A few classes from Plant Medicine Gatherings of the past:

6th Annual Portland Plant Medicine Gathering 2014

Herbal Alternatives to Antibiotics
with Robin Rose Bennett
Our bodies come pre-equipped to protect us and our “immune system” is actually an interconnected web of all our physical systems working together in conjunction with our hearts and minds. There is no part of us that isn’t part of our natural immunity. Herbs can help the functioning of the lymphatic system, support the liver and digestive system, strengthen the skin’s natural ability to repel bacteria and other pathogens, and nourish and build the health and stability of the nervous system, which is inextricably linked to our physical health. Robin will share the specific gifts of a variety of herbs that are abundantly available and favorite recipes that have worked well for people all over the world. Finally, this class will include valuable information on tried and true remedies that can be used as natural “antibiotics”.

Deepening our Connection to Nature
with Sarah Holmes
This class will explore and celebrate the plant beings. What does that really mean? How can we be in deeper communication with Nature? What does it mean to be in a reciprocal relationship with the plants? What is our role as humans in the natural world? We will be discussing these concepts as well as spending some time meditating with the plants.

The Alterative Herbs: a 21st Century look at Blood Purificaiton
with Paul Bergner
The alterative action of herbs, a term left over from the 19th century practice of medicine and herbalism, is one of the most misunderstood groups in contemporary herbalism. 20th Century advances in physiology seemed to render the concept of “blood purification” obsolete, and herbs categorized as alteratives seem to be totally unrelated to each other in their physiological actions. I will present an explanation of this older concept in terms of contemporary pathophysiology, then show how the seemingly unrelated herbs have a unifying principle in the physiology of detoxification, and finally present assessment, protocols and formulation for “blood purification.”

The Skullcaps:  Important Restorative Allies
with Howie Brounstein
The Skullcaps, Scutellaria sp., are valuable plants that hold an important place in my clinic. They are calming nervines, and many are nutritive, restorative, and tonic. I will discuss their general and specific uses as well as their history, ecology, identification, wildcrafting techniques, and the differences in the various species. Drawing from 30 years experience with this plant, I will use case histories, illustrative stories, and humor.

Awakening the Senses with Aphrodisiac Herbs
with Missy Rohs
Join us in an exploration of plants that stir the senses and lubricate the libido. We’ll talk about herbs that you can find in your garden, kitchen, or local park as well as some exotic herbs, and we’ll learn about different ways to enjoy these luscious botanicals. Aphrodisiac plant allies can be used solo as well as with a lover, and they can definitely spice up these longest nights of the year.

Spirit of Land & Nature Elementals Ceremony
with Camilla Blossom
Join me in co-creative ceremony for the spirit of the land, water, and nature elementals at the location of NCNM. We will connect with the ancient spirits and Ancestors and bring forward messages, guidance, and ways to give offerings to this sacred place using plant medicine, flower essences, and sacred intentions. This is an opportunity to engage more deeply with places as your home-landsthe land you take care ofnature elementals and use of plants as energy medicine for Mother Earth and her living waters.

Herbs for Addiction and Recovery
with Sean Croke
Addiction causes damage to the lives and bodies of so many folks around us, and is often a health problem that is not discussed out of shame and fear. There has been a lot of research on the neurochemical factors that may lead a person to be predisposed to abuse substances, often these factors are rooted in past trauma and family history.

Herbs can be greatly helpful to people who are in all stages of the addiction/recovery spectrum. They can support a body that is having a hard time due to the drugs that are being put into it, help a person to have an easier time while they are withdrawing from drugs, and bring ease to a person learning to deal with their triggers and anxieties without returning to their substance of choice.

Medicinal Mushrooms in the Clinic: The Insights & Artful Practice of Reishi, Lion’s Mane, and Turkey Tail
with Renee Davis
Medicinal mushrooms have much to offer herbalists, particularly for immune health & wellness. But their cultivation, preparation and use remain elusive to many. This class will focus on the pharmacology, cultivation, preparation and clinical applications of 3 key medicinal mushrooms: Reishi, Lion’s Mane, and Turkey Tail. We’ll discuss their cultivation (and ubiquity in the Northwest), preparation, and demystify the mechanisms of fungal polysaccharide immunomodulation. Their clinical applications will be highlighted, and common areas of confusion (potential exacerbation of yeast overgrowth, autoimmunity, etc.) will be clarified.

Tending Story, Tending Medicine
with Dina Hartzell
Through time, and all over the world, people have recognized stories as powerful nourishment and medicine for culture, and have taken care to tend those stories for the continued health of the collective. As plant medicine people, we consciously tend those places where we find or grow the things we need for our well-being. We understand the importance of working to deepen and grow our relationships in the wild, on the farm, and in the garden, and we have many stories to tell from our experiences there. In this session, we’ll collectively tend some of those stories with the intent to see how they might have a positive effect on social and cultural health.

Please bring your plant and plant medicine stories (or just come and hear the others)ancient myths and new happenings; tales of wisdom and folly, sorrow and joy; family chronicles and tribal traditions; stories of all kindsso we can experience them together, learn from each other, and work deliberately and collectively with a vision toward healthier cultures for ourselves, and for future generations.

Decolonizing Herbalism
with Lara Pacheco
How do we as herbalists help loosen the shackles of colonialism that still shape our social structures? What roles can herbalists play in collective liberation? As herbalists we have the potential to educate and empower and learn, using the power of storytelling. We can help tell the stories of the plants to untie the bonds of the past. Join Lara Pacheco to explore working with Latino communities as an herbalist in Portland, and how to begin addressing the health crisis affecting marginalized communities of color, while learning from the art of oral histories and the wisdom of plant medicine.

Qi Gong & Acupressure Techniques for Health
with Sheridan Horning
Sheridan Horning, Licensed Acupuncturist, Massage Therapist, and Certified Qi Gong Instructor will be offering a workshop where you can learn self-massage, relaxation protocols, and simple qi gong techniques to optimize your health and alleviate symptoms associated with some common disorders. Whether you are in perfect order or in need of bringing more balance to your physical and emotional cycles, you will learn practical skills for your own use. Please wear comfortable clothes and be prepared to move and find peace in stillness.

Plant Medicine & Magic for Lunar Alignment
with Jacks Overstreet
This workshop will act as gateway into the magic, healing, and insight we can access when we welcome our plant allies into our Full and Dark Moon practices. We will be focusing on elemental healing/support through the lens of astrology and learning how to consciously invoke and embody the offerings of the Moon.

Enlisting the Aid of Plant Allies for Magical Elixir Making
with Larry Savides
Coming from a witchcraft perspective, Larry will share some principles and properties for inviting plant intelligences to participate with us in creating magical elixirs or enhancing traditional medicines. Some aspects covered will include selecting plants to invite, tending the energy of that invitation, and bolstering the strength of your intention. As a demonstration together we will recombine an existing tincture to deepen and strengthen its effectiveness

5th Annual Portland Plant Medicine Gathering 2013

Into the Green
with Colette Gardiner
Join us as we go on a journey down the path, through the gate and into the magical world of our green allies. We’ll explore our relationship to the green world from a magical perspective, meet some allies and create some change. We will have almost no lecture, so you should be willing to spend extended time on a trance journey. It’s fine if you have no experience, just be willing to use your imagination and daydream for awhile. 

Reading the Body
with Margi Flint
What do wrinkles, blemishes and thinning eyebrows mean? Why is there a crease in your earlobe? Will those lines go away? Each color, line and marking on the face, tongue and nails holds meaning of your internal health. I will be explaining facial indications and their correlations to organ health.

The Medicine of Trees
with Elise Krohn
In this hands-on workshop we will celebrate the medicine of our local evergreen trees including cedar, spruce, hemlock and fir. Essential oils, leaf and needle infused oils, teas, and incense making techniques will be discussed. Together we will make a chest rub for coughs using evergreen infused oils and essential oils. We will also create a winter tree body oil and a beautiful smelling incense.

Spirit of the Sea
with Trish Gallagher
We will meet the seaweeds of the Pacific Northwest that are commonly used as food and medicine. We will also discuss the essence uses of the seaweeds. Those who bring a 1 ounce bottle can take a sample of one of the essences we have discussed. We will discuss practical application of seaweed in your clinical practice and a few Sea Witch stories.

Precious Essence of the Flower Spirits
with Camilla Blossom
Come explore the multidimensional teachings, wisdom, and healing gifts offered to you through the Spirit of Mock Orange, Rhododendron, and White Bog Orchid and their flower essences. These regional wildflowers are calling us to their medicine right now to help us fully love and care for ourselves. They want us to experience the joys of true love, romance, and empowerment in our relationships. What can we learn from listening, observing, experiencing, feeling, sensing, and journeying with them? We will open to receiving the resonant frequencies of these beings and attuning to our own precious essence, in gratitude.

Plant Spirit Mediumship
with Scott Kloos
We are all mediums to one degree or another. Many people drawn to working with plants are quite sensitive carriers of energy. When the gift of mediumship is not understood and the responsibilities are not fully accepted, many discomforts and challenges may be experienced in life, but by cultivating relationships with the spirits of the plants, we can bring ourselves to a place of balance where our sensitivities are no longer a hindrance. As we offer ourselves as vessels to carry and transmit the healing energies of the plants, we collaborate with them to effect the deep healing of others. Join me in imagining a community of healer mediums dedicated to manifesting the spiritual and energetic medicine of the plant  kingdom.

Blessed Bee: The Spirit & Nature of the Honeybee
with Jacqueline Freeman and Robin Wise
Most people think the honeybee’s role is to pollinate crops and make honey for us. This narrow view prevents us from seeing the tremendous depth of knowledge bees embody and the generosity with which they carry forth each day. We’ll hear — in the bees own words — how they help fulfill the mission of plants, stimulate healing with their medicines, and patiently nudge forward the evolution of the world. Experience the power of their vibrational sounds and see video closeups of bees that unravel the mysteries of their behavior.

Heart Medicine: Botanicals for the Broken Heart
with Wheels Darling
Join this class as we discuss healing wounds of the Heart: from heartache to heart break. Through the lenses of Western Physiology and East Asian Five Elements we will examine what makes the heart ache, at times, tremendously so – and what strategies can be employed to soften and heal the ache and burn of betrayal, compounded traumas, and emotional pain. We will discuss botanical remedies and other self-healing strategies that help the Heart re-align itself with brilliance, joy, brightness, warmth, connection, intimacy, and laughter.

Maintaining Energetic Boundaries Using Flower Essences and Gem Elixirs
with Shayne Case
In this class we will discuss energetic boundaries: what they are, how they become compromised, and what we can do to heal them. We will take essences and learn how these energetic medicines play a vital role in protecting our field from physical and psychic vulnerabilities; help us stop negative cycles of repetitive patterns around love, relationships, money, and health; and bolster our immunity to environmental toxins. Please bring questions and your own magical and practical boundary protection techniques so that we may learn from each other.

The Medicine of the Seasons
with Missy Rohs
We talk about eating with the seasons — what about using remedies of the seasons?  There is a special magic to using plants that are ripe and ready to heal; there is a wisdom in knowing which remedies get used over and over at certain times of the year.  We’ll talk about the wheel of the year and broad guidelines for seasons, and then dive into some specific plants that are fantastic for autumn.

Spagyrics: The Ancient Alchemical Art of Preparing Celestial Medicine
with Sajah Popham
Spagyrics is the practical application of the ancient philosophy and spiritual science known as alchemy. It is one of the great contributions of Paracelsus to natural medicine and especially to the herbalist. In this class, we will discuss what spagyrics is, how to prepare them, the alchemical cosmology of nature, alchemy as a universal science, medicine and spirituality, and how this tradition greatly enhances ones understanding of plants and how they heal on the physical, energetic and spiritual levels. We will also discuss the art of calcination and crystallization of the mineral salts in plants, as well as preparing the Spagyric Essence, fermentation, and distillation techniques.

Self-Care Through the Menstrual Cycle
with Silke Akerson
The menstrual cycle can be a great teacher and can point us back to physical and emotional health and balance if we learn how to listen to it. In this class we will cover each phase of the menstrual cycle including physiology, signs of imbalance and the acts of self-care we can use to heal issues that arise in the cycle. We will focus especially on premenstrual symptoms, cramps, irregular cycles and the emotional, spiritual, and physical benefits of bleeding.

Astrological Elemental Constitutions for Herbalists
with Jaysen Paulson 
Are you looking to gain a greater understanding of temperaments? Are you curious about predispositions of yourself, family and clients? Jaysen  will show you how to understand the elemental constitution through the astrological birth-map and how to work with it. JayP will also introduce specific planetary configurations in addition to elemental constitutions. This is an introductory-level western astrology lecture suited for herbalists, beginner to more advanced. Please bring your own birth chart, we will be working with yours!

English Ivy Basket Weaving
with Peter Bauer
In this class we will learn how to weave a simple basket out of the invasive plant species English Ivy. Weaving takes patience and concentration. It can work as a form of meditation to help calm our minds. Combining this meditative work with pulling invasive plants and making something useful out of them is an all around holistic form of healing: connecting the healing of our landscapes with the healing of our own minds and selves.

Decolonization through Invasive Plants and The Magic and Medicine of bees
with Benjamin Pixie

Benjamin will be sharing stories of Bees as stewards of the fecundity of life and examples of alternative styles of civilization that promote diversity. This class will focus on healing the damage to our world, psyches and bodies created by the poison idea of static ecosystems and invasive alien species. Through myth, story and history this class will examine the ways our current experiments in civilization are heading towards catastrophe as currently seen in Colony Collapse Disorder. The class will include honey tasting.

3rd Annual Portland Plant Medicine Gathering 2011

Pacific Northwest Plants:  Healing Wealth from Both Sides of the Mountains (Friday eve. 7-9pm)
with Cascade Anderson Geller
Join us for a slide show presentation featuring some of the amazing healing plants available from the Pacific Northwest.  Cascade will share details about the plants themselves and some of their many abilities, especially those that are less known but powerful.

Cascade’s herbal roots reach back to the rugged mountains and people of the southern Appalachians across the continent to the Pacific Northwest. A graduate of Dominion Herbal College, and having trained with various herbal elders,  Cascade was a founding member of the Everett House Healing Center (now Common Ground) where she had an herbal practice and taught classes beginning in 1979.  Most of her apothecary was composed of preparations she had made and many from wildcrafted plants.  She was Department Chair of Botanical Medicine at the National College of Naturopathic (now Natural) Medicine from 1979-1992.  She has been affiliated with the founding of two other naturopathic medicine colleges and has taught at many institutions.  She owned and operated an herb store in Portland in the late 1980′s.  Cascade consults with practitioners about herbal therapies, is a frequent presenter at conferences, leads herb trips, and walks, to special places around the world.  She lives in Portland, Oregon.

From Trauma to Initiation
with Scott Kloos
In this culture we have little understanding of the process of initiation, the awakening of who we are in relation to the land in which we live. For this reason many of us suffer unnecessarily through abuse or physical/emotional traumas, but thankfully there are many Plant Medicines that we can work with to help ourselves or others on this journey of transformation. We will talk about plants for various aspects of this process as well as ways to gracefully surrender to the force of nature that is initiation.

Community Herbalism – Collective Radical Healing without Clinical Care
with Erico Schleicher

The core of community herbalism is the radical endeavor of groups of people taking care of themselves using herbs without the need for professional health care. Herbal medicine traditions are founded in collective knowledge that is shared by all community members – whether housemates, families, or whole tribes – for mutual survival and health, social resiliency, and forming ritualized ecological connection with the Earth and the network of life. While we are learning about ideal local healing plants for this work, we invite them to be a part of our shared experience. At the same time, we identify the specific health needs of communities and begin generating our own culture of sharing herbal medicine work with one another, eventually knowing ourselves by our commitment to these plants.

The Art of Connecting with Flowers
with Iris Misciagna

Flowers are a pleasure. They fill our gardens, cultivated beauties that surround our homes; they shine, rare gems spied in the wild. We list them in Latin and are charmed by their common names. Connecting with flowers can be an art, both insightful, and creative. This class offers perspectives and tools for exploring this connection through image, shape, and form. We will discuss the rich symbolism of flowers in art, and how we can draw on this knowledge to create our own symbolic understandings. We will also explore flowers in stories and myths, medicinal uses of flowers, and flower essences. This is not an art class—no skills are required. Rather, this class offers simple tools that allow you to deepen your personal relationship with flowers.

Down in the Dumps! The physiology of Depression and Botanical Intervention
with Lydia Anne Bartholow

This workshop covers the aspects of mood that are based in physiology, covers the consequences of untreated stress and depression on the body and wraps up with a brief materia medica for depression. But don’t get too down – we’ll have fun while we explore interventions for cruddy moods and why this is so dang important in promoting health in general.
*this workshop will not cover interventions for severe or bi-polar depression.

Health Justice
with Lydia Anne Bartholow

Health justice is the notion that health, and health care, are political and that in doing health related work, we are also activists. Novel idea, huh?

This workshop offers a basic framework for health justice for herbalists and addresses some foundational ideas on health equity such as harm reduction, white supremacy and LGBTQI care, among others.

10 Herbs For Small Scale Organic Herb Production
with Laura Altvater

In this class Laura will discuss in depth 10 of her favorite herbs to grow in the Pacific Northwest.  She will discuss the delights and troubles of growing each of these plants.  She will talk about yields and share tips and skills that come from years of experience and experimentation.

Strategies for Healing Emotional Trauma with Plant Medicine
with  Allison Carr

Emotional trauma leaves very real and lasting scars on the body. Even though we can’t always see them, like in physical trauma, they can create an affect on our health and well being for many years. Plant medicine is a wonderful modality to address these wounds because it can affect both the physical and energetic aspects of healing. In this class we will look at the energetic patterns of disruption that are caused by emotional trauma, and explore some botanical remedies to alleviate the affects of both acute and longstanding emotional trauma. This class will focus on identifying patterns of trauma, using some of the theories from Chinese Medicine. I will discuss my favorite  herbs from both Chinese and western herbal traditions, but my aim is  to present a versatile template of treatment that will work with any botanical tradition.

Seasonal Herbal Diet Therapy Cooking Class: Integrating East and West
with Felicia Ferruzza, LAc

In this dynamic, colorful class, we will focus on diet therapy integrating Chinese and Western medicinal herbs with seasonal, organic whole foods and how to use your own backyard culinary and medicinal weeds in your delicious cooking! We will learn about 5 element theory and how it relates to the seasons, body systems, flavors, and colors in your diet.
Learn how cooking with Medicinal Herbs and whole foods for the Season can restore your balance!

Wild Plants of the City
with Rebecca Lerner

Are you an apartment dweller without a garden? Urban foraging is for you. This workshop offers an introduction to 10 common wild edible and/or medicinal plants of Portland, with explanations on when to harvest them, where to find them and what to do with them. We will talk about safety and sustainability, too.