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 2024 program has been enhanced and updated to offer 5 exciting new classes! In the 2024 program you will find the following new offerings: Genomics and your Multivitamin - Is There a Connection? – taught by Dr. Margaret Harris; Sacred Psychoactives and Dying with Grace and Ease with Brigitte Mars and Comfrey Magic, taught by Valerie Blankenship.
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. Please welcome new faculty member Katherine Grames, certified aromatherapist and 2023 graduate of the Sage Herbal Foundations Program!
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:
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 as the General Manager of Sage Consulting & Apothecary. Yaremi believes that food is the best medicine for our bodies.
Katherine Grames is an aromatherapist and _______. She is a 2023 graduate of the Sage Herbal Foundations Program.
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.
Shelby Irvin is a natural mama, Certified Lactation Counselor, Birthworker, and Student Midwife who has vowed to help others find their rhythm as they transition through the many phases of mamahood. Shelby strives to create a safe place for mamas and families of color to be who they are without having to explain their mere essence with her practice known as The Soulful Mama, located in Colorado Springs. She is a 2022 graduate of the Sage Herbal Foundations Program.
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 13th • 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 20th • 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 27 • 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 4th • 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 11th • 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 18th • 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 25th • Memorial Weekend - no class
June 1st • 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 1st • 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.
The lovely Brigitte....
June 8th • 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.
June 15th • 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 22nd • No class
June 29th • AM: Gardening, Harvesting and Processing Medicinal Herbs – with Jeanie Taylor
(We will meet in Jeanie's amazing garden) 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 6th • AM: A High Elevation Herb Walk – with Valerie Blankenship
(We will meet on a trail in Woodland Park and afterwards tour an herbalist's high elevation garden) 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 13th • 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 20th • 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 20th • PM: Midwifery – with Shelby Irvin
Join us as we explore the many transitions of the womb from the first cycle to menopause. The womb is constantly in flux. It is so important to know all these transitions and the benefits of midwifery support through them all.
July 27th • AM: Student Teacher Day I
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 3rd • 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 10th • AM: Student Teacher Day II
August 17th • 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 24th • AM: Student Teacher Day III
August 31st • Labor Day - no class
September 7th • AM: Healing Respiratory Disorders – with Valerie Blankenship
Delve into the patterns of acute and chronic respiratory disease, including COVID. You will discover how to regain your health following vaccines and COVID infections using 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 14th • AM: Genomics and your Multivitamin - Is There a Connection? – with Dr. Margaret Harris
Choosing the right supplements, whether omega 3s, vitamins, minerals, or nutrients, requires some intricacy. In this class, you will learn to accurately read a supplement label and choose particular forms for best bioavailablity. You will be introduced to the exciting new developments in the field of "Genomics" and learn how your genes play a role in your body's ability to absorb specific nutrients. Finally, you will learn how to select your supplements wisely for the best results.
September 21st • 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 28th • AM: Dying with Grace and Ease - with Brigitte Mars
In this class, we will explore how we can be more ready to consciously choose how our end of life care can help ourselves, our descendants and our loved ones. Advanced directives, convalescence care, remedies for pain, grief, green burials, and memorials will all be discussed.
September 28th • PM: Folk Remedies - with Brigitte Mars
Folk Remedies from around the World: Get comfortable with inexpensive kitchen remedies that have healing properties such as apples, cabbage, honey, garlic, salt, vinegar and lemons as well as common herbs and spices found in your kitchen.
October 5th • AM: Aromatherapy Basics – with Katherine Grames
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.
October 12th • 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 four 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 online classes via zoom. Please let us know if you wish to attend our online Herbal Basics Program. Note: the Herbal Basics Program several of the classes listed above will not be offered as part of this online program due to their hands-on nature.
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 1st, 2024 and receive a $100 discount.
Deposit .............................. $350 deposit
April 1st …………………...............$250 due
April 22nd …………………..............$250 due
May 20th...........…….....….........$250 due
June 17th..............……..........…..$250 due
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.
"Wow! I believe every subject was fulfilling. I am still trying to wrap my head around some of the teachings while applying them to my own and my family's life. This class had more objective than i thought. It was taught on an in-depth and thorough level. I enjoyed the different teachings from the various instructors and I enjoyed the Student-Teacher Days. It was amazing what other students taught! Thank you!"
- Melody, Class of 2024
"This has been one of the best programs I have ever taken...The instructors were very knowledgeable ...This program has truly changed my life and what i learned from it, once applied, will give me a better quality of life...I highly recommend it."
- Francene Alba, Class of 2024
"LOVED! I loved every single class we had....my favorite classes were Women's Health and the Midwifery class. Those classes taught me more about womanhood and self-love than i have learned my whole life in society."
- Mariah Morris Class of 2024
"I loved the hands-on activities where we learned how to make a variety of things from the fermentation to the salves. I also enjoyed the field trips as it gave us the chance to see the herbs, plants and trees in their own environment. My favorite classes were the ones taught by Dr. Harris; she tackled technical matters of the human body in an easy going way.
Brigitte Mars was excellent at tackling controversial subjects like psychedelics and death. Her power points were amazing, and she weaved her own story into her teachings in a very special way. I have fond memories of Jeanie's class in the garden, she is so knowledgeable and inspiring. Thank you Valerie, you make this course interesting, every class different, every topic relevant. Muchas gracias. ❤️
- Maria Goñi, Class of 2024
"I really LOVED this program, and how in depth it was and how hands-on it required us to be. I also really liked the variety of the classes and everything that was touched on from healing different anatomy to herbal medicine making and understanding complex processes. The class load wasn't too horrible, and the homework was really helpful in understanding the class more. 10/10!"
"I loved this program. It reminded me of how much I love and need and believe in plant medicine."
- Leah Aragon, Class of 2024
"My favorite classes were the high and low elevation herb walks. I loved the interaction when we made creations together. I loved all the classes and was thankful to join. Every day there was a takeaway."
- Renee, Class of 2024
"I loved this program and everyone in it from the teachers to the classmates! My favorite class was every class honestly! Every class came at the right time."
- Breadley Pointdujour, Class of 2024
"I loved the hands-on fermentation classes, the woodland hike, the set up of all the classes...the form of camaraderie your program brings has been a great experience....I don't want it to end!"
- Jody, Class of 2024
“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