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Meet Autumn Summers

Herbalist and Lead Educator
Education Department

Purpose

To make the use and benefits of herbs and tinctures easy to understand, apply and enjoy. I love making plant medicine accessible to people — to make them feel it’s their own.

Specialty

I am a contemporary practitioner of Traditional Western Herbalism medicine. That includes popular use of herbs and their clinical application from traditional, scientific and empirical perspectives. I have a special interest in the biology and ethnobotany of medicinal plants. My overall approach is influenced by the Eclectics together with modern mentors including Rosemary Gladstar, Paul Bergner, Michael Moore and Cascade Anderson Geller.

Training

Bachelor’s in Anthropology with a special emphasis in Ethnobotany. I undertook professional herbal studies beginning in the mid-1980s with the California School of Herbal Studies, founded by Rosemary Gladstar. I have since undertaken numerous shorter courses with respected experts including Gail Julian, founder of the Common Knowledge Herbs clinical herbalism program. I continue my studies by attending herbal conferences, and through self-study and research in my role as a professional plant medicine educator.

Teaching

I have been teaching for over 25 years in various settings. I mostly teach as part of the core staff at the California School of Herbal Studies, as an adjunct professor at Sonoma State University and at numerous conferences, including the Breitenbush Herbal Conference and the Northern California Women’s Herbal Symposium.

Motivation

Herbs connect me more closely both to Nature and those I care for. In other words, I enjoy foraging and photographing herbs, mushrooms and seaweeds in the wild, I sow and grow herbs in my garden, I concoct and create delicious herb dishes in my kitchen, and I especially enjoy sharing herbal treats and treatments in my community.

First Herb Memory

My first encounter with a medicinal herb was as an 11-year-old. I was on a road trip with my parents, and arrived at the house of a family friend with some respiratory irritation. The family friend promptly made me a Licorice herbal tea, which gave me profoundly soothing support, an experience I will never forget. The sweet, soothing taste of that magical brew has stayed with me ever since – and Licorice remains one of my favorite herbs.

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