Symposium Class Descriptions

Advanced Neurological Case Studies

Neurological cases, often rewarding for herbalists, present a clear choice between conventional medicine, which usually treats symptomatically, and alternative medicine, which can bring long-term results. We will dive into treatments for Alzheimer’s and other dementias, epilepsy, migraine, neuromuscular disorders (multiple sclerosis), neuropathy, neuralgia and developmental disorders.

An Integrative Approach to Lyme

Lyme Disease is here to stay; we now are encountering epidemic numbers. We will discuss herbs used for patients with Lyme as well as some innovative modalities.

Beneficial Herb-Drug Interactions

Herb-drug interactions have a bad reputation. The truth is that these interactions are largely positive: some herbs can synergize with drugs to increase their efficacy or alleviate their side effects. We'll explore the interactions that are worth paying attention to and strategies for leveraging them for better clinical outcomes.

Bioflavonoids in Cardiovascular Disease

Go beyond hawthorn to understand how the bioflavonoid family of constituents is essential to heart health. More than “antioxidants”, they affect the rate at which arterial walls thicken, improve capillary integrity, balance fluid exchange, bolster endothelial thickness and resistance, and impact hormones like renin and atrial natriuretic peptide. Daily intake is essential to reverse cardiovascular mortality and morbidity.

Botanical Influences on Cognition

This session will explore plants including Huperzia, Vinca, Salvia, and Galanthus that affect cholinergic neurotransmission to treat Alzheimer's disease and other types of dementia. Herbs that offer neuroprotection, and classic Chinese herbal formulas will also be detailed. Dr. Stansbury will share formulation ideas, and offer clinical guidance on working with dementia patients and their families.

Building an Herbal Oncology and Chronic Care Dispensary

Attendees will learn best practices for maintaining a quality oncology-oriented dispensary as part of a busy practice. We’ll discuss in-depth avoiding pitfalls in product selection, medicines to make, shipping, billing, record keeping, and managing costs.  Students will learn how to market to clients so they want to purchase from you, their practitioner, and how to further client-practitioner trust.

Caffiends! The History and a Review of the Science of Caffeine-Containing Herbs

We’ll cover the history, science, and utility of coffee, tea, yerba mate, kola nut, and guarana. We’ll discuss studied effects and known benefits of caffeine-containing herbs on energy, alertness, sleep cycles, REM and delta-sleep, and health. Learn when to recommend based on energetics and known side effects. Learn the science of withdrawal, possible deleterious effects during pregnancy, potential harmful effects of long-term use, and safe dosages.

Caregiving for the Cancer Patient

Students will become familiar with herbal and integrative strategies to help cancer patients dealing with conventional treatment, surgery, and other approaches. Since cancer affects all organ systems, we’ll discuss how we can protect and support the immune and cardiovascular systems and improve quality of life. Specific herbs, blends, and extracts will be focused on and the role of the practitioner is central to this class.

Comprehensive Cancer Care

We will discuss an overview of patients with cancer utilizing different modalities, including dietary and exercise lifestyle changes, vita-nutrients, and botanical medicine. The lecture will focus on commonly used herbs used against cancer as well as some herbs which are lesser known.

Creating a Community Herb Clinic - Mentoring Practitioners and Serving the People

Training herbalist in our sliding-scale family practice clinic has been profoundly inspiring.  An overview of training includes: guiding the energy for herbalists to recognize their skills, stretch beliefs, learn boundaries, formulate, make preparations in the apothecary, and gently critique and build confidence for their own practice.  Twenty-five years of running herbal clinics has taught amazing lessons and complete wonder and amazement at the versatility of people and the power of encouragement.

Creating a Successful Herbal Apprenticeship Program

After creating and instituting her seasonal Wild Apprenticeship Program, Abby has learned much about the creation process and what forms a successful herbal apprenticeship program, along with what doesn't. She'll share her tips and techniques, from her own experience, on the process, important considerations upon creation, and how to reassess and restructure for continued growth.

Creating an Effective Herbal First Aid Kit

Join Sam as he shares insights about herbal first aid kits based on over two decades of experience. He will cover basic formulas and simples that can be applied at home or in post-disaster environments. Sam will share insights on containers, first aid gear, packs, and best methods of herbal preservation and administration.

Cross-Cultural Perspectives on Healing: Films & Discussion

Screening of Beyond Recognition (2014), a half-hour documentary on an Indigenous woman's quest to create a land trust in the SF/Bay Area to protect her culture and sacred sites from desecration. The film will be followed by a work-in-progress sample of director Michelle Steinberg's latest film, Met(t)a, on immigrant and refugee experiences in the health care system. A facilitated audience discussion will follow to explore themes in both films in relation to the work of community herbalists. More information on the films: and

Direct Medicine

Join us on an herb walk with a big nod to the wild weeds, the direct source of energy medicine. We’ll cover harvesting for teas, dried juices, and longer-term storage and the ethnobotany, botany, and evolutionary biology of each plant and tree plus clinical experience. Dr. Hobbs’ 40+ years of ‘provings’ and experience will guide you through the chemistry, pharmacology, and historical folk uses of the plants.

Ethically Wildcrafting Herb Walks

What does ethical wildcrafting mean? How do we teach sustainable practices in our herbal community? This plant walk will discuss the wildcrafting checklist, highlighting questions you should ask before you pick. We will also highlight the UpS At-Risk tool, a series of five things you should know about the plant before you buy. This is a practical, hands-on walk for herb school teachers, entrepreneurs, and community members.

Forest Botanicals and Agroforestry Systems for Conservation of Plants and Support for Stewards/Farmers

This class will outline lessons learned from the collaboration of Mountain Rose Herbs and United Plant Savers, while following the stories of American Ginseng (Panax quinquefolius) and Quassia amara. We will share first-hand experiences launching the forest grown program with American ginseng and a new project with Quassia amara in Costa Rica. As herbalists, owners of apothecaries, and herbal consumers we must work together to ensure that not only are we healing with herbs but that we are also healing the planet.

Garden Medicine: Top Herbs for Community Resilience and Emergency Preparedness

When a natural or political disaster hits, how will you take care of your own? In such situations, herbalists will be on the front lines of health care. Herbalists can prepare with medicinal gardens to bolster self sufficiency and community resilience. We’ll look at ways to prioritize herbs for planting, top herbs for the medicinal “victory garden”, and ways to prepare and organize in your community.

Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is a Symptom, Not a Disease

Sam will discuss causes and pathologies surrounding GERD and share effective herbal and nutritional approaches to help the body rapidly heal and overcome it. Some mechanisms Sam will discuss are hyperacidity, the liver and lower esophageal sphincter, hiatal herniation, stress, nutrition, and herbs. Sam will share techniques to move from gastric acid inhibitors like proton pump inhibitors to herbal solutions.

Grazing 101: A Guide for Humans

Beginning with a discussion on animal behaviors and how plants facilitate adaptation, we will then embark on a proper grazing session. This course will travel at a somewhat brisk pace through a wooded/vegetative area, stop regularly, and finally reconvene in a discussion about the sensations and results felt by grazing participants.

Healing the Womb

In this class, we will focus on how to promote healthy moon times/menstrual cycles by utilizing vaginal steams, teas, and tinctures. Laura will demonstrate how to administer a vaginal steam safely. She will have handouts available with steam formulas and simple, effective formulas for teas and tinctures that support menstrual cycle health.

Healthy Grieving Guide to Death and Dying

We’ll focus on supporting and repairing the broken heart and soul through deep loss and learn formulas and routines to guide, buttress, and reinforce a broken foundation. How we move (or don’t) through the amniotic-like fluid that clouds our being during grieving defines our health. A clinical herbalist-Ayurvedic practitioner-bodyworker-long time front-line Earth First! activist shares her perspective.

Herbalists & Health Freedom: The Impact of Laws and Regulations on Herbal Practices

Many states have professional occupational laws which leave practicing herbalists at risk for criminal charges of unlicensed practice. Diane educates about these laws and works to support groups that are changing these laws so that herbalists and other practitioners can have exemptions from practice acts. Learn how to become involved in protecting health freedom rights.

Herbs for Anger, Fear, and Trauma: Prevention, First Aid, and Aftercare

Intense emotions emerge during times of political and environmental change and can lead to imbalances or increased resilience. Recognizing the vitality of intense emotions can enhance herbal protocols. Two long-term herbal action medics will share clinical experiences, case studies, and materia medica to help people heal and prevent first-hand and secondary trauma, burn-out, and persisting emotional imbalances.

Holistic Treatment Protocol for Cervical Dysplasia

We will discuss the definitions of cervical dysplasia, common allopathic medical treatments, and contributing risk factors, and share a holistic treatment protocol including nutritional supplements, herbal medicines, and a case history.

Immunological and Neurological Implications of Gluten Intolerance

Gluten intolerance is frequently genetically determined and clients present with huge variations in symptoms: immunological disruptions, response to infections and allergies, sleep, brain fog, and neurological disorders. Changes to the blood-brain-barrier, leaky gut, and malabsorption are discussed with herb protocols and case histories. Appropriate testing, lifestyle management, and monitoring will be discussed, along with the connection to autoimmune conditions.

Initiating Lifestyle Changes in Chronic Illness

Although herbs are effective in managing chronic conditions like heart disease, obesity, diabetes, and COPD, the key to long-term resolution is lifestyle change, a difficult obstacle to address. Instead of using an herb to treat a specific disease, a practitioner might find greater success in affecting the lifestyle. We’ll cover “red flags” in patient compliance and ways to keep clients on track and strengthen trust.

Medicinal Lichens

Lichens - organisms consisting of fungal and algal tissues working together as a functional unit - have a long history of use as medicinal herbs, but are often overlooked by modern herbalists. This lecture will explore the medicinal uses of several lichens, including usnea and Icelandic moss.

Medicinal Plants of the Pacific Northwest

Participants will learn the medicinal uses of herbs growing throughout the Pacific Northwest. Learn the plants’ Latin and common names, parts used, preparations and dosages, and contraindications. Christa has cultivated, harvested, prepared medicines, formulated, and administered herbs from this area in clinical practice for 20+ years.

More than Skin Deep: Expressions from Within

How do we maintain our main protective covering and keep it healthy? What does it mean when someone has a chronic skin condition? We will look at treating chronic skin conditions like eczema topically and internally with herbs and explore various actions with a focus on alternative and unusual ideas for topical treatments.

Mushroom Medicine: Latest News, Controversies, and Uses

Author of the groundbreaking text, Medicinal Mushrooms, Dr. Hobbs will discuss the historical and modern uses of fungi for medicine, and their place in modern integrative medicine. Expect a thorough, succinct review of the science and traditional use of widely-researched mushrooms (especially turkey tails, shiitake, cordyceps, maitake, and chaga), based on years of on-going clinical practice.

Natural Management of Methylation Defects (Nutrigenomics) – Unzipping the Genes

Adequate methylation is necessary for good gene expression, viral immunity, neurological health, faithful cell reproduction, hormone regulation, moderating the inflammatory cascade, detoxification of the liver, checking histamine production, formation of neurotransmitters, etc. Inadequate methylation worsens many diseases and increases incidence of infections and cancer. Interpretation of genetic testing, case histories, recovery, and forming sensible protocols will be covered.

Northwest Nervines for the Chronically Agitated

In today’s hectic multi-tasking culture, herbs that calm the nervous system and offset stress are some of the most popular. This class will cover the general uses of these tranquilizing and muscle relaxing herbs, ranging from insomnia and circular thoughts to cramps and sprains. We will explore skullcap, valerian, and pedicularis with case histories and a liberal sprinkling of humor.

Nourishing and Moving Blood as Herbal Actions in the Clinic

This presentation explores the assessment of blood-related conditions and treatment strategies that lead one to select herbs on the basis of actions. Blood moving, nourishing, vasodilation, constriction, and fluid transformation are some of the strategies used to address the selection of appropriate agents based on their actions.

Opiate Cessation: A Novel Approach

Opiate overuse and abuse are serious and widespread health problems. This lecture will touch on some of the neurological, psychological, and social mechanisms through which opiate addiction self-perpetuates, then explore a novel approach to support patients who are transitioning off opiates, with the mood-stabilizing and drug-metabolizing effects of St. John’s wort.

Plant Walk: Gardens Within Gardens

Oregon Garden serves as the final stage of Silverton’s sewage water treatment plant, includes display gardens showcasing the agricultural and horticultural prowess of Oregon, and is a community gathering place and a center for garden education. It exemplifies how gardens offer communities a beautiful path for cultivating social capital and engaging nature’s green blessings. This will be ‘more than an herb walk’.

Plant Walks Change Society for the Better

Plants walks help define your relationship with nature. Understanding and using local plants for food and medicine frees us from the binds of monetized healthcare and sexily advertised processed food substances. No matter how we portray this class, plant walks and herbalism have always been a type of radical freedom by definition.

Plants of Protection: Guarding Against Trauma, Grief, and Discrimination with Herbal Allies

We live in a world that is not always kind, fair, or just. Over the course of human history, plants have always been a part of our quest to overcome these negative forces. In this session, we will explore the effects of trauma on the mind, body, and psyche and five classical herbs that were used to protect us from life's hardships.

Practical Clinical Applications of Native Northwest Flora

In this walk, Eugene, Oregon-based herbalist Jakob will guide participants through a survey of some of Oregon’s diverse array of medicinal plants with insights on harvesting, pharmacy, and applications for home, clinic, and wildland emergency use.

Rebirth: Abortion and Miscarriage Care

Herbal protocols can play an important role in elective or spontaneous post-abortion regimens. Preparing ahead of time (if elective) and taking care of the body afterwards (whether spontaneous or elective) can make a huge difference in long term “reproductive” health. We will cover protocols and herbs to rebuild and heal affected tissue, support hormonal balance, and address emotional needs.

Red Flags for Herbalists: Working with Heavy Substance Users and the Homeless

Herbalists who work with this population often encounter serious health problems that require urgent medical referral. We will review some of the most important red flags that herbalists should be able to identify and use to seek help, including universal precautions, wound infections, overdose, withdrawal syndromes, and breathing and circulatory emergencies.

Solidarity in the Clinic

How can we address the imbalances in power present between practitioners and clients in a clinical setting? How can we take into account the social, cultural, and economic conditions that give rise to or exacerbate our clients’ suffering? How do we call in plants as allies in peoples’ struggle for justice and liberation? This lecture will be a theoretical and practical exploration of these core questions.

Street Action Herbal Support

Resistance is fertile. This class will help prepare herbalists to go out onto the streets, support others, and take care of themselves herbally. We will look specifically at building mobile first aid kits and what happens if you find yourself in a volatile situation.

Taking Herbalism Out of the Broom Closet: How to Make Herbal Healing Commonplace

Natural healing with herbs has shouldered the mantle of "alternative" medicine long enough. The hosts of Real Herbalism Radio and The Practical Herbalist explain why herbal medicine needs to integrate into the home and hospital as they share their experiences in making it happen.

Tales from an Integrative Free Clinic: Practical Suggestions and Strategic Discussion

Since 2009, Consultas Naturistas nutrition/herbal medicine program has provided free, Spanish/English bilingual, integrative health care to low-income individuals. Founder Michelle will review their model and discuss common conditions and treatment strategies, supporting participants in bringing similar programs to their communities.

Ten Highly Effective Herbal Treatments for Common Health Problems

Variations of these ten herbal extracts and tea formulas have been used on thousands of patients in Christa’s clinic and can be modified for individuals. Participants will review numerous compounds for treating: anxiety and depression, adrenal dysfunction, pain and muscle spasms, menstrual cramping, pre-menstrual syndrome, sinus infections, allergies, lower respiratory infections, lymphatic stagnation, and digestive disorders.

The Free Clinic Herbalist

This class will discuss what it is like to practice as an herbalist in an integrated free clinic, including stocking the apothecary, clinical skills, patient compliance, logistics, donations, tools, and working with care practitioners from other modalities. We will discuss working with patients that have not previously used herbal medicine. The goal is to inspire herbalists to do this work while covering some details and possible difficulties.

The Herbalist Street Medic

A street medic is someone who offers assistance at protests, demonstrations, encampments, and similar situations. An ‘herbal’ street medic also offers various types of herbal medicines at these events. This class will look at different ways of assessing health needs and discussing various individual herbs and formulas. This practical class is for those already helping or interested in taking part at these events.

The Medicine of Cascadia: A Bioregional Herb Walk

Western Cascadia’s temperate climate offers great growing conditions for both weedy and bioregionally adapted herbs. Using the gardens as a laboratory, we’ll explore some of the bioregion’s most iconic and broadly useful plant medicines, discuss how they’re used in clinical practice, and get a decent dose of Vitamin N.

The Wildcrafter's Toolkit

Wildcrafting is an important part of an herbal practice and an affordable way to stock our apothecary, but it can be daunting. Abby will demonstrate identifying wild plants using basic botany and the patterns, or family, method. She'll discuss which plants can be worked with therapeutically, how to prepare them, and how to wildcraft safely and ethically. Resources will be provided. (Plant Walk)

Treating Late-Stage Neurological Lyme Disease: Western Herbs and Chinese Medicine

Using Chinese medicine’s neurological tradition, we’ll discuss treating the symptoms of Lyme - tremors, seizures and migraines - and their causes. We’ll talk about the progression of Lyme and how the initial tick bite can manifest neurologically. We’ll cover case studies, western herbs, diet and lifestyle, and research from Brendan’s book, including how Lyme mirrors climate change.

Understanding and Treating the Roots Causes of Cancer: Western Herbs and Chinese Medicine

We’ll talk about how the overgrowth of unhealthy cells can be understood through the Chinese medicine tradition of The School of Heat. We’ll cover western herbs, diet, and lifestyle strategies to address underlying causes. Brendan will present case studies from clients of all stages and discuss research from his new book, including the link between the rates of cancer in the US and global warming.

Western Herbal Medicine in Primary Care: Considerations for Practice in a Free Integrative Medical Clinic

What are the considerations for the practice of herbal medicine and clinical nutrition within a free, integrative, mobile primary care unit primarily serving the needs of the houseless, economically disadvantaged, undocumented, and other marginalized demographics? The proposed discussion will be led by members of Eugene Occupy Medical.