Part-Time Classes

Karyn Sanders and Sarah Holmes have exceptional skills with plant medicine. The way they each uniquely posses and convey their skills gave me a wide and yet very specific understanding on how to work with the plants, animals, people, planet and the unseen. I recommend Blue Otter wherever I go. — Nabha Goldfeder, FT 2007, Advanced 2008, 2010

Beginning Energetic Herbalism

Explore the nature of plants; their energy and emotional, spiritual and physical uses. This course will also include; medicine making, plant meditations, and how to incorporate the plants into your life.  Application may be downloaded below.

Schedule: Saturday and Sunday 10-4 (with one hour lunch break) one weekend per month for five months. We will not be offering this course in 2015. We are only able to offer this class in the rare years that we do not offer our Full-Time Course.

Tuition: $600 . Students are responsible for their own food and lodging.

Instructors: Karyn Sanders and Sarah Holmes

Location: Blue Otter School of Herbal Medicine


Herbal Backpacking Trips

Spend a weekend backpacking in the mountains and learning about herbs. In addition tobackpacking in a beautiful setting we will be identifying plants, learning about medicinal uses of plants, discussing a minimal impact on our environment and doing plant meditations.

A registration form must be submitted with your deposit and may be downloaded backpack.registration or requested below. Each trip is limited to 6 people.

ScheduleJuly 25-27, 2014 Friday morning through Sunday afternoon.

Tuition: $275 per trip (includes group dinner on Friday and Saturday)

Instructor: Sarah Holmes

Location: Marble Mountain Wilderness, California

herb school

The following two classes will be taught at Five Flavors Herbs in Oakland, CA. 

Herbal Energetics

How do the plants communicate and work within us? In this class we will explore the more subtle, and deeply profound, aspects of the plants and how we can be more open to the energy around us; of the plants, ourselves and our environment. This is an interactive and experiential class. We will spend time in plant meditations as well as guided visualizations; working with tuning into more subtle levels of energy.

Instructor: Sarah Holmes

Schedule: October 2, 2014; 7-9 pm

Tuition: $30; register through Five Flavors Herbs


Self-Care for Caregivers

Whether you are a health care practitioner, work in direct services or provide care for family or others, this class will speak to supporting you in your work. This class will

herbal medicineexplore how we can take care of ourselves so that we can continue to take care of others; coming from a perspective of shifting the model from burn-out to sustainability. Herbs and essences that support this work will be covered.

Instructor: Sarah Holmes

Schedule: October 5, 2014; 10- noon

Tuition: $30; register through Five Flavors Herbs



The following two courses will be taught in Mondovi, Wisconsin at Dancing Yarrow Retreat.

Energetic Healing from an Indigenous Perspective

Join us in looking at healing from an indigenous perspective.  We will learn about the energetics of healing in the physical, emotional, and spiritual worlds.  Everything is energy and she will show you how to work with plants in this way.

Instructor: Karyn Sanders

Schedule: October 18, 2014; 10-3

Tuition: $125;  register through Dancing Yarrow Retreat


Working with Animal Medicines

In this class we will learn about how plants carry certain animal spirits with them.  We will learn how to use these animal medicines in healing and learn about the plants that have these animal spirits.

Instructor: Karyn Sanders

Schedule: October 19, 2014; 10-3

Tuition: $125; register through Dancing Yarrow Retreat


Healing Trauma

Day long class with Karyn Sanders. She will also be conducting an intake on the following day. This is part of a larger clinic intensive at the Wildflower School of Botanical Medicine in Austin, TX.

Instructor: Karyn Sanders

Schedule: October 26-27, 2014

Tuition: contact Wildflower School for details and to register



giant lobeliaEnergetic Herbalism Intensive

Come learn about Native American energetic herbalism during this week long intensive. Here is a chance to immerse yourself in another perspective toward herbal healing. This class is for herbal practitioners. The week will include plant meditations, indigenous perspectives on health and healing, relating to the plants and nature, working with people and working their cases from an energetic perspective. Class time will include:

  • plant meditations and sitting with the plants
  • practicing energy techniques
  • finding the root of an imbalance
  • how to be/work with clients energetically
  • putting a formula together
  • case studies; bring your cases to work energetically

Instructor: Karyn Sanders, primary instructor assisted by Sarah Holmes

Schedule: November 3 – 8 , 2014   9 – 4 daily (This class is for herbal practitioners only.)

We may go longer some days if we are in a flow and we will have a one hour lunch break.

Tuition: $800. Price includes lunch and dinner each day. Meals will be vegetarian and students will assist with meal clean-up. A list of local lodging options will be provided upon registration.

Registration deadline is October 15, 2014. If you wish to register past this date, contact us first about space availability. You may download a registration form here: registration.intensive.2014


Advanced Energetic Herbalism
Our part-time advanced program is by teacher approval only, and is only open to students who have successfully completed our four month, full-time program. This course is offered to allow our graduates an opportunity to advance and deepen their skills; and serves as a mentor-ship as our students begin their practices as herbalists. We will be focusing on working with energy, chronic and serious illness,  advanced formulation,  interview skills, plant cultivation/gardening, deepening work with self and practitioner skills.

Instructors: Karyn Sanders and Sarah Holmes

Schedule: this class meets for four days, four times per year


Gourmet Herbal Vegetarian Cookingholistic health
This class will focus on basic gourmet cooking techniques such as: cutting skills, reductions, flashing, how to create recipes, cooking and creating herbal foods. Come learn how to incorporate your medicine into amazing looking and tasting meals!

A registration form must be submitted with your deposit and may be downloaded here or requested below.

Schedule:  10-4 with one hour lunch break. Bring your own lunch. Students will get to taste all food made, but full meals are not provided. This course is not scheduled at this time.
Tuition: tba
Instructor: Karyn Sanders


Plant Meditation Weekend

Spend a weekend immersed in nature and the healing energy of plants. We will spend time sitting in meditation with plants, observing our own energy and feeling the energy of different plants moving through us. We will spend much time outdoors as well, as weather permits. No prior herbal or meditation experience is required.

Instructors: Karyn Sanders and Sarah Holmes

Schedule: not currently on our calendar for 2014; Saturday and Sunday 10 – 4

Tuition: $180; You may download the registration form here: registration.meditation