Ontario Herbalists Association

Promoting safe & natural healing with plants since 1982

2020 – 2021

Susan Elliotson, RH – President

After many years as a law clerk with a life-long interest in plants, Susan returned to school to study Phytotherapy in the diploma program at the Institute of Applied Health Sciences, Mohawk College. Now in private practice in Caledon, surrounded by the herbs she uses, she is a professional member of the Ontario Herbalists Association, serving on the Professional Members Committee and the Board of Directors. Susan formerly wrote a regular column for the Canadian Journal of Herbalism. She is also a professional member of the American Botanical Council. Susan regularly leads herb walks, speaks to private groups on different aspects of herbs, taught Herbal Pharmacy as a faculty member of Mohawk College (Hamilton), and Introductory Herbal Medicine and Advanced Herbal Medicine Applications at The Institute of Holistic Nutrition (Toronto).


Lianna Vargas, RH – Vice President, CCHA Rep, eZine Editor

Lianna is a Registered Herbalist who continually seeks to deepen her understanding through engagement with the natural world. Her focus has been on getting to know local plants, connecting with Nature, and getting back to the basics in hopes to help forge a more sustainable future. She is also an artist that has many interests and skills she has been developing alongside her training in herbal medicine such as wildlife tracking, organic gardening and traditional crafting. She received clinical training under Diane Kent’s Clinical Herbalism Program and studied in the field with with Michael Vertolli, learning to identify and harvest the local wild plants, connecting with them on a deep level.

Lianna is a professional and active Board member of the Ontario Herbalists Association (OHA). She has served as one of the OHA representatives for the of the Canadian Council of Herbalists Associations (CCHA) since 2015 and currently serves as the Vice President of that organization. She works with Living Earth School of Herbalism as the Student Liaison & Administration Coordinator and has a private clinical practice in York, ON.


Elena Pintilie, Student Member – Secretary, Communications Director, Student Liaison

Elena Pintilie completed her studies in holistic nutrition in 2013, and has since been complimenting her nutrition knowledge with herbal education through various courses and workshops. She is passionate about health, wellness and all things natural; and hopes to guide her future clients to take health in their own hands – find their unique optimal health and balance through wholesome real food, daily use of herbs and herbal blends/preparations. Elena has been an active volunteer with the OHA for several years, and is a student member of the OHA.



Chris Lamont, RH – Director, Applicant Liaison

After working for many years as a professional musician, Chris expanded his way of life by pursuing his love of nature through the study of Herbal Medicine. He studied under renowned herbalist, Isla Burgess and now holds a diploma in Clinical Herbal Medicine from the International College of Herbal Medicine in New Zealand. He followed his studies with a 12-year herbal apprenticeship, where Chris trained extensively in the manufacturing of herbal medicines. Chris became a registered herbalist and member of the Ontario Herbalists Association (OHA) in 2014. Determined to be actively involved in the profession, he became a member of the Board of Directors of the OHA in 2015. He has clinical practices in both Toronto and Dundas, Ontario.


Tahir Ahmad, RH – Director

Tahir Ahmad, D.N.M., R.H., N.M.D has forty years experience in herbal medicine. Tahir qualified from one of the oldest colleges in the world, and received an Honours Degree in Herbal Medicine. Tahir has served as president of the Toronto College of Natural Medicine and he has given approximately 500 lectures on Rogers cable. He has done considerable research on Eastern and Western herbs, and Health Canada has approved his 74 formulas for manufacturing in Canada. As a herbalist practicing in Toronto (Etobicoke), he has more than ten thousand patient files in his office.



Rick DeSylva, DNM, CH, RH – Director

Bio coming soon!







Elizabeth Boyd, RH – Treasurer

Elizabeth grew up on a crop farm in Southwestern Ontario, and was familiar with many plants and ‘weeds’ from a very early age. Through university, Elizabeth’s summer jobs were in the agriculture industry and these positions enhanced her plant identification knowledge so that she can rapidly identify many locally growing plants.

After completing a Chemical Engineering and Management degree at McMaster University, Elizabeth’s interest in culinary and medicinal plants became a hobby that eventually led to more education. After enrolling in a 6 month herbal field study program, she knew that Herbal Medicine was her passion and Elizabeth began pursuing a degree in Traditional Herbal Medicine at the Institute of Traditional Medicine in Toronto. She graduated in the Fall of 2011. Elizabeth lives with her husband, son, and daughter on a 40 acre property between Grimsby and Smithville. She is currently accepting new patients into her practice. She is also available for seminars and talks on a wide variety of topics relating to Herbal Medicine.


Nancy Majoulian, RH – CCHA Rep

Nancy is a Clinical Herbalist and a Registered professional Herbalist with the Ontario Herbalist Association (OHA). Nancy is a former aerospace executive turned holistic health advocate. Her journey started after a life changing ski accident in 2008 where she had 3 surgeries and was able to get back on her feet in 6 months, exceeding the surgeons recovery expectations. Her own health journey inspired her to leave corporate aerospace after 15 years, and make a 360 in her career to help people get their health back. She decided to complement her business degree with a Nutritionist and Clinical Herbalist degree, get training from Mental Health Canada First Aid and she is currently continuing her studies to get her Doctorate in Naturopathic Sciences because she believes health is our biggest asset. Since leaving the corporate world, Nancy has started her own practice using a holistic and complementary approach in helping her clients get their health back. She specializes in plant-based nutrition, digestive imbalances and optimal hormonal health for men and women. She also gives regular health and wellness workshops across North America within the private and public sectors and has been a guest speaker at the Thrive with Cancer Expo in Toronto, Berkeley University in California, University of Ottawa, Ryerson College, at the International Association of Airport Executives conference in Montreal and more. In 2017, Nancy had a 6 part plant-based television series in Toronto and has made several television appearances sharing her nutritional and herbal tips including on Breakfast Television on City TV which has over 1.7 million viewers.


Laura Holloway, RH – General Manager

Anitha Venkatesan – Office Administrator

Allanah Canal – Social Media Communications Officer

Previous Board 2019 – 2020: Susan Elliotson, RH – President, Abrah Arneson, RH – Vice-President, Elena Pintilie – Secretary, Chris Lamont, RH – Director, Applications, Shanthi Balasubramaniam, RH – Director, Dee Gauthier, RH – Director, Lianna Vargas, RH – Director, CCHA Rep,     ADDITIONAL TEAM MEMBERS: Barbara Anderson/Elizabeth Boyd – Treasurer, Nancy Majoulian, RH – CCHA Rep, Devi Panday – General Manager, Anitha Venkatesan – Office Administrator

Previous Board 2018 – 2019: Susan Elliotson, RH – President, Abrah Arneson, RH – Vice-President, Elena Pintilie – Secretary, Chris Lamont, RH – Director, Applications, Shanthi Balasubramaniam, RH – Director, Dee Gauthier, RH – Director, Barbara Anderson – Treasurer     ADDITIONAL TEAM MEMBERS: Lianna Vargas, RH – CCHA Rep, Nancy Majoulian, RH – CCHA Rep

Previous Board 2017 – 2018: Marianne Beacon, RH – President, CCHA Rep, Lianna Vargas, RH – Vice-President, CCHA Rep Elena Pintilie – Secretary, Barbara Anderson – Treasurer, Chris Lamont, RH – Director, Applicant Schools Liaison, Susan Elliotson, RH – Secretary/Privacy Officer, Shanthi Balasubramaniam, RH – Director

Previous Board 2016 – 2017: Marianne Beacon, RH – President, CCHA Rep Lianna Vargas, RH – Vice-President, CCHA Rep, Elena Pintilie – Secretary, Barbara Anderson – Treasurer, Chris Lamont, RH – Director, Applicant Schools Liaison

Previous Board 2015 – 2016: Richard DeSylva, DNM, CH, RH – President, CCHA Rep, John Redden – Vice-President, Susan Elliotson, RH – Secretary/Privacy Officer, Elizabeth Boyd, RH – Treasurer, Lianna Vargas, RH – Director, CCHA Rep, Marianne Beacon, RH – Director, Chris Lamont, RH – Director

Previous Board 2014 – 2015: Diane Kent, MNIMH, RH – President, Richard DeSylva, DNM, CH, RH – Vice-President, CCHA Rep Susan Elliotson, RH – Secretary/Privacy Officer, Elizabeth Boyd, RH – Treasurer, Michael Vertolli, BSc, RH – Director, CCHA Rep Monika Ghent RH, PSM – Director, PMC Chair, Lianna Vargas, RH – Director, Student Liaison