Numenaries : Interviewee Bios

Rocío Alarcón received her teachings from her mother, grandmother and shamans of the Amazonian Rainforest and Andes of Ecuador. She was a founding member of EcoCiencia, Ecuador's leading ecological organization, and worked for over 20 years as an ethnobotanist in the tropical rainforests of South America. Rocio is currently living in England, where she received her diploma in Holistic Therapies and continues to travel, teach and inspire.

Ken Ausubel is the CEO and founder of Bioneers, a nonprofit educational organization that promotes practical environmental solutions and innovative social strategies for restoring the Earth and communities. He is an award-winning journalist, filmmaker and social entrepreneur whose books include The Bioneers: Declarations of Interdependence and When Healing Becomes a Crime: The Amazing Story of the Hoxsey Cancer Clinics and the Return of Alternative Therapies. He co-founded Seeds of Change, a national biodiversity organic seed company, and founded Inner Tan Productions, a feature film development company.

Josef Brinckmann is the vice president of research & development at Traditional Medicinals in Sebastopol, California; a consultant on market intelligence for medicinal plants & extracts for the International Trade Centre (ITC) of the United Nations in Geneva, Switzerland; editor of ITC's quarterly Market News Service for Medicinal Plants & Extracts; and a member of the advisory board of the American Botanical Council.

Charlotte Brody joined Blue Green Alliance as director of chemicals and green chemistry in January 2010. Prior to joining the Alliance, she was the national field director for Safer Chemicals, Healthy Families, a nationwide effort to pass smart federal policies to protect us from toxic chemicals. A registered nurse, Charlotte previously served as director of programs for Green for All and as executive director of Commonweal; she was also a founder and executive director of Health Care Without Harm.

Isla Burgess established the first four-year diploma in herbal medicine in Australia at the Waikato Centre for Herbal Studies and has trained medical herbalists at the Center for more than 10 years, drawing on 25 years practice. She has presented papers at conferences and seminars both nationally and internationally and is the author of Weeds Heal: A Working Herbal. A gardener at heart, Isla continually delights in the potential of unopened packets of seeds.

Larry Dossey is an internationally influential advocate of the role of the mind in health and the role of spirituality in healthcare. The author of nine books and numerous articles, Dr. Dossey is the former executive editor of the peer-reviewed journal Alternative Therapies in Health and Medicine, the most widely subscribed-to journal in its field. He has lectured all over the world, including major medical schools and hospitals in the United States.

James A. Duke, PhD retired from the U.S. Department of Agriculture in 1995. He held several posts during his thirty-year tenure, including chief of the Medicinal Plant Resources Laboratory and director of the Cancer Screening Program. He is the author of numerous scholarly and popular books, including the bestseller The Green Pharmacy, with more than 1 million copies in print. He resides in Fulton, Maryland.

Rosemary Gladstar has been a practicing herbalist since 1968. Over the years, she founded the California School of Herbal Studies and United Plant Savers, co-founded Sage Mountain Herbs, and was a founding member of the Northeast Herb Association. She is the co-director of the International Herb Symposium and The New England Women's Herbal Conference. Rosemary is also the author of several books, including bestseller Herbal Healing for Women and the newly released Gladstar Family Herbal. She has taught herbs extensively throughout the United States and has led travel adventures worldwide. Her experience includes over 30 years in the herbal community as a healer, teacher, visionary and organizer of herbal events.

Martha Herbert, MD, PhD is an assistant professor of neurology at Harvard Medical School, a pediatric neurologist at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston and a member of the Harvard-MIT-MGH Martinos Centre for Biomedical Imaging. She is co-chair of the Autism Society's Environmental Health Advisory Board and the director of the TRANSCEND Research Program (Treatment Research and Neuroscience Evaluation of Neurodevelopmental Disorders).

Christopher Hobbs is a fourth-generation herbalist and third-generation botanist whose life-long passion for plants was sparked as a child. The author of 25 books on health and herbal medicine and a licensed acupuncturist with more than 15 years of clinical experience, he is now a PhD candidate at UC Berkeley in the plant sciences, especially evolutionary biology, biochemistry, botany and ethnobotany.

David Hoffmann is a Fellow of Britain's National Institute of Medical Herbalists, and has been a phytotherapist for 25 years. He is a founding member and past president of the American Herbalist Guild, and serves on the advisory board of the American Botanical Council. David teaches phytotherapy throughout the English speaking world, is the author of 15 books including his latest textbook, Medical Herbalism, and has been a long-time activist in the environmental and peace movements.

Jane Hulstrunk is an herbalist, garden steward and brain injury survivor/advocate. Prior to the accident that caused her traumatic brain injury, she was a computer analyst for 20 years. She resides in Williamstown, VT, with her husband Bill.

Raylene Ha`alelea Kawaiae`a has been sharing her understanding of her heritage, traditions and cultural practices since 1976. Establishing her own halau hula (school of hula) in 1981 in California, she returned home to Hawai`i in 1993 and began teaching Hawaiian culture in the public and private schools, as well as establishing another halau hula in North Kohala. Living in Kapa`au, on the island of Hawai`i, she works for the Queen Lili'uokalani Children's Center for the benefit of Hawaiian orphaned and destitute children and their families.

Lynda LeMole is executive director of United Plant Savers, a nonprofit education corporation dedicated to preserving native North American medicinal plants and their habitats. She has been an herb industry professional since 1982 and has worked in the natural products industry since 1972. From 1982 to 2002, she was president and co-owner of Traditional Medicinals (as Lynda Sadler) and from 1986 to 1990, she served as president of the American Herbal Products Association (AHPA).

Phyllis D. Light, a fourth-generation herbalist, consultant and author, is professor of herbal studies at Clayton College of Natural Health. She has studied and worked with medicinal herbs and foods and other healing techniques for more than 25 years in both private and clinical settings. Phyllis is a graduate of the University of Alabama in Huntsville and is currently a master's degree candidate in health studies at the University of Alabama.

Tieraona Low Dog's career in natural medicine began more than 25 years ago. Before going on to receive her doctor of medicine degree from the University of New Mexico School of Medicine, she studied midwifery and massage therapy and was a highly respected herbalist, serving as president of the American Herbalist Guild and running a teaching clinic in Albuquerque, NM. Tieraona also opened and ran a successful integrative medical clinic in Albuquerque before joining the faculty of the Arizona Center for Integrative Medicine at the University of Arizona, where she currently serves as the director of the Fellowship.

Guido Mase is a clinical herbalist, herbal educator and garden steward specializing in holistic Western herbalism, though his approach is eclectic and draws upon many influences. He spent his childhood in Italy, in the central Alps and in a Renaissance town called Ferrara. After traveling the United States, he settled into central Vermont. Guido founded Grian Herbs and co-founded the Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism.

The late Bill Mitchell, ND, was a doctor, teacher, author and philosopher. He taught at various naturopathic colleges throughout North America for 30 year, co-founded Bastyr University in 1978 with Dr. Joseph Pizzorno, Dr. Lester Griffith and Sheila Quinn, and served as the university's first dean of admissions. Bill graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in history and served for two years as active naval reserve in Vietnam before earning his doctor of naturopathy degree at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine in 1976. He died of a heart attack at the age of 59, hours after the death of his son, Noah, who was only 27, also of a heart attack.

Hellen Oketch, PhD, is principal scientist of Herb Pharm's Botanical Sciences and Analytical Laboratory. Raised in Kenya, Hellen acquired a life-long passion for herbal medicine from her mother and went on to receive a PhD in botanical pharmacognosy from the University of Copenhagen. She taught pharmacognosy at the School of Pharmacy at the University of Nairobi, where she also researched Kenyan medicinal plants and worked on antimalarial medicines with a grant from the World Health Organization (WHO).

Katie Pickens (on right in photo) is on the committee staff at the Vermont Legislative Council and an herbalist. She worked at Sage Mountain Herbal Retreat center for many years and also helped organize the annual Women's Herb Conference in Peterborough, NH.

Drake Sadler is the co-founder and chairman of the board of directors of Traditional Medicinals.

Mark Schapiro has been an investigative journalist for more than two decades and has built an award-winning portfolio with a focus on environmental and international affairs. His work has appeared in Harper's, The Nation, Mother Jones, and The Atlantic Monthly. He's also been a correspondent on NOW with Bill Moyers, FRONTLINE/World, and Marketplace. His most recent book is Exposed: The Toxic Chemistry of Everyday Products and What's at Stake for American Power.

Ed Smith has been actively involved in the herbal community for more than 25 years as a teacher, lecturer and advocate of quality herbs and herbal products. He is the founder of Herb Pharm and a co-founder the Foundation for Natural Living Institute. Ed is actively involved in the preservation of native medicinal plants.

Deb Soule is the founder of Avena Botanicals, an herbal apothecary that specializes in organically grown remedies. A gardener and wildcrafter, she tends an acre of medicinal herbs and has served her local, rural community in Maine as an herbalist for many years, along with teaching and consulting with women and healthcare providers around the country. She is the author of A Woman's Book of Herbs and Women and Herbs: Exploring Our Roots.

Matthew Wood is a professional member of the American Herbalist Guild and has been a practicing herbalist for 25 years. The author of four excellent books on herbal healing, he lives and works from his home in Minnesota and travels and teaches internationally. He recently graduated from the Scottish School of Herbal Medicine with a MSc in Herbalism.