Herbal Vet Track at the IHS

The IHS partners with the VBMA (Veterinary Botanical Medicine Association) to develop this program and CEUs. Vet Track classes, just like our other Intensives, offer participants the opportunity to delve deeper into subjects of particular interest and to work more closely with individual teachers.  Classes are typically 3-4 hours in length and are $35 each when you register for the Symposium.

CEUs for Veterinarians

There is an additional fee of $40 to secure CEU credits for alternative therapies. A certificate of attendance from VBMA will be given to participants who choose this option. To do so, simply check the box for Veterinarian Track VBMA Certificate under Additional Options when you register for the Symposium. Note that everyone is welcome to attend any Vet Track classes whether or not they are practitioners.

The American College of Veterinary Botanical Medicine is also having a one-day event at Wheaton on Thursday June 8th, prior to the International Herb Symposium for anyone who is interested. Visit www.acvbm.org for details.

IHS Vet Track Class Schedule

Rona Sherebrin
9 am – 12:30 pm
Intermediate level

The microbiome is beginning to be understood as integral to health and immune function. Modulation of the animal microbiome holds the key to optimizing health and preventing disease in companion, sporting, food and fibre-producing animals.

Rob Silver
2:30 pm – 4 pm
All levels


  • This class will start with the basic foundation of information participants need to understand how the Fungal Kingdom, and Mushrooms, can contribute to pet health.
  • Details regarding how mushrooms are cultivated, and how the complex life cycle of the mushroom is used in several different production strategies will be explained.
  • The many active categories of constituents that are found in mushrooms will be described with information about how each can influence better health in our pets.
  • The few studies of mushrooms in pets, will be presented with a look to potential applications in our veterinary species.
  • Finally, a number of medicinally-important mushroom species will be described with suggested applications for pets, and strategies for their successful dosing and administration will be discuss.

Cynthia Lankenau
4:30 pm – 6 pm
All levels

This class will be focused on the treatment of septic newborns.  Many large animals are born and due to many factors have poor ingestion of their colostrum, setting up the possibility of life-threatening septic conditions.  Herbal formulas can be used in the treatment and also prevention in such cases.

Constance DiNatale
& Jamie Moran
9 am – 10:30 am
Beginner level

In this class, we will prepare alcohol extracts, herbal jams and jellies, and other products as time permits. We will use some fresh and some dried herbs, and will make palatable herbals for animals and for humans. 

Rob Silver
11 am – 12:30 pm
All levels


  • Cannabis has been called a “Treasure Trove” by the Israeli pharmacologist who discovered the structure of THC in the 1960s, due to the large number of biologically active molecules it contains that can influence health in a positive way
  • This class will explain how these many molecules found in the cannabis plant work with our veterinary species to help modulate their health.
  • The biological targets for these plant molecules in pets and people will be described and how these targets for cannabis create health benefits in our pets.
  • The few studies of mushrooms in pets, will be presented with a look to potential applications in our veterinary species.
  • Finally, a number of medicinally-important mushroom species will be described with suggested applications for pets, and strategies for their successful dosing and administration will be discussed.

Rona Sherebrin
2 pm – 3:30 pm
All levels

This lecture will outline strategies for veterinary practitioners to use in introducing herbal therapies into their clinics/hospitals. Also covered will be how herbalists treating animals can communicate and collaborate with veterinarians about their mutual patients. 

Constance DiNatale
& Jamie Moran
9 am – 10:30 am
Beginner level

In this class, we will have a brief history of the distillation process. We will set up a still and demonstrate distillation of plant material and the end products, hydrosols and essential oils.  We will discuss various plants that lend themselves to home distillation, and we will explore the use of hydrosols in veterinary practice and will experience a hydrosol made in class. This process can be accessible to all!

Rob Silver
9 am – 12:30 pm
All levels

In this four-hour intensive workshop, the most important information that was covered in the two prior 90-minute classes on mushrooms and cannabis will be re-emphasized to ensure that participants in this workshop who did not attend either or both of these classes will have this foundational information.

In the mushroom segment of this workshop, which will comprise about 2 hours of the Intensive, additional Materia Medica material will be presented to give a complete picture of the clinical attributes of the 11 most commonly-studied functional mushrooms:

  • Agaricus
  • Reishi
  • Turkey Tail
  • Lion’s Mane
  • Cordyceps
  • Chaga
  • Maitake
  • Shiitake
  • Tremella
  • Poria
  • Psilocybin spp.

Each Materia Medica species will be described in terms of its:

  • Organ and Systems affected
  • Active ingredients
  • Key Actions
  • Chinese name in pinyin
  • Research in veterinary species
  • Research in humans and laboratory animals
  • TCVM Actions
  • Dosing Recommendations

In the Cannabis segment of this Intensive, (1.0 hours) important materials covered in the 90-minute class will be emphasized for those not attending that earlier class. This intensive will concentrate on practical information the attendee would need to help with recommending both hemp and THC dominant products for specific conditions.

  • Selecting safe and effective products, including dispensary products will be covered extensively
  • How to safely recommend the use of THC in pets will also be discussed in detail with case illustration
  • The use of Ratio products will be discussed in detail explaining which ratios are best for which conditions.
  • Administration strategies and potential side-effects will be discussed

Students are asked to bring questions and cases to class for their educational value to the entire class.

The last segment of this intensive (1 hour) will describe what conditions in dogs, cats and horses would be best addressed with a combination of functional

Rona Sherebrin
11 am – 1:30 pm
Beginner level

This lecture will introduce and discuss ten of the most utilized and useful formulas and single herbs in the author’s practice.

Cynthia Lankenau
1:30 pm – 3 pm
All levels

The Gu Syndrome is an ancient Chinese disease Syndrome that treats endotoxins or pathogens that are trapped in the Extracellular Matrix.  This can help resolve many of today’s recalcitrant chronic diseases, including Lyme disease and chronic viral, bacterial or protozoal disorders.

The Veterinary Botanical Medicine Association

The VBMA is a group of veterinarians and herbalists dedicated to developing responsible herbal practice by encouraging research and education, strengthening industry relations, keeping herbal tradition alive as a valid information source, and increasing professional acceptance of herbal medicine for animals. Susan Wynn founded the VBMA in 2002. Learn more about VBMA.

History Behind the IHS Vet Track

Learning from elders is at the heart of the herbal tradition and the heart of the Symposium as well. One of the most heartfelt herbal elders of the Symposium is Juliette de Bairacli Levy, author of so many influential herbal books, inspired by her love of animals and life as an herbalist specializing in holistic veterinary medicine.

Rosemary Gladstar’s Story of Her Mentor’s Journey to the IHS

“I brought Juliette to, I believe, the second IHS. It’s quite the story. Juliette was living on the Greek isle of Kythera at the time, in a small stone cottage just a stone’s throw from the Aegean Sea. She hadn’t been to the US since 1958, and I really wanted to bring her so people could meet this amazing woman, and so she could see the profound influence she had on generations of herbalists. She really had no idea at the time of how her work had touched so many lives.

I had flown over to visit her a couple of times and asked her if she would come to the next IHS. She was quite happy to be invited, so I returned home and began advertising in earnest. Everyone was so excited she was coming — this woman, whose books they had been reading and who had so inspired their herbal journey! We had the biggest turnout ever that year (over 900 people — you must remember this was the early 1990s). Juliette had told me she would prefer to arrange her own ticket, but as the weeks drew close for the IHS and there was still no news from Juliette I began to worry. There was no Internet or emailing back then, and if there were, Juliette wouldn’t have had it anyway. She didn’t even have a phone. I had to call a person in the nearest town to drive out to get Juliette and bring her to the nearest phone to call me. When I finally reached her, she calmly informed me she had decided not to come, but that I wasn’t to worry because she had made tapes that I could play!

‘Juliette,’ I said, ‘pack your bags. I’m coming to get you!’ And that’s exactly what I did. I caught a plane that night, flew to Greece and the adventure began! As it turned out her passport and papers weren’t in order; we found this out as we were ready to board the plane to the US. I had to spend a few days in Athens getting an expedited passport for her, and we finally made it back to the US just two days before the conference began! But it was all worth it. People got to meet an extraordinary woman. And even more importantly, Juliette was able to see how deeply and profoundly her work had touched others.”

The tradition of the Vet Track holds this history, and IHS continues as a conference on herbs for both people and animals!

“Juliette of the Herbs” (1998), a documentary about Juliette de Bairacli Levy, features her attending the IHS. In the opening of the documentary, Juliette talks about the two plants she would always have growing outside her home in each one of her gardens. She talks about her favorite herb, rosemary, and how she cures practically everything by bathing with rosemary. The name itself comes from the Latin ros, meaning “dew,” and marinus, meaning “sea,” which translates to “dew of the sea.” The second herb is southernwood, an artemisia, named after the great herbalist and the protector of women and the newborn infant.

Learn more about how the film was made in this conversation between Rosemary Gladstar and filmmaker, Tish Streeten, recorded in 2021, during the virtual-only 15th International Herb Symposium.

Herbalist, Juliette de Bairacli Levy
The late English herbalist Juliette de Bairacli Levy