Medicinal Plants of the Sierra Nevada with Kim Chatfield

May 29, 2016

Ever think of the Sierra as a medicine cabinet? In fact, the surrounding Lake Tahoe mountains are chock-full of surprisingly healthful plants and flowers.

Join Medical Botanist and Doctor of Oriental Medicine Kimball Chatfield on an entertaining and informative treasure hunt for plants including wild arnica, St. John’s Wort, various types of mint, wild blueberries, currants, yarrow, roses, wild onions and more in Hope Valley.

Dr. Chatfield, author of Medicine From the Mountains: Medicinal Plants of the Sierra Nevada with illustrations by Kristen Schwartz, will include details on both traditional Native American uses as wells as modern findings.  Check out his latest book: Astragalus: Ancient Herb for Modern Times.

This extremely informative outing costs $35 guests/$50 for non-guests at Sorensen’s.  Please bring your own bag lunch, or you can purchase one at Sorensen’s.

With over 235 pages of valuable clinical information, Medicine From the Mountains: Medicinal Plants of the Sierra Nevada contains thirty-three chapters covering over one hundred and twenty-five species of plants in intimate detail. Plants include: Arnica, Blueberry, California Poppy, Dandelion, Fennel, Juniper, Milk Thistle, Mullein, Wild Onion, Pine, St. John’s Wort, Selfheal, Valerian, Yarrow, etc.

Each genus is covered in five sections. The description and habitat section allows the reader to know where to look for these valuable plants in the Sierra as well as their general description. Next is plant chemistry, often missed in other texts, detailing plant constituents giving the reader valuable information about what is responsible for the plant’s medicinal actions. Next is a section on historic and modern uses. Included here is rare information gathered from exhaustive research into Native American uses of these plants. Also covered are historic uses of these plants in Europe, the Orient and other parts of the world by physicians and folk healers of the past. The latest scientific studies are brought into play giving both the casual reader and serious clinician up to date objective research information. Toxicities are given next, allowing the reader to understand the cautions needed to know in using these mountain medicines. A chapter on dosage follows giving precise measurements and the ways these plants may be prepared for optimal use. Lastly is a section on cultivation so that the reader may grow their own medicinal plants.

An informative glossary, a resource guide to nurseries and horticulture suppliers, and a very extensive bibliography and suggested reading section finish out this unique text.

For more information about this South Lake Tahoe event and to book a visit at Sorensen’s Resort, please call (800) 423-9949 or (530) 694-2203.

About the Illustrator, Kristen Schwartz

Kristen Schwartz of South Lake Tahoe began as a botanical illustrator drawing native medicinal plants for books such as local acupuncturist Kimball Chatfield’s Medicine From the Mountains – Medicinal Plants of the Sierra Nevada.

Inspired by her surroundings and world cultures, Kristen soon began creating fantastical illustrations that capture many of Tahoe’s mythical icons and other fantasticals in her illustrations.

Cultural mythology and healing customs from around the world play a big part in Kristen’s captivating art work which she calls Faery Medicine. Her hope is that her illustrations will spark an interest in the vast indigenous wisdom that exists before it disappears completely.

As she began to draw her fantastical illustrations for Faery Medicine, she also started producing prints and cards of the images. They are all hand produced and created on demand right here at Lake Tahoe, ensuring quality and reducing waste. She combines pen and ink, airbrush, and colored pencil to create her images.

Kristen has also developed a method of printing her images on raw silk – an amazing alternative to paper – that won her a coveted position in an international art show in New York City in Fall 2008.  Currently, Kristen is pursuing her dream as a children’s book illustrator and recently worked with award-winning illustrator Yuyi Morales in the 2009 Society of Children’s Book Writers and Illustrators’ Mentor Program.

To learn more about Kristen, you can see her Faery Medicine cards and prints at or view her botanical and fantastical portfolio at