Welcome to Purple Moon

Educating Veterinarians and Pet-Lovers on Western Herbal Medicine

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Buckwheat is not only nourishing to people (buckwheat pancakes), but it is also nourishing to the earth.

St. John's wort

St. John's Wort is not only good for "nervous" conditions, such as depression, but also for nerves themselves, and helps treat disorders from migraines to shingles.

Reishi and Chickweed

Reishi is a mushroom, and like all mushrooms it is nature's vacuum cleaner, cleaning toxins from the earth and from us.

Water Hyssop (Bacopa monnieri)

Water hyssop is a cerebral stimulant, helping clear the mind and increase brain function.

Butterfly Bush

Butterfly Bush contributes to the health of our environment by attracting and sustaining butterflies, one of our most important pollinators.

Weeping Willow

While not the most medicinal willow, it is the most beautiful.  Willows are the genus Salix, from which comes salicylic acid, the chemical constituent of aspirin.


Dogbane is the toxic look-alike to milkweed, the only plant that Monarch Butterfly caterpillars feast on their way to becoming butterflies.


Horsetail is one of our best herbs for minerals; it feeds us and our gardens.

Red Clover

Red Clover Flowers are a nutrient rich herb that cleanse the blood and nourish the body. Photo taken by Radford Davis, 2010, RadfordDavis.com

Personalized Training Sessions

Dr. Laurie is pleased to now offer personalized training sessions in Western Herbal Medicine.

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Western Herbal Medicine, Bach Flower Remedies and Nutrition
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SundewPurple Moon Herbs and Studies

Our mission is to educate veterinarians and pet-lovers on Western Herbal Medicine, Nutrition and Food Therapy, and Bach Flower Essences. We are well-versed in the use of over 400 herbs, administered by tinctures and extracts (concentrated oral formulas), capsules and tablets, teas, lozenges, ointments and salves, and aromatherapy (inhaled essential oils in baths, candles, etc.). Dr. Laurie Dohmen provides instruction for both veterinarians and pet lovers through seminars at conferences and in our own structured classes. We provide a more wholistic approach to veterinary medicine and nutrition with our homecooking recipes and alternative treatment modalities for your pets.


Western Herbal Medicine

Herbal Medicine is the use of herbs as drugs. Most drugs are derived originally from plants, but just the desired chemical is extracted for use as medication. Herbal medicine uses the actual plant - for some, the roots, leaves and/or flowers. This is much better because many plants when used in their entirety do not have the irritating or even dangerous side effect of the one active chemical. Other chemicals in the plant work symbiotically to make the whole herb a safer and better way to get the needed medication. There are many ways to use herbs: tinctures and extracts (concentrated oral formulas), capsules and tablets, teas, lozenges, ointments and salves, and aromatherapy (inhaled or topical essential oils or hydrosols in baths, candles, etc.).



Simply, this is adjusting the diet to relieve or prevent a disease process or enhance optimal health. A common example of this is removing a food from the diet that a dog is allergic to in order to relieve skin and ear infections. Underlying nutritional imbalances are subtle changes that veterinarians are trained to notice. Owners usually see dramatic improvement when dietary changes are made.  We always recommend homecooking for pets.


Bach Flower Remedies

Dr. Bach believed that all physical problems were actually just physical manifestations of emotional problems or personality disorders. He tried to fix the underlying emotional distress with preparations of flower essences. There are 38 flower essences for 38 different "personality disorders." Each individual animal gets their own specifically tailored combination of 6-7 flower essences suited to its personality. There is also one general remedy called "Rescue Remedy" that is good for any stressful situation for an individual. We recommend everyone have a bottle of this on hand at all times.


About Dr. Laurie...Dr. Laurie Dohmen

Growing up, Dr. Dohmen always wanted to be a veterinarian.  She grew up in a time where allopathic medicine in the United States was considered the zenith of all medicine.  All her schooling was in allopathic medicine, but she started feeling that there was something more.  In her personal life, she had been a vegetarian for years; she wanted to help animals, not eat them.  She began to use organic food and alternative medicine modalities for herself and her family.  Her family thrived on this more wholistic lifestyle, and she realized that if these things were better for her family, they would be better for her patients also.  Click here to read more...

As the President of the VBMA, let me tell you what the Veterinary Botanical Medical Association is all about.


Blog: How do we keep Current?

This has been a question that has plagued me since I graduated from vet school. We always want to give the best care to our patients and address our clients’ concerns. I remember when I graduated, I could tell who was an “old-timer” versus who was an up-to-date veterinarian by whether or not the doctor assessed dental health. Our world is constantly evolving, and with it, the face of medicine is evolving. Healthcare as a whole is evolving. We no longer vaccinate every year, nor do we see it as the only way to get our clients in the door. More and more pet owners understand the importance of annual or bi-annual exams and diagnostics, just as we understand the importance of dental health.... Read all about it!


Publications, Articles, Podcasts

Listen to Dr. Laurie's Podcast on Holistic Pet Food and Wellness, released on May 30, 2018

In this episode of EWFM Podcast, Sarajean interviews Dr. Laurie Dohmen, VMD, MS, about pet food and nutrition.


You can listen to this Podcast on your Apple device, or install iTunes on your WIndows or Android device.

Herbal Intervention for Thyroid Dysfunction By Laurie Dohmen, VMD, MS...Allergies can be triggered by either environmental pathogens or foods. Food allergies are (in my opinion) both easier and harder to treat – easier because a diet of exclusion (and in many cases a diet of fresh whole foods) removes the allergen; harder because client/patient compliance is low.

In this article, I will focus on environmental allergens since it is almost impossible to remove them. They include trees, plants, grasses, other animals, molds and mites (storage and dust).

Allergies are hard on the immune system; because they are a chronic disease, the immune system never gets a break. The immune system is comprised of two parts... from "Herbal Intervention for Thyroid Dysfunction By Laurie Dohmen, VMD, MS" By Laurie Dohmen, VMD, MS, published in the Integrative Veterinary Care Journal, Volume 6, Issue 4


What Others have to say...

"Laurie, you so rock!  I'm glad you mentioned the coadministration with Doxycycline because I was hesitant when I read about it.  Your knowledge is profound, babe.  I truly hope to take a class from you anywhere, anytime." From Joanne Givens on November 13, 2014

...Visit this blog to learn about Herbal Techniques for Promoting Dental Health and Dr. Laurie's suggestion for oil pulling ... Click here to read the blog!



Excellent course-paves path for understanding and using western herbs with confidence. Looking forward to incorporating what I learned to help our furry friends! AWESOME!!!

I will try to express the profound effect being in your and Kris' class has had on me. I can't walk through my farm with the same laissez-faire that I have done in the past. I am photographing and journaling the wonderful plants that have always been around me. Yarrow, thistle, dandelion, peppermint, oats, nettle, alfalfa, and more are speaking to me. I am acquiring books and papers and recipes. Such a strong desire to learn more. Thank you so much for this wonderful gift of knowledge and the thirst for more.

I want to tell you that your class has been life-changing for me in many ways. There was awesome information about using herbs as medicine for animals and for self care. I feel like I know--or am beginning to know--these herbs "in my bones" at a depth not possible with text or internet study. I thought the "retreat" part of the class was unnecessary when I signed up--I was "fine" --but it was so needed--helped me reconnect with myself and my "roots in nature" and focus on what is important in life. I have learned to embrace gratitude in a more profound way and finally realized the meaning of the word "friend" which seems simple, but wasn't for me. Again, Thank you!

Just wanted to thank you again for your class. I feel like your email reached me serendipitously last summer when I was searching for something to dig into as my eldest was leaving for college. I have been using more for humans than 4-legged creatures but I'm good with that.

The course you and Kris taught was phenomenal and life changing.  I was blown away by how thorough and generous you are with your knowledge.  I cannot begin to tell you how excited I was to learn so much.  You are so full of enthusiasm, generosity, and striving for excellence in what you do….I am so grateful Laurie.  Kris’ wisdom, knowledge, encouragement and peaceful demeanor added so much to the self care part of the course.  I think about what both of you taught us every day out here in the trenches.

I have had a long-standing interest in herbal medicine. However, I needed something to pull together the disparate pieces into a whole. This course did that for me. Chemical constituents and wild plant foraging and animal dosing and energetics and formulating products, all in one organized format. I would happily recommend this and I look forward to more from Purple Moon.

About Our ...

Materia Medica

The lectures were great--lots of good information. I like the inclusion of traditional uses and energetics of the herbs--gives insight into subtleties of herbal action.


Labs were fun and informative and helped me gain confidence in making herbal products for self and family. (Which I do a lot now). Also the direct contact with herbs and experience in making herbal products has deepened my appreciation and understanding of their character, uses and actions.

Herb Walks

Loved them! Seeing, touching, tasting, smelling plants in their natural environment deepened my connection with them and appreciation of them as living entities. Also it was rejuvenating and great fun to be outdoors "exploring" and breathing fresh air.

Excellent and a great way to connect clinicians to the origins of the medicines.


These gave me a welcome "excuse" to spend time researching herbs I didn't know much about. It had also been a while since I had researched anything so it was good to do this again. I also gained insights into the way information can be misrepresented on the Internet. Sometimes it was confusing and difficult to sort out " the real story." I got better at it with time. I really appreciated getting feedback/comments on my work.

Seminars, Talks, Classes and Trips

Philosophy of  Western Medical Herbalism


2019 Midwest Veterinary Conference

Feb. 21 - 24, 2019

Dr. Laurie Dohmen

Western Herbal Medicine and Food Therapy

 Greater Columbus Convention Center Columbus, Ohio

Click here to visit the Conference Site



Wholistic Pain Management and Rehabilitation

Drs. Kris August and Julie Wentzel

March 29-31, 2019

Outer Banks, North Carolina

CE credits approved for Rehab: 17 CE Credits, 7 IVAS

This conference is intended to educate the veterinarian in additional ways to help their patients with chronic musculoskeletal and neurologic disorders, as well as other pain-related conditions. It will present an integrative approach to chronic care for these conditions.

Will be held at the Hampton Inn & Suites Outer Banks/Corolla.  Click on the link below for reservations:


Wholistic Pain Management and Rehabilitation Pricing:
Price: $450
Payment accepted by check, money order or through Paypal.

Click Here to Learn More and Register!



2019 Mountain Veterinary Conference

April 7 - 10, 2019

"At the beautiful Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort, Cherokee, North Carolina"

Dr. Laurie Dohmen, VMD, MS and Dr. Julie Wentzel, DVM, CVA, CCRT, CVPP

Sunday: Drs. Dohmen and Wentzel will be co-hosting an herb walk in the Great Smokey Mountains National Park.

Transportation will be provided to the Oconaluftee Visitors Center, from which we will walk the 1.5 mile Oconaluftee River Trail and discuss the plants along the way.  We will provide medicinal plant identification and uses.  The trail is an easy walk; it is mostly flat through the forest along the Oconaluftee River.  The Great Smokey Mountains National Park is known for its wildflowers (over 1500 species), especially in the early spring when the ephemerals are in bloom.  Also blooming in the spring are the red maples trees and many flowering shrubs.  For more information, go to https://www.nps.gov/grsm/learn/nature/wildflowers.htm.  This herb walk will encompass the entire afternoon session on Sunday.  Please wear comfortable walking shoes and bring water, a note-taking device, and your camera!

Monday: Dr. Dohmen will be speaking about Western Herbal Medicine and Wholistic Food Therapy

Tuesday: Dr. Wentzel will be speaking about Wholistic Pain Management with an emphasis on Rehabilitation

Cherokee, North Carolina

Click here to visit the Conference Site


Philosophy of  Western Medical Herbalism

May 3-5, 2019
Outer Banks, North Carolina

Dr. Laurie Dohmen and Dr. Kris August

CE credits approved for Philosophy: 16 CE credits, 15.5 IVAS

This course is an introduction and overview of the philosophy of Western Veterinary Medical Herbalism.  We will be discussing the history of herbal use and plant identification on a multi-sensory level.  Lectures include herb selection, formulation and administration options for our patients.  Included are hands-on labs and an herb walk as part of an excursion to a different part of the islands.  We will also incorporate compassionate care, both for our patients and ourselves.  Bonus offerings include Qi Gong in the breaks and a movie night!  Our classroom is upstairs with big windows and views of both the bay and the Currituck Sound.  Breakfast will be included at 8 am every morning in the classroom.

Come to the beautiful Outer Banks of North Carolina and enjoy the beach while learning about Western Herbs. Stay at the Hampton Inn & Suites Outer Banks/ Corolla , as part of your self-care.

This Philosophy of Western Medical Herbalism course is intended to be a precursor introduction to the larger 5-module course, Veterinary Herbal Apprenticeship and Retreat, starting in the fall that will include full organ-system Materia Medica and in-depth labs and plant identification walks.  Anyone who takes this course and continues on with us will receive a discount on the full course, starting September, 2019.

Philosophy of  Western Medical Herbalism 3-Day Intensive

Conference Pricing:
Price: $450
Payment accepted by check, money order or through Paypal.

Click Here to Learn More and Register!


2019 AHVMA Annual Conference

Saturday, September 7 – Tuesday, September 10, 2019

Nashville, Tennessee


Veterinary Herbal Apprenticeship and Retreat 2019/2020


September 20-23, 2019

October 19-21, 2019

November 9-11, 2019

March 28-30, 2020

April 25-27, 2020

CE credits approved for VHAR: 81.5 CE credits, 56 IVAS

This is a comprehensive training in the use and practice of Western Herbal Medicine. All Materia Medica lectures will include an organoleptic component. There will be extensive labs in medicine making. Each module will feature an herb walk to a different part of the Outer Banks islands. We will also incorporate compassionate care, both for our patients and ourselves. We will have lectures and extra evening activities focus on self-care, as we believe good health starts with ourselves. Bonus offerings include Qi Gong in the breaks and a movie night! There will be homework so we can assess your progress as veterinary herbalists. Our classroom is upstairs with big windows and views of both the bay and the Currituck Sound. Breakfast will be included every morning in the classroom.

The Hilton Garden Inn Outer Banks/Kitty Hawk
Come to the beautiful Outer Banks of North Carolina and enjoy the beach while learning about Western Herbs. Scheduled at the Hilton Garden Inn Outer Banks/Kitty Hawk, a Premier OBX hotel with a great location in Kitty Hawk, private balcony with view on every guest room and a Fishing Pier for exciting family fun.


American Holistic Veterinary Medical AssociationThis course is being co-sponsored by the AHVMA, an AVMA affiliate organization.  For Module I, 14 hours of CEUs are now available in the following states: AK, CA, IL, IN, KY, NE, NJ, OR, PA, TN, VA, WI, WV, WY, GA, LA, MA, RI, UT, NY. CE credits for ensuing Modules are scheduled to be approved also.  If your state is not on this list, please check with your state board, as most accept AVMA-related credits. 
The entire course has also been awarded 50.5 IVAS CE credits.


This Veterinary Herbal Apprenticeship and Retreat is intended to train veterinarians in the use of Western Herbal Medicine. This is a comprehensive course including organ system-based Materia Medica, medicine-making, herb walks, self-care and more. This course is intended to help prepare the veterinarian to become a board-certified Veterinary Herbalist through the ACVBM (as soon as it is passed through the AVMA).

Veterinary Herbal Apprenticeship and Retreat, a 5-part course in Western Veterinary Herbal Medicine Pricing:
$2,975.00 for all 5 Modules until January 1, 2019
Deposit Due: $1000.00
Remainder due by August 1, 2019

Payment accepted by check, money order or through Paypal.

Click Here to Learn More and Register!


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Click here to see the Seminar Schedule for the Year

Purple Moon Herbs and Studies

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...it is very important to keep in mind that these herbs are drugs: herbal MEDICINE... 

All in all, herbal medicine is wonderful when it is used correctly and safely. 

We need to keep in mind it is medicine...