As part of the ACHS Graduation Ceremony in June, a small group of enthusiastic individuals gathered to explore plants local to Oregon and their medicinal properties. Led by the knowledgeable Dr. Glen Nagel, Dean of Herbal Medicine at ACHS (American College of Healthcare Sciences), and Amanda Lattin, Dean of Aromatherapy. The Portland Herb Walk turned out to be an enriching and fun experience!
The Magic of Forest Park's Flora
Forest Park, with its lush greenery and vibrant ecosystem, provided the perfect backdrop for this herb walk. Professor Amanda Lattin and Dr. Glen Nagel, both seasoned experts in the field, guided us through a journey of discovery, identifying edible and medicinal plants that call this park their home. The event was a testament to the commitment of ACHS to education and community involvement, as it was open and free for all ACHS students, graduates, family members, and friends.
A Botanical Adventure at Portland Arboretum
The Portland Arboretum served as the canvas for our botanical adventure. Graduates and their families came together to witness the magic of nature in action. Throughout the walk, Dr. Nagel and Professor Amanda Lattin passionately shared insights about the native plants we encountered. One of the highlights was undoubtedly the European Elder tree and its delicate flowers. Discussing the interconnectedness of nature, we also learned about the importance of preserving these treasures for generations to come.
Herbal medicine can be visually captivating and intellectually stimulating. Dr. Nagel and Professor Amanda Lattin discussed various plants, including Willow, Oregon grape, blackberry, and black walnut. These plants, often overlooked in our bustling lives, hold potent medicinal properties. We learned how these botanical wonders have been used traditionally and how they continue to find their place in modern herbal practices.
“I view the herb walk as an invaluable avenue for acquiring profound herbal wisdom, and I enthusiastically urge students to actively participate in and explore numerous herb walks to enrich their botanical understanding.” - Dr. Glen Nagel, Dean of Herbal Medicine
A Holistic Learning Experience
The herb walk wasn't just about identifying plants; it was a holistic learning experience. Discussions encompassed a wide range of topics, from herbal constituents and actions to wild harvesting techniques. Professor Amanda Lattin also discussed the concept of plant signatures and energetics, gaining a deeper understanding of the intricate relationships between plants and the human body.
“Being immersed in the plant’s environment, rather than interacting with plants only after they have been harvested or distilled is so important. This interaction with the living plant really helps the herbalist or aromatherapist to better recognize the beauty and complexity of plant language. This will empower them to have a better working relationship with these plants in their practice.” - Amanda Lattin, Dean of Aromatherapy
Infusing Knowledge: Dr. Nagel's Rapid Tincture Demonstration
As if the day couldn't get any more fascinating, Dr. Nagel treated us to a rapid tincture infusion demonstration. This method involves extracting herbal constituents using a whipper and CO2 for a fast, flavorful extract within 20 minutes. Witnessing the process firsthand shed light on the meticulous art of herbal preparations. The demonstration was a reminder that herbal medicine is a blend of science and tradition, where each step is taken with care to unlock the plants' full potential.
Portland Herb Walk was a fun journey and we look forward to offering it again next year! It can spark a newfound appreciation for the world of plants and their healing capabilities.
Take the Next Step:
- Learn more about ACHS's Herbal Medicine Programs
- Learn more about ACHS’s Aromatherapy Programs
- Learn more about ACHS's Doctor of Science in Integrative Health with Herbal Medicine Specialization
- View upcoming on-campus learning opportunities.
- Speak with an advisor