I grew up in Sacramento, California. I've always loved nature, and spent most of my childhood outside, sitting in trees and reading. I lived for many years in the Bay Area, and now live with my husband on 50 acres in the Sierra Nevada foothills. We have two daughters in college.
I am fascinated by science, and earned a BS in Biochemistry from UC Davis and an MA in Cell and Molecular Biology from San Francisco State. During my career in the biomedical field, I did research on a range of diseases including cancer, HIV, and hepatitis. Following that, I taught middle school physical and earth science, as well as other subjects.
I am strongly drawn to herbal medicine, and have been using healing herbs for various ailments for a long time. Desiring to deepen my knowledge of herbalism, I enrolled in the East West course in June 2008. Last year I took an 8-month herbal intensive course at the Sierra Institute of Herbal Studies, which was invaluable for learning about the medicinal plants that are literally growing in my backyard.
Roy Upton's class on good manufacturing practices (GMPs) at the 2010 East West Herbal Seminar struck a chord in me. He spoke about writing standard operating procedures (SOPs) for herbal preparations; I had written countless SOPs during my career in medical research. I liked working at the bench, and I love making things with herbs. This led me to the idea of starting a company making herbal products, which I have just launched in early October. It is called Mountain Balm Herbals, and the website is still under construction.
Another of my great loves is writing, and I feel that it is a good vehicle to share my knowledge about herbalism with a wider audience who may not be familiar with many of the benefits of healing herbs. I write online articles about various aspects of herbal medicine, and I particularly love it when I get comments that say, 'I never heard of this before; I'm going to try it!'
Some of my other interests include traveling, hiking, camping, quilting, and writing fiction. I've had a few short stories published and I am working on a novel.
My experience as an East West student has given me the opportunity to meet many
remarkable, inspiring people, and has really opened me up to the different facets of herbalism.
I don't know where my herbal journey will lead me, but I am definitely enjoying the experience!