ArborVitae Faculty | Professional Herbalists

ArborVitae’s faculty is composed of a strong team of teachers with noted expertise and experience. We continue to build our instructor base, with the goal to assemble a faculty that reflects the diversity of approaches to herbal medicine and backgrounds present in the greater herbal community. We are dedicated to honoring the vibrant herbal community of New York and our region by bringing local teachers and experienced practitioners into the classroom as regular weekly teachers. In addition, some instructors will visit the school periodically to teach in an intensive manner.

Core Faculty

ArborVitae’s core faculty are its founders and co-directors, Claudia Keel and Richard Mandelbaum.

Claudia Keel-AV bio pict

Claudia Keel is a clinical herbalist and flower essence therapist with an additional specialty in food and nutrition therapy. She has a private practice in Germantown NY (Columbia county) and in Manhattan, NY since 1999. Claudia also teaches regularly about herbs, flower essences and traditional foods in practitioner study groups, workshops and conferences and offers private mentoring for clinical practice.



Richard Mandelbaum

Richard Mandelbaum RH is a clinical herbalist with a private practice in Brooklyn and in Sullivan County, NY. Richard has been practicing as an herbalist since 1997, with a background in both Chinese and Western herbal traditions. In addition to seeing clients he teaches classes in herbal medicine, medicine making, and botany. He is currently on the faculty at David Winston’s Center for Herbal Studies in Washington, NJ. Until 2009 Richard was the Director of the Clinical Herbalist Diploma Program at the Lehigh Valley Healing Arts Academy in Emmaus, Pennsylvania.

Sam Perry ArborVitaeSam Perry  runs a clinical herbalism practice from his office Albany, NY. In addition to clinical work, Sam leads herb apprenticeships, classes  and plant and mushroom walk in  Prospect Park in collaboration with Sacred Warrior. He also represents the medicinal herb farm RavenCrest Botanicals every Saturday at a farmer’s market in the Lower East Side’s Seward Park. He is a proud alumni of Arbor Vitae’s 3 year professional program and is thrilled to join the team.


Visiting Faculty: Local, National, & International

ArborVitae has distinguished national and local instructors teach classes and intensive weekends as a part of the professional program and also for the community.

ArborVitae’s faculty currently includes the following distinguished visiting instructors: Leslie AlexanderRobin Rose BennettBevin Clare, Lena DeGlomaDina FalconiPatrick Fratellone, Amy Galper, El Ha Gahn, Sezelle Gereau Haddon, Patricia Howell, Lata Chettri Kennedy,  Katinka LocascioAnne McIntyre, Jody Noe, Susanna Raeven, Avi-Rose, Karen Rose,  7SongTammi Sweet, Karen Vaughan, Nathaniel Whitmore, Matthew Wood

In past years, our distinguished faculty have included: Jacoby Ballard, Todd Caldecott, David Dalton, Jonathan Edwards, Margi Flint, Emma Graves, Julia Graves, Alex Laird, Chris Masterjohn, Dawa Ridak, Robert Dale Rogers, Tiffany Robbins,  Karta Purkh Singh KhalsaKaryn Sanders, Carla SavetskyCathy Skipper, Maya Shettreat-Klein,  Kristen Rae Stevens,  Peeka Trenkle

Leslie Alexander

Leslie Alexander, PhD, RH(AHG) is an Erie-based herbal practitioner, teaching locally and online. Her herbal interests include clinical work, herbs for the mouth (she’s author of Dental Herbalism: Natural Therapies for the Mouth) and age-old maritime herbal medicine. Her practice, Restoration Herbs, LLC is intent on preserving medicinal and culinary traditions. You can find her at www.Leslie-Alexander.net or email her directly (Leslie.Alexander@gmail.com). She offers classes online, including those on printing cyanotypes.

Robin Rose Bennett

robin rose bennettRobin Rose Bennett, founder of Wisewoman Healing Ways – Herbal Medicine and EarthSpirit Teachings, is a gifted herbalist, writer, and spiritual teacher. Since 1986 she has taught at schools, clinics, progressive and holistic organizations, herbal conferences, and most joyously, outside with the plants. Robin has a private consultation practice in New Jersey and is in the 9th year of offering a monthly sliding scale clinical teaching practice for herbalists at a medical center in Bronx, NY.

Bevin Clare

bevin-clare-arborvitaeBevin Clare M.S., R.H., CNS, is a clinical herbalist and nutritionist with a deep love of plants. She is the Interim Program Director of the Masters of Science in Herbal Medicine Program at Tai Sophia Institute in Laurel, MD. Bevin has studied herbal medicine around the world and blends her knowledge of traditional uses of plants with modern science and contemporary healthcare strategies. Her clinical practice focuses on wellness, nutrition, infection, and women’s health.

Lena DeGloma

Lena DeGloma -ArborVitaeLena DeGloma, MS, LMT, CD, CLC, CCCE, is the founder of Red Moon Wellness in Park Slope, Brooklyn. Lena is a clinical herbalist, licensed massage therapist, certified birth doula, certified lactation counselor and certified childbirth educator. Her wellness practice focuses on women’s health and the childbearing cycle through therapeutic massage, herbal and nutritional consultation, and birth and breastfeeding support. She also integrates fire cupping, hydrotherapy, and aromatherapy into her clinical work.

Dina Falconi

DIna Falcone -AV pict2

Dina Falconi is a clinical herbalist with a strong focus on food activism and nutritional healing. She has been teaching classes about the use of herbs for food, medicine, and pleasure, including wild food foraging and cooking, for more than twenty years. Early on in her herbal studies, she had a three year, private one-on-one tutorial /apprenticeship with William LeSassier. Dina produces Falcon Formulations natural body care products and Earthly Extracts medicinal tinctures.

Patrick Fratellone

Patrick Frattelone-ArborVitaePatrick Fratellone, MD, RH, FIM, FACC is the Executive Medical Director of Fratellone Medical Associates and has the distinction of being one of the few integrative cardiologists in the U.S. and the only integrative physician in New York City with active admitting privileges at three city hospitals. Dr. Fratellone is a Fellow of Integrative Medicine with a degree from the University of Arizona, where he studied under the directorship of Dr. Andrew Weil, M.D. Dr Fratellone has completed herbal studies at the Northeast School of Botanical Medicine under the supervision of 7song.

Amy Galper

Amy Galper-ArborVitae

Amy Galper has been passionately engaged as an advocate, educator, entrepreneur, formulator and consultant within the natural and organic beauty and wellness space for over 13 years.

She is the owner of Buddha Nose an award winning yoga-inspired brand of mind-body-beauty products and was one of the first organic body care brands to have a national and global presence messaging the critical need for safe, toxic-free beauty and body care products world-wide.

El Ha Gahn


Sezelle Gereau Haddon

Szelle Gereau Haddon -ArborVitaa

Specializing in integrative approaches to ENT illness in adults and children, Dr. Sezelle Gereau Haddon perceives herself as a partner to patients with acute and chronic ailments of the head and neck. Many such disorders are amenable to treatment and cure without reverting to conventional western medical treatment or surgery. Dr. Gereau Haddon is committed to helping her patients understand their illnesses, get to the root of the problem, and find a treatment plan that fits their lifestyle and needs.

Patricia Howell

Lata Chettri Kennedy

Latta Chettri-Kennedy

Lata Chettri Kennedy has been practicing herbalism in the East Village of Manhattan for over two decades. In 1993, she established Flower Power Herbs and Roots, an herbal apothecary, an herbal hub for NYC. Lata works with various schools and community groups, and is also very active in supporting herbal relief work, from street medics at Occupy to partnering with larger efforts wherever needed. Lata has appeared in publications including the New York Times, NY magazine, and on TV shows including ABC, NBC, Fox News, MTV, Lifetime as well as many foreign publications and television.

Katinka Locascio

Katinka Locasio-ArborVitae

Katinka Locascio is a Licensed Massage Therapist, Herbalist, Bodyworker and Labor Doula. She founded Earth & Sky Healing Arts ten years ago with a vision to help people live to their fullest potential while staying rooted in the wisdom of the body. Inspired by her background in science, she has pursued numerous trainings in the healing arts including herbal courses with Tami Sweet, Julia Graves, Matthew Wood, Katie Singer, and Rosita Arvigo. Her practice focuses on women’s health, pregnancy, and fertility, as well as integrative structural bodywork.

Kat Maier

Anne McIntyre


Anne McIntyre, FNIMH MAPA, is a Fellow of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists and a Member of the Ayurvedic Practitioners’Association. She has been in clinical practice working as a medical herbalist for nearly 35 years and for the last 25 years has incorporated Ayurvedic philosophy and mediine into her practice, producing an integrated approach to the care of patients and prescription of herbs.

Jody Noe

Jody Noe -ArborVitae

Dr. Jody E. Noé, a graduate of Old Dominion University (BS, MS) and Bastyr University (ND), is the author of the Textbook of Integrative Naturopathic Oncology. Dr. Noe is also an adjunct professor at the University of Bridgeport College of Naturopathic Medicine (UBCNM), Bridgeport CT. She is the founder of the Integrative Oncology Clinic at UBCNM. She has served as senior staff physician and integrative researcher in oncology at the Cancer Treatment Centers of America in Tulsa, Oklahoma.

Ola Obasi

Owner of Well of Indigenous Wisdom’s Kuti Wellness, formerly Ola’s Herb Shop, Ola Obasi has been working in the wellness field for over 15 years. She is a yoga and dance instructor, medical herbalist, nutritionist and birth doula. Committed to community holistic health and education, she is the founder of Three Rivers Free Clinic for the People, a free community service and partnership to Herbalists without Borders in PA. She also founded Well of Indigenous Wisdom School, a 3 year program immersed in herbal medicine and the healing arts. A guest presenter and teacher of many conferences across the nation, she began a movement for People of Color, reminding the Western world to honor contributions to herbal practice by people of Indigenous heritage: African, Native American, Latin American. She received her Master’s of Science from Maryland Institute Health and is currently enrolled in a PhD program focusing on integrative medicine and functional nutrition.

Susanna Raeven

Susanna Raeven -ArborVitae

Susanna Raeven is an herbalist and owner of Raven Crest Botanicals, a small-scale organic herb farm nestled into the hills in upstate NY. Her farm has grown with her plant knowledge and she continuously expands her green horizon together with the size of her growing space and number of herbs cultivated. In addition to Western herbalism she is studying the concepts of TCM and is diving deeper into the world of healing master plants from the Amazon.


Avi-Rose (they/them), MS Therapeutic Herbalism, is a jewish and queer community-based clinician, educator, medicine maker & Third Root Herbal Department leader. Their roots & realities include a tangle of working-class lessons, artistic lineage, disability, inter-generational trauma, white-skin privilege, and immeasurable resilience and laughter. Rising from and growing within these contexts, Avi-Rose dedicates their movements in the world to cultivating practices of justice, awareness, and joy!

Karen Rose

Karen Rose

Karen Rose is trained in Eastern and Western Herbal Medicine and is personally dedicated to empowering individuals to make informed decisions with regards to their health and lives. This dedication led to the creation of Sacred Vibes Healing in 2002. As owner of Sacred Vibes Healing and the Sacred Vibes Apothecary, a Brooklyn-based, community herbal apothecary, Karen is connected to both the earth and the community in which she practices, consults and teaches herbal medicine.

Sara Chana Silverstein  


7Song -ArborVitae

7Song is a western clinical herbalist, botanist, and nature devotee and has been practicing his craft for over 25 years. He is the director and main teacher at the Northeast School of Botanical Medicine in Ithaca, NY. He also practices at the Ithaca Free Clinic, a mixed modality free clinic offering holistic and conventional medicine. One of his particular specialties is wilderness first aid, honed by running first aid booths at Rainbow gatherings and other events for decades.

Tammi Sweet

Tammi Sweet -ArborVitae

Tammi Sweet has earned a Master’s Degree in Neurobiology and Bachelor’s degree in Biology from the University of Connecticut. She is a licensed Massage Therapist, Certified Yoga Instructor and a member of the American Herbalist Guild. She co-founded and co-directs Heartstone Center for Earth Essentials including Heartstone Herbal School. She has been teaching Anatomy & Physiology for 24 years. Her students have included:

Karen Vaughan

Karen Vaughan

Karen Vaughan has been a clinical herbalist for 25 years, working with both eastern and western herbs. She received a MS in Traditional Oriental Medicine from Pacific College, a four year Master’s degree certified by the States of New York and California. She has been on the faculty of the David Winston Center for Herbal Education, the Swedish Institute College of Health Sciences, and currently is on the faculties of New York College of Health Professions and the ArborVitae School of Traditional Herbalism.

Nathaniel Whitmore

Nathaniel Whitmore -ArborVitaeNathaniel Whitmore owns the White Pine Healing Center in Glen Spey, NY and is developing a domestically-sourced Chinese herbal pharmacy at Worker Bee Community Acupuncture in Milford, PA where he practices herbal medicine and shiatsu. When in NYC, he is available at Integral Yoga in Manhattan and Antidote Apothecary and Tea Bar in Brooklyn, and teaches at various locations. He is regarded as an expert on wild edible and medicinal plants and mushrooms and offers wildcrafted herbs through an herbal “CSA” and various herb shops. He regularly offers educational walks in the upper Delaware River valley, in NYC, and in the surrounding area. His primary interests include the integration of Chinese medicine theory with the use of local plants, the use of invasive weeds, and in making herbal medicines from local plants. He teaches about Chinese medicine’s Five Element Theory, the Doctrine of Signatures, and botany at ArborVitae.

Matthew Wood

Matthew Wood-AV bio pict

Matthew Wood RH, M.Sc, has been has been an active practitioner of traditional Western herbalism since 1982. Matthew has lectured extensively in all parts of the United States, as well as in Canada, Scotland, England, France, and Australia. He is also the author of six acclaimed books on herbal medicine, including:The Book of Herbal Wisdom, The Practice of Traditional Western Herbalism and The Earthwise Herbal(s).

Past Faculty

Jacoby Ballard

As a yoga teacher and herbalist, Jacoby Ballard has been working in the realm of Holistic Transgender Health for 12 years, doing workshops for trans and queer people throughout the community, teaching at the Transgender Health Conference and college campuses, and in herb schools. For 3 years, he was part of RadHerb, a collective of radical herbalists that put on an annual conference that tackled topics not often offered at other conferences, including Transgender Health.

Todd Caldecott

Todd Caldecotthas been in practice as a medical herbalist and practitioner of Ayurveda for over two decades. He is a registered professional member of both the American Herbalists Guild and the National Ayurvedic Medical Association, and serves as the Director of the Dogwood School of Botanical Medicine. He is author of Ayurveda: The Divine Science of Life and Food As Medicine, and is co-editor of Ayurveda In Nepal. In 2014, Todd was honored at Bastyr University as the Visiting Mitchell Scholar. For the last 10 years, Todd has worked closely with an 800 year old hereditary lineage of traditional Ayurveda practitioners, based in Kathmandu, Nepal.

David Dalton

David Dalton-AV bio pict

David Dalton is a recognized speaker, researcher and producer of Delta Garden Flower Essences. His practice as a flower essence therapist spans 25 years. He is the founder of Delta Gardens, a research center for flower essences His book, Stars of the Meadow, Medicinal Herbs as Flower Essences is based on 20 years of investigation of flower essences. David has been researching flower essences since the early 1980’s, when his passion for gardening led him to become fascinated with the possibility that subtle energies of plants could heal, cure and balance the personality.

Jonathan Edwards

Jonthan Edwards -ArborVitae

Jonathan H Edwards, MSOM, LAc has trained in Western and Classical Chinese herbalism, acupuncture, and divination techniques. He seeks to offer clarity and nourishment from the wellspring of these traditions. In practice at Brooklyn Acupuncture Project and AxisMundiHealingArts.com, he also maintains creativelydivergent.com, dedicated to helping people follow the thread of sacred weirdness to align with their soul’s work.

Margi Flint

MArgi Flint-AV pict

Margi Flint, RH, B.Sc., owns and operates EarthSong Herbals, a busy family practice and herb school in Marblehead MA. She is an Adjunct Professor at Tufts University School of Medicine since 1994, North Shore Community College since 2003 and Mass College of Pharmacy for their Masters program. The author of a textbook for herbalists The Practicing Herbalist, Meeting with clients, Reading the body, she lectures at herbal symposiums as well as medical institutions around the States and internationally.

Emma Graves

Emma Graves -ArborVitae

Emma Graves is an herbalist following a wise-woman tradition and a licensed esthetician. Among herbalists, Emma Graves is known fondly as “The Pimple Whisperer” and has a way of gently coaxing difficult skin conditions into healthy, beautiful skin. She teaches of the difference between suppressive skin care and supportive skin care as well as holistic and plant-based techniques to draw out (rather than dry out) topical irritations.

Julia Graves

Julia Graves-AV bio pict

Julia Graves is an herbalist with a background in several modalities practicing and teaching in the countryside of France. In 2010, she founded the Naturopathic Earth Quake Survivor Relief Clinic in response to the devastating earthquake to Haiti, and has headed the clinic in its missions that has since offered free treatment to 15,000 people. Julia is the author of The Language of Plants, a detailed guide to the doctrine of signatures. She brings 29 years of clinical experience to her teaching.

Alex Laird

Alex Laird-ArborVitae

Alex Laird BSc MCPP has been a medical herbalist in London since 2000 when she set up the first herbal clinic in ahospital dermatology department at Whipps Cross University Hospital. She also practises at The Haven breast cancer support centre. She is a visiting lecturer at universities and a Council member of the College of Practitioners of Phytotherapy (CPP). After 12 years as a TV producer, she worked as an aromatherapist at Chelsea & Westminster Hospital and centres for those with HIV and drug problems.

Chris Masterjohn


Chris Masterjohn earned his PhD in Nutritional Science in 2012 from the University of Connecticut at Storrs, where he studied the role of glutathione and dietary antioxidants in regulating the accumulation of methylglyoxal. He served as a postdoctoral research associate from 2012 to 2014 at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he studied interactions between vitamins A, D and K. Heis now Assistant Professor of Health and Nutrition Sciences at Brooklyn College in Brooklyn, NY, where he is continuing his research on fat-soluble vitamins.

Tiffany Robbins

Dawa Ridak

Dawa Rindak-ArborVitae

Dr. Dawa Ridak was trained in traditional Tibetan Medicine at the Men-Tsee- Khang, Dharamashala India and also studied Tibetan medicine from his uncle, Dr. Lobasang Wangyal, the late personal physician to the His Holiness the Dalai Lama. He has worked for many years in a Tibetan medical Institute as a physician, and is also a pharmacist and Director of the Herbal Product Research Dept, of Men-Tsee-Khang. He currently has a Tibetan medical practice in New York City and is a well-known speaker and teacher on traditional Tibetan medicine.

Robert Rodgers

Robert Rodgers & fungi -ArborVitaeRobert Dale Rogers has been an herbalist for over forty-five years, and is a professional member of the American Herbalist Guild. He is the author of many books on herbal medicne including Fungal Pharmacy, A Cree Healer and His Medicine Bundle (authored with David Young and Russell Willier) and most recently Herbal Allies.  He earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Alberta, where he is presently an assistant clinical professor in Family Medicine. He presently teaches plant medicine, including plant and mushroom medicine, aromatherapy and flower essences in the Earth Spirit Medicine faculty at the Northern Star College in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.

Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa

Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa

Karta Purkh Singh Khalsa, A.D., D.N.-C., R.H., is an herbalist, nutritionist, yoga teacher and educator who has been making holistic health approaches palatable to the modern mind for over 40 years. He was the herbal apprentice of an Ayurvedic master, Yogi Bhajan, for thirty-two years, and the first person to be professionally certified in both herbalism and Ayurveda in the U.S. He is president emeritus of the American Herbalists Guild, and director emeritus of the National Ayurvedic Medical Association.

Carla Savetsky

Carla Savetsky-ArborVitae

Carla Savetsky RPA, MS, Holistic Women’s Health Expert, has an 18 year background in Obstetrics & Gynecology, with a practice in Holistic Gynecology for the past 12 years. Further, her holistic healing practice, Natural Healing for Women is dedicated to holistic women’s health care from the inside/out – healing physical, emotional and spiritual issues at their core. Carla began her career as an ob/gyn physician assistant, delivering babies on the busy labor and delivery floor of New York Hospital Queens.

Karyn Sanders

Karyn Sanders

Karyn Sanders is a clinical herbalist who has been working with plants for most of her life. She was first trained in Native American traditional plant medicine. In her mid-teens she apprenticed with a Mexican curandera and has subsequently studied with various traditional teachers as well as Western herbalists. Karyn has been teaching and practicing herbal medicine from an energetic perspective for over 32 years and is co-founder of Blue Otter School of Herbal Medicine.

Maya Shettreat-Klein


Cathy Skipper

Cathy Skipper -ArborVitae

Cathy Skipper has recently moved to New Mexico after living in rural France for 25 years. She trained and then taught at The Ecole Lyonnaise de Plantes Medicinales in France as well as growing medicinal plants on the family farm. She now teaches and writes about plant medicine both in the States and Europe. She specializes in aromatic medicine, healing the healer and botany.

Kristen Rae Stevens

Kristen Rae Stevens-AV`

Kristen Rae Stevens, B.F.A, E-RYT, is an Herbalist, Ayurvedic Consultant, Educator and Practitioner based out of Brooklyn, NY. In addition to her private practice Kristen Rae is on faculty for the Kripalu School of Ayurveda as well as teaching her own work Soma Yoga & Ayurveda in lectures, workshops and intensives at yoga studios, apothecaries, universities and hospitals. She has been published writing for various online blogs such as WillPowerFitness and the Jyotish Star and has acted as consultant for the natural beauty companies Better Botanicals and Origins.