Course Description

 Medicinal Plants and Herbal Wisdom  

An eight weekend intensive
Two years, one weekend seminar for each season
With supervised class groups and individual assignments

My work is shaped by my deep connection to nature and especially to the plantworld. Since I was twelve years old, I felt close to medicinal plants. It was then, that I received my first herbal book from my grandfather. He was the first to teach me about the healing power of plants. Nature itself has always been an important teacher to me and every day I learn more as its grateful and impressed apprentice.
Many wonderfurl teachers from different cultures passed on to me their knowledge about healing and medicinal plants. The foundation for this knowledge was my three-year apprenticeship at the Josef-Angerschool in Munic. 
In herbal medicine I offer readings, lectures, plant walks, and the two year, eight weekend intensive apprenticeship “Medicinal Plants and Herbal Wisdom”. 
This seminar in medicinal plants shall connect us with the healing power of plants and nature. It shall empower us to identify and recognize the medicinal plants our environment. It is a holistic education in herbal medicine combining the toxicology, substances, and applications in various therapies. This gives us a complete view of each plant. 

Medicinal Plants and Herbal Wisdom with Susanne Fischer-Rizzi
Apprenticeship modules for experiencing the knowledge of medicinal plants

1. Identificartion of medicinal plants
Botany and Taxonomy: Plant Excursions
Evolution of Plants
Binary System
Plant Families
Toxicology, Plant Allergens
Plant Monographs

Botanica sacra: Plant Signatures
Harmonic Structures
Elemental Healing
The Three Levels

2. Ecology
Plant Communities
Indicator Plants

3.Plant Preparations and Remedie
Collecting Modalities
Proper Storage
Legal Issues, Nature Protection

Art and Practice of 
Preparing Remedies: Preparations:
E.g.: Teas, Tinctures, Salves, Hydrosols, Powders 
Triturations, Bach Flower Essences, Elixirs, Creams, Liquid Extractions, Medicinal Wine, Spagyric, Pills, Foraging,
Wellnes Products: Herb Butter, Baths, Massage Mixtures

4. Usage, Treatment, Healing
Toxicology, Plant Allergens
Healing Power and Effects of Plants
Personanlized Recipies
Herbal Cures
Matching Plant and Disease 
Therapy Schemes 
Classic Natural Treatments
Humoral Pathology
Commission E
Foundations of European Medicine

Alternative Medicine - Western Medicine
The Most Important Constituents of Plants

5. Understanding
Quality of Time
Plants - Synchronicity
Awareness and Wilderness Wisdom
Plant Personalities

6. Becoming native, connecting, responsibility
Geomancy: Geomyths
Geomantic Profile
Traditional European Landscape Knowledge
Concentric Rings
Energy Flow through Systems
Vernacular Energy - Mapping
Field Studies
Caring for Plants
Celtic Ideology in Medicinal Plant Traditions
Nomadic Wisdom

7. Transformation
Wabi-Sabi - Taoist Wisdom and Nature Connection
Kailo - Celtic Nature Connection
Time as a Remedy - Time, Plants, and People
Earth Garden - Taking Responsibility
Plants of My Life

8. Conclusion
Legal Issues
Mapping Your Way through the Plant Kingdom
Exam and Certificate
Opportunity to join the Master Class

text translated by Anne Gärtner and Pam Severns


 Wisdom of the Wilderness

„Why do you go to the forest?” asks the father.
“To search for God,” answers the boy.
“But isn’t God everywhere?”
“He is,” says the child
“but I am not the same everywhere.“.
Elie Wiesel 

As long as I can remember, nature has been a teacher to me; a place of my inner homeland and a refuge. Since my youth animals and plants are as close to me as siblings and much of my medicinal plant knowledge was taught to me by the plants themselves. 

Each period has its hardships, ours being timelessness, restlessness, inner conflict, and the feeling of no longer being a part of nature - a feeding ground for the diseases of civilization. Even a small piece of nature, like a lonesome forest clearing, a bubbling mountain creek, or a meadow of wild flowers, can help us heal the wounds of civilization.

He who lives in the wilderness dreams, thinks, and feels different.
In my seminars in the outdoors, we will dive into “soothing time.” We will connect with the natural rhythms of life and find our personal way of time again.

We will learn the language of animals, merge with plants, broaden our awareness, and under the circle of life. It is during this process that the healing begins. These fundamental activities and stone age skills like striking a fire, tracking, and ceremonies, will connect us with our ancestors and our inner wisdom. We will experience the contiuum of ancient wisdom.

We become apprentices of nature.

Nature itself will teach us responsible and confident contact with it and ourselves. In our vernacular environment, and in ourselves, we become native again. All of these experiences and the power of the wilderness will help us in our everyday lives.

Literaturempfehlungen zum Thema die "Lehren der Wildnis":



     Returning to Nature - Ancient Earth Wisdom

A Five Day Intensive:

Returning to nature means to reconnect with the ancient personal power of the natural world and the wilderness within us. For that you have to learn the universal language of nature: that of the animals, the plants, and the landscape. The elements will be our companions. During these five days we will live outside in our camp, close to the earth, and experience the simple life while preparing our food on the open fire.

While learning stone age techniques we get to know our own origin. They provide as a window in another world and lead us into a time when humans still lived close to nature. We will be close to the elements, we will connect with them and understand the cycle of nature. We will sharpen our senses, use them consciously, and through that nature is going to reveal itself newly to us. We experience connection on diverse levels and thereby find our own time. We perceive what carries, feeds, and surrounds us. With this inner balance and healing occurs.

Seminar Topics:

  • The Art of Fire Making with the Means of Nature
  • Composing Landscape Teas and Smudges and their uses
  • Sit Spot
  • Understanding the Language of Birds
  • Tracking
  • Flowing with Landscape and its Energy
  • Fine Tuning Our Senses
  • Healing Salves from Nature
  • Rituals that Connect us with the Earth



     Wilderness of the Heart  

Weekend Seminar for Wild and Tame Women

This seminar is meant for women who want to discover and live their place in nature and their wilderness at heart. The female power of nature, also called the “Coat of the Wilderness”, will accompany us on this weekend. In our time wilderness wisdom and survival is a predominantly male domain and is associated with conquering nature. The path of the woman in nature is different and has been maintained and passed on, for example in the antique mystery schools of Artemis. Nature is your mother and your reality, whether you live in the city or in the wilderness. Can you become enveloped in her nurturing embrace? Can you enlighten her spirit; the fire? Do the tracks of her animals speak to you? Do you know her edible and healing plants? Can you, silently as a fox, wander through the thicket, one with nature? Do you feel the wilderness in your heart? At this weekend we will put up our camp in nature and learn the old arts of our ancestors and forest nomads.

Seminar Topics:

  • The Art of Fire Making with the Means of Nature
  • Sacred Fire
  • Tracking
  • Widening Our Awareness
  • Connecting with Animals
  • Getting to Know Valueable Plants
  • Learn the Language of Nature
  • Connect Our Hearts with the Earth Mother



     In the Beginning, there was Fire. 

Wilderness Kitchen
Being at Home in Nature
A Weekend Seminar for all between 12 and 99

For a million years humans have sat at the fire and have known how to ignite, feed, and use it. Even today, it has not lost it’s fascination for us. Sitting at a fire gives you a connection to past and future. An ancient Eurasian and Indian tradition retains the knowledge of the sacred fire. The human community, social life, and language has evolved around fire. People cook, eat, and tell stories together at the fire. At this weekend we will dive into this old tradition and enjoy ourselves at the fire with the gourmet wilderness kitchen. Our nomad camp is in a forest clearing where we will dive into the world of early hunter and gatherer cultures and revive the clan life of our ancestors. When people spend time in the wilderness the fire stands in the center and is a very important part of life. Fire gives light and warmth, it invites us to tell stories, and encourages us to cook and eat together. If you know how to light fire with handcrafted tools, know traditional fire cooking techniques, and wild plants, you are at home in nature.

Seminar Topics:

  • Making fire with natural elements
  • Igniting fire under difficult conditions
  • Perfect Wilderness Kitchen
  • Getting to know various ways to cook at the bonfire: Baking bread, cooking in an earth pit, Tajine, etc.
  • Edible Plants: Finding, identification, and preparation
  • Handcrafting Cookware
  • Coal Burning
  • Bowdrill
  • Die Tradition des Lagerfeuers
  • Tradition of Bonfire



An Antique Art for Modern Times

Important things don’t just disappear. They are just under the surface. But when their time has come once again, they awaken and appear as if new. This is how it is with the tradition of smudging. For thousands of years smudging has been an important part of human life. Incredible fortunes are spent for smudges and trade routes are built to transport them. Smudging has always been as important and routine as the commonplace task of brushing ones teeth. Just in the last century the knowledge of smudging was lost in our culture. But the tradition remains alive and vibrant in Eastern cultures. There, ceremonial smudging is a fundamental part of everyday life for millions of people.

The origin of smudging - this means the burning or glowing of aromatic substances - lies in the earliest human era. But what does this have to do with modern times? Many years ago I learned smudging from the Native Americans. For the medicine women and men who taught me about their medicinal plants, smudge ceremonies was part of their attentive way of dealing with sky and earth. It was in the Eastern countries that I discovered the joy and meaning of the smudge ceremony. In Tibetan monastaries I sensed the warm and soothing fragrance of smudging, and I became familiar with various smudging ceremonies while staying with Hindu families. In the course of my life smudging has accompanied me as helpful little rituals. It never came into my mind that many people would take an interest in smudging one day.

Of all places, it was in Frankfurt that I realized that the time had come to bring back the knowledge of the strength and healing power that is smudging. There, I gave a seminar for business managers on aroma-massage and breathing exercises for stress relief. It was a coincidence that in my luggage I had my smudging materials. One curious participant asked me about it but I held myself back. He insisted that we have a smudge ceremony with the group, but I was very skeptical. What did smudging have to do with a managers relaxation seminar? So I unwrapped my finest smudging materials. After the smudge I could see that the atmosphere in the room changed from cold and stark to warm and expansive. Their faces were relaxed and the mood became focused and meditative. I realized that smudging is a practice that could help to quickly relax those in high-pressure, stressful environments. On this weekend we did more smudges and as a farewell gift I gave away my smudge mixture. From this day on I took my smudge materials to conferences, lectures, and seminars. I feel that the old knowledge about smudging can be helpful in a stressful, hectic, and burdening time like ours. It can make us pause.

So, I became more experienced in smudging, studied its origins, and the quality and effects of various smudging materials. Out of all this evolved my book, The Complete Incense Book. The first comprehensive work about smudging which became a standard in the German language.



     Smudging with the Season  

The Way of Incense – An Antique Art for Modern Times

The use of incense, which is the smoldering of aromatic plant material, is the origin of modern aromatherapy; it belongs to the oldest healing treatments of mankind. The old high cultures had an elaborate knowledge of the various effects of incense. The wisdom has nearly been lost and is being newly discovered in our time. Incense can also be helpful today: it can heal, deeply relax, support meditation and prayer, intensify your dreams, evoke visions, and more. For thousands of years it has been used to accompany ceremonies. In this workshop we will get to know the practical uses of incense and smudging in everyday life, newly discover helpful rituals, and find out about the effects of incense materials. Facts about the quality of the materials for incense and the botany of the aromatic plants for incense are explained in detail. Together, we will craft traditional incense blends and we will learn the art of composition. Photos and videos of incense plants and the harvest will accompany us in the land of aromatic plants. 



     The Way of Incense - Smudging with Native Plants 

The use of incense, which is the smoldering of aromatic plant material, is the origin of modern aromatherapy; it belongs to the oldest healing treatments of mankind. The old high cultures had an elaborate knowledge of the various effects of incense. The wisdom has nearly been lost and is being newly discovered in our time. Incense can also be helpful today: it can heal, deeply relax, support meditation and prayer, intensify your dreams, evoke visions, and more. For thousands of years it has been used to accompany ceremonies. In this workshop we will get to know the practical uses of incense and smudging in everyday life, newly discover helpful rituals, and find out about the effects of incense materials. Facts about the quality of the materials for incense and the botany of the aromatic plants for incense are explained in detail. Together, we will craft traditional incense blends and we will learn the art of composition. Photos and videos of incense plants and the harvest will accompany us in the land of aromatic plants.



     The Seacred Fire - Smudging and Ceremony in the Dark Season

The use of incense, which is the smoldering of aromatic plant material, and the fire, are inseperably connected with each other. The word “incense”, which indicates smudging and smudge materials, comes from the latin word “incensum” which means “to ignite a fire.” A smudge together with a fire creates a ceremonial space. It establishes a feastful, healing, and sacred atmosphere. The fire defines a home for a community of people with its enclosing light, and with smudging, it creates transformation, cleansing, and healing.



     The Spirit of the Land - Smudging with Native Plants

The fragrance of plants reveals its soul and brings us into contact with the secret of the plant world. We can connect ourselves with the spirit of the place, “anima loci,” by using landscape smudges. The smoldering of native plants has a long tradition in our culture which has been forgotten for a long time. People smudged to connect with the energy of a place and to clean, protect, and heal. During this weekend we will get to know the native aromatic incense plants and connect them to landscape smudges, healing blends, celebration blends. We will also make smudge bundles and incense sticks.



 Aroma-Massage – Healing Touch with Plant Fragrances 

Aroma-Massage is the combination of beneficial effects of massage and essential oils. It simply comforts us and others.

Correctly used, it is an effective method for strengthening and wellbeing, to disolve congestion and stasis, and for use against tension. We will learn several complete massages which have been especially successful in Aroma-massage. In these two weekends the foundation of aroma-massage is taught, as well as those developed by Susanne Fischer-Rizzi. We will learn how to conduct aroma-massage in a professional manner.

A Selection of Various Seminar Topics
Botany of Aroma Plants
Essential Oils: Origin, Quality, and Usage
Fragrance - Materia Medica
Toxicology Precautions, Contraindications, Legal Issues
Correlation: Massage, Essential Oils
Cultural Traditions in Aroma-Massages
Hydrotherapy and Aromatherapy
Production of Massage Treatments like Massage Oil, Body Butter, Gels etc.
Chi and Fragrance
Supplemental Exercises from Tai Chi and Qi Gong



 Aromatherapy – Healing with Essentail Oils  

Aromatherapy is the use of essential oils for prevention and healing. It’s application in massage and spa treatments is a component in traditional phytotherapy - the use of medicinal herbs.

The Earth treats us with its fragrant plants and with essential oils, true treasures for the medicine of mankind. Susanne Fischer-Rizzi is considered a founder of aromatherapy in Germany.

At this seminar she shares her comprehensive knowledge from 30 years of practice in Aromatherapy.

A Selection of Various Seminar Topics

  • History of Aromatherapy
  • Essence and Alchemy
  • Production, Use, and Quality Check
  • Consumption and Responsibility
  • Aroma botany - Fragrant Plant Families
  • Gaia’s Feelings - Essential Oils: the Soul of Plants
  • Effects of Essential Oils
  • Manipulation with Fragrances in Our Time
  • Healing and Wellness with Essential Oils
  • Materia Medica, Aromatic Drug Pictures
  • Modern Uses of Essential Oils
  • Recipes


 Aphrodities Secret – Antique Widsom of Beauty and Harmony 

The knowledge of plants that women have been collecting for thousands of years became focused in the Minoic, Egyptian, Greek, and Phonician high cultures for the first time. They have been melted together into subtle recipes containing high potentcy ingredients. These are recipes for creams, waters, and also alchemistic preparations. They can bring beauty, balance, and healing, not only on the physical level, but also on a magical level.
During her seminar, Aphrodities Secret, Susanne Fischer-Rizzi will guide us through the world of archaic plant recipes that have been chiseled into stone, drawn on papyrus, or mainly transferred by the old oral tradition. At best compared with the works and recipes in middle age alchemy, these fascinating recipes have an intensity and a strong presence on both physical and non-physical levels.
The deep and vast comprehending knowledge and experience of Susanne Fischer-Rizzi in these subjects will inspire you in this seminar. You will be drawn into this world by her vivid way of imparting her knowledge and experience.

A Selection of Various Seminar Topics:

  • Aromatic Plants
  • Scent and the Brain: Neurobiology and the Sense of Smell
  • Alchemy and Fragrance in Nature
  • How Inner and Outer Beauty Correspond with Fragrance in the Aromatic Plant Realm
  • Creating a Compostion of Fragrances that Envelop Me in an Invisible Dress
  • Which Fragrances from Aromatic Plants Underline my Presence in this World?
  • Which Fragrances can Support, Balance, and Heal My Soul?

During this seminar we will prepare various practical antique recipes and the famous Egyptian formula: the Salve of the Sphynx.



 Tree Wisdom – Healing Power and Myth of Native Trees

There was a time when Europe was so populated by trees that a squirrel could jump across it from tree to tree, never touching the ground on its journey. This sounds like a fairy tale but it was in fact once true. The whole northern hemisphere, the largest part of Europe, was covered by deep forest. We humans were forest inhabitants, our history was inseperably connected with the forests.

In fact, deep in our souls we are all still forest inhabitants. Still today the tree is a symbol of life. Both Man and tree are rooted in the earth and connected with the cosmos.

During this seminar we reconnect our ancient bond to the trees and forests. We get to know the various tree species, connect with them, and take part in their knowledge and wisdom.

Seminar Topics:

  • Stories and Myths of Our Trees
  • Get to Know a Tree - Schooling the Senses
  • Tree Meditations
  • Living Well in the Forest
  • The Forest Pharmacy
  • The Mysterious Tinder Fungus
  • The Gift of the Forest Goddess - Becoming Invisible



 Animal Alliance - The Mysterious Connection between People and Animals

„Lord, let me be half the man my dog thinks I am.“
Bumper Sticker, USA

Animals are wonderful teachers. They are completely natural, present, and in the here and now. They give us a precious and objective feedback on our behavior. They help us to widen our awareness and to experience our environment and ourselves as totally new. Our expanded consciousness will help us to get to know the animals holistically and on a deeper level. With this attentiveness and respect we will have new encounters with animals and can better help them.

A Selection of Various Seminar Topics:

  • Animal Communication
  • Animals as Companions and Healers
  • Training Your Awareness with Animals
  • Bird Language as the Internet of Nature
  • Balance and Bassline
  • Posture and Non-Verbal Communication
  • Foxwalk
  • Owl Eyes, Tracking



 Saffron – The Secret of the Red Gold 

There is a powder from the plant kingdom
It is called Red Gold
for it costs more than this noble metal.
In medieval times smuggling and adulteration
meant the death penalty.
You can make people happy with the Red Gold
make them laugh and relaxed, or give them erotic dreams.
If you give them too much they will fall asleep and never wake up again.
The Red Gold is a powerful medicine.
It was missing in none of the elixirs of life of the medieval doctors.
It can chase away pain and melancholy,
strengthen the inner organs and prolong your life.
It is the most expensive spice of the world,
and makes a meal a poem.

”For me, saffron is the most fascinating substance from the plant kingdom. It is a very powerful remedy, a wonderful spice, and aphrodisiac, and it amazes me that with it, you can bring the most ornery of people to laugh. Over several decades I collected saffron recipes and stories on my numerous travels. Out of this my saffron cookbook, Gold in the Kitchen, came into being. It has received several awards and is still one of the only saffron cookbooks on the market today.”

I offer cooking seminars on the topic of saffron.

Speech for the event at the awarding for the “Best Swiss Cookbook of the Year” for Gold in the Kitchen:

Dear Guests,

I have to correct myself in the beginning or reveal something to you. In this case we are not talking about a cookbook or a collection of recipes. It is a book of magic, a fairy tale, secret book of the alchemist, or all at once. We don’t find the recipe for the Sorcerer’s Stone in this book but we find old wisdom, secret recipes, and adventures for the mind. When you start reading this book, reserve the whole day for it.

Susanne Fischer-Rizzi is not actually a cook nor a cookbook author. She is an authority on natural medicine, plant healing, and aromatherapy. She is a wise woman of our time, and the topic saffron needs a female ambassador. Saffron is expensive and full of secrets, legendary and rare. Saffron is the most expensive spice in the world. It is not only a spice, it is also a remedy and an aphrodisiac. Saffron is a red thread of the violet crocus blossom. Saffron blossoms are as light as a feather and weigh nearly nothing. For one kilo of saffron, between 250,000 and 360,000 threads are needed. At the moment, one kilo of saffron costs about 9,000 dollars. It is not suprising that saffron has been called “the red gold.” Incidentally, Switzerland belongs to the few countries that produce saffron. The historic tradition is witnessed by the still existing saffron guilds in Basel, Lucerne, and Zurich.

In this book we learn not only about saffron, it is a culinary and imaginary journey through the lands of Orient and Occident. From the elixir of the Carmelites, Russian bear dance cake, to zulaidas dates, we find not only tempting recipes but captivating stories that distinguish this book from other ordinary cookbooks. The whole book is like a mandala of Tibetan monks: colorful, harmonic, and full of secrets. These are recipes for joy and bliss. They are not day-to-day recipes, but recipes for feasts, for happiness, and for love. By cooking these recipes you also happen to be doing something for your health. Whether you try Grandma’s pudding or you comfort those you love with sun tea, it is not possible to make a bad choice.

Usually I never give shopping advice, but this time I can say; do something for yourself and pamper yourself with this book. We hope that the publisher feels acknowleged with our award for this book, to support such exceptional projects in the future that go futher than just preparing and roasting. I can ensure you that Mrs. Fischer-Rizzi had no idea that when the book was published it would receive the gold medal from us. Whether or not one of her elixirs had something to do with it, we’ll never know.


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