The Bastyr University Medicinal Herb Garden plays a central role in the education of our students. Botanical medicine students study and cultivate a variety of medicinal plants throughout their life cycle. Many of these plants are harvested at their seasonal peak for creating medicinal tinctures and salves. Nutrition classes use the cultivated culinary herbs and organic vegetables in the University's whole-food kitchen lab.
The garden is designed, cultivated and managed by students and volunteers under the guidance of the garden manager and assistant garden manager with a combined total over 30 years of experience.
Adjacent to the garden is the Bastyr reflexology path, the first public reflexology path in North America. Based on wisdom from ancient Egypt, India and China, reflexology paths massage and stimulate acupressure points in the soles of the feet connected to various energy meridians of the body.
The pressure of stones under bare feet combines with gravity to provide a therapeutic exercise that stimulates health. Bastyr's 65-foot path features smooth native Northwest river rock artistically embedded in cement. A handrail provides stability and improves accessibility, particularly for older walkers.
In spring 2012, Bastyr University began developing the Sacred Seeds Ethnobotanical Trail, part of an international project that aims to help communities stay connected to native plants. The living “classroom” will be used to teach visitors about identification, seed saving and cultivation of native plants. It also will preserve ethnobotanical knowledge of how they have been used in the past for food, medicine and ceremonies.
The mile-long trail connects a series of native plant meadows and gardens to the nearby forest and wetland, advancing the University’s landscape as an educational resource for the entire community, including:
Make a donation that will help us finish building and maintain the trail.
To learn more, read our article “Bastyr Unveils ‘Seed Sanctuary’ and Native-Plant Trail Walk.”
Many public visitors enjoy the Bastyr Medicinal Herb Garden and the Sacred Seeds Ethnobotanical Trail, and both are always open to the public for self-guided tours.
One-hour tours led by knowledgeable guides are also available for groups, with a focus either on the campus, the medicinal herb garden, the Sacred Seeds Ethnobotanical Trail, or a combination. Please be aware that tours involve a significant amount of walking.