Susan Leopold, PhD

Susan Leopold, PhD. Susan is an ethnobotanist and passionate defender of biodiversity. Over the past 20 years, Susan has worked extensively with indigenous peoples in Peru and Costa Rica. She is the Executive Director of United Plant Savers and Director of the Sacred Seeds Project. Prior to working at United Plant Savers she was a rare botanical book librarian at the Oak Spring Garden Library, specializing in digitizing rare herbals and botanical travel manuscripts. She currently serves on the Board of Directors for Botanical Dimensions and the Center for Sustainable Economy. She is an advisory board member of American Botanical Council and a co-founder of the Medicines from the Edge conference in Costa Rica. She is a proud member of the Patawomeck Indian Tribe of Virginia and the author of the children’s book Isabella’s Peppermint Flower, teaching about Virginia’s botanical history. She lives on and manages a productive farm, the Indian Pipe Botanical Sanctuary with her three children in Virginia, where she raises goats, peacocks and herbs. She is an avid recreational tree climber, in love with the canopy just as much as the herbs of the forest floor.

Conservation of Hawaiian Sandalwood and the Global Perspective of Sandalwood Diversity and Other At-Risk Wild Harvested Plants Used in Essential Oils

United Plant Savers held the International Sandalwood Symposium in 2012 to bring awareness to the plight of the 6 endemic species and to also bring those together that work with other endemic species around the world to address conservation issues. United Plant Savers has developed a simple to use At-Risk Assessment tool to evaluate native plants that are harvested for the medicinal trade industry. As the essential oil industry continues to grow, concern over wild harvested species also increases. United Plant Savers would like to share how the tool can be used by those engaged in sourcing, selling and using essential oils and care about conservation of these amazing aromatic plants. This class will go over the complex history of Hawaiian Sandalwood, how UpS used the tool, and other case studies that merit conservation concerns. UpS has two significant publications on the topic one in Herbalgram and the other in Journal of Ethnobiology Letters links below as well as our page on sandalwood listed on the UpS at-risk List.

Marco Valussi, BSc. (Hons.) Herbal 
Graciously Sponsored by IJPHA 

Marco Valussi gained his Diploma in Aromatherapy with ITHMA and then graduated in Herbal Medicine at Middlesex University. He’s been working with medicinal and aromatic plants, teaching, writing and consulting ever since. He’s currently involved in two distillation projects: “Gadoi” in the mountains near Verona, and a project in Nepal.

Quality and Ethical Issues in the World of Essential Oils: from Cultivation to Uses, the Need of a Virtuous Relationship Between Aromatherapists and Producers

As Aromatherapists and users of essential oils and aromatic plants we have a role and a responsibility with respect to the way these products are put into the market. There are many facets to this issue: the claims attached to these products; environmental sustainability of wild harvesting, cultivation and processing; social and cultural impacts of the industry, etc. Laws and regulations are of paramount importance to help regulate the trade in an ethical way, and to protect endangered species, as it has been done in the last few years by Cropwatch, or more generally by IUCN and Traffic.  However, I believe there is another aspect we should highlight: we can operate also by doing something positive instead of just not doing anything negative. In many poor countries or in degraded territories, cultivation of aromatic plants and their distillation can be a positive step towards the creation of a virtuous circle of micro-economy. It can help local people rediscover the aromatic flora and related traditions, create a local production chain whereby most of the economic margin remains in the territory, thereby increasing the annual income and reducing the migrations of youth towards the urban areas to find better jobs.  I believe as Aromatherapists we are in a crucial position, because we can contribute in the creation of ethical, sustainable production chains.

I will illustrate this point by using two practical examples from my professional experience: the first is the creation of a network of growers in the mountain regions of the Italian North-East, in Calabria and Sardinia, all territories characterized by the abandonment of the land and of traditional cultivations. The second in the mapping of Nepalese potentialities in producing essential oils and plant derivatives after the earthquake, in order to help the local economy in the long term, by showing where and how to intervene, and what products the country can offer to the foreign markets. This way, both the final costumers and the producers will benefit. The first ones will have access to products which help local economies without endangering local flora and social structures, ad produced according to specific standards of quality, the second ones will see the opening a new markets, the support to local traditions and hopefully a long term relationship.

This presentation addresses the issue of essential oils’ quality, showing the centrality of the collaboration between end-users and producers. Although end-of-the-production-chain controls such as GC-MS analyses are important, the alliance between like-minded professionals, and the production-chain control, are vital.

Learner objectives:
 • Learn about quality definition and quality issues in aromatherapy and their link to the market structure

 • Learn about end-of-production-chain quality tests, their strong points and their weaknesses
 • Learn about the virtuous and mutual relationship that can be crated between small, local producers and essential oils professionals, to ensure quality and support dedicated
 • Use the examples given as blueprints for future actions

Nyssa Hanger, MA, LMT, RYT 

Nyssa Hanger, MA, LMT, RYT is a second-generation aromatherapist and Assistant Director and Instructor for the Atlantic Institute of Aromatherapy. Founded in 1989 by Sylla Sheppard-Hanger, the Atlantic Institute provides premier education in aromatherapy and is one of the longest-running aromatherapy schools in the county. Nyssa teaches workshops in aromatherapy, works alongside Sylla in the Aromatherapy Practitioner Training Program, and assists in additional professional level classes with other practitioners including Robbi Zeck, Collen Dodt, Gabriel Mojay, and Robert Pappas. She is also a practicing massage and Aromatherapist for over 10 years. She is the founder of Upward Spiral Center for Healing and Transformation in her hometown of Tampa, FL and provides therapeutic massage, aromatherapy consultations, and classes for her community.

Lessons in Dialogue and the Future of Our Field

Most professional Aromatherapists have had the experience of entering into a conversation with another essential oil enthusiast, only to find this person’s background and experience is entirely different, seemingly misinformed or down-right unnerving (particularly in issues of safety). These can sometimes lead to heated conversations where neither party feels heard and but both feel frustrated. Whether that conversation is in person or on social media, between representatives of particular brands of products or professional Aromatherapists, most of us have wondered, “Why is this field so adversarial?”  

This presentation aims to unpack the issues involved in these unproductive conversations and offer a new way to proceed forward. Drawing from both real-life experience and decades of watching the complexities of disagreements among the leaders of this industry, the presenter will share how understanding the game rules of productive inter-religious dialogue has shaped the way she approaches these once difficult conversations that occur in her practice, retail business, and educational program.

Learner Objectives:
• Identify the elements of true dialogue
• Approach differing views with an open heart and mind
• Implement techniques of dialogue into aromatherapy practice


Linda is an Internationally trained CIDESCO Beauty Therapist, Clinical Aromatherapist, Holistic Health Practitioner, Integrative Health Coach and Dr Vodder’s Lymphedema Therapist.

She studied Aromatherapy with Eve Taylor, Dr. Daniel Penoel, Dr Claude Lapraz and Pierre Franchomme, Dr Bruce Berkowsky, Mark Webb and Kurt Schnaubelt and ahs been practicing for over 30 years. .

Linda Anne teaches an Aromatherapy certification program and is President of Beauty Kliniek Aromatherapy Day Spa and Wellness Center in San Diego. 

Lyme Disease-The Untold Story

Lyme disease (Lyme borreliosis), is an infectious disease that is transmitted by deer ticks to human . Patients suffer from many symptoms including chronic fatigue, brain fog, lowered immunity, inflammation, joint pains, sleep disturbances and chronic viral infection

Learn from a hands- on expert practitioner how to incorporate aromatherapy, lymph massage and detoxification into the treatment of this devastating disease.




Attendees will be able to :


  1. Understand the basics of Lyme disease and co-infections

  2. Evaluate symptoms that patients experience

  3. Identify essential oils which support patients with chronic Lyme disease

  4. Create an integrative therapy to support patients

  5. Understand the role of lymphatic massage and detoxification in this treatment.


Jennifer Jefferies, Aromatherapist, Naturopath, Author 

Jennifer Jefferies is one of Australia’s most respected authors and speakers in the area of health and wellbeing, working closely with some of the world’s most well known brands to restore work life balance and minimize presenteeism and absenteeism in their organizations.

Experiencing corporate burnout at 27 after a car accident, Jennifer got the wake-up call she needed to realize there is more to life than just having a successful career, and good health was the foundation to build it on. Turning away from her pharmaceutical management career Jennifer became a passionate naturopath, and for the last 25 years has helped countless individuals improve their lives so they can live their dreams, enjoy life and give back.

Subscribing to the philosophy that wealth and success mean nothing without your health, Jennifer authored the 7 Steps to Sanity and eleven other health-related titles, sharing practical real-life strategies to help teams and individuals improve their health, wellbeing and productivity by finding balance in their lives.

Known for her fun, humorous, no-nonsense approach to healthy living, and her proven ability to motivate others to make positive changes to their lives both inside and outside the workplace, Jennifer is a highly sought after presenter, speaking to corporations in more than a dozen countries including Australia, USA, Canada, New Zealand and South-East Asia.

Determined to leave the world a better place, Jennifer has also established The Q Foundation to give health, hope and happiness to children in poverty stricken countries through providing education, health care, accommodation and welfare services.

Short bio:

Jennifer has published 12 books including The Aromatherapy Insight Cards and has spoken in 13 countries.  She speaks to corporations throughout Australia and internationally, sharing practical real-life strategies that help people to improve their health, wellbeing and productivity by finding balance in their lives.

Building Your Aromatherapy Brand and Global Business

In Australia only 5% of natural therapists earn more than $50,000 per year. Sadly Aromatherapists make up a large percentage of that. In this session learn how Jen Jefferies took her Aromatherapy practice from working in a spare bedroom at home to being a global brand. In her no-nonsense Aussie way she will share the realities of building your Aromatherapy business and what's possible.

Beverly J Tepper, PhD

Individual Differences in Taste & Smell: Implications for Aroma and Flavor Perception and Mood

Individuals perceive flavors and aromas differently. Factors such as age, gender, genetic differences in perception and cultural background may all play a role in how individuals experience foods, scented products and ambient odors. Awareness of these personal characteristics can provide a deeper understanding of how scents influence our everyday lives. This presentation will explore several questions related to these individual differences, such as, why are certain aromas appealing to some and not to others? How do aromas alter arousal and mood states, and do they affect everyone in the same way? A brief workshop on the genetics of taste/aroma perception will follow the presentation.

Dr. Tepper is a professor in the Department of Food Science at Rutgers University where she directs the Sensory Evaluation Laboratory. She is also the co-founder and director of the newly-established Center for Sensory Sciences & Innovation (CSSI) at Rutgers. Her research program combines Food Sensory Science with Nutritional Science and Psychology to better understand the links between taste, diet and health. Dr. Tepper has published more than 80 scholarly articles and book chapters and her work has been frequently showcased in print and online media for the general public. She is the principal investigator for a National Science Foundation grant entitled, “Planning Workshop in the Sensory Sciences & Innovation.” This award is a stepping stone to establishing an NSF-sponsored Industry-University Cooperative Research Center (IUCRC) at Rutgers.

Tim Blakley

Tim is an aromatherapist/herbalist/educator for Aura Cacia/Frontier Co-op and has worked for Aura Cacia/Frontier Co-op since the early 1990’s. He has over 40 years of experience in the natural health profession. In the past he has been land manager, teacher and co-owner of the California School of Herbal Studies, Land Manager/herbalist for Herb Pharm and the founding director of the National Center for the Preservation of Medicinal Herbs. He has been on the board of directors of United Plant Savers for many years. He is the author of Medicinal Herbs in the Garden, Field and Marketplace, a contributing author to Planting the Future and the author of many articles on essential oils. He travels extensively for Aura Cacia doing education presentations as well as working with issues of supply, sustainability and especially working with smaller villages, co-ops and producers of essential oils. He teaches extensively around N. America and lives and practices aromatherapy from his homestead on the Big Island of Hawaii.

The World of Aromatherapy and the Importance of Sustainable Practices— What Aren’t we doing Right, and What are we doing Wrong

Both the Aromatherapy industry as well as the Herb Industry have to deal with the issues revolving around sustainable production. When sustainability goes out the door the end result is usually quality problems, adulteration and eventually higher prices. We’ve had numerous examples of this, both with famous wild plants like Frankincense, Myrrh, Sandalwood, Rosewood, Jatamansi, etc., but also with some lesser thought of oils like Rosehip and Argan.

There are other issues as well including fuel source, impact on local communities, harvesting the wrong varieties or species, and the ever present danger of the biggest enemy to our industry(besides greed), the ungulate. We’ll discuss solutions to some of these problems and how those involved in this industry can take a more active role in promoting a long term sustainable industry.

We’ll also have a little fun and discuss some of the new, and old, ‘myths’ in the essential oil world. 

John McGann, PhD, Associate Professor of Psychology, Behavioral and Systems Neuroscience, Rutgers University

John McGann received bachelor’s and master’s degrees in Psychology from Yale University in 1998, followed by a doctorate in Neuroscience from Yale in 2003. After postdoctoral training at Boston University, he became a faculty member in the Rutgers University Psychology Department in 2009 and was tenured in 2013. He directs a research laboratory at Rutgers that studies the olfactory system in humans and mice, including both the neural mechanisms by which the brain interprets odors and the psychological and perceptual effects of olfactory experience. Dr. McGann’s research is funded by grants from the National Institute on Mental Health and the National Institute on Deafness and Other Communication Disorders, parts of the federal National Institutes of Health. He has recently been awarded the Young Investigator Award from the Association for Chemoreception Sciences (AChemS) and the Distinguished Contribution to Undergraduate Education Award from Rutgers University. Dr. McGann teaches courses on the psychology of sensation and perception, scientific research design and communication, neuroscience methods, sensory neuroscience, and computational neuroscience at Rutgers. In the last year he has lectured on the olfactory system in eight different countries.

How Odors Change the Brain: Expectations and Experience Affect Odor Perception – Implications for Aromatherapy

Basic research on the olfactory system has surged since Buck and Axel cracked the genetic code for odor receptors (for which they won the Nobel Prize in 2005). As we have learned how the system interprets incoming odor information, it has become clear that the brain’s responses to odors are determined not just by the odors that are physically in the nose but also by the collected history of previous olfactory experiences. That means that the sense of smell is constantly changing and adapting. This talk will present a collection of recent findings from humans and laboratory mice showing that the odors in one’s living environment, experiences of encountering specific odors during positive or unpleasant experiences, and even just learning to expect a particular odor in particular circumstances can all change the brain itself and thus affect how odors are perceived and responded to by the body. By tapping into these brain mechanisms, it is possible to intentionally change how a person or mouse experiences the olfactory world. The talk will include some discussion of other influences on olfactory perception, including some of the biological reasons that men and women perceive odors differently and some preliminary evidence that emotional states like anxiety can influence and be influenced by olfaction. The talk will conclude with concrete takeaways that are relevant to Aromatherapists, such as the importance of the smell of the client’s home, the ability to appreciate that the client’s perception of an odor may not be the same as the therapist’s, and the idea that changing brains may entail changing aromatherapy needs.


Jim Simon, PhD, Distinguished Professor Plant Biology  

Dr. Simon, Distinguished Professor of Biology, Director of the New Use Agriculture and Natural Plant Products Program Rutgers University, and Co-Founder of the Rutgers Center for Sensory Sciences and Innovation has a long history with aromatic plants, essential oils, and those using such plants and products. While a Professor at Purdue University, Dr. Simon started the international short courses in 1993 in essential oils and other intensive training programs in medicinal and aromatic plants. In 2000, when Dr. Simon moved over to Rutgers, he brought these programs with him. These workshops bridged the connection between basic and applied sciences with chemistry, ethnobotany, production, processing and applications of aromatic oils and medicinals. Over 250 scientists, practitioners, healers and medical doctors and health care professionals from more than 35 countries participated in these programs, with many adapting these programs to their countries and needs. Simons expertise is in plant genetic diversity aromatic volatiles/essential oils. Simon also breeds plants for unique and diverse aroma’s with several of his releases being All American Selection Awards, others geared for larger-scale commercial production. His international work in aromatic and medicinal plants is well known and his prime focus has been on exploring and helping communities develop and preserve their indigenous natural resources.

Discovery of  Aromas from Sub-Sahara Africa and the Link to Community Development: Tales  from Madagascar, Namibia, Rwanda, and Liberia  

Coming Soon!



Ron Guba, Educator (Aromatic Medicine)

Ron Guba is Australia's leading proponent of aromatic medicine, having studied and practiced the therapeutic use of essential oils as a form of potent herbal medicine since the early 1980's.

Ron has lectured extensively throughout Australia and internationally on the principles and practice of aromatic medicine and other complementary medicine topics.

The Modern Alchemy of Carbon Dioxide Extraction: Potent Extracts for the Practice of Aromatic Medicine

Supercritical and liquid carbon dioxide extraction creates very pure aromatic extracts which are more true to the original plant than steam distilled essential oils. A variety of carbon dioxide extracts are excellent for therapeutic use in both ingested and topical preparations.

In this presentation we will consider:
• Supercritical fluid extraction – development and principles of operation.
• Carbon dioxide extracts as compared to distilled essential oils and solvent extracted absolutes – differences in composition and therapeutic activity.
• Carbon dioxide extracts with unique therapeutic benefits, such as Calendula, German Chamomile, Ginger, True Lavender, Rosemary, Hypericum and more.
• Safety in use – food & flavour use as compared to therapeutic dosages.

We will enjoy sampling a wide selection of carbon dioxide extracts.

Cynthia Brownley, MS, LMT, CA, RA and Joy Musacchio, MA, LMT, CCA, RA 

Cynthia Brownley MS, CCA, RA, LMT and Joy Musacchio MA, CCA, RA, LMT  are certified clinical Aromatherapists and have been working with essential oils for over 25 years. They have been working with flower essences and essential oils since 1987. Over the years they have experienced many different types of flower essences.  We have used flower essences in our personal life, our massage practice and our aromatherapy practice.  In 2010, they co-founded Stillpoint Aromatics, an essential oil company that imports approximately 300 organic, unsprayed and wild harvested essential oils, hydrosols, and resins from distillers worldwide. All of the essential oils at Stillpoint Aromatics are GC/MS tested for their chemical composition, but of equal importance is the energetic and vibrational component.  Cynthia and Joy hand pour each essential oil with conscious intention for the individual when an order is received.  Recently, they have begun distilling and teaching distillation workshops as well!

Out of the Therapeutic Bottle and Into the Energetic Garden: The Connection Between Plants, Essential Oils, and Flower Essences

The recent trend over the past few years in aromatherapy seems to have been a tremendous focus on the therapeutic use and chemistry and GCMS reports. The “whole” value of the plant or tree also seems to have taken a back seat to the medicinal value of certain chemical components.  We hear so frequently, “There is an oil for that” and while there is truth to this statement, there are also other botanical preparations that are good for “that”.  It seems that many are turning to essential oils first for everything. For example, for a digestive upset, the question we are often asked is can I ingest the Fennel essential oil?  In our opinion it would be much better to have a cup of Fennel tea.  We do believe that the chemistry and knowing the chemical constituents is extremely important and essential oils are powerful healing plant medicine, but there are other botanical preparations such as tinctures, infusions, and flower essences that may, at times, be more fitting and most certainly may be added as a wonderful complement to the use of essential oils.

Learner Outcomes:
• Discuss what a flower essence is and a bit about the history of how they came to be
• Discuss the importance of the “electrical system” of the human body and how flower essences can assist in healing
• Illustrate how to make your own flower or plant essence
• The slight difference between a flower essence and plant essence
• Talk about the connection between the plants, trees, flower essences and essential oils
• Demonstrate the different application methods when using flower essences
• How to use flower essences in blending with essential oils (and hydrosols )
• How to blend flower essences with each other to create flower essence synergistic blend
• Discuss the correlation between flower essences and the essential oil that come from the same plant or tree
• What types of situations or conditions that are ideal to use flower essences
• When to choose a flower essence instead of an essential oil…when to combine a flower essence with an essential oil

Bevin Clare, LDN, RH

Bevin Clare, is a clinical herbalist, nutritionist, and Associate Professor at the Maryland University of Integrative Health. Bevin blends traditional uses of plants with modern science and contemporary healthcare strategies. She is the President of the American Herbalists Guild and a board member of the United Plant Savers.  

Medicines as Foods: Using Medicinal and Herbal Foods in Clinical Practice

Integrate medicine into your everyday life with medicinal foods. Using creative preparations such as nutty herbal balls, healthful cocktails and mocktails, infused oatmeals, herbal pestos, herbal powder preparations and so many other ways you can bring healthful medicines into your everyday life. Explore creative ways to provide sustainable self-care and innovative strategies to serve your clients in clinical practice.

Learner Objectives:
• Be able to use therapeutics botanicals in at least five food based medicinal formats.
• Be able to safely adopt the therapeutic use of at least three medicinal plants into clinical practice.
• Be able to promote self-care strategies using botanicals in personal and clinical care.

Kelly Ablard, PhD, EOT, RA 

Kelly Ablard is a certified Aromatherapist and holds a PhD in Chemical Ecology. She is an educator, and a researcher who studies medicinal plants, conservation, sustainability, and chemical communication. She sits on the Boards of the BCAPA and the Tisserand Institute, and received the BCAOA 2016 Achievement of Excellence Award.

Exploring Traditional Medicine as a Form of Aromatherapy in Peru

Attendees will be introduced to non-clinical research design and methodology. They will also gain knowledge of the prevalence of traditional medicine in Peru and how Aromatherapy is one form of TM practiced there. Aromatic medicinal plants and where they are found and harvested throughout Peru, and which same plants are being used in North America in aromatherapy will be examined. Peruvian extraction methods (e.g. heat, solvent, water, and lipid) and application methods (e.g. inhalation, topical, and oral) of aromatic plant medicine will be discussed and compared to those methods in North America. The differences between how Peruvians and North American Aromatherapists learn about and share their knowledge of aromatic plant medicine will be revealed – notably the differences lie in non-written records and plant-human communication. Awareness will be drawn to the serious impact that overharvesting and climate change has on the conversation status and sustainability of aromatic plant medicine. How Peruvians are dealing with these factors (e.g. greenhouses and reforestation projects) will be shown; and ways in which Aromatherapists can also help in Peru and in North America will be discussed. Said ways include collecting more scientific data, supporting sustainable practice of essential oil-bearing plants, using essential oils.

This talk will report on the research I carried out in Peru as a way to gain an understanding of the use and sustainability of aromatic plant medicine throughout Peru. I will address four key topics: 1) traditional medicine as a form of Aromatherapy in Peru, 2) Peruvian extraction and application methods of aromatic plant medicine, 3) uses of Peruvian aromatic plant medicine, and 4) sustainability practices and conservation issues germane to Peruvian aromatic medicinal plants.

This presentation will cover novel research conducted throughout Peru to identify and understand the use of aromatic plant medicine by shamans and communities as a form of traditional medicine within the context of aromatherapy practiced in North America; and to determine sustainability management and conservation statuses of aromatic medicinal plants.

Learner Outcomes:
• Explore field research methodology
• Explore extraction methods and uses of aromatic plant medicine as a form of aromatherapy in Peru
• Explore Peruvian aromatic medicinal plants being used in traditional medicine
• Examine factors impacting the conservation status of aromatic medicinal plants in Peru and in other parts of the world
• Explore threatened essential and carrier oil-bearing plants in Peru and in other parts of the world
• Examine sustainability and conservation efforts in place to protect aromatic medicinal plants
• Examine some practices to help protect and preserve aromatic medicinal plants
• Develop skills to help identify threatened aromatic plant species

Dorene Petersen, BA, Dip.NT, Dip.Acu, RH (AHG) 

Dorene Petersen is President and Founder of American College of Healthcare Sciences, an accredited, online, holistic health college. She has over 35 years of clinical experience in aromatherapy and has presented papers on essential oils and clinical aromatherapy at several international conferences. Dorene currently serves as Chair of the Aromatherapy Registration Council.

Clinical Use of Aromatherapy for Brain Health: 7 Essential Oils

This presentation examines the impact of enzymes and neurotransmitters for brain health and explores the clinical use of Black Pepper, Coriander, Clove, Greek sage, Lavender, Rosemary, and Spanish Sage essential oils. We will review research supporting the beneficial impact these oils have on acetylcholine balance and their support for memory retention and aging populations with a focus on clinical aromatherapy and in-home use.

Learner Objectives:

• Recall the impact enzymes and neurotransmitters have on brain health
• Summarize the relationship between Aromatherapy and brain health, including Black Pepper, Coriander, Clove, Greek Sage, Lavender, Rosemary, and Spanish sage essential oils
• Examine the potentially beneficial impact essential oils may have on acetylcholine balance as demonstrated in clinical research
• Examine the potentially beneficial support essential oils may have on memory retention and aging populations
• Explain how to use Aromatherapy for memory retention and with aging populations in clinical Aromatherapy and at-home settings

Kathy Duffy, LPN, MH, CCAP/I

Kathleen Duffy LPN MH CCAP/I: Nurse, Medical Herbalist, Certified Clinical Aromatherapy Practitioner/Instructor  began her career in 1965 working as a critical care nurse. In 1978, opened Herbarium, an herb and supplement shop in Massachusetts. 1997-1999, she studied Clinical Aromatherapy with Jane Buckle RN PhD. Since 2000, Kathleen has been teaching Clinical Aromatherapy for Health Professionals and the M Technique for RJ Buckle Associates, LLC throughout the USA and in Ireland. She was the clinical Aromatherapist, in house & on an acute behavior health unit at Cooley Dickinson Hospital in Northampton, MA for three years.

The Spirit Side of Herbal Medicine and Aromatherapy

The lecture will focus on the importance of including a spiritual component to our use of plant medicine. We are such a "disposable" society that it would be a shame to treat our plants and their gifts in the same manner. Do we take them for granted?  Do we express our gratitude and respect for their healing?  Are we in awe of their power? Have we traded the "magic" of plant medicine for scientific validation? How can we utilize both? How can we even attempt to understand the complex, mystery of synergy, and should we even try?  Are we so enamored with essential oils that we forget where they came from in the first place? Do we feel competition between those modalities or ignore one for the other? As teachers, we have a responsibility to promote/support ethical harvesting, replace what we use, express gratitude and teach the young ones to do the same. A discussion on expressing gratitude, appreciation and respect for all plant medicine; especially, herbs and essential oils. Are we, as teachers, spreading the word on ethical harvesting, replacing what we use, saying 'thank you' and teaching the young ones to do the same? Are we, as an industry, focused on chemistry and research so much that we have forgotten the healing "magic" given to us, especially, through synergy? 

Learner Outcomes:
• Explore–appreciation for the healing so freely given to us by plants. How we are in their debt.  Herbs and essential oils...each offers their own healing but work so well together.
• Examine–some examples (anecdotally) of healing accomplished by essential oils and herbs. Shared via lecture: before and after photos, and audience participation to share some of our healing experiences (especially, the ones that took our  breath away with the sheer power of herbs/essential oils to promote healing and relieve suffering).
•  Develop–further appreciation and pass this appreciation on to the generations to come.

Kathleen Maier, RH (AHG), PA

Kathleen has been a practicing herbalist for over twenty –five years. She is currently director of Sacred Plant Traditions in Charlottesville, VA where she offers a Three Year Clinical/Community Herbalist training program. SPT’s free clinic was one of the first on the east coast and is still growing strong. She teaches at the University of Virginia as well as national and international conferences. She sits on the United Plant Savers Board and was the recipient of their first Medicinal Plant Conservation Award. Kathleen’s studies of plants began as a Peace Corps volunteer in Chile and her training as a Physician’s Assistant allows her to weave the language of medicine we know today with traditional energetic systems. She is co-author of Bush Medicine of San Salvador Island, Bahamas.

Plant Spirit Medicine - A Call for Everyday Engagement

The presentation will explore the history of indigenous peoples’ relationships with the spirits of the plants. We will journey back through time with stories from healers to ethnobotanists about  the profound nature of this aspect of plant medicine. We will look at the relevance of this acknowledgement today in contemporary medicine and participants will learn simple techniques to begin this path of exploration and relationship in their own practice.

Learner Outcomes:
• Provide historical context of how indigenous people work with this aspect of plant medicine
• Show current research and educational opportunities that exist today to support the continuance of this practice
• Introduce Plant Spirit Medicine as the fundamental relationship one has with plants they grow for medicine, food, aroma or pleasure
• Give experiential exercises that participants can effectively employ to deepen their relationships with plants and understand the meaning of this term from a corporeal aspect as versus intellectual one.


Nadim A. Shaath, PhD

Dr. Nadim Shaath received his PhD in Organic Chemistry from the University of Minnesota. He then joined the Faculty at the State University of New York at Purchase and served as the Chairman of the Chemistry Department at SUNY-Purchase. He was the President and CEO of KATO Worldwide; a flavor, fragrance, sunscreen and essential oil company. He is currently the President of Alpha Research and Development, a research, sourcing and product development company in the fields of essential oils and sunscreens. Alpha has laboratories and warehouse facilities in New York, New Jersey and Florida. Alpha promotes proprietary essential oils from Egypt and India.

Dr. Shaath is a frequent speaker/moderator at many scientific meetings and is the author of numerous articles in chemical, flavor, pharmaceutical, cosmetic, food and sunscreen journals and publications. He writes a column in HAPPI magazine entitled “The Sunscreen Filter”. He is the author of four books on sunscreens and ultraviolet filters and has just published his new book entitled Healing Civilizations: The Search for Therapeutic Essential Oils and Nutrients (Cameron Books).

The Search for Therapeutic Essential Oils and Nutrients

Dr. Shaath’s will share information from his new book Healing Civilizations: The Search for Therapeutic Essential Oils and Nutrients (2017). This book is the culmination of his personal journey around the world over the past 25 years, seeking out and rediscovering essential oils and therapeutic nutrients used since antiquity. In his travels with award-winning photojournalist Thomas Hartwell, he scoured the world for the secrets of the past, searching for time-tested natural remedies that were recorded in early pharmacopeias, etched on temple walls, or handed down orally. He met with farmers, scientists, industrialists, and historians in his quest to uncover these ancient treasures of natural healing practices and ingredients. He chronicled his discoveries across time and geography, analyzing dozens of ingredients and techniques using modern instrumentation and cataloguing the data in usable and practical form.

His presentation will feature a 9-minute video on ancient civilization’s healing practices and their techniques of extraction of essential oils, including enfleurage, as well as modern methods of utilizing essential oils and therapeutic nutrients in healing and relaxation.

Timothy Miller, ND, MAc, LAc, RA 

Dr. Tim is a naturopathic physician, licensed acupuncturist, and registered aromatherapist. He is a graduate of the National College of Natural Medicine (NCNM) in Portland, OR. He is a chemistry nerd fascinated by the chemistry found in the natural world. Fueled by the abundant, potent, and unique components within Aromatherapy, Dr. Tim has sought to understand how essential oils act on the body and identify which clinical applications are best incorporated into practice. Dr. Tim believes deeply in Docere (the naturopathic medicine tenet of ‘Doctor as Teacher’) and loves to teach. He is a speaker, teacher, practitioner, and contributing author. He believes learning should be fun and makes every attempt to engage his students in a profound and meaningful way.

Practical Pharmacokinetics

In this presentation, we will explore the pharmacokinetics of Aromatherapy–how the body interacts with essential oil components and how they are metabolized and excreted. Pharmacokinetics is not just a fancy term, irrelevant to aromatic practice; it is a vital aspect of Aromatherapy and enables practitioners to maximize their effects.

For instance: did you know that carvacrol, a key compound in essential oils such as Oregano (Origanum vulgare), is excreted rapidly in the urine making it strongly indicated for urinary tract infections? Did you know that thymol, found in essential oils such as Thyme (Thymus vulgaris), is metabolized in a way that increases its concentration in the lungs, making it exceptionally potent for lower respiratory tract infections?

Pharmacokinetics is of crucial importance to those seeking to fully understand the therapeutic dynamics of essential oils. Its implications for aromatic practice make it a compelling and vastly interesting topic.

Learner Objectives:
• Explore the key concepts of pharmacokinetics
• Examine specific examples of how pharmacokinetics and essential oil components
• Develop an appreciation for and ability to use the understanding of pharmacokinetics to enhance Aromatherapy practice and maximize results 


Paul Goetz, MD, Phytotherapist, Body Mediated Psychotherapist 

Dr. Goetz is a medical doctor at the Strasbourg Medical School and has been in practice since 1976. He is a teacher at the University Phyto-Aromatherapy Faculté de Médecine de Bobigny (Paris Nord XIII) from 1986-1990 and returned in1999. His memberships include: the Scientific Committee of Phyt’Arom Grasse (Plantes et aromathérapie) and the German Phytotherapy Association - Fed. Eur. 3Psy (European Psychotherapist Federation). He is the author of five books and the editor of four journals including Phytothérapie (published in French).

Aromatherapy in France: An Overview of the Pathologies Indicated, Methods of Prescription, Delivery, and Use by Health Professionals

Dr. Goetz will give an overview of Aromatherapy as it is practiced in France. Medical Aromatherapy is very varied and involves many fields and indications. Dr. Goetz will give examples of use according to the most common pathologies in town medicine and in hospital medicine. External use of Aromatherapy will be discussed as well as internal use (with secure examples). The methods vary according to the professional users: doctors, midwives, physiotherapists, nurses and their mode of prescription following the French legislation.

Leslie Moldenauer, CHNC, HHP, CA  

Leslie has been studying natural living and holistic wellness for over 10 years. She is the owner of, a trusted resource that covers essential oil safety and encompasses all that natural living has to offer. Leslie is passionate about providing education and tools to help others make decisions regarding safety above all things when utilizing aromatherapy in the home. She earned her degree in Complementary and Alternative Medicine (CAM) at the American College of Healthcare Sciences in Portland, Oregon. She is currently earning an advanced diploma in Aromatic Medicine and has trained with Aromatherapy researcher and educator Robert Tisserand. Her book, Essential Oils: Safe Use for the Home was published in 2016.

Essential Oil Safety for Babies and Children: Overcoming Industry Trends

Discover how to move past dangerous, one-size-fits-all approaches to Aromatherapy for babies/children. Explore key considerations around blending for babies/children, understand signs of toxicity/adverse reaction, learn how to effectively and safely leverage Aromatherapy with babies/children, and connect with credible resources to empower your work.

Learner Objectives:
• Explain the key safety considerations surrounding essential oil use for babies/ children
• Compare and contrast the signs of toxicity of essential oils in the body. Go over adverse reaction and what to do in case of accidental poisoning.
• Discuss a variety of ways to combat the increasingly frivolous industry trends.
• Discuss ways to create a unified, higher standard for the use of essential oils with children to avoid the current one-size-fits-all approach.
• Connect with credible resources to empower your work.


Pam Conrad, PGd, BSN, RN, CCAP   

Aromatic Complementary Therapies for Women’s Health is her specialty. Since 2008, her Women’s Health/OB Clinical Aromatherapy curriculum is the first and only evidence-based course in the US. It is the foundation for multiple hospital nursing and midwifery aromatherapy programs. In the US, she has served as clinical Aromatherapy educator and hospital consultant for multiple women’s health, pediatric and hospice programs as well as five years as an onsite CAM nurse consultant for a large hospital pharmacy developing compounded therapeutic blends and a private women’s health practice. In 2012, she conducted clinical aromatherapy research with statistically significant positive results on Clinical Aromatherapy for High Risk Postpartum Anxiety and Depression (Complementary Therapies in Clinical Practice). In 2015 and 2016, advancing her women’s health aromatic and herbal programs to South America she developed curriculum in Spanish for midwives in Chile.

Integrative Aromatic Herbal Medicine for Gynecological Conditions—Menses, Infertility, PMS, Menopause

The presentation will focus on the main gynecological conditions seen in medical practices today that also have a long history of successful herbal treatment outside of orthodox medicine. Based in an outpatient hospital pharmacy with the role of sourcing evidence-based herbal supplements, educating healthcare professionals and consulting with clients, a wide variety of cases were treated by Pam Conrad. 

Pam will explore integration of modern day Aromatherapy alongside a wide range of herbal  preparations for the emotional and physical symptoms of women’s healthcare conditions. “An inside out approach” is often called for when practicing Women’s Health with a natural medicine toolbox. Pam will share information on current best practice integrating Aromatherapy, herbal medicine and various potentiating techniques with multiple GYN conditions. Multiple herbal aromatic case studies will be shared.

Learner objectives:
• Integrative knowledge of herbal therapies with Aromatherapy for basic GYN conditions
• Describe appropriate aromatic herbal options for gynecologic care
• Identify best evidence-based sources for herbal and Aromatherapy for women’s healthcare conditions

Ron Guba, Educator (Aromatic Medicine) 

Ron Guba is Australia's leading proponent of aromatic medicine, having studied and practiced the therapeutic use of essential oils as a form of potent herbal medicine since the early 1980's.

Ron has lectured extensively throughout Australia and internationally on the principles and practice of aromatic medicine and other complementary medicine topics.

Beyond Aromatherapy: On the Principles and Practice of Aromatic Medicine

In the present day, Aromatherapy is a popular ‘fad’ therapy, promoted in the general media and exploited in a variety of consumer and MLM products. ‘Holistic Aromatherapy’ is not seen by many to be a serious form of complementary medicine.

Beyond Aromatherapy is a consideration of the more in-depth therapeutic applications of essential oils and aromatic extracts as employed in the practice of Aromatic Medicine. French physicians and naturopaths have for many years employed essential oils as a form of potent herbal medicine.

In this approach, essential oils are used in all possible methods of applications: oral ingestion, eye, ear, nose and throat preparations and on. Aromatic Medicine, in this light, is a perfect partner with herbal medicine in general, which French practitioners have named Phyto-aromathérapie.

In this workshop we will consider:
• What is Aromatic Medicine? Comparison of the “French” practice of Aromatic Medicine with the “English” practice of Holistic Aromatherapy.
• The applications of Aromatic Medicine. What types of disorders are most amenable to treatment with aromatic extracts, with examples of formulae.
• Aromatic Pharmacy. Discussion and demonstration of preparing aromatic prescriptions for oral ingestion, topical, vaginal, respiratory and more.
• Safety in practice. What is realistic essential oil safety? The practice of Aromatherapy has suffered both from uninformed and exaggerated cautions relative to the use of essential oils (what I have called ‘toxicity myths’), as well as individuals and ‘Aromatherapy’ companies promoting potentially dangerous dosage levels and methods of application.

Raphael d'Angelo, MD, CA 

Dr. Raphael d’Angelo is a holistic medical doctor and owner of the Center for Holistic and Integrative Medicine and ParaWellness Research Program. He served AIA as its first president and is currently serving in the capacity of AIA's Medical Advisor. He is a contributing author to medical, holistic and Aromatherapy newsletters, articles and textbooks. As a teacher in the Aromatherapy field, Dr. d’Angelo has motivated doctors, nurses and other holistic healers to embrace Aromatherapy through coursework in aromatic medicine. His training in microbiology has led to research on the effect of essential oils on microorganisms and this has progressed to the invention of AromaTab™ for the treatment of numerous infections.

Protecting Yourself and Your Healthcare Practice from Government Intrusion and Harassment: Steps to Take Now!

The practice of any form of health care as it relates to non-conventional or natural practices is under increasing attack by government, industry and media.

The American educational system over the years has failed to equip its graduates with knowledge of the valid protections and checks on government power that are readily available. In this workshop we will explore aspects of US history that have been downplayed or omitted from our education that have a direct application to our personal healthcare and our activities as natural healthcare providers, as health related retailers, as teachers and students. You will be glad you attended as you walk out with an individualized concrete powerful plan for your future.

Learner Outcomes:
• Understand the historical framework that allows for intrusions and harassments
• Be provided with constitutional and private protections readily available
• Have an opportunity to complete one or more Ninth Amendment Declarations
• Will be empowered with ways to deflect government interference should it occur

Pre-Conference Workshops:

Mindy Green, MS, RA, RH (AHG)  

Mindy is an herbalist, esthetician, and aromatherapist, and has written and taught extensively on medical botany and natural lifestyles in her 40+ year career. She is an advisory board member of the American Botanical Council (HerbalGram magazine), and teaches aromatherapy for the University of Arizona’s Center for Integrative Medicine; she consults through her company

Kathi Keville

Kathi Keville, renowned herbalist and author, lives surrounded by herb gardens at Green Medicine Herb School, which offers a year-round program, including an Herbal Apprenticeship. Her lively, engaging seminars on medicinal herbs, aromatherapy, organic gardening, and sustainable foraging are offered in North America and Europe. Kathi has written 15 herb books, over 150 magazine articles, and is American Herb Association director.

Aroma Herbalism in the Garden - A Practical Herb Walk (Rutgers Gardens) (2 hr)($60, includes transportation fee)

Discover the local flora and create a more intimate relationship with the plant-source of essential oils.  There is no better learning tool than seeing, touching, smelling and experiencing plants first hand. We will identify local herbs (medicinal and culinary) and discuss their uses and applications as you discover your “totem herb.” We will cover the importance of sustainable wildcrafting and harvesting, herbal cultivation, various methods of drying and the ultimate in practical herbalism: their potential in herb-al/aromatic preparations. For hands-on preparations extend your learning to the next workshop.

Learner Objectives:
• Identify local plants and their therapeutic uses.
• Empower each participant to connect with botanicals in a way that enhances both intellectual understanding and spiritual development.
• Understanding the principles of wildcrafting, drying and storage of herbs.

Herbalism, Medicine Making and Aromatherapy
(Rutgers Gardens, includes transportation) (4 hr) ($135, includes transportation fee and materials)

Whether you grow, wildcraft or buy your herbs this workshop will empower participants with making herbal preparations that will maximize your aromatherapy treatments. We will explore the combined uses of herbs and essential oils in the diverse applications that have been employed in herbal medicine for millennia - including hands-on demos of poultices, herbal infused carrier oils, salves, tinctures, syrups, elixirs and suppositories. This class will also touch on culinary delights such as herbal jams and aroma extracts for food flavoring; includes handouts.

Learner Objectives:
• Observe and learn hands-on preparations of a variety of herbal products.
• Gain an understanding of how herbs and essential oils can complement each other for synergistic effects that lead to more successful outcomes.
• Learn the possibilities and parameters of culinary herbs and their therapeutic applications.


Rodolfo Juliani, PhD

H. Rodolfo Juliani is a Plant Biologist and Assistant Research Professor at the Plant Biology and Pathology Department at Rutgers University. His field of expertise is in the biology, chemistry and quality of essential oils and hydrosols. Dr. Juliani has published several research articles on essential oils and contributed to the development of the essential oil industry for income generation. He serves as the Quality Assurance and Quality Control Coordinator for the international development programs PFID/NP and ASNAPP, and as the Associate Director of the New Use Agriculture and Natural Plant Products program (NUANPP), Dept. of Plant Biology and Pathology, and School of Environmental and Biological Sciences (SEBS).

Guide to Quality Control of Essential Oils from the Field and Forest to the Bottle (includes lectures, and a tour of the lab and greenhouses at Rutgers University) (5 hr)

• Primer on how plants produce these aromas
• Primer on how essential oils are obtained from distilled to extraction
• Primer on how essential oils are chemically profiled
• Issues on adulteration and purity
• Grades and Standards: An example of Oil of Geranium
• Greenhouse Tour
• Laboratory Tour - Practicum on physicochemical properties and GC/MS and more


Peter Holmes, LAc, MH

Peter Holmes LAc, MH, is a medical herbalist and practitioner of Oriental Medicine. Over 35 years he has developed numerous physiological, psychological and energetic medicine applications for essential oils in clinical practice. Peter is co-creator with Tiffany Pollard of Aroma Acupoint TherapyTM. He is author of several acclaimed textbooks on herbal and essential oil medicine, including Aromatica, Clinical Aromatherapy, The Energetics of Western Herbs and Jade Remedies.

Functional Diagnostics in Clinical Aromatherapy: Using the Six Conditions to Treat the Terrain with Essential Oils   (Cook Campus Student Center) (5 hr)

As holistic practitioners we strive to develop models of an authentic practitioner-client relationship based on wellness and prevention rather than on disease. This raises the need to incorporate a sound system of functional diagnosis that can bridge the gap between client evaluation and treatment with essential oils. Based on the diagnostic models of Oriental, Ayurvedic and Greek medicine, the Six Conditions can fill this gap by helping the practitioner quickly and accurately determine the underlying condition or terrain giving rise to symptoms. It goes beyond symptom relief to address the whole person. The Six Conditions of holistic diagnosis is an integrated system of functional diagnostics. A dynamic, intuitive model, it allows us to evaluate a client on many levels; e.g. the levels of physical tissues, organ systems or the systemic condition with its emotional and mental aspects. Each Condition presents a typical symptom picture that guides the practitioner to a correct evaluation of the terrain and then an accurate selection of the appropriate essential oils. Because essential oils affect body, emotions and psyche through the various pathways of absorption, they are ideally suited for a holistic treatment of underlying terrain imbalances. Representative case histories to illustrate the treatment of various common conditions will be discussed, including some typical oil formulations used and their applications.

Learner Outcomes: 
• Why and when to treat a client's systemic underlying terrain condition rather than relieve symptoms
• Outline of the symptom pictures for each condition as it expresses in physical, mental and emotional characteristics and symptoms
• Practice Six-Condition evaluations in small groups and creating blends
• How to select and combine appropriate essential oils for each condition and for combinations of various conditions
• How to choose the best method of delivery for different conditions: inhalation, topical applications, environmental, etc.