Learn from herbalists and physicians



This year’s event will be two days of herbal learning. The speakers listed will be teaching on either Saturday or Sunday. You may register for one day or two. (Sunday registrations are limited spaces only.)


Bella Donna - Herbal Honey Infusions

Combining the healing medicine of honey and herbs, Bella Donna offers her wealth of knowledge in this demonstration class. Learn how to infuse herbal honey, why, and how to get the most out of this form of medicine.

Bella Donna is a lifelong herbalist, holistic healthcare practitioner- graduate of SWIHA (Southwest Institute of Healing Arts), as well as a beekeeper and apitherapist (one who uses all components of the beehive for health and healing), author, and one of the organizers of the SW Herb Fest. She is coming to us from the southern Appalachian foothills where she is continuing her beekeeping and healthy lifestyle while learning new/local plant foraging and sustainable living techniques. She will be sharing all she can with you at the Saturday morning program and also during another hands-on program Sunday, Soil to Table.


Brittany Sounart RH (AHG) - TCM Energetic Concepts and Western Botanicals for Respiratory Support

Traditional Chinese Medicine uses the constitution of an individual to support and resolve their underlying condition/s.  We can utilize these principles with our Western herbs and in turn, producing a more desirable outcome.  In this discussion, Brittney will focus on the respiratory system and how one can incorporate the energetics of herbal medicine so as to create a better treatment plan geared toward the individual person. She will address various respiratory issues like acute and chronic coughs, asthma, bronchitis and sinus conditions. 

Brittney Sounart is a graduate of the Western Herbalism Program from Southwest Institute of Healing Arts in Tempe, Arizona. Since 2002, she has been practicing clinical herbalism doing private herbal consultations. In 2006, Brittney joined the herbal staff at Southwest Institute for Healing Arts teaching in the Western herbalism program in their nationally recognized herbal program. She is the co-owner of Desert Sage Herbs in Chandler, AZ; a retail herbal apothecary and wellness center.

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Darcey Blue French - Seven Plants for Seven Chakras

Learn about the 7 chakras of the body, their physical, energetic and psycho-spiritual correspondences and a plant ally to work with for each of these important energetic and physical centers of the body/spirit. We will discuss how to use each plant, as a physical medicine, an energetic plant essence or as a ceremonial ally for personal healing.  The mind/body connection between emotional and physical healing is undeniable and by working with awareness of these more subtle levels in healing we can move deeper and more fully through our healing processes as individuals.

Darcey Blue is a devotee of the Sacred Wild. “Nature is my greatest ally and teacher, the Earth my sanctuary, and seeding Sacred Wildness my purpose. I am a rewilding woman, Earth Medicine guide, shamanic herbalist & wild crafter.  The Land is my Beloved, I am a devotee of all that is wild & sacred on this beautiful, inspirited Earth.” Darcey has studied plant medicine & shamanic lifeways and practices for over 14 years in the US and in in Peru. She is a Mesa Medicine Carrier, Wilderness First Responder (Jan 2017), Earth Medicine & Nature Guide and Shamanic Herbalist. Darcey studied plant medicine with Rosemary Gladstar, Charles Kane, and Paul Bergner at the North American Institute for Medical Herbalism. 

Debbie Maranville, CH - From Plant to Plate

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Feather Jones - Herbal Blending: The Art of Synergy

From teas to tinctures, discover which plants enhance one another creating a synergistic effect. Learn the triangular method for formlation strategies and best modes of preparation for maximum medicinal strength. Handouts offered.

Feather Jones is a Registered Clinical Herbalist and integrates herbal remedies, holistic nutrition, flower essences and stress reduction guidance. Her 30 year career in teaching herbal medicine and clinical practice is coupled with a background in Native American (Mandan) tribal teachings.

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JoAnn Sanchez AHG - Desert Medicines: Three Powerful Herbs

An herbal experience with ocotillo, creosote and desert willow. In this class, JoAnn Sanchez will introduce you to three powerful desert plants. You will experience herbarium specimens and samplings of the plants, learn the folklore surrounding these plants, and understand the medicinal applications of the essence and physical medicine of each.

JoAnn Sanchez is the director of the herbalist training program at Southwest Institute of Healing Arts in Scottsdale (a 750-hour diploma program), for which she has recently published four training manuals. She teaches at the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, where she also tends the medicine garden.


Katie Stage, ND - Commonly Prescribed Drugs and their Herbal Alternatives

The most commonly prescribed drugs in the United States include medications for pain, high blood pressure, high cholesterol, diabetes, and antibiotics. This class will highlight herbs and lifestyle recommendations that support the conditions for which these drugs are prescribed. We will also discuss side effects of these medications and ways herbs may be able to mitigate these side effects. * Please note that you should never stop a medication without first discussing this with your physician.

Dr. Stage is a licensed Naturopathic Physician and Registered Herbalist who practices general family medicine. Her practice focuses on women’s medicine, gastrointestinal diseases, and mental health. Dr. Stage graduated with high honors from the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine (SCNM) in Tempe, Arizona, and then completed a residency at SCNM. She currently serves as Director of the Therapeutics Division and Faculty Senate President. 

Dr. Stage frequently lectures on naturopathic and botanical medicine. She also teaches Mayan healing techniques in Arizona and in Belize. Dr. Stage is an Arizona native. In her free time, she enjoys traveling, hiking, yoga, cooking, making herbal salves and tinctures, and spending time with her family and friends.  She is a member of the American Herbalist Guild (AHG), American Botanical Council (ABC), American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP), Arizona Naturopathic Medical Association (AzNMA), PsychANP, and ASCCP.


Madalyn Johnson - Kitchen Medicine

The kitchen is truly the heartbeat of most homes, and this is true in making our beautiful herbal medicine. Whether you are using fresh, dried or culinary herbs, powerful medicine can be made right in your home. There will be demonstrations, tasting and recipes of everything we will be talking about. Learn how to take an ordinary recipe and ‘herb-it-up’. Teas, topicals, extracts and more! Come see what good health can taste like!

Madalyn Johnson is co-owner of SW Herb Shop and Gathering Place in Mesa, AZ. She has been studying and using herbs in her kitchen for years. She is always playing, sampling, and experimenting with ways to prepare our beautiful botanicals. She has been teaching classes on Kitchen Herbalism at SW Herb Shop for 9 years, and looking forward to discovering new and delicious ways to get healthy.


Stephanie Nishek ND - Healing Takes Guts

A detailed discussion of the numerous aspects of gut dysfunction including causes, testing options and downstream effects (like onset of autoimmunity and endocrine disorders), along with nutritional/dietary and herbal treatment options.

Dr. Stephanie Nishek is a licensed naturopathic doctor practicing in Bismarck, ND. As one of only a

handful of Naturopathic doctors in North Dakota, she treats a wide variety of health concerns, conditions and patient populations. She has special interest in women’s health and fertility concerns. Along with clinical practice, she enjoys finding and creating new avenues for bringing the benefits of natural and holistic medicine to the masses.


Rebecca Cutehands - Closing Ceremony, Journey of the Medicine Wheel

Rebecca Cutehands will be taking you on a journey of the medicine wheel. You will be embracing teachings from the four winds of direction, the four sacred offerings to Spirit, the path of the Sun and preparation for the longest day of light. You will also be participating in creating the Sacred Hoop of Life. The teachings Rebecca offers are very sacred to her and she is always excited and honored to share them. "I am looking forward to another amazing and beautiful day with you all, blessings. "

Rev. Rebecca Cutehands is a Spiritual Guide, who assists each individual on their journey within. She honors the individual, by offering many different gifts of healing. Sharing with them a variety of ways to process and integrate, through their healing process. Rebecca has experienced the medicine of the “wounded healer” and understands how precious life is. A rare nerve disease left her a blind quadriplegic for three and a half years. It was Eastern Medicine and her determination that brought her back. Her and her teacher worked on healing every aspect of the self. She understands that the physical, emotional, mental and spiritual, work together and must be given attention. Rebecca feels very blessed and is amazed at where this experience has brought her.