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 School Of Botanical Medicine
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About Us

Our Mission:
The Herbal Bear is dedicated to promoting and providing responsible information and education about medicinal plants.

Our Courses:
Our classes range from short one day workshops to a comprehensive six-month program for herbal studies.
We offer instruction on a variety of topics. Our  herbal medicine courses include classes on herbal medicine making, herbs for colds and flu, herbs for Women's health, medical botany, medicinal mushrooms, herbal energetics, herbal formula making, phyto-chemistry of medicinal plants and other health related topics. Additionally we offer herbal workshops on herbal cosmetics, herbal soap making and other craft related topics. Many of these classes are offered in New York City. We have taught for a number of organizations including: New York Botanical Garden, The Brooklyn Botanical Gardens, Beth Israel Hospital, Open Center, Learning Annex, Green Nations Herbal Gathering, Women's Herbal Conference, Wave Hill and Institute for Environmental Studies. For more information about our classes click here.

The Herbal Bear offers a 6-month, one weekend a month,  program for those who are interested in an in-depth course which will cover herbs in a systematic and hands-on learning process.  The Botanical Medicine Program, formerly called the "Apprentice Program" offers students an opportunity to learn about the plants in their natural environment.  Students take classes at our Herbal Bear Catskill  location, a private 30 acre center located in the Northern Catskill Mountains.  By extending the learning process over a 6-month period, the students are able to study and see the plants in all the growing stages.  The program combines formal study with field work so that students are intimately familiar with the proper identification, medicinal uses, harvesting and herbal preparations of the plants. We offer small intimate class sizes for this program, never more than ten students.  Our program is unique in that it provides guest lecturers who are specialists in their field.  This insures careful individual attention and instruction for each student. The topics covered in this program are:
  • Spring Herb Identification
  • Herbal Terms and Resources
  • Wild Food Gathering
  • Herbs for the Digestive System
  • Making Herbal Teas
  • Making Flower Essences
  • Plant Meditation
  • Herbal Harvesting, Drying and Storage
  • Herbal Vinegars
  • Making Herbal Tinctures
  • Medicinal Herbal Oils
  • Herbs for the Nervous System
  • Making a Herbal First Aid Kit
  • Herbs for Women?s Health
  • Herbs for The Circulatory System
  • Making Herbal Salves
  • Understanding Traditional Chinese Medicine
  • Herbal Energetics and Diagnostic Techniques
  • Developing Herbal Formulations
  • Making Herbal Cosmetics, Body Creams and Herbal Bath Salts
  • Herbal Case Studies
  • Herbs for the Immune System
  • Sacred Herbs and Ceremonial uses
  • Medicinal and Edible Mushrooms 
  • Field Identification of Mushrooms Mushroom Propagation Harvesting Autumn
  • Roots and Barks Herbs for Colds and Flu 
  • Making Herbal Brandies and Elixirs and Syrups 
  • Exploring Healing Modalities (i.e. Reiki, Reflexology)
  • Wildlife in the Catskills 
  • Planting a Herb Garden
For more information about this program click Here


 Our website also offers on-line specific information about medicinal plants and herbs. 
We currently have a database listing the following plants (and our list is growing):
We offer a quick reference chart for plants cross-referencing common names and the botanical Latin names.
Our herbal information resources also offer the Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) energetics of the plant.
To assist our students, and those interested in herbalism, we have provided a section of our website to the review of herbal books.  Our book review cover basic beginner's books for the study of herbal remedies, recommendations for more advanced herbal medicine studies, herbal crafts, and herbal cookbooks.

Our Director

The Herbal Bear's Program Director is Ursula Basch. She has studied botanical medicine and herbalism with a number of notable American herbalists.  Her herbal studies have included a wide range of topics including: western herbalism, Chinese traditional medicine (TCM) and Cherokee herbal uses. Ursula also studied scientific botanical topics including botany, plant morphology, medicinal plant/drug interactions, and toxicology. She is the instructor for the New York Botanical Garden's medical botany course.  Her background of both scientific and folk traditions of herbal medicine are a unique combination which makes her a much sought after instructor and lecturer.  Ursula has a unique ability to relate to many different audiences, including those who are technically trained as well as those who have a general interest in the topic of herbal medicine.


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