Medicine of Community and Place

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Fall 2018 quarter

Taught by

ethnobotany, environmental and cultural anthropology, plant studies

Community-based herbalism expands the concept of medicine from pharmaceutical drugs to a continuum that begins with food; from laboratory products to nourishment that takes place in the kitchen; from passive doctor visits to activities that include gardening, harvesting, and medicine-making; and from standardized prescriptions to cultural, family, and neighborhood knowledge and sharing. However, Western herbalism also needs to be challenged due to its colonization of healing traditions, plants, and places -- especially traditional Indigenous stewardship. This program lays a foundation for understanding these issues as well as addressing them. Our studies will draw from several disciplines including medicinal botany, community studies, cultural ecology, and US and Indigenous history. We will identify plants, make kitchen medicine, network with community herbalists and community gardens, engage in garden care and service learning; and consider our own ethnic and cultural traditions with plants. We will link with the local food movement with a view toward cultivating local medicine; we will commit to the hard work of decolonization; and we will engage with the Longhouse Ethnobotanical Garden as both resource and teacher. 

Program Details

Fields of Study

botany cultural studies health

Preparatory For

Healthcare, herbalism, social justice, community development, ecology, botany, horticulture 


Fall Open

Location and Schedule

Campus Location


Time Offered


Advertised Schedule

Saturdays, 9:30-5:30

Online Learning

Hybrid Online Learning < 25% Delivered Online


$65 for transportation and entrance to museum and garden tours, and equipment and supplies for garden and medicine-making workshops.