Columbines School

News & Events:

Our Instructors and Staff:

Howie Brounstein has taught botany, herbalism, and wildcrafting extensively for decades, including at such herbal establishments as the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine. He is the co-owner and a primary instructor of the Columbines School of Botanical Studies and has a clinical practice in Eugene, Oregon. He is well known for his brilliant in depth teaching style and his passionate love of plants.

Leah Kays Leah is a 2006 graduate of Columbines School of Botanical Studies and has been involved with the school since. She is an herbalist, botanist, and bartender from Portland, Oregon who has moved from a substitute teacher to a full time Columbines instructor.

Welcome to the Columbines School Homepage

What is the Columbines School?

The Columbines School of Botanical Studies offers a unique educational program ranging from entry level lectures in community herbalism to a three year program including botany, ecology, wildcrafting, plant pharmacy, physiology, pathophysiology, and clinical herbalism. Operating for over three decades, we specialize in field programs where the majority of the classes are outside with the plants for a truly ‘hands on’ experience.

Here is a downloadable pdf version of our most current Course Descriptions. Right click on link, and choose “save link as” to download.

Headlines

39th Annual 2023 First Year Field Apprenticeship Program

Taught by Howie Brounstein and Leah Kays

We are now accepting applications for the 2023 Field Apprenticeship Program. We are conducting interviews now. It fills up quickly and spaces are limited, as we accept only 12 apprentices per year. The best way to assure an interview for the 2023 Field Program is to fill out an interview request form and send it to us.

The 2023 Field Apprenticeship is comprised of a field program and a lecture series. The field trips are the backbone of our educational curriculum in which you will experientially learn field botany, ecology and wildcrafting techniques, as well as defining your relationship with nature. The lecture series provides the inside classroom environment required for note taking and lecture-based learning.

Upon completion of the Apprenticeship, you will be able to identify, locate, harvest, process, and use unfamiliar plants outside of the class setting. This skill will apply throughout the world beyond the Pacific Northwest.

2022 Reproductive System Intensive with Howie Brounstein on Zoom

Dancing Interplay of Hormonal Cascades

Date: Tuesday – Thursday November 29, 30, December 1, 2022
Time: 6:00 – 9:00 PM Pacific Time on Zoom
Cost: $135 includes a $50 non-refundable deposit

This 9-hour intensive will cover custom and standard protocols for a variety of reproductive issues. Using both Western physiology and Michael Moore’s constitutional model, we will cover topics such as menstrual cycle regulation, birth control pills, synthetic hormones, fertility, estrogen dominance, and herbal and nutritional support for folks born with ovaries.

Prerequisites: Second Year Lecture, Physiology for the Herbalist, or prior experience with approval from an instructor.

For more information or to reserve a spot, call 541-687-7114 or register here. The zoom links will be sent out two days before class and the morning of each class. Classes will be recorded for later downloads.

GI Tract Physiology Intensive on Zoom
with Howie Brounstein

Date: Tuesday – Thursday, January,17-19, 24-26, 2022.
Time: 6:00 – 8:00 PM Pacific Time on Zoom
Cost: $180 includes a $50 non-refundable deposit

This 12 hour zoom class will cover in-depth western physiology of the digestive system and Michael Moore’s constitutional physiology of the upper and lower GI.

Howie taught a shortened version of this class for many years as part of the physiology at Michael Moore’s Southwest School of Botanical Medicine.

The required texts are The Physiology Coloring Book by Kapit, Macey, and Meisami and Herbal Energetics in Clinical Practice: Principals and Practice of Constitutional Physiology for Herbalists by Michael Moore (download here).

Prerequisites: Second Year Lecture, Physiology for the Herbalist, or prior experience with approval from an instructor.

For more information or to reserve a spot, call 541-687-7114 or email us. The zoom links will be sent out two days before class and the morning of each class. Each class will be recorded and saved for download for a few months.

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Herbal Concepts and Northwest Materia Medica on Zoom

Taught by Howie Brounstein and Alex Queathem with a possible guest appearance of Steven Yeager

This 56.5 hour lecture series will give the student knowledge of herbalism without the botany and fieldwork of our full Apprenticeship Program.

This series illustrates herbal fundamental principles using northwestern medicinal plants. These native herbs were intentionally selected to serve as an accessible medicine chest and an herbal basis for further learning. Herbal preparations and medicine making labs are included throughout term. No pre-requisite required.

Click here to view an old Herbal Concepts syllabus. We have added more classes and topics, but this will give you a rough idea of the class curriculum.

Spring term runs April 2023 to June 2023 on Thursdays and some Mondays. The total cost for the spring term is $490.00 for 10 weekly evening lectures and 3 Herbal Preparation labs (32.5 hours). A $50.00 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your place.

Click here for 2023 Spring Herbal Concepts schedule.

Summer term will run from mid-July 2023 to the last week in August 2023, and consists of 8 evening lectures (24 hours). The cost is $360.00. A $50.00 non-refundable deposit is required to hold your place. Completion of spring term required.

Click here to register for the Spring Herbal Concepts. For more information contact the Columbines School of Botanical Studies at 541-687-7114.

Columbines Online Distance Learning Program

The Columbines School of Botanical Studies will soon be releasing our online distance learning program. Click here to be put on our mailing list and notified when the exciting event occurs.


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Botany

What is Botany?

Botany is the science of plants: their life, structure, growth, classification, as well as the study of the plant life in a specific area. In this section you will find plant lists of the western United States, original articles and links pertaining to the science of plant identification, as well as other aspects of the scientific study of plant life.

View 2022 Plant Lists as the Season Unfolds!

Plant Lists of the Pacific Northwest:
These plant lists, field trip highlights, and lecture topics are from the Columbines School of Botanical Studies 2022 Apprenticeship Program in the Cascade Mountains of Oregon and the surrounding areas. New material will be added regularly. Read and enjoy as the season unfolds.

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Wildcrafting

What is Wildcrafting?

trees: berberis nervosa habitat

Wildcrafting is gathering plant material from its native “wild” environment. Wildcrafting is stewardship. This means we take care of the land and our plant populations or stands. We harvest in a way that insures the health of the stand for our children. We should be able to return to this stand year after year. It will teach us many secrets about ecology and population dynamics. It is not a one-night stand.

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Herbalism

What is Herbalism?

The art and science of herbalism is a practice based on the use of plants and plant extracts promoting health, and preventing and modifying illness. Herbalism is also known as botanical medicine, medical herbalism, and herbal medicine.

When an I am Herbalist?

jim mcdonald has been asking me for years to post my answer to this question.

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