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Juliet Blankespoor



56 Sluder Branch Road
Leicester, NC 28748
United States
T: 828 683-5233


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The Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine


The Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine near Asheville NC offers classes in the tradition of Roots Herbalism - the kind where your hands get dirty as you develop life-long relationships with plants. Our classroom is the outdoors - garden, forest, field, mountain, and stream. We hold no indoor classes except during inclement weather or insect challenges.

Learning about the plants in person, where they grow, engages the senses as we smell, touch, see, and often taste our green allies. This intimate and holistic approach helps us to integrate all we learn about plants as food and medicine. Blending spirituality and the study of life, we honor the traditions of our elders as well as useful knowledge gained through scientific exploration. Reverence for the sacredness of all life is part of our guiding philosophy and inspiration.

Our model of teaching involves experiential or hands-on learning. Rather than simply talking about a wild plant as food, we spend time together gathering wild edibles and preparing vital, delicious meals. We learn sustainable wildcrafting through the many hours spent on field trips ethically gathering wild medicinals and preparing tinctures, teas, and oils. Students will complete our program with a full natural medicine chest created by their own hands from fresh bioregional or organically grown herbs.

We do not limit our focus to medical herbalism, but instead offer a total plant experience through our study of Botany, Sustainable Wildcrafting, Plant Ecology, Plant Identification, Wild Foods, Organic Gardening, and Permaculture.

Profile and Credentials        

Enraptured by the diversity and intricacies of the green world, Juliet Blankespoor received her B.S. in Botany in 1993. She furthered her studies by completing over 1200 hours of study at the Northeast School of Botanical Medicine, the California School of Herbal Studies and the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine. In 1994 she founded Green Faith Herbals, a line of organically grown and sustainably wildcrafted herbal tinctures which she owned for 6 years. She has lived on several community-run organic farms including a tangerine grove in Florida and a market garden in the Berkshire Mountains in New England. Some of her other business endeavors have included natural body care products and handmade soaps, prepared wild foods, an organic herb nursery and dried flower crafts.

Being obsessed with plants she has spent much of her adult life botanizing, or identifying plant species, in such diverse setting as the Pacific Northwest, Coastal California, the deserts of the Southwestern U.S., sub-tropical Florida and the Appalachians from North to South. While living in the Pacific Northwest she developed a passion for seaweed and devoted herself to its study and liberal consumption. She is also an avid edible and medicinal mushroom hunter.

Juliet has been sharing her passion for plants by teaching herbal medicine and Botany for over 14 years. She has taught in many diverse settings and schools including the Southwest School for Botanical Medicine, the North Carolina School of Holistic Herbalism, and the Blue Ridge School of Herbal Medicine. Currently she is on the faculty of the North Carolina School of Holisitic Herbalism and the Blue Ridge Naturalist Program where she teaches classes on Botany and Tree and Wildflower I.D.

Juliet is a mother, herbalist, gardener, teacher, naturalist, medicine maker and Gaia worshiper. She lives with her family on a small herb farm outside of Asheville NC where she has taught classes and run an herbal apprenticeship program for the last 3 years.

See this page for complete info about the teaching staff

Philosophy and Comments        

Work Hours and Fee Schedule        

Classes are held partly at the Chestnut School Center and Gardens near Asheville, NC where Juliet Blankespoor and her partner, Tom, organically grow vegetables, fruit, native plants, and more than 75 species of medicinal herbs. The Chestnut School Center and Gardens is located in a pastoral wooded setting with a rich diversity of native and exotic plant species. The remainder of our class time is spent exploring the beauty and extreme botanical diversity of the southern Appalachians as we visit varied ecosystems on our numerous day-long field trips. Our programs include field trips where we camp in the forest botanizing, wildcrafting, making medicine, and eating wild plants and mushrooms.

Private Herbal Consultations        

I have come to this path partly out of a deep respect for plants healing abilities and partly out of love and compassion for others and a desire to alleviate suffering on all levels. Bridging western medical herbalism and the constitutional philosophies of Ayurvedic Medicine I consider the individual and not just the disorder. I draw on a rich source of inspiration by employing intuition and prayer as well as current medical research.

The majority of herbs I work with grow locally or are easily grown in the garden. I believe in a bioregional approach to healing which is easily achieved in our botanically rich mountains.

I offer an initial consultation which usually takes an hour and half after which I develop a recommendation involving herbal, dietary and lifestyle changes. I may also suggest other helpful healing modalities or even allopathic care as is sometimes appropriate. As an herbalist I do not diagnose, prescribe nor treat but rather recommend, suggest or educate.

The initial consultation fee is $ 50 with a free follow up visit after 6 weeks.

Work or barter is also accepted.

Blessings on your healing journey.



About our name - The Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine        

The Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine is named after the American chestnut tree that was once an integral species of the deciduous forests of eastern North America. In the heart of its range, the Appalachian Mountains, it is said that one out of every four trees was an American chestnut with many trees reaching a height of 100 ft. and an average diameter of 5 feet. Many animals, including humans, were dependant on their nuts, which fruited abundantly every autumn. Most of the chestnuts in eastern North America were decimated by the chestnut blight in the early part of the last century. Many trees still survive by sprouting from their tenacious roots and growing to a small height, only to die after they are affected by the blight. A new root sprout emerges and the cycle of rebirth and death continues. What a powerful living example of perseverance and regeneration!

This tree has endeared itself to the hearts of those who devote their days to its resurgence through the development and/or discovery of blight-resistant trees - once again a powerful example of people caring and working for the Earth and her green treasures. May the chestnuts flourish and fruit abundantly once again and the people remember the Earth once more!

For more information please visit the American Chestnut Foundations web site at www.acf.org.

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