David Winston is an internationally known lecturer, author, ethnobotanist and the founder of Herbalist & Alchemist. For over 45 years, David has been studying, practicing, teaching and researching Chinese, Western/Eclectic and Southeastern American herbal traditions. David’s world-renowned two-year herbal studies program, the David Winston Center for Herbal Studies, has been educating Herbalists, Physicians, Nurses, Naturopathic Physicians, Veterinarians, and Nutritionists in the art and science of clinical herbal medicine since 1980. David has one of the largest private herbal research libraries in the U.S. The Herbal Therapeutics Research Library has over 8000 volumes, from 1550 to present, and over 15,000 articles on file. This library is a working library used for research for the herbal and nutritional industry as well as for his writing and for Herbalist & Alchemist. David was one of the professional herbalists who founded the American Herbalists Guild, the first professional herbalists’ organization in the US, which certifies clinical herbalists. He is on the professional membership review committee. David Winston has been on the Review Committee of the Botanical Safety Handbook, which produced a significant information resource, which the entire botanical industry, from manufacturers to researchers, relies upon. He is the clinical herbal consultant to hundreds of prominent physicians (MDs, NDs, DOs, DCs) throughout the US, Canada and Europe. David has authored hundreds of articles and a number of books on herbs.
Phyllis D. Light, a fourth generation Herbalist and Healer, has studied and worked with herbs, foods and other healing techniques for over 30 years. Her studies in Traditional Southern Appalachian Folk Medicine began in the deep woods of North Alabama with lessons from her grandmother, whose herbal and healing knowledge had its roots in her Creek/Cherokee heritage. Phyllis’ studies continued as an apprentice with the late Tommie Bass, a nationally renowned folk herbalist from Sand Rock, Alabama, as well as other herbal Elders throughout the Appalachians and the Deep South. Her well-established reputation and knowledgeable expertise has allowed Phyllis to travel far afield of her Southern Appalachian home, lecturing and teaching about herbs, integrative and complementary healthcare and traditional folk healing techniques. Consequently, she has taught and lectured at herb schools, universities, medical schools, hospitals and health conferences. As a Practitioner, she has experience in both clinical and private settings including working in an integrative medical clinic. As a Consultant, Phyllis manages her own herbal consulting business advising businesses, schools, physicians and manufacturers. In addition to Traditional Folk studies, Phyllis has studied Traditional Western Herbalism, Nutrition, Exercise Science, Body Work and Energy Medicine. She continues to maintain an active herbal practice. Phyllis has a master’s degree from the University of Alabama in Health Studies (education and promotion) and has taught CEU classes for allied healthcare workers including nurses, nurse practitioners, physical therapists, occupational therapists and social workers. She is a professional member of the American Herbalist Guild. Phyllis is the author of Southern Folk Medicine and co-author of Traditional Western Herbalism and Pulse Evaluation: A Conversation. In addition, she is on the board of directors of the American Naturopathic Certification Board. Her herbal school, the Appalachian Center for Natural Health is located in Arab, Alabama. Phyllis is also co-founder of the Herbal Heritage Conference.
Matthew Wood has been a practicing herbalist since 1982. In a period when many authors and lecturers are merely "arm chair herbalists" who offer theories and opinions based on book learning, and others have turned to the exotic traditions of India or China, he has been an active practitioner of traditional Western herbalism. He has helped tens of thousands of clients over the years, with many difficult health problems. While Matthew believes in the virtue of many other healing modalities, he has always been inspired to learn, preserve, and practice the tradition of herbal medicine descending to us from our European, Anglo-American, and Native American heritage. He is a member of the American Herbalists Guild (registered herbalist) and has earned his Masters of Science degree from the Scottish School of Herbal Medicine (accredited by the University of Wales). Matthew has lectured in all parts of the United States, from Georgia to Maine, New York to California, and Santa Fe to Sperryville, Virginia. He has also taught in Canada, Scotland, England, France, and Australia. He is known throughout the world as an excellent teacher of herbal medicine. He is also the author of six acclaimed books on herbal medicine, published by North Atlantic Books, in Berkeley, CA.
Laura Quesinberry is a generational plant digger and mountain woman steeped in the traditions of Appalachian wildcrafting. As a digger-turned-plant protector and land steward Laura has a unique perspective and insight into commercial wild harvesting and its effect on wild populations of At-Risk medicinal plants of the Appalachian Mountains. Laura is the recipient of the 2017 United Plants Savers Medicinal Plant Conservation Award. Her special connection with the plants, especially Ginseng, guides her work. Laura's passions are connecting people to the plants and heritage of Appalachia, promoting sustainable harvesting methods, rescuing and relocating plants, and teaching others how to create botanical sanctuaries for At-Risk woodland medicinal plants.
Donna Davenport Cox grew up learning the old ways from her maternal grandmother who incorporated the use of herbs, tonics, and stones, as well as what the earth and her surroundings provided. Donna has had extensive studies in Irish Folk medicine, Crystal Healing Therapy, Numerology, and Native American Healing Practices. Her unusual childhood allowed her to witness many miracles. Little did she know, this would pave the way for her own personal connection with the Other Side after her own near death experience. Donna is a graduate of the Children’s Institute and as an accomplished writer has articles published in The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, Homeschool Enrichment Magazine, as well as her book, “Luke 8:48, A Supernatural Journey of Faith.” She enjoys teaching, soap and candle making, writing and rock hunting. She and her husband Guerry live in Donna's hometown of Williamston, South Carolina.
Olga Cotter has loved mushrooms ever since she was a little kid being taught by her grandfather Jozo back in the Balkans, which mushrooms were good to eat and which were poisonous. Olga and her sister, Billie, picked mushrooms almost daily in the spring and fall then took them back to grandma Baba who helped them roast the mushrooms on the wood stove with some salt. The lessons didn’t stop with mushrooms. She and her sister knew where all the wild strawberry patches, cherry trees and the most beautiful spring flowers were, and where to avoid being stung by the nettles. She was always digging into her mom’s wild plant books, reading about the plants, drawing them, and interacting with them in the wild. Olga met her husband, Tradd, in Florida, and after many walks in the woods and countless cultivation projects in the closet of their condo they started Mushroom Mountain. With a degree in Web Design and Marketing, she built the first Mushroom Mountain website, and started doing mushroom walks, and other local events bringing awareness to the world of mushrooms. In 2007, Tradd and Olga moved Mushroom Mountain to South Carolina, where Tradd went back to school for Microbiology, and Olga continued working for a Marketing firm in Florida as a Customer Service Manager, and Mushroom Mountain at the same time. Her roles consisted of lab work, shipping, customer service, website work and marketing. Once Mushroom Mountain moved to the current location in Easley, SC, the business grew exponentially...it is now a 50,000 sq. ft. world-class laboratory and research facility that houses more than 200 species of fungi for cultivation, mycoremediation, and medicinal research projects. Nowadays, Olga organizes events, answers emails, phone calls, works with all the social media outlets, website, organizes the team of 7, and once in a while teaches a class or two on mushrooms. Her main job is to make sure that Mushroom Mountain is a well-oiled machine. Together with Tradd, she goes to different conferences around the US, and while Tradd teaches at the podium Olga teaches at the booth. Besides Mushroom Mountain, she also enjoys being mom to their daughter Heidi, gardening, her pet chickens, duck, dogs and cats, traveling, tie dyeing, growing and making medicine, crafting, foraging for plants and mushrooms.