Chestnut Herbal School

Chestnut School

Correctly drying and storing herbs ensures you will have more potent medicine.

Storing Dried Herbs and Herbal Preparations for Freshness and Longevity

Whether you grow your own herbs or purchase them from a bulk supplier, storing dried herbs properly will ensure they enjoy a long life filled with potency and freshness. In this article, we’ll share the basic rules of thumb for storing dried herbs (and tinctures, infused honeys, herbal oils, salves, and powdered herbs), plus we’ll impart our tips for finding the best high-quality bulk herbs to use in your home apothecary.

Botánica Cimarrón: Student Business Spotlight

We recently had a conversation with Star Feliz (they/them) of Botánica Cimarrón for our Student Business Spotlight series. Star is a clinical herbalist, full-spectrum doula, spiritual guide, and Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine graduate. They practice Afro-Taino Caribbean and Western herbalism, drawing creative inspiration from their ancestral lineage and a big imagination for an earth-healing future.

Of the Forest Festive Non-Alcoholic Bitters by Xálish Medicines.

Herbal Gift-Giving Guide

Give the perfect present to your herbal loved one! Giving a great gift is an art. Giving an herbal gift is to know and love the plant person in your life. To help you find the perfect present, we’ve compiled an herbal gift-giving guide featuring special items from small makers to please your herbally-inclined loved ones. For fun and ease, we’ve grouped these gifts into categories suited to unique plant personas.

Jodi McKee, owner of Jewelweed herbal apothecary.

Jewelweed: Student Business Spotlight

Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine graduate Jodi McKee, proprietor and herbalist behind Jewelweed, a small-batch herbal apothecary and healing venue located just outside of Minneapolis, MN, talks to us for our Student Business Spotlight series. The shop was named in honor of the local wildflower that grows prolifically nearby. Jewelweed offers an exclusive in-house seasonal line of handcrafted products made with organic or locally-grown and wildcrafted plants.

The risks of using AI in herbalism. An AI-generated image of a robot in an herbal apothecary.

Risks of Using AI in Herbalism

Like it or not, artificial intelligence (AI) is now interwoven into the basic technology we use daily. Like all technology, it’s only as helpful or harmful as the intentions of the people using it. Mostly, we hear about the dangers of using AI and how it can be used in nefarious ways, yet it also offers promising solutions to some of the world’s most complex problems. In this article, we’ll primarily explore the risks of using AI in herbalism, especially herbal education.

Juliet Blankespoor teaching medicinal herb gardening at her farm in NC. Photograph by Emily Nichols.

Becoming An Herbalist: Juliet Blankespoor’s Dance With The Plants

Stamens, stigmas, and anthers were my first dates in what would become a lifelong love affair with plants. Today, I plan my vacations around botanical gardens and keep random pieces of colorful bark in my pocket in case I need an icebreaker in an awkward social situation. Three decades into this journey as a plant–human matchmaker, I’ve owned almost every herbal business you can imagine: an herbal nursery, a medicinal products business, a clinical practice, and now an online herbal school specializing in bioregional, hands-on herbalism.

Anise hyssop growing with echinacea.

Get Growing: 15 of Our Favorite Resources for Spring Herb Gardening

We’ve been growing medicinal herbs for decades, and their return to the garden each spring is still one of the season’s great joys. As early as January, cold-hardy herbs like motherwort and lemon balm will start showing off new green leaves—followed shortly by purple-tinged anise hyssop, plush stinging nettles, and fragrant peppermint. Although it will be many more weeks before harvesting commences, their presence is a grand and hopeful sign of warmer days to come.

A person taking notes on red clover.

The Top Herbal and Foraging Blogs, Podcasts, and YouTube Channels

It’s easy to become captivated by wild food and medicine. There’s a vitality to wild plants that is unsurpassed, and a nutrient load that is astonishing. More truly though, it’s connection that enamors us—a link to the natural cycles and sustenance of the earth, including a realization that a generous supply of nourishment and healing is springing up all around us.

Closeup of Ruby Rose.

My Lovely Office Assistant

My Lovely Office AssistantWritten and Photographed by Juliet Blankespoor Ms. Rose driving a hard deal I would like to introduce my lovely office assistant, Ms. Rose, whose many talents include: Finding new and unusual ways to incorporate post-its and scotch tape into thought-provoking and controversial art installments throughout the workplace. Asking for a snack repeatedly [...]