Montpelier, Vermont 12/17/2012 – This February, The Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism (VCIH) is moving to 252 Main Street in Montpelier. The new 4,000 square foot building will be fully renovated with a much larger classroom and teaching kitchen, herb processing facility, and a fully accessible clinical floor with seven offices. There are also plans in the works for an education garden on the South-facing hillside adjacent to the building.
VCIH has come a long way since its inception in 2007. The non-profit organization grew out of the Sage Mountain Free Herbal Clinic, started in 2001 in Barre, as well as the collective teaching and clinical experience of the founding directors, Betzy Bancroft, Larken Bunce, and Guido Masé. VCIH began its first year in a 1,000 square foot space with ten students and three professional herbalists.
Today, four professional herbalists along with student clinical interns staff the sliding scale herbal clinic, providing over 800 hours of clinical service per year as well as access to herbal products regardless of ability to pay. Nineteen students have graduated from the clinical herbalist program and 44 from the family herbalist program. Fifty-five students are currently enrolled.
With increasing interest in the herbal clinic and training programs, VCIH is ripe for expansion into a larger space. Larken Bunce, clinical herbalist and teacher at VCIH explains, “This move will help us realize many dreams, including accepting more students, expanding our clinic capacity, increasing our ability to make our own tinctures, and hosting larger special events.”
One such dream being realized is the launching of The Community Health Worker Project. This collection of courses has been designed with a simple goal: to help people take care of themselves and their friends and families using safe, natural and traditional approaches. The focus is to increase health literacy, making health information accessible, engaging and immediately useful. VCIH hopes that this project will one day serve as a replicable model for community-based public health initiatives centered on simple, natural, accessible peer-care.
The first course in the series, Medicine in the Microcosmos, runs from 9am-5pm on February 16&17 and March 2&3. In this 28 hour course, Guido Masé will demonstrate how the microcosmos mirrors the world around us and the many different levels at which the environment interfaces with human beings. Students will examine basic chemical structures, study the fundamentals of cell biology, and explore solubility, chemical reactions, extraction, and absorption—all to gain a more rich and nuanced understanding of the actions of what we put into our bodies. Tuition is $280, including a $30 deposit.
The Roots of Healing will run from March 18th through May 20th and explore the rich history and evolution of global medicine traditions. Healing Presence, offered on Mondays in June, will demonstrate safe and simple practices from sources such as Chinese Medicine, Peer Support and HeartMath, that cultivate the compassionate presence that is innate in every person. Taught in three seasonal sessions by Lisa Masé, Kitchen Medicine will demonstrate where to find affordable high-quality food, how to stock a kitchen, create balanced meals, follow and improvise recipes, and prepare healing foods for everyday enjoyment. In April, Peter Muckerman of First Lead, will lead a Wilderness First Responder course to train “everyday people” to be medics when the need arises. Herbs from the Ground Up will continue to be offered as an apprenticeship from April to October, focusing on home herb gardening for the purpose of growing and maintaining one’s own apothecary in accordance with the natural rhythms of the plants and the year. Taught by several local practitioners, Traditional Body Therapies introduces simple, safe massage and acupressure techniques that anyone can employ for common discomforts and takes place on four Saturdays from October to December. In Whole Human Wellness, running from July to December, students will learn how to approach health imbalances from both physiologic and energetic perspectives as a self-contained introduction to using plants and whole foods for oneself and one’s loved ones.
These short courses can be taken one at a time over many years, or as a sequence in one year. There is a certificate of completion available after taking all of the courses. Courses are open to all members of the community. Details, dates and costs of each course can be found on VCIH’s website, www.vtherbcenter.org.
VCIH is a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization dedicated to providing our community with healthcare resources
grounded in Nature. We offer free and sliding-scale herbal consultations through our clinics, community
workshops, and training programs for family and clinical herbalists.
Contact: Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism
252 Main Street Montpelier, VT 05602