Medicines from the Earth Recordings

Field Study with David Winston and Ginseng

The recordings and lecture notes from this month’s herbal conference are now online and ready to order.

See the post below for details about the event at Blue Ridge Assembly, Black Mountain, North Carolina June 3 – 6, 2016. Thanks to all who came to make it a sweet, inspiring and information-filled weekend.

See you next year! June 2 – 5, 2017.

Medicines from the Earth is coming up this weekend!

Schedule with descriptions. Speaker bios.

June 3 – 6, 2017 at Blue Ridge Assembly, Black Mountain, North Carolina. Schedule and registration
ote: online registration Is now closed but you are welcome to register at the door!. Directions.


Kenneth Proefrock
Kenneth Proefrock

Kenneth Proefrock explores the Future of Botanical Medicine in his keynote address, which asks how do herbalists adapt to the new scientific discoveries in medicine, both in treatment and diagnostics? Kenneth has spent his life researching new therapies for difficult-to-treat conditions using herbal medicine. LIghthearted, inspirational and informative, he engages an audience in his fast-paced presentations and leaves us with much to think about.

Roy Upton
Roy Upton
Cabrera, Chanchal
Chanchal Cabrera
Christopher Hobbs
Christopher Hobbs
Sunday morning panel: Immunotherapy in Cancer Treatment: Is there a Role for Botanicals? Can botanicals work in the same way as pharmaceutical immunotherapies, stimulating the immune system to eliminate cancer? Can botanicals be used with these cancer therapies to enhance benefit?

Teresa Boardwine
Vickie Shufer
Vickie Shufer
Marc Williams
Robin McGee
Robin McGee
Doug Elliot
Doug Elliot
As a counterpoint to clinical lectures, there are also herb walks and medicine making classes. Check out the schedule here to see classes on wild fruits, herbal treats, mushroom medicine, herbal oils, woody ethnobotany, and three different herb walks led by story-teller and herbalist Doug Elliott.

David Winston
David Winston
Jason Miller
Come early on Friday, June 3 for a pre-conference event:
Native Plant and Ethnobotanical Field Study with David Winston (just two spots left!)
Preconference Intensive: The Digestive System and Neurological Health: Healing The Gut-Brain Axis With Botanical Medicine with Jason Miller.

Jill Stansbury
Jill Stansbury
Walter Crinnion
Walter Crinnion
Todd Elliot
Todd Elliot
Mary Bove
Mary Bove
Their lectures include botanicals for toxicant damage (Walter), gut permeability (Jill), children’s microbiome (Mary) and ethnobotany of mushrooms (Ethnomycology with Todd Ellliott)

Hope to see you June 3 at Blue Ridge Assembly!

North Carolina
Blue Ridge Asssembly, NC

Online registration Is now closed but you are welcome to register at the door for $399!Directions.
Find out about Blue Ridge Assembly
See more lectures with descriptions


2016 Herbal Conferences

herbal conference blue ridge black mountain

Medicines from the Earth Herb Symposium, 2016
Dates: Friday June 3 – Monday, June 6
Place: Blue Ridge Assembly, Black Mountain, North Carolina

Over 40 presentations on the integration of botanicals with the latest medical discoveries along with medicine making demonstrations, herb walks and intensives.

Pre-conference Events: Friday, June 3:

Ethnobotanical and Native Plant Field Study with herbalist and ethnobotanist David Winston.

Healing the Gut-Brain Axis with Botanicals with Jason Miller, Master of Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine.

Full topic listing

Continuing education at Medicines from the Earth approved for nurses, naturopathic physicians, acupuncturists and pharmacists licensed in North Carolina.. All approvals now definite.

Looking forward to seeing you again in the mountains of North Carolina!

CrossCutchollasmallSouthwest Conference on Botanical Medicine, 2016   (Past Event – Thanks for making it such a great weekend! )
Dates: Friday April 8 – Sunday, April 10, 2016 

Recordings: Now available for download. Purchase full set of audio (mp3) recordings and speaker lecture notes in pdf.

Continuing education approved for recordings for NDs including 10 pharmacy hours.

Photo report on the conference on Facebook

We look forward to seeing you all again next year (April 7 – 9, 2017).

We hope you will join us for an herbal conference! These events are a great way to meet like-minded people and learn the latest information on botanical therapies for a variety of conditions.

Questions? Email us and we’ll be happy to help.

Herbal Educational Services
555 Tyler Creek Rd.
Ashland, Oregon
(541) 482-3016


Christopher Hobbs, PhD at Medicines from the Earth

herbalist Chris Hobbs in fieldChristopher Hobbs
is a fourth-generation internationally known herbalist, licensed acupuncturist, author, clinician, botanist, mycologist and research scientist with over 35 years of experience with herbal medicine. Here he talks about his intensive at Medicines from the Earth on June 5 titled “Treating Infections with Natural Medicines—An Integrative and Cross-Cultural Approach”

Please tell us about your family heritage in botany.
My dad was a professor of botany and entomology and I still remember riding or walking with him when I was very young and being interested in flowers and plants. I’d ask the names of trees, shrubs and weeds and he would always know the name and some interesting things about them. Lucky for me, because I developed a life-long hyper-fixation on plants myself.

My maternal grandmother and great-grandmother were herbalists. My grandmother studied with a Chinese herbalist and had her own organic herb garden from which she treated people in her community. It’s interesting that so many years later I would receive training in traditional Chinese medicine, receive my acupuncture license, and study herbal medicine in China.

We are looking forward to your intensive entitled “Treating Infections with Natural Medicine—An Integrative and Cross-Cultural Approach” This seems to imply an energetic model of diagnosing and prescribing for infection—can you elaborate?
My practice and teaching style today is always a combination of traditional medicine, my own clinical and personal experience, the counsel and teachings of my peers, and the 10-year science training I completed in 2014. Although I am a scientist, I believe that healing between plants and people results from something greater than just the biological activity of herbs. Something indefinable and hard to measure occurs: a life-force that comes from the relationship between the growing and living plant, the soil and it’s microbes, its complex chemistry, the water, the sunlight, and the atmosphere, which all combine to work for healing on the highest level of intelligence. Continue reading

Chanchal Cabrera and Biophilia

Chanchal Cabrera
Chanchal Cabrera

Medicines from the Earth News: Chanchal Cabrera’s Biophilia Intensive

Speaker Chanchal Cabrera is a medical herbalist practicing on Vancouver Island, Canada. She lives at Innisfree Farm, a 7-acre botanical reserve and herb farm she and her husband Thierry Vrain created over the last ten years.

Linnea Wardwell spoke with Chanchal last week to find out more about biophilia, the instinctive bond humans have for all other life forms on the planet. It shapes her recent work on the farm, and is also the subject of the intensive workshop on Saturday afternoon at the symposium.


Vancouver Island Herb Gathering by Yarrow Willard
Vancouver Island Herb Gathering by Yarrow Willard

LW: Whenever we have a chance to chat, it seems there are new initiatives in your practice and farm activities. We’d like to find out what’s going on recently.

CC: Oh, that is a big question! I am always busy and always dreaming and scheming for the next opportunity to spread the word about herbal medicine.

Since my 4 months of training at Kew Gardens in 2013 and 2014, the farm has been listed on the international register of botanic gardens, one of 7 registered gardens in BC. Our specialty is medicine and food plants but we are also offering more and more education as well. We are running workshops, hosting events and teaching classes. Last year the 2nd biennial Vancouver Island Herb Gathering at Innisfree Farm had 270 people attend over 4 days. Next one is June 2017!

On top of that, I am still running the botanical medicine department at the Boucher Institute of Naturopathic Medicine in Vancouver, as well, so plenty to keep me busy.

LW: You’ve been a practicing medical herbalist since 1987 and were made a Fellow by the National Institute of Medical Herbalists (the United Kingdom’s leading professional body representing herbal practitioners) in 2009. What is the main focus of your clinical practice?
Continue reading

Blue Ridge Assembly–more than just a hotel

YMCA Blue Ridge Assembly June 2015


What keeps us coming back (since 1996!) to Blue Ridge Assembly for Medicines from the Earth ?

The answers are easy: a peaceful oasis on 1200 mountainside acres, the rushing streams and the wild plants and trails so near at hand. Being able to leave our car behind and walk everywhere. You won’t find a TV in your room, or a cocktail lounge here, but you will enjoy fragrant nights with fireflies! Ahhh.

We asked some of our regular attendees what they appreciate about Blue Ridge and thought you’d enjoy their answers. (Photos courtesy 7Song were all taken at Blue Ridge Assembly)

Sweetshrub (Calycanthus)


Blue Ridge Assembly has a special ambiance that keeps me coming back.  I like the beauty, especially the creek with its soothing sound and the boulders where you can sit and put your feet in the cool running water and meditate.  The whole place just has a special feeling.   –SM.


Continue reading about Blue Ridge Assembly »

2017 Herbal Conferences

Brittlebush and Cholla Cactus in bloom in April in the Sonoran Desert

Southwest Conference on Botanical Medicine
April 7 – 9, 2017 at the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Arizona

Features Friday Field Studies in the desert; an in-depth pre-conference intensive; and two full days (Saturday and Sunday) of clinical presentations and medicine making classes. The SCNM herb garden offers a welcome change for the outdoor classes and meals. Continuing education information.


Herbalist David Ginseng
Herbalist David Winston and Ginseng

Medicines from the Earth Herb Symposium

June 2 – 5, 2017 at Blue Ridge Assembly in Black Mountain, North Carolina

The retreat-like setting and the variety of presentations on herbal medicine offer the experience of stepping out of our busy lives to savor this weekend with the plants. Begins with optional Friday events: David Winston’s field study (pictured), or a pre-conference intensive (to be announced) on a timely clinical topic. The main symposium is Saturday, June 3 to Monday June 5.

We hope you’ll join us!


Continuing education applications to be submitted for naturopathic physicians, acupuncturists and nurses for both events.

Please sign up for our newsletter to receive program updates and announcements… We hope to see you at one of our 2017 herbal conferences!

Questions? Contact us and we’ll be happy to help.