teacher bios and course descriptions
Abigail is a Community Herbalist and medicine maker who practices Western Energetic Herbalism. She runs a small, Portland-based herbal medicine business called Spring Creek Herbs and works with people one on one to address the root causes of health issues. Abigail is inspired by Vitalism and folk herbalism traditions in which health care is accessible, is connected to place, and honors each person's unique experience and capacity for healing.
Abigail is a co-founder and herbalist with the People’s Health Clinic of Portland, a multi-modality free clinic serving folks at the crossroads of economic injustice and other systemic oppressions. Having been active for many years in organizing efforts for social and environmental justice, she believes that everyone has a right to compassionate, respectful and empowering health care. Abigail has a deep love of the wild, and is passionate about bringing plants into spaces for healing in the city.
Introduction to Holistic Herbalism and Constitutional Medicine
This class will lay the groundwork for understanding what makes herbalism different from other forms of medicine. Topics covered will include Vitalism, constitutional medicine, energetics, and cultivating a connection with plants. We will discuss Community Health – the notion that we’re all interconnected and therefore our individual and collective healing/liberation is also connected – free clinics, and other ways to make herbalism more accessible.
Herbal Actions and Formulation
Herbs work in a wide variety of ways to heal bruises, assist with nutrient absorption, help us move through heartbreak, and support liver detoxification – just to name a few of their many talents! This class will provide an overview of herbal actions and an introduction to formulation – the art and science of synergizing multiple herbs in a formula to achieve a desired result. We’ll be tasting some herbs, experiencing an array of herbal actions, and exploring how these are used in healing.
Tending to the Heart & Cardiovascular System
This class will apply many of the concepts covered thus far to the heart and cardiovascular system. We’ll talk about:
- Basic cardiovascular system anatomy & physiology
- Common disorders of the cardiovascular system and holistic approaches to these
- Using herbs to work with grief, trauma, depression and our inner world
- Materia Medica of a few key herbs for the heart and cardiovascular system
lara pacheco is a Taíno, Latinx mamita that believes our collective liberation is accessed through decolonizing ourselves by weaving into the web of ancestral medicine. lara directly works through this form of medicine via plants and fungi. When not caring for her family, land, and creatures, lara runs seed and thistle apothecary, an educational resource that cultivates the wild with home and heart-grown medicine. She also co-runs the seasonal wellness clinic, which works to provide access to herbal medicine and massage for marginalized communities, and brown girl rise, a youth empowerment program for young femmes of color.
Decolonizing Herbalism (a 4-part series)
Western society is awash in health advice and the promise of a more healthy you through the consumption of goods and services, but we seem to be sicker. Many people are turning to herbal medicine as one way to reclaim control over their health. There is a modern-day renaissance in herbalism with deep roots and wisdom, but also with its own problematic story of cultural appropriation and oppression. In this four-class series, we will have plants help narrate the story of oppression and better care for ourselves and our communities. Medicine included!
- Dandelion and the footprint of colonialism. We'll learn about colonization, capitalism, eradication of the witch, and the relation in the introduction of the biomedical model.
- Yarrow, Master of Blood. Oral histories and storytelling as avenues to access our own ancestral lineages and celebrate others without appropriation.
- Red root, a native plant. History of western herbalism, transition to the dominant forms of the biomedical model, and the renaissance of the current herbal movement.
- Calendula, sowing seeds for the future. Current models and practices that hold true to the traditions of herbalism and how we can best become our own health advocates.
Gradey Proctor is a botanist and ecologist who has spent years studying the flora and fungi of Oregon's forests. Growing up in a place without intact ecosystems, Gradey fell hopelessly in love with the Northwest upon his arrival in the '90s. His longing to develop a sense of place has driven his passion for wildcrafting medicinal and edible plants -- and he loves supporting his community by teaching others to do the same.
Gradey studied at the Columbine’s School with Howie Brounstein to hone his botanical skills. Working with Bark, a nonprofit that advocates for and protects the Mt. Hood National Forest, added depth and breadth to his knowledge. Gradey’s insatiable love of plants has driven him to work with both adults and children in nurseries, farms, and gardens. His other herbal endeavor, the Medicine Garden is an independent herbal nursery and plant medicine CSA.
Basic Botany in the Class and Field
Join Gradey from the Arctos School of Herbal and Botanical Studies for this two-part class on the basics of botany. On Wednesday, July 18th from 6pm to 8pm we will take a tour of the terms and tools one needs to properly ID plants in the Northwest. We will talk about the parts of the flower, leaf structure and arrangement, review a few plant books and play some games. This will definitely be a hands-on approach to learning about the plants.
Then on Saturday, July 28th from 10am to 3pm, we will put our new knowledge to work as we head up the mountain to meet some of the flora of the Northwest! Along the way we will revisit all of our fancy new botanical tools and how they relate to the ecology of place, medicinal uses from the plant's perspective, ethical wilcrafting, and more!
Missy Rohs is a co-founder and instructor at the Arctos School of Herbal and Botanical Studies in Portland, Oregon (http://arctosschool.org). She approaches herbalism with an eye to personal empowerment, community-building, and practical engagement with healing herbs. Her relationship to plants is guided by a strong conservation ethic and a deep love of Cascadia’s ecosystems. She grows and wildcrafts her own medicine with a focus on sustainable herbal remedies: those that grow easily in populated habitats, and those that can be harvested in the wild with minimal impact.
Missy’s path to herbal teaching began with labor solidarity, community organizing, and police accountability advocacy. From there, she joined the Black Cross Health Collective, providing integrative first aid and aftercare to activists, and used that as a springboard to dive head-first into the world of herbal healing. Since then, she’s remained fully immersed in plant medicine, and her projects outside of Arctos reflect that, from volunteering as an herbalist clinician in Nicaragua with Natural Doctors International to leading forest ecology hikes and fundraising for Bark (http://bark-out.org).
Sustainable Herbalism: Why we work with weeds
Herbalism and wildcrafting have steadily gained popularity over the past decade, and that has implications for our native ecosystems. What sustainability questions do we need to keep in mind when working with plant medicine? As a partial answer, we’ll go on a walk around the property and talk about the weedy friends that we find along the way. We’ll cover some plant identification traits, go into medicinal uses and preparations, and explore what it means to sustainably work with each plant. Along the way, we’ll ponder the issues surrounding native, non-native, and invasive plants.
First Aid in the Forest
We’ll head out to a beautiful trail to focus on first aid skills: how to respond to emergencies, what to carry in your kit, and what plant allies can be found along the trail to assist you. Come prepared to spend part of the day walking, part of the day sitting, and all of the day outdoors. Bring water, lunch, a snack, layers for shifting weather, sunscreen, and bug repellent.
Nicole Telkes RH (AHG)
Nicole Telkes is a practicing herbalist, writer, speaker and naturalist recently relocated to the Pacific NW from Austin, Texas. She has a background in botanical studies, plant conservation, community activism and herbal first aid clinics. Nicole has spent the last 20 years traveling around wild and weedy corners of North America studying and using bioregional native and naturalized medicinal plants and working in herb clinics. Nicole is the Director and founder of the Wildflower School of Botanical Medicine in Austin, which offers over 650 hours of onsite and online education in holistic Western herbalism. Nicole sees clients, teaches, makes seasonal herbal preparations, and runs a botanical sanctuary and apiary. She is author of The Medicinal Plants of Texas, and has been a guest author in several publications. Nicole is also a founder of the Traditions Not Trademark Free Fire Cider campaign, working to protect our traditional remedies for future generations, as well as founded a chapter of Herbalists without Borders.
Read more at www.nicoletelkes.com
A Vitalist’s Approach to Phytochemistry: Questioning authority with great gusto and enthusiasm
How do herbs work? How do we know they work? When we research herbs for use in health concerns where do we start? In an era of mechanism and reductionism, Western science theories present that medicinal actions and characteristics of plants are due to phytochemicals which may create effects in our bodies if ingested. We will look at how the understanding of plant actions has evolved over the ages in Western science, and how elemental aspects went from a humoral model to the periodic table of elements and what that means for herbalists today. We will compare and contrast organoleptic methods for understanding plant actions and how to weave modern phytochemistry and research into our studies of plants without relying just on data and pieces of plants as confirmation. We will also spend some time understanding how to research plants, how various scientific studies and analyses of plants are conducted, and how to critically think about gathering information when researching herbs. We will use several popular medicinal plant allies to illustrate this, and follow with a wild plant walk so we can explore how certain characteristics plants have can offer indications about their chemistry and actions on the body.
Adriana is a Textile Designer and Natural dyer who is committed to minimizing waste. She transforms fabric scraps into one-of-a-kind quilt pieces that are both beautiful and lasting.
She only uses seasonal natural dye stuff like, plant matter, botanicals, natural extracts, kitchen scraps and foraged materials in her work. All fabrics are organic and sourced sustainably. She loves the natural dyes process because it allows her to slow down and reconnect with nature. View Adriana's work at www.moonshadowgoods.com
Natural Dyes 101
This Natural Dye Workshop is designed exclusively for those who wish to dye fabrics made of plant fibers like organic cotton, hemp and linen. Unlike animal fibers, (wool, alpaca, silk, etc), plant fibers require special treatment, and different mordanting techniques in order to achieve brilliant, light-fast colors. This workshop will take students through the process of mordanting and selecting the plants, flowers, botanicals, and foraged materials that create beautiful natural dyes. We will also experiment with modifiers to create a range of colors. Students will leave with their own swatch samples for future reference.
JP is a queer astrologer, magically trained community herbalist, founder/teacher at the Portland School of Astrology. Raised in a racially integrated family in an urban Detroit suburb (Objiwa, Huron-Wynadot Nations), he was fascinated by both the plants pushing through sidewalk cracks and by the infinite possibilities that the stars seemed to hold. Beginning his journey with astro in 1995, he later wedded astrology with herbalism and doing client work in 2011. In 2013, he founded the community-focused Portland School of Astrology with a focus on anti-oppression--which sees hundreds of students a year. His work with Cosmophilia connects people with both earth and sky, including a line of Astrological Herbals: planetary teas, tinctures, elixirs, sprays and Plants Against the Patriarchy vibrational essences. JP has completed 2 years of herbal medicine school, 3 years of herbal retail, 5 years at the Blue Iris Mystery School, holds a degree in Public Health and even attended university in Sapporo, Japan.
He currently sees clients and teaches out of his Portland office, and is writing a book about Astro Herbalism titled BioCosmophilia: the Confluence of Plants, Planets and People. His work has been featured at Portland Art Museum, Portland State University, Reed College, Nike, Marriott Hotels, XRAY.fm, several astrology and herbal medicine conferences, numerous venues and websites. www.Cosmophilia.us | www.PortlandAstrology.org
Astrological Herbalism 101: Plant-based Remediation for Sun and Moon Signs
Join community herbalist and astrologer JP Hawthorne as we explore health conditions and emotional manifestations of Sun and Moon Signs. What do your Sun and Moon Sign say about personal vitality and physical health? Understanding the physical and emotional needs from the cosmic schematic is an expedient and non-invasive tool to learn about our how we are built. And of course the remedies that may assist us. Recommendations include herbal medicines, flower essences, vibrational work, exercises, behavior modifications, and essential oils.
Astrological Herbalism 102: Planetary Significations in the Physical Context
For thousands of years, we’ve had a visceral kinship between healing and timing; nature and the cosmos; the plants and the people. As we continue to build vocabulary of Astro-Herbalism, we will discuss the significations and principles of the planets in medical astrology through our sense of taste, touch and smell, including sampling handcrafted planetary tea blends. We will also plot our natal charts on body maps to better understand the principles of physical astrology.
Jed grew up near the foothills of the Blue Ridge mountains. It wasn’t until his move out west in his mid-20s, spending the summer working on organic farms, that he truly realized his love for plants. This is the point at which he began to rebuild his life around health-conscious, earth-centered living. Now with a masters degree in nutrition from the National University of Natural Medicine, he enjoys harnessing the power of nutrient-dense food and herbs to heal himself and others. With a strong appreciation for science, his approach to nutrition is grounded in evidence-based research. His major philosophy on health involves mindfulness and fostering a positive relationship with food.
In recent years, he has worked as a farmer, chef, educator, consultant, and is currently working at the Eclectic Institute as Education Coordinator and Lab Assistant. He loves community-driven, grass-roots projects that promote social justice and equity, and is actively seeking ways to marry his skills with activism. He is currently involved with Growing Gardens, a Portland-based non-profit that helps low-income families gain more food security through gardening skills, and We The Dreamers, in which he works with a team of activists to highlight the undocumented narrative through art events.
When not at work, Jed can often be found cooking, gardening, hiking, foraging, making medicine, doing yoga, seeing live music, and seeking adventures with friends.
Food as Medicine
This is a crash course covering a wide range of topics in nutrition and healing. It gives an overview of common problems we face as a culture in today’s society, and how we can use food to address these issues (as well as how diet got us there in the first place!). The focus will be on using phytonutrients to combat oxidative stress, and we will attempt to bring clarity to some topics that can be quite confusing in a world awash with information and misinformation. It is taught through lecture and discussion, as well as a hands-on kitchen component. The latter explores ways to optimize nutrition in the kitchen, with an emphasis on including more healing herbs and spices in our everyday lives.
Digestive Health & Cleansing
This will be a continuation of our Food as Medicine class, with a specific focus on improving the health of the digestive system. With disorders like SIBO, IBS, IBD, Chron's, UC, and leaky gut on a steady rise in this country, we will look at some different diets and healing foods and herbs that can be used therapeutically to restore the health and integrity of the digestive tract. Some key topics in this discussion will include food allergies, intolerances, and sensitivities, as well as fasting and cleansing. This lecture will also be paired with a kitchen component, where we will make foods, ferments, and herbal products for digestive health.
Herbal Extractions (a 3-part series)
In this hands-on series, we will explore the nuts and bolts of making effective home remedies. Basic plant chemistry will be discussed, as a means of choosing the proper solvent for extraction. Students will learn various techniques while making medicinal-strength concoctions and time-honored recipes throughout this series in 3 parts:
- Infusions, Decoctions, Syrups, Elixirs
- Tinctures, Glycerites, Vinegars, Powders
- Oils, Hydrosols, Bath and Body Care
...More to come soon!