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Jun 6

Plants as Medicine: Reclaiming the Art of the Home Apothecary

June 6, 2023 - June 8, 2023


Learn the art of distilling essential oils, alcohols and hydrosols of plants for medicinal use.

plant medicine

A three day workshop exploring the practical and theoretical aspects of creating a personalized apothecary using home grown or wild harvested plants. Working from the perspective of traditional western herbalism we will look at the qualities of medicinal plants, developing our understanding of which plant to use for which condition and why. Looking to the ancient Egyptian, Persian and Greek herbal practices (very similar to Ayurvedic medicine) we  will explore the connection between plants and people and discover the patterns present in nature which guide our knowledge in creating appropriate and personalized herbal preparations. This class is suitable for anyone living where plants grow: the knowledge and experience gained is transferable to any climate or ecosystem.

Beginning with plant study, we will move through creating simple preparations: teas, diffusions, salves and syrups to creating more complicated (and profound) remedies: essential oils, hydrosols, alcohols and spagyrics. Each part of the plant can provide different medicines and is appropriate for different situations and conditions. By knowing the plant first hand we will begin to develop a pattern for understanding how best to use the medicine. Plants do not grow in isolation: we will learn the ideal ways and times to harvest, dry and prepare medicine for the greatest good.

This class is ideal for those:

  • who wish to live more in harmony with nature

  • with an interest in using plants holistically and medicinally

  • who wish to explore their landscape and plantscape more intimately

  • who seek to develop their healing practice

  • who wish to treat themselves, their family or their community in a nurturing and wholesome way

  • who are living a plant based life

  • who wish to connect more deeply with themselves and their practices

drying giner

Sample Schedule

Day 1:

  • 7:30 – 9:00 Brief Introduction and Overview of the Workshop

  • 9:00 – 10:00 Plant Study

  • 10:00 – 11:00 Brunch

  • 11:00 – 1:00 Plant Patterns in relation to Patterns of Health and Sickness: traditional understandings of herbal medicine

  • 2:30 – 3:00 Practical Preparations: teas, diffusions, salves and syrups

  • 3:00 – 3:30 Snack and Break

  • 3:30-5:00 Patterns of People, Plants and Planets

  • 6:30 Dinner

Day 2:

  • 9:00 -10:00 Essential Oils and Hydrolsols

  • 10:00-11:00 Plant Study

  • 11:00-1:00 Matching the plant and preparation with the ‘problem’

  • 1:00-2:30 Lunch and Siesta

  • 2:30-4:30 Alcohol and Tinctures

  • 4:30-6:00 Alchemical Aspects of working with Plants, with focus on preparations

  • 6:30 Dinner

Day 3:

  • 9:00-1:00 Any kind of mystery

  • 1:00-2:30 Lunch and Siesta

  • 6:30 Dinner

  • More information forthcoming



Ancel Mitchell has been making potions and looking for patterns since she can remember. Working with plants and people on a daily basis has honed and simplified her approach to plant medicine and her love for the natural world has taught her patience and observation. She lives in Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica where she practices Cranial Sacral Therapy, teaches Plant Medicine and makes ridiculously good chocolate.

course start and ARRIVAl dates

The class begins at 7.30 a.m. June 6.  The night before the class begins, June 5, is included in the cost of the class.  You must arrive before 6.00 pm on the night of June 5 as it is too difficult to get guests accommodated after dark.

course end and departure dates

The last day of the class is June 8.  The night of June 8 is included in the cost of the class.


  • $350 USD 

Payment Options:

Sign Up Now!


We may have a partial scholarships for Central Americans available for this class.  Please inquire at info@ranchomastatal.com.


This class will be taught in English.


All food and lodging is included in the cost of  the course.   Students will stay in the Ranch bunkhouse with options for upgrades.  We provide high quality mattresses, linens and blankets.  Please see our Accommodations page for more information.


Please see our  Payments page for more information about how to pay.


Please see our cancellation policy here.


Please see our Covid Policy and protocols here.


Please see our Directions page for detailed information on how to get to Rancho Mastatal.


For more information about this class and Rancho Mastatal please contact us at info@ranchomastatal.com , call us at +506 2200-0920 or text/WhatsApp us at +506 8539-1404.


June 6, 2023
June 8, 2023
Event Category:


Rancho Mastatal
Rancho Mastatal is 100 metros NO del Centro de Acopio
Mastatal, Puriscal Costa Rica
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506 2200-0920
View Venue Website


Tim O’hara
506 2200-0920
View Organizer Website