Your Guide

100 1923

Leah Wolfe

Leah is the archetypal herbalist. You know the one. The one who lives at the edge of town, at the edge of the woods, with all the weird plants. Leah directs the Trillium Center (trilliumcenter.org), an educational project for natural arts, and offers musings, traditional medicine, and more at stickmedicine.org.

Questions? Comments? Email me!

About this course

Many traditional healing practices look to the elements to understand the body, spirit, and mind. Too little and too much of an element creates imbalance. Fire is hot, Earth is cool, Water represents damp, Air represents dry, and Vitality is a continuum that spins throughout the other four elements. I’ve looked to Wonderland as a way to understand traditional herbalism and to breathe new life into an old story.

This 7-week exploration of traditional methods for self assessment and herbal healing will give you an elemental perspective of yourself and your environment. Learn to identify elemental  signs in the face and body, the elemental actions of the herbs, environmental factors, and how to match the herbs to your patterns. Learn about what you see in the looking glass from a new perspective.

Knowing when to use a particular herb and who to use it for is vital. You need a solid understanding of the human body and how to use plants. Without this knowledge, use of herbs can be ineffective, inappropriate, or even worsen a condition or pattern. Most people start out by looking up “herbs for (type disease, condition, or symptom here)”. Using herbs to treat symptoms can lead to disappointing results. A cold and dry herb, like willow bark, in a cold and dehydrated person will likely worsen not soothe a headache. There are many herbs for headaches, but more importantly which herb is right for you?

Learning to use herbs within a tradition is more effective and safer than trying to use herbs simply to treat conditions or symptoms. This class is about learning to match herbs to your needs using traditional western herbalism. Traditional western herbalism means that the lessons are in plain English, influenced by European and North American herbalism, and focused on using herbs that are commonly available in the northern hemisphere. And of course, following Alice through the looking glass adds a new dimension to herbalism. 

The program starts with an introduction and steps for preparation. Then each week you will access six online lessons to help you take what you learn and put it into practice, there will be three online Zoom meetings for an interactive experience with your guide, an herbal safety guide, 24+ herb profiles including the what, when, how, where, and why for using herbs safely and effectively. Lessons will be released weekly on Tuesdays and can be completed throughout the week. 

You will learn: 

  • the tradition of vitalism
  • herbal and human energetics
  • assessment techniques for looking at the face, tongue, skin, and nails
  • assessment by body system
  • 24 +herbs for balancing and nourishing
  • how to track changes and identify food and chemical sensitivities
  • protocol for herbal safety 


Zoom Meetings

Once a month Leah will offer online meetings to everyone enrolled in the class. Meet Leah, ask questions, develop personal strategies and herbal plans as a small group. The Zoom meetings will require use of the Zoom app which can be downloaded to computers or phones. You must register for these separately by contacting Leah. You can attend as often as you want. Cost per session = $40


Lesson 1 - How to Prepare for This Course

  • setting intention
  • opposites
  • deficiencies checklist
  • elemental checklist
  • symptom tracker
  • herbal safety

Lesson 2 - Red Queen, White Queen

  • Excess and Deficiency
  • Color
  • Taste
  • Homeostasis

Lesson 3 - The Duchess and the White Knight 

  • indicators of heat vs. cold patterns
  • cooling and warming herbs

Lesson 4 - Wool and Water, or the Mock Turtle, or perhaps the Pool of Tears?

  • indicators of damp vs. dry patterns
  • drying and moistening herbs

Lesson 5 - The Caterpillar’s Mushroom

  • building vs. draining
  • assessing for building or draining as a strategy
  • building and draining herbs

Lesson 6 - Dreaming into Reality

  • what it means to have personal herbal traditions
  • methods of delivery (when and how to use herbs)
  • steps to put it all into practice 

Lesson 7 -  Time in Wonderland

  • when and how to reassess
  • tracking old patterns and identifying new patterns



Tech requirements: internet access, Zoom for those participating in the online live meetings. 

Photo © Colin Smith (cc-by-sa/2.0)