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

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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.


Herbs Blog: Veterinarians Use Ayurveda Daily

Dr. Kris August and I are taking Foundations of Ayurveda at the Kripalu School of Ayurveda in Stockbridge, Massachusetts.  We came into the course with the intention of learning Ayurvedic theory and herbs.  The Dean of the program knows that we are veterinary herbalists.  She came up to us on the fourth or fifth day of class and asked if we were finding ways to apply the knowledge we are gaining to animals and our veterinary practice.  The answer is a resounding yes!  Here is some of what we have learned... Read all about it!

Herbal Intervention for Thyroid Dysfunction By Laurie Dohmen, VMD, MS

Publications and Articles

...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!!!

The Philosophy of Western Medical Herbalism was an excellent introduction to western herbal practice and theory. The conference was an excellent experience--knowledgeable instructors with engaging teaching styles and held in a beautiful locale. The self-care Qi Gong was an added bonus. It definitely got me excited to return and learn more!

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.

About Our ...


I loved seeing preparation methods in real life

Conference Room

Very nice, liked the setting and all the natural light so it didn't feel stuffy


Very pleasant, great location, not as expensive as expected


Not really a breakfast eater, liked variety of options (especially the fruit). The smoked salmon, fruit, and granola were excellent.

Seminars, Talks, Classes and Trips

Philosophy of  Western Medical Herbalism

Veterinary Herbal Apprenticeship and Retreat 2018/2019


September 14-16, 2018

October 19-21, 2018

November 10-12, 2018

March 22-24, 2019

April 26-28, 2019

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.

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 ... $2,750.00 Early Bird Pricing until January 1st, 2018

Click Here Learn More!


2018 Sun N Fun Veterinary Conference

June 20 - 24, 2018

Dr. Laurie Dohmen

Topics Coming Soon

DoubleTree Resort by Hilton Myrtle Beach Oceanfront

Myrtle Beach, South Carolina

Click here to visit the Conference Site



2019 Midwest Veterinary Conference

Feb. 21 - 24, 2019

Dr. Laurie Dohmen

Topics Coming Soon

 Greater Columbus Convention Center Columbus, Ohio

Click here to visit the Conference Site


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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...