A three day immersion exploring the medicinal and therapuetic aspects of home grown and wild harvested plants. Build core skills from plant identification and proper harvesting through to creating your own personalized apothecary.

From simple teas through syrups and salves to preparing alcohols and hydrosols from plants, we'll look at all aspects of completely natural, plant based self care.

Includes lodging, instruction, and food.

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.


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. 



The class begins at 8 a.m. on May 7. The night before the class begins, May 6, is included in the cost of the class.


The last day of the class is May 9. The night of May 9 is included in the cost of the class.

Day 1:

  • 9:00 - 10:00 Brief Introduction and Overview of the Workshop
  • 10:00 - 11:00 Plant Study
  • 11:00 - 1:00 Plant Patterns in relation to Patterns of Health and Sickness: traditional understandings of herbal medicine
  • 1:00 - 2:30 Lunch and Siesta
  • 2:30 - 4:30 Practical Preparations: teas, diffusions, salves and syrups
  • 4:30-6:00 Patterns of People, Plants and Planets
  • 6:30 Dinner

Day 2:

  • 9:00 -10:00 Essential oil 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:

  • 1:00-2:30 Lunch and Siesta
  • 6:30 Dinner
  • More information forthcoming


  • Learn the art of distilling essential oils, alcohols and hydrosols of plants for medicinal use.
  • Understand teas, diffusions, salves, and syrups.
  • Learn how to make tintures and medicinal preparations.

Living Conditions.


  • shared rooms
  • private room
  • entire house

Omnivore Food

  • communally cooked meals
  • over 80% locally sourced


  • slow: emails only

Ongoing classes

  • plant medicine
    multiple times a day

Getting here.

Rancho Mastatal is about 2 ½ hours by car from Costa Rica's capital, San José, and approximately 1 hour by car from the Central Pacific Coast. You can easily come from or continue on to San José, Jacó, Quepos, Dominical or other destinations along the Pacific Coast. Please confirm your arrival with us before heading out to the Ranch.

The approximate GPS coordinates of Rancho Mastatal are latitude +9.67331, longitude -84.37373. If you decide to use a GPS to assist your arrival, please be aware that it's possible that you may be directed by your device to use extremely rough roads that we would not recommend driving on. Only use your GPS in conjunction with the linked directions.

Full directions by bus or car here: http://ranchomastatal.com/directions


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