Feb 212016

Sneak Peek: Plant Healer Spring Issue 



Releasing March 7th:

Nearly 300 pages of new information and trademark inspiration for herbalists.

Winter was wondrous here in the Gila (hee-la) wilderness where this magazine is produced,   again creating a mosaic of original unpublished writings from our diverse family of contributors.  Following are the Spring Issue table of contents, along with a description of the features and changes that you subscribers can expect. 

If you are not already subscribed, you can sign up now at:


PLANT HEALER MAGAZINE art by Melissa Du Bois

Our Spring 2016 cover, “Sisters of the Healing Plants,” is a stylized portrait of my copublisher Kiva Rose with her sister Hannah, posed on the medicinal river Alders that bless this river canyon… art that was created for us by another sister of Kiva’s: Melissa “Missy” Du Bois.  I’ve commissioned a series of botanical/healing drawings from her, and not because she is my Kiva’s family of course – but because I am greatly impressed with her compositions, colors, and especially her evocative, fluid lines that bring alive not just the herbs she shapes but even the fabric of the dresses and cloaks she portrays. Melissa welcomes a limited number of paid commissions each year, and you can reach her through us with any commissions or comments: PlantHealer@PlantHealer.org

Our devoted Plant Healer contributors are almost all working on new projects for you.  Phyllis Light is developing her course in Appalachian herbalism, Paul Bergner continues to expand his offerings and plans a new book based on his PHM column on Herban Legends, Matt Wood has another book coming out, Thomas Easley has started a new school on his new rural property, and Juliet Blankespoor’s big herbal immersion online course should be available for signups sometime in April.

PHM Sneak Peek Spring 2016-72dpi

Thank goodness for the critical thinking and heartful teachings of our Herbal Rebel, Mr. Bergner – Pablo as I like to call him – doing as much as anyone to examine the wishful thinking and common falsehoods that can endanger our clients as well as sour practice and our field.

Phyllis Light provides a similar service this time, getting us to look at the dangerous tendency for us to diss conventional medical testing and discount non-herbal approaches.  And Guido Masé takes us further into matters of the FDA and herbal regulation, something that this very insightful herbalist teacher has had a lot of experience with lately.

Juliet provides us with a column on Purple Dead Nettle, and another on sprouting with heated beds – exclusive excerpts from her upcoming course and book.

Our partner Elka continues her food column with a look at ways to prepare legendary Leeks, and Sabrina Lutes uses the Herbalist Mother department to explore the possibilities for crucial but oft neglected herbalist self nourishment and self care. 

In her column Animal Medicine, Cat Lane exhibits her extensive knowledge and great love for both plants and animals, this time explaining the common health issues associated with animal rescues, and making recommendations for their herbal treatment.

Dear friend Jim McDonald writes about Nervines this time, the sense and sensibility of his foundational Herbcraft column being truly part of the foundation and strength of this magazine. 

Asia Suler continues to impress us with her developing communication and photography skills, artfully blending together ingredients of solid practicable herb info, personal experience, and a palpable sense of the spirit of plants and this ancient sacred work of helping and healing.  She continues her Seasonal Herbal column here, evoking the feel of Spring and its plant and other medicines.

Plant profiles are found this time in the rechristened department, Materia Medica, with a lovely article on Yellow Pond Lilly by first-time contributor Judy Lieblein, someone we hope to feature more from in the future… plus great excerpts from the new Materia Medica book, including one on Artemisia by the wise woman Robin Rose Bennett, and another on the medicinal benefits of Aralia by the very astute California mother, teacher and practitioner Christa Sinadinos.

Susun Weed’s fun and practical new piece on vinegar is one of our favorites of hers so far, and surely satisfies your many requests for more of her “how-to.”

Our department Seeing People features another article by Boston based plant healer Katja Swift on the topics of ADD and Autism, and two excellent never-before-published pieces by Sam Coffman, one on treating the eyes with herbs, the second on treating slow-to-heal wounds. 

Speaking of Sam, his piece on political correctness and cultural appropriation in the last issue of Plant Healer proved inordinately controversial, resulting in quite a bit of hubbub on social media.  It also resulted in a more nuanced exchange between author Coffman and herbal activist Dave Meesters, featured here in the Gathering Basket department, as well as my own paean to constructive disagreement and healthy debate which follows their debate. 

While some forms and means of disagreement can be good for our folk herbal movement, the same cannot be said of plagiarism and failure to credit, intentional and unintentional. While we believe all herbal information should be spread and shared, it is all too common to see information and even specific personal recipes repeated and reprinted without approbation or acknowledgment.  Herbalists work hard and often have very little income, so giving them credit is one of the best forms of compensation as well as being the honorable thing to do.  In addition, there are all too many cases of people copying each others’ business and event models, promotion, and even product names without credit or remorse.  Our thanks go out to longtime Plant Healer contributor Rebecca Altman for her well considered and well spoken article casting a light on this problem we can together find ways to address.

For our interview this time, we talk at length with herbalists, activists and TWHC teachers Janet Kent and Jen Stovall. Their stories and ideas encourage us to notice what needs healing, in our communities and in our psyches as well as in our bodies, and through their example they inspire us to each be all that we can be, acting on all we know, on behalf of all we love.  Don’t miss it.

Spring Changes to Plant Healer

Spring is a time of change and growth.  In the garden that is Plant Healer, one valued column has come to an end, and three new ones have taken root.

First, we bid a fond farewell to one of our most longstanding series, our friend 7Song’s “Botany Illuminated,” as his busy schedule forces its retirement. For the past five years he has made plant identification understandable by us all, an important skill for all herbalists whether we wildcraft or order all our plants online. We hope you’ll join us in thanking 7Song personally for his Plant Healer column and photographs over the years, and join in encouraging him to create new material for any of our Plant Healer departments once he’s able to take time for writing again.

Field botany, plant identification, herbal actions, plant ecology and more will now be covered by the remarkable California herbalist Shana Lipner Grover.  Her studies and experience equip her for this important role, and we hope you will enjoy the first of many installments of Shana’s new quarterly column “Botanica.”

Our second new column is “Of Wilderness & Gardens,” by New Mexico herbalist, geographer and ecologist Dara Saville, highlighting the complex relationships between people, plants, and the land.  Dara will deftly explore the dualities inherent to herbal thinking: logic and intuition, mind and heart, analytic facts and inexplicable truths – and in the process, she will help bring us closer to ourselves, the plants we depend on, and the healing land we’re extensions of.

Our third new quarterly column is a commitment of Sean Donahue, a genuinely visionary herbalist, and translator for and advocate of natural healing, neural and cultural diversity, the healing plants themselves, and all the oddkins, misfits, and rebels of the greater Plant Healer tribe.  Each issue his Intersections & Crossroads column will dance among the patterns formed by the overlapping of “people and wilderness, science and folk traditions, ecology and our health, healing and revolution.” Our early faith in Sean’s special gifts has proven well founded.

Finally, Plant Healer continues its evolution with a change in name for our “Plant Allies” department, its quarterly collection of in-depth herb profiles now to be called the less artsy but more explicit term “Materia Medica.”


March Deadline for Listing Schools in the Upcoming


A Plant Healer Service

Write us for an application soon if you operate an herbal school or online courses, or if you know about any schools who might want to be included. 

The 2016-2020 edition releases this coming May, with an extended deadline and applications accepted until the end of March. For full details or to apply, download the:

Herbal Schools Directory Invite (2016-2020)


Discounted Tickets On Sale For


Sept 15-18th – Atop New Mexico’s Sky Island

Plant Healer has helped inspire and support many herbal events over the years, each with its own particular flavor and style, and none that replicate the intense and curious mix of teachers, topics and attendees that is the peculiar Traditions in Western Herbalism Conference. Treat yourself to the information you need to be the best herbalist you can, along with an enchanted location and much deserved celebration. Full info and discount tickets now available by clicking on the Events page at:



March Deadline for Articles


for The Upcoming Radical Herbalism Book

Last call for submissions for the upcoming Plant Healer book

“Radical Herbalism.”  Topics can be wide ranging, including herbal justice by whatever definition, free clinics, tips for street medics, arguments against certification and registration, suggestions for herbal activism, health care access, gender and class issues in herbalism, race and herbalism, bioregional herbalism, surreptitious guerrilla gardening, herbalist empowerment etc. Write for details, current contents, and deadline:



Share What You Know:


Your experience and perspective are unique, and we want to encourage you to trust you have insights and information that would be of interest and use to others in our community.  

We happily consider original, previously unpublished articles for this magazine, 

and submissions of articles (previously published or not) for 

Plant Healer’s free Herbaria Monthly ezine and its thousands of readers.  Please download the:

Submission Guidelines

The deadline for the Summer Issue of Plant Healer Magazine is April 1st.  

There is no deadline for submitting to Herbaria Monthly.


New 2016 Specs & Pricing


Advertising space in Plant Healer Magazine and Herbaria Newsletter is provided mainly as a service and prices are kept down for the sake of low-income herbalists and businesses that are just starting… costing between 1/2 and 1/10th of what other publications with similar subscriber numbers charge.  For info on advertising in the magazine and newsletter, 

download this pdf with its required Insertion Form:

2016 Advertising Guidelines PDF


And finally, please do write us at any time with your thoughts and comments… at:  PlantHealer@PlantHealer.org

(Thank you for sharing and re-posting this sneak peek)

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