Blue Ridge School Faculty

Core Faculty

CoreyPine Shane, RH (AHG), Holistic Clinical Herbalist, is Director of the Blue Ridge School of Herbal Medicine and has been helping clients since the early 1990s by artfully blending Chinese and Western herbal traditions with a focus on local plants. As a seasoned wildcrafter he has extensive knowledge of local plant identification as well as medicine making. He is an expert on herbal first aid, an experienced Street Medic and Wilderness First Responder.

He has taught and led plant walks across the country, including the Medicines from the Earth Symposium, International Herb Symposium, Traditions in Western Herbalism Conference, AHG Symposium, Wild Herb Weekend, Midwest Herb Fest, and the Montana Herb Gathering. He has written extensively on herbal medicine and is a professional member of the American Herbalists Guild. CoreyPine believes that laughter is an essential part of any medicine chest, which is why he is a part of the “Wise Guy” school of healing.
Sandi Ford, Clinical Herbalist and Health and Nutrition Educator, is the Assistant Director of Clinical Education at The Blue Ridge School of Herbal Medicine and has been working with plants for beauty, food, and medicine for twenty years. She studied at The Blue Ridge School of Herbal Medicine and The California School of Herbal Studies. Sandi teaches near and afar at various herb schools and nature centers, local colleges, and is the Herbal Adviser for the Warren Wilson College Wellness Crew. She received her Master's in Holistic Health and Nutrition Education Winter of 2013. She has a clinical practice where she specializes in addressing chronic health conditions with herbs, dietary, and lifestyle changes. She is an expert at detecting gluten and other food intolerance's while providing the information, support, and guidance often needed through the process of eliminating one's intolerance's. In her spare time, she is an avid gardener and the caretaker of an incredible edible and medicinal garden.
Marc Williams is an ethnobotanist. He has studied the connection between plants and people intensively while learning to employ botanicals for food, medicine, and beauty. His training includes a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies concentrating in Sustainable Agriculture from Warren Wilson College and a Master’s degree in Appalachian Studies concentrating in Sustainable Development with a minor in Geography and Planning from Appalachian State University. He has spent over a fifteen years working at a multitude of restaurants, various farms, and travels throughout 24 countries in North/Central America and Europe. Marc has taught hundreds of people about the marvelous world of plants, people and their interface. His greatest hope is that this information may help improve our current challenging global ecological situation.
Josh Fox is a plant-enthusiast with a great love for teaching. He is an experienced guide to our local abundance of plant food and medicine incorporating his knowledge of Chinese medicine with nine years of Western herbal studies. He is a licensed acupuncture and herbal clinician and regularly offers plant walks, workshops, and weekend retreats integrating physical and spiritual healing. When he's not working with plants, you might find him dancing, stilt-walking, or singing songs.

Adjunct Faculty

Lisa Ganora has been a traditional herbalist for 27 years and a phytochemistry geek / molecular mystic since 1997. Using a deeply holistic approach, Lisa creates beautiful visual presentations which help to translate scientific information for practical use and to deepen our understanding of the inner mysteries of herbs.She has taught many different classes and workshops, led wildcrafting adventures, managed an herbal products business, talked with the Plant Spirits, made a lot of fabulous mead, lived in a tipi, been licked by wolves, raised a pharmaceutical-free daughter, earned top honors in botany and chemistry at UNCA, and most recently, has become the Director of the Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism (formerly NAIMH) in Boulder, CO. Her book and website, www.herbalconstituents.com, help explain plant constituents for the student and clinical herbalist.
Mimi Hernandez, MS, RH (AHG) comes from a background as a clinical herbalist, educator, and ethnobotanist. She currently serves as the Executive Director of the American Herbalists Guild and formerly held the position of Coordinator of the Appalachian Center for Ethnobotanical studies at Frostburg State University. With roots in Asheville, NC, Mimi mentors community and clinical herbalists through One World Healing Community network and her formulas are featured through Mortar and Pestle Apothecary. Mimi's courses balance scientific understanding with traditional reverence and intuitive awareness and she draws upon her rich ethnic background & the Granny healers in her life. Aside from her Latin American Grandmothers her important mentors have included James Duke, Rocio Alarcon, and Simon Mills. Mimi believes that the handing down of plant wisdom is essential and it is her life's work to advocate for traditional and professional herbal pathways while building cultural bridges of understanding.
Vishnu Dass is an Ayurvedic practitioner and herbalist and the owner and director of Blue Lotus Ayurveda in Asheville, NC. He received his training under the guidance of Dr. Vasant Lad and is a graduate of the Ayurvedic Institute in Albuquerque, NM. Having served on the board of directors for the National Ayurvedic Medical Association, he remains an honorary lifetime practitioner member. He teaches extensively on Ayurveda and Yoga philosophy for schools of clinical herbalism as well as Yoga retreat centers and teacher training programs. His knowledge in both Eastern and Western herbal traditions combined with 14 years of clinical practice comes together in his practical and inspiring book Ayurvedic Herbology East & West.Type your new text here.
Lorna Mauney-Brodek is a traveling herbalist, apotheker, wildcrafter and teacher. Growing up "Americana,” her health practices reflect the abundantly diverse influences of these lands to blend western European medical herbalism, traditional Chinese five phase, Ayurveda, eclectic and southern folk. Early barefoot adventures in the Appalachian foothills and global wanderings with tent-packing parents led to more formal trainings in plant medicine. She completed an herbal residency with Michael Moore at the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine, a clinical internship at the Blue Ridge School, and does continued study with Patricia Howell. She believes health care is a fundamental human right and provides free earth-based care at the Harriet Tubman Free Foot Clinic and the Herbalista Free Clinic, aka the Herb Bus, a mobile clinic she founded in 2012.
Bloom Post is a Shamanic Healer who walks between the worlds to receive information, insights and guidance, in order to empower healing and transformation. Bloom lives near Asheville, NC, and is author of the book “Shaman’s Toolbox: Practical Tools for Powerful Transformation." Bloom has studied across the U.S. and India, and some of her teachers have included an Appalachian Shaman, a Native American elder, Buddhist monks and nuns, a cacao shaman in Guatemala, as well as Hindu Swamis and Gurus. A Reiki Master Teacher, she also received her Yoga Teacher Training Certificate in India in 2005.
Amy Uma Thompson, CAyu, LMBT. Uma is a Certified Ayurvedic Practitioner, Licensed Massage Therapist, Clinical Western Herbalist, Yoga Instructor, and Certified Ayurvedic Postpartum Doula. Uma has been studying and practicing Ayurvedic medicine, a 5,000 year old from of holistic healing rooted in India, for over 15 years. She has studied at three leading schools of Ayurveda in the US, including The Ayurvedic Institute with Dr. Vasant Lad. Additionally, Uma has training in western herbs, and has been a massage therapist and yoga instructor for 17 years. Uma is an integrative, holistic practitioner and specializes in women’s health, including menstrual health, fertility, pregnancy and postpartum. She also has expertise in nutrition and digestive issues, as well as cleansing and renewal protocols. In her bodywork practice, Uma has treated acute and chronic pain conditions, as well as traumatic injuries with a specialty in Neuromuscular Massage, and Crainosacral Therapy. She also offers Thai Massage and Yoga Therapy. You can find out more at www.livingalchemyhealthcare.com
Thea Summer Deer, is an herbalist and intuitive, educator, licensed minister, singer-songwriter and published author. She began practicing midwifery and teaching Holistic Childbirth Preparation in 1978 and was a founding mother of the South Florida School of Midwifery. Her involvement in Alternative Medicine spans 35 years as owner of Mindbody and Evolutionary Press, and as the Executive Director of Resources for World Health. She is a graduate of the Botanologos School for Herbal Studies and received her doctorate from Venus Rising University in Shamanic Psychospiritual Studies.
Jamie Sparks is the Founder and Director of Herban Farmacy, Asheville's first Community Supported Herbalism (herbal CSA), which offers seasonal shares of herbal medicine and education to support the journey into the world of herbal medicine. She is also a massage therapists, that offers therapeutic body work with herbally infused oils, created and blended with her own hands. A born teacher, Jamie teaches programs to adults and children at herb schools, public schools and various earth skills gatherings in the Southeastern part of the country. She has also offered her time as an herbalist at the Ithaca Free Clinic and has offered first aid and medical support at various gatherings.
Jamie's herbal journey began with an ethnobotany class in 1995. She was reminded of our deep connections with the earth, and from that point on wanted to continue to be constantly reminded of that connection, as well as spread that wisdom. She continued to work with the magic of plants through a BS in Plant Biology at Ohio University, apprenticing with Juliet Blankespoor, education at the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine and work with 7Song of the Northeast School of Botanical Medicine and the Ithaca Free Clinic. She continues to be in awe by the plants of the Southern Appalachia and is happy to call their home, her home. See www.herbanfarmacy.org for more on herbal shares and education.
Rebecca Vann is the Administrator for the Blue Ridge School of Herbal Medicine and has been working with plant medicine for over 15 years. Rebecca also teaches various classes at BRSHM including Anatomy and Physiology, Good Manufacturing Practices, and Herbal Medicine for Mothers and Children. She currently serves on the board of the Appalachian Botanical Alliance, a grower owned cooperative of medicinal herb farmers focusing on Western and Chinese herb production in WNC. Rebecca lives and biodynamically farms at Sacred Mountain Sanctuary, as well as administrates for The Learning Village school also located at SMS.

Clinical Faculty

Joel Wind Fox Boyle is a Certified Clinical Herbalist certified through the Appalachia School of Holistic Herbalism. He has completed courses in Native American healing through The Good Medicine Society, worked as an herbal extraction technician for Gaia Herbs, and is an avid organic farmer and gardener. He currently teaches classes and plant walks as an educator for Chimney Rock Park, works with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Western North Carolina Alliance, Botanical Gardens at UNC Asheville, United Plant Savers, Joel also teaches programs for the Firefly Gathering, AB Tech, and Warren Wilson College, and is a regular instructor for the Appalachia School of Holistic Herbalism and the Blue Ridge School of Herbal Medicine. Joel has been running Wind Fox Herbal in Black Mountain since 2007, which has specialized in helping individuals recover from "incurable" diseases. Wind Fox Herbal is currently researching methods to make herbal extracts more potent and effective.
Daisy Conway Marquis began studying meditation and energy healing including Esoteric Healing in 1997 at North Carolina School of Natural Healing. She completed apprenticeships in Herbalism, Meditation Instruction, and Energy Healing in 1998 and 1999. In 1999 she began teaching meditation and assisting in the herbal programs offered by NCSNH and has continued teaching these subjects for the past 16 years. Daisy continued studying various energy healing modalities with Deborah Mills during this time. When Deborah left Asheville in 2000 she passed her position at NCSNH teaching Esoteric Healing level 1 on to Daisy. When NCSNH was sold in 2002, the new owner appointed Daisy co-director and primary instructor in the Energy Healing and Meditation Program. Daisy also taught Energy Body Mind Studies, Aromatherapy, Nutrition, and Flower Essences in the Massage Diploma Program and the Professionals Program, after completing the Massage Diploma program in 2003. When NCSNH went out of business in 2007, Daisy founded the Shanti School of Energy Healing and Self Transformation, and continues teaching Energy Healing, Flower Essences, Aromatherapy, Holistic Herbalism, Ethics, Soul Focused Healing, Reiki and Polarity-based Energy Healing, Meditation and the Yoga of Self Realization in the Asheville community. She has also taught classes at Appalachian School of Holistic Herbalism, Blue Ridge School of Herbal Medicine, Mountain Spirit School of Herbalism, and One World Healing Arts Institute. Daisy is deeply committed to a lifetime of teaching and learning in the fields of natural healing and conscious evolution.
Rae Swersey CH-Advanced Certified Herbalist
Rae Swersey CH is a community herbalist currently in private practice in Asheville, NC. They received their certifications and studied at the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine, The North American Institute of Medical Herbalism and a clinical mentorship with Mary Barnes and Sandi Ford. From there, they have co-founded the Sassafras Community Health Collective and the Denver Community Health Collective Clinic. These collectives have created a multitude of community projects including a Drop-In Herbal Medicine Clinic at AHOPE and the Asheville Health Collective Resource Guide. Rae's passion lies in providing inclusive, comprehensive, and accessible health care. For them, herbalism is about healing their community from the inside out through a social justice lens. In their practice, they have a focus on LGBTQQIA, activists and organizers, and under-served populations. Their personal practice is named Take Care Herbals. To follow their blog, learn more, or contact them visit http://takecareherbals.wordpress.com/.
Shannon Simpson is a Marriage and Family Therapy Associate with more than ten years of experience in the mental health and alternative health fields. She uses a body/mind approach incorporating body awareness skills in her practice and focuses on releasing patterns stored in the body’s memory. She incorporates Somatic Experiencing, Attachment work, Mindfulness practices, and Biodynamic Craniosacral therapy to bring back physical and emotional health and wholeness.
On the alternative health side Shannon has also studied as an herbalist and intuitive healer and has been growing and wild-crafting medicinal herbs for many years in Asheville. She loves teaching and sharing her knowledge with others and recently has blended her passion for sustainable farming and therapy into a garden therapy program to support people in developing a deeper connection with themselves, nature and community.
Steve Torma For nearly thirty years, Steve Torma has gently guided our culture toward cooperation and regeneration. He is President of Earthaven Ecovillage, where he lives his passion for community and sustainability, and he is on the core faculty for The Asheville Tantra School. Steve is trained in Nonviolent Communication, Radical Honesty, Body Electric, Cuddle Party, Restorative Circles, Permaculture, and Creation Spirituality. Through his compassionate presence and guidance, Steve has helped hundreds to find healing, direction, and meaning in their lives.
Guest Teachers have and will include David Winston, 7Song, Bevin Clare, and Sandor Katz.