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The Metabolic Chemistry of Herbal Anti-Cancer Agents
Some categories of interest are:
Flavonoids and stilbenes termed salvestrols that selectively poison cancer cells
Graviola and Paw-Paw, which short-circuit the cancer cells’ electrical system
Yew and its pharmaceutical derivatives such as tamoxifen and taxotere
Brassica’s di-indolyl-methane and indole-3-carbinol hormone receptor blockers
10 Common Factors and Habits That May Prevent Herbs From Working as Advertised


Herbalists practicing in 21st century America face an entirely different set of challenges than herbalists on the western frontier in the 19th century, where much of the legacy of American herbalism evolved. Toxic assault from ingredients in food, cosmetics, and household products now vastly exceeds that present even during the 1950's and 60's.
In addition to toxic chemicals in food, water, cosmetics, and household products, other health-impairing factors include:

    * Electromagnetic pollution (cell phones, microwaves, computers, "Smart" meters)
    * Toxic media, music, and culture adding to stress levels
    * Vaccinations
    * Toxic dental technologies -- root canals and mercury-almalgams
    * Unhealthy artificial light quality (e.g. public schools and buildings, computers)
    * Lack of contact with nature (light, sound, natural electromagnetic fields; the   esthetics of fractal chaos and its therapeutic importance)

Each of us has a great degree of personal power to simply say no to all these things in our own lives. Specific mitigation strategies will be discussed for each listed toxicity problem.

Botany: Logic and Intuition

This class pairs intuition and science to help newcomers learn the skill of plant identification. We will wander outside for sensory explorations, via observation and intuition.We will then learn how to conclusively identify plants using basic botany tools and books. We will then proceed to key out (make positive identification) plants. Wear comfortable walking shoes and a magnifying lens (these will be for sale, if needed). 

Chinese Medicine for the Western Herbalist
Are you a western herbalist confused by TCM (Traditional Chinese medicine) terminology and concepts? Do you want to know more about TCM or incorporate its principals into your practice, but don't know where to start?
In this class miles will bridge the gap between eastern and western thought and present principals, theories and nomenclature in a way that allows participants to fully grasp the ideas presented. As a teacher of TCM and mentor miles has the gift of taking hard to grasp ideas and present them in a way that transcends "classical" thinking.
These ideas are "key" to understanding all branches of TCM but we will focus on the herbal tradition and how that relates to western herbal tradition and therapeutics.
Participants will be able too incorporate  the Chinese ideas of health and well being, constitutional assessment and energetic into there work.
This class is open to all herbalists but the material presented will be challenging so bring your thinking caps!
Everybody Eats!


Feeding many people can get complicated when there are food allergies and sensitivities, medical needs and preferences. This is a hands-on workshop. You’ll learn some great food preparation skills and together we’ll make dinner for everyone! Learn “component cooking’ which allows for changes and flexibility when there are many needs to meet. Explore nutrition secrets for hypothyroidism, arthritis, chronic pain, menopause, allergies and sensitivities. We’ll talk about anti-nutrients in certain food, how to work around them or without them. Vegetarian, vegan, raw, paleo and omnivorous diets will be discussed. Participants wanting to learn cutting techniques should bring their own cutting boards and sheathed vegetable knife.

Face and Tongue Analysis for Self-Care


When you understand how to read the body through the indicators of the face and tongue, it will give you deep insight into the state of the body, mind and spirit. This information will allow you to better understand the foods, herbs and lifestyle choices which are most life enhancing for your individual constitution. 


In classic Ayurveda, we study ashtavidha pariksha, which is the eight-fold examination methodology. For this class we will focus on two of the eight methods: face analysis, which falls under akruti (form) and jihiva, which is the tongue diagnosis. Through these simple maps, the entire being is represented. You will learn about the state of your system and how well it is functioning. For example, are you absorbing your food properly? Are certain organs of the body needing attention? Are toxins accumulating and how best to release them? Let’s explore and discover the answers together. Although this workshop is based on Ayurvedic principles, it is applicable to herbal medicine of all traditions. We’ll look at the action and energetic effects of various substances and how they can be implemented to regain our natural state of balance. This will be an experiential class. We’ll be smelling and tasting herbs, herbal jams and other goodies.

Food As Medicine: In the Kitchen


Come and join Todd Caldecott, author of Food As Medicine: the Theory and Practice of Food, on an exploration of food, what it is and how it impacts your health. Using the framework of Ayurveda, learn how to develop a healthy diet for your unique need, how to eat strategically for the different seasons, and what herbs and foods can be incorporated into your diet to treat common health issues.

Herbal First Aid

Beginning-Intermediate class for laypersons, homesteaders, wilderness trekkers, disaster preppers, forest or social justice activists and medics.  Learn some basic herbal first aid skills and assessment tools or enhance your existing knowledge.  Plant identification, wildcrafting/plant collecting ethics, herbal first aid kit ingredients and techniques such as wound poulticing, sprain management and heat exhaustion. Empower your home or community toward greater self-reliance.  Greta has practiced herbal first aid exclusively for 22 years, and has first hand experience treating a wide range of injuries & ailments in children, livestock, and large groups of people.  She regularly staffs the Wellness & First Aid at the Northern California Women’s Herbal Symposium, held three times a year. Students will gain an understanding of how to apply herbal first aid in their home and communities.

Holistic Skin Care

Hands-on facial care and body scrubs for well being.  Learn simple techniques using common edible kitchen ingredients to support the skin and address problems using food like honey & yogurt, and herbs, not chemicals.  This class is hands-on and face-in.  Recipes will be given for Steams, Exfoliants, Body scrubs, Masks, Astringents, and Moisturizers.  Bring a towel and something to secure your hair.

Zone 4 syrups (Short for: Give a man a fish...or teach as many people about herbs as you can)

With a planet so full of plants, intimate relationships with our local herbs is one of the best juggernauts to reckon with.  Join Katrina Farnum, local Herbalist and owner of Garden Mother Herbs, as we take a closer look at plants that love to grow in Zone 4 climates. We will discuss growing techniques and make medicine using these amazing allies. Syrups will be a focus in this class and because honey is an ingredient, Katrina will talk a little bit about bees as well. We will be blending herbs and everyone will get to take home a sample bottle of our yummy herbal concoction. Get ready for passion!

Women's Health and Herbal Care

This 3 hour class will cover Women’s herbal care and health from menarche, through childbirth to menopause.  We will learn how to chartour fertility cycles using the basics of the FAM method and become more in tune with our bodies, empowering us for better self care.  All ages and levels welcome

Why the Practice of TCM (Traditional Chinese Medicine) Herbology Often Fails to Live Up to its Promise and Potential


Learn About... 

* The mismatch between the rhetoric of TCM herbology and how it is commonly practiced.
 * Why the "secrets" of TCM are often hiding in plain sight, but very few perceive them.
 * A mathematical model of TCM that is currently being programmed into AI computers by research team at Rocky Mountain Herbal Institute.
 * How this mathematical model could revolutionize medical research, epidemiology, and environmental medicine (similar models have ***already*** revolutionized the field of psychology)
 * Reforming an obsolete educational system that is badly broken: interactive computer-aided learning -- 12 years of data on student experiences, test scores, and clinical performance outcomes.
 * Learning traditional pulse-taking with the aid of 3-D video simulator software
 * Why learning health assessment and evaluation skills requires one to develop abilities in complex pattern recognition, and why rote memorization NEVER enhances these abilities but, instead, actually suppresses them.

Unraveling the Acid-Alkaline Knot
The body’s acid-alkaline balance is so dear to the maintenance of life that it is closely regulated and any major perturbation impairs health, but the inter-relationships between food, breath, and activity, as influences and the acid-alkaline status of blood, urine, and saliva as responses is so complex that we need a look at the underlying metabolic processes in order to sort it out correctly. Among those, we must know about the acid-alkaline influences of the mineral constituents of foods, the charge-balance in the kidney’s eliminative filtration, the rate of carbohydrate utilization, the influence of food on the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems, and the respiratory rate’s influence on blood CO2 levels.
Treating Acute and Chronic Pain with Chinese Herbal Medicine


This class will cover kung fu "hit medicine" how that relates to modern sports medicine and the clinical treatment of pain.


Miles will cover basic theory of pain and demystify TCM theory so that ALL herbalists can incorporate and include new ideas into there treatment of acute and CHRONIC pain.


Miles will teach specific herbs and formulas (Chinese) for common acute and chronic conditions. Adjunct therapies like cupping and moxa will be covered, as well as some key western herbs.


This class is open to all herbalists of all skill levels. The information covered is applicable to herbalists, body workers, physical therapists, martial artists and any one who works with pain.

Restoring the Fire: Principles of Samsarjnana in Clinical Practice


Digestive issues and food intolerances seem to be a ubiquitous issue faced by many clinicians. This class provides an overview of the concept of digestion from both the Ayurvedic and Western perspective, integrating concepts and practices to provide a coherent methodology for restoring digestion. Specific reference will be made to the practice of samsarjnana krama, of the graduated diet, utilized in Ayurvedic medicine. This graduated approach of introducing foods traditionally makes use of different herbs and spices to modulate different problems with digestion and can serve as an effective foundation of treatment.

Raising Livestock with Herbs

Intermediate/General. Keeping livestock healthy and disease free is simple when animals are offered or allowed to eat medicinal plants.   Modern agricultural and husbandry practices encourage over-medicating our animals with chemical vaccines, wormers and harsh topicals that are bad for invertebrates in the soils and pollute our watersheds.  We can make a difference for Earth and for our goats, sheep, horses, chickens, bees, rabbits, dogs and cats by turning back toward ancestral practices as much as we can. This class will present protocols, techniques and remedies drawing from a decade of personal experience micro-homesteading and practicing permaculture principles in Humboldt County, and influenced by the famed veterinary herbalist, Juliette de Baracli Levy.  

Radiation Protection Using Seaweeds & Herbs


Analysis of chronic and acute ionizing radiation hazards and possible self-help protocols; especially thyroid health, tissue repair and exposure reduction.

Plant Medicine for the Chakras


We will be exploring herbs, essential oils, and flower essences that support, heal and empower each of your chakras--the wheeled energy centers in the body. When these energy centers are blocked or unbalanced we are more open to developing physical, mental and spiritual disharmonies in our lives. You will get to experience these medicines in many different forms-tinctures, teas, essences, infused body oils, essential oils, and more!

Plant Communication and the Embodiment of their Medicine


In our Earth's dance across the cosmos each plant has evolved a unique energetic field. This field is the shape, story and song, the expression of the plant's true nature and the unique way it has found balanced and right relationship with the world. Within this field lies the essence of the plant's medicine.


By bringing our own energetic field into resonance with the plant we can directly receive and experience the teachings of the plant through the felt sensations of our own body, allowing ourselves to be deeply transformed, inspired and realigned with our true nature.  


We will work with the plants in this way, as a path of healing and source of wisdom, by exploring exercises to cultivate direct perception and ground awareness in the body then take this practice to the plants themselves, sitting with these wise teachers and ask to receive the gift of their medicine.

Natural Remedies for Children with Special Needs

Join herbalist Elaine Sheff as she discusses her personal & professional experiencesworking with children with special needs. Learn about keeping our kids healthy, working with the nervious system to stimulate or relax and using different tools such as herbs, flower essences, essential oils and supplements.

Natural Protocols for Super Bugs

Herbs and essential oils can be extremely useful to fight off antibiotic resistant microorganisms including MRSA, VRSA and ESBL. A protocol for addressing biofilms will also be discussed.

Living Sacred With Herbs


Ancient Celtic culture used knowledge of the sun, the moon and stars to keep all life rhythmic and healthy. Along with a language of letters symbolizing Celtic trees, a distinct herbal tradition, use of foods and stones to heal, nature was their guide. We can see it in the art, story, poetry and songs of old, these healing remedies kept life well. Quietly, this tradition continues to this day. Explore the structure and flow of this nature mysticism tradition and develop a few new skills in bonding with nature to make a cure.

Island Herbalists Case Histories


Presentation of some of the following case histories: acute blood poisoning, acute postpartum bleeding, early flu onset, non-resolving open dermal lesions, compound chronic non-resolving pneumonia, male nocturia, benign solid tumor, cystic postpartum hemorrhoid, multiple bee sting shock.

2015 Classes Coming Soon! Please check back! 2015 Teachers Coming Soon! Please check back!
Keeping a Nature Journal


Interested in honing your observation skills and seeing the world in new ways? Learn the techniques of keeping a Nature Journal! Nature journaling helps us connect with our surroundings in a new way and encourages us to make room in our lives for observation  of the natural world. Nature journaling is a great way to develop your observation abilities and creative techniques while learning about the surrounding environment. Through a series of drawing and writing exercises we will practice journaling techniques by recording our observations, questions and feelings. This can be a wonderful way to get to know someplace new or to find rhythms and beauty that you’ve never noticed in your own backyard. No previous art experience is needed! (Bring your own journal if possible. Extra blank paper and writing implements will be provided for anyone who needs them.)