Friday, October 24, 2008

ACHS Heads to Washington

Left, Dorene Petersen with workshop leader Robin DiPasquale. Center, Robin leads participants through the reflexology path. Right, flower bed at the Bastyr Garden.

Day 1: October 23, 2008

ACHS President Dorene Petersen and Communications Manager Lauren Shapiro arrive in Redmond, Washington, for the American Herbalists Guild 19th Annual Symposium, “Botanical Medicine in Oncology, Immunity, and Chronic Disease.”

The three-day symposium kicks off Thursday with some optional pre-conference lectures at the Town Center Marriott. Participants attend talks like “Herbal First Aid” and “Medicinal Mushrooms in the Field and Clinic.” Doreen and Lauren opt for the off-site lecture called “Teaching in The Bastyr Garden: Physiological Systems, Their Plants, and Their Uses,” looking for new ideas for the ACHS Botanical Teaching Garden.

Taught by Robin DiPasquale, a licensed naturopathic physician, herbalist, and homeopath, and past Chair of the Botanical Medicine Department at Bastyr, “Teaching in the Bastyr” explores garden spaces organized by physiological systems, how to use and maintain a shade house, traditional Chinese medicinal herbs, growing organic food, and the building and use of a reflexology path in the garden.

Then, after the two-hour garden lecture, Robin leads participants indoors for a hands-on sampling of herbs in action. While discussing the use of specific herbs, as well as their effect on the entire physiological system, and the responsibility of the herbalist to understand these effects, participants sample Robin’s homemade tea recipes representing the systems guild, including a tea for: the female reproductive system, for the nervous system, the respiratory system, heart tonic, and immune support.

The afternoon ends with a walk along the garden’s reflexology path, which was hand-built and designed by student volunteers. Smooth in some places, sharper in others, the path is an experience for all.

Back at the hotel, Dorene and Lauren set-up ACHS’s informational booth for potential students and symposium participants to explore the College’s certificate, degree, and continuing education offerings. Friday they will have plenty of time to talk with symposium attendees during lecture breaks, as well as meet students at the booth from 7-7:30 p.m.

Friday, following a formal welcome address and teacher introductions, two afternoon sessions are scheduled for 1:30 p.m.-5 p.m. and include lecture topics like “How to Guide Herbal Clinics,” “Women’s Health Roundtable,” and “Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief.”

Day 2 at the AHG symposium updates and garden photos to come!

For information about the Bastyr medicinal herb garden, visit

To download a complete list of the American Herbalist Guild Symposium lecture topics, visit

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