Intensive Classes & Schedule
Intensive workshops offer participants the opportunity to delve deeper into subjects of particular interest and to work more closely with individual teachers. Intensives are 3 ½ to 4 hours in length and are an additional $35 each. Space is limited and intensives fill up quickly. Be sure to register and prepay ahead of time to ensure your space.
The Herbal Stories of Life and Death and Everything in Between
A long journey into the realm of Taoist 5 life seasons, cycles and elements. Navigating the inner and outer landscape of our beautiful body and Earth herself.
Incense, Resin, Mucilage and Oil-Bearing Trees of the Neotropics
In this class, I will share an overview of the Incense, Resin, Mucilage and Oil-bearing Trees of the Neotropics.
Master Plants Uses as Physical Spiritual, Social Beverages
The uses and socialization of master plants with different objectives are ancestral practices that date back, according to archaeological studies, more than five thousand years ago in the different cultures of America. We will focus on South America and specifically on master plants in Ecuador. Master Plants, a general concept. – They are plant species that have adapted to coexist with humans and have developed a dependency to benefit from each other. They can infuse themselves with humans to produce profound changes at the multidimensional level. They can produce energetic changes in living beings. They create a vision of different dimensions and not just the physical dimension. They can remove energies from the subconscious where our real memory is. Levels of action in the human bodies. Emotional. – They can remove different energetic conditions. Physical. – Open interest in life and its different moments and actions. Spiritual healing process at this level and people can materialize dreams and goals. In this talk I will share uses of three different plants and way of preparations and combinations if that is the case. The plant species that we will talk about are Ayahuasca, Cocoa and its various preparations and ceremonies and other master plants in their combinations. In addition, a social ceremony will be held, the participants will be part of the meditative social level and value and feel the benefits of these practices and ceremonies.
Modulation of the Animal Microbiome with Diet and Herbs
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.
Medicinal Mushroom Extractions and Formulations
Are you currently making medicinal mushroom products? Have you never but are curious to see what it takes to make high-quality extracts and other products? Tradd Cotter teaches this in-depth instruction and also will demonstrate live the formulations and dilutions for creating tinctures, salves, and other product development for your personal care or business. You will learn how to perform double extractions, calculate and perform dilutions, and explore dosing considerations for a variety of conditions. Bring your expertise up to another level and learn even more about the amazing medicinal fungi around us and how we can use them for healing one and all.
Beneficial Herbal Medicines at an Integrated Free Clinic
In an integrated free clinic, there are many health issues that we commonly see. These include anxiety, pain, digestive disorders, diabetes, sleep disturbances and other afflictions. And there are plants and herbal preparations that we use regularly and find helpful for these conditions, including Prickly ash, Chamomile, Passionflower, Redroot, Devil’s claw, Licorice, and many others. This class will focus on the plants, rather than the conditions, and discuss some of the plants I have found most useful in my 17 years working at the Ithaca Free Clinic.
Plant Allies for Emotional Resilience – Tending to the Garden of Grief
In these challenging times, there is a growing need for trauma-literate caregivers to support the health of our communities and offer tools to ease personal and collective grief as a pathway to healing. Join us for an in-depth look at strategies to address trauma and grief, both personal and collective, and build your toolkit for addressing trauma and grief from an herbalist’s perspective. In this intensive, we will lend focus to theoretical frameworks of holistic approaches to trauma-informed care, learn a comprehensive Materia Medica of plant allies with specific applications for trauma and grief, explored through the context of trauma stewardship and trauma-informed herbalism. This is an intermediate level workshop – students should have a working knowledge of herbalism, basic medicine making, and terminology.
Landing the Leap from Herbalism Student to Practitioner
The path into clinical herbal practice is daunting. From her own experiences setting up a successful clinical herbal practice, Erika understands how difficult and overwhelming getting started can be. There are so many factors to consider; from legal nuances, clinical forms, and practice policies to preparing your own extracts, figuring out insurance, attracting new clients, and building your dispensary…and you don’t know what you don’t know. Setting up a safe, ethical, and accountable clinical herbalism practice requires direction, support, and confidence. Inspired by her own journey of building a successful practice, this intensive seeks to demystify and unpack the many facets of clinical practice, remove some of the start-up guesswork, and prime you for the real-life experience of working one on one with clients. The intensive will begin with offering you tools to clarify your vision followed by in depth exploration of professional and legal considerations, the do’s and don’ts of marketing your services, how your clinical forms are the backbone of a safe, ethical, and accountable practice, and so much more. There will also be dedicated time for an in-depth Q&A session where participants can ask Erika any burning questions they have about stepping out onto their clinical herbalism path.
Calming the World: The Ethnobotany of Ritual
In this class, Kathleen Harrison and Rachel Budde share their evolving conversation, as they explore the topic of ‘Calming the World’ through plant alliances, ritual and folk belief. Kat and Rachel pull from their own ethnobotanical research and personal experience to share plant practices that have given grounded and inspired us in times of uncertainty and challenge. This intensive will be specifically about rituals that are grounding, calming, centering, and renewing.
GMP Manufacturing & Marketing Compliance Workshop
A lot can go wrong when manufacturing and marketing herbal supplements. This course covers these two essential areas; manufacturing and marketing compliance. Manufacturers should understand the rules and regulations for making products, called cGMPs. In this interactive intensive, we cover all CFR 111 subparts. We provide examples of how to comply with each section, implement them in your facility, and common mistakes to avoid. If time permits, we will be conducting hands-on exercises for SOP review, identification, and marketing pitfalls. We also provide real-world examples of preparing for and acting during an FDA inspection. We cover marketing compliance and pitfalls that are top of mind for the FDA, such as product reviews, blogs, testimonials, and social media hashtags. We review common mistakes made by herbal practitioners and companies marketing products and discuss how they could have avoided trouble by following a few simple rules. Steven and Asa have overseen several FDA inspections with success. This interactive workshop gives attendees plenty of time to ask detailed questions about how to fine-tune cGMPs in a way that makes sense for their companies. We will detail the nuances of how to label and market in a way that lowers FDA and lawsuit risk.
Best Propagation & Growing Practices for Your Favorite Medicinal Botanicals
Integrative Pharmacology: Mental Health
This training aims to enhance practitioners’ skills to assess the medications their clients take, to evaluate the potential for herb-drug interactions, and to communicate with prescribing physicians. This class reviews major drug classes and herbal action types, as well as individual drugs, herbs & formulas as they relate to mental health and the nervous system.
For each herb & drug class we will:
- Review the basic mechanism of action, indications, contraindications, side effects, and potential for herb-drug interactions including risky and favorable.
- Discuss herbal alternatives and complements, and our clinical experiences with helping patients navigate the pros and cons of pharmacologic and herbal therapies.
- Provide strategies for documentation and communicating with inter-professional care teams–including prescribing physicians–about patients’ treatment plans and health goals.
- Include relevant cases examples
Twenty-Two Basic Herbs: An Herbalist’s Toolbox
If I had to pick three basic herbs, what would they be? How about twenty? Let’s try to design a comprehensive herbal toolbox. I’ll be limited, of course, to my own apothecary, developed over forty years of practice.
For injuries, I would want Yarrow, Plantain, Calendula and St. John’s Wort. For muscular-skeletal conditions, I would add Solomon’s Seal, Ashwaganda (combined with magnesium), Black Cohosh (cerebrospinal fluid), and Mullein (synovial fluid). For emotional issues, I’d want Agrimony, Blue Vervain, Black Cohosh, Skullcap, and Chamomile (for babies of any age). For the nervous system these would be excellent, plus St. John’s Wort, Ashwaganda (and magnesium), and Cleavers. For a hot digestion, I’d want Yellow Dock Root, for a cold one Calendula and Ginger, for the metabolism St. John’s Wort, Dandelion, Burdock, and Agrimony. A good astringent, Schizandra. An acrid relaxant and jack-of-all-trades immune tonic, Nigella. For the mucosa (coughs, colds, fevers, flus) Marshmallow Root, Mullein, Plantain, Calendula, and Solomon’s Seal. For magic, Agrimony and Solomon’s Seal. Calendula, Red Root, and Cleavers would cover an awful lot of lymphatic issues, which are important to clear. For everything, Nettles. For everything else, Elder. Oops, that’s twenty-three.
The Precarious Nature of Ayahuasca
While the virtues and healing benefits of ayahuasca are being spoken of far and wide, there is a dearth of information related to the precarious nature of ayahuasca. This class will expound on the precarious nature of ayahuasca, in aspiration to offer a valuable contribution and guidance to the auspicious use of this most uncanny plant concoction.
The Ten Tastes – The Energetics of Herbs
All of the world’s great indigenous systems of medicine have two things in common. They utilize a system of energetics to help practitioners understand an herb’s properties and uses, and differential diagnostics which allow them to match the herb(s) to the unique constitution and symptoms of each individual they treat. In Chinese medicine, there are 5 tastes or flavors. In Ayurveda there are six. In my easy-to-learn and use system, there are ten flavors which can give you precise information on the uses of an herb, as well as the knowledge of whether it is appropriate for a given person. Drawing from Chinese medicine, Ayurveda and Southeastern Folk traditions, this class will explore the Ten Tastes which will allow us to use herbs with greater efficacy, safety and precision. More than 2000 years ago Hippocrates is believed to have said “ it is more important to know the person who has a disease, than the disease a person has” He was right and this system will give you the ability to do it.
Emerging Botanical and Mycological Therapeutics for Veterinary Patients
In this 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, 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, 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 will describe what conditions in dogs, cats and horses would be best addressed with a combination of functional
If registering for the Vet Track, there is an additional fee of $40 with money going toward helping to secure CE credits for alternative therapies. A certificate of attendance from VBMA will be given to participants signing up for the Vet Track. Please indicate on the registration form that you are signing up for the Vet Track. Please note that all attendees are welcome to attend any Vet Track classes whether or not they are practitioners.