Summer in Appalachia

Appalachian Mountain trip for botanical medicine

This June, Bastyr University Herbal Medicine students had the opportunity to experience the unique scenery and culture of the Appalachian Mountains while delving into the world of botanical medicine. Along the way, students encountered the rich native plants and dove into the culture of this beautiful and historic region.

Sheila Kingsbury, ND, RH (AHG), chair of the Botanical Medicine department, led this trip of eager minds, and loves to share this trip alongside her students.

“One of the reason I love this class is that students get a better appreciation of the history of medicine in America and where the herbs and the traditions come from,” shared Kingsbury.  “They also get a sense of the simplicity of some of our medicine that is represented in the Appalachian way of life.”

A highlight of this year’s trip will was the United Plant Saver’s Sanctuary. The mission of the United Plant Savers is “to protect native medicinal plants of the United States and Canada and their native habitat while ensuring an abundant renewable supply of medicinal plants for generations to come.” Students completed a forest walk with Paul Strauss, world renowned herbalist and founder of Equinox Botanicals, as well as lectures on permaculture and reforestation while keeping a herbarium record to sketch and record plant information. Students also toured the Lloyd library, which boasts a large collection of natural history, botany, and scientific history.

Kingsbury raves about the history of the Appalachian land and the value in studying these plants in their native region. “I feel that understanding our roots, literally and figuratively, helps us to become better practitioners and thus better at serving our communities.”


To learn more about our study away opportunities, visit