Our phone number is: 480-331-9355
Please call us with any questions or email us at botanicaleducation@gmail.com

Thursday, August 25, 2011


Prickly Pear Cactus Fruit Gathering and Processing Classes
August 27 (Saturday), and again September 5 (Monday) at 10:30 a.m
Bryce Thompson Arboretum

Botanical author, Jean Groen, harvests hundreds of pounds of prickly pear cactus (opuntia) fruit each summer -- and shares her picking and juicing techniques during a one-hour class, teaching how to harvest these forbidding fruits without your hands becoming a virtual porcupine of painful cactus spines and glochids.   Jean is teaching at the Boyce Thompson Arboretum on August 27th and September 5th.

Jean will explain how to pick, juice, and prepare opuntia fruits, and teach oputia  cactus fruit and their nutritional value.  You can then stroll onto the grounds to demonstrate how to harvest enough pears for a batch of juice or jelly. Back at the Visitor Center participants will learn techniques to remove most of the spines, as well as how to extract the subtle, watermelony-tasting juice from these forbidding fruits.  Jean will also discuss prickly pear jelly and other recipes from her book. These cacti are of the Opuntia genus.  Afterwards you can enjoy a cool, refreshing, freshly-blended pitcher of prickly pear, banana, yoguty and pineapple juice smoothie!

Cactus fruits begin to ripen during July and continue through August.  Labor Day marks the end of the season and fruits will be harder to find during September.   They're simple enough to harvest, in fact commercial juicers work quite well once the fruits are de-spined.   There's nothing which quite compares to the magenta color and hard-to-describe taste of juice from the prickly pear cacti fruits common at this elevation, and ripe during August.

This same class repeats Labor Day Monday, September 5, in order to divide crowds due to the high level of interest; there is no pre-registration required. Jean Groen's prickly pear class (click on this link for info) is included with regular admission to the Arboretum of:   $9 for adults, or $4.50 for ages 5-12. Preview this event on YouTube. Arboretum volunteer Mike Rolfe posted a short video clip about the Summer, 2009

How To Juice Prickly Pear Cactus Fruit Class
at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Nl976a9pvLE

JACQUE'S COMMENTS:  Preparedness is about learning to use every available plant and nutrient in your region.  How awesome to have fruit FREE in the Arizona deserts.  These classes are terrific for credits toward certification!

Wednesday, August 24, 2011


Hamstring Cramps
My son and I joined friends for dinner after the boys winning a basketball game.  My son was suddenly squirming inpain…and started grabbing his leg; it was his hamstring.  I quickly grabbed my Basil and applied it directly to the site.  My son’s pain was gone in seconds and the muscle was doing great.  The friends we were with commented on how good it smells and we finished dinner.  I don’t go anywhere without my oils!!

Horses Colic
We had the chance to go to Idaho to Warm Creek Springs.  We took 6 horses with us and off to Idaho we went.  It was a 20 hour haul from Colorado.   Upon arriving at camp 2 of the younger horses
seemed to be getting a touch of colic. So we gave them each a big dose of Basil by mouth.  Within minutes their stomachs were stopped and they were fine the rest of the trip.  Every horse lover should keep Basil with them at all times.  Before our knowledge of essential oils we lost several horses to colic.  T.P.

Menstrual Cramps
A few years ago we were having a get-together and there was a woman who was having Menstrual cramps so bad she was pretty much doubled over.  After applying Basil oil to her lower abdomen and her lower back, the pain was totally gone. She could not believe it, her jaw just dropped!!  It was great. 

Middle-Of-The-Night Leg Cramps
One night last week I fell asleep on the couch with my feet up on the table in front of me (legs extended). When I awoke, my calves were cramping SO badly I could barely walk.  I hobbled to my oils, grabbed the Basil and rubbed it all over both calves. The cramping stopped in less than 30 seconds!  I wentback to sleep (in the bed this time).  The next morning there was no residual soreness which I’ve often experienced after a severe leg cramp. Go Basil!

JACQUE'S COMMENTS:   Thanks to Lorene Davies (the Nature's Farmacy Book author and essentials oils guru) for continually sharing success stories from people who use essential oils. (I carry this book for $45).  There are big differences in quality of essential oils, thus if you purchase a low-grade oil you will not get the same results.  The TruEssence essential oils discussed above have been checked at every level to guarantee that the chemical constituents that do the work are at the perfect levels, and that the oils are organic or wildcrafted.  BASIL is much more than the stories listed above!   

It is strenghening, helps with focus and concentration (when inhaled throughout the day),  and is a perfect study aid.  I like 1-2 drops on the temples and back of neck.  To help a child concentrate in school, put BASIL on the toes before socks and shoes when he/she dresses (so that the aroma is less noticeable to others).  CAUTION:  More is not better!  Large amounts can have a stupefying effect! 

Due to its effects on the neurological system, Basil helps ease nervous tension, depression, stress and anxiety.  It is especially good when used with Bergamot or Frankincense.  Apply to temples, back of neck, on the adrenals (lower back kidney region), or on the big toes.

There are many more uses, such as pain relief, digestive tonic, vomiting, constipation, rheumatism, gout, asthma, bronchitis, bug bites, insect repellant, etc.  What an amazing plant with amazing gifts to us!   Basil is considered to be the KING OF HERBS - and is an amazing plant that we study in our herbal classes also.  To get your free membership in Forevergreen for premium essential oils go to www.8468701.myforevergreen.org and click on SIGNUP.

Friday, August 19, 2011


This Saturday those certifying as Herbalists have a great opportunity to take the Desert Herbs class that we missed in the spring due to the freeze and rains.  Email me if you would like to carpool to Tucson!  botanicaleducation@gmail.com

Monsoon Edible and Medicinal Plant Walk
at Catalina State Park
(Saturday, August 20th. 7am-10am)

Join edible and medicinal plant expert and author, Charles W. Kane, for an informative –and somewhat rare– public plant walk. 30-40 Sonoran Desert plants will be covered. Their uses, biochemistry, preparations, dosages, and cautions will be discussed in-depth. The monsoon season also gives the class a chance to observe many plants that are dormant other times of the year. Even a native Passionflower, a well-known nervous system sedative, will likely be encountered.
Books Written by Charles Kane:
Medicinal Plants of the American Southwest – NEW (August 2011).
Sonoran Desert Food Plants – NEW (August 2011).
Herbal Medicine: Trends and Traditions – (‘Best of Reference’ – NY Public Libraries).

Catalina State Park
11570 N. Oracle Road
Tucson, AZ 85737
(520) 628-5798
Meeting point:  Assemble at the first main parking lot (on the left) after the fee booth/gift shop. Click here for map of meeting point. From the parking lot we will cover approximately 1 mile at a very easy pace.

Saturday, August 20th. 7am-10am. We will depart 7am sharp from the parking lot/meeting point. Please arrive approximately 10 minutes early to compensate for time at the fee booth, gear organization, payment, etc.

Sonoran Desert Food Plants by Charles W. Kane
What to bring
Water. Hat. Notebook and pen. Hiking boots/sneakers (open-toed sandals/flip-flops not recommended).

Cost $20
1. Mail a check (payable to Charles Kane) to PO Box 5472 Oracle, AZ 85623 prior to the class date. If you are 100% certain about attending, then consider this method.
2. Pay the morning of the class (better for more tentative participants).
Note: there is an additional $7.00 park entrance fee (per vehicle, 1-4 people), payable at the gate.

How to register
Simply reserve your/or group’s space by emailing (info@tcbmed.com) or by calling (520-731-3379). Give your name, contact information, and number in your group, and that’s it. Age restriction: 16 and up. No Pets. Limit 15 participants.

About Charles W. Kane
His experience spans several decades, first learning of plants from his grandfather as a boy, then working as a clinical herbalist, only later to pen books on the topic – some of which are cataloged in Harvard’s library. Kane’s approach to the subject is field-oriented, no-nonsense, and tempered by experience. A merger of observation, evidence-based research, and practical conclusion best describes Kane’s methodology

Wednesday, August 17, 2011


Dear Jacque,

I am glad to see you are starting in September for the level 4 (Holistic Pathology - Illnesses and Diseases).  I have decided to take your class and my real estate is going to be just doing referrals so I don't have so much stress.  This market has been too stressful for me to start all over again. 

I want you to know because I have the certificates in Aromatherapy and Nutrition, that I was able to connect with the company called PURE ENCAPSULATIONS and get the supplements at the professional price!  A saving of at least 50% for my needed vitamins and supplements, etc.  What a blessing to our family.

Thank you so much,
love and blessing

Wednesday, August 10, 2011


Helichrysum Essential Oil - Testimonial – (August 7, 2011)

I went to go donate plasma for some extra money, but on this visit the phlebotomist that helped me was not very good. She stabbed my arm wrong, causing it to bleed out. She just wiped it up and I made it through my first draw [cycle] okay. But upon the first return cycle of my red cells, the fluid wouldn't go back in. They had all together hooked me up wrong.

On top of that, they tried to return my red cells anyway with some saline to replace the lost plasma. They abandoned me and let too much saline in. I was swollen all over, with a headache, a numb arm that hurt all over, and nausea. The puncture point continued to swell, possibly internal bleeding and severe bruising. My  mother  (JULIA - AROMATHERAPIST) applied several drops of Helichrysum around the swollen puncture site and around my arm. Within moments the healing had already begun! The pain subsided to minimal,the swelling went down, and my nausea diminished.

As I write thing, the swelling and pain continue to decrease and normalcy is in sight.

Addendum by Julia ~ later we applied a few drops of Howood (very similar to Rosewood), and Marjoram. Then a couple more drops of Helichrysm. She could feel a difference with the added oils. She was going to apply some more Marjoram and Helichrysum before bed.

Helichrysum italicum                                              COMMENTS BY JACQUE:
Great job Julia!  Helichrysum essential oil is a premium anti-inflammatory gift - and a little Helichrysum goes a long way!  It is more expensive than most essential oils - but is a staple for all serious aromatherapists!  Like Geranium, it can stop bleeding quickly as well as help wound healing.  It is a powerful anti-hematoma agent and assists vascular dilation.  Helichrysum is an excellent nervine, and can provide relief from carpal tunnel syndrome, neuralgia, sprains, arthritis, migraines - and is my first choice for scorpion bites (as well as spiders, bees, or other insects).  2-3 drops on the soles of each foot helps to calm restless leg syndrome. 
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