The Traditions in Western Herbalism Conference is blessed to have some of the wisest and insightful of internationally known herbalists as Featured Speakers & Presenters, tradition keepers as well as cutting edge innovators, with each being an experienced practitioners as well teacher or theorist. Included are a number of the personalities who’ve done the most help inform and inspire Kiva Rose, myself, our Animá Herbal School, and the intent and spirit of this magical gathering. While you’re likely to already be familiar with most of this year’s presenters through their schools, apprenticeships, online presence or books, we invite you to read more about their work in the bios included here... your and our teachers, allies and inspiriteurs.
7Song is the Director of the Northeast School of Botanical Medicine and practices as a Western Clinical Herbalist at the Ithaca Free Clinic in Ithaca, NY, where is also Director of Holistic Medicine. Since 1981 he has studied with numerous teachers (including a few years with Michael Moore where he taught botany), and is continually learning by teaching and practicing. One of herbalism’s great attributes is that it offers both time outside (with plants and all else) as well as working with people. This is unique to herbalism, connecting people and their medicines along with the environment around them. One of his favorite pastimes is seeking out new plants, keying them out and taking photos alongside of wildcrafting and medicine-making. As a practitioner and teacher he looks at ways of helping people get a fuller understanding of the big picture of herbal medicine and not just as a replacement for pharmaceuticals.
He has been running and teaching the Northeast School of Botanical Medicine since 1992 and is glad for both the information sharing as well as all the learning that goes on with being a teacher, learning both information and how to better disseminate it. Info at www.7Song.com
Paul Bergner has studied and practiced natural medicine since 1973, with formal studies in naturopathy, medical herbalism, clinical nutrition, traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic medicine, flower essences, yoga therapy, and bodywork, including undergraduate studies in pre-medicine and psychology, and 50 semester hours of doctoral level medical studies at National College of Naturopathic Medicine. He has edited the Medical Herbalism journal since its founding in 1989, and has written seven books on medical herbalism, nutrition, Chinese medicine, ethnobotany, and naturopathic medicine. He has also edited periodicals on clinical nutrition and naturopathic medicine. Paul directed the clinical herbalism program at Rocky Mountain Center for Botanical Studies for eight years, training more than 100 certified clinical herbalists in a 1500 hour education that culminated in a nine-month internship program. He is currently adjunct faculty in nutrition at Naropa University, adjunct faculty in nutrition and pathophysiology at the Tai Sophia Institute, and nutrition faculty at the Seven Bowls school of nutrition. In addition to directing the North American Institute of Medical Herbalism, he teaches herbal materia medica and therapeutics, clinical nutrition, basic medical sciences, clinical skills, medical history and philosophy, and nature studies. www.naimh.com
Howie Brounstein has been a professional herbalist/botanist for over twenty years. He is the primary instructor of the Columbines School of Botanical Studies. He has taught botany, herbalism, and wildcrafting extensively for decades, including such herbal establishments as the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine. He was the owner of Columbines and Wizardry Herbs, and is active locally and internationally in protected plants and ecological assessments. Howie has a clinical practice in Eugene, Oregon. www.botanicalstudies.net
Kristine Brown is a practicing traditional community herbalist and homeschooling mother of 4 children and 2 bonus (step) children. She has studied with Rosemary Gladstar of Sage Mountain and has spent countless hours of research and study through her own pursuit with great herbalists such as Kiva Rose, Jim McDonald, Matthew Wood, Paul Bergner, Susun Weed, Gail Faith Edwards, Kathleen Maier and more. She offers an herbal product line through her local farmer's market and online, does consultations, teaches medicine making classes to adults, offers herbal work shops for kids and runs a monthly herbal study group, focusing mainly on locally found herbs, enabling the community to take control of growing and wild crafting their own medicine. Teaching others about herbs is her focus with a passion of sharing her knowledge with children as they ARE our future!
Kristine is the writer and illustrator of the monthly PDF zine titled Herbal Roots Zine. Each edition focuses on one herb and contains many activities to make learning about that herb a lot of fun. There are stories, crossword puzzles, mazes, crafts, recipes and much more! If you are looking for a herbal course that is easy to understand and has the ability to teach children about herbs, look no further! Herbal Roots Zine is designed to raise the interest level of children and adults through hands-on learning and repetition. Homeschoolers and non-homeschoolers alike have found Herbal Roots Zine a valuable learning resource for a subject that does not have many opportunities available for children: herbal healing.
You can find out more information about Herbal Roots zine and subscribe at http://herbalrootszine.com.
Larken Bunce is a clinical herbalist, educator, writer, gardener and photographer. She is a founding co-director of Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism, which runs a full-time sliding-scale community clinic, as well as a 3-year training program for clinical herbalists. She also serves as core faculty at Goddard College in the Health Arts and Sciences program (which now offers undergraduate credit transfer from VCIH transcripts). Since her work in the healing arts began in 1994, her perspective has been shaped by her various roles as farmer, scientist, writer, activist, medicine-maker, body-worker, apprentice, and teacher. Weaving traditional views of health and nature with scientific understandings of plants and people, she explores our innate tendency towards health and the profound impact of synchronizing our lives with the rhythms of the natural world. Her practice and teaching incorporate wisdom from Western herbal medicine, bio-medical sciences, traditional Chinese medicine, whole-food nutrition theory, flower essence therapy, mind-body techniques and social justice advocacy. She holds a Master of Science in Herbal Medicine from the Tai Sophia Institute, as well as certificates in Zen Shiatsu, Swedish/Esalen Massage and Mind-Body Skills. Larken believes that the heart of healing work lies in reminding us all that we belong to each other and to the land. See more about Larken's work at the Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism website.
Bevin Clare is a clinical herbalist and nutritionist with a deep love of plants. She is the Clinical Division Chair of the Masters of Science in Herbal Medicine Program at Tai Sophia Institute in Laurel, MD, a 2.5 year clinical training program in Herbal Medicine (www.tai.edu). Bevin has studied herbal medicine around the world and blends her knowledge of traditional uses of plants with modern science and contemporary healthcare strategies. Her clinical practice focuses on wellness, nutrition, infection, and women’s health. After many years of witnessing the powers of medicinal plants in infectious disease situations when modern biomedicine was unavailable she pursued an MSc in Infectious Disease from the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Bevin serves on the faculty of the Massachusetts College of Pharmacy where she lectures on herbal safety and on medicine making. She delights in the concept of using our herbal medicines as foods and is constantly exploring the creative and delicious ways we can integrate herbs into our lives. Bevin is the director of the Herbal Clinic for All program, a program offering cost free clinical services to the population in need in DC, Baltimore, and Laurel, MD. She is a professional member and vice president of the American Herbalists Guild, and a board member of the United Plant Savers, a group working to protect at-risk medicinal plants in North America.
Sean Donahue is a traditional herbalist, poet, and witch, and a proud contributor to Plant Healer Magazine. While he has been blessed to receive amazing support and guidance from other herbalists, Sean's primary teachers have been the wild and feral plants growing in the forests, fields, and swamps around him. He has trusted his own health completely to the plants since they first began helping him begin to heal the asthma he struggled with since childhood. As a practitioner he looks to plants as allies in helping people remember their own beauty, strength and power and in guiding them to health. As a teacher, he encourages students to build their own deep, personal relationship with the plants around them grounded in the experience of their own senses and their own hearts. He identifies deeply with the traditions of the edge dwellers – those who live in the places where the human and wild meet, bridging the worlds.
For Sean, magic, medicine, and poetry are all expressions of a deep connection to the living Earth, and personal, cultural, and ecological healing are inextricably linked. He is currently working on his first book, a guide to plants for the underworld journey. Learn more about his work at http://www.greenmansean.com
Doug Elliott is an herbalist, naturalist, basket maker and author. He has spent a great deal of time with traditional country folk and indigenous people, learning their stories, folklore and traditional ways of relating to plants. For many years he made his living gathering and selling herbs. In recent years he has performed and taught from Canada to the Caribbean. He has been a featured storyteller at the National Storytelling Festival in Jonesborough,TN and has conducted workshops and programs at the American Museum of Natural History in New York, the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto, and the Smithsonian Institution. He has taught regularly at the Gaia Herb Symposium, the Green Nations Gathering, and Omega Institute. He has trained rangers for the National Park Service and guided people on wilderness experiences from Down-east Maine to the Florida Everglades. He was named harmonica champion at Fiddler's Grove Festival in Union Grove, N.C. He regularly writes articles for regional and national magazines. He has authored five books and produced a number of award winning recordings of stories and songs. His first book, WILD ROOTS, An Underground Botany and Forager's Guide, has been around for thirty years and is considered an "underground" classic. In 1995 it was given a new cover and re-released by Healing Arts Press. www.dougelliott.com
Rosalee de la Foręt is a clinical herbalist who lives on the edge of the wilderness in the Northeastern Cascades of Washington State. She contributes regularly to HerbMentor.com providing herbal education through ebooks, articles, videos and photography. Rosalee's roots in herbal medicine began by studying stone age living and she and her husband continue to live simply while closely interacting with the world around them for food, medicine and clothing. You can visit her website at www.Rosalee.info
Darcey Blue French is an herbalist & nutritionist, wildcrafter, gardener, food lover, Earth lover and wild woman. She was trained as a Clinical Herbalist & Nutritionist at the North American Institute of Medical Herbalism under Paul Bergner, and studied under Rosemary Gladstar and Charlie Kane. Darcey has been using and learning from the plants, both wild and cultivated since childhood, and it is her deep love of the wild Earth and its creatures that fuels her passion for healing and teaching about plants, wilderness, spirit, nourishment and healing.
Darcey practices in the the Vitalist tradition of herbalism, which fosters the interconnection and nourishment of body, mind, and spirit. Through the use of nutrition, herbal formulas, flower essences, and connection with nature, she aims to support the vitality of all aspects of the human being.
Darcey is passionate about food that nourishes the body and spirit, and tastes wonderful too. She works closely with plants, both wild and cultivated that provide food and medicine. She is an avid forager of wild foods and gardener of organic vegetables, and is passionate about local and sustainable food systems, and how our relationship with the land, nature and wilderness impacts our physical and spiritual health and wellbeing. She truly believes that one cannot separate the health of the people from the health of the ecosystem in which they live, nor the well-being of the body from that of the mind & spirit. www.blueturtlebotanicals.com
Lisa Ganora (Whitewolf) has been a traditional herbalist for 26 years and a phytochemistry geek / molecular mystic since 1997. Lisa creates beautiful visual presentations which help to translate scientific information for practical use and to deepen our understanding of the inner mysteries of herbs. She has taught many different classes and workshops, led wildcrafting adventures, managed an herbal products business, talked with the Plant Spirits, made some fabulous mead, lived in a tipi, been licked by wolves, raised a pharmaceutical-free daughter, earned honors in botany and chemistry at UNCA, and most recently, become the new Director of the North American Institute of Medical Herbalism (now CSCH) in Boulder, CO. The school's new website is ClinicalHerbalism.com. Lisa's book and website, www.herbalconstituents.com, help explain plant constituents for the student and clinical herbalist.
Charles R. Garcia was born and raised in the central valley of California. Taught herbalism by his mother Martha Garcia who learned from her father Desidro Navarro, Charles is a third generation curandero and practicing herbalist. He moved to the San Francisco bay area at eighteen and has worked in law enforcement and special education. He is the founder and director of the California School of Traditional Hispanic Herbalism. He has been a volunteer instructor on Wilderness Emergency Care and was the originator of herbal first aid for the Red Cross. He has taught herbal medicines with the Mid Atlantic Primitive Skills Group and is a continuing contributor to the text Wilderness Emergency Care by Steve Donelan. He is a friend and associate of Adam Seller, director of The Pacific School of Herbal Medicine. For almost a decade Charles has been a street herbalist on the streets of Richmond and San Pablo, California. He teaches a course in street herbalism which would do the CIA and MI6 proud. His students have never been busted for park poaching, lawn grubbing or making stinging nettle soup in a cold alley. He has never charged the sick for services or medicines per his family's century old tradition. Charles is married and has grown daughters. In his spare time he writes poetry, plays hide and seek with the police and has published his first on-line novel.
Linda Garcia is NOT an herbalist, though she has been hanging out with them (and one in particular) for about 32 years. She is, however, passionate about teaching people what to do in a trauma situation BEFORE the herbs are slapped on or swallowed. Linda is a nationally certified EMT and Wilderness EMT and has been teaching wilderness/disaster first aid (aka: what to do when someone is hurt and there is no way 911 is going to respond) for about 15 years to groups like the Sierra Club and at the Mid-Atlantic Primitive Skills meets. She is an instructor for the American Heart Association and the American Safety and Health Institute. She also teaches lab skills for the local EMT program, is head of the Emergency Response Team at her workplace and is organizing the first International Disaster Response Team for her very large corporate employer as part of her push to take the current buzz concept of "Corporate Social Responsibility" to the next level and beyond.
Cascade Anderson Geller For more than thirty years, Cascade has brought people together with plants in the classroom, field, forest, mountains, beach and desert. She picked herbs and wild foods from an early age with her family and this gave her an inherent trust in nature as a powerful companion, healer, and master teacher. She has had the honor to be trained by some of the greats of our time including her parents and grandparents, Ella Birzneck, Norma Myers, Juliette de Baircli Levy, Bernard Jensen, and many of her contemporary herbal comrades. She was a founding member of the Everett House Healing Center (now Common Ground) in Portland, Oregon in 1979 and practiced in a clinical setting for more than a dozen years with M.D.’s, N.D.’s, and other practitioners. She has instructed her own two-year program and been in charge of the botanical medicine programs in three naturopathic colleges for many years. She founded two food co-ops and an herb store, as well as four political and social activism groups. She lives with her family in Portland, Oregon.
Jesse Wolf Hardin has been a leading voice of and for the natural world for nearly four decades, his work earning praise from a wide range of contemporaries from Gary Snyder and Edward Abbey to Leslie Tierra and Rosemary Gladstar. Hardin’s public appearances and published works have helped inspire deep personal inquiry, healing, and life-enhancing changes, as well as increased self sufficiency, grass roots organization, conservation legislation and community activism in this country. He’s been a featured presenter at hundreds of conferences and universities, sometimes presenting cross cultural collaborations called “Medicine Shows” that melded his spoken word with live music. He’s the author of over 600 published magazine articles and seven books, including I’m a Medicine Woman Too! (Hops Press 2009), an illustrated tale of herbal wisdom and personal empowerment for children and readers of all ages, and appears in The Encyclopedia of Nature & Religion (Continuum 2005), The Soul Unearthed (Tarcher/Putnam, 1996) and How Shall I Live My Life? (PM Press 2008). He’s also a master plant illustrator and interpretive artist for several herbalists’ designs as well as the TWHC logo. His connection to the plant world goes back to his childhood preoccupation with all things green and growing, attended him as he ran away from military school at age thirteen, inspired his art as he opened his Mt. Unique Gallery in Taos in 1978, and was part of the reason for his establishing the Anima Sanctuary in 1980... a riparian wilderness he has worked to restore and protect, seven river crossings from the nearest road. It has also led him to join Kiva in envisioning a school and curricula focused on increasing abilities for healing not only the self and others but also the natural world that is “more than our pantry and pharmacy... it is us.” The Traditions in Western Herbalism Conference is a natural extension of that work, as well as an act of love.
Phyllis Hogan has been a practicing Southwest herbalist for 35 years. She is the proprietor of the Winter Sun Trading Company, located in Flagstaff, Arizona, USA established in 1976. Winter Sun specializes in traditional organic southwest herbs and tinctures and American Indian Art, focusing on the Hopi and Navajo of northern Arizona. In 1983 she co-founded the Arizona Ethnobotanical Research Association (AERA), a 501(c)(3) private nonprofit educational and scientific organization. The AERA was organized to investigate, document, and preserve traditional plant use in Arizona and the greater southwest. See Winter Sun Trading Company for more about Phyllis!
Kathleen Maier has been a practicing herbalist for over twenty years and is the director of Sacred Plant Traditions in Charlottesville, VA which hosts a three year community herbalist training program as well as other classes and internationally known guest speakers. She was co-founder and Director of Dreamtime Center for Herbal Studies and has taught at nationally known herb schools and centers for the last ten years. Her studies of plant medicines began as a Peace Corp volunteer and have included the wisdom of Stephen Buhner, Rosemary Gladstar, Susun Weed, and Matthew Wood. Her training as a Physician's Assistant allows her to translate the language of medicine we know today and ground it in the wisdom of earth-centered practices known for millennia. She is very active locally with United Plant Savers and the restoration of native plants and the preservation of fragile ecosystems.
Jim McDonald is an herbalist in southeast Michigan, that cool state that looks like a mitten that you can see from space, where he teaches, sees people, picks stuff and concocts things. His approach to herbalism is a blend of traditional folk and indigenous influences mixed up with a bit of 19th century eclectic and physiomedical vitalism, which he tries to blend with a bit of quirky humor and discretionary irreverence so as not to appear to be too serious about life. Jim hosts the website www.herbcraft.org, which lists his offerings and conveys his thoughts of plants and herbalism (and if you’ve ever wondered, the lack of capitalization is an homage to e.e. cummings).
Tania Neubauer is a naturopathic doctor, clinical herbalist, and massage therapist. She studied herbal medicine at the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine with Michael Moore, Blue Otter School, the California School of Traditional Hispanic Herbalism, and the Pacific School of Herbal Medicine. She began her career in healthcare by serving as medical coordinator, community health worker, and counselor at the Berkeley Free Clinic, which inspired her to become a physician and work to make natural medicine accessible to all while changing medicine from the inside. Upon completion of naturopathic school, she worked through the organization Natural Doctors International (NDI) in a public hospital on the island of Ometepe, Nicaragua for 15 months, seeing hundreds of people ages 3 weeks to 107 years of age, principally using herbal medicine, nutrition, bodywork, and homeopathy as treatments. Through NDI, she has taught numerous global health courses to visiting delegations who join resident physicians working in the NDI clinic in Nicaragua. She returned to North America to work at La Clinica de Guadalupe, a nonprofit, low-cost naturopathic and acupuncture clinic that has served the Spanish-speaking community of the Willamette Valley of Oregon for 18 years. She served as a street medic at various demonstrations in Portland. She is currently core faculty and clinical mentor at the North American Institute of Medical Herbalism. She has previously presented at the new conference Integrative Medicine for the Underserved (im4us.org), which she currently helps to organize. She believes that health is a human right for all people.
Aviva Romm s highly respected for her work in botanical medicine, childbirth, women’s and pediatric children’s health, who practiced as a homebirth midwife and herbalist for over 20 years, before becoming a physician (Yale 2009). Her books include The Natural Pregnancy Book, Naturally Healthy Babies and Children, Natural Health After Birth, Vaccinations: A Thoughtful Parent’s Guide, ADHD Alternatives (with her husband Tracy Romm, EdD), A Pocket Guide to Midwifery, and the textbook Botanical Medicine for Women’s Health (Elsevier), and are regarded as standards for women’s and children’s health. Her most recent work, Botanical Medicine for Women's Health won the American Botanical Council's Excellence in Botanical Literature Award for 2010. Aviva is the Director of Herbal Medicine for Women, a distance learning program, and Pediatrics for Parents, an innovative and intensive seminar empowering parents. Aviva combines skills as a physician, midwife, and herbalist to offer comprehensive, insightful clinical care, education, writing, and consulting on general health, pregnancy and birth, women’s health, women’s and pediatric botanical medicine, health and ecology, and natural living. www.AvivaRomm.com
Kiva Rose CoDirector of the TWH Conference, Kiva is becoming increasingly well known as a blogger, author, clinical herbalist the co-creator of Anima correspondence course curricula, teaching all of the herbal courses as well as classes in ethnobotany, botany, foraging, edible wild plants, traditional lifeways and primal nutrition. She’s garnered international attention for her inspiring and informative The Medicine Woman's Roots blog, with her focus on a vitalist approach to local plants, sustainability, whole person/whole plant understandings and earthy, practical ways of teaching people to work with the plants themselves rather than being dependent on experts. Her focus is on accessible, grassroots herbalism that empowers the individual and serves the community, both the human component as well as the larger earthen community. She believes in restoring health at all levels and approaches healing from the understanding that the body is a diverse and intelligent ecology, integrally connected to the planet as a whole. As such, she frequently works in an integrative style, including herbal medicine, nutrition, counseling and other holistic therapies in her practice.
She enjoys her home and role at the Anima Lifeways & Herbal School, an 80 acre botanical sanctuary in S.W. New Mexico where she devotes much of her time to facilitating the continuance and spread of traditional, grassroots herbal medicine. Kiva is personally responsible for the difficult TWHC website programming and artistic layout, most of the research, and over half of the outreach and response duties... and was more than anyone else the original inspiration for – as well as driving force behind – Traditions in Western Herbalism and its conference.
Christa Sinadinos is the director of The Northwest School for Botanical Studies, that offers clinical and professional herbalist training programs. She has worked with medicinal herbs since 1989, and has practiced clinical herbalism and aromatherapy since 1994. She is the proprietor of the herbal extract business Alpine Meadow Botanicals. She maintains an herbal demonstration garden containing more than 200 species. Website: http://www.herbaleducation.net
Katja Swift is a clinical herbalist and teacher, practicing currently in Boston. Although most people thought she was crazy for moving away from a farm in Vermont (that herbal oasis!), Katja thinks that city people need plants too. In the clinic and in teaching, Katja works with adults, children, and families rebuild their relationships with their bodies and with their own ability to heal. By teaching people how to eat real food and use plants as medicine, she helps them to reestablish their connectivity to the earth, to themselves, and to one another. Her favorite thing about practicing in Boston is watching people become aware of the plants who are with them every day: how can you not be convinced of the plants' desire to be in relationship with us, when they go to so very much trouble to live in harsh city conditions? She sees the strength of the grassroots herbal movement coming from the tight web of support and connection those roots weave between people, plants, and the land, and how this counteracts the distancing, anonymizing influences of modern culture. Her 8-year-old daughter Amber has not yet convinced her that linden tea is the right medicine for all ailments, but her arguments are getting more sophisticated as she attends more of her mother's classes.She is also the director of the CommonWealth School of Herbal Medicine www.commonwealthherbs.com
Nicole Telkes is a Practicing Herbalist, Bodyworker, and Lead Teacher for the Wildflower School of Botanical Medicine in Austin, TX. She has a background in botanical studies, plant conservation work, community activism, and herbal first aid clinics. Nicole has spent the last 15 years traveling around North America wilderness and waste places studying and using fresh native and naturalized medicinal plants. She aspires to put an herbalist on every corner of every neighborhood.
Ginger Webb. Over 20 years ago, Ginger had an epiphany while working overseas in the environmental movement: that in order for people to care about protecting the Earth, they had to feel connected to the Earth. She stumbled upon herbalism and knew she had found the path she was looking for, the vehicle for inspiring others as well as for staying connected herself. Ginger counts many herbalists among her teachers, most especially Michael Moore, with whom she studied in 1999, and Sage L. Mauer of The Gaia School of Healing in VT. Ginger is the founder of Texas Medicinals, the primary teacher of Little Green Witches herbal apprenticeships and camps for young girls, and a practicing herbalist in Austin, TX.
Matthew Wood has been a practicing herbalist since 1982. In a period when many authors and lecturers are merely "arm chair herbalists" who offer theories and opinions based on book learning, and others have turned to the exotic traditions of India or China, he has been an active practitioner of traditional Western herbalism. He has helped tens of thousands of clients over the years, with many difficult health problems. While Matthew believes in the virtue of many other healing modalities, he has always been inspired to learn, preserve, and practice the tradition of herbal medicine descending to us from our European, Anglo-American, and Native American heritage. He is a member of the American Herbalists Guild (registered herbalist) and has earned his Masters of Science degree from the Scottish School of Herbal Medicine (accredited by the University of Wales).
Benjamin Zappin maintains a private practice in acupuncture and herbal medicine in San Francisco, CA and also works at two community clinics in the East Bay. Benjamin and his wife Ingrid run Five Flavors Herbs, a small herbal company dedicated to serving the needs of herbalists w/ native and other plants, and remain committed to keeping their hands dirty. Ben is co-director of Sylvan Institute of Botanical Medicine, an online educational resource geared towards practicing herbalists. He has been on the faculty of Five Branches University of Traditional Chinese Medicine, the East West School of Herbology, and co-directed American School of Herbalism, all in Santa Cruz,Ca. Benjamin continues to cultivate and wildcraft a significant percentage of the medicine he uses in the clinic with his patients. www.benzappin.com,www.fiveflavorsherbs.com,www.sylvanbotanical.com