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Monday, April 24, 2017
•  Events Calendar  •
The Institute of EcoTourism
ETHNOBOTANY
People, Plants and Medicinal Use
Created:  Friday, July 20, 2007
Updated:  Thursday, April 3, 2008

The Relationship Between
People and Plants

During a “walk about” of the Sedona Red Rock High School grounds Dearmore led humanity students in identifying twelve medicinal plants and how they have helped people in cultures of yesterday and continue to do so today.  They learned for example that steeped sugar sumach berries create a refreshing cooling drink and that prickly pear cactus is an effective drawing poultice for sun burns and insect bites. 

 

Over the course of a month the students learned how to craft a first aid desert hiking salve.  With Dearmore’s direction they made decisions on which of the native plants available would offer the healing qualities desired.

The study began with wild-crafting ethics asking questions like:  Do you have permission or the permits for collecting at the site?  Are you in a fragile environment?  What effect will your harvest have on the environment? 

Once learning proper harvesting skills, the students gathered and hung the native plants in their classroom. 

The dried plants were then stripped of their leaves and flowers chopped and “infused” into organic oils in glass jars. 

After steeping the plant material into the oil for ten days the students used cheese-cloth and muscle to squeeze the oil from the plant material.  Finally over low heat beeswax was added to the infused oil creating the salve.
“By participating in native plant study and making herbal remedies students are able to make important connections to nature that tend to be missing in our electronic world of today.” states Diane Dearmore  “It was refreshing to see the kids so interested.”
 

In September 2006 Sedona Red Rock High School humanity students and teacher, Elaine Watkins, studied the relationship between people and plants with the Institute of Ecotourism’s executive director Diane Dearmore. 

Photo Credits to Elaine Watkins

 

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