Symposium Class Descriptions

Appalachian Herbs: Pennsylvania and Ohio

Elm, Elder, Witch Hazel, Wild Cherry, Sassafras, Sasparilla, Mulberry, Butternut, Balsam Fir, and Poke in the wild, and garden plants such as Apothecary Rose, Baptisia, Horehound, Tobacco, Passionflower, and many others have a rich history of use in Western Pennsylvania and Ohio. Plants selected for this talk are those that are either of high importance in medicinal plant conservation, endemic to the area, or have interesting lesser-known medicinal uses.

Presenter: Heather Irvine
Arboviruses and Neuroinvasive Complications: West Nile, Chikungunya, and Zika

We will offer a protocol of herbal, nutritional, and lifestyle support which may moderate acute symptoms or prevent complications of West Nile, Chikungunya, or Zika viruses, and provide a protocol for neuroinvasive complications of WNV which may be useful also for CHIKV or ZIKV. This is based on a review of 30 case studies of WNV and complications from Colorado (2003-2012), and a group of CHIKV patients from Nicaragua with chronic arthralgias.

Presenter: Paul Bergner
Bitters are Better

This lecture will explore a combination of traditional and modern research approaches to the use of bitter herbs. Examining bitter receptors and their physiological responses reveals that bitters are much more than stimulators of gastric secretions but have a wide range of effects which can be enhanced by the combination of bitters in tincture formulas.

Presenter: Danny O'Rawe
Brain Pain, The Challenge of Migraines: The Herbal/Nutritional Treatment of a Chronic Neuro-Vascular Disorder

Approximately 10-14% of the worlds population suffer from Migraines. These recurrent headaches can be disabling and severely affect the quality of life. Orthodox treatments can work for some migraineurs, but sadly for many they simply are not effective. Part of the reason for this is there are different types of migraines and each type and each person often needs a specific tailored approach to treatment. In this class we will discuss the underlying causes and triggers of neuro-inflammation, the orthodox treatments, the energetics of migraines, and botanical and nutritional supplements to reduce migraine pain and frequency.

Presenter: David Winston
Bronchiectasis: A Case Study

Bronchiectasis is a pulmonary disease caused by the abnormal and permanent distortion of the conducting bronchi. Using a case from my practice, this lecture reviews key herbs and formulae used to treat bronchiectasis that significantly improved respiratory function and immune response, reduced antibiotic and steroidal drug dependence, and increased overall quality of life. These treatment protocols may be modified and applied to the treatment of other chronic pulmonary diseases.

Cannabis: A Treatment for Lyme Disease

The signs and symptoms of Lyme disease and tick-borne illness can negatively impact a person’s quality of life. The treatments often used to mitigate them come with their own risks. There are better options. In this lecture, Constance Therapeutics’ Constance Finley will address cannabis oil as an alternative to traditional treatments and explain her vision for a new approach to medicine that provides the best possible treatment options for Lyme.

Presenter: Constance Finley
Clinical Aromatherapy and Infectious Disease

We will begin our class on the foundations of Aromatherapy by giving an overview of historical uses from several cultures. We will discuss both plant and human evolution and how it relates to human physiology. Specific essential oils will be categorized by their Western and Chinese herbal categories. The use of essential oils and aromatherapy for infectious disease will be discussed in depth. Participants will be able to confidently use essential oils in their practices after this class.

Presenter: Jessica Baker
Clinical Use of Native Appalachian Plants for the Female Reproductive System

Native herbs of the Appalachian mountains include an unusually large number of plants with an affinity for the female reproductive system. This lecture offers a survey of more than fifteen herbs, their energetics within the framework of Traditional Chinese Medicine, and clinical applications for the treatment of common symptom patterns such as dysmenorrhea, amenorrhea, infertility, fibroids, endometriosis, and related symptoms of depression, anxiety, insomnia, and mood swings.

Complimentary Interventions for People Living with HIV/AIDS in the Gay Community

Living with HIV/AIDS has become a significant experience for many men in the gay community. The impact of anti-retroviral therapies has been literally lifesaving, however, they come with acute and extended use issues. We will review demographics, current conventional treatments, and explore the consequences of acute as well as long-term exposure to these medications. We will consider how herbal supports can further increase wellness, quality of life, and lifespan.

Presenter: Jerry Angelini
Creative Herbal Formulating: Seeing the Patterns and Building New Ones

We will review some classic herbal formulas and consider how they work- from physiomedicalist herbal pairs to basic TCM patterns and Cherokee 7 herb. Using actual cases and conditions, we will discuss why we select certain herbs to join together in an herbal formula. Learn how to think differently and build a materia medica with formulating in mind.

Presenter: Leslie Williams
Dancing With the Moon: Using Herbal Medicine to Support Female Fertility

The path to motherhood is often a winding one. In this class, you'll learn how to support women on this journey. Topics covered will include the use of metaphor and symbolism in healing, herbal medicines that apply to each stage of the fertility cycle, and how to encourage biological rhythms as a therapeutic strategy.

Presenter: Camille Freeman
Elderberry, the Keeper of Boundaries: The Power of Elderberry for Infections

For centuries, the Elderberry has had mythical powers to ward off evil and promote
healing. In this talk, we look at the historical past and combine it with modern clinical
research and clinical uses. In the last ten years, dozens of research articles have been
published on Elderberry berry focusing on its antiviral and antibacterial properties. I
present new research summaries about this new information as well as historical
and clinical uses to bring Elderberry into modern super-fruit status.

Presenter: Glen Nagel
Herb Walk With Betzy Bancroft

Meet the local plants! This herb walk will ramble around the edges, discussing the identification, medicinal uses, harvest, and preparation of the herbs and trees we encounter.

Presenter: Betzy Bancroft
Herbal Considerations for Shingles Treatment

Nearly 1 out of every 3 people in the United States will develop shingles in their lifetime. Also known as zoster or herpes zoster, shingles is a painful skin rash caused by varicella zoster virus, the same virus that causes chickenpox. Many herbs, topical and internal, can help soothe the shingles experience, shorten the duration of its expression, and assist in its recovery. A case history will be presented.

Presenter: Mimi Hernandez
Herbal Healing for Joints

Aching, stiff, stabbing, or otherwise painful joints plague many of our clients; most are offered daily painkillers, steroids, and surgery. Herbal medicine provides an alternative means for joint healing, pain reduction, and improved function. Utilizing teachings from martial arts and Chinese and western herbology, we will consider external and internal remedies for strains, sprains, tears, and breaks. This clinically friendly class includes full explanations of how to apply these teachings.

Presenter: Susan Kramer
Herbal Vitalism: A Unified Paradigm, Exploring the Energetics of Western Herbs Through the Development of Plant Personalities

Plants have the ability to show us through their expression the very essence of life. I will
create a representation of the properties of specific western herbs which will give
pictures of the personality of the herbs. This presentation will explore plants using
signatures, temperatures, chemistry, and herbal actions to provide a complete
understanding of the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of plants. This talk will
give the herbal practitioner a comprehensive insight into prescribing botanical medicine.

Presenter: Glen Nagel
Infectobesity: Emerging Research, Traditional Wisdom

With novel evidence emerging that at least one kind of viral infection causes obesity, is there new hope for alternative interventions to make a difference where public health initiatives and the private diet industry have failed? We think so! This session will explore the research at the cutting edge where metabolic health meets infectious disease with a focus on how to apply this knowledge when assessing and creating protocols for clients. A TCM background is recommended but not required.

Presenter: Melanie St. Ours
Kratom: Fear, Facts, and Effective Usages

Learn about the controversial Southeast Asian plant known as Kratom. This plant is being used effectively for chronic pain and withdrawal from opioid drugs as well as many other unique, chronic issues. I will cover uses, risks, adverse events, processing, growing, and sources of the various strains of Kratom.

Liver Lovin': A Physiology Refresher

In this session we'll take a deep dive into the physiology of the liver, exploring topics such as the immune functions of the liver, detoxification and CYP 450 enzymes, formation and excretion of bile, and more. We’ll also discuss how herbs may affect these pathways. Please plan to share your favorite liver-supporting protocols as we work through several case studies together.

Presenter: Camille Freeman
Mast Cell Activation Syndrome: Identification, Explanation, and Treatment Strategy

Mast Cell Activation is a complex illness that develops due to the over-activation of mast cells. The disease process may be perpetuated by medication interactions, infection, genetic modifications to glutathione conjugation and methylation, heavy metal load, and nutrient deficiencies. The herbalist can help manage symptoms and levels of histamine, as well as address root triggers and perpetuators of the illness.

Presenter: Rebecca Snow
Medicinal Tree and Plant Walk With Leslie Williams

Trees are powerful and often easily sourced local medicine in many realms and we often overlook their strengths for herbal healing. We will walk among trees and identify them and discuss what parts of trees to use - twig, leaf, bark, bud, flower, and root - and how to responsibly use trees in our apothecary. One tree can hold a wide variety of healing depending on time and temperature of decoction, on solvents, season, and on the specific tree. We will practice seeing trees and improving tree identification skills. Trees are an excellent path to using more local herbs so we will explain simple herbal formulas using trees instead of imported herbs.

Presenter: Leslie Williams
Medicine of the Soul: The Ritual Use of Plants

Herbs can be used not only as physical medicines, but ritual/spiritual medicines as well. We will explore the ceremonial use of herbs in Native American, European, African-American, and other ancient and traditional  cultures. Plants can be used as incense, baths, amulets, teas, entheogens, beverages, foods, and paints to grow our spirits, heal our souls, enhance dreaming, improve our luck, clear negative energy, and protect us from malignant influences.

Presenter: David Winston
Northern Appalachian Forest Botanicals: A Guided Forest Walk

For this walk, we will go for a non-strenuous forest hike at nearby Laurel Hill State Park (we will coordinate car-pooling to this location, about 15 minutes away) in search of Appalachian forest medicines. Botanist Eric Burkhart (of Penn State University) will guide us as we discuss field identification, biology and ecology, and ethnobotany of plants we encounter on the walk.

Presenter: Eric Burkhart
Nourishing Our Caregiving Roots: Plant-Based Ways to Care for Ourselves and Others

This interactive, evidence-based seminar provides herbalists and other health care providers with seasonal, plant-based strategies for promoting self-care. The session provides a framework for developing and implementing an individualized plan for using seasonal foods, herbs, and lifestyle modification. Participants will examine case studies and discuss plans while applying the concepts presented. The presentation concludes with a ritual affirming the commitment of participants to embrace optimal health in themselves and others.

Presenter: Vicki Ransom
Novel Influenza and Herbal Medicine: The Globe-Trotting Virus

As it makes its turns around the world, influenza visits us as one of the most common human viruses. Through its drifting and shifting it is able to re-infect us yearly, and at times can become more pathogenic in some epidemics. Learn about the virus itself and its effect in the human body, and many of the strategies we have to support the body through a novel or common influenza infection.

Presenter: Bevin Clare
Novel Mushroom Compounds as Antimicrobial, Neuro-regenerative, and Immune Modulating

Worldwide reserach continues to unlock novel compounds in every part of the mushroom organism. We will explore several species including Reishi, Chaga, Cordyceps, Lion's Mane, Turkey Tail, and Agarikon. These mushrooms and compounds may have beneficial impact on various aspects of health including reducing pathogenic microorganism load, increasing neurological regenerative activity and modulating multiple aspects of immune response. We'll review the basics of gut immune response and general information of mushroom activity.

Presenter: Jerry Angelini
Perfect Storm – The Tissue State Environments That Lead to Infections

To observe patterns of disease we need to observe patterns in nature first in order to grasp their harmonies and disharmonies. Winds that dry, waters that swell, heat that rises, and cold that depresses are all vital expressions of nature that play out in our organs, joints, and tissues. After a brief look at the Six Tissue States of Traditional Western Herbalism, we will focus on those imbalances that create the right environment for infections to take hold. Instead of focusing on the antigen/antibody, this approach corrects the underlying terrain that gives rise to low immunity and thus recurrent infections.

Presenter: Kathleen Maier
Phytochemistry for the Integrative Herbalist

Integrative herbalists use phytochemical terms to declare something about the chemistry of medicinal plants, but how savvy are you about what these terms really mean? Would you be able to recognize compounds of one class from another? Do you know the range, therapeutic to poisonous, of the actions of compounds in medicinal classes such as the alkaloids? Are you prepared to talk about herbs to someone who does know?

Presenter: Heather Irvine
Plant Walk With Kathleen Maier: Establishing Plant Relations

This experiential class will teach simple techniques for developing intimate relationships with the plants around us. We will employ techniques such as wide angle vision, sketching, organoleptics, journaling, and other methods in order to understand the depth of the relationships that are available to us with plants. We will also pay tribute to Goethe and his study of plant morphology.

Presenter: Kathleen Maier
Redefining Trauma: An Herbal Approach to Healing Deep Wounds

This class will inspire all herbalists to have the confidence to work with those that have experienced trauma or that have PTSD. Working with classical Chinese theories on Shen (spirit, consciousness), this class explores trauma within the context of Daoism, the 5 Elements, and herbalism. Several categories of herbs will be discussed, from nervines to herbs that nourish blood and calm the spirit. Teas, essential oils, and elixirs will be shared.

Presenter: Jessica Baker
Relief from Hormone Hell: Herbal Support for PMS and Perimenopause

Get up close and personal with the female reproductive cycle and learn how to use herbs to manage imbalances including raging PMS, perimenopause symptoms, mood swings, brain fog, cramps, infertility, and period irregularities. Learn how to craft effective customized formulas.

Presenter: Maria Noel Groves
Sacred Plants and Secret Places of the Grand Canyon

The Grand Canyon is an iconic landscape - a dazzling beauty in an untamed wilderness often referred to as the Vault of Heaven. I have hiked the Grand Canyon, rafted on the Colorado River, and ridden horses and mules on treacherous narrow trails. I have taken bumpy helicopter rides in torrential rainstorms to join science river trips with the Hualapai Tribe. Utilizing Power Point and pressed plant specimens, I will introduce you to the people who have called the Canyon home for more than 2,000 years.

Presenter: Phyllis Hogan
Safely Combining Herbs and Pharmaceuticals

With more Americans seeking herbal therapies while taking pharmaceutical drugs, it’s our duty to serve our clients and help them feel better without putting them at a greater risk of harm. Become aware of the most common herb-drug interactions, alternate herbs, and tools to research and assess the risk of interactions. We’ll discuss safety, ethics, and suggestions for transitioning from pharmaceuticals to herbs, including how to foster good herbalist-doctor-client relationships.

Presenter: Maria Noel Groves
Seven Deadly Infections: Infection Control for Herbalists

Superbugs are on the rise. Do you know how to protect yourself and your clients? Learn the '7 most deadly infections' and the standard precautions that would limit or prevent the spread of these diseases (and others like them) if they made their way into your clinic. We will also cover misconceptions about infectious disease, herbal adjuncts to standard precautions, and considerations for working with unvaccinated clients.

Presenter: Melanie St. Ours
Southern and Appalachian Folk Medicine

Join Phyllis as she presents a brief history of the origins of Southern and Appalachian Folk Medicine and an overview of the Southern Blood Types, which include blood patterns, movement, textures, temperatures, and tastes, as well as the four elements and the four tastes. We’ll also discuss the general tenets of folk healing and a few traditional herbal formulas.

Presenter: Phyllis Light
Supporting HIV/AIDS With Herbal Interventions

HIV/AIDS has gone through its waves from epidemic to pandemic. There are formidable herbal remedies that could be used in place of conventional therapies such as antibiotics or cough medicines with additional benefits for HIV/AIDS patients. First, supporting through the holistic system and second, increasing quality of life. This lecture will discuss herbal protocols for opportunistic diseases which affect individuals with HIV/AIDS and how herbs can bring inspiration to this population with a cost-effective method.

Presenter: Olatokunboh Obasi
Tacit Knowledge and Herbal Medicine: Where Does Knowledge Come From?

This will focus on deconstructing and reconstructing the knowledge base of traditional herbal medicine.

Presenter: Danny O'Rawe
The Roots of Appalachia: What Every Herbalist Should Know About Sourcing Native Appalachian Medicinal Forest Plants

The adoption of forest-based medicinal plant cultivation (i.e., agroforestry) could provide a mechanism for forest landowners in the eastern United States to generate income and conserve forestlands, while simultaneously addressing native medicinal plant conservation and quality concerns. Quality, pricing, and sustainability will all be discussed along with current labeling initiatives that seek to provide herbalists with source and quality assurances through third-party inspection and verification.


Presenter: Eric Burkhart
There's a Party Going On: How Chemical Ecology Can Help Us Find Good Medicine

Plants make numerous medicinally active chemicals that play multiple roles - conversation starters with symbiotic fungi, frantic voices meant to communicate danger to a whole field of plants, or declarations of war on pathogenic fungi. Many of these plant metabolites are useful as potential medicines. This lecture will explore what triggers their production and how their presence alters the community of life interacting with the plant. We will explore how this communication influences good medicine.

Presenter: Dr. Michael Tims
Treating Childhood Skin Conditions with Botanicals

What is a papule vs. a pustule? What is the difference between an eczema rash and a strep rash? Learn to identify and treat a variety of skin conditions in the infant/child age group. We will review some of the most common skin conditions in this population along with visuals and signs that help distinguish one skin rash from another. We will discuss the causes of these skin rashes and the various ways we can address them from diet to botanicals.

Presenter: Sheila Kingsbury
Understanding Weight Gain and Loss

Join Phyllis for a discussion about weight gain and loss with tips for losing weight, herbs that help support weight loss by addressing underlying imbalances, lifestyle factors that influence weight gain, and supplements which support a healthy weight.

Presenter: Phyllis Light
United Plant Savers: Herbalism Meets Deep Ecology, A Renewed Agenda

Twenty years ago, Rosemary Gladstar knew the time had come to take the stewardship of native medicinals seriously. Since that humble beginning, with numerous incredible officers and Board members since, UpS is forging into areas of conservation like never before. This presentation will chronicle (for those new, budding herbalists) the accomplishments to date of the only medical plant conservation group in the United States, and the exciting projects that are now putting UpS into deep dialogue with world respected organizations. From placement of Hawaiian Sandalwood (Santalum spp) on the At-Risk list, to design and implementation of the Forest Grown Program, to the expansion of the Botanical Sanctuary Network, never before has the response nor the need been so great to preserve and protect our medicines. With herbal supplements reaching $93 billion!! last year, the call to action is very clear.

Presenter: Kathleen Maier
Using Bupleurum-Based Formulas in Infectious Disease

Bupleurum-based formulas and the harmonizing method have been central to Chinese herbal practice for over 2000 years and are methods commonly adopted by Western Clinical Herbalists. This class aims to facilitate a deeper understanding of these formulas, their history, and potential for use in the treatment of chronic and acute infectious disease.

Presenter: Benjamin Zappin
Wen Bing Xue: Infections and the Four Levels of Disease

Wen Bing Xue, a classic of Chinese medicine, addresses contagious infections as common as flu and pneumonia, but also extends to modern virulent epidemics such as swine flu, avian flu, and Ebola. Wen Bing Xue, or Four Levels Analysis, provides a means for assessing and treating people suffering from these infections and adapting the treatment as symptoms change. We will learn to identify these levels and will discuss appropriate herbs.

Presenter: Susan Kramer
What Every Herbalist Should Know About Breastfeeding and Birth

Back to our roots. Where we all began. Breastfeeding-Birthing. Herbs are our best friends during this stage in a woman's life, empowering the modern woman with ancient wisdom.

What to Ask and How to Ask It to Get the Information You Need

This course will teach the best method to be able to formulate the best plan for your client and the way to find the best protocol for your clients. Compliance is everything and this method will allow you to understand what your client needs to heal.

Working with Clients With HIV and AIDS

While significant advances have been made in HIV therapies, there still exists a preponderance of new cases and individuals living with the sequelae of different stages of the disease and earlier forms of treatment. This class will examine different stages of HIV infection, co-infections, other epidemiological common denominators, and sequelae from drug treatment and then look at how to manage or support the health of these conditions with herbal medicine.

Presenter: Benjamin Zappin
Working With the Heavy Cannabis User: Side Effects, Tolerance, Withdrawal Symptoms, and Constitutional Considerations

We will describe the common short and long-term side effects of chronic daily Cannabis use, whether with medical or recreational use, with attention to tolerance, withdrawal symptoms, and long-term constitutional effects. We will also offer a nutritional and herbal protocol to support withdrawal. This is based on a review of 40 cases of daily users from Colorado and Oregon (2010 - 2016).

Presenter: Paul Bergner