Instructors and Guest Instructors
Being part of our herbalist training program allows for unique opportunities to study with some highly sought after instructors who otherwise rarely make it to the Northwest.
Director, Founder, Instructor, Clinical Faculty
Clinical Herbalist and Nutritional Educator
Chris has always had a strong connection to plants and the natural world. For his earliest health and nature education, he is very grateful for his father and their countless hours spent walking and canoeing the fields, woods, rivers and mountains of upstate New York, and he is deeply indebted to his mother for giving him his earliest training in nutrition, as she prepared delicious, nutritious meals for their large family, never taking a day off.
Since then Chris has been blessed to have the opportunity to continue his education with amazing health experts throughout the country, and on his journeys in India, Nepal and China.
Chris is a Holistic Clinical Herbalist, practitioner, educator and researcher who integrates modern research with traditional wisdom. He counts among his teachers the Physiomedicalists, and Eclectic doctors, Sages, Seers, Rishis, Wise Woman, and Indigenous Healers of the Mediterranean, Middle East, Asia, and the Americas.
Chris’s primary current influences, inspirations, and research are in Traditional Herbalism, Functional Medicine, Evolutionary/Ancestral health, Neurohacking and Holistic Lifestyle Optimization.
Chris’s passion is to empower others to learn the most effective ways of bringing forth their deep healing potential with a holistic approach that includes medicinal herbs, vital food, mind-body practices and lifestyle optimization.
His specialization is auto-immunity, inflammatory diseases of the GI tract and optimized health.
Hanna Jordan LCSW
Educator, Clinical Faculty, Mind-Body Curriculum Director
Hanna is a licensed psychotherapist, herbalist, health & life coach, educator, and licensed Heartmath trainer, and has been supporting people on their healing journeys since 2004.
Her passion is supporting people in aligning with their deepest potential and fulfillment in life, health, work, relationships, and spirituality…and in creating a lifestyle balance that brings out their best selves. She has ten years experience as a body-centered psychotherapist with specialization in stress management, limiting emotional patterns, trauma, emotional resilience, nature deficit disorder, mindfulness practices, and the heart-brain connection in stress regulation.
She is deeply inspired and influenced by the connections between the ancient healing traditions from around the world, new advances in neuroscience and epigenetics, the gut brain connection, and about facilitating healing relationships between people, plants, and nature.
She particularly enjoys bringing passion, humor, and inspiration to empower people in taking charge of their health and becoming active architects in the creative unfolding of their lives. She envisions a future in which herbal education continues to evolve in its ability to embrace the wisdom of many and diverse healing traditions – a future in which the herbal literacy of ‘the people’ is once again restored.
Her classes and workshops in herbal medicine personal growth, and Heart/brain science focus on mental, emotional, and spiritual health, stress in chronic health conditions, and clinical skills for herbal practitioners.
Hanna is also a licensed Heartmath trainer and coach with the Heartmath Institute, and teaches classes to individuals, groups, and organizations on stress resilience, heartbrain coherence regulation and technology as well as using these concepts to increase optimal performance immune and hormonal health, intuition, creativity, and focus.
Registered Herbalist, AHG -INSTRUCTOR , Clinical Faculty
Medical Herbalist, Clinical Nutritionist, Director of North American Institute of Medical Herbalism
Paul has studied and practiced natural medicine since 1973, with formal studies in naturopathy, medical herbalism, clinical nutrition, traditional Chinese medicine, Ayurvedic medicine, flower essences, yoga therapy, and bodywork, including undergraduate studies in pre-medicine and psychology, and 50 semester hours of doctoral level medical studies at National College of Naturopathic Medicine. He has edited the Medical Herbalism journal since its founding in 1989, and has written seven books on medical herbalism, nutrition, Chinese medicine, ethnobotany, and naturopathic medicine. He has also edited periodicals on clinical nutrition and naturopathic medicine.
Paul has taught clinical herbalism and clinical nutrition since 1989. He has mentored students in residencies at teaching clinics at schools in Boulder, CO from 1996 to the present, training more than 260 students through these programs. He has also taught clinical nutrition academically at both the undergraduate university and master’s level. He is a frequent speaker at conferences on herbalism and natural medicine in North America and internationally, and is a professional member of the American Herbalists Guild.
M.Ed.- Instructor, Roots Program Academic Co-director
Elise is an educator, author, herbalist, and native foods specialist in the Pacific Northwest. She cultivates healing relationships between people, plants, place and cultural traditions. During her 15 years of experience teaching in tribal communities, she has worked with elders and cultural specialists to create successful community gardens, food sovereignty resources, a program on healing addiction, and curricula on chronic disease prevention. She also has over 10 years of experience as a clinical herbalist, and has authored two books and numerous articles on this and related topics.Elise is currently a Fellow in Ethnobotany and Ethnonutrition at the Center for World Indigenous Studies.
Jim lives amongst the woods and meadows of southeast, Michigan and has been studying and practicing the art of herbcraft since 1994. He offers a perspective of herbalism that blends western folk and indigenous views of healing with the vitalist traditions of 19th century western herbalism, presented through a blend of story, experience, humor, common sense and lore. Jim has taught classes and led walks at conferences and events throughout the US, hosts the website www.herbcraft.org and is currently alternately writing “Foundational Herbcraft” and the “A Great Lakes Herbal” in addition to articles for journals and other publications. jim is a community herbalist, a manic wildcrafter and medicine maker, and has been an ardent student of the most learned teachers of herbcraft…
Jillian Stansbury ND
Dr Jillian Stansbury is a naturopathic physician who has practiced in SW Washington for over 25 years specializing in women’s health, mental health, and chronic disease. Sheholds undergraduate degrees in Medical Illustration and Medical Assisting and graduated with honors in both programs. Dr Stansbury was also a long time Chair of the Botanical Medicine Program at the National College of Naturopathic Medicine and remains on the faculty teaching Botanical Medicine and Natural Products Chemistry.
In addition to her medical practice and teaching position, Dr Stansbury also writes and serves as a consultant and medical editor for numerous professional journals and organizations, plus teaches natural products chemistry and herbal medicine around the country and abroad.
Dr Stansbury is an ethnobotanist and outdoor enthusiast and leads Ethnobotany field courses in the Andes and Manu region of the Peruvian Amazon each July. She has built a humble home in Cuzco and hosts studies in cultural anthropology, oral history collection, ethnobotany, and the mystical and healing traditions with four different tribal communities. She is presently documenting and organizing traditional ethnobotanical wisdom in order to give it back to the various tribes when the time is right.
Nome McBride is an herbalist, musician, educator, and ceremonialist. He lives in the Columbia Gorge with his son where they enjoy the beautiful Pacific NW. Nome is the Co-Founder and owner of American Herbal Dispensary, Inc. and the formulator of its product line, Pharmacopia Herbals www.PharmacopiaHerbals.com. Nome has been teaching throughout the region for many years at conferences, private herbal schools, colleges, and universities. His products have supplied the finest herb retailers, manufacturers, and natural physicians in the country for over 10 years. Besides overseeing the product line, he guides people deep into the Peruvian Amazon at his retreat center Los Cielos. Nome is honored to share the sacred medicine of the healing powers of nature wherever he goes.
Talia’s love of plants has been passed down to her ancestrally and she was raised on a farm in Iowa built by her great great grandfather, and spent her childhood summers snapping beans and pulling weeds. After years of holistic herbal and nutritional self study, she attended Vital Ways in Portland, Oregon where she continued to expand and enrich her knowledge. Talia & her husband own and operate a 12.5 acre certified organic herb farm and a vegetable CSA in the beautiful Columbia Gorge. In addition to being active in holistic health, farming, and herbalism, Talia is a passionate winemaker at Aniche Winemakers, where she helps make kick-ass wines with a zany group of folks.
Owner, director of the NE School of Botanical Medicine.
7song is a highly experience herbalist, botanist, and naturalist that has been studying, teaching and seeing patients for over 25 years. 7song is an expert if botanical medicine for acute injury and infection and teaches nationally at various conferences, schools, and venues.
Aran is a queer, transgender, and two-spirit(ed) being, of Irish, English and Anishinabek decent, currently living in Coast Salish and Duwamish traditional territories. A mechanical engineer by trade, Aran has been working with plant medicine through the teachings of his elders and ancestors for many years. He came to Vital Ways School of Holistic Herbalism to expand his knowledge and love of herbal medicine in the hopes of serving and giving back to his communities. He has worked with a variety of people with diverse health goals, and his passion and primary focus is supporting trans people through all forms of transition and in all aspects of physical, spiritual and mental health. Aran sees a specific need for herbal and holistic support in trans communities and seeks to contribute to the body of knowledge specific to trans health care. Aran is honored to be an adjunct instructor and member of the holistic herbal community at Vital Ways.
We are located in the very lively NE Alberta Arts district at 2714 NE Alberta street, surrounded by food, art galleries, cute unique shops, coffee houses and true Portland culture.