Growing up in Memphis, Tennessee didn't allow for much exposure to things like herbalism, just the vestiges of southern folk medicine mixed with the health food store accounts of rare radicals like myself. So, in 2006 I traveled to Yreka, California to study herbal medicine at The Blue Otter School of Energetic Herbalism. From there I moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico where I was fortunate enough to land a job working at Herbs, etc., the longstanding herbal supplier founded by Michael Moore a generation or two before I was born.
In order to serve our customers better I enrolled in the East West Herb Course so that when people asked me about the Chinese and Ayurvedic Herbs we offered I might be able to give them real answers. In 2010 (about a year into the East West program) I quit my job, left New Mexico, and effectively halted my herbal studies to pursue my other passion in life, music. After four years of learning to play the violin, I found that the dust gathering on my Herb Course Book 2 was getting unsettlingly thick. So, entrenched in a degree program at City College of San Francisco, I began doing the herb coursework again.
As the year readies to change to 2016 I am finding myself well into Book 3, one semester away from receiving an Associate's Degree at CCSF, playing gigs regularly with my band, Ghost Note Ensemble, and beginning the registration process for a Tuina massage program next year. I've taken my time with my education. I began the East West Herb Course five years ago and it will have taken me four years to earn an A.A., but this time has been dense with gifts. The classes I've taken in music, herbal medicine, chinese medicine, environmental science, and sustainability have all refocused my vision. My goal for the present and future is to integrate Chinese medical theory, bioregional herbalism, bodywork and exercise science, and sustainability into a cohesive practice worthy of supplementing the health of people so that people can restore the health of the planet. I view human and planetary health as one dynamic force and hope to do whatever I can to encourage this vision in the world.
At the encouragement of Kristi Shapla of the East West School I recently started a blog where I have been posting my recent papers for public viewing: https://wakerobinblog.wordpress.com
I’ve lived in Tinmouth, Vermont, for the past 36 years amongst the hills, < fields, and trees. There’s such a diverse amount of plant material here that will keep me busy for a long time to come.
My interest in herbs began in high school. It was a time when there really wasn’t much in the way of good herb books to reference. We were on our own just as Michael Tierra was. A friend and I would explore the green world around us; smelling, tasting and smoking as we felt inclined. We always had an interest in what was around, whether it was plants, trees, mushrooms, or even the rocks beneath us. In college I was able to snag courses in plant taxonomy and mycology. These were some of the most satisfying things I did in college.
Career-wise, I’ve been a carpenter/builder for the first half of my life. If lineage has anything to do with life, I’m at least a fourth or fifth generation carpenter. Wood is such an interesting material. Even when it is done growing, it still has a life to it in the way it looks, and feels. Herbs are now becoming an extension of wood into the healing properties beyond the physical ones.
My first foray into Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) came nine years ago. I had been a student of tai chi and was introduced to Master Chen. That became an important step on my path in healing. The result created huge changes in lifestyle. I completed his External Qi Healing course and continued to attend many other workshops just to be with a true master. I met the Tierras at his Universal Consciousness Festival last year, which may have been more than coincidental. I was wondering what would be next. As events unfolded, I enrolled in the East West Herb School in March and haven’t doubted my decision one bit.
Now seems to be the time to continue to pursue herbs and healing. I’m grateful for all the work the Tierras have done to organize the knowledge of TCM herbs in English. Now I get to benefit from all of this herbal knowledge while I feed my family and build many houses. I never would have gotten that far on my own.
It seems to me that the present American medical system is on the verge of collapse. There must be some sane solution to maintaining health. I know many people who aren’t being helped by the present system. Some of them are the spouses of open-minded doctors. So this school is truly giving me a much better understanding of how the world works and the richness of the intertwined relationships of people, plants and the energy of the earth. East West is giving me more, better tools to use to help people live satisfying lives. This how I see myself spending the other half of my career.
I grew up in Campbell, < Ohio with one sister and two loving, supportive parents. I was raised in a political family, and hold the elected office of precinct committee person and serve as presiding judge for our city’s voting location. I enjoy traveling, learning new things and trying new things.
It wasn’t until 2006 that I found my love of herbs. My father asked if I could work for him while he and my mother went on their yearly vacation. After working at Moonhawk Herbals for one week, I fell in love with the store, with nature and with herbs! We have three greenhouses, we grow over 100 different field-grown medicinal herbs, which we harvest and make medicines with, and we sell all of those medicines in our little country store. We sell our tinctures, oils, salves, liniments, teas, as well as a huge variety of natural supplements. It’s a beautiful place.
Before enrolling in East West, I studied Western herbology with Rosemary Gladstar. After finishing my training with her, I enrolled in the East West program in 2008. I attended my Foundation Track at the 2010 seminar.
In the years following my Foundation Track, my sister opened a mental health practice. She needed help running and setting up her office. I became her practice manager, and focused my energies towards building the successful practice that we have today.
In the Fall of 2014, I decided to get back to my herbal studies. It was nice to be welcomed back by Michael, Lesley and everyone else at East West. I attended my Intermediate Track at the 2015 seminar and will be completing my Advanced Track in 2016.
Being an herbalist is what I love. It is my calling in life. I am at home when I am helping and healing people. I have been blessed with all of the necessary tools, a huge pharmacy, and an abundance of fresh plants that we grow. There are so many possibilities and opportunities that lie ahead for me. And I have Michael and Lesley Tierra, the East West School of Planetary Herbology and all of its amazing teachers and staff to thank for these opportunities. The education which they provide is amazing and far superior to anything I could imagine.
My goals are to complete the 36 course lessons, take East West’s A & P Course and become a professional member with the American Herbalists Guild. After that, I plan on running two practices; one at Moonhawk Herbals, where I already see clients, and a second one in the same building as our mental health practice, where I will be specializing in mental health and chronic pain.
Growing up in northern Germany on the Baltic Sea, I have wonderful memories of time spent in the garden with my parents who harvested and preserved their own fruits and vegetables. We also kept beehives and harvested honey for ourselves and to trade for meat and eggs with others in the community.
My early experience with herbal healing came as a result of my parents' skepticism with western medications. They preferred remedies they could find around the property treating colds, flu, and infections with herbal teas, plant- and honey-based poultices and other herbal-based treatments.
Because herbalism was not a viable educational option in Germany, I chose an education in Physics where graduate school brought me to the US, studying Space Physics at the University of Alaska. This led to a job opportunity in Silicon Valley in 2012, and my husband and I choose to reside in the beautiful community of Santa Cruz. While going through some minor health issues I searched for alternative medicine and landed on the homepage of Darren Huckle, who was offering classes with British Herbalist Paula Grainger. These two amazing teachers introduced me to the magical world of herbs and I knew immediately that I wanted to educate myself further. The East West School of Planetary Herbology was based right at my backdoor in the Santa Cruz area, and I've never enjoyed an educational experience more than I have here.
East West has enlightened my life and my view of health and well being. Though I now live back in the great wide state of Alaska, I feel privileged that I had the opportunity to learn so much through the personal interactions and seminars which I was able to attend in person while living in the Santa Cruz area. When I am not studying herbs and making herbal products I enjoy my other work as a personal trainer and I spend time practicing martial arts, hiking with my dogs, fishing, and enjoying the myriad outdoor activities that Alaska has to offer.
Hi! My name is Morning. I have lived in various places around the U.S., as well as elsewhere in the world. I have loved and enjoyed the people I have known, < and the richness of being able to experience many other cultures and spiritual paths.
I currently reside in California, where I have the privilege of working with other herbalists involved in the East West school.
Health and healing has been a lifelong path, starting from when I was very young. I have explored and developed different modalities of healing, with my greatest interests being in what I have experienced to be effective again and again. To this end, I have found profound results not only with the more mainstream and interactive psychological approaches, acupuncture, meditation, martial arts, and bodywork, but also through the more energetic approaches of polarity, maitri, remote healing, simply pulling up and running energy, and, astonishingly to me, also through being in the presence of someone who is a master of their energetic art.
The area of study that I am most interested in developing is in the area of the heart/mind/emotions/soul. I have both seen and experienced how many unhappy states of mind and perspectives on any given situation that seem utterly convincingly absolute, have been able to shift through herbs.
I often see the brokenness/ broken connections in our world, and am happy to have found, and hope that I may effectively develop, another piece that can help bring individuals back to wholeness in themselves, having then a healthier, happier place to be with each other.
Prior to studying herbs, my background was in graphic design, having my own business and eventually working with a major state-wide and local newspapers and full service ad agencies. I moved from the East Coast to California in 1997 and my first introduction to herbs was with Jeanine Pollack in Soquel, CA. She was giving a demonstration of herbs and food combinations at an outdoor venue and what drew me to her was her incredible enthusiasm. It was so apparent to everyone that this delightful herbalist was in love with what she was doing! I immediately signed up for several of her herb walks and medicine-making classes.
A friend introduced me to Michael Tierra and he offered me a job of working in his garden. Michael taught me how to care for the plants, what they are used for medicinally, and when to harvest the herbs, dry and store them properly, along with watering, weeding and composting. I found out through Jill about the East West Planetary School of Herbology and immediately signed up.
I became healthier, just learning basic nutrition from the coursework. I was fascinated with learning that foods can make you healthy or they can make you sick and how to shift things in the right direction. I would say just knowing THAT basic information would radically change life on this planet. It did mine! In those first few years the herbs helped me overcome arthritis, urinary tract infections, depression, bursitis in my shoulder, colds and flu, hormonal imbalances, an under-active thyroid, parasites, worms, candida, leaky gut, etc. I have to say, when you notice parasites and worms exiting your own body – THAT IS SUPER EMPOWERING, NOT TO MENTION MOTIVATING!
What I must point out here is that, most of the time, I really did not feel sick at all and my energy seemed fine. But during my studies these are the imbalances I discovered, and I was able to correct them through herbal therapeutics, proper diet and healthier lifestyle habits.
Because of the profound effect herbal and dietary therapies had on my health, I became very interested in healing food therapies and was greatly influenced by the work of Dr. Bernard Jensen, Dr. John Christopher, Jethro Kloss, Weston Price, Adelle Davis, Ann Wigmore, Max and Charlotte Gerson and Paul Pitchford (among countless others).
My background now includes the study of many types of healing food therapies including Chinese teas, congees, soups, herbs, Ayurvedic therapies and cooking, detox therapies, juicing, raw foods and macrobiotic foods. My training in macrobiotic cooking was with Roxanne Koteles, certified macrobiotic teacher and certified chef. I attended the Starting Point Wellness School in the Bay area and completed Wellness Cuisine Chef Certification, Levels I and II in Raw Foods and also studied with Thrivin Edibles Chef Patti at Cafe Gratitude in Santa Cruz, CA.
My very first herbal assessments began with myself, my family and friends. I ordered pounds of herbs and my home began to look like an herb warehouse. In making and taking my very first formula, I had no idea if this would work or not. It was a female hormonal formula and within several weeks the condition cleared up. THAT was an epiphany! It internally registered so deeply with me that we can make our own herbal medicine and that the herbs really do work! I spent that entire year making herbal formulas, tinctures, syrups, and salves. The delightful art of herbal medicine making was instilled in my heart forever.
Michael Tierra suggested to our advanced class, that taking a course in body work would help us fledgling herbalists better understand how herbs work in the body. Shortly after that, I enrolled in Twin Lakes College of the Healing Arts and fell in love with massage therapy as well.
I graduated from the East West School in December of 2001 and mentored with Michael Tierra for one year after that. I was seeing my own clients and we would review each case with suggestions and/or corrections /additions to my original analyses.
Following that, I earned my clinical hours through an apprenticeship with Keith Latham, L.Ac., an acupuncture physician in Tequesta, FL in 2002. For about a year, I set up and ran his herbal pharmacy according to the energetics of the herbs, tracking and ordering all of the herbs, powdering them, making sure the pharmacy was well stocked, encapsulating herbs, dry-frying or honey-frying when necessary, occasionally making decoctions and infusions, and daily filling herbal prescriptions for the patients. In the evenings after work, each week I was in Susan Kramer’s riveting online study group, trying to come up with the perfect analyses for those amazing case studies.
While still seeing clients, I worked in health food stores in Florida and Chicago in their Natural Living departments. I was trained and educated by many of the well-known herbal and supplement companies about their products and formulary, which was a powerful education in itself.
I became a professional member of the American Herbalists Guild in 2008. I am a trained clinical herbalist and a licensed California massage therapist with my own company, Herbal Vital Health. It is also my honor and privilege to have recently been elected as president of the new Greater Bay Area Chapter of the American Herbalists Guild; and, for the incredibly rewarding opportunity of serving our community locally with an amazing group of super-talented herbalists, herb teachers and nutritionists, etc. at the East West Free Clinic as well. You can read all about our latest herbal adventures at http://cagba-ahg.org