Philosophy of  Western Medical Herbalism

Educating Veterinarians and Pet-Lovers on Western Herbal Medicine

Upcoming Class - Philosophy of  Western Medical Herbalism

This Philosophy of Western Medical Herbalism course is the precursor introduction to a larger 5 module course we will be starting in the fall that will include full organ-system Materia Medica and in-depth labs and plant identification.

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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,

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


Philosophy of  Western Medical Herbalism


Drs. Laurie Dohmen and Kris August


May 3-5, 2019


Hampton Inn and Suites, Corolla, Outer Banks, North Carolina


Conference Pricing:

Price: $450


Payment accepted by check, money order or through Paypal. 


Click Here to Register Online!


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


Philosophy of  Western Medical Herbalism Class of 2017


Beauty BerryThis 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.  There will be lectures, labs and an herb walk.  We will also incorporate compassionate care, both for our patients and ourselves.  Bonus offerings include Qi Gong in the breaks, excursions and free time to explore the area.  Catered lunch is included in the classroom.

Lectures include herb selection, formulation and administration options for our patients.  We will discuss how to utilize a monograph, how to read herbal materials, and a brief history of Western herbal medicine.  All forms of herbal administration will be covered, with details of how to make teas, tinctures, topicals and more.  We will also have 2 labs in which we demonstrate production of herbal products. Yin Yang MangosOne of the hands-on labs will allow the students to incorporate herbs into foods.  Both lectures and labs will be organoleptic, with lots of tasting.  There will also be a lecture explaining organoleptics as a concept and as a tool for assessing herbs.  In ethnopharmacology, we will discuss the origins of organoleptics and native herbal medicines.  We will go through how to make the perfect herbal formula for each patient, with examples in a formulation lecture.  Since most holistic practitioners are geared towards quality of life, we will have a lecture on compassionate care and alternatives to keep animals comfortable and functional longer.

Self-healing will be incorporated into this course. There will be an opportunity to explore simple breathing techniques that are grounding and refreshing.  Throughout, herbs will be discussed that can be used right away to improve personal health and well-being. Simple Qi Gong movements that can wake up the body and open areas of stiffness and stagnation will be scattered throughout the weekend with take-home materials to encourage a continued commitment to personal health.

Herb Walk in ManteoThere will be an herb walk as part of an excursion to a different part of the islands.  We will be leaving before lunch on Friday to allow people time to visit Roanoke Island and eat lunch in the village of Manteo.  “Manteo’s waterfront downtown is an attraction in itself, with shops, art galleries, eateries, a lighthouse, a waterfront boardwalk, a park and children's playground and boats sitting in the harbor of Shallowbag Bay” (  From there we will go on to the Elizabethan Gardens for a guided herb walk and personal nature meditation.

We are excited to announce that Vickie Shufer will be leading the herb walk at the Elizabethan Gardens and she will be preparing some of the food for the food lab on Sunday.  Vickie is an alum of MUIH, where she got her MS in Therapeutic Herbalism in 013.  Vickie ShuferShe has worked just over the Virginia line in False Cape State Park for over 20 years; she is a naturalist, herbalist, and forager.  Vickie is the owner and manager of a native nursery in northeastern North Carolina where she propagates coastal native plants and teaches groups how to use them for food, medicine, and crafts. She often forages and then hosts meals locally, so expect some excellent cooking from her!  Vickie is the author of several books, including The Everything Guide to Foraging (Adams Media, 2011), and was the editor/publisher of The Wild Foods Forum newsletter from 1994 to 2014.  If you want to know more about her, Vickie’s website is

We will be providing transportation, but students are welcome to drive themselves in order to spend more time in this area.  There are lots of cool things to do on Roanoke Island.  There is the Island Farm, “a living history site, Island Farm interprets daily life on Roanoke Island in the mid-1800s. Visitors feel as if they’ve stepped back more than 150 years as they explore the farm and see interpreters dressed in period attire carrying out the daily activities of the time – tending animals, blacksmithing, hoeing corn, doing laundry, making corn cakes. Hands-on activities and demonstrations may include woodworking, textile work, cooking demonstrations, ox-drawn wagon rides, 19th-century toys and games and farm and garden work” (  ManteoThere is the Island Festival Park, which has the “Elizabeth II, a 16th-century sailing ship. It’s a representation of a particular 16th-century English merchant ship, Elizabeth, one of seven in Sir Walter Raleigh’s 1585 expedition to establish England’s first New World colony. Costumed interpreters speaking Old English greet visitors to the ship with sea tales, legends and historical facts and answer questions about 16th-century seafaring…The Settlement Site is where guests get to interact with costumed interpreters portraying the colonist men and women as they settled into life in the New World. Visitors can try their hand at blacksmithing, woodworking, 16th-century games and more…Explore coastal Algonquian culture and history in the American Indian Town. The town represents an American Indian community similar to what the English explorers investigated and surveyed during their voyages to Roanoke Island and the surrounding area in the late 16th century. Visitors follow paths that wind through the park. Homes, agricultural areas and work shelters line the paths. The ceremonial dance circle is also located here. The exhibit has a planting and harvesting area where visitors can learn the advanced nuances of American Indian farming techniques. Three work shelters include activities like cordage (rope) making, mat and basket weaving, net mending, food preparation, tanning hides, fishing, boat building and gathering” (

The Outer Banks is a great place for self-healing.  As veterinarians, we are very compassionate to others, but less so to ourselves.  We believe that the healthier we are as practitioners, the more good we can do for our patients. The Hampton Inn & Suites Outer Banks/Corolla is a great place to start taking care of ourselves. (  To make a hotel reservation, instructions will be available soon.  We will be disseminating a class email list as the course fills so students can be in contact with one another for room-sharing and ride-sharing from Norfolk airport.  Take a walk on the beach or one of the paths along the Currituck Sound. During the breaks students will have the opportunity to partake of abbreviated Qi Gong.  We all get stiff sitting in lectures, so we will be doing some stretching and moving in the breaks.  Qi Gong roughly translates to: “Qi” – energy or life force, “Gong” – work or skills.  We will be increasing our energy and life skills in the breaks.  We may even go to the ocean and do some breathing exercises in rhythm with the tides.  There will be catered lunch with options for a variety of dietary lifestyles available in the classroom.



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


Very pleasant, great location, not as expensive as expected

To make a reservation, instructions will be available soon.

Corolla Wild HorsesSouth of the Resort is the town of Duck.  There are 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.  North 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, and 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” (  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” (  The grounds in between the lighthouse and the Whalehead are beautiful to walk, with a boat house and a 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.  Philosophy of  Western Medical Herbalism“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” (  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 the actual Corolla Wild Horse Fund (CWHF).  CWHF is an organization whose mission is “to protect, conserve, and responsibly manage the herd of wild Colonial Spanish Mustangs roaming freely on the northernmost Currituck Outer Banks, and to promote the continued preservation of this land as a permanent sanctuary for horses designated as the State Horse and defined as a cultural treasure by the state of North Carolina” (  The money from a CWHF trip benefits the horses themselves, and the guides are the only ones trained about the horses.

All in all, we plan to present an overall holistic experience to our fellow veterinarians.  While teaching Western Veterinary Herbal Medicine, we want to provide you not only alternative ways to care for your patients, but also additional ways to care for ourselves.


Philosophy of  Western Medical Herbalism 3-Day Intensive


Date and Time




Friday, May 3

8:30-9:30 Introductions, Intention/Gratitude

Announcements, Introductions, Mindful opening

Hotel Conference Room


Introduction to Western Herbal Medicine

Overview including monograph reading

This lecture will go over the basics of medicinal use of Western Herbs.  We will discuss how herbs can be used in terms of physiology, treatment modalities, safety and interactions.  We will go over how to read a monograph, and there will be a couple of case examples.

Hotel Conference Room



Qi Gong available



Lecture: Forms of Herbal Administration

Teas, Tinctures, Topicals, Capsules and Tablets

This lecture will go through all the ways herbs can be administered, with details of how to prepare and administer.  Herbs can be dispensed as tinctures, teas, tablets and capsules, powders and in food. Topically, herbs can be applied as a dry powder or in oil or salves.

Hotel Conference Room




12:45-1:30 Travel to Roanoke Island   Bus
1:30-2:45 Lunch   Manteo
2:45-3 Travel to Garden   Bus

Herb walk

Plant Identification Walk and Nature Meditation

Plant Identification Walk  and Nature Meditation

This excursion is to the Elizabethan Gardens for a guided herb walk and personal nature meditation.  The Gardens start with a proper English herb garden, and you will be pleased with how many non-culinary medicinal herbs are included.  Then we will progress through the Gardens while learning about many native and beautiful species of plants.  We will end in the Sunken Garden where there are many beautiful spots to meditate with the plants.

Elizabethan Gardens
5:30-6:15 Return to hotel



Saturday, May 4



Origins of the Herbs Used in Western Herbal Medicine

The origins of herbal medicine are from native cultures around the world. Researchers have shown that most native cultures decide which herbs work for which conditions based on taste and smell (organoleptics).  This lecture will go through how a few specific native cultures choose their herbs and why, as well as discuss how pharmaceuticals have coopted herbal chemicals for allopathic drugs.  We will discuss the pros and cons of traditional herbal use versus pharmaceutical use.

Hotel Conference Room


QI Gong available



Assessing Quality of Herbs and Determining Tastes with Samples

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.  We will discuss the 5 common flavors described in herbal medicine, and taste examples of each flavor.  We will also learn to discern the quality of herbs based on their organoleptics.

Hotel Conference Room


Catered Lunch   Hotel Conference Room
1-3:30 Lab: Forms of Herbal Administration

Examples of Forms and how to make them

This lab will be a hands-on interactive demonstration of the preparation of multiple forms of herbal preparations, including tincture-making, types of tea preparation, oil and salve preparation, and more.

Hotel Conference Room

Sunday, May 5



How to Make an Herbal Formula

In this lecture, we will go through how to put together an herbal formula.  Things to consider include: type of administration, type of herb, number of herbs, specifics of patient, environment and speed of delivery.  We will work through some case examples of formula preparation.

Hotel Conference Room



Qi Gong available


Compassionate Care

Comfort through Chronic Disease and End of Life

Hotel Conference Room
12:30-1:30 Catered Lunch    


Food Lab

Incorporating Herbs into Food

This will be a tasty lab!  Participants will learn how to incorporate herbs into foods and then make herbal-infused fare, both for animals and humans.  We will briefly discuss home-cooking for pets as a vehicle for administration of herbs. There will be goodies to take home.

Hotel Conference Room


Final Gratitude

Gratitude and Mindfulness

Hotel Conference Room
**This schedule is subject to change.**

Conference Pricing:

Price: $450

Payment accepted by check, money order or through Paypal. 


Click Here to Register Online!

Speaker Bios


Dr. Laurie DohmenDr. 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.



Dr. Kris AugustDr. Kris August, DVM, GDVWHM, CHPV

Dr. Kris August received her DVM from Colorado State University in 1991 and earned a Graduate Diploma of Veterinary Western Herbal Medicine (GDVWHM) through the College of Integrative Veterinary Therapies (CIVT). She is a Certified Hospice and Palliative Care Veterinarian (CHPV) through the International Association of Animal Hospice and Palliative Care (IAAHPC) as well as a contributor to the certification program, a co-author of the IAAHPC Animal Hospice and Palliative Care Guidelines (2013) and the textbook Hospice and Palliative Care for Companion Animals: Principles and Practice (2017). Dr. August owns an integrative veterinary housecall practice in Ames, Iowa, in which her primary focus is geriatric and end of life care, and herbal medicine. A consultant for the Hospice and Palliative Care board on VIN, Dr. August also lectures and writes on topics concerning end of life care, herbal medicine and “caring for the caregiver”.

Dr. August values compassionate care for animals, people, plants and our world, with a special focus on caring for the caregiver. We cannot help others unless we continue to care for ourselves. She is currently a student of tai chi and qigong and practices nature meditation. Dr. August enjoys teaching and learning through sharing her passions with others, and has taught in a variety of capacities from Waldorf-inspired playgroups to Tae Kwon Do, to teaching veterinarians and veterinary students in herbal medicine, animal hospice, and self-care topics. She enjoys working with her good friend Dr. Laurie Dohmen to bring a holistic approach to learning veterinary herbal medicine.


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 and May, 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.

Philosophy of  Western Medical Herbalism 3-Day Intensive


Conference Pricing:

Price: $450

Payment accepted by check, money order or through Paypal. 


Click Here to Register Online!


slide up button 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...