Dara Saville, MS: Founder of Albuquerque Herbalism and Primary Instructor, Director of the Yerba Mansa Project
Dara Saville has a Bachelor’s degree from New York University and a Master’s degree specializing in Geography of the Southwest from the University of New Mexico. She is also a graduate of Dr. Tierona Low Dog’s Foundations of Herbal Medicine Program. Her herbalism journey has included apprenticeships with New Mexico herbalists as well as classes with other well-known herbalists from across the country. Dara is also a regular columnist for Plant Healer Magazine, a board member of the Native Plant Society of New Mexico Albuquerque Chapter, and has many years of resource management and field work experience for the National Park Service. Her passion for the plants and landscapes of the southwest has resulted in the creation of the Albuquerque Herbalism bioregional herbal studies program and The Yerba Mansa Project to restore native plant habitat in the Rio Grande Bosque. In addition to learning from the plants and working with students, she happily maintains her own medicinal herb garden, homeschools her two children, and is the primary healthcare provider for her family of 4.
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Bioregional herbalism is the art and science of working with plants growing where you live for the purposes of health and well-being. More specifically, it focuses on seeking relationships with and learning how to use abundant urban weeds, common plants from our surrounding wild lands, and crops from our cultivated gardens. This focus on locally available plants creates an herbal practice that is more affordable and truly sustainable. It is also empowering to the practitioner because it promotes a deeper connection with the local landscape as you get to know wild plants and places, grow and harvest your own plant medicine ingredients, and prepare your own custom herbal remedies suited to your health goals and lifestyle.
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Angie True, LCSW, CHt: Flower Essences and Botanical Dreaming
Angie True is an ecopsychologist, herbalist, writer and mountain-dweller who seeks to invoke the deep healing power that land, story, plants, dream and trance hold. She combines the latest research into the dietary, lifestyle and environmental causes and components of emotional symptoms with ancient botanical practices and traditional psychotherapy. Specialties include therapeutic, herbal, nutritional and ancestral support for loss of meaning, autoimmune diseases and for those coming off of psychiatric medications. Angie defined, researched and is continuing to develop the theory of ecological trauma, a cultural mental illness specific to our times. Learn more about healing from ecological trauma in the free online publication, ReWorlding Magazine, and the many types of holistic therapies available at The Calyx Institute.
Rhonda Newby-Torres: Herbal Cocktails and Wild Foods
Rhonda Newby-Torres is a fifth generation farmer who lives and works on her small farm in Tome, NM. Rhonda is the owner and operator of New Mexico Farmacy, a medicinal herb farm and wild-crafting service. She specializes in providing fresh organic medicinal herbs and wild edibles to local herbalists through her Farm Share CSA as well as at local Farmer’s Markets. Rhonda began her herbal and foraging journey as a child picking Lamb’s Quarters with her grandmother in Northern New Mexico. She was determined to pass on her love of wild plants to her young daughter so they began taking classes at Albuquerque Herbalism in 2015, where they both continue to study, learn and practice. Rhonda has a particular passion for wild edible food and has learned to harvest and prepare many of the edible delicacies growing right here in New Mexico. Rhonda is now offering others a chance to visit her farm, to learn and perform basic wild-crafting, and to prepare a wild meal together in a relaxed community setting!
Donna O’Donovan: Distillates and Hydrosols
Donna has had a love of plants and nature since her youth spending time in the New England woods but it wasn’t until 2011 that the plant world called out amidst the strongest contrast to pavement and concrete. She studied with Sonia Masocco through the UNM Continuing Ed Clinical Herbalism program, was an apprentice with Beverly McFarland exploring plant spirit medicine, and has taken Albuquerque Herbalism’s Advanced Herbalism course along with self study and attending classes and herbal conferences whenever she can. Donna has worked in an herb store and developed a blog called wildlettucegal.wordpress.com, which highlights the adventures, discoveries and occasional mishaps of foraging plants and working and traveling at rapid pace with 2 cats, a dog, and her partner across the United States. She also designed and hosted her own radio show, as Lady Grindelia, for a year in Madrid, NM, through the local radio station KMRD @ 96.9 FM. Her show “Herbtalk and Folkways” highlighted history, plants, and stories of the region as well as insight offered by a number of guests. Currently Donna is offering herbal classes with friend and Herbalist, Lori Ottino of Moonbow Herbs and Gifts, in Madrid, N.M and working as an Herbalist at Herbs, etc. Her own garden continues to be one of her most important teachers.
Jessi T. Walsh: Botanical Drawing
Jessi T Walsh is a recent resident of Albuquerque, having arrived from a series of botanical art research travels in México, Belize, Europe, and the US. A Southern native with a background in Marine Biology, she has lived and worked in Chicago for the past 13 years, making interdisciplinary art, independent films, and teaching young artists K-12. Currently studying the intersection of folk medicine, botanical perfumery and interactive sensory performance, she is excited to be bringing Botanical Drawing into the Mountains with Albuquerque Herbalism!
Claudia Millan Rounds, LMT: Essential Oils
Claudia Millan Rounds is a native New Mexican with family curandera roots and 12 years of study and experience using essential oils. Her grandmother was a traditional curandera (Mexican healer) who offered Claudia healing wisdom and laid the foundation for her future endeavors as an herbalist. Although being brought up surrounded by herbal remedies and traditional chanting, it wasn’t until her first pregnancy that she incorporated herbalism into everyday life and pursuing formal education. Claudia enrolled in the LMT program at New Mexico School of Natural Therapeutics in 2003 and became a licensed massage therapist working with herbal infusions and essential oils as part of her practice. She has also studied under Audre Gutierrez from Wisdom of the Earth in Nambe, New Mexico. Claudia’s most exciting challenge has been learning how to incorporate and use essential oils in day to day life. In her classes she will share the recipes she has developed to do just that.