2015 Conference Sessions

Lydia Bartholow, PMHNP

That Gut Feeling
Ever had a gut feeling? Or a gut-wrenching experience? This short workshops offers an introduction to the gut-brain connection – a connection that includes neurotransmitters, inflammation, food allergens, the nervous system, leaky gut and more! We’ll follow the path of stress throughout the body and into the tummy, as well as the path of nutrients throughout the body and into the brain and wrap up by discussing herbs for the brain, the belly and the belly-brain.

From Poppies to Pleasure: An Addiction Materia Medica
This addiction primer reviews concepts in the field of addiction and herbal intervention. We will begin to review past and current conceptualizations of addiction and addictive behavior. Going beyond the idea of addiction as solely patterns of over use, we will review key ideas and frameworks such as safety, tissue dependence and harm reduction. With a solid understanding of addiction and behavior, we will review an addiction materia medica and go in depth to look at our plant allies in the realm of addiction.


Paul Bergner

The Dark Side of Adaptogens: Appropriate and Inappropriate Use of Asian Tonic Herbs The term “adaptogen” is usually applied uncritically to members of a group of herbs which, other than stimulating energy, have little in common in either pharmacology or humoral effects. We will discuss case studies where using these herbs to mask the ill effects of destructive patterns in the lifestyle enabled sometimes serious injury to the endocrine system. Each of these herbs has a well-defined traditional dose range, indications, contraindications, and methods of preparation. Failure to adhere to these may cause not only therapeutic failure, but also patient discomfort or harm. We will the specific indications and contraindications of Panax spp, Eleutherococcus, Rhodiola, Schisandra and Glycyrrhiza.

Restorative Tonic Herbs: Materia Medica Review
Some of the tonic herbs used in Asian medical system can, in the context of restorative lifestyle changes, assist in the restoration of an exhausted endocrine system.  We will discuss indications, contraindications, doses, and forms of  Withania, Codonopsis, Astragalus, Rehmannia, Ho shou wu, Asparagus (Shatavari), and Ophiopogon.


Howie Brounstein

Affecting Lifestyle Changes in Chronic Illness
In many chronic health issues, lifestyle changes may be key to achieving long-term improvement. Yet it can be challenging for clients to make and maintain new habits. This lecture covers successful techniques to achieving client compliance to effect long-lasting lifestyle changes.

Pacific Northwest Materia Medica
Howie Brounstein and Steven Yeager will take us on a journey through the wealth of medicinal plants growing right here in Oregon. They will illustrate clinical uses and specific indications for local medicinal plants. This will include current modes of action, whole plant vs. isolated constituents, antibiotic resistance, case histories and a few droppers of humor.


Renee Davis

Demystifying Medical Cannabis
Medical Cannabis has come far in recent years: Research is advancing and its legal status is changing in many places. However, many questions remain about its clinical applications and therapeutics. This class reviews the current evidence base and provides an herbalist’s perspective on medical Cannabis. We’ll review Cannabis chemistry and pharmacology, the endocannabinoid system, preparations, routes of administration and safety considerations.

Case Panel: Female Hormone Balance


Jim McDonald

Experiential Energetics: Sensation as the Language of Plants
Plants communicate with us in many ways, and while visioning and journeys may provide profound insight, this is no more valuable than the way they talk to us at every moment using their tastes, smells and form in this physical world. If you want to communicate with plants, start by listening. Sit down and drink tea. And then feel as the plant enters you, looks around, moves things, enacts its virtues. As you are infused by it. We’ll blindly taste one plant and see what it tells us and where it takes us.

Aromatic Allies: Field Studies in Volatile Oils
Aromatic plants, those possessed of volatile oils, are among the most well-known and revered of herbs. Lavender, sage, basil, thyme and more overtly medicinal plants such as goldenrod, hyssop and yarrow aren’t just useful herbs that happen to smell nice: their aromatic oils, to a large degree, define their usage. Join herbalist Jim McDonald in a scentillating exploration the impact of aroma on digestion, respiratory and emotional wellness.

Hack, Sputter, Wheeze… Herbs to Help You Cough
Although many people associate coughing with sickness, it is actually an important part of your body’s fight against sickness. Additionally, it’s one of the best indicators to tell you how your body is doing. Whether a cough is dry, damp, spasmodic, hot or cold (yep, coughs can be hot or cold) can indicate larger patterns in the body and help us know which herbs to choose to help us cough more effectively, so that coughing resolves because we don’t need to anymore, as opposed to stopping because we suppressed it. We’ll talk about teas, tinctures, syrups, steams and (even) smokes…


Glen Nagel, ND

Introduction to Herbal Mixology
In this fun introductory class we will discuss the historical role that herbal medicine played in the development of cocktails and tonics. After outlining three major herbal drink categories, we will taste and enjoy an herbal bitter, a superfruit-based vinegar shrub and an herbal liqueur.

Field Applications in Botanical Medicine: Garden Bitters
Using the Min Zidell Healing Garden as a laboratory, this session explores the physiological importance of bitters for digestive health and the specific uses of individual bitter plants. Touch, smell and taste your medicine!


Tania Neubauer, ND

Recognizing and Working with Anemia Naturally
Anemia is one of the most under-recognized health concerns in clinical practice, despite how common it is and how far reaching its effects can be. With simple herbal teas and tinctures, you can work simultaneously with many systems of the body, healing the anemia from all the contributing angles. This class covers recognizing and assessing anemia in your practice, how to approach it using herbs and nutrition, and includes a brief review of prescription treatments. We also will discuss surprising findings by modern clinical herbalists working with traditional herbs for anemia.


Aviva Romm, MD

Treatment of Common Pregnancy Related Problems: a Botanical and Integrative Approach
Pregnant women commonly experience a number of common discomforts ranging from nausea and vomiting to restless leg syndrome for which modern obstetrics lacks effective and safe treatments for use in pregnancy. Pregnant women are also commonly subjected to sometimes unnecessary or potentially harmful medical interventions for common situations, including Group B streptococcal (GBS) vaginal colonization and postdates pregnancies. This class will equip you with the information to know when medical intervention is necessary, how to support women safely, naturally, and gently with evidence-based botanical and supplement approaches, and how to mitigate the need for unnecessary medical intervention in some common pregnancy situations.

Guts, Inflammation and Children’s Health: The Future in Our Hands
Using a case of a 2-year old girl with gastritis and rheumatoid arthritis caused by medication overuse, we’ll springboard into the impact of diet, lifestyle, and medical interventions on kids’ health, and how to prevent and reverse allergies, eczema, asthma, and autoimmune conditions.


Elise Schroeder, ND

Case Panel: Female Hormone Balance


Judy Bluehorse Skelton

Green Paths to Health & Healing: Edible & Medicinal Native Plants
Join Judy Bluehorse Skelton for a walk in the garden where we will use all of our senses to engage with a variety of medicinal and edible plants, feeding the spirit as well as the body. Through Indigenous stories and ritual we will deepen our relationships with the gifts of the land for healing, envisioning paths to a healthier future.

Reclaiming the Urban Forest for Food, Medicine and Ceremony
We recognize the cultural significance and value of gardens and connection with the land to heal and build community health and resilience; First Foods, Traditional Foods, Healthy Foods, Plant Medicines, all restore and reclaim our physical, mental, emotional and spiritual health. How do we re-Indigenize the urban landscape through ceremony and create sacred space for recovery from historical trauma and transformational healing? We’ll look at examples of Healing Gardens integrated into urban office spaces, schools and institutional settings, as an experiential and cultural component for growing and gathering culturally significant native plants for food, medicine and ceremony.


Jillian Stansbury, ND

Four Elements Theory in Botanical Philosophy
This session will present the foundational and ancient philosophy of the Four Elements — Earth, Air, Fire, and Water — and discuss how the physical shape, form and “personality” of plants can be viewed from this perspective. We also will explore how the classic ideas of the Melancholic, Phlegmatic, Choleric and Sanguine temperaments mirror the Four Elements theory and how human personalities and disease tendencies can guide us in crafting herbal formulas with energetic specificity based on elemental characteristics.

Botanical Medications of CNS Diseases: Dementia, Epilepsy and Cerebral Vascular Disease
This session will investigate inflammatory and oxidative stressors that contribute to central nervous system diseases, and botanical influences on circulation, neuroprotection and cerebrovascular circulation. We will delve into molecular research on neurotransmitters, herbal mechanisms of action, and clinical trials to best review the evidence for using herbs to treat central nervous system diseases.


Donnie Yance

Managing Mood Disorders: An Integrative, Holistic Approach to Supporting the Nervous System and Optimizing Brain Health in Treating Anxiety and Depression
Depression and anxiety are major public health problems and contribute to cancer, heart disease, obesity, and neurological diseases. They often occur together and include debilitating restlessness, fatigue, anger, concentration problems, tension, irritability, and/or sleep problems. Constitutional assessment, blood testing and examination of the environment help to build an effective protocol using herbs, essential oils, nutrients, foods, and life-style changes, which may allow a patient to reduce or eliminate use of benzodiazepines, SSRIs and other medications.
Part 1: Epidemiology, Stress, Homeostasis, Allostasis and Philosophical Approaches
Part 2: Botanical Nutritional Toolbox


Steven Yeager

Pacific Northwest Materia Medica
Howie Brounstein and Steven Yeager will take us on a journey through the wealth of medicinal plants growing right here in Oregon. They will illustrate clinical uses and specific indications for local medicinal plants. This will include current modes of action, whole plant vs. isolated constituents, antibiotic resistance, case histories and a few droppers of humor.