Backyard Beauty


Step into your backyard and learn plant remedies to guide us on the beauty path. Nature’s reflections of beauty have the power to enhance our daily experience and bring healing and radiance when we include them as part of our body care regimen. In this hands-on workshop, we will explore the bioregional plants that offer us gifts of beauty and healing, learn recipes for hair, skin, and body care products. Receive recipes to gather materials in your own garden or kitchen to make these recipes at home. This course features over six hours of video classes and dozens of pages of handouts and recipes.

Topics covered include:

  • Skin 101
  • Hair 101
  • Skin Care
  • Face Care
  • Hair Care
  • Materia Medica: Internal
  • Materia Medica: Topical
  • Infused Oils and Salves
  • Plus bonus Beauty Handouts & Recipes

Meet Your Instructor

Emily Ruff is a community herbalist who has practiced the art and science of plant healing for fifteen years.

Emily’s botanical studies have taken her around three continents where she has studied under healers of many traditions. Her background in gardening and botany came in childhood while wandering the wilderness and digging in the sandy soils of Florida with her grandfather, a tobacco farmer turned urban gardener, and her father, a botany and astronomy professor. Her journey into herbalism continued through apprenticeships in Guatemala under the tutelage of local healers on the southern coast of Lake Atitlan, in the mountains of Vermont at the feet of Rosemary Gladstar, and in the Central Florida apothecary Leaves & Roots with herbalists Carolyn Whitford and George D’Arcy. Emily’s academic studies include Ethnobotany, Philosophy, and Women’s Studies at the University of Central Florida and Curanderismo with the University of New Mexico. She is a Bach Flower Registered Practitioner.

Emily’s dedication to preserving bioregional medicinal plant traditions and ecosystems led her to become active in the organization United Plant Savers. Inspired by a need for greater connection among her regional community, she founded the Florida Herbal Conference event in 2012, an event that continues to sell out annually. In past years, she served multiple terms as president of the Herb Society of Central Florida and as co-founder of Homegrown Local Food Cooperative. In response to the tragic shooting at Pulse Nightclub, Emily founded the Orlando Grief Care Project. From the community relationships cultivated through the national response to this tragedy, Emily formed the Herbal Action Network to continue weaving the web of compassionate herbalism into community engagement. Sharing her time between Florida and Vermont, she currently serves as director of the Florida School of Holistic Living and the Sage Mountain Botanical Sanctuary.

Emily’s classes have been described as “heart-filled,” “enriching,” and “empowering,” creating a bridge between the teachings of our ancestors and the technologies of our modern world. Emily can be found in joy cooking, practicing yoga, writing, photographing flora, creating music with family and friends, and digging her fingers in the dirt. The plants continue to be her greatest teachers.

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