What is the Free Herbalism Project? 

The Free Herbalism Project is an interactive community event with lectures from expert herbalists, live music, and community—all free of charge! Our goal is to create a remarkable experience for those who wish to delve further into the world of herbalism, wild foods, and natural living. It is one of the ways in which Mountain Rose Herbs hopes to give back to herbalists and our local community.

In this special Cultural Herbalism Edition, we will be highlighting the cultural and ancestral aspects of herbalism, especially from those whose lineage comes from underrepresented and often underacknowledged groups of people. Our upbringing and the way our ancestors had lived all play an important role in our individual experience and herbal practice, and we feel it is important to understand, honor, and respect these aspects of herbalism. 


Event Details
Date: Friday, June 14, 2024
Time: 1:00 PM – 4:00 PM (PST)
Location: The Comfort of Your Home or Office

Tune in as esteemed speakers Lucretia VanDyke, share their wisdom and ancestral journey into herbalism. 


01:00-1:10 Welcome Message

1:10-1:25 Weaving Ties of Herbalism Around the Globe
Dr. Susan Leopold

1:25-1:30 Music Break 

1:30-2:15 The Significance of Great Lakes Plants in Anishinabek Culture
Nathan Wright 

2:15-2:20 Music Break

2:20-3:05 Celebrating Our Ancestors Through Plants
Lucretia VanDyke

3:05-3:10 Music Break 

3:10-3:55 Sunflower: A Mexican Ray of Healing
Mimi Prunella Hernandez

3:55 Closing Remarks

* A recording will be sent to those who have signed up. Please allow up to 3 weeks to receive the recording. 

Celebrating Our Ancestors Through Plants  

With Lucretia Van Dyke


From the dishes we prepare that are food for the soul to the medicines we make in our kitchens, our ancestors have played a part in bringing these daily practices into our lives. Lucretia will take us on an herbal cultural journey throughout the African diaspora. She will discuss recipes connected to her homelands and share important plants utilized in African American traditions through cuisine and spiritual practices to assist in honoring our ancestors. 


About Lucretia

Lucretia VanDyke's journey began as a little girl mixing herbs, clays, and mud on her grandparents’ farm. She is author of the book African American Herbalism and has been a part of the herbal industry for over 20 years. A holistic educator, speaker, herbalist, ceremonialist, spiritual light coach, intuitive energetic & reiki practitioner, diviner, storyteller, artist, and world traveler, she has accumulated over 3,000 hours of training. She has studied with Indigenous healers and some of the greatest minds of our time.  Lucretia brings her vivacious spirit and message of self-love in her work to inspire others to embrace their unique beauty and purpose. Her work with herbs and sacred practices honors women's wholeness through grief work, sexual trauma, ancestor connection, womb healing, self-empowerment, food alchemy, and holistic skincare. 

 Sunflower: A Mexican Ray of Healing


Mimi bio pic

Learn about the healing powers of the sunflower in Mexican traditional medicine in this lecture. Discover how every part of the sunflower, from seed to blossom, is utilized in folk healing and culinary practices. Explore traditional recipes made from sunflower sprouts, stalks, seeds, and flower heads. Understand how traditional healers harness the medicinal properties of the sunflower's rich green leaves and sunny rays for common ailments.

About Mimi

Mimi is a renowned author of the National Geographic Herbal and a dedicated advocate for traditional and professional herbal practices. With a wealth of knowledge, unwavering dedication, and genuine love for herbalism, she has dedicated her life's work to promoting herbal pathways. Mimi holds a master's degree in herbal medicine and is a clinical herbalist, as well as a Registered Herbalist with the American Herbalists Guild. In 2023, Mimi was honored with a Botanical Excellence Award from the American Botanical Council for her role as a Community Builder. Her herbal expertise is deeply rooted in the traditions of her Colombian and Mexican grandmothers, who inspired wisdom of Latin American Folk Herbalism and Curanderismo. Alongside her husband Terry, Mimi co-manages The PonderLand Native Plant Sanctuary and encourages others to create similar plant sanctuaries in their own communities. Mimi finds joy in practicing kitchen herbalism and inspires others to explore the healing power of plants.

United Plant Savers' Annual Journal:
Weaving Ties of Herbalism Around the Globe
With Susan Leopold


United Plant Savers (UpS) just released their annual Journal, a publication that shares the spirit of the plants and those that protect them. Susan will share how the publication embodies the interconnectedness of plant lovers around the world and will share some of the stories found in the publication. Some highlights include the stories of Shinnecock kelp farmers, forest farming for the future, and an immersive trip into the heartlands of Jamaica. 

About Susan

Susan Leopold is an ethnobotanist known for her work in the fields of plant conservation, sustainable agriculture, and ethnobotany. She is the Executive Director of the United Plant Savers, a nonprofit organization dedicated to protecting native medicinal plants of the United States and Canada and their habitat. Leopold is an advocate for ethical wildcrafting practices, community-based conservation initiatives, and the preservation of traditional plant knowledge.


The Significance of Great Lakes Plants in Anishinabek Culture

With Nathan Wright


In the rich tapestry of Anishinabek culture, the plants of the Great Lakes region are more than mere flora; they are integral to the community's mind, spirit, and body. Each plant, steeped in tradition and history, plays a vital role in rituals, ceremonies, and daily practices. From the soothing properties of sweetgrass, used in sacred smudging rituals, to the medicinal benefits of cedar, employed in healing teas, these plants are revered for their multifaceted significance. First-hand accounts from Anishinabek elders recount the meticulous care with which these plants are harvested, ensuring sustainability and respect for nature. Scientific studies further substantiate the nutritional and healing properties that these plants possess, confirming what the Anishinabek have known for generations. In a world increasingly disconnected from nature, the Anishinabek's wisdom offers a profound reminder of the deep connection we all share with the natural world and the importance of integrating these ancient practices into our modern lives. This class will enlighten many to our traditional ways of thinking and our unique uses of plants and tree bark.

About Nathan

Nathan Wright, also known by his spiritual name Spiritman from the Sun or Giizus Su Win en eh, is an Indigenous Herbalist and descendant of medicine people from both sides of his family. His ancestral knowledge of plant medicine has been passed down through generations and he continues this legacy by ethically wild harvesting and preparing medicines using traditional methods.

As the owner of the Herbal Lodge, a Native American and veteran-owned company, Nathan focuses on creating natural and organic pain relief and medicinal tea products using wild-harvested herbs and mushrooms. He is dedicated to revitalizing lost Anishinabek medicines and traditions, while also incorporating modern techniques for the benefit of his community.

Nathan is not only an Indigenous Herbalist but also a certified mushroom expert. He has a wealth of knowledge and experience in both fields. His teachings about Indigenous Treaty Rights and the need to protect our lands and waters for harvesting herbal medicines have been featured in the film Troubled Water, which can be found on popular streaming networks.

Currently residing in Petoskey, Michigan, Nathan shares his wisdom with others through various online videos covering Anishinabek culture, healthy lifestyles, cold water experiences, and herbal teachings. He has also taught plant-related classes at libraries, universities, and other institutions throughout Michigan.

Can't Make It?

Those who sign up will be emailed a recording of the event. We will also share excerpts on the Herbal Radio, presented by Mountain Rose Herbs. This community resource is a collection of curated lectures from some of our generation's most esteemed herbalists. Our YouTube channel and blog also feature a wealth of herbal education and inspiration.







Interested in previous Free Herbalism project Events?

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