The 2016 Botanical Medicine Program

Interested in the 2016 Botanical Medicine Program (BotMed) but not sure if it is the right program for you? Why not try our Introduction to Herbal Medicine Class? If you do decide to enroll in the 2016 Bot Med Program, you will receive a $75.00 rebate from the tuition - its like taking the Intro class for free!



General Program Description:

The 2016 Botanical Medicine Program offers a 6-weekend program, June through October, for those who desire an in-depth herbal program. The program is held one weekend a month (twice in October). This course is very special. It offers students the opportunity to learn about herbs by placing the classroom right in the garden! The program is at the Herbal Bear, Grand Gorge, NY location - a beautiful private 30 acre property in the Northern Catskills - just 2 hours and 45 minutes from NYC.

Each weekend we learnabout the plants that grow around us, studying their healing properties upon different body systems, gathering and harvesting the local medicinal plants whichgrow on the property, anddeveloping a systematic approach to herbal formulations. By the end of the program you will be able to identify and know how to use well over 100 different herbs. Our classes are informal and relaxed - however we take pride in the fact that our instructors are among the top in their fields and include experienced herbalists, research scientists, and authors who have published in their field.

See a short video from our Botanical Medicine Program:

One of our instructors - Bob Beyfuss' videos:

What is Ginseng?

Our small class size allows accessibility to our instructors both during lessons and after class. Our instructor's enthusiasm for their topics shows in their willingness to share both their time and knowledge with students - in class and one-on-one.

No one enjoys a boring classroom lecture - this is why we have designed this program to be an interactive and hands-on experience. Learning about herbal remedies takes on a whole new dimension when you have a chance to see, smell, touch and use the plants that grow right in the Northern Catskills.

The 2016 Botanical Medicine will be the 22nd year our program has been running. Each year I have the pleasure to meet wonderful people who come to learn about plants and botanical medicine. The program is a unique experience, bringing together professional instruction in an informal setting which provides a relaxing environment in which to learn.

The Botanical Medicine program offers course material that is often offered in college level classes. An applicant should have a minimum of a high school diploma and be comfortable with scientific topics.

Ursula Basch
Director and Principal Instructor
The Herbal Bear School of Botanical Medicine

Course Topics

  • Spring Herb Identification
  • Spring Herb Identification
  • Herbal Terms and Resources
  • Wild Food Gathering
  • Herbs for the Digestive System
  • Making Herbal Teas
  • 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)
  • Planting a Herb Garden

As a participant you will learn the gentle cycles and rhythms of the plants as they develop and change through the seasons. Together with the plants, we will discover our own rhythms and connection to the Mother Earth. The Botanical Medicine Program meets at Herbal Bear Cabin in the Northern Catskills. Located on 30+ acres of woods and field, Herbal Bear Catskill location is a beautiful place to learn. The land is home to deer, bear, turkeys and an incredible assortment of wild edible and medicinal plants. We have a pond suitable for swimming, planted herb gardens, a water lily gardens and many paths to explore through the woods.

Program Dates

The 2016 Botanical Medicine Program meets for all of the following dates:

  1. Saturday, June 11 – Sunday June 12, 2016
  2. Saturday July 16 – Sunday July 17, 2016
  3. Saturday August 13 – Sunday August 14, 2016
  4. Saturday September 10 – Sunday Sept 11, 2016
  5. Saturday October 1 – Sunday October 2, 2016
  6. Saturday October 29 – Sunday October 30, 2016

We strongly encourage you to arrange your schedule to be able to attend all the scheduled weekends.

Program Location

Our Instructors

Meals are Included

Delicious vegetarian meals are included in the Program. We use organic produce and local products as much as possible.

We serve 5 meals per weekend - starting withbreakfast on Saturday morning. Our meals are vegetarian and may include dairy and eggs. If you are strictly vegan or have religious limitation for your diet - you may have to bring somefood to supplement what is served. We do not serve soy or rice milk. All meals are served buffet style. We ask that you assist in clean-upafter each meal.

Daily Schedule

8:00am - 9:00am - Breakfast
9:30am - 12:30pm - Class
12:30pm - 1:45pm - Lunch
1:45pm - 4:30pm - Class
4:30pm - 4:45pm - Break
4:45pm - 6:30pm - Class
6:30pm - 7:30pm - Dinner

8:00am - 8:45am - Breakfast
9:00am - 12:15pm - Class
12:15pm - 1:00pm - Lunch
1:15pm - 2:45pm - Class

How to Apply/Application Form:

Registration Instructions:

  • Step 1: Choose a registration plan below.
  • Step 2: You will be directed to the application form.
  • Step 3: Fill out the application and press the Submit button at the bottom of the page.
  • Step 4: After submitting, pay using the payment button on the Payment Page.

The application is designed to give us information about who you are and why you are interested in the program. Please feel free to write as much as you wish. Each field is designed to accept several lines of text (many more than you could possibly write). If you wish to know more about how we use our application process, please click here.

Program Cost/Registration (payment options):

Registration Costs:

  • Early Bird Program Price before March 31, 2016: $3000.00
  • Full Program Price after March 31, 2016: $3275.00
    Full program price applies to students who register and pay in full before program starts.

Refund Policy:

  • All registrations are subject to a $400.00 non-refundable fee.
  • No refunds are made after March 31, 2016.
  • Students who are on a payment schedule must complete their full payment - regardless of attendance.
  • We are not responsible to make up any classes for students who are absent for the scheduled program weekends.
  • The tuition covers the 2016 program only. We do not offer make-up classes or provide future credit for classes.
  • There are no exceptions to our refund policy.


The program costs do not include lodging. Each student is responsible for their own lodging arrangements.

Lodging at the Herbal Bear Facility:
We offer several lodging options at the Herbal Bear Facility.
All Herbal Bear Lodging includes use of the pool and hot tub.
We can only offer lodging to our students at our facility.
If you are traveling with family or friends - see our nearby lodging listings.

Please click on any of the two options to see details:

  • Camping - no cost during the Botanical Medicine Teaching Weekends.
  • Bedrooms - 2 Private bedrooms $125/room per weekend.

Please e-mail us at the time of your registration to ask about the Herbal Bear lodging availablity.
Once we have confirmed that we have available space for the lodging you requested - we will arrange for you to make payment.

Lodging at Nearby Motels, Hotels and Camping Areas:
There are several motels, hotels and camping areas near the Herbal Bear School.

Please click here to see a listing.

Work/Study Programs:

The Herbal Bear School will consider partial workstudy positions for up to two students. Students who apply must have specific skills and experience and be able to work at the Herbal Bear Catskill location on weekends that are in addition to the Botanical Medcine Program weekends. We will consider NYS licensed massage therapists or horticulturists/landscapers who can do garden maintanance. We do not have a need for office work, food preparation or web design. Qualified students may apply for workstudy up to maximum $600.00. Please contact us if you are interested in applying for workstudy.

Recommended Reading:


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