Our 2017 Herbstalk Teachers!
This year's Herbstalk teaching team includes herbalists, aromatherapists, ethnobotanists, foragers, artists, yoga teachers and foodies. Go on and read all about them below, and click on their websites to learn more.
Everyone is listed in alphabetical order by last name...
Everyone is listed in alphabetical order by last name...
Jade Alicandro Mace
Milk and Honey Herbs
Jade Alicandro Mace is a bioregional herbalist practicing community herbalism in western Massachusetts. She believes there is a deep cultural healing that occurs when folks connect personally with the plants, and loves helping her students and community connect with the medicine growing all around them. Jade teaches a class series and apprenticeship in bioregional herbalism, offers community workshops and herbwalks, offers private herbal wellness consultations, and also runs the Greenfield Community Herbal Clinic, a low-cost clinic committed to affordable herbal care.
Lauren Almquist is an herbalist based in Jamaica Plain, MA. Committed to supporting people on their healing journeys, Lauren loves connecting with plants, the elements and spirit to nourish the body and soul. Lauren studied folk herbalism for three years at the Gaia School of Healing in Vermont, and has partnered with the Boston Food Forest Coalition to expand access to nourishing and medicinal plants through education and creating space for communities to connect with the earth and with each other.
Emilie Amstutz is a yoga teacher based in Medford, MA (ERYT-200, RYT-500). Her approach in life and yoga is simple, clear and fun. She sees yoga and meditation as ways to help us engage more fully with the world we live in. Emilie loves the natural world and brings awareness of seasonal changes into her teaching. You can often find her outside planting, or trying to identify plants to figure out if she can make tea out of them. She enjoys spending time with family, playing on the water, and supporting local businesses and community initiatives in and around Medford.
Mad Crow Herbals
Michael Blackmore is an herbal educator in Jamaica Plain, MA. He enjoys exploring how to listen to the wisdom that nature shares with us when we pause and connect. His website, Mad Crow Herbalism, reminds us to approach herbalism in the spirit of play!
Seed and Legend
Debra Bluth is a flower essence practitioner and clinical herbalist living in southern Maine. She is an associate practitioner at Delta Gardens in southern NH, where she apprenticed, and she also maintains a private practice in Yarmouth, Maine. Also a yoga and movement teacher and a shiatsu practitioner, Debra facilitates an online chakra apprenticeship for women. She holds advanced degrees in psychology and choreography.
Wild Gather: Hudson Valley School of Herbal Studies
Mandana's relationship to plants began early. Her grandmother was an herbalist and passed down the tradition of using plants for medicine and family care to her own mother who has continued to share the thread with her. As a child, her mother instilled in her the power of rose, angelica, cardamom, barberry, mint, borage, and so many of the plants she uses today. These basic principles of her upbringing were the first steps in her path of becoming an herbalist. For the past decade she has pursued an intensive herbal education, traveling the country learning from herbalists to old timers to the plants themselves. Today, Mandana lives in the foothills of the Catskill Mountains; in the same valley she was raised. Her work is centered on teaching folks accessibly and affordably the ways of herbalism, wild food, earth skills, food, health, and social justice.
Shimmering Shanti Yoga
Sher Breen, E-RYT 500, is a local yoga/meditation teacher & healing arts practitioner who has also worked in the mental health field for over 18 years. She was exposed to yoga, meditation and reiki in her teen and early twenties and credits this practices as life changing. Sher is a ceritified Prana Vinyasa & Kundalini yoga teacher and has completed additional trainings in hatha, restorative, yin & trauma sensitive yoga. She is also a Level I iRest (yoga nidra) Teacher-in-Training, Usui Holy Fire Reiki Master & Lightarian Level IV Reiki Master. Sher offers classes, workshops and teacher training modules in yoga/meditaiton along and specializes in working with those experiecing chronic burnout & compassion fatigue.
Old Ways Herbal
Juliette Abigail Carr is a clinical herbalist and the proprietor of Old Ways Herbal School of Plant Medicine (Newfane, Vermont), which offers hands-on learning in our Botanical Sanctuary forest classroom. Multiple levels of learning include workshops, courses, and a rigorous apprenticeship. Clinical consultations and hand-crafted remedies are also available. Her writing has been published in numerous magazines and on her popular blog.
Su Cousineau, ABT of Taproot Healing is a shiatsu practitioner, herbalist and educator of many years. She offers a private practice in Jamaica Plain where she is honored to work with clients to support well-being of body, mind and spirit. She has completed herbal studies at Heart Song Farm in NH, through Rosemary Gladstar's homestudy course and at Boston School of Herbal Studies Apprenticeship and Advanced programs. Su is a long time Jamaica Plain resident, former children's art educator, a community gardener, forager, and medicine maker. She is looking forward to gathering at Herbstalk 2016!
Nancy Engel has travelled the world for over 20 years to study aromatic and culinary plants. She has worked on the Lavender harvest in Southern France and the Rose harvest in Turkey. She was trained as a Medical Aromatherapist in the Provence, France with Dr. Daniel Penoel, German chemist Kurt Schnaubalt and Australian naturopath, Robbi Zeck. She has been featured in the Boston Globe, Chronicle and PBS. She resides in Massachusetts and Costa Rica.
Katherine Gekas has been using herbs to help herself, family and friends to stay healthy for over twenty years. In 2009, she learned that a person could actually BE an herbalist! This put her on a five-year path of studies to become a community herbalist. Katherine now leads herb walks, teaches classes on herbs, and provides herbal consultations to help teach people how to use herbs to improve their health. When not doing all of the above, she's in her backyard, creating a woodland herb garden or playing with a lump of clay.
Wild Gather: Hudson Valley School of Herbal Studies
Lauren came to utilize, study and practice Herbalism by way of “burn-out”, and her needs for better health and self-care strategies. Through her initial studies apprenticing at the Northeast School of Botanical Medicine and clinical internship at the Ithaca Free Clinic, Lauren found passion and purpose: to hold space for those seeking to heal, needing support and wanting to be heard; to be a medicine maker; to connect people with plants and the power within themselves to transform and feel better; to do so with social justice values and integrity. After studying from various teachers, in 2010, Lauren founded her business, Good Fight Herb Co. Ever since, she’s been working to find more ways to support her self and her community, plant more medicine, continue her education and facilitate conversations on Health Justice issues so that Herbalism always stays accessible to all.
Patrice’s holistic journey started in 2010 when she began a mentorship practice with master healer Catherine Miller. Within six months, a transformative experience among the coastal redwoods of Muir Woods and its beach inspired further studies, eventually leading to the foundation of Green Aromatics, a holistic practice offering education and consultations in many healing modalities. Patrice is a cum laude graduate of Boston College and received her herbal training from The Boston School of Herbal Studies, where she is now on faculty. A certified aromatherapist, herbalist, and flower essence practitioner, Patrice also incorporates reiki, energy healing and shamanic techniques into her work. She is a regular contributor to the Herbstalk blog and teaches at various locations in Eastern Massachusetts.
Marija Hamed, BSc CHC - is a certified health coach and herbalist with an academic interest in nutrition. Marija deeply appreciates the underutilized value of herbs in nutrition and women’s health. She founded Holistesque.com to educate clients and to further explore and write about the interconnectedness of herbs, nutrition and wellness.
Healing for Action & Liberation
Mary is a lover of the world with a deep connection to nature, the elements, and the divine. She combines plant spirit medicine, energy work and activism to support the empowerment and healing of individuals and the collective. She began her herbal medicine journey in Malawi studying with Anamed while in the Peace Corps and then completed three years of training in plant spirit medicine with the Gaia School of Healing in Vermont. She is an advanced practitioner of Reiki and a trauma informed yoga teacher. She dreams about liberation daily and how to make that a reality for all beings. She collaborates with the Boston Food Forest Collation and the Boston Nature Center to expand access to herbal medicine and has started her own business Healing for Action and Liberation.
Wisdom of Healing
Cindy Hebbard, Master Herbalist, Wellness Educator and Health Coach, has practiced herbalism and using food as medicine for more than 30 years. Her methods for self-healing include a balanced, customized plan using delicious healing foods, simple herbal remedies and mindfulness. Cindy has put her deep exploration of wellness to work by teaching people how they, too, can heal themselves from conditions from severe pain, Lyme, ADHD, autism, and digestive issues to liver, hormonal, skin, sleep, or mental health disorders, and a wide variety of degenerative, chronic and auto-immune conditions. Cindy provides comprehensive Herbal Wellness Consultations, private and group cooking classes, healing retreats, spring cleanse programs, talks, workshops, product development consulting, and more. She offers her services in person throughout much of New England, NY and NJ, and across the planet via phone or skype.
Boston School of Herbal Studies
Madelon Hope has been directing the Boston School of Herbal Studies for the past fourteen years, teaching Herbal Apprenticeships and Advanced Training during that time. As a psychotherapist and an herbalist, she has a particular focus on herbal approaches to anxiety, depression, adrenal exhaustion and immune function. Recently, she has become interested in how to maintain vitality throughout the life span. Madelon has taught at the New England Women's Herbal Conference and at the Northeast Herbal Association annual conference.
Giving Tree Botanicals
Heather teaches "Herbal Actions & Phytochemistry" at the Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism and runs several herbal medicine classes for Johnson State College's popular Wellness & Alternative Medicine major. She now resides in Boston and looks forward to connecting with you. She offers a variety of herbal classes for the public & groups as well as private health consultations from the center of Boston or your location in the Boston area.
The Grounded Goodwife
Velya Jancz-Urban is a teacher, author, former Brazilian dairy farm owner, and expert on New England’s colonial women. Her entertainingly-informative presentation, The Not-So-Good Life of the Colonial Goodwife, is a result of the research completed for her novel, Acquiescence. She has presented at venues throughout the Northeast and teaches a variety of historical/medicinal workshops with her daughter, Ehris. Whooo Eats What?, Velya’s first book in a hands-on science series for children was inspired by her How Cool Is That?! (Hands-On Science) classes. Velya has been married for 34 years and is the mother of two grown children. She has a few too many rescue dogs and cats, is happiest with a fresh stack of library books, loves thrift shops, and is passionate about alternative medicine.
Jade Mountain Wellness
Brendan Kelly has a master’s degree in acupuncture and teaches about Chinese medicine at schools, colleges, universities and conferences around the country. He is a faculty member at Johnson State College in VT and the Academy for Five Element Acupuncture in FL. He has 20 years experience in western herbs, with 12 years in acupuncture and Chinese herbal medicine. He practices acupuncture and Chinese and western herbal medicine full time at the clinic he co-founded, Jade Mountain Wellness, in Burlington, VT. In 2015 he published his first book "The Yin and Yang of Climate Crisis" which presents the deeper, root causes of our warming planet and its connection to our personal and collective health.
Melissa Laurita Kohl
Fungi & Flora Folkschool
Melissa Laurita Kohl runs the Fungi & Flora Folkschool in Peacham, VT, where she offers classes, private lessons and herbal consultations. Renowned herbalist and author, Rosemary Gladstar has this to say about Melissa: “Your light shines so brightly and your enthusiasm and passion are infectious! I would sign up for your class.”
Wild Gather: Hudson Valley School of Herbal Studies
Nicole is a chef, herbalist, and educator. She credits growing up in a Sicilian family, and their relationship to food, for her own love and passion for food as medicine. Over the past twenty years, Nicole's work has linked food, wellness, service and education in various collaborations, organizations, and in her own private practice. She is a co-founder and the Director of Education of Kite’s Nest, an alternative learning center for young people in Hudson, NY. She is also the Culinary Arts Director of the Alimentary Kitchen in Hudson, where she facilitates workshops and experiences that offer a supportive environment for children and teenagers to pursue and develop a relationship to herbalism, wellness, self care, food access and food justice. Across her work -- in her herbalism practice, in the kitchen, or in the classroom -- Nicole creates spaces that foster critical inquiry and systems-thinking, connection to plants and to the natural world, and that speak to the intersections between political, personal, and ecological well-being.
Felix lives in the Connecticut River valley of Western MA, and works with folks of all ages teaching nature connection and wild plant literacy classes. He also works with Help Yourself, a non-profit that designs, plants and maintains community access gardens and orchards in the Valley, free for all to harvest from.
Chris Marano is a clinical and community herbalist living in the Pioneer Valley with over thirty years experience and training in Western, Chinese, and Native American healing traditions. He is founder of Clearpath Herbals, which provides high-quality herbal preparations, and of Clearpath School of Herbal Medicine, dedicated to the teaching of herbalism, holistic health, and Earth-based wisdom and sustainability. Chris also teaches herbalism at UMass and is a Registered Herbalist with the American Herbalist Guild.
The CommonWealth Center for Holistic Herbalism
Ryn's first forays into healing came by way of martial arts, where he saw the difference movement and discipline could make for a person’s health. He found plant medicine as a path to deeper engagement with the balances and rhythms in body, mind, and environment. Ryn has been teaching herbalism, and practicing as a clinical herbalist, since 2011. With Katja Swift, he founded the CommonWealth Center for Holistic Herbalism in Boston, MA. There they both consult with individual clients, run a three-year clinical training program, and offer community classes and workshops. Ryn has written for Plant Healer Magazine and the Northeast Herbal Association Journal, and taught at the Traditions in Western Herbalism conferences, the American Herbalists Guild symposium, IM4US, and Herbstalk. He is also a board member for Health Freedom Action Massachusetts, a coalition working to pass "safe harbor" health freedom legislation to protect the rights of unlicensed practitioners, including herbalists. He is trained as a street medic and Wilderness First Responder.
Emma is a full-spectrum doula and clinical herbalist practicing in Boston, MA. Since its beginnings, she has organized with Boston's abortion doula collective, the Boston Doula Project. Between births and postpartum visits, she likes to spin wool on a drop spindle.
The Eclectic Institute of Aromatherapy and Herbal Studies
Linda Patterson, the director of The Eclectic Institute of Aromatherapy and Herbal Studies, has been teaching throughout New England for over 25 years. Her dynamic style has gained her teaching invitations to all the herbal conferences in the northeast as well as France. Her ever passionate pursuit of knowledge has led her back to school to study the technical aspects of plants to better understand all their complexities.
Fellow Workers Farm
Traci is a community herbalist and medicine maker who forages, grows herbs, and delights in making exquisite bitters. She is committed to promoting problem-solving and critical thinking within the world of herbalism, and loves incorporating movement and meditation into her practice.
Rhode Island native, Jessyloo Rodrigues, grows and curates the Parcel Apothecary Herbal CSA in Providence, RI. Her urban herb farm specializes in tonic herbs and also functions as a cocktail farm. You can find her bartending in Boston under the alias "Dr Gin Medicine Woman" for Vermont distillery Caledonia Spirits.
Chris Rice is an author, holistic health practitioner and certified herbalist from Massachusetts. He has studied plant spirit shamanism for nearly a decade. He is a founding member of The Psychedelic Society of New England and has been featured in Complex magazine.
Ashley Sapir Lathrop
Ashley Sapir Lathrop is an herbalist and educator living below the Shawangunk Mountains in New York. She is passionate about people/plant relationships and the healing shifts that happen when people feel empowered to deeply care for themselves. Ashley has studied with indigenous healers in Nicaragua, as well as stewards of Traditional Western Herbalism here in the States. She finds great joy in gardening, wildcrafting with her family, teaching, and meeting with people in her clinical practice at a Midwifery Center.
Wild Carrot Herbs
Mischa Schuler is a playful soul, living and practicing herbal medicine in Portland, Maine. She specializes in anxiety support, as well as women's reproductive health and children's digestive, respiratory and skin health. Her herbal apothecary and practice, Wild Carrot Herbs, is stocked with powders, tinctures and teas, which she formulates specifically to individual needs with the intention of healing the vitality of underlying tissues so that acute and chronic conditions resolve without recurrence. She offers herbal classes and apprenticeships locally.
Cassandra helps gardens and people to grow together. She has a small gardening business and practices as a clinical herbalist in Southern Maine. She loves adventures in the wilderness with her dog (Jack Pine), medicine-making, and always learning more.
The CommonWealth Center for Holistic Herbalism
Katja has been teaching herbalism and practicing as a clinical herbalist since 1996. For ten years she owned and worked a 150-acre certified organic farm in central Vermont. During this time she taught monthly at the local coop, and as a guest lecturer at Dartmouth Medical School and the UVM Medical School. In 2011, she and her husband Ryn Midura founded the CommonWealth Center for Holistic Herbalism, a vitalist school with a three-year clinical training program. In addition to this program, they offer a one-year community herbalist program and community classes and workshops. Katja serves as adjunct faculty at MCPHS University and Northeastern University, teaching vitalism and Traditional Western Herbalism to 100 PharmD students each year. Katja is also trained as a street medic and Wilderness First Responder, and has run in the streets or coordinated dispatch for actions in Boston, New York, and Ferguson. Katja writes regularly for Plant Healer Magazine and the Journal of the Northeast Herbal Association, among others. She has presented at the Traditions in Western Herbalism conferences, the American Herbalists Guild symposium, IM4US, and Herbstalk.
The Grounded Goodwife
Ehris grew up in a family passionate about holistic medicine. She is a certified Ingham Method reflexologist through the International Institute of Reflexology. Ehris has attained Foundations of Herbalism and Practices & Protocols certification through Twin Star Herbal Education, and is continuing her studies at the New England School of Homeopathy. Additionally, she is a Flower Essence Therapy practitioner. She teaches a variety of herbal workshops throughout New England. A graduate of Western Connecticut State University with a B.A. in Anthropology/Sociology, she is also a certified ESL teacher. Ehris enjoys beekeeping, tending her organic vegetable and herb gardens, and working in her apothecary.
Valerie Vande Panne
Valerie Vande Panne is an award-winning journalist and former news editor of High Times magazine.
Iris Weaver, M.A., is a Shamanic Herbalist and Foraging Instructor. She leads plant walks on finding edible and medicinal plants in the city and countryside and ways to use them. She teaches workshops on making and using your own herbal medicines and natural herbal skincare products. Her focus is on using locally-available and sustainable plants for taking care of your health. She teaches classes in connecting with the spirit and energy of plants to have your own direct connection with your helping plants. She is based on on the North Shore of Boston, MA.
Abigail has spent over a decade working in local agriculture and gardening. She is an educator and garden specialist for Home Harvest, planting vegetable gardens, fruit trees and berry patches and working with clients to grow their own food and medicine. She believes in connecting people to nature through cultivating gardens and encouraging all to build relationships with plants.
HERBSTALK and Flowerfolk Herbs
Steph Zabel is the founder of Herbstalk, and an herbalist and educator in the Boston area. She holds a Master’s degree in ethnobotany through which she studied traditional herbal knowledge in urban settings. For over a decade she has combined her passions for natural medicine, community outreach, and education. Prior to becoming a full-time herbalist Steph worked for many years in the botanical and ethnobotanical collections of the Harvard University Herbaria. Her current work focuses on teaching practical & hands-on herbal classes and offering dynamic wellness sessions for her clients.