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2019 Herbal Conference Schedule
Friday, September 27
3:00 pm - 6:00 pm Pre-conference Intensive: The Magic of Cacao Massage ~ Rocio Alarcón
Saturday, September 28
7:30 am - 9:00 am Registration
Vendor booths open. Coffee, tea and snacks available for purchase from vendors.
9:00 am Opening Circle - All meet in the Oak Hall
Opening Remarks ~ Charis Lindrooth
Morning Keynote Address: Lessons from the Goddess Ix Chel, Our Own American Goddess ~ Rosita Arvigo
The Maya goddess of birth and death, medicine, the moon, all bodes of water and fertility is alive and well. Her inspiring story will touch your heart and inspire the inner queen.
10:30 am Break - Vendor booths open
10:45 am Saturday Morning Classes Begin
Oak Hall: Herbs & Meditation for Easing Anxiety and Building Inner Resilience ~ Deb Soule  
Enjoy learning how to care for yourself, your family and your community with herbal teas, tinctures, healing foot and flower baths, and meditation. We will taste and explore herbs which help relax the body, calm and focus the mind, strengthen and revitalize the nervous and digestive system, and restore a feeling of joy and gratitude. Deb will share growing, gathering and preparation information, along with a few guided meditations to begin and end our time together.
Elderflower Tent: Scent Mythology - Using Culture and Personal Story to Create Unique Botanical Perfumes (Intermediate) ~ Jenn Allen  
Scientists have discovered that scent memories can be passed down generations through our genes. This beckons the exploration into how scent formulation can be used to tell a personal mythology that includes ancestral information as well as using scent to archetypally express ones’ personal experience. Scent is another way to paint the story of our lives and reaches deeply into the subconscious layers of our psyche defying linear cognitive awareness and connecting more holistically to an embodied soul experience. This workshop will utilize culture, memory, meditation, story and wisdom of the dreamtime to help formulate deeply personal signature scents. Raw materials unique to certain cultures will be experienced and participants are encouraged to bring their own personal raw ingredients to share with the group (no hands-on formulation will be done). This is an intermediate level workshop for those with basic perfume formulation experience but is meant to be a springboard for the creation of a deeply personal perfume mythology.
Rose Tent: A Bio-Individual Approach to Herbal Skin Care ~ Rachael Pontillo  
Small batch, artisan skincare has made its value known in the skincare and personal care markets, as influencers continue to support plant-based, small batch makers over mass-produced, synthetically-based companies. This trend has grown even more niche as the demand for customization, bespoke skincare, and wellness solutions grows. In this discussion, Rachael Pontillo will share how more herbalists and skincare practitioners are expanding their skincare ranges beyond oils and salves, to offer their clients customized solutions and avoid competition. She will also introduce her newest method for choosing herbs and oils for individual clients.
Lavender Tent: Poor People’s Pharmacy: How to Create a Low Cost Home Apothecary using Food Stamps ~ Amanda David  
Herbal medicine is the people’s medicine. However it remains cost prohibitive for many. One way to make herbal medicine more accessible to more people is to find creative ways to make it affordable. In this class we will explore how folks who receive SNAP/Food Stamps can utilize these benefits to create an abundance of low cost herbal medicines, for common home healthcare, with common grocery store ingredients.
Red Clover Tent: Plant Healing and Sexual Trauma: A Beginning ~ Amanda Dilday  
Together, we will hold a safe space and consider the plants which facilitate and further the powerful, painful process of healing the wounds of sexual trauma. Amidst this harrowing work, herbs mend us by strengthening our bodies and reviving our spirits. Through gentle story and case study, we will survey the herbal allies which open tightly-closed eyes, soothe battered hearts, mend jagged edges, and accompany us into the darkness to retrieve the light.
12:15 pm - 1:45 pm Lunch Break - Vendor booths open
1:45 pm Saturday Afternoon Classes Begin
Oak Hall: Manifest Your Authentic Self ~ Kerry Smith  
In our culture of superficiality, constant movement and pressure to do and be more, it's easy to forget the work of remembering who we truly are. This workshop will focus on how to identify fundamental blocks to authenticity and highlight practices and herbs that will encourage one's radiant soul to shine.
Elderflower Tent: Detox and Dao: Spiritual Connections Between the Body and Diet ~ Naren Udgan  
Various detox diets and regimes have become popular in recent years, but concepts and practices around detoxification can be traced back 2,500 years to the time of Daoism. In this class, we will discuss the ways that detox diets enhance our abilities to live harmoniously, both physically and spiritually, and we will highlight the connections between finding balance in spirit, body, and mind. Through introducing a fruitarian detox and diet modality, we will not only increase our healing ability, but also increase our spiritual energy and connection to the higher self.
Rose Tent: Sacred Scent - Creating Perfume Elixirs with Botanicals (Beginner) ~ Jenn Allen  
Scent has been used from the beginning of time to evoke emotion, seduce, sanctify, and cleanse. Learn how herbs and other botanicals can be used to create unique and living scents. In addition to discussing how to use purchased essential oils, absolutes and resins, we will also discuss how to ethically wildcraft local flora to make our own scented oils and tinctures for use in creams and perfumes. Each participant will be able to take home a personal scent in a perfume bottle. We will incorporate tiny shells and crystals into our perfume creation.
Lavender Tent: Master Plants from Ecuador ~ Rocio Alarcón  
Ecuador, one of the world’s most diverse environments, is home to more than 50 different species of Master Plants. Master plants have the ability to infuse themselves with humans to produce profound changes at the multidimensional level. They can produce energetic changes in living beings, they can create a vision of different dimensions, and they can remove energies from the subconscious where our real memory is. During this talk, we will review the social and medicinal use of the Master Plants, as well as their use in shamanic beverages.
Red Clover Tent: The Art & Practice of Vaginal Steaming ~ Liz Henke  
Discover the many physical benefits of introducing the practice of steaming in a self-care routine, and how it can promote mental and emotional wellbeing. Learn how to steam, what herbs to use for different purposes, and how to address specific needs.
3:15 pm Break - Vendor booths open
3:30 pm Saturday Mid-Afternoon Classes Begin
Oak Hall: Basil, Rue and Marigold: The Three Sisters of Mercy ~ Rosita Arvigo  
Every herbalist has plant allies that assist with physical and spiritual healing. Rosita has worked with these three plants for decades and has a lot of fascinating stories to tell.
Elderflower Tent: The Magic of CO2Extracts ~ Rachael Pontillo  
CO2extraction has been used for decades in the food industry, but recently has made its foray into the herbal supplement, aromatherapy and natural perfumery, and botanical skincare industries. While many have embraced CO2extracts, others have concerns about their phytonutritional value, quality, and sustainability. Are they better than steam distilled essential oils? What about fixed oils? In this class, Rachael will not only address these concerns, but she will also introduce you to a variety of CO2extracts and their many uses… Prepare yourself for an aromatic feast!
Rose Tent: Women’s Healing Circle ~ Rocio Alarcón  
Join Rocio in an open discussion about the delicate balance of our intimate relationships, and how cultural pressures can leave us feeling unbalanced, unsupported, and sometimes off track. Learn about plants that can help heal our ancestral roots, restore our sense of peace, and strengthen our personal boundaries and inner radiance.
Lavender Tent: Healthcare Injustice, Herbalism and Black Folks ~ Amanda David  
In this class we will look at past and present examples of disparities and violence against black folks in the U.S. Medical System, and how mainstream herbalism has largely upheld this injustice. We will consider how this shapes the health and health care choices of black folks and how herbalism has and can be an agent for health equity and justice.
Red Clover Tent: Beading with Botanicals ~ Liz Henke  
Crafting with botanicals is a fun, unique way of expressing yourself and your love of plants. In this workshop, you will learn to create beautiful, unique beads and pendants using dried plant material as your medium. This class is hands-on and you will have the opportunity to create several of your own pieces to take home. $5 materials fee.
5:00 pm Celebratory Dinner - Pre-purchase meal tickets! All vendors open for shopping! (Moms of Kids' Campers: pick up kids to join us)
6:15 pm Oak Hall - Raffle Drawing and Talent Show (TBA)
6:30 pm Evening Keynote Address in the Oak Hall: From Shepherd to Shaman - Exploring New Horizons ~ Naren Udgan
Horizons can feel like boundaries, but Naren has always seen them as opportunities to explore. Whether they were distant sand dunes in the Ordos desert where she grew up, or the spiritual horizons that aid in healing, Naren shares her story with the hope to encourage and inspire.
7:45 pm Wild Women's Fire Circle ~ Suzanna Stone
Held outdoors at fire pit, weather permitting. Held in Oak Hall if weather is too uncomfortable for outdoor drumming.
Sunday, September 29
8:00 am Secrets of the Garden: Plant Meditation (TBA)
9:00 am - 11:30 am Sunday Morning Intensives
Oak Hall: Make Your Own Aesthetician-Approved Herbal Cream ~ Rachael Pontillo  
The "whole plant" herbal skincare trend has crossed from the realm of plant medicine into spas everywhere. Now, more than ever, aestheticians and other beauty professionals are looking to herbalists for all-natural products designed to help their clients in a healthier way. In this workshop, licensed aesthetician, herbalist, and holistic skincare formulator, Rachael Pontillo, will teach you to make a simple, yet effective herbal cream that any aesthetician would approve of. You'll also learn what holistic aestheticians look for in terms of ingredients, shelf stability, and educational material to pass on to their clients.
Elderflower Tent: Shamanic Healing You Can Take Home With You ~ Naren Udgan  
Naren will demonstrate various shamanic healing techniques that anyone can learn and use, even those doubting their shamanic abilities. From learning how to use tools that help enhance spiritual focus, such as smudging or alcohol spraying, to channeling ancestral and natural spirits, these techniques and principles will heighten your healing power. You will learn how to “hand-scan” an individual in order to find chakra imbalances that may be causing physical illnesses, and identify organs that are weak or functioning poorly, and will get to practice these techniques with each other. You will learn powerful ways by which to “listen” to your intuition and spirit guides, and with practice, you will be able to understand how major life transformations in the past have affected an individual’s current illnesses.
Rose Tent: The Wandering Womb: Wisdom from Healers and Midwives of Central America ~ Rosita Arvigo  
In this class, Rosita will help you understand women's health from an ancient perspective by delving into the history of uterine misplacement. She will discuss the possible causes of a misplaced uterus, as well as the signs and symptoms of this condition.
11:30 am - 12:30 pm Oak Hall: Sunday Brunch (Tickets must be pre-purchased) - Vendor booths open
12:30 pm Sunday Afternoon Classes Begin
Elderflower Tent: Creating a Woman’s Healing Garden ~ Deb Soule  
Medicinal gardens offer inspiration and healing to people, pollinators, and the Spirit of place. This beautiful slide show will focus on growing and using specific herbs for female health. Included will be information on garden design and soil health: planting, gathering, preparing and using specific healing plants, herbal flowers for pollinators, and an introduction to using the Biodynamic Planting Calendar. May more and more herb gardens be planted and tended in the spirit of healing and reciprocity.
Lavender Tent: Healing with Fire: An Ecuadorian Tradition ~ Rocio Alarcón  
This is a very old practice that allows us to learn how to remove different conditions that are producing an impact in our emotional, spiritual, and physical bodies. Many of the diseases that we suffer from are the result of the accumulation of energetic forces that vibrate within us. Fire is a special force of nature that can help us, and candles are the vehicle to express this force and to give us support. In this workshop we will learn how to manage fire, see our energetic condition, and so remove those forces that do us harm.
2:00 pm - 2:15 pm Closing Circle - All gather outside (weather permitting) to join hands to honor our friendships before we part once again.
The MidAtlantic Women's Herbal Conference takes place in rural Pennsylvania:
Kempton Community Center
83 Community Center Drive
Kempton, PA 19529
Dr. Rosita Arvigo
Dr. Rosita Arvigo DN, a native of Chicago, is a naprapathic physician, herbalist, international lecturer and author of several books. She has lived in remote areas of Mexico and Belize for over forty years where she studied with many traditional healers. She founded Ix Chel Tropical Research Centre in Belize, an organization dedicated to the preservation and study of medicinal plants of Belize. She founded the Belize Association of Traditional Healers, Bush Medicine Camp for children, The Rainforest Medicine Trail and Rainforest Remedies, a herbal concentrate company. In 1987 she and her husband founded the Belize Ethnobotany project with Dr. Michael Balick of the New York Botanical Garden. She is the founder of The Arvigo Institute that trains practitioners in the Arvigo Techniques of Maya Abdominal Therapy and Maya Spiritual Healing. Now retired from clinical practice, Rosita divides her time between teaching in Belize, Mexico and the United States.
Naren Udgan
Naren Udgan was born and raised in the Ordos region of Inner Mongolia, and spent her early years living with her grandmother, a highly respected midwife, healer, and herbalist in the region. Naren founded the Tolin Center for Healing & Tengrism Studies to introduce people to Mongolian shamanism, or Tengrism, and to encourage shared knowledge and dialogue between shamans from all over the world, as well as to connect myriad healing traditions and practices. Naren does shamanic healing, reiki energy healing, and chakra healing, and is a certified ayurvedic nutritionist and detox specialist.
Deb Soule
Deb Soule is an herbalist, gardener, teacher and author of The Woman's Handbook of Healing Herbs and How to Move Like a Gardener. Deb began organic gardening and studying the medicinal uses of herbs at age 16 alongside the internationally known medical herbalist Mary Bove. Deb's faith in the healing qualities of plants includes a desire to make organic herbs easily accessible to women and families living in rural areas. In a small 8 by 10 foot room in her house, Deb began preparing various herbal remedies. In the fall of 1985, with her first mail order catalog and a small selection of herbal extracts and teas, Deb launched Avena Botanicals.
Rocio Alarcón
Rocio Alarcón is renowned and beloved world wide for her caring, loving and passionate approach to people, plants and nature. An Ethnopharmacologist, ethnobotanist, shamanic practitioner and extraordinary teacher and healer, Rocio has spent over 30 years working with ethnic groups in the tropical rain forest and Andes Mountains of Ecuador and in the Basque Country, Spain. Born in Quito, Ecuador at the feet of the Pichincha Volcano she has participated in the practice of shamanic activities since childhood. This shamanic knowledge is part of her family's cultural heritage. She uses plants and shamanic practices for the benefit of society, focussing on the special relationship of people with curandero (shamanic) plants, as well as plants that are food and medicine and that allow a healing process.
Amanda David
Amanda David is a community herbalist, the mother of three amazing children, and the creator of Rootwork Herbals, The People’s Medicine School and The Bramble Collective. She tends plants and people growing gardens, handcrafting remedies, offering consultations and teaching. Her approach to herbalism is based in the folkways, on building intimate relationships with the plants that grow nearby in order to bring herbal medicine and home healthcare to the people. In doing this, she sees herbalism as a means to support life and thus resist against oppressive systems, which undermine health. Above all, Amanda is a lover of plants and a lover of people and is passionate about bringing them together in a down to earth, joyful and accessible way that promotes personal and planetary healing.
Jenn Allen
Jenn Allen is a sacred beekeeper, herbalist and botanical aromatic artist who enjoys the intersection between plant medicine, folklore, myth, and personal expression. Jenn teaches locally in the Poconos at her home studio and has been a presenter at national conferences like the New England Womens Herbal Conference and the Midatlantic Womens Herbal Conference. Jenn's goal in teaching is to to help others learn how to create healing remedies and plant-based fragrance that ties directly into their unique personal mythology.
Liz Henke
Liz Henke is a community herbalist and artisan based in Charlottesville, VA. Her focus is on creating, building, and facilitating a healing environment for women. Liz is always excited to share her passion for herbs and enthusiasm for women’s health with the community. She is the herbalist and owner of Dreamseed Apothecary.
Amanda Dilday
Amanda Dilday is a wife, mother, writer, and herbalist. Her roots are in the Appalachian Mountains. Her home rests in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Mountains. Her heart has ever and always been turned towards the care and comfort of women, finding its deepest expression in her book, Flowers for a Girl: Plant Medicine and Sexual Trauma. Amanda serves her community by listening, gathering, and offering herbal classes and consultations.
For her book and offerings, visit:
Suzanna Stone
Suzanna is an herbalist in Scottsville VA. She founded Owlcraft Healing Ways, an outdoor herb school, where she offers clinical herbal consultations and teaches nine-month herbal apprenticeships and day classes in herbal medicine, traditional foodways, and plant spirit medicine. She was raised in a home where herbs and whole foods were the foundations of health and has spent the last 18 years broadening that foundation and deepening her knowledge and understanding of the healing herbs. She teaches at herb schools and conferences throughout the country and is a co-founder of The Gaia Gathering for Women in Charlottesville, VA. Her passion for the drum led her to Senegal where she studied traditional West African drumming and dancing. Her chants can be found on her CD "Songs from the Spiral". She stewards five acres of plant filled land with her artist/writer partner, their three children and various chickens, goats, cats and the canine herbalist Artemis.
Kerry Smith
Kerry Smith, M.S. is a naturopathic consultant and certified yoga instructor with more than ten years of training and experience in herbs, natural supplements, Ayurveda and ancient healing methods. Her intuitive, gentle approach assists the body's natural healing process and helps restore balance and rhythm to mind, body and spirit. She has led several wonderful travel yoga retreats in Costa Rica, Vermont and Italy. She is owner of Healing Earth Studio and Wellness Center in Lenharstville, PA.
Follow Kerry's blog at:
Rachael Pontillo
Rachael Pontillo is a holistic skincare innovator, author, and educator. She is the bestselling author of the book Love Your Skin, Love Yourself, and co-author of The Sauce Code. She’s a functional nutrition practitioner, AADP and IAHC Board Certified International Health Coach, licensed aesthetician; and natural skincare formulator and educator. She’s the president and co-founder of the Nutritional Aesthetics™ Alliance, the creator of the popular skincare and healthy lifestyle blog, Holistically Haute™, as well as the much-loved online course, Create Your Skincare. She’s an avid herbalist, skincare ingredient connoisseur, and lifelong learner.
Charis Lindrooth
Charis Lindrooth, D.C. is an herbalist and chiropractor with a busy practice in Pennsylvania. For more than 20 years she has helped her patients working with plant medicine and natural methods to restore well-being on all levels. She believes passionately in sustainable living and integrates “green” methods in every aspect of her practice and life. A teacher at heart, she has offered many workshops and classes locally, online and as a featured teacher at the New England Women’s Herbal Conference. She is the founder and organizer of the MidAtlantic Women’s Herbal Conference, an event held in Pennsylvania that supports women in the region interested in sustainable health and living. Carrying the spirit of MidAtlantic Women’s Conference throughout the year, she developed on online forum, GingerJuice, where women can gather, make connections about sustainable health and where learning continues with Charis and many guest teachers.
Follow Charis's blog at: