Mar 292018


Classes for Herbalists, Healers, & Culture Shifters – at the upcoming 2018 Good Medicine Confluence 


For the first many years of Plant Healer’s annual international gatherings, our characteristically beautiful rural event sites had too few buildings of us to expand the number of classes to accommodate topics beyond essential foundational folk herbalism.  Fortunately, since moving our Good Medicine Confluence to its new mountain-top site in Durango, Colorado, we have been able to procure sufficient spaces to expand our topics to include additional modalities, and means for a wildly healthy and deeply meaningful life. Next month, in May,  we will be presenting 5 days and nights of classes and entertainment for the same prices as most conferences charge for only 3: over 70 inspiring teachers presenting over 140 unique classes that have never been taught anywhere before, exploring the depths and frontiers of empowered healing in all its many forms from botanical medicine to healthy foods, nature therapy, cannabis and entheogens, and the radical remaking of the current cultural paradigm! 

–– Good Medicine Confluence Website:––


The most fundamental and essential element to plant medicine is one’s materia medica – the medical material, substance, matter – the herb species themselves.  There is evidence that belief, prayer, and even placebos, can assist the healing process, and people can argue all day about the therapeutics of crystals, but for the Plant Healer the herbs are what the tangible, visibly effective tools and means of our practice. Even if we buy our herbal medicines pre-made, we and anyone we wish to help will benefit by our degree of familiarity with the herbs found therein, their constituents, traditional uses, actions and effects.

To help you in that process, a good number of our Confluence classes each year are in-depth explorations of specific plants, groups of plants, and the materia medica of different cultures including Native American… taught by Tiffany Freeman, Dara Saville, Larken Bunce, Sean Donahue, Lauren Haynes, Angela Willard, Jasmine Kocie, Anja Robinson, Jenny Solidago Mansell, and our old friend Lauren Stauber.



Earth Medicines: Some Traditional Indigenous Herbs & Medicines of Canada

with Tiffany Freeman (1.5 hrs)

In honor of the Ancestors & Elders who keep this knowledge alive, I am grateful to present to you some botanical and other Earth Medicines from the indigenous traditions of Canada.  In this circle, we will discuss several different plants through an indigenous world view, including ways in which their use in Traditional Medicine is both similar to and different from common usage.  As we look at the plants, we will explore the importance of tradition in the gathering, harvesting & preparing of plants for medicines. 


Signature Species of the Southwest

with Dara Saville (2 hrs)

Join me for an exploration of healing plants of the Southwest and the medicinal plant landscapes that they help to create. Herbal medicine comes from the collective interactions of plants, the land, and ourselves and by connecting with this system of living vitality we can facilitate the deepest restoration, growth, and happiness within others and ourselves. Through this class we will discover the medicine of humility and empowerment of the desert mesa by way of Sand Sage, Snakeweed, Juniper, and Datura. Pinon and Ponderosa pines will illuminate the cooperative healing power of the coniferous mountain plant communities. Riparian plants including the matriarchal Cottonwoods and legendary Yerba Mansa show us the way of the river and the importance of free-flowing revitalizing energy. Chaparral and Globemallow of the desert grassland demonstrate their respective powers to remake the terrain within ourselves and how to nourish vital life processes. Through this class we will delve into the medicine of these plants and places for a better understanding of how to facilitate health and wellbeing within ourselves and in the world around us. 


Angelica: Communion between Earth & Sky

with Larken Bunce (1.5 hrs)

Angelica reminds us to open all of our channels to receive and release, to inspire and excrete, and to relax into the cycles of change. This in-depth materia medica class will focus on the actions, energetics, chemistry, preparations, clinical uses and spirit teachings of Angelica archangelica and differentiate it a bit from its cousins. As a quintessential Metal plant, angelica speaks to our sense of justice and beauty, our connection to what is sacred. Angelica calls us to embrace our inner Alchemist, our role as transmuters of spirit into substance and back again. Join me in answering that call, as we explore practices inspired by this powerful ally.


Black Cohosh Unleashed

with Sean Donahue (2 hrs)

Let’s break Black Cohosh out of the box it has been put in by the herbal products industry!  Black Cohosh is an herb that acts in profound and profoundly inter-related ways on the nervous system, the heart and blood vessels, the muscles, the fascia, and the body’s interstitial fluids.  Drawing on nineteenth century texts, folk magic traditions, and personal clinical experience, I will offer a portrait of Black Cohosh as a medicinal and magical ally for moving stagnation and for bringing integration of ourselves in all our parts.


Solomon’s Seal: The Shatavari of The South?

with Lauren Haynes (1.5 hrs)

Have you noticed that adaptogens are everywhere this year? From fashion magazines to apothecary shelves, they are having an extended moment. So what are they, where did they come from, and what the heck do they do? David Winston and Steven Maines wrote the seminal book on adaptogens, and say that there are only 12 or so true, researched adaptogens. These delightful dozen span the globe, all coming from the far corners of the earth. Ok… mostly India and Siberia, but still. The far corners.

But surely there are more. Most of the research, if not all, on these favored few came from Russian scientists looking to increase the stamina of their citizens, for either working longer hours or winning more Olympic medals. Suspect, no? We’ll dive deep into these subjects in this class, and start to think beyond borders in terms of which plant friends work as adaptogens, and in what ways. We’ll look deep into plant cousins across bioregions, and see what they share in common. For example, shatavari is a bonafide adaptogen, but why not it’s cousin Solomon’s seal? Do they both not soothe and build the body?


Integrating Seaweeds Into Your Clinical (& Personal!) Practice:

Recalling This Remarkable Food & Medicine Back From The Depths
with Angela Willard (1.5 hrs)

Seaweeds have been an integral and key component in coastal peoples diets since at least 12,000 BCE. Bringing seaweed back into one’s regular regime is advantageous to a person’s well being for many reasons, all of which we will be exploring in this class.  We will look at the unique therapeutic properties of the 3 categories of macroalgae; reds, browns, and greens, as well as the nutritional advantages to including them daily in meals. Our main focus will be on North American seaweed repertoire, and how to incorporate them into your practice, and will give you enough of an understanding so that whichever coast you may find yourself on around this planet, you will know how to work with the seaweeds you find. We will be sure to cover sustainable harvesting practices for when you wish to stock up your apothecary, and how to ensure you are selecting the cleanest sources possible.

I will be sharing with you ways to extract and administer the medicinal components of seaweeds with your clients, embracing the focus of letting food be one’s medicine, as well as going over case study examples of successfully working with clients through a variety of disorders using seaweeds. Establishing an understanding of the therapeutic, nutritional, and energetic properties of seaweeds will give you the tools to know when and how to use them with each unique beings personal health situation.  Come and learn about some of the phenomenal nutritive and medicinal benefits of these water-world wonders!


La Gobernadora: Larrea Tridentata Materia Medica

with Jasmine Kocie (1.5 hrs)

A powerful teacher plant of the southwestern desert, La Gobernadora / Larrea tridentata / Chaparral / Shugi quietly dominates her territory in all senses of the word. The Governess is a revered medicine in many cultures of the southwest and beyond. We will delve into her multi-faceted power, from her physical presence and actions to her esoteric work with death and boundaries. While exploring the history and science of her medicine, we leave room for the mystery to unfold, allowing our limited understanding of her to evolve.


Sacred Tree Medicine:

Exploring The Healing Conifers of the Pacific Northwest & Beyond

with Anja Robinson (1.5 hrs)

In this class we will explore medicinal conifers, drawing on my experiences with the forests of the Pacific Northwest. This will be a hands-on class, in which we will learn various methods of preparation for making medicines from our sacred forests. From oxymels, infused vinegars, infused body oils to hydrosols and incense; we will learn the ways in which we can bring the magic of the forest into our daily lives and connect with our ancient tree allies. This class will include a historical look at tree medicine in this region as well as a Materia Medica of different species and their medicinal uses.



Local Medicine & Community Resilience: Developing a Bioregional Materia Medica

with Jenny Mansell (1.5 hrs)

Many of us are familiar with the local food movement, but what about the local medicine movement? Bioregional Herbalism provides us with the framework to develop a system of healthcare that is place-placed, ecologically sound, and can operate independently from the profit-driven system of allopathic medicine in this country. For any individual who understands the importance of living with a light ecological footprint on the earth at this time, bioregional herbalism offers an opportunity to align one’s values with their healthcare choices- and it doesn’t have to be complicated! This class will guide participants through the process of choosing bioregional plant allies to incorporate into their herbal practice to create a versatile and flexible home apothecary.  We’ll consider herbal actions, over-lapping uses, sustainability/availability of the plant, and the needs of participants’ particular practices and/or communities.  This class will bust the myth of “more is better” when it comes to the number of plants in your apothecary, and instead focus on honing-in on a few dozen herbal allies one can work with and understand clinically on an intimate level.  We’ll take the time to cover the medicinal use and sustainable harvest methods for plants that tend to be abundant throughout most bioregions in the U.S., and examples and stories from Jade’s clinical practice and experiences with her close herbal allies will be shared. We will also explore the intersection of practical uses and the deeper spiritual-emotional benefits of connecting deeply and directly with the medicinal landscape of our homes as well!


Bonus Sunday Class: Leaning on Pine: Ally For Aches of Body & Mind

with Lauren Stauber (1 hr)

In this special class, we’ll visit Pine as a source of support and healing in relation to physical and emotional pain, and in realms where the two meet as one. We’ll look at specific ways pine interacts with the tissues of the body, and how the properties of pine can be applied to different kinds of physical pain and the underlying states beneath those pains. We’ll also touch on the interface between physical and emotional experiences, and how pine speaks to that junction. Understanding that emotional connections between humans and the plant world are profoundly personal and individual, we’ll explore common grounds that have been observed in how Pine affects the emotional body through its aromatic language and its great majestic tree-ness. I will offer my perspective on how Pine can be an ally in times of grief, fear, emotional stagnation, and emotional exhaustion. We’ll consider some of the special ways Pine encourages movement and gentle shifts in perspective, allowing energy to flow more freely in the emotional body, while also invoking a more grounded, rooted sense of self through that movement. I will also share some of the teachings I’ve received from conifers in general, as allies through dark, stark, cold nights of the soul. In all of this, we’ll come to appreciate ways that pine offers us a place to lean for both acute needs and longer term deep healing. Different forms of Pine-based plant medicine will be passed around to try during the presentation, and you will leave smelling of the forest.


For all 140 class descriptions and 70 teacher bios – or to purchase Advance Discount Tickets – click on:

Good Medicine Confluence Website:


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