Thomas Easley, RH(AHG), Director of ESHM

Thomas is a Traditional Western Herbalist. Though a lover of bioregional herbalism, he use herbs from all over the world, including Ayuveda and TCM. However, he applies them in the Western Tradition. You won’t hear Thomas talk much about Chi, or Prana, or even Doshas. He respects other cultures’ systems of medicine, but chooses to focus on the deep and rich tradition of Western Herbalism. Keeping with that approach, you will hear him talk about humoral imbalances and constitution, Eclectic and Physiomedical approaches to disease, modern Naturopathic therapies, functional blood work ranges, and even the occasional reference to Sheldon’s Somatotypes. Thomas also emphasizes foods as medicine, using intensive diets, stress reduction techniques, nutritional supplements, and exercise to help his clients achieve their health goals. In addition to herbs, diet, supplements, and lifestyle approaches, Thomas also uses drop dose botanicals and the occasional homeopathic remedies or flower essences.

Thomas believes that herbal medicine has the potential to change the world. Unfortunately much of what is taught about herbs and supplements is driven by marketing and not based in tradition or science. His approach draws on his extensive clinical experience, which spans 15 years of full-time practice and over 15,000 clients.

Mel Kasting

Mel is a Clinical Herbalist, Freelance Writer, and Assistant Clinic Director for the Eclectic School of Herbal Medicine’s student-led free clinic. She told her mother at 8 years old, “I want to be the box car children when I grow up,” and has pretty much lived up to the task. Her passion for plant-based healing, as well as an incurable wanderlust, has taken her from the Columbines School of Botanical Studies in Eugene, OR, to the Eclectic School of Herbal Medicine’s mountain haven in Lowgap, NC, and many places in between. She studied primarily botany, wildcrafting, plant ecology, and clinical herbalism. Mel is also the ESHM’s Botany Group Facilitator. When not living the herbal dream, she loves to hike and dance.

Guest Instructors

Our amazing guest instructors come in for 1-4 weeks during the full time program to share what they are most passionate about!

Bio coming soon…




Erika Galentin

Erika is a Medical Herbalist and an ITEC certified Clinical Aromatherapist. She holds a degree in Herbal Medicine from the University of Wales, Cardiff, UK and Scottish School of Herbal Medicine, Glasgow, UK.  She is a professional member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists (UK) and Pi Alpha Xi National Honor Society in Horticulture (USA). Several years of clinical practice in Glasgow, Scotland provided the platform for a deep and influential understanding of the efficacy of medicinal plants within a clinical environment. It was through this clinical practice that Erika also learned to encourage positive relationships between plants and people. She is a firm believer in celebrating the role humanity plays in the ecology of our landscapes, and that our relationships with the natural world should be based upon reciprocity and exchange.  Erika returned to the United States in 2008 to evolve her career as to also encompass a focus on horticulture and native medicinal plant conservation and ecology. Erika is also deeply passionate about the history of botanical medicine in the United States as depicted by the American Botanical Movement of the late 19th and early 20th centuries, and has built her clinical philosophy around the principles and practice of Physiomedical and Eclectic traditions. With her dedication to medicinal plants native to Ohio and the Greater Appalachian region, Erika teaches, lectures, and writes on native medicinal plant conservation and applied ecology, propagation, herbalism, and clinical efficacy.

jim mcdonald

jim is an herbalist in southeast Michigan (that cool state that looks like a mitten you can see from space) where he teaches, sees clients, wildharvests, and concocts herbal formulas. His approach to herbalism is a blend of traditional folk and indigenous influences mixed up with a bit of 19th century Eclectic and physiomedical vitalism, which he tries to blend with a bit of humor and discretionary irreverence so as not to appear to be too serious about life! jim hosts the website on which lists his offerings and conveys his thoughts on plants and herbalism (and if you’ve ever wondered, the lack of capitalization is an homage to e.e. cummings).

jim teaches energetics, humoral theory and foot jenga at ESHM.


Robert Dale Rogers

Robert has been an herbalist for over forty years and is a professional member of the American Herbalist Guild. He earned a Bachelor of Science from the University of Alberta, where he is presently an assistant clinical professor in Family Medicine. He teaches plant and mushroom medicine, aromatherapy, and flower essences in the Earth Spirit Medicine faculty at the Northern Star College in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada.
Robert is past chair of the Alberta Natural Health Agricultural Network and Community Health Council of Capital Health. He is a Fellow of the International College of Nutrition, past-chair of the medicinal mushroom committee of the North American Mycological Association, and on the editorial boards of the International Journal of Medicinal Mushrooms, and Discovery Phytomedicine.
He is the author of over 40 books on medicinal plants and fungi of the boreal forest, including The Fungal Pharmacy: The Complete Guide to Medicinal Mushrooms and Lichens of North AmericaA Cree Healer and his Medicine Bundle, and Mushroom Essences: Vibrational Healing from the Kingdom Fungi.

Robert joined our 2016 program for a weekend intensive on medicinal mushrooms. In 2017 he will be making more frequent appearances.

Marc Williams

Marc is an ethnobiologist. He has studied the people, plant, mushroom, microbe interconnection intensively while learning to employ the different kingdoms of biology for food, medicine, and beauty. His training includes a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies concentrating in Sustainable Agriculture with a minor in Business 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 15 years working at a multitude of restaurants and various farms. His travels include adventures through 24 countries in North/Central America and Europe and all 50 of the United States. Marc has visited over 150 botanical gardens and research institutions during this process while taking tens of thousands of pictures of representative plants. He is also Executive Director of Plants and Healers International ( and on the Board of Directors of the Appalachian Institute for Mountain Studies. He has taught hundreds of classes and thousands of people about the marvelous world of plants, people, and their interface while working with over 60 organizations in the last few years and online at the website Marc’s greatest hope is that his efforts may help improve our current challenging global ecological situation.