Meet the esteemed herbalism teachers
of the Matthew Wood Institute of Herbalism.
Matthew Woods' Books
NEW Extracellular Matrix & Class
NEW Seven Guideposts
In-person Herbal Classes
Products Based on Matthew's Formulations
Matt's Orginal Website
Matthew Wood has been a practicing herbalist since 1982. In a period when many authors and lecturers are merely "armchair herbalists" who offer theories and opinions based on book learning, and others have turned to the exotic traditions of India or China, he has been an active practitioner of traditional Western herbalism. He has helped tens of thousands of clients over the years, with many difficult health problems. While Matthew believes in the virtue of many other healing modalities, he has always been inspired to learn, preserve, and practice the tradition of herbal medicine descending to us from our European, Anglo-American, and Native American heritage. He is a member of the American Herbalists Guild (registered herbalist) and has earned his Masters of Science degree from the Scottish School of Herbal Medicine (accredited by the University of Wales).
Matthew Wood, age 19, learning plant ID
Photo by Tom Weaver
Dr. Don Lawrence, Professor Emeritus, Botany Department, University of Minnesota, on the right, points to a spring wildflower, April 1973, "Field Botany." Matthew Wood in center on bike, Duncan McCutcheon to the left.
Sunnyfield Herb Farm
In 1992 Matthew moved to a little farm in Minnetrista, thirty-five minutes west of downtown Minneapolis. The seventeen acres consisted of fields, woods, swamps, prairies, and herb gardens. He called it "Sunnyfield Herb Farm" after the road out front. In 2003 a careless 'guest' burned down the guest house and Matthew thought it prudent to move. In 2006 he removed to a beautiful oak woods about ten miles away, in Maple Plain. In 2010 he moved to land in Wisconsin. He still calls his business "Sunnyfield Herb Farm." A friend continues to live on the old farm.
International Lecturer and Author
Matthew has lectured in all parts of the United States, from Georgia to Maine, New York to California, and Santa Fe to Sperryville, Virginia. He has also taught in Canada, Scotland, England, France, and Australia. He is known throughout the world as an excellent teacher of herbal medicine. He is also the author of six acclaimed books on herbal medicine, published by North Atlantic Books, in Berkeley, CA:
Leigh has a Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from the University of Minnesota, Duluth, and she has been teaching music for over 18 years. Along with her appreciation of the arts, Leigh has been in love with nature since she was young, spending time outdoors camping, hiking, and identifying. At one point in her young life, Leigh fell into a pile of astrology books and hasn’t crawled out since. Leigh returned to her nature-loving roots and brought with her love of mythology and the esoteric.
In 2016, she became a student of the Matthew Wood Institute of Herbalism. Leigh also teaches local herbalism classes, ranging from kitchen remedies to the power of myth represented in aphrodisiacs. In her spare time, Leigh likes to create Spirit-based art, pick blackcap raspberries, make terrible puns, and sing 80s tunes in the car. She writes about the signatures and connections in the natural world and explores those spiritual connections on her website.
Jon Baklund is a remote viewing instructor that took his first training in late 1996 at Farsight Institute. Jon took to remote viewing quickly and continued through the advanced training, and then the instructor class. Working as a professional remote viewer for Farsight, and other organizations, Jon has vast experience in the metaphysical realm, intuition, psychic ability, and intention. Having instructed hundreds of people in remote viewing, Jon brings an interesting take to intuitive development.
Jon is the founder of Inomanti international and teaches the Inomanti curriculum online and in seminars.
Overcoming debilitating health issues is extremely rewarding, which is why Tara continues her personal health studies and encourages others to take the steps to improve their health as well. Her book (currently being revised) is a guide to understanding one’s body type and the foods, exercise, and habits that help each body type to be more balanced. Trained Remote Viewer of the Inomanti System, Yogini, and Martial Artist.
Her deep desire to learn and share continues to manifest in many ways.
Francis Bonaldo has been a practicing herbalist for 15 years. He served as a member of faculty in the acupuncture department of Rosemont College (Montreal, Canada) from 2011 to 2015. He specializes in pulse evaluation and is co-author of “Traditional Western Herbalism and Pulse Evaluation-a conversation” with Matthew Wood and Phyllis Light. Francis wildcrafts over one hundred plants from the northeastern forests and prairies of the continent for use in his clinical practice and also commonly teaches beginning and intermediate classes in herbal medicine and pulse evaluation.
Francis holds a Master of Science degree in acupuncture and Oriental Medicine from AAAOM (Minnesota). He has also completed an apprenticeship with Lise Wolff, M. Sc. (herbalist) as well as advanced studies with Matthew Wood M. Sc. (herbalist).
Dawn Lacska-Tommerdahl's Website
Dawn is an RN, Medicine Woman, Master Herbalist, and aromatherapist. She has been studying natural healing for over 25 years and has been treating people with herbs and essential oils for over 20 of them. She has had the opportunity to learn from some of the world's best healers. In South Korea, she learned from Sun Jung about Ginseng and traditional Korean medicine. In Minnesota, she learned from Dottie Running Horse, a Dakota Medicine Woman/Shaman who taught her how to use the medicines of her people. She also learned from many other healers including Matthew Wood, David Winston, Phyllis Light, Susun Weed, David Hoffman, and more.
She started teaching because people wanted to learn about natural therapies from multiple traditions and how to use them to heal and create medicine. She teaches all over the country and has been asked to be a speaker at several large herb conferences like the Eastern Holistic Nursing Conference, American Herbalists Guild conference, South East Wise Woman Herbal Conference, North Country Herb Conference, Florida Herbal Conference, International Society of Natural Healers to name a few.
One of Dawn's favorite things to do is to make herbal medicine and personal care products with organic and wildcrafted herbs and oils. A product line was created when local herb stores asked if they could carry some of her unique blends. Everything Dawn makes is made in a GMP-compliant kitchen but she makes her products in small batches and takes the time to lovingly create each one. This is evident in the quality and freshness of her herbal medicines and aromatherapy products.
Dawn does natural healing consults as well and specializes in helping those with cardiac disease, diabetes, cystic fibrosis, and immune issues. Her knowledge of how to blend both natural and modern medicines to optimize dis-ease management makes her customized treatments work well. Dawn also does consult with large companies who are looking to make natural products, she has consulted with companies making everything from energy drinks to make-up products.
Judith Hill is an award-winning author of thirteen books including the classics: Medical Astrology: A Guide to Planetary Pathology, The Astrological Body Types, and Vocational Astrology (winner of an A.F.A., Inc. “Best Book Award”, 1999.) She produced The Renaissance Medicine Conference and created the online course Medical Astrology 101. She founded The Academy for Astrological Medicine in 2021.
Hill was possibly the first to introduce Western Medical Astrology to Szechuan, China. She is a Chartered Herbalist with Dominion Herbal College and a faculty member for The Matthew Wood Institute of Herbalism; and Kepler College. Hill documented the natal and transit health influences of the Lunar Nodes and the medical impact of eclipses by sign and conjunct natal planets. She created the first nodal polarity-conscious eclipse calendar. She has recently published Medical Astrology for Health Practitioners and Medical Astrology in Action: The Transits of Health.
An internationally recognized researcher, Hill published significant statistical research on Astro-genetics and astro-seismology, and has served as the Educational Director for the San Francisco NCGR and as the private assistant to the great physicist Arthur M. Young at the Institute for the Study of Consciousness. Hill successfully matched five biographies to five natal charts in an NCGR sponsored skeptic’s challenge in 1989 and predicted (and pre-published) the time window, size, and location of the Bay Area’s great Loma Linda earthquake. She is one of the longest practicing full-time astrological consultants in America.
Susan Leopold, PhD, is an ethnobotanist and passionate defender of biodiversity. Over the past 20 years, Susan has worked extensively with indigenous peoples in Peru and Costa Rica. She is the Executive Director of United Plant Savers and Director of the Sacred Seeds Project. Prior to working at United Plant Savers, she worked as a librarian at the Oak Spring Garden Library, specializing in digitizing rare herbals and botanical travel manuscripts. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Botanical Dimensions and the Center for Sustainable Economy.
She is an advisory board member of the American Botanical Council. She is a proud member of the Patawomeck Indian Tribe of Virginia and the author of the children's book Isabella's Peppermint Flower, teaching about Virginia's botanical history. She lives on and manages a productive farm, the Indian Pipe Botanical Sanctuary with her three children in Virginia, where she raises goats, peacocks, and herbs. She is an avid recreational tree climber, in love with the canopy just as much as the herbs of the forest floor.
Phyllis D. Light, a fourth-generation herbalist and healer, has studied and worked with herbs, foods, and other healing techniques for over 30 years. Her studies in Traditional Southern Folk Medicine began in the deep woods of North Alabama with lessons from her grandmother, whose herbal and healing knowledge had its roots in her Creek/Cherokee heritage. Phyllis’ studies continued as an apprentice with the late Tommie Bass, a nationally renowned folk herbalist from Sand Rock, Alabama, and other herbal elders throughout the Appalachians and the Deep South.
Phyllis has a master’s degree from the University of Alabama in Health Studies, education and promotion, nutrition, and healthcare. She has taught continuing education classes for allied healthcare professionals including nurses, nurse practitioners, physical therapists, registered dietitians, occupational therapists, and social workers for Diversified Nursing Services. She is a professional member of the American Herbalist Guild and served as vice-president and as a member of the admissions committee.
She has experience in both clinical and private settings including working in integrative medical clinics in Birmingham and Huntsville, Alabama. Phyllis was supervising herbalist at Common Ground Health Clinic in New Orleans after Hurricane Katrina. She was Director of Herbal Studies at Clayton College of Natural Health and has written courses for Penn Foster Career College and Ashworth College. In addition to herbalism and nutrition, Phyllis has studied exercise science, massage therapy, reflexology, sports medicine, and energy medicine.
Currently, she is the director of the Appalachian Center for Natural Health in Arab, Alabama, which offers both online classes and in-person workshops. www.phyllisdlight.com. Phyllis maintains an active private practice and consults with businesses, universities, physicians, and manufacturers. She is on the faculty of the Matthew Wood Institute of Herbalism. In addition, she is on the board of directors of the American Naturopathic Certification Board and sits as education director.
Phyllis is the author of Southern Folk Medicine, Healing Traditions from Appalachian Fields and Forests published by North Atlantic. This important work chronicles the history of Southern Folk Medicine from the early settlement days of the New World and codifies its principles for ease of understanding. She is the co-author of Traditional Western Herbalism Pulse Evaluation with Matthew Wood and Francis Bonaldo. Phyllis has also contributed to various anthologies published by Plant Healer Publications and has written articles for various natural health online magazines and journals.
Chris has been a practicing herbalist since 2002. His Ojibwe/Métis grandmother started him on his spiritual journey at the age of 4 when she started telling him about plant and animal medicine.
His dad grew up on a homestead and knew a lot about wild foods. Between his dad's and grandmother's teachings, he was always outside! Chris uses an energetic approach to herbalism which animal medicine is a part of.
Amanda Nicole is a daughter of the Blue Ridge Mountains. She listens to the trees, sits with the land, and gathers medicine messages to share. As an author, poet, teacher, herbalist, mother of six, and Divine Daughter, it is her delight to hold space for others as their eyes and ears open to the Beauty and Medicine that is All Around Us. In 2010, Amanda purposefully began her journey with the plants.
She studied herbalism at Green Comfort School of Herbal Medicine with Teresa Boardwine in Rappahannock County, Virginia, was blessed to continue her studies by sitting at the feet of Matthew Wood, and completed an herbal apprenticeship with Ashley Litecky Elenbaas of Sky House Herbs.
Deeply grateful for her teachers, Amanda is blessed and held by the spirits of her Choctaw (Chahta) ancestors as she offers the sacred medicine of Spirit and Earth through classes, consultations, ceremony, the written word, and song.
Her book, Flowers for a Girl: Plant Medicine & Sexual Trauma, is a poetic telling of her healing journey with the plants as teachers and companions. You can hear the plants speak through Amanda by listening to her podcast, Whispers: Plant Spirit Medicine.
Loving books, chocolate, soft beds, warm baths, and the Tulip Poplar tree, Amanda is happiest sitting under a tree, surrounded by wildflowers, dusted with dirt, or immersed in wild water.
Seán Pádraig O’Donoghue's Website
Seán Pádraig O’Donoghue is an herbalist, writer, and teacher, and an initiated Priest in two traditions. He lives in the mountains of western Maine. Seán’s approach to healing weaves together the insights of traditional western herbalism and contemporary science. He regards physical, spiritual, and emotional healing as deeply intertwined.
Prior to becoming an herbalist, Seán was a political organizer in movements for peace, human rights, and global economic justice, and a freelance journalist documenting the human and ecological impacts of U.S. policies in Latin America.
He grew up near Boston, a short distance from where his great-grandparents first landed when they arrived from Ireland. Since childhood, he has been an avid student of Irish history and folklore. He graduated from Dartmouth College in 1996 with a degree in English Literature and Creative Writing.
Lori Valentine Rose, Ph.D., CNP, BCHN, FDN-P, RH (AHG), NBC-HWC, is a college biology, nutrition, herbal, and wellness instructor, national board-certified nutrition professional and holistic nutrition consultant, Functional Diagnostic Nutrition® Practitioner, board registered herbalist, national board-certified health and wellness coach, wife, mother, organic vegetable, fruit, and medicinal herb gardener, school garden planter, city class teacher, and passionate Zumba dancer!
She created, developed, and instructs the Hill College Holistic Wellness Pathway, the most thorough, affordable, degreed wellness program in the country. She loves spreading love and light, and helping others feel awesome on the inside and out so they can live their dreams and make this world more awesome!
William G. Winter grew up in a farm family in South-Western Kansas. Most of his family resides in and around Medicine Lodge, Kansas, also Nashville, Zenda, Harper, and Attica. He got his veterinary degree from Kansas State University in 1975. He also received a degree in Animal Nutrition and completed post-graduate studies and conducted scientific research in Veterinary Toxicology. After a brief large animal/equine practice experience in Northern Missouri, he moved to Minnesota, specializing in surgical referrals and opened an emergency clinic.
In 1980 he created what became one of the largest and most successful holistic veterinary practices in the United States. He has advanced training and certification in veterinary homeopathy, herbal medicine, veterinary chiropractic and animal psychology and behavior modification. He is a co-founder of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association. He writes for several eco-agriculture and livestock grazing journals and web sites. He has served as the veterinary advisor to the International Alliance of Sustainable Agriculture since 1984. He is the author of THE HOLISTIC VETERINARY HANDBOOK.
In 1999 he retired from his practice and said goodbye to his practice licenses so that he could focus full-time on lecturing and writing about holistic veterinary livestock issues, sustainable agriculture and traditional nutrition. He has recently founded the American Holistic Livestock Association. He is the local chapter leader for the Weston A. Price Foundation for Minneapolis-St. Paul and moderates several web discussion groups about sustainable local and nutrient-dense food as well as for the natural rearing of pastured livestock. Since 2004 he has been the herd consultant for the Thousand Hills Cattle Company. He is the founder and owner of RESCUE ANIMAL PRODUCTS and the developer or previous owner of SOJOURNER FARMS, RESTORATION RAW PET FOOD, and RAW BISTRO. He is the owner of LUCKY PIG FARMS and raises pastured Berkshire hogs, as well as implementation of various invasive weed eradication programs utilizing his flocks of American Blackbelly Hair Sheep and Kik0-Boar meat goats.
MWIH Classes with Paul Red Elk
Paul is a member of the Minniconjou band from the Cheyenne River/ Rosebud reservation. He is a Prairie Grizzly Bear Clan member and grew up on the Rosebud Reservation. He was trained as a traditional Lakota herbalist and medicine man from childhood by his grandparents.
Paul is also trained in Dakota, Anishinaabe, Ho-Chunk, Chippewa (Northern Wisconsin), and Sac and Fox. Paul has a vast knowledge of these Traditional Medicines. He is also trained in Western Herbalism and apprenticed with Matthew Wood. Paul was a professor for 12 years at Minneapolis Community Technical College. He has his own private practice. Paul is the last true traditional Lakota medicine man.
I’m Judith Sims, an educational media producer whose work has been part of the curriculum at a national herb school for over a decade. My background includes producing feature reports for the PBS NewsHour and hosting a public radio interview program at the University of Minnesota.
I served as the president of the North Country Herbalist Guild (1999-2000) and now feel I can make a contribution to the larger herbal community with Pronouncing Plant Names - A Guide to Botanical Latin.
My interest in becoming the Henry Higgins of the plant world began at least by college, where I studied the Cornish (pirate!) dialect.
Then, after upholding the standards of pronunciation demanded by tv and radio broadcasting, I spent thirteen years moderating the televised version of The Minnesota High School Quiz Bowl. I checked the pronunciation of a lot of words! Now with the Guide, I believe I have created a definitive explanation of plant pronunciation that anyone can follow. I hope you enjoy it.
I have also studied herbs since 1993 with Matthew Wood.
Carolyn Jones is a Holistic Health Educator and Chaplain who teaches the art of self-care and practices a ministry of presence. She is licensed by the New York State Chaplain Task Force and serves the community as an herbalist, a certified aromatherapist, and a reflexologist.
Carolyn is a recently elected Board member of Herbalists Without Borders and holds membership and affiliations with several prestigious organizations: The American Herbalists Guild, Matthew Wood Institute of Herbalism, and DOPO Doulas. She teaches community self-care topics and she is also a contributing writer and podcast guest with Mother Earth Living magazine and Mother Earth, respectively.
Respected by her peers, she embraces and is supported by a strong community of traditional and non-traditional healers who follow uniquely different paths that merge at the crossroads of community health.
The Healing Project Wellness Series webinar is a co-teaching platform that allows for new approaches and concepts as taught by master healers from all walks of life. Subject experts from all over the world are welcomed to discuss their favorite healing modalities.
Prior to embarking on her vocation as a Holistic Health practitioner, she earned an AA degree in Liberal Arts (City Tech); a BA, in Mass Communications, and MS, in Television & Radio Management (Brooklyn College), to qualify her pedagogic aspirations. Over 25 years of teaching and developing curriculum support her ability to disseminate life-supporting information in a language that is easy to understand.
As a chaplain, Carolyn Jones specializes in natural self-care methods to alleviate the debilitating emotional pain that arises from grief and loss, a chafing experience that is tragically familiar to her.
Her publications, Pick Up Your Bed and Walk: A Self-Care Guide to Improved Health and Incantations champion the pursuit of healthier lifestyle habits, along with alternative behavior and self-affirming language.
Jolie Elan, MS was the founding director of Go Wild Institute, which offers educational and mentoring programs that weave science, myth, and spirit to awaken our nature and find balance in the great web of life. Jolie was a deep ecologist, herbalist, consulting botanist, and educator. She inspired thousands of people to deepen their relationship with nature. Jolie worked with ethnobotanical projects on four continents including developing the herbal medicine sector in war-torn Kosovo and restoring sacred forest groves in India.
Jolie studied both herbalism and botany for twenty-five years and taught botany to herbalists for almost a decade. She acted as a spiritual companion for those who wish to increase their intimacy with the divine, especially through the natural world.
Jolie received her B.A. from the Evergreen State College in Environmental Studies, her Master’s degree in Natural Resources from Humboldt State University, and her certification in Spiritual Direction from the Chaplaincy Institute.
Jolie taught our highly rated Botany course with Matthew Wood. Check out the de-light-full free intro, terrific extras, and full course.
Jolie also taught the fascinating Intelligence of Nature class and the companion class, The Language of Nature.
Jolie passed from this world in November of 2020, very soon after being diagnosed with cancer. So many were shocked and very saddened by her sudden departure. But, Jolie's classes live on! We are please and honored to have UpS President, Susan Leopold, PhD. available (as well as Matthew Wood) to answer student questions.
Read more about Jolie in "In Loving Memory of..."