Chapter & EW School News



Congratulations Michael and all students and attendees of the East West School of Planetary Herbology!



This was an auspicious event spending an entire day with Ron Teeguarden and his son Lucky at East West’s yearly seminar at the Quaker Center in Ben Lomand, CA. Ron Teeguarden, who is widely recognized as the father of Tonic Herbalism, is a world renowned author of the classic, Chinese Tonic Herbs, a book that introduced the art of tonic herbalism to the American public. His second book, Wisdom of the Chinese Tonic Herbs, is recognized as a major book on the subject of chinese tonic herbs and the Asian arts of longevity  and radiant health.

He so thoroughly believes in the power of tonic herbalism for Radiant Health and Longevity, and spent the day passing on this precious art to a mesmerized audience of herbalists, acupuncturists, teachers and students alike. Expressing much gratitude to all of the ancient Chinese Masters who had passed on this information to their students, he very lovingly introduced us to them, one by one. Shennong, author of the Pharmacopeia of the Divine Farmer, was the Master who first introduced the Superior Class of herbs consisting of 120 herbs, such as Ginseng Root, Rhubarb, etc. twenty-five hundred years ago.  He divided herbs into 3 classes: Inferior, General and Superior herbs.

DSCN2383 (1)

Ron Teeguarden’s powerful message to us is that Glowing Health means Health Beyond Danger and that Chinese Tonic Herbalism is an approach to achieving and maintaining glowing health.

By incorporating tonic herbs into our lives within a time frame of  approximately 6 months to two years, we can increase jing (life essence),  qi (energy) and  shen (spirit). He emphatically remarked that herbs can  definitely  increase jing (life essence).

Throwing a mix of tonic herbs into  tall, glass teapots with candles burning beneath them, he introduced us to many of these herbs throughout the day.


We were given tastes of tonic teas, Himalayan Goji berries, powerful Chinese tonic tinctures, tastes and fragrant smells of Vietnamese Cinnamon. He very generously introduced us to Snow Lotus – a very rare herb grown very high up in the mountains of Tibet and we munched out on snacks of cordeceps grown on rice that you can snack on like popcorn. We tasted Dragon Herbs Schizandra  Goji tinctures, Hermit’s Mix of pine nuts, walnuts, longan berries and plump goji berries. This is a powerful anti-aging tonic providing all 3 Treasures of jing, qi and shen. We learned that Jing Tonics of Deer Antler can increase your will power. We all received a copy of Ron Teeguarden’s 30 Tips For Getting Healthy Now and For Living a Long, Healthy, Productive and Happy Life! (and during those 8 hours of lecturing, he taught us exactly how to achieve that)!







He offered a Power Point presentation of herbs grown in pristine areas in China, high up in the mountains, near the Shaolin Temple, where the water is pure and the soil fertile.  We saw pictures of his manufacturing facility in China. Ron Teeguarden is very proud of the fact that his company Dragon Herbs is a Di Tao facility, which means that they will sell nothing but the highest quality, most effective tonic herbal products in the world. His company has built its reputation on Di Tao!

He taught us the secrets of  how to discern buying excellent ginseng roots versus low grade versions and what to look for. Since a large group of students from the East West School are traveling to China in May, this was perfect timing, to prepare everyone.

Ron emphasized that if we, as herbalists, acupuncturists, teachers, CEO’s, etc. are giving out so much healing energy, it is imperative that we replenish it, and he recommends incorporating tonic herbs daily, as he taught us!

We sincerely want to thank Ron and Lucky for passing on this precious knowledge.  We also want to thank Michael and Lesley Tierra, for inviting him to present at this year’s seminar to all of the East West School of Planetary Herbology staff, students, herbalists, acupuncturists and all who attended. Please enjoy the photos below of this blessed opportunity.

The first photo below is of Herbalist Kristi Shapla. She is the owner of Feral Botanics – Herbs Gone Wild, and Author of Brew Your Medicine. Every year she makes a custom herbal brew for the main speaker at the East West School yearly seminars. She made a custom herbal beer especially for Ron, and presented it to him, along with Michael Tierra and Tom Dadant. By the way, the beautiful scarf Kristi is wearing is woven from nettle stems!

DSCN2379   DSCN2368




DSCN2398DSCN2426DSCN2384       DSCN2453DSCN2382DSCN2402   DSCN2405



Mark Blumenthal and Michael Tierra

Mark Blumenthal and Michael Tierra

The California Bay Area Herbalists Chapter of AHG and                               East West Free Herb Clinic give a great big shout out to Michael Tierra for receiving the following award… 

American Botanical Council Honors Michael Tierra with Community  Builder Award

Thursday evening, March 10, 2016, Michael was given the Mark Blumenthal Community Builder Award by the American Botanical Council (ABC). Mark (Founder and Executive Director of ABC and Editor of HerbalGram) announced the award during a lively evening for the 11th annual ABC Botanical Celebration and Awards Ceremony, held before the opening of the Natural Products Expo West convention in Anaheim, California.

As Mark said, “He is one of North America’s most venerated herbalists, and his many writings, teachings, and activities have resulted in creating a growing community of professional herbal practitioners throughout the United States and beyond.”

Giving the award, Mark listed Michael’s numerous contributions to the herbal field: author of nine books, teacher of well over 9,000 students worldwide, mentor to multiple others, founder of the American Herbalists Guild (AHG) and founder of the Santa Cruz Free Herb Clinics. He also reminded everyone of Michael’s background and start at the Black Bear Commune in Northern California in the 1960s and 1970s and his talent and gifts as a classical pianist.

For the full announcement of this award with more details on Michael, go to:

Congratulations Michael, and very well deserved!

Written by Lesley Tierra:


Highlights from Potluck, Herb Tincture Press and Herb Garden Planting

On Sat., March 7th, an enthusiastic crowd of herbalists showed up at the Tierra’s beautiful home and gardens, rolled up their sleeves and got to work. Immediately following our AHG chapter meeting, we found an entire picnic table filled with herbal tinctures created by Michael Tierra. The herbs were ready Garden Party and waiting for us to strain and press, label and bottle for our herbal pharmacy and joint venture with the East West Free Clinic.  After that, we headed to the garden to plant herbs that we hope to grow and possibly sell at fund raisers in late summer. We will also use them to make herbal medicines for the clinic. Here are some photos of this fun-filled, memorable day.

Linda Planting Scutellaria lateriflora   Planting new herb gardens

Straining, Pressing, Labeling and Bottling Herbal Tinctures

DSCN0957 DSCN0931



DSCN0923      DSCN0939

HERBALISTA LORNA MAUNEY-BRODEK & HERBALIST BEN ZAPPIN, L.Ac. of 5 FLAVORS    HERBS VISIT CA GREATER BAY AREA CHAPTER Fully stocked Herb Bus SetupNon-alcohol glycerite tasting    Lorna talking with Michael Tierra



Lorna and Dee An excited group of herbalists  and friends held a potluck at Brett Traynor’s home in Ben Lomand, CA last Wednesday for Herbalista Lorna Mauney-Brodek and the Herbalista Bus. After a beautiful dinner on the spacious deck outside Brett’s home, we were all given a tour of Lorna’s bus set up. She proudly displayed her handmade tincture kits. The bus was really well-stocked with an entire herbal pharmacy. We were able to taste her amazing alcohol-free, herbal glycerites and everyone wanted to know exactly how they were made. Damascus Rose and Fennel were favorites.

Location Location Location

After the bus tour, Lorna gave a powerful and inspirational  presentation on the Herbalista Health Network and all of the programs that feed into it. Here are some of the highlights.

While providing herbal care in the clinic in Georgia, clients are seen in one room, and simultaneously, there are ongoing free herbal talks for educating clients and the public going on in an adjoining room. Practitioners sign up for talks that are about one or two hours long. One of the most recent ones, open to the public, was on diabetes and blood sugar, etc. (Even if someone comes to the clinic perhaps with their family, while one is being seen, the others can sit in the adjoining room, have an herbal tea and receive valuable, helpful information on different herbal therapies), or they can take turns being seen, while the other is waiting comfortably in the other room. Other modalities such as massage, acupuncture, and hair cutting services are freely offered at the clinic.

First Aid Station Kit

So, they not only provide herbal care, but herbal education and other services as well. On her website you can read about all of the programs that feed into the Herbalista Health Network.

medicine cart

Lorna  introduced us to  the Herb Cart Program, which is a little first aid station on wheels and is a training opportunity for herbalists  and herb students wanting more clinical opportunities.

There is also a Foot Care Clinic and training for participants.

Grow a Row  Program – where you can educate the public about an herb – such as ashwaganda for instance. You would give a talk on ashwaganda, how to plant it, in what season, how to water it and care for it.  Then a packet of 10 different herbal seeds are handed out to anyone interested in taking the seeds home and growing them. At the  time of harvest, they will bring the herbs back to the clinic. The clinic has a medicine making class for making tinctures of ashwaganda and all of the other herbs, which is also an herbal fund raiser for the clinic. The tinctures can be donated back to the clinic and clients can take home a tincture as well. This way, the public learns how to make their own herbal medicine and the act of making herbal medicine teaches as well as contributes to funding the herbal pharmacy.  This is a brilliant natural cycle of giving and receiving.

The Herbalista Health Network’s main focus is on building community and strengthening communities.

Lorna, all of us want to thank you so much for traveling our way and inspiring us on how to serve underserved communities, and how to build and strengthen them!! Viva La Herbalista and her Crew!
Mutual Admiration SocietyDee and MorningLorna's handmade tincture kits
Herb bus setupLorna with Herb Bus Clinic Literature Dee and Lorna
Morning and LornaChewie and Friends  Glycerite display  Lorna explains about formulasFascinated Herbalistas


WHAT’S NEW IN 2015? “We’re Having a Garden Party.”

Our chapter has some exciting events planned in the coming months. Michael and Lesley Tierra have generously offered  us some raised garden beds in a section of their large herb garden. where our new chapter can plant herbs of our choice. So in March we will have a Potluck (following our AHG meeting) and a Planting Party after the Potluck.

The date is Saturday, March 7th, with the AHG meeting starting at 10 a.m.  Brett Traynor, who owned a medicinal herb farm in the Appalacian mountains previously, attended the February AHG meeting, and suggested 10 herbs to start with for the garden and he very kindly offered to bring seeds on March 7th.  We welcome organic seeds or seedlings, cuttings, herbs, etc.

NOTE: Make sure to wear appropriate gardening clothes, hats, sunglasses, and shoes or boots (if muddy).