Botanicals

My great aunt Edita and I in her garden in Stropkov, 2016
My great aunt Edita and I in her garden in Stropkov, 2016

The Beginning

I have been deeply involved with plants for most of my life. I find endless connections between plants pottery, and fermentation - the core of which is understanding and working with the alchemy of earth materials in the presence of water and fire. In 1978, a course at Penn State in Orienteering and Survival initiated a life long interest in foraging and the use of wild plants as medicine. Living in a tipi amidst Balsam Poplar trees in Kodiak, Alaska in 1981, I made my first botanical healing oil from the resinous buds of the trees. In 1993 I traveled to my ancestral home of Stropkov, Slovakia, looking for gravestones. I found those but also found an entire living family and discovered that I came from a long line of medicinal herbalists. These trips (which continue to this day) and the vibrant family of living descendants who are artists, teachers, and herbalists, inspired me to open Karen’s Botanicals in 2004, and to begin formally marketing the organic creams, lotions, toners, oils and medicinal herbal products that I had been making ever since. I dedicated the business to my great- great- aunt Zsuzsanna Palcso and her family. I continue to be inspired by the serendipity of this connection, and by the passions that bind the generations together. Read more about The Slovak Roots of Karen's Botanicals.

Growth

By 2011, the business had grown so much that I couldn’t manage it anymore in my home based setting. I knew if I took the next step of growth by moving to a commercial facility that I would become a business manager instead of a plant person. So, I sold Karen’s Botanicals to Pamella Mitchell who owns and operates the business in Georgia. Pam is an amazing person who loves the plants, the products, and the process as much as I did. Today, I make products for friends and family and teach others how to do so.

Karens-botanicals
philosophy

The Philosophy

My philosophy is to use simple, unrefined plant ingredients with whom we share an ancient relationship. Like great bread and fine wine these products are intended to bring sustenance and pleasure to life. Products begin with whole, mostly organic plant materials that contain a wide spectrum of nourishing compounds. Recipes are informed by traditional and contemporary herbal wisdom and formulated with deep appreciation for the healing potential of the natural world.

Articles on Botanicals

Nettle Weed Walk with Karen

Nettle Weed Walk with Karen

Urtica dioica, Stinging Nettle, is one of the most nutritious, delicious, and…

Read More...
Family Weed Walk Classes

Family Weed Walk Classes

Learn how to identify and use common weeds of eastern Pennsylvania. “Weeds”…

Read More...
Dandelion Weed Walk and Recipe for Dandelion Wine

Dandelion Weed Walk and Recipe for Dandelion Wine

I have begun to make videos of my frequent Weed Walks. Each…

Read More...
The Healing Power of Herbal Balms and Salves.

The Healing Power of Herbal Balms and Salves.

Winter brings many changes to Berks County. I like the cold, crisp…

Read More...
Harvesting Wild Greens on the Equinox

Harvesting Wild Greens on the Equinox

Pennsylvania Bittercress (Cardamine pensylvanica) is one of the best early spring greens…

Read More...

Classes

Currently, I am offering  a variety of classes in Botanical Lotions and Potions which include herbal facial creams and serums, body lotions, aromatherapy sprays, healing herbal salves and balms, therapeutic infused oils, and more. I also host Family Weed Walks at your place, mine, or at a local park. Weed Walks are fun and informative. The first part is wandering around and finding and identifying common herbs and plants. The second part is learning how to use them in cooking and bodycare. There are scheduled classes ready for registration and there is a menu of classes for custom private, individual, and group instruction. You can select what you'd like to make and we can do it at your place or mine. Please see the classes page for details.

Palcho's Classes - herbal facial creams, body lotions, aromatherapy sprays, slaves, balms, infused oils, and other Lotions

Newsletter Signup

Sign up for monthly newsletters to learn about upcoming classes and events.

!
Something went wrong. Please check your entries and try again.

kpalcho@gmail.com | (610) 398-8316 | Fleetwood, PA
Serving the greater Philadelphia and Reading, PA regions

All photos courtesy of Karen

Scroll to Top