and the plant paths we walk
THE PEOPLE WORKING FOR THE PLANTS at
The School of Evolutionary Herbalism
Sajah and Whitney started the School of Evolutionary Herbalism in 2011 with a vision to share the healing power of plant medicine with people walking the plant path. As this vision reached out into the world and the school grew, the team expanded to support the distribution of our teachings & free content that we share with the Evolutionary Herbalism community. To learn more about the wonderful little team of Herbalists who make Evolutionary Herbalism flourish & thrive, please read on."
Hey I’m Sajah, co-founder of The School of Evolutionary Herbalism, Natura Sophia Spagyrics, and author of Evolutionary Herbalism. I’m a father, an herbalist, spagyricist, medical astrologer, and a man simply trying to live on this Earth in a good way and make a positive difference.
My training in herbal medicine began with rigorous self-study that suddenly made its way to Bastyr University’s Herbal Sciences program. I apprenticed for a number of years under the tutelage of Matthew Wood and have studied extensively with Paul Bergner, David Winston, Margi Flint, and many more.
My primary instructor in spagyric alchemy is Robert Bartlett who carries the tradition of the late Frater Albertus. My training in medical astrology comes from Judith Hill, who has written more books on medical astrology than any other author.
But the most important teacher for me is none other than Nature and the plants themselves…
"My mission focuses on integrating the science and spirit of herbal medicine, developing a system that is equally holistic, healing and transformational."
I consider myself a vitalist at heart. My approach utilizes plants clinically, not only for physical healing and rejuvenation, but for the evolution of consciousness. Rather than focusing allopathically on what plants are “good for,” I focus on who the plants are as sentient beings, and how their medicine heals the body, psyche, and soul.
This connection between the physical and spiritual properties of plants is of particular interest and is a major focus on my work. The study and practice of medical astrology and spagyric alchemy has greatly aided in this undertaking and has formed the foundation of my plant path.
I strive to embody a heartfelt respect, honor and reverence for the vast intelligence of plants in a way that empowers us to look deeper into the nature of our medicines and ourselves.
I live in NW Washington with my wife, Whitney, son, and more animals than I can count, where I teach at my school, make spagyric medicines, and practice my healing art.
I’m Whitney, co-founder of The School of Evolutionary Herbalism and Natura Sophia Spagyrics. I’m a mother, an herbalist, a shepherdess, and a gardener cultivating beauty & resilience.
My people are Scandinavian, Azorean and Celtic immigrants to North America. I was born on a small island in Coast Salish territory in the Pacific Northwest coast of Washington.
I come from a long line of people who have tended the land. Planting seeds, tending gardens and livestock, gathering and making medicine are all in my bones and a deep part of my ancestry and my upbringing.
I grew up with plant medicine in our home and our gardens and in the forests around us. From an early age, I knew of the wild medicines that grew around me and how to use them. And as my mother sowed this love of nature into my heart and taught me the ways of living close to the land – these are the seeds I strive to keep alive for the next generations as well.
"My work as an herbalist is to be in service to the plants and to the people. I'm simply a vessel for the plants to reach those who are seeking healing."
I’m here to be a gardener, tending the plants and caretaking the precious wisdom of the medicines that have been passed down through generations, sowing seeds of their healing far and wide, to feed life and nourish the beauty that is within all living beings.
Though my background is as a clinical herbalist, currently I spend most of my time mothering and farming, raising our children and flock of sheep, beekeeping, growing food for our family, running the herbal farm and making herbal medicine for our other business, Natura Sophia Spagyrics with my husband Sajah – all on our beautiful homestead in the mountains & rainforests of Northwest Washington.
meet the team
at evolutionary herbalism
HERBALIST & OPERATIONS MANAGER
Elisha grew up on a small island in the traditional territory of the Coast Salish peoples of the Sḵwx̱wú7mesh (Squamish) Nation in the Pacific Northwest. She has been working with us now for 8 years and has been following this herbal path for 15 years. She’s grown her herbal reservoir from various herbalists, including all of our programs, as well as apprenticed with us personally in our spagyrics laboratory. She’s apprenticed with various herbalists from around North America including Betty Norton, Jasmyn Clift/Kevin Kunslzer from the Wild Seed School of Herbal Studies, Chanchal Cabrera, Vermont herbalists Guido Mase/Larken Bunse and Betsy Bancroft from the Vermont Centre of Integrative Herbalism, and lastly with Todd Caldecott from The Dogwood School of Botanical Medicine.
She works as our operations manager here, running the Evolutionary Herbalism ship & our wonderful crew, along with a small practice & herbal apothecary. Her passions lie in wildcrafting plants that grow in her surrounding ecosystem and making her own herbal medicines. Her goal is to convey how nature’s medicine can be implemented into a holistic lifestyle empowering people to take better care of themselves and provide support to those who feel helpless.
HERBALIST & TECH SPECIALIST
Michele is a Clinical Herbalist based out of Oklahoma on what was once the Kiowa Nation but is now the Kickapoo (Kiikaapoi) Territory. She has been with the school for 4 years as a Virtual Assistant/Tech Specialist. Her herbalism journey was inspired by her children who had a variety of complex diagnoses growing up that required her to think out of the box. Having spent most of her childhood lying under a willow tree or talking to dandelions for solace, she ventured into herbalism without hesitation and found answers that ultimately benefited her children and herself. For the last 20 years and counting, Michele has actively helped families with children facing complex diagnoses for free. This has led to alternative health specialties in neurological, gastrointestinal, mitochondrial, and autoimmune conditions.
Michele obtained her clinical herbalism certificate from Kat Maier’s 3-year program in Charlottesville, VA. Instructors who have also shaped her as an herbalist include Matthew Wood, Margi Flint, Steven Horne, Rosemary Gladstar, Lorna Mauney-Brodek, K.P. Kalsa, Phyllis Light, and Paul Bergner. When she isn’t working for Evolutionary Herbalism, she spends her time creating a permaculture-focused/regenerative-driven farm for her family. Her hope is to create a space for autistic non-speaking individuals like her son to have an outlet, a safe therapeutic haven, and a place to gather and communicate in their own way. You can learn more about the farm here.
HERBALIST & student support MANAGER
Christine practices out of Colorado and is a Clinical Herbalist and Certified Holistic Health Practitioner. She was the child running around barefoot all over the neighborhood picking the wild onions and strawberries that grew around and constantly coming home with little patches of poison ivy from running through the woods. Her mother who still lives in South Korea had a fondness for eating whole foods and definitely had an influence on her love of art, food, and plants. She continues to visit her family in South Korea and is learning her grandmother’s traditional ways of cooking with different roots.
Christine’s path into holistic health and herbalism decades ago when she was trying to figure out her autoimmune issues. She received her AAS in Holistic Health and her BS in Integrative Healthcare where she took courses in Clinical Pathophysiology, TCM, Ayurveda, Botanical Pharmacology and Medicine Making. From there she was hooked on learning as much as she could about working in community with plants and the mind body connection. After an internship with the United Plant Savers she went on to study at the School of Eclectic Herbalism, the Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism under Lisa Ganora and took advanced courses with Paul Bergner. She actually met the EH Team when taking Matthew Wood’s 6 month Advanced Clinical course.
Christine now works as the manager of the Student Support team going on 4 years, works with clients where she incorporates mind body practices along with nutrition and herbalism, teaches classes, and leads workshops. She also enjoys cooking with wild foods, growing her own herbs and vegetables, and making her own herbal medicine.
HERBALIST & STUDENT SUPPORT assistant
Madeline de la Serna
Once Madeline became aware of the healing potential of herbs, as well as the beauty of the human to plant connection, her life slowly began to unfold in new directions, and she started the journey on her own path of healing and self-discovery. While a college student at UC Berkeley, she used to spend time out on the local trails as an escape from the classroom, and soon came to realize there were far greater teachings to be had in the surrounding nature beyond anything she’d learned in the classroom thus far, with some of the wisest teachers being the plants themselves.
Madeline’s herbal medicine path continued a few years later at the Berkeley Herbal Center, joining the two year Foundations & Therapeutics program, followed by a year-long clinical internship at Berkeley Herbal Center’s community clinic under the guidance and mentorship of the school’s founder, Pamela Fischer. Madeline gained experience in working with clients, diagnostics, formulation, and learning about the day-to-day operations of a busy herbal dispensary, clinic, and school. After her time at the clinic, she taught classes to the first year students and also served the Berkeley Herbal Center as the Academic Director.
During those years, Madeline also found the School of Evolutionary Herbalism and slowly started making her way through each of the programs, and eventually joined the EH team in early 2020 as a Student Support Assistant.
Madeline resonates with cultivating an awareness of the cyclical patterns of nature, and aligning oneself closer to the rhythms and seasons of the year, the elements, planets, and the cosmos. She enjoys spending time furthering her experiential studies of astrology and spagyrics as ways of better understanding the patterns woven within oneself and throughout nature. Madeline feels that we all carry an innate capacity within ourselves to heal and grow, and that the plants can be great allies to guide us through this process.
Madeline recently became a mother, and after taking some time off to focus on her new baby & family, is now back for her third year with the Evolutionary Herbalism team, and is also dreaming up her plans of starting up her clinical herbal practice again in 2022.
HERBALIST & student support assistant
Jocelyn, Founder of Herban Garden, is an educator, herbalist, urban naturalist, Flower Essence Therapist, conservationist and avid gardener with a background in biology, animal husbandry and agriculture. Her work infuses the values of community-building, accessible learning, and the betterment of the environment through educational services, namely, providing consultations for everything from incorporating herbs into your life to tending to your houseplants and outdoor gardens. Via many free or low-cost interactive webinars, and workshops, and outdoor activities, she helps her students explore the many facets of plant identification, gardening and horticulture, herbology, ethnobotany, phytochemistry, and ecosystem management.
Jocelyn is the Director of Herbalists Without Borders, is the Secretary of the Board, as well as the NYC Queens Chapter Coordinator. She serves on the American Herbalists Guild Board of Directors, and is their Chapter Liaison. She is an educator and guide for NYCH20, and the organizer for the Herbalist Meetup Group of NY. She is currently engaged in several field studies and reforestation projects as a Super Steward, Trail Maintainer, and collaborations with NYC Parks and the Natural Areas Conservancy, as well as compiling research for an upcoming book and interactive app. Her classes have been recommended by The New York Times.
HERBALIST & COntent editor / copywriter
Ayelet is a Jewish queer herbalist with a passion for plants and how they can help you feel your best. After receiving their degree in integrative nutrition at Huntington University, they proceeded to Arbor VitaeSchool of Traditional Herbalism, where they completed their studies alongside herbal masters such as Matthew Wood, Rosemary Gladstar, and Anne McIntyre. They apprenticed under Lata Chettri-Kennedy in New York City’s bustling apothecary, Flower Power Herbs and Roots, Inc., where they had the opportunity of serving the local community. A Brooklyn retiree, Ayelet now lives in Tel Aviv, where they run a clinical practice, offer workshops, and teach community classes. A lover of words, plants, and weaving magic between the two, they are the content copywriter & editor for The School of Evolutionary Herbalism.
HERBALIST & CONTENT MANAGER
Emily Doyle is an herbalist who grew up on a small farm in rural Eastern Canada where many seeds were planted; both literally and metaphorically. Despite resisting the farm life as a young child, Emily recognizes now that being raised close to nature guided her toward the practice of herbalism long before she consciously stepped onto the path.
Emily was introduced to the power of plants by attending a class on wild food and medicine. Having already been studying nutrition, Emily was in awe to learn that there was edible, nutritious medicinal food growing right outside of her door. During this one-hour class, she immediately knew where her next area of study would be. Not long after arriving back in Canada, Emily dove deep into studying herbalism locally with a medical herbalist, online through Gaia School of Healing and Earth Education, and also became passionate about organically growing the medicines she was learning about.
Developing relationships with the herbs and flowers, and connecting to the Earth in a sacred way through the practices of herbalism, and gardening continues to shift Emily’s life in profound ways. Emily will forever be a devoted student of the plant world, bowing to the wisdom, nourishment, generosity, and kindness they share every day. It’s from this place of deep reverence and humility that Emily grows and crafts herbal remedies on a small scale to serve her community.
The Earth’s cyclical nature and exquisite expression are the muses that inspire Emily to create art in the form of poetry and photography which aligns harmoniously with her social media curator position at The School of Evolutionary Herbalism.