OUR TEACHERS ARE THE HEART OF THE SCHOOL
Welcome to Our Stellar Lineup of
Medicine Making Course Instructors!
We’re beaming proud to showcase this fine array of herbal teachers and medicine makers.
Juliet Blankespoor started the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine in 2007, after deciding to become a professional plant-human matchmaker. She lives with her partner Tom outside of Asheville, NC, in a wee handbuilt home where they nurture a medicinal herb garden and a delightfully hilarious daughter. Juliet has been sharing her passion for plants for over twenty-five years through teaching herbal medicine and botany. Despite a seemingly single-minded obsession for medicinal plants, she’s branched out in the last few years, exploring new territory and interests—namely photographing, videoing, and writing about: medicinal plants.
Juliet is an unabashed botanical entrepreneur –her earliest project during her collegiate years included a get-rich-quick-scheme involving papaya trees. After graduating from the University of Florida with a degree in botany, Juliet founded and formulated a tincture line, Green Faith Herbals. She spent her twenties growing and wildcrafting medicine for her tincture business.
During this time, Juliet continued her studies by attending extensive herbal programs at the Northeast School of Botanical Medicine, the California School of Herbal Studies and the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine. Her teachers are 7Song, James Snow and Michael Moore.
After many years of teaching intensive, all-outdoor herbal programs, Juliet has decided she is a raging introvert and her teachings are best suited to the virtual sphere. She is currently writing her first book – The Healing Garden: Cultivating & Handcrafting Herbal Remedies. Juliet has spent the last few years videoing herbs, and their admirers and cultivators, for the Herbal Immersion Program. She is delighted to continue to teach and connect with herb lovers through the ethers. Please visit Blog Castanea to enjoy her herbal articles and botanical photography.
Asia Suler is a writer, teacher, herbalist and energy worker who lives in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western NC. She is the creator and concoctress behind One Willow Apothecaries, a small Appalachian-grown business that offers handmade and heartfelt medicine. She is also the muse behind Woolgathering & Wildcrafting, a blog detailing the potent magic of good medicine: plants and dreams, primitive skills and developing a deep connection with the land.
Asia began her journey into healing and plant-based medicine after early years of chronic pain. The experience— which pushed her into a deep search for healing, both within and without— led her to the altar of the green world, where she fell irrevocably in love with plants. She began her formal study of herbs with Juliet Blankespoor and the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine and has continued to study, seek, listen and learn ever since. Asia’s work is a unique combination of western and energetic herbalism, stone medicine, earth-centered shamanism and intuitive healing. She holds a B.A. in English, Anthropology, and Native American studies from Vassar College and a Reiki Master degree. Asia teaches at schools and gatherings across the country and is blessed to work intimately with people and plants, spirit, and stones.
She is currently in the depths of working on her forthcoming book about intuition and earth-based living.
Asia teaches Medicine Making for the Herbal Immersion Program, Medicine Making Course, and Foraging Course, and she is also a recipe contributor for the Foraging Course.
Jade is the director and founder of The School for Aromatic Studies. Her school is internationally respected for providing balanced, progressive and inspiring education that is cultivating a new generation of aromatherapists. She has been sharing her love of the aromatic world for over twenty-five years through her numerous online programs as well as in person classes throughout the country. Jade is the author of the textbook Aromatherapy for Bodyworkers. She served for many years as the president of the National Association for Holistic Aromatherapy Association. Jade enjoys gardening, spending time with her son, reading and researching, making her own medicine from both herbs and essential oils, and just being outside in the natural world.
Lorna Mauney-Brodek is a traveling herbalist, medicine maker, wildcrafter and teacher dedicated to promoting diversity, environmental responsibility, and social justice through herbalism. Growing up “americana,” her health practices reflect the abundantly diverse influences of these lands to blend western medical herbalism, traditional Chinese five phase, Ayurveda, and southern folk. Early barefoot adventures in the Appalachian foothills and global wanderings with tent-packing parents led to more formal trainings in plant medicine. She completed an herbal residency with Michael Moore at the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine and her clinical internship at the Blue Ridge School for Herbal Studies. Lorna is the founder and director of the Herbalista Health Network, a web of clinical services, health education, and service opportunities that provide earth-based care to underserved communities. Lorna teaches around the country and abroad, spreading the Herb Bus method and celebrating our capacity to build community through herbalism.
Lorna teaches Materia Medica in the Herbal Immersion Program and Foraging Course, and Aromatherapy and Hydrotherapy in the Herbal Immersion Program, Medicine Making Course, and Foraging Course.
Introducing Our Brilliant Lineup
of Course Contributors
Our Herbal Medicine Making Course features an array of delicious food and medicine formulas and recipes as well as bonus lessons about the roots of herbalism, herbal accessibility, and traditional plant gathering practices from our guest contributors. We are thrilled to include these brilliant teachers in the course!
Brandon Ruiz is a community herbalist and urban farmer living in Charlotte, NC. He owns Atabey Choreto Medicinals and directs the CLT Herbal Accessibility Project and spends his time working in urban gardens, making medicine and working with his community. Brandon works mainly with plants of the tropics, specifically from the Caribbean and in Boriken (Puerto Rico), his ancestral homeland.
Felicia Cocotzin Ruiz
Dr. Jus Crea Giammarino
Raised with her Penobscot culture and Native American spiritual practices, Dr. Jus Crea Giammarino realized the healing powers of nature at a young age. She received a Certificate in Herbal Therapeutics and attended the Rocky Mountain Center for Botanical Studies. She received a Bachelor of Science from UMass, Amherst in ‘Ethnobotany and Holistic Health’, graduating magna cum laude from the Honors College. Here she also received a Certificate in Native American Studies as well as completing premedical coursework. She went on to receive a Doctorate in Naturopathic Medicine from the University of Bridgeport, College of Naturopathic Medicine graduating at the top of her class earning the award for ‘Academic Excellence in Naturopathic Medicine’. She completed an advanced externship in pediatrics, women’s health, and family medicine as well as receiving advanced training in Sankaran Homeopathy. She became an Acupuncture Detoxification Specialist at the Lincoln Medical and Mental Health Hospital in Bronx, NY and a certified practitioner in WTS Therapy.
Jus Crea has lectured extensively on Native American Herbology and leads ethnobotanical tours. She teaches Native American cultures, histories, and traditions. Previously she taught Nutrition at Springfield College and was a primary care physician in Brattleboro, VT. Currently, Dr. Giammarino practices Naturopathic Medicine in Springfield, MA treating people of all ages. Visit her website for more information.
With a journey that began as a little girl mixing herbs, clays, and mud on her grandparents’ farm, Lucretia VanDyke has been in the industry for over 20 years. She is a Holistic Educator, Speaker, Herbalist, SacredSexologist, Ceremonialist, Spiritual Light Coach, Intuitive Energetic and Reiki Practitioner, Diviner, and world traveler with over 3000 hours of training. She has studied with some of the greats minds of our time and indigenous healers. Lucretia been a holistic esthetician and practitioner for over a decade focusing on integrating indigenous healing rituals, plant spirit medicine, and meditation into modern-day practices. She brings her vivacious spirit and message of self-love in her work to inspire others to embrace their unique beauty and purpose. Her work with herbs and sacred practices honors Women’s Wholeness Medicine, grief work, sexual trauma, ancestor connection, womb healing, self-empowerment, food alchemy, and holistic skin care. You can connect with Lucretia on Facebook, Instagram, and on her website.
Marc Williams is an ethnobiologist. He has studied the people, plant, mushroom and microbe interconnection intensively while learning to employ botanicals and other life forms for food, medicine, and beauty in a regenerative manner. His training includes a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies concentrating in Sustainable Agriculture with a minor in Business from Warren Wilson College and a Master’s degree in Appalachian Studies concentrating in Sustainable Development with a minor in Geography and Planning from Appalachian State University. He has spent over two decades working at a multitude of restaurants and various farms and has traveled throughout 30 countries in Central/North/South America and Europe as well as all 50 states of the USA. Marc has visited over 200 botanical gardens and research institutions during this process while taking tens of thousands of pictures of representative plants and other entities. He has taught hundreds of classes to thousands of students about the marvelous world of people and their interface with other organisms while working with over 100 organizations and particularly as a Board of Directors member of the United Plant Savers and online at the website Botany Everyday. Marc’s greatest hope is that this effort may help improve our current challenging global ecological situation.
Meghan is one of the Chestnut School’s primary instructors through her written lessons, and is the principal pollinator of the school’s social media community—sharing herbal and wild foods wisdom from the flowery heart of the school to an ever-wider field of herbalists, gardeners, healers, and plant lovers.
She has been in a steady relationship with the Chestnut School since 2010—as an intern and manager at the Chestnut Herb Nursery; as a plant-smitten student “back in the day” when the school’s programs were taught in the field; and later as a part the school’s woman-powered professional team. Meghan lives in the Ivy Creek watershed, just north of Asheville, North Carolina.