02/28/2021 Update: Dear Students, thank you so much for your interest in this program. It is completely full. We hope to see you next year, for our 2022 in-class and fingers crossed, on-line programs of the full, 27-class, Herbal Foundations Program.
in 2021 we will be offering a new herbal education program, The 2021 Herbal Intensive. This program will be taught by Valerie Blankenship, AHG, Clinical Herbalist, Educator and Owner of Sage Consulting & Apothecary. Valerie has over 30 years of experience in the herbal field as a clinician and educator.
DETAILS: The program will consist of 12 classes during which we will take a deep dive into specific essential herbs, with many hands on opportunities. Class instruction will be organized, interactive and inclusive. Instruction will include growing, identifying, wildcrafting, harvesting, preparation, formulation methods and proper uses of each herb covered. In addition, there will be a Digestion class and a Fermentation Intensive.
There will be homework for each class, which will provide you with the opportunity to experience each herb and process covered on a deeper level.
As your instructor, I am excited about teaching you the fundamentals of herbal healing in a more intimate, personal setting. The small class structure will allow us to work together at a more relaxed, in-depth pace. This method will set you up for success as a beginning home herbalist. You will be have the opportunity to share your experiences with other students following the homework assignments and have all of your questions answered. This program will provide an excellent structure on which to continue your education with the Sage Herbal Foundations Program next year if you choose. Students will receive a credit of $150 toward next year's program if you choose to continue with your herbal studies.
WHEN: The program will launch on April 17th and will meet in person every other Saturday from 10:00 AM - 1:00 PM.
May 1, 15, 29
June 12, 26
July 10, 24
August 7, 21
September 4, 18
MATERIALS: All materials are included with the exception of the herbs and tools required for homework assignments.
OPTIONAL KIT: A kit will be made available for purchase with all of the herbs needed for homework assignments. Kit contents and price will be made available at a later time.
LOCATION: The program will be held in person, in the Sage Herbal Foundations Classroom, and will employ social distancing. The program will be limited to 10 students.
ONLINE CLASSES: The program may be offered online as well. Stay tuned. We are working on the logistics at this time. Details will be posted here soon as to whether this will be an option.
COST: The in-class program will be $500, payable with a $250 deposit due March 27th, followed by a second payment of $250 due April 24th, 2021.
HOW TO APPLY: Due to the intimate size of the class, each applicant must complete a zoom interview prior to signing up for the program. Students will be chosen based on their ability to complete assignments, on their beginner's status and their interest in herbal medicine and holistic healing.
The 2022 Herbal Foundations Program, which includes 27 classes over 6 months, will be offered next year once social distancing is no longer an issue.
This program is an intensive certification course consisting of 27 exciting herbal classes, providing a rich educational foundation of holistic self care. The program is updated to offer additional classes and an even more enriched and interactive learning experience.
We are especially proud of our exceptional faculty, which includes clinical herbalists with over 100 years of combined experience as well as an Associate Professor from UCCS and a teacher with 32 years experience.
Topics covered include herbal materia medica taught by body system, herbal constituents, identification in the field, harvesting, processing, preparations, herbal actions, formulating, nutrition, constitutional assessments, herbal research methods, aromatherapy and more. The classes are held on Sundays, 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 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 homework and assignments in order to earn a certificate, or may audit the program if preferred. Students planning on earning a certificate will be responsible for weekly homework and other assignments, 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.
Valerie Blankenship: Classes are taught by Sage Consulting & Apothecary’s Herbalist and Clinician, Valerie Blankenship, with over 30 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. Membership requires an intensive, peer-reviewed application process with the professional herbalist’s organization. She was chosen as one of the Best Holistic Practitioners in the Colorado Springs Community for the past seven years. Valerie will be joined by the following Instructors:
Dr. Margaret Harris
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.
Kat Mackinnon is the clinic program director and former botany director at the Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism (CSCH). She is a registered professional member of the American Herbalist Guild, and in addition to her work for CSCH teaches her own classes through Meet the Green, including online courses on plant identification and herbalism.
Brigitte Mars, an herbalist with over 40 years experience. She teaches all over the country and is the author of many books and DVDs, including The Desktop Guide to Herbal Medicine, Beauty by Nature, Addiction Free Naturally, The Sexual Herbal, and Rawsome!, as well as the herbal phone app, iPlant.
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”.
Joan M.L. Zinn, owner and operator of Medicine Hill Herbs, is an herbalist, healing consultant, editor, writer and teacher. She works from her consultation studio space, surrounded by herb gardens in Centennial, Colorado. She is presently consulting on and editing a textbook on herbal medicine. She teaches for the Institute of Bioenergetic Medicine.
April • AM: Herbal Properties and Actions – Valerie Blankenship
We will begin with a brief look at the history of herbalism in the US. Next we will cover the actions and properties of herbs, and review some of the most important herbs in each category. This is an organized, cohesive method for learning about herbs that will provide you with the necessary tools for the development of your herbal knowledge base.
April 5th • PM: Materia Medica Part I – Valerie Blankenship
In this class we will take a look at some of the most interesting and important herbs and discover what makes them valuable as medicine. You will learn to identify the herbs by recognizing their distinguishing characteristics and learn how to use them for healing.
April 12th • EASTER BREAK (No Class)
April 19th • AM: Materia Medica Part II – Valerie Blankenship
This class is Part II of the previous class
April 26th • AM: Aromatherapy Basics – 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.
May 3rd • AM: Herbal Medicine Making I – Oils, Salves & Poultices – Joan Zinn
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.
May 10th • MOTHER’S DAY (No Class)
May 17th • AM: Healing Digestive Disorders – 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.
May 26th • MEMORIAL WEEKEND (No Class)
May 31st • AM: A Low Elevation Herb Walk in a Magical Garden – 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.
May 31st • PM: Herbs for Women’s Health – Brigitte Mars
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.
June 7th • AM: Life-Changing Fermented Foods – Valerie Blankenship
Fermented foods have been used by traditional peoples 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.
June 14th • AM & PM: Botany Basics – Kat MacKinnon The goal of this class is to give you a basic grounding in botanical language and methodology as it relates to identifying medicinal and edible plants. There will be a special focus on the patterns method of family identification for the plants in the Colorado bioregion. A hands-on class in the field, we’ll also explore ID though organoleptics and sensual awareness of the plants and their habitat.
June 21st • FATHER’S DAY (No Class)
June 28th • PM: Healing Cardiovascular Disorders – 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.
July 5th • AM: Harvesting and Processing Medicinal Herbs – Jeanie Taylor
An experiential class, where you will 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 5th • PM: Gardening with Medicinal Herbs – 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.
July 12th • AM: A High Elevation Herb Walk – 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 19th • AM: Herbal Medicine Making II – Tinctures & Percolations – 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 26th • AM: Healing Kidney & Bladder Disorders – Joan Zinn
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 2nd • AM: Healing the Immune/Lymphatic System –
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.
August 9th •AM: Dietary Basics – Valerie Blankenship & Yaremi Dávila
(We will meet at Valerie’s house in Woodland Park) Good nutrition is at the foundation of vibrant health and disease resistance. Using the fundamentals that you learned in the Digestion, Fermentation, Pancreas and Immune classes, you will discover the fundamentals of nutrition from the Vitalist viewpoint. In this fun, interactive class, you will learn how you how to choose and prepare the highest quality foods in a healthful manner for ultimate health.
August 16th • CLASS BREAK
August 23rd • AM: Herbal Research – Margaret Harris
Are herbs researched? Absolutely! But the quality of the research and the interpretation of the data is a mixed bag. Become an informed consumer of herbal research and information. Learn the differences between poor quality vs high quality research of medicinal herbs and how the nutrition field and the food industry may influence that research.
August 30th • AM: Healing the Pancreas – 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.
September 6th • AM: Healing Musculoskeletal Disorders – Joan Zinn
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 the conditions and diseases of your muscles, bones, and teeth.
September 13th • AM: Herbal Medicine Making III: Infusions, Decoctions, Syrups, Herbal Honeys, and Capsules – Valerie Blankenship
In this interactive herbal preparations class, you will expand your medicine making skills by learning the correct way to prepare medicinal infusions, decoctions, double and triple decoctions, medicinal syrups and capsules. In addition to these preparations, there will be a fun, bonus preparation, plus lots of recipes.
September 20th • AM: Herbal First Aid – 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. You will also learn the Heimlich maneuver.
September 27th • AM: Healing Respiratory Disorders – Joan Zinn
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.
October 4th • AM: Cannabis – Valerie Blankenship
This is an exploration into the hot topic of Cannabis. We will cover its fascinating history throughout the years, including its use by the medical establishment. You will learn the differences between CBD and THC, and how they are used together, the differences between hemp and marijuana, how hybridization may cause side effects, lab accuracy issues and dosing for a variety of health concerns. In addition, we will cover the interesting story of Phoenix Tears.
October 11th • AM: Student Research Projects and Graduation Celebration
Student projects consist of special topics chosen by the students themselves which are researched and presented to the class.
To sign up for this program, please call Sage Consulting and Apothecary at
719-473-9702, or visit us online at www.sagewomanherbs.com, or at the store/apothecary, 2727 N. Tejon St., Colorado Springs, CO 80907. Note: we will begin registering in September 2021.
Class Dates and Times
Classes will be held: Sundays from April ____ - October ____ 2022
AM Classes held: 9:30 am - 12:30 pm
A few Saturdays will have 2 classes held: 9:30 pm -
4:00 with 1 hour lunch break
Classes will be held in the classroom at 2727 N. Tejon St., Colorado Springs. There will be field trips to Woodland Park, Mesa Gardens, a garden in Centennial and nearby community gardens where local herbs are grown for our apothecary.
The following fee schedule must be adhered to in order to successfully graduate from the program and receive a certificate:
Pay in full by March _____, 2022 and receive a $100 discount!
March ____................. $300 due
March ____............... $250 due
May ____ …………………….$250 due
June ____......... ………..$250 due
July ____.......... ………..$250 due
Total .................……….. $1,300
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 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 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