The Florida Herbal Conference is proud to offer nearly 50 classes throughout the weekend, concentrated into six main workshop sessions (2 per day, several classes per session). Additional classes are offered in the mornings before breakfast, and during Saturday afternoon’s “Free Thyme” – see Activities page for additional classes and workshops.
Our main workshop fall into common themes:
– Applied Herbalism
– Meet the Plants
– Tradition & Culture
– Body and Movement
You may take classes in any theme you wish, during any workshop session. You do not have to take all the classes in one theme, and are welcome and encouraged to attend many different themes throughout the weekend.
There is no pre-registration for workshops other than intensives – simply show up to the workshops that call to you during the weekend of the conference.
PERCOLATIONS, EVAPORATIVE CONCENTRATES, AND SOXHLET EXTRACTIONS, OH MY! A class on making strong medicines with Thomas Easley
Using concentrated herbal preparations allows for smaller doses with the same results as standard dosing. This conserves plant material, increases client compliance, and decreases cost. In this hands (and tongue) on lecture, Thomas will demonstrate the processes involved in making percolations, Soxhlet extractions and evaporative concentrates, as well as touch on the herbal allys that shine in these preparations. You will be sampling traditional macerations and percolations alongside Soxhlet extractions and evaporative concentrates.
AROMATIC MEDICINES, THE ART OF DISTILLATION, AND THE IMPORTANCE OF ORGANOLEPSIS IN HEALING with Thomas Easley
Making medicines can be therapeutic for you, as well as for the people who use them. Experiencing the beauty of plants is one way for practitioners and medicine makers to support their nervous systems, and promote sanity in this ever-changing world. In this class, we will spend time outdoors, engaging our senses and learning to use a still to make hydrosols from aromatic plants
AN INTENSIVE ON STRESS, ANXIETY AND INSOMNIA (Intensive, additional $40 fee, with Thomas Easley)
In this three-hour intensive, we will dive into the physiological stress response, the effects of chronic inflammation on the body, and how these defense mechanisms can go haywire, causing insomnia and anxiety. Thomas will go over his protocols to physically and energetically build resiliency, support the nervous system, and support healthy sleep patterns. Included in these protocols are diet and lifestyle changes, supplements, and herbs, including sedatives, nervous system tonics, and adaptogens. We will also use differentials to review other common causes of insomnia and anxiety, like insulin resistance, sleep apnea, hypothyroidism, and nutrient deficiencies
Herbalism for Hope and Resilience: Plant Allies for Trauma and Grief with Emily Ruff
Explore the tools plants offer for tending to spiritual health and emotional wellness during these turbulent times in the world. Through stories of front line healthcare and health justice collaborations around the country, we will discuss a variety of botanical modalities and complementary strategies to inspire hope and resilience in ourselves and our community, including an overview of trauma-informed herbalism, creating safe spaces to support intergenerational and structural trauma, practical tools for introducing herbalism in unique care settings, the role of our work in dismantling societal inequality and structural oppression, and self-care strategies for caregivers and health professionals.
HERBALISTS FOR JUSTICE: ON THE STREETS AND IN THE COMMUNITY with Monique Moyer
Wishing you knew what to do in the face of escalating hate and violence in this country? Want to put your herbal knowledge to use in support of social change? Come join Monique Renee in this meaningful conversation. Gain resources and share experiences in offering up our herbal allies, to strengthen social justice movements, on and off the streets. Participants will learn how to pack an herbal first aid kit for protests, rallies and events, and strategize ways of supporting our local freedom fighters through plant medicine.
FLORIDA PLANTS FOR POSTPARTUM CARE with Monique Moyer
Many traditional cultures share commonalities in postpartum protocols that involve ritual, rest, nutrition and herbs. These nourishing practices are used to promote healing and long term health. There is less focus on this important time of healing and recovery in today’s western cultures. Join herbalist & doula, Monique Renee, in exploring postpartum care as a vital aspect of birth support. We will discuss and demonstrate how plants found in south Florida are used to support our clients and loved ones during this crucial period of healing and recovery.
BOTANICAL REMEDIES FOR PAIN AND INFLAMMATION With Ellen Kamhi
Current medical literature is documenting the link between inflammation and degenerative illnesses, including Arthritis, Alzheimer’s, Diabetes, Heart disease and Cancer. Societies around the globe have experimented with natural remedies that modulate inflammation for centuries. Scientific evidence supports many of these traditional therapeutics, which have a much better risk to benefit profile than conventional drugs such as Vioxx, Celebrex and NSAID’s, especially for long term use. In this presentation we will discuss the basic etiology and range of substantiated natural constituents that may help prevent or ameliorate inflammation. For each botanical, we will elucidate: traditional/folkloric use, chemical constituents, possible mechanism of action, suggested dosage, cautions including possible herb/drug interactions
HERBAL WOUND CARE with Annie SewDev
This class will cover the basics of wound care; tips for cleaning and dressing wounds, how to speed up healing and reduce scarring, infection considerations, etc. We will discuss several types of wounds, such as lacerations, punctures, abscesses, bites, and burns, and the nuances in presentation and care. Plants can be comprehensive support for tissue regeneration and infection care, and herbal remedies will be central to the approaches we consider.
FLOWER ESSENCE DISCOVERY FOR OPTIMAL USE: SHARING INSIGHT ON THE HISTORY, PHILOSOPHY & USE OF FLOWER ESSENCES with Linda Nash Stevenson
We will guide participants in the crafting of them, from observing your plants on when to work with one, to how to bottle the Mother, Stock & Dosing batches. We will explore additional uses with flower essences such as floral acupressure & topical applications; administering them to children, the elderly & terminally ill.
Grandmother Herbal Wisdom for Pregnancy, Babies & Children with Linda Nash Stevenson
Take a look into traditional herbal wisdom from many corners of the globe with emphasis on babies, children, pregnancy & women’s medicine. We will discuss herbal guidelines for safe use of herbs by age to give support for a natural approach to raising children. Linda has several decades of experience as a practitioner, mother and grandmother working with women’s fertility concerns, pregnancy, babies & children’s needs with regards to herbal medicine.
PREVENTION AND FOOD-BASED TREATMENT OF DEMENTIA AND NEUROLOGIC DISORDERS with Dr. Cristina Babiak
5.5 million Americans are estimated to be living with Alzheimer’s dementia in 2017, estimated 5.3 million are age 65 and older and approximately 200,000 individuals are under age 65. Research supports that most dementia is preventable and may be reversible. I will share resources and what I am learning from my teachers, patients and from my own dementia prevention protocol to improve brain function. We will share how movement, meditation, foods, beneficial fats, healthy microbiome, nootrophic nervine herbs , and elimination of sugars and other toxins can increase brain circulation.
FERMENTED FOODS & DIGESTION with Francois Garay
The history of fermented foods is lost in time, almost every culture on this planet has fermented foods as a main technique for preservation. It is only in the last 100 years or so, since the invention of refrigeration that we went away from food fermentation. This process is essential to replenish the good bacteria in the gut, especially today with the large quantity available of fast foods & man made processed items. This step easily performed at home is extremely important for good health, disease prevention & to produce communities of friendly bacteria necessary for colon health, digestive system balance & other body functions. It is a fact that 85 % of the Immune system resides in the gut area. We will review a variety of fermented foods & drinks used by different cultures.
NATURAL CANCER CURES with Francois Garay
Cancer has become rapidly one of the two most common deaths in the USA. 1 in 2 men & 1 in 3 women will have a diagnosis of cancer in their lifetime. The average cancer patient spends at least $50,000 per year dealing with the disease, making the cancer industry a 50 billion dollar per year industry; usually the success rate for cancer cure is only 3% over a 5 years period. The medical establishment is not motivated to find a cure because the treatments are very profitable. Currently, there are only 3 approved treatments for cancer: Radiation, Chemotherapy & Surgery. Many natural treatments have been proven to cure cancer, but these therapies are ridiculed as unscientific, to be buried and kept out of public view by the use of smear campaigns funded by medical organizations. There are many natural cures for cancer with proven scientific research to backed them up but they are constantly ignored by current powerful financial interests. Mammography or X rays may increased breast cancer risk & when it detects it, it is usually too late. There is a potential for corruption in cancer research, treatments and clinical trials that favor particular approved therapies implemented by powerful groups that do not appear to want the cure. One of the biggest money makers of all times is Cancer.
HERBS, DOWSING & RADIONICS: SELF-CARE TECHNIQUES FOR THE COMING TIMES With Ellen Kamhi
Empower yourself by learning How To Use Dowsing and Radionics To Honor and Interface With Herbal Medicine. The ancient art of dowsing has been a time honored system used by healers around the world as a sacred tool to measure and tune into vibrational fields that surround all plants, animals, humans and imponderable essences. There are many kinds of dowsing tools, including pendulums, dowsing ‘rods’ and advanced electronic field readers, and body centered ‘stickplates’. Radionics is a system of measuring and influencing energy patterns, frequencies, signatures and vibrational rhythms. Basic to radionic theory and practice is the concept that everything shares a common ground in that we are all bathed in the electro-magnetic and other energy fields of the entire Universe. Through the use of simple tools, energy and intention, healthy patterns can be evaluated and restored. Dowsing and radionics are practical tools that enhance sharing HERBS AS MEDICINE, by having a tool to evaluate formulations and dosing specific to EACH INDIVIDUAL. In addition, via Radionics, plant medicines can be ‘broadcast at a distance’ to enhance healing for ourselves, friends and loved ones.
FLORA OF FLORIDA
A HEALER’S DOZEN: FLORIDA MEDICINAL WEEDS WITH COMMERCIAL POTENTIAL with Susan Marynowski
Instead of talking about all of the plants, this time we will focus on a dozen or so important medicinal weeds that commonly grow in central and north Florida. We will examine the important physical and medicinal characteristics of the plants and will meet the plant families. These common plants with commercial potential – both native and non-native – are under our feet, over our heads, and by our sides.
ECOLOGICAL HERBALISM with Susan Marynowski
How can we as herbalists act in ways that support the systems of the Earth that support us? We will explore not just the ethics of working with herbs – things like ethical wildcrafting and sustainable use of endangered or over-harvested plants – but also the morals of approaching the plants as a resource to be extracted vs. relations to be respected and understood. It gets deep as we delve into some of the basic tenets of ecology and discover the “10 Rules of Ecological Herbalism.”
FLORIDA WOODY ETHNOBOTANY with Marc Williams
Spend a class learning about trees and shrubs. We will go for a plant walk to learn how to identify a woody plant by the leaves, bark and other characteristics. Common and obscure uses for woody plants of the Floridian flora that may support overall health, well-being and sustenance will also be discussed.
PLANTS AND HEALERS INTERNATIONAL with Marc Williams
Plants and Healers International is a 501c3 non-profit dedicated to continuing the work of ethnobotanist and humanitarian Frank Cook. The main mission is to foster the further development of society in harmony with the natural world. Frank took numerous trips to Florida as part of his prolific travels around the world. We will explore the resources that are available through PHI to help interested parties learn more about the healing plants and people of Florida as well as places like Jamaica, Latin America, South Africa, India, Nepal, North America and beyond.
BOTANY BASICS: An Intensive ($40 additional fee) with Marc Williams
Our botany intensive will focus on the families of plants found commonly in Florida. We will cover the differences in how plants look regarding leaves, flowers, fruits and other parts and how this may help in proper identification. The way plants are classified based on these features and more recently DNA will be discussed relative to how they are referred to scientifically. We will also look at the best book and web resources for the exploration of botany on the peninsula. The class will feature a powerpoint covering the major characteristics of botany in general and then we will examine various forms of plant material to further emphasize the lessons learned.
GROWING HERBS IN FLORIDA: PART ONE – Wildharvesting and Cultivation with Jason Long
Discuss the pros and cons of wildharvesting and cultivating medicinal herbs. Learn how to prepare the garden space, improve soil quality, irrigation, seasonal plant selection, pest & disease control, along with garden maintenance. Second part of this series will cover urban gardening techniques.
GROWING HERBS IN FLORIDA: PART TWO – Vegetable, Flower and Culinary/Medicinal Herb production in urban spaces with Santiago Arroyo
Grow bags are flexible and efficient, they make the best use of small spaces. We will discuss the best grow bag sizes for specific crops as well as irrigation, soil, amendments and fertilizers that will ensure you get the most out of your grow bag garden. This is a hands on workshop where we will design and plant a grow bag garden using 1 gallon grow bags.
EAT THE WEEDS PLANT WALKS with Green Deane
Wander around Camp La Llanada with the internet’s most watched forager and learn a variety of edible and medicinal plants underfoot.
GROWING ALLIUMS IN FLORIDA with Willow LaMonte
The Allium family brings together delicious culinary flavors, potent medicine, magical lore, and excellent companions in the garden. Garlic, onions, scallions, shallots, chives, and others in this genus give us edible bulbs, leaves, and beautiful flowers but have growing challenges with Florida’s southern latitude. Learn varieties and techniques for growing these healthy herbs, plus meet our native Florida Wild Onion.
ASIAN PLANTS GROWN IN FLORIDA, A SLIDESHOW with Andy Firk
I will share beautiful color photos during this hour-long slideshow of forty of my favorite Asian plants, mixed in with silly anecdotes, followed by half an hour of food sampling. To be specific, I will focus on Southeast Asian edible and medicinal plants grown here in Florida that are native to Thailand, Vietnam, Laos, Myanmar, and Cambodia along with the wonderful Floridians from those countries who grow them here. In general, Asian plants tend to be better suited to our Florida climate than many of the well-promoted European and Mediterranean plants that we know better. Here’s one example of what we will discuss… imagine that you are strolling through the Saturday morning Mustang Flea Market’s Asian Produce stalls near St. Petersburg, and you see some green bundles for sale labelled ‘NGO OM’. Take my word for it, you would want to get to know this delicious herb, known in this country as Rice Paddy Herb. You pick up the fresh bundle that was lovingly grown and harvested the day before by a sweet old woman with a twinkle in her eye, originally from Laos. While smelling the bundle, your mind imagines that lemon and cumin fell in love in the far-off mountains of Laos and had a child that mixed these two flavors perfectly… that child would be Ngo Om. Being bold, you start up a conversation with this kind woman, to find out that it is often added raw to salads or lightly cooked into a spicy soup, often with cucumber. Getting excited, you get the woman’s phone number and visit her amazing garden a week later. Her indigenous knowledge of her homeland’s native foods and medicines that she grows here in Florida leads you into the blissful world of locally-grown Asian plants. This, and other real life stories are what I will share. I will also have a lovely display of potted plants to touch and smell after the slideshow.
WILD EDIBLE AND MEDICINAL NATIVE PLANTS OF FLORIDA’S SHORELINE, A SLIDESHOW with Andy Firk
Yum, yum…. pickled Sea Blight, Red Mangrove leaf tea, Cocoplum seed spread, Seagrape jelly, spicy Graceful Redweed soup, … all of these and more can be found within 100 yards of the shoreline. I will highlight forty native plants in all within a colorful, fun-filled 90-minute slide presentation. Also, I will discuss ways of cultivating these plants in your own backyards, so that we may leave our threatened beaches intact. I will also touch on five of my favorite edible seaweeds that are found commonly here in Florida.
MORNING PLANT WALK with Andy Firk
Join Andy on a lovely stroll through Camp La Llanada as we explore edible and medicinal plants of our conference grounds.
FLORIDA GARDEN MEDICINE with Dr. Cristina Babiak
People of the tropics have used plants like citrus trees, hibiscus, aloe, pineapple, avocado, banana, mango fruits and peels for medicine forever so we will explore how we can easily use these treasures from our yards and local market for health and beauty.
Tradition & Culture
Prairie Plants of First Nations with Linda Black Elk
The grasslands of Turtle Island once covered millions of square acres, stretching from what is now the Northern Great Plains south to Kansas and Texas and east to the Ohio River Valley. From a distance, these waving oceans of plant life seem almost barren…”just a bunch of grass.” In reality, grasslands hold some of the greatest diversity on the planet. The Plant nation’s that thrive here have sustained numerous Indigenous nations for thousands of years, providing food and medicine that still holds so much promise for people everywhere. Join us as we go on a journey of traditional medicines of the prairie, with a few sample teas for participants to try!
RECLAIMING OUR HEALING ROOTS with Paula Díaz
In this circle, we will explore ways plants can assist us with healing ancestral trauma, strengthening our energetic boundaries, and as spiritual protection. While reflecting on our relationships with plant medicines as displaced people on occupied native land, we are also invited to reclaim the very plants our ancestors used for food, medicine, fiber, and art. We’ll be working with fresh herbs, floral water, burning resins and herbal incense, plant essences, and stones. Bring your own cup for water.*
*This class is for black, indigenous, people of color only. Connecting with our ancestors calls in powerful healing and strength for us in these times of resistance.
REMEMBERING GRANDMOTHER’S TEA with Willow LaMonte
In this sharing circle, we’ll experience a guided meditation to connect with our earliest herbal memories. Was it the scent of grandmother’s tea, wildcrafting roots with an aunt and uncle, our mother’s spice cookies, or Dad’s chili seasonings? We’ll take time during this busy weekend to slow down and reach back to reveal the sweet tendrils of our earliest connections to the aromatic plant healers.
STORIES ARE FOR REMEMBERING with Kate Taluga
Feeling fatigued by trying to remember all the information of the weekend? Neurologists have connected what the Elders have known forever, the human brain wants to hang the facts on an emotional hook and storytelling does that. Join Kate Taluga for a session devoted to plant stories. Remembered from sitting around the Fire, at Granny’s knee or out of diaries and books from those who came before us, the folks often shared stories about plants that help us remember their uses, their boundaries, and how to respect their nature. Bring your listening ears, sketchbook, or journal.
BE STILL – CREATING RELATIONSHIPS WITH PLANTS FROM A MUSKOGEE NATIVE PERSPECTIVE with Kate Taluga
Join us as we travel the calendar wheel following the life cycle of plants from seed to harvest. Kate will share the Muskogee Creek Elders’ perspective of seed sorting, planting, and gathering. Moon planting, ritual dances, and songs create the backbone of her community’s work with medicinal and domesticated plants.
ANCESTRAL HERBALISM: A RECLAIMING CIRCLE with Julia Onnie-Hay
No matter where you were born or who your people are, we all have our universal herbal heritage in common. All of our ancestors used locally-growing plants as food and medicine. As herbal students, let’s reach way, way back to the herbal traditions of our lineages. We’ll start by sharing our oldest memories of how herbs were used in our households and recall any family histories featuring plants. For folks that didn’t receive any stories from their families or don’t have recollections of herbs at home, we’ll hold space for a meditation to connect with our most deeply-buried memories. Wisdom from elders and others who have been on this reclaiming journey will be offered up to assist our process. Folks will be invited to honor specific herbs and healing traditions sacred to their roots in a collaborative experience that is intended to facilitate healing and activate environmental and cultural stewardship.
CEREMONY, SACRED ACTIVISM & MENTAL HEALTH: A CONVERSATION FOR THE HERBAL COMMUNITY with Julia Onnie-Hay
We all know that plants are powerful. Experiences with plants – whether in plant spirit medicine ceremony or in environmental activism – can evoke powerful responses. As herbalists, teachers and community members, what are we doing to care for folks who have powerful experiences in ceremonies, workshops, retreats, conferences and other events we are involved with? How can we apply the ideal standard of care that clinical herbalists apply to their clients in non-clinical settings? In this conversation, we’ll provide a mindful space for folks to share their concerns and celebrations on this topic. Based on interviews with harm reduction activists, Julia and special guests will offer up some tips on how our herbal community can hold space for folks passing through strong emotional, spiritual, psychological processes.
Decolonizing the Mother with Susan Anderson & Linda and Luke Black Elk – Saturday 3-6 pm (scholarships available)
“The Spirit of the Maker is in the Work of the Hand” – How our Being affects our Herbalism with Susan Anderson
Body and Movement
Saturday Rise and Shine Yoga with Steve Rubin
Join Steve for an invigorating morning practice!
Balance it Out with Ayurvedic Yoga with Susanna Barkataki
Ignite passion and inspiration in mind and body with some Ayurvedic yoga to bring balance and harmony. This is a trauma-informed class; welcoming to all. Harmonize with the elements of Earth, Water, Fire, Air and Space as you move, flow and relax.
Sunday Rise and Shine Yoga with Susanna Barkataki
Wake gently and lovingly. Expect deep stretch, core strength and a wake up and go yoga flow. We will drop stress and develop ease mentally and physically as we come powerfully into the present moment. We will end with a love and self-compassion meditation to start our day off with the energy of love. Practice is trauma-informed and accessible to all
Traditional QiGong with Masaji Terasawa
Slow down and enjoy this traditional practice to bring calm, raise energy, and feel more present in your body and environment.
SoulFire Circles: Tools of Transformation Through Art in Action with Mz. Imani
When the subtleties of sacred space, music, gratitude, silence and movement are acknowledged together, we find ways to circumambulate a Sacred Fire, that has the potential to help the entire WErld.
SoulFire is a place of alchemy, a fire circle that holds a container to weave together the dance and the music, with our gratitude for life and our love of the eARTh. From the ferocity of the djembe, to the subtlety of the Handpan, SFC makes room for the didjeridoo, chanting, singing and spoken word pieces.
If you want to dive into to support the basic principles of what is happening on the energetic and practical levels of Saturday Nights Fire Circle please join Mz. imani for music making, conversation, and exploration.
Mz. imani has been participating and instigating Sacred Fire Circles since 1987. This class will explore the basic principles of how to work with music, dance, group energy and spirit to welcome the frequencies of harmony, peace, intention and change. Please bring a chant, your drum, your dancing feet and your ideas of collaboration.