Our Team

Get to Know Us

Albuquerque Herbalism is proud to feature classes with a range of perspectives informed by the varied professional backgrounds of our instructors. What we have in common is deep connection to our beloved Southwestern landscape.

Dara Saville

Dara Saville

Founder; Series Courses, Herbal Products Making Courses

Meet Dara

Dara Saville is the founder of Albuquerque Herbalism and the Executive Director of the Yerba Mansa Project, a non-profit organization. She has an MS in Geography and Environmental Studies from the University of New Mexico and is also a graduate of Tieraona Low Dog’s Foundations of Herbal Medicine program. Her work involves teaching herbalists, organizing the community to undertake native medicinal plant restoration on public lands, working with local schools to engage students in medicinal plant studies, and fostering a renewed land connection through public events and field trips.

Dara is a regular columnist for Plant Healer Quarterly where she writes on a variety of botanical topics including environmental issues concerning medicinal plants and is also an instructor in UNM’s Holistic Health Program. She is a contributing author to several Plant Healer books and is the author of her first forthcoming book through UNM Press, Ecological Herbalism: Medicinal Plants and Living Landscapes of the Southwest.

Angie True

Angie True

Botanical Dreaming, Chronic Illness, Mental Health + Flower Essence Courses

Meet Angie

Angie True is an ecopsychologist/psychotherapist, herbalist, writer and mountain-dweller. She is a graduate of Prescott College, Indiana University and the Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism, as well as many herbal mentors over the years.

Angie is also the executive director of The Calyx Institute, a practice which combines the latest research into the dietary, lifestyle and environmental causes and components of emotional symptoms with ancient botanical practices and traditional psychotherapy. In addition, she serves as administrative director at the Yerba Mansa Project, has taught literature at the college level and currently teaches on a wide variety of topics from herbally-infused perspectives, including mental illness, dreamwork, chronic illness, ecopsychology and more. She and her colleagues are ridiculously slowly opening C.I. Botanicals, a place for dreaming and meditation herbal formulas, wild bitters and plant-related artworks.

Rhonda Newby-Torres

Rhonda Newby-Torres

Herbal Cocktails + Wild Foods Courses

Meet Rhonda

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!

Rachel Furnari

Rachel Furnari

Medicinal Cannabis Courses

Meet Rachel

Rachel is a native New Mexican, born in Belen with a passion for sustainability and plant medicine. She has worked in the medical field for almost 25 years, recently as a Registered Nurse in the Albuquerque community, with experience in pediatric oncology, orthopedics, hospice, managed care, skilled inpatient care coordination, and cannabis nursing.

Rachel has studied cannabis as medicine for several years and has presented at multiple cannabis conferences in New Mexico and has counseled countless patients in the community. 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 abolish the stigma and fear hiding behind it. She is currently working towards her Master’s degree in nursing with the goal of opening up her own Family Practice in the Albuquerque community, focusing on holistic health. She feels that bringing nature back to its roots is key to sustaining our environment and our community.

Donna O'Donovan

Donna O'Donovan

Constitution & Energetics + Hydrosols & Distillates Courses

Meet Donna

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. She is ever grateful to her nature science teacher as a child. Violets and lemon balm in her grandmother’s garden and foraging wild mushrooms with her Aunt in Ireland are formative experiences. She has learned from a number of herbal teachers, programs, practitioners and a walkabout apprenticeship in the Sandia Mountains. She also studied at Albuquerque Herbalism in the Advanced Program.

Other pursuits have combined herbal activism and education through a weekly herbal radio program featuring folkways and herb talk along with many guest speakers.

She has gained great knowledge through the varied and often under radar experiences of working in herbal retail settings for the past number of years. She currently lives in the Chihuhuan desert in Las Cruces, New Mexico where she helps run the Wellness Department at a local Co-op. Her favorite strategy, while perusing the herb and supplement aisles, is to inspire people by educating about simple, accessible lifestyle supports. Offering ideas for tea blends and recipes. You will find her there doing what she loves and sharing that enthusiasm in her community herbal classes that she is offering at the Mountain View Market Co-op.

She can be contacted for classes and offerings at maytreeherbals@gmail.com

Anna Marija Helt

Anna Marija Helt

Edible & Medicinal Mushroom Courses

Meet Marija

Dr. Anna Marija Helt is an herbalist and microbiologist in Durango, Colorado.  Before falling in love with herbalism and “mushroomism”, she researched cancer development and pathogenic viruses.  After career burnout hit, she switched to running a motorcycle cafe in San Francisco while studying Western Herbalism, aromatherapy, and a smidgen of Traditional Chinese Medicine. Upon moving to Colorado, Marija became a full time botanical geek, clinical practitioner, and writer.  She prefers weeds, mushrooms, and only the most abundant native plants as her allies. Her goals are to introduce herbs to folks who aren’t already on the bandwagon and to empower clients with herbal traditions augmented by a critical evaluation of herbal research science.  Marija provides wellness consultations and other services through Osadha Natural Health.


About Our Team

We offer a variety of classes, including one-day topics as well as in-depth series courses. Making herbal education accessible through affordable classes, community partnerships, native plant restoration and increasing the health and well-being of our human community via connection to the common wild and cultivated plants of our local area is our goal.


Natural Strategies for Autoimmunity & Chronic Inflammation

“I thought this was a very informative class and would really like to learn more of what you know…There was so much information to take in and I am so appreciative of you forwarding on to us the wonderfully detailed notes. If you have the class again I know several other people that…wish they had taken the class. I never met anybody who gets autoimmunity the way you do. Again, thank you so much.”

— Nancy

Herbalism Series

“Just wanted to say first of all I have really enjoyed your class….you have SUCH good positive energy about you! Looking forward to class in May and I have started dreaming/planning my herb garden this year. Cannot wait to start working with these “beings” myself and really getting to know them on a level I never realized was even possible. I have really started looking at and moving in the world very differently on hikes etc since becoming your student.”

— Molly

Advanced Herbalists Group

“I had been wanting to e-mail you and just say how amazing your medicine is…. I used the cough tincture combo and it got rid of my sore throat and prevented a cough like never before for me. I just wanted to compliment you on your medicine making and say I am a believer more then I was before which I didn’t think possible!”

— DeAnn

Make Incense + Inspire Wisdom + Invite Blessings

Let’s have some fun and get our hands dirty outside and in the kitchen. With viral concerns lurking everywhere and most of us spending more of our lives at home, it’s a great time to make some incense that will improve the quality of our living space and purify our...

Pandemic Garden

Pandemic Garden: Throughout history the role of gardens has been shaped by cultural viewpoints and conditions specific to the time. Extensive wild-spirited gardens helped ancient people to begin building sedentary societies, develop new lifestyles, improve nutrition,...

COVID-19 Support

Perspective on COVID-19 Home Health Preparations: March 22, 2020   Strange times indeed…. Unless we remember that humans have been through similar situations before. In fact, we are the descendants of people who have survived terrifying outbreaks of the past...

Fall Foraging with Prickly Pear and Mesquite

Fall Foraging with Prickly Pear and Mesquite: Working with plants provides numerous opportunities to live our lives in harmony with the natural cycles unfolding around us and within us. Just as the end of winter is marked by walking the river and harvesting resinous...

Old World Herbs in the American West

Old World Herbs in the American West: Around the globe plants and people have been making relationships since the early days of humanity. Five thousand year old clay tablets from Sumeria, ancient Chinese texts, and an Egyptian papyrus from the second millennium BCE...

Desert Mesa Medicine

Desert Mesa Medicine: The desert mesa is a landscape where we are confronted with the history of the land and the culture of people; a place where we cannot hide from ourselves. The endless vistas, open expanses, and clear blue skies put everything on display...

Desert Aromatics of the American Southwest

Desert Aromatics of the American Southwest: Aromatic plants have been an integral part of landscapes and human cultures, playing important ecological and ceremonial roles since the beginning of history and beyond. The deserts of the American Southwest are home to a...

The Teachings of Saxifrage and Orchid

The Teachings of Saxifrage and Orchid: Saxifrages and Orchids are some of the most otherworldy plants you might encounter in your herbal path. They are known primarily for their inherent beauty and not widely used in Southwestern herbal traditions. Nevertheless, they...

Bioregional Herbalism

The Beauty of the Bioregional Approach to Your Herbal Practice: There are many ways to practice herbalism including a multitude of traditions all over the world, each with their own plants that form the core of that herbal path. No matter what traditions we are...

Going Deeper with Pedicularis

Going Deeper with Pedicularis: There is undoubtedly a deeply alluring quality to Pedicularis plants that has drawn the attention of many herbalists and plant lovers of all kinds. For some, it is simply recovery for overworked muscles or the relaxation of tension in...