caring so much about the earth, the plants, and us!”
Sandy Kristiansen, Class of 2015
“This class has been life changing. What a beautiful gift of health and fitness to integrate into my family’s culture!”
Regina Lewis, Class of 2015
“I enjoyed the open approachable culture of the class. Valerie has so much knowledge and such familiarity with the subject matter that learning from her is a joy. Her excitement about this subject is infectious.”
Sarah Dorn, Class of 2015
“It was everything that I hoped for and more! I couldn’t have asked for a better instructor! I’ve learned so much from all of the instructors, especially Valerie! The class and classmates were awesome! Thank you and all of your teachers! You’re a great team!”
Rose Bourda, Class of 2015
“Valerie has a tremendous amount of knowledge. This is the best thing I have done so far.”
Kyle Sullivan, Class of 2015
“Valerie, thank you for an incredible learning experience. I have learned so much…and am excited about this adventure!”
Jude Orr, Class of 2015
“The course was challenging, well organized and allowed for implementation of critical thinking. As a UCCS alumni from Beth-El School of Nursing, I found Valerie’s expertise and comprehension of herbs is unsurpassed and she is able to create an excitement for learning.”
Ana E. York, RN-BSN, Class of 2012
“Valerie is able to teach with ease, drawing from her vast knowledge and experience. As a student and health care provider, I found her classes to be enlightening and helpful in my own practice.”
Christine Briggs, MSN, FNP-C, Class of 2012
“Valerie demonstrated excellent teaching skills and a thorough knowledge of herbs. She kept all of us engaged and motivated us to experiment with the herbs and to pursue further study. I was impressed with her depth of knowledge of not only herbs but also of anatomy and physiology of the body.”
Ronalyn Akcadogan, PhD RN, Class of 2012
“Amazing info and experience. I was sick when I started this class; now I feel well! Val’s knowledge of herbal remedies is awesome. It’s changed my health,”
Margie McGee, Class of 2014
“To learn from such a knowledgeable herbalist as Valerie is a true blessing. To be in the same room as other like-minded people (discussing herbs) was great.”
Justen Williams, Class of 2014
“Wonderful teacher – Valerie makes it easy to understand the material. I loved the Materia Medica, Digestion and the Herbal Properties and Actions classes.”
Justin Huff, Class of 2014
“I’ve learned a great deal from all the classes – I can’t really rate them – they were all important. My favorite aspects of the program were learning about aspects of essential oils along with the herbs – I have found a great value in this which has changed the way I feel tremendously,”
Andrew James, Class of 2014
“I really enjoyed the times we just went with the flow, maybe got a tad off subject but it’s nice to feel the learning and not be drilled,”
Marilyn Clark, Class of 2014
"Thank you Valerie! My favorite classes were the Kidney and Bladder and the Tincture making.This has helped organize and utilize a lifetime of dabbling with herbs into a real usable format and direction for future study. Please let me know of future classes."
Michelle Bailey, Colorado Springs, CO – July 2011
"My favorite classes were the gastrointestinal and the Kidney. I hope to attend more classes. I want to go on even further!"
Susan Van Diest, Colorado Springs, CO – July 2011
"Thank you for this wonderful program and all that you gave. It was terrific. You kept classes moving friendly and down to earth – no ego problems – an excellent instructor. You are knowledgable and have a great presence and great ability to present information. I can't express my appreciation for your time, knowledge and growth. I have learned so much."
Sue Johnson, Colorado Springs, CO – July 2011
"My favorite classes were Cardio and Musculoskeletal. There was lots of very practical info that I am applying as an issue arises. Also, most important is the awareness that this class has brought out. All my habits are at least conscious and they are a choice. I have begun making changes and now have the knowledge…"
"My favorite classes were the Herbal Medicine Making. It is a full of information and is a fabulous program for people just dipping into alternative medicine who want to know more. Very informative and fun."
Beka Vatandoust, Colorado Springs, CO – July 2011
"The whole program was wonderful. I have especially enjoyed the Colds and Flu class. I have really enjoyed the classes. When you know better you do better. You can even see it in the class, from the first class to now…very exciting! I am trying to figure out at times how to incorporate the herbs in some kind of career."
Joy Regan, Colorado Springs, CO – July 2011