Instructors

Dara Saville, MS: Founder of Albuquerque Herbalism and Primary Instructor, Director of the Yerba Mansa Project

Dara Garden 5 headshotDara 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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Pagoda flowerBioregional 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

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Angie True is an ecopsychologist, psychotherapist and herbalist. At The Calyx Institute, she and her colleagues practice functional behavioral health and herbal medicine, offering holistic treatment for children, teens and adults. Their approach combines traditional psychotherapy with the latest research into the environmental causes and components of emotional and physical symptoms, as well as botanical practices, nature connection and many other modalities. By getting to the root causes of emotional symptoms, genuine healing becomes possible. Specialties include therapeutic, herbal, elemental (or lifestyle) support for ADHD, autoimmune and thyroid diseases, those coming off of psychiatric medications and more.  

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Rhonda Newby-Torres: Herbal CocktailsRhonda head shot cropped.jpg 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!

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Donna O’Donovan: Distillates and Hydrosols

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Donna has had a love of plants and nature since her youth, foraging briar leaves, admiring club mosses and orchids of the New England woods. It wasn’t until 2011 when those experiences came rushing past the strongest contrast to pavement and concrete. While traveling for work with her partner, dog and two cats, she developed an herbal and foraging blog called wildlettucegal.wordpress.com  Other pursuits have been to design and host a radio show called “Herbtalk and Folkways” as Lady Grindelia. She hosted frequent guests and aired a show every week on a wide array of herbal and applied topics.  Donna has also taught herb classes to children and adults. Her herbal education includes studying at UNM’s Clinical Herbal program, apprenticing with a local herbalist focusing on herbs of the Sandia Mountains and plant spirit medicine, and studying with Dara Saville in the Advanced Herbalism course. Currently she is taking classes with The Eclectic School of Herbal Medicine with in person Clinical Intensives. The plants are always the biggest teachers and her garden and the wild weeds are a favorite reminder of the world of plants.

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Rachel Furnari: Medicinal Cannabis Education

Rachel head shotRachel is a native New Mexican from Belen, New Mexico who has worked in the healthcare field for over 20 years. She is a registered nurse with the state of New Mexico. Rachel realized she had a passion for plant medicine after taking her first class with Albuquerque Herbalism and strives to teach others the powers of its use. Additionally Rachel has worked as a cannabis consult nurse and has attended several cannabis medicine conferences. She currently works as a hospice nurse hoping to change the way medicine is used at the end of life, powering peace through transition. Rachel feels that it is imperative to teach the community about the wonderful benefits and uses of this very diverse plant. She hopes to help to abolish the stigma and fear hiding behind it. Rachel is a current member and meet-up leader for the American Cannabis Nurses Association, hosting monthly meetings in Albuquerque.

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Jessi T. Walsh: Botanical Drawing

jtw-totally-awesome-headsho_med_hrJessi 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!

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Claudia Millan Rounds, LMT: Essential Oils

Claudia 3Claudia 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.

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