The American Herbalists Guild is thrilled to present From Plants to People: The Art and Science of Clinical Herbalism. This year’s theme brings herbal practice from the intellectualism of plant life to the beauty of customizing that inherent wisdom to the individual. While in the urban setting of Maryland, come prepared to learn from a variety of speakers and share your own experiences as we contribute to the collective body of herbal knowledge.
The Symposium consistently hosts outstanding keynote presenters to inspire our vision of herbalism. Join us in welcoming Dr. Christopher Hobbs for his keynote address: The Evolution of Herbal Medicines in the Modern Clinical Setting.
Africans have the oldest plant medicine and healing art practices recorded in the written word and predominantly passed down through oral traditions generation to generation. Today, many descendants from Africa living in the diaspora have preserved knowledge and healing wisdom that has contributed to Western Herbalism and mainstream medicine alike. Similar to the mainlands of Africa, these herbal traditions have been transferred through oral traditions and reserved within family lineages. It is of great importance and sternly stressed that plant medicines are delivered with art and science in mind. These components of life within plant medicine cannot be divided. Moreover, plant medicine and healing arts are hardly separated. They are a married dynamic optimizing greater outcomes of spiritual and physical health. This discussion seeks to impart multiple plant medicines commonly used in the Caribbean via West and East African traditions and to fully discuss, define and emphasize some of the important aspects of art and science from an African perspective. We touch on the importance of storytelling, mindset around preparations, spirituality and how quantum science can create dialogue and forum to explain spiritual experiences.
Taught by Vilde Chaya Fenster-Ehrlich and Larken Bunce
Many of us work with plant medicines to carry on the anti-oppressive, community-based, anti-authoritarian traditions of centuries of herbalists — a kind of medicine we need all the more today. Herbal care is especially sought in many trans and non-binary communities to get away from the hostile and disempowering treatment often experienced in the medical world, and to feel a greater sense of autonomy in a society that tries to shame, dominate and do violence to trans and non-binary people. Maybe you want to know what you can do to make your herbal practice a welcoming place for trans clients. Maybe you’ve gotten feedback that your classes or articles are harming your trans students and want to make changes to make your program more accessible. Or maybe you’re trans or non-binary and looking for solid information about using herbal medicines in gender-affirming ways, including in combination with hormone therapies. In this intensive we address how to responsibly navigate drug-herb interactions, pre- and post-operative surgical care, and herbal supports for medical and non-medical gender-affirming practices. This intensive is a step to address all these needs in our herbal community!
This intensive will help spread information that will support us in offering high quality and empowering care and connection to the trans clients and communities in our lives. The material shared comes out of the collective knowledge, expression and experimentation of many trans folks over many years, as well as the plants, institutional medical research, the always helpful guiding star of sass, and just a touch of arcane herbal lore! The workshop will be practical, accessible, and, largely, fun.
Topics to be covered:
• Hormone replacement therapies (HRT), the ways they work, risks and side effects, and how herbs can be supportive.
• Responsibly navigating drug-herb interactions: understanding the ways drugs and herbs interact, and the particulars of supporting clients doing HRT without affecting their pharmaceutical regimen.
• Pre- and post-operative surgical care for a variety of top and bottom surgeries.
• Herbal supports for medical and non-medical gender-affirming practices.
• The state of the clinical research relevant to trans health, including herbal research
• Playing with gender and herbs: reflecting on the stories we have connecting gender, plants, bodies and medicines, and how these can be retold, used or subverted for survival, radical change and pleasure.
• Gender-aware and gender-expansive logistics: practical approaches to welcome and serve trans and non-binary community for people who run herbal practices, teach, write, make products and build worlds.
• Some political real talk about trans panic and vilification and the messages that support and weaponize the gender binary.
• Time for your questions!