Join us for the 6th annual DSC Oct 13 – 15, 2017

The Dandelion Seed Conference offers 3 days of workshops and classes for all levels of herbal enthusiasts, with a focus on accessible herbal medicine for social and community healing. This years
keynote speakers will be Larken Bunce of the Vermont Center of Integrative Herbalism and T’uy’tanat Cease Wyss, Indigenous Plant Diva. It is an honor and joy to bring together such a vibrant and engaged community of herbalists and plant enthusiasts and we look forward to learning with you!

Learn more about the Dandelion Seed Conference.

View the full conference schedule.

Email questions about registration or vending at the conference to dandelionseedconference@gmail.com

Conference Pricing

In an effort to be accessible, we have some of the lowest registration fees for an herbal conference of this type nationwide.

Please support the DSC by giving generously with your registration contribution.

The true cost of the DSC is $150 per person. We will consider the registration amount you pay in excess of $150 help allow those who cannot pay the full cost of the conference to attend and any leftover funds will to go towards future community herbal projects.

We also offer a limited amount of worktrade which is a 4 hour labor exchange and a reduced admission of $50. If none of these options are accessible to you, please email the organizers and ask about a full scholarship.



Lara Pacheco – Nuestra raíces:  ancestral and herbal knowledge for a new lexicon of health

Lara Pacheco, of Seed and Thistle Apothecary and Seasonal Wellness Clinic, will share from her Puerto Rican ancestral plant lore as a way to understand and stitch together the body, mind, and spirit connection that have been lost to our consumeristic culture’s perspective on medicine, the body and illness. Lara believes that connecting with our herbal ancestral narratives is a source of strength and resilience in the face of global ecological catastrophe. She also believes that those most marginalized by our patriarchal system will be the leaders in the emerging shift in consciousness and place. The real question is can we re immerse ourselves deeply into the web/womb of life through our stories and ancestral connections? We’ll also learn how it is possible to try and integrate ancestral guides into a herbalist practice. Join Lara, by gently immersing yourself in the deep vast ocean of ancestral knowledge and plant lore; since plants will help us lead the way.

Janet Kent – Don’t Let it Bring You Down: Building Resilience with Herbs

Resilience is the ability to recover from stress and/or change. In these increasingly perilous and unpredictable times, this quality is essential. Unfortunately, the very conditions that necessitate this ability tend to wear us down over time and often lead to chronic illness. Overwork, constant stress and everyday oppression undermine our inherent capacity for resilience. This is apparent in the burnout experienced by many who fight for social justice and who work to create the world we want to live in. In this time of social and environmental upheaval, we must take care of ourselves if we want to stay in the fight. Plant medicine can help us in this work by supporting our own natural resilience and by lessening the impact of stress on the individual. Come learn the power of herbs to support the resistance.

Missy Rohs – Handling Emergencies Well

S. Annah Shapiro – Mitigating Trans Hormones Side Effects
This workshop will address using herbal medicine for the occasional side effects of hormone therapy for transgender and genderqueer people. We will talk about herbs to use care for common conditions in transition. We will also discuss the use of herbal medicine by some in the trans community to transition physically, the potential complications, and lack of good data on safety and effectiveness of these methods. This interactive workshop will address common health issues that arise in the first year of physical transition with hormones. Participants will learn tools and resources for treating common issues that come up on HRT and maintaining their optimal well-being.

Jen Stovall –  Herbalism as a Tool for Social Justice (with Janet Kent)

Systems of medicine reflect the values and biases of the societies that create them. The American medical system is no different and in fact exposes the starkest injustices of the overarching socio-economic system. However, just as there is always a counter movement of resistance and mutual aid within any oppressive regime, herbal traditions counter the dominant system of wealth-based health care. Unfortunately, as plant based medicine becomes market commodity, the people’s medicine is at risk of becoming inaccessible to most. How do we avoid replicating the injustices of the dominant health care system? In this class we will discuss the troubling, violent foundation of conventional medicine in this country as well as the ways contemporary injustice in health care reflects and reinforces this history. We see the radical potential of herbalism to address this legacy. We will explore the growing movement within the herbal community to access this potential and discuss strategies for creating more just models of care.

Paul Bergner – Approaching autoimmunity with dietetics and medicinal herbsAlthough autoimmune conditions may have different names, many of them have a common root and pattern of pathology. Conditions seemingly as unrelated as Hashimoto’s thyroiditis, systemic lupus, multiple sclerosis, idiopathic thrombocytopenic purpurea, and interstitial cystitis are seemingly unrelated conditions, in many cases they can be completely resolved with an identical generic autoimmune protocol, with patient-specific adaptations. Reducing the auto-antigenic load through elimination of food intolerances, restoring exhausted anti-inflammatory reserve with diet and supplements, restoration of the gut ecology and barrier integrity with herbal formulas and probiotics, and addressing psycho-emotional trauma with flower essences or homeopathy may benefit or cure the above conditions. We will discuss a specific protocol, and present case studies of a variety of cured patients.

Linden de Voil – Let’s Get It On: Beyond Aphrodisiacs

Take a deeper look at the roots and branches of common sexual function complaints, including low libido and inhibited sexual response.  This workshop will cover sexual anatomy (in detail!), arousal response, herbal medicines and other resources to support sexual health and function for all genders.   We will use an inclusive framework embracing a spectrum of sexualities and genders, and explore our expectations and understandings of sexuality in social context. Appropriate for all levels of interest/experience.

Demystifying FDA Regulations: cGMP and Recordkeeping Basics for Herbal PractitionersOkay, so maybe we can’t ENTIRELY demystify the FDA – but you can prepare yourself with knowledge of your cGMP responsibilities as a practitioner.  If you harvest your own herbs for clinical use, make any of the tinctures you provide, or retail your tinctures, this workshop will help you understand your legal obligations and some simple ways to meet them.  Presented by a clinical herbalist with extensive QC and regulatory experience in the herbal product industry.

T’uy’t’tanat-Cease Wyss – Blending Teas with Westcoast Wild Plants

This workshop will consist of looking a variety of plants that grow in the Pacific Northwest Coast and how to blend different herbs together. The plants will be dried so there will be a ppt to view pictures of the plants and to see them as they look in their Wild habitats. Cease has been blending teas for close to 30 years and continues to find unique ways to blend commonly found herbal medicines we all see in our wanderings.

Laurel Irons – Constitutionally appropriate herbalism: diagnosis using tongue, pulse & Shen based on Traditional East Asian Medicine

Learn a basic method to “read” a person’s underlying constitution and where imbalances lie – in the body and energetically – by checking tongue, pulse and “shen” (the colour, tone and energy exuded in the skin, face, eyes, voice, etc.)

Tania Neubauer – The Spicerack HerbalistMaybe you are just starting to learn about herbs, and you want to learn how to use the herbs that might already be in your kitchen spicerack. Or maybe you’re at a friend’s house, and they’re not feeling well, and they’re not an herb nerd like you – what could you rustle up to help them feel better? Or, maybe you work with very low income clients, who might live far from an herb store, and you want to empower them to take care of their health with the herbs most easily at hand? Many remedies can be found in the average kitchen. Come prepared to mix, smell and taste some of them.

Larkin Schmiedl – Trans health & herbs

How, as trans people, do we use herbs to support our health? How, as herbalists, do we support trans community & clients with plant medicine? This session will look at the limits and possibilities of ‘natural transition,’ and how to use herbs safely in conjunction with hormones. We’ll look at the role herbs can play in mitigating potential health effects of hormone use, and cover helpful & adverse herb-hormone interactions. We’ll look at supportive herbs for pre & post surgery, and flower essences to bolster trans people’s wellbeing. This session will include time for us to learn from the wisdom in the room, so if you have stories, case studies, experiences, etc. please feel free to bring them along.

GaChing Kong –  Dharma, Destiny and Devil’s Club

Classical Chinese Medicine is very clear: when we live far away from our purpose, our Ming, sickness begins. The journey through sickness to wholeness is about re-membering Tao, the original face of our being. This class will explore the journey back to wholeness through the heart-kidney axis, and specifically the role of earth, and yi / intent, in the dance of somethingness and nothingness. We will feature hands-on acupuncture treatments and body work, to give life to how to move specific plant spirits, ajo sacha, bobinsana, hawthorne and devil’s club, and their use in the treatment room through plant essence, song and dieta.

Joyce Netishen – The Metal Element and Season of Autumn

In the season of autumn we transition from the blazing light of summer to ready for the deep dark of winter. We ‘fall’ from the vitality and peak of life into the death and dying, the giving up and letting go of all that no longer serves us. We enter the void and return to essence. For some of us, this transition can be sorrowful and lonely and we can get stuck here. In this hands on workshop we will talk about Autumn and the Metal Element and discuss some plants and different ways to help us ease through the transition of the ‘Fall’ season. Together, we will ritually create a sublime elixir to soothe and inspire this sacred season inside of us and deepen our respect and connection to self… and the world. Please bring a clean 4 oz jar with you to take your elixir home.

Emily Peters – The Bitter Truth about Digestion and Metabolism
There are hundreds of bitter taste receptors that initiate a cascade of reactions throughout your body. Bitters are used to stimulate digestive juices, support the liver, regulate blood sugar, and even lower cholesterol! We can incorporate bitters into our daily lives to help support our digestive system and overall metabolism. Come learn when to use which bitters and why!

Stascha Stahl – Herbs for Grief and Death

Though death is an inevitable part of life, it does not feel easy. The dominant culture does not acknowledge or provide models with which we can deal with our grief. This class aims to provide some strategies to grapple with grief and sorrow surrounding the death of people in our lives. We will talk about what happens in our bodies physiologically and emotionally as well as herbs and flower essences to help ourselves and/or our communities build resilience in these increasingly tragic times.

Orna Izakson –  Garden Medicine: Top herbs for community resilience and emergency preparedness

When a natural or political disaster hits, how will you take care of your own? In such situations, herbalists can expect to be on the front lines of health care. And just as people grew food-based “victory gardens” during wartime, herbalists can prepare with medicinal gardens to bolster self sufficiency and community resilience. The first half of this class puts forward criteria for prioritizing plantings on the home and community level. We’ll consider Permaculture principles, abundance and growth needs of different medicinal plants, common regional and emergency health needs, mapping and community organizing to avoid redundancy, and how to plug in if you don’t have garden space of your own. In the second half we’ll discuss specific medicinal plants for these purposes, including how to grow them and how to use them. While most examples will be based on what grows well in the Pacific Northwest, the concepts and many herbs will be applicable to other bioregions.

Meg Cur – Crafting Community Responses to Antibiotic Resistance

Less than 100 years after the production of the first Penicillin, the “antibiotic era” is anticipating a crisis in efficacy. Through misuse and mismanagement on one side, and through adaptability and resilience on the other, a major crutch of current biomedicine is facing a pivotal moment. This discussion seeks to contextualize this moment and unpack hidden resources in the hands of herbal medicine communities. In this class, we will explore the history of antibiotics and their impact from a variety of perspectives. We will delve into case histories of epidemics and culturally specific responses to them. We will also discuss medicinal herbs who have long been used as allies in the pursuit of health and vitality.

Corrine Boyer – Plants and Death: Funerary lore, Operative Magic and Parting the Veil

Historically plants have served in many traditional roles, to support those passing on and those left behind. Certain plants have a sympathy with death and the process of dying. This lecture addresses the topic of funerary plants and trees in the Northern European tradition. We will look at some ways in which these particular plants and trees were applied in the folklore of western Europe. We will also look to folk magic and the ways in which certain plants or practices were incorporated, alongside with working in the graveyard and with the Dead. The question of how these powers can be used today and applied will also be addressed. Personal insights, experiences and practices will be revealed.
Taught by folk herbalist Corinne Boyer.

Atava Garcia-Swiecicki – Plant Medicine and Ancestral Healing

The intention of this class is to gain skills to connect with our ancestors and their plant medicine traditions. We will talk about epigenetics and ancestral trauma, and how we can help heal this trauma with herbal medicine. We’ll explore the basic tenets of Indigenous Science and learn how we can apply them to our ancestral remembrance process and to our work as herbalist and healers. We’ll explore herbs that can help us connect to our ancestors in waking and dreaming life. We’ll also learn about other practices that can help us to remember and reconnect with our ancestral healing traditions. Class time will include a guided meditation with plants. This class is open to people of all backgrounds and cultures and of all levels of experience with herbal medicine. The approach of the class is based on a universal approach to understanding indigenous science, and is not specific to any particular culture.

Herbal traditions of Mexican curanderismo – fresh herbs for limpias: rue, rosemary, pirul, lavendar, sage, etc.
The limpia is an important healing practice in Mexican curanderismo. The limpia is a traditional cleansing ceremony which is used to purify one’s energy field, to release emotions, to unblock and move old trauma, and to call the spirit back into the body. In this workshop we will introduce some basic concepts of curanderismo. We will focus on the practice of limpias and the role that plants play in this healing ceremony. Finally, we will practice giving ourselves a limpia with fresh plants.

Larken Bunce –  Tongue Assessment for Western Herbalists – projector

Traditional assessment methods, such as reading the tongue, face or pulse, are invaluable doorways to the inner terrain, giving us clues about qualities such as moisture and heat, as well as a sense of tension and overall vitality. We can also gain entry into the psychoemotional world of the client, allowing insight into a person’s world view and perceptions, as held in and expressed through the body. Assessing the tongue is especially useful for understanding the state of digestion, but also serves as a microcosmic mirror of all of the organs, as well as a person’s integrated function. We’ll learn some theory and then practice together, selecting potential herbs based on what we see.