Darcy Ogle, April 2021

One of my earliest memories is of picking and eating raspberries in the backyard. My mother taught me to love plants. I come from a long line of gardeners, and my mom tells me that my great grandmother was an herbalist.  Currently, I grow native herbs and plants and raise backyard chickens. I’ve pursued a…

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Hara Zabraka, March 2021

I come from Greece where the culture of herbs is a continuum of the ancient Greek tradition. Using folk remedies to treat common health conditions is a memory that I have had, which extends beyond the family environment. My foundation studies are Agriculture Science (BSc) and Environmental Politics & Management (MSc). Thus, for over a…

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Darcia Dillard, February 2021

This February, I am thrilled to finally say I am an East West  Intermediate student with plans to be an Advanced student this June. At the age of 16, I stepped into my first health food store.  I can still picture myself walking around that store in Chicago. I purchased three books: Rational Fasting, The Mucusless Diet, and Back…

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Annalisa Nardi, January 2021

I was born (and still live) in Florence, Italy. Growing up in an old city, filled with art and history, birthplace of so many Renaissance geniuses, I naturally became fond of anything that had been created by human ingenuity. I was an extremely shy child, with very limited access to the wild Nature, and not…

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Joshua Samuelsen, December 2020

I grew up in London and then moved to Chico, California in my late teens. I studied International Communications at Chico State. During my Chico time, I also began my yoga journey, did my massage certification and other explored other modalities such Shiatsu and Reiki. I also worked for the weekly college paper, writing and…

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Natalie Morrissey, November 2020

I grew up in the San Francisco Bay Area of California and majored in Business Administration at the University of Hawaii because I felt it was a good foundation.  I worked as an accountant in the construction industry for about 20 years and then in the airline industry for about 17.  Sometime in 2015, I…

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Janet Tunjic, October 2020

I reside in the remote city of Perth, Western Australia with a beautiful son, husband and dog named Alby. Coming from Croatian ancestry my mother and aunties often resorted to folk medicine from their home land for all sorts of ailments as a child. This was my early introduction to healing through plants. My love…

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Lani Nelson, September 2020

I grew up in the small town of Yuba City, CA. I spent most of my childhood helping do the inventory of my local health food store’s vitamin department. It was one of my favorite things to do as I learned about herbal remedies and all the crazy big names. I used that knowledge as…

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Christina Slotin, August 2020

My name is Christina Q. Slotin and I live in Cocoa Beach Florida with my husband Michael and our two teenagers.  As a child, my family moved from Mexico to a small farm working town in Florida named Immokalee. Plants have always played a role in my life, my childhood includes fond memories of grinding…

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Erica Macrum, July 2020

I grew up with the wet land plants, white oaks, and hickories in Illinois.   My love and connection with plants has been with me my whole life. I remember looking at a beautiful blossoming burdock as a young girl, the vibrant green purple pink of each flower and wondering who is this plant? My family…

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Jennifer Breschini, June 2020

I grew up in Colorado where my family was very focused on gardening. This sparked my love of plants and gardening and wherever I’ve lived, I’ve had a garden, large or small. At my current home here in Indianapolis I’ve transformed most of my suburban yard into a paradise of vegetables, herbs, and fruits. After…

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Darlene Kuhn, May 2020

I am a retired JD (Doctor of Jurisprudence), living in Toronto, Canada. I came to herbs and nutrition from a personal health history of “over-reactivity”: i.e., allergies, hay fever, and the toll they take on vitality. I saw this pattern repeating in my children, associated with nervous effects such as anxiety, ADHD. Western medicine, though…

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Liz Collins, April 2020

My name is Liz Collins.  My first passion in the recognition of physical and spiritual health is the practice of yoga, with over 25 years of teaching and study. I was certified in the Iyengar tradition through the Center for Yoga of Seattle in 1997. In the past 14 years I have immersed myself in the Shadow…

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Evan Silver, March 2020

I grew up in San Francisco, CA, just a short walk from the city’s famous Chinatown neighborhood. As a child, I was fascinated by the interesting ingredients displayed at the herb shops; I had no idea that years later, I would have my own collection of Chinese herbs. I attended college in Burlington, VT and…

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Jen Hyde, February 2020

Kia ora and greetings from the southern hemisphere!  My name is Jen and I first started getting interested in herbalism working as a wilderness guide in the NC Appalachian mountains.  As we hiked, my fellow guides would teach me the plants of the region and we would munch as we walked. We ate rock tripe and sourwood…

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Sarah Ford, January 2020

I am Sarah Ford Thompson.  I began my love affair with plants and plant medicines as a young child.  I spent my first few years on a self-sustaining farm in Kentucky with my family.  We grew our own food and raised goats for milk.  We traded goat milk and homemade goat cheese with the nearest…

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Jennifer McDonnell, December 2019

My fondest childhood memories are making “magic potions” over pretend rock fire circles in the forests of the Green Mountains in VT and the Appalachians in New York, the woods I knew as my back yard.  I’d rock hop barefoot, seeking the head of the stream to obtain water where it bubbled out of the earth.…

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Emily Martin, November 2019

My name is Emily Martin. I’m originally from the small town of Jena, Louisiana but currently live in Alabama. After graduating high school, I earned my BA in Elementary Education. With my husband’s military career and our family moving every 2-3 years we decided I would stay home with our children.  Eventually figuring out that…

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laurel paxton

Laurel Paxton, October 2019

My name is Laurel Paxton, I grew up in the beautiful oceanic community of Santa Cruz, CA. I currently live in South Lake Tahoe, where I spend my days homeschooling my children and studying the healing arts. I love studying herbology from around the world and everything around me as much as possible! I have…

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Rebecca Wong, September 2019

Ironically, though I grew up on a dairy farm, surrounded by crops, animals, and nature, I was never exposed to natural health or healing during all that time. Farmers are not necessarily naturalists, and my parents showed little interest in herbal medicine. I never even tried whole wheat bread until I was a teenager and…

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Domini Aalbers, August 2019

Born a sixth generation Montanan, I grew up enjoying the outdoors, hiking, riding horses, camping, fishing and hunting. I love the circle of life and there is no place you can see and experience it more than in the backcountry wilderness. When I worked for an outfitter, my days consisted of hard labor, being in…

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Karen Wentlandt

Karen Wentlandt, July 2019

I currently live in Colorado with my husband. Our three boys are grown and finding their way in this world, just as we continue to find ours. I always believed my calling was to be writer. I pursued that calling as an undergraduate and graduate student. I wrote short stories. I worked on several books,…

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Pascale Richalet, June 2019

Born and raised in France, I came to Boston with my family about twenty years ago to pursue a scientific education in biochemistry and biophysics. An avid Aikido student for many years, I have always been attracted to Eastern philosophies. While working my first science job, I took evening classes and earned a Zen Shiatsu…

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Beth White Mountain, May 2019

I have been a massage therapist, gardener, wildcrafter and lover of herbs for over 20 years. I grew up in Florida and started my herbal journey in 1992, when I was 22, working part-time at an herbal apothecary and part-time for a master gardener doing landscape gardening. The combination of these two jobs helped me…

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Carmen Portner, April 2019

I was born and raised in Guayaquil, Ecuador. I grew up in a culture where native plants were used everyday in food, medicine and limpias. My mother used to believe that negative spirits can cause disease; so when I would fall “mysteriously” ill, she would take me to the medicine woman to perform cleansing ceremonies…

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Joshua Kuhn, March 2019

My name is Josh Kuhn. I am an Ohio native and have for as long as I can remember felt a deep kinship with the natural world. Over the years I have worn many hats (bicycle builder, found object sculptor, mime) but have always come back to the land. In 2011 my wife Bix and…

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Jodi Martin, February 2019

Hi, my name is Jodi Martin.  I have been a student with East West since 11/2013.   I am from upstate New York but have been living on the Island of Kauai in Hawaii since 2011. I am a mother of three amazing daughters and most recently find myself with an empty nest.  While living in…

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Mark Shanagher, January 2019

I was lucky, though having been born in London, to have spent much time in Nature as a young boy. My mum who’s Polish also brought us up on natural foods and medicines at home and by the time I was a young student I was talking peoples ears off about natural being the best!…

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Shelby Heinzer, December 2018

This school has been such a transformative experience. My interest in alternative medicine started with my high school boyfriend’s mom of all places. With herbs, homeopathy, and so much love she helped me tackle health problems that Western medicine seemed to only make worse. That seemingly impossible success led me on an investigation in alternative…

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Gabriela Gioacchini, November 2018

I grew up in the heart of Europe, in the Czech Republic (former Czechoslovakia) during the times of repression and Communist era. During these times it was second nature to grow or forage for food; this is simply what people did. Having a vegetable garden with fruit trees and a few chickens was the norm,…

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Dawn Bertram

Dawn Bertram, October 2018

I live in beautiful British Columbia, Canada, in the Greater Victoria area (North Saanich). I have lived between Vancouver and Vancouver Island most of my life, and have developed a love for our mountains, oceans and old growth forests. We’re so fortunate to be surrounded by this magnificent beauty which offers so much opportunity for…

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Carlie Newlander, September 2018

I am a California gal, born in Long Beach but I’ve spent most my life in the northern part of the state. I currently reside in the beautiful mountains of Santa Cruz where my passion for plants and the healing arts has taken root and the local, like-minded community has embraced me with such loving…

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Raven Ioneh, August 2018

I am a Northern Californian, born in Oakland, California where I currently reside. I grew up in Berkeley, California, but also in the woods of the Pacific Northwest and on the rocky beaches of California’s northern coast.   As a teenager, I developed a sense that people came to me with their injuries and ailments for…

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Herbalist James

Jeremy O’Leary, June 2018

I’ve lived in Portland, Oregon for most of my life, with short stints in Minnesota, Montana and Idaho.  The plan out of college was to work as botanist, but the Bush Administration happened, and after attempting to get work with something of the naturalist flavor, I figured it was best to separate my vocation from…

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Rachael Witt, May 2018

Rachael Witt, May 2018

Hello! My name is Rachael Witt. I am a land-steward, herbalist, and teacher of ancestral skills. I grew up amidst the Oak woodlands in the foothills of the Sierras. As I explored the world around me, studying plant ecology and ethnobotany, opportunities led me to the small town of Duvall, Washington, where I am currently…

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Herbal student Shannon Hobson

Shannon Hobson, April 2018

Where can I say my journey into East West began….  I wasn’t much into natural medicine growing up, but I have always loved nature. I didn’t become interested in natural medicine until I travelled to Vietnam many years later, where I, unfortunately, picked up something nasty.  Upon my return to Australia (where I was living…

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Sherri Hawn

Sheri Hawn, March 2018

My name is Sheri Hawn and I am currently an Advanced Student here at East West. What a journey of learning and self-discovery this has been. I grew up in the foothills of the Ozark Mountains and spent many hours, as a child, wandering the land, picking plants and flowers and “making medicine”, which I usually fed to the dog! I come from a line of healers and nature lovers; I am grateful to my elders for helping me to see beyond what eyes can see in both people and nature. …

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