Wholistic Pain Management and Rehabilitation

Educating Veterinarians and Pet-Lovers on Western Herbal Medicine

Intertwined: The Exquisite Relationship between Animals, Plants and the Earth

This conference is intended to educate veterinarians and other herbalists on the connections between the plant world and the animal kingdom and how Mother Earth makes us all one large community. This knowledge will deepen our practices on a fundamental level.

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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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Philosophy of  Western Medical Herbalism On the Outer Banks of North Carolina   Philosophy of Western Herbalism - Horses on the Outer Banks


Intertwined: The Exquisite Relationship

between Animals, Plants and the Earth


Dr. Laurie Dohmen and Richard Mandelbaum, RH


February 14-16, 2020


Lowood Educational Center

Outer Banks, NC


Conference Pricing:
Price: $475


Click Here to Register Online!


15.5 CE Credits available

Intertwined: The Exquisite Relationship between Animals, Plants and the Earth

This conference is intended to educate veterinarians and other herbalists on the connections between the plant world and the animal kingdom and how Mother Earth makes us all one large community. This knowledge will deepen our practices on a fundamental level.  The lectures will  lead the attendee from evolutionary origins of community through plant intelligence, and the roots of herbal medicine and food use.  It will take a deeper look at zoopharmacognosy, organoleptics and phytopharmacology.  Bee medicine will be presented as an example of insects’ role in the web of life. We will close with a big picture view of the intertwined roles of the different creatures in the community of Mother Earth.



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 thi


Outer Banks

Outer Banks

The Outer Banks is a chain of barrier islands that consist of a string of sand dunes that serve to protect the mainland of North Carolina from the Atlantic Ocean. They are separated from the mainland by large bodies of water called “sounds.” We will be at the north end of the island in Duck and Corolla, home of the Corolla Wild Horses. This area of the Outer Banks is sandwiched between the Atlantic Ocean and the Currituck Sound with easy free access to both. The area is replete with open spaces and natural settings that stir the soul, as wild as the native horses.

In April, the Outer Banks is open and ready for tourist business, with a plethora of delicious and fresh restaurants. There are also a variety of activities available, including wild horse tours, mini golf, surfing and more. However, it is not yet fully tourist season, so places are quiet and more intimate. No matter what the season, the locals are incredibly welcoming and friendly.

Corolla Wild HorsesThe town of Duck has many excellent restaurants and shops open in the evenings in Duck.  We will have a list for students of recommendations and open hours at the beginning of the conference.  Slightly farther north, but also an easy drive is Corolla (not pronounced like the Toyota, but Cor-al-la).  Corolla has a few excellent restaurants also, most notably Mexican and seafood.  In Corolla, there are many fun activities, if time allows, it is worth spending an extra day.  There is Historic Corolla, with the original lighthouse that can be climbed.  “The red-brick Currituck Beach Lighthouse towers above the landscape in the Historic Corolla village. Visitors to this Outer Banks attraction can climb the winding staircase, 220 steps in all, to the top of the lighthouse for a panoramic view of Currituck Sound, the Atlantic Ocean and the Currituck Outer Banks. Inside the lighthouse, at the base and on the first two landings, there are museum-quality lighthouse exhibits” (http://corollaguide.com/attractions).  Also in the village is the Whalehead Club, “Whalehead is an historic house museum on the northern Outer Banks. The grand residence, dressed in bold yellow and striking copper, stands on a vast green lawn bordering the Currituck Sound” (http://corollaguide.com/attractions).  The grounds in between the lighthouse and the Whalehead are beautiful to walk, with a boat house and Philosophy of  Western Medical Herbalisma bridge right on the edge of the Sound.  Farther north in Corolla, the main road ends and the beach becomes the road.  This is the home of the genetically pure Corolla Wild Horses.  “Present day Ocracoke and Corolla wild horses carry the distinguishing features of Spanish type horses. One striking similarity to the Arabian ancestry is the number of vertebra (one less than most breeds) which occurs in the Banker Horse Breed. Their even temperament, endurance, size, and the startling beauty which crops up frequently in the Banker Horses all point strongly to their dramatic history…these are the remnants of once numerous herds of Spanish stock which ran free along the sandy islands of our coast. The Spanish Mustang Registry is satisfied that the Banker Horses, in particular the Corolla strain, are as lineally pure to the 16th century Spanish importations as can be found in North America today, and that they compare closely to the selectively bred South American Spanish derivative stock” (http://www.corollawildhorses.com/). There are multiple tour companies that will take you up to see this area (it requires a 4WD vehicle), but please take a tour with Corolla Outback Adventures. They are offering all interested Purple Moon students a discounted rate of $45 if they want to do a horse tour.

Conference Pricing:
Price: $475


Click Here to Register Online!




Intertwined: The Exquisite Relationship between Animals, Plants, and the Earth




Friday, February 14





Opening and Welcome



Plant Intelligence and Our Evolutionary Origins

Modern scientific research is now confirming what indigenous cultures have known for millennia: that plants are fully aware of their surroundings and as responsive as animals to the world around them.  We now know that plants have analogues to animals’ senses including touch, hearing, and smell. In addition, plants are known to engage in behavior long held to be exclusive to the Animal Kingdom. Recent scientific findings complement, intersect, and interlay with traditional views of plants, and discoveries around Plant Communication and the interconnectedness of plants through the mycorrhizal network in the soil are upending our notions not only of plants but of ourselves as well.  Recent research on both animals and plants is challenging us to replace the Self with Community as the basic unit of Life, which can potentially profoundly impact how we view not only our health and well-being, but ultimately our relationships with all life and the Earth itself. 

During this class we will explore together the fascinating topic of Plant Intelligence, placed within the context of plant and animal evolution and The Tree of Life.





Plant Intelligence and Our Evolutionary Origins: Continued







The origins of herbal medicine are from native cultures around the world. This lecture will explain how many cultures have chosen medicinal herbs throughout time.  We will discuss the differences and similarities between ethnoveterinary medicine and human ethnomedicine as well as between ethnomedicine and pharmaceutical medicine.  The class will then proceed to detail how a few specific native cultures choose their herbs.  The societal examples will focus on ethnoveterinary uses of herbs. 

Saturday, February 15





Daily Gratitude



Plant Chemistry: An Overview of Phytopharmacology

An understanding of plant constituents and chemistry can deepen our awareness of how herbs interact with the human body, and what pharmacological effects they can have. Phytochemistry can also inform our considerations of what types of preparations will be most therapeutically active, and how chemistry relates to flavors, energetics, and actions of herbs. In this lecture we will review the most common categories of constituents naturally occurring in plants, and how they combine and inter-relate when used in whole-plant preparations.





Herbal Origins of Food Spices  

We all add spices to our food for flavor, but while cooking, very few of us think about the medicinal effects of these herbs.  Many of the herbs commonly used in cooking (so-called “kitchen herbs”) were originally added to food for a specific purpose.  Some were added for their effect on the food, such as preservatives.  Others were added for their effect on the eater, such as digestive aids.  We will go through some common “kitchen herbs” and discuss their origins and uses.  We will further this with their current medical benefits beyond flavoring.



The definition of organoleptics is “being, affecting, or relating to qualities (as taste, color, odor, and feel) of a substance (as a food or drug) that stimulate the sense organs” (Merriam Webster dictionary).  In this lecture, we will explain groups of herbs and their uses based on their organoleptics.  The class will discuss the 5 common flavors described in herbal medicine, and taste examples of each flavor.  Students will begin to discern the quality of herbs based on their organoleptics. 





Not Every Herbalist is Human

This will be a wide-ranging discussion that will include current and recent research findings of zoopharmacognosy and what this means for us as herbalists and people who use herbal remedies, and its profound impact on our relationship to our fellow animals, the plants, and the planet.  Zoopharmacognosy is the study of how animals ingest and topically apply natural plant and non-plant remedies for the prevention and therapeutic treatment of disease.   This will include the medicinal use of botanical and non-botanical and psychoactive natural remedies by a wide range of animals – from birds and bees to primates and elephants, as well as historical and mythical instances of people learning of herbal medicines by observing animals. 





Not Every Herbalist is Human: Continued


Sunday, February 16





Daily Gratitude



Human Pet Bond

We all know that are pets are good for us.  They give us unconditional love, walking our dogs or caring for farm animals gives us exercise, etc.  But did you know that there is actual research to back the health benefits of pet ownership? In this lecture, we will discuss many physical and mental benefits of pet ownership. 





Bee Medicine: From Honey to Venom

Not only do bees keep our food chain intact through pollination, but they offer us a myriad of sources of medicine.  Honey is used both internally for many conditions as well as a topical wound healer.  Propolis, Pollen and Royal Jelly are all nourishing and medically active.  Lately, there is burgeoning research on the use of bee venom for pain and conditions that are associated with pain, such as arthritis.  In this lecture, we will discuss all these great medicines we obtain from bees. 





Out of Many, One: The Intersection of Gaia Theory and Herbalism

The Gaia theory postulates that the Earth itself is a mega-organism, of which we are but a small part.  This modern scientific theory builds on thousands of years of traditional wisdom, and provides us a new way of viewing our own physiological cycles as a way-station within larger planetary cycles, with elements passing through plants and us as we ingest and excrete, inhale and exhale.  Examining phytochemistry and human physiology through the lens of Gaia ecological theory can enrich and deepen our intimacy with the plant world and planet, and give us a deeper context in which to view ourselves and our planet.


Closing, Final Intentions


Speaker Bios


Dr. Kris AugustDr. Laurie Dohmen

Growing up, Dr. Dohmen always wanted to be a veterinarian.  She grew up in a time where allopathic medicine 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.

At the same time, more and more research became available which indicated that allopathic medicine was not the be-all-end-all that western doctors had always believed.  There was even research that vaccines and medicines that have been used and prescribed for years can actually do more harm than good.  Becoming disillusioned with some areas of western medicine, Dr. Dohmen began studying alternative modalities.

Dr. Dohmen has received training in Acupuncture, Food Therapy, Bach Flower Essences, and most extensively Western Herbs.   She has studied with Dr. Steve Marsden, Dr.Huisheng Xie, Registered Herbalist Rosemary Gladstar, and many others. She received her Masters of Therapeutic Herbalism from Maryland University of Integrative Health in 2014.  She recently down-sized her integrative mixed animal practice in southern Delaware.  She now lectures regularly on Western Herbal Veterinary Medicine, and other wholistic topics.  She is published frequently in journals such as JAHVMA and IVC (Integrative Veterinary Care Journal).  She is writing a hands-on course in Western Veterinary Herbal Medicine with Dr. Kris August slated to be offered autumn, 2017. Dr. Dohmen is the Past President of the Veterinary Botanical Medical Association; as well as a member of American Herbalists Guild, International Veterinary Acupuncture Society, American Academy of Veterinary Acupuncture, American Holistic VMA and AVMA.  She is on the Editorial Board of the AHVMA Journal.  Dr. Dohmen lives on a 72 acre farm with her husband, 2 sons, and many four-legged animals.  She has her own organic herb and vegetable gardens.


Richard Mandelbaum, RH (AHG)Richard Mandelbaum, RH (AHG)

Richard Mandelbaum RH has been practicing as an herbalist since 1998, with a background in both Chinese and Western herbal traditions and a passion for our native, local plants. He is co-founder and co-director of the ArborVitae School of Traditional Herbalism in New York City, and is on the faculty at David Winston’s Center for Herbal Studies with a focus on botany and phytochemistry.  Richard was a member of the Council (board of directors) of the American Herbalists Guild from 2012-2018, serving as Secretary and as chair of the Committee for Diversity, Inclusion, and Equity.  Richard embraces herbalism as an affirmation of our biome and planet, and is also active in issues related to sustainability, social justice, and fair trade.


Conference Pricing:
Price: $475


Click Here to Register Online!


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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...