The Christopher Hedley Award – Call for Nominations

The Christopher Hedley Memorial Award for significant contribution to herbal medicine About Christopher Hedley

‘If this plant were a person, would you take it home for tea?’

This award has been set up to celebrate the life and work of Christopher Hedley, herbalist extraordinary. In the vast and fertile borderland where herbs, medicine and magic meet, Christopher was entirely at home. Herbalism today demands the ability to deconstruct a plant into its pharmacological constituents, but we also need to remember that plants are whole beings with their own place in the world, and they have much more to offer than their component parts. Christopher was endlessly inventive in finding ways to bring plants and people together, and always ready to sample the lesser known and out of fashion herbs that grow all around us. In his years of teaching, he inspired thousands of ‘baby herbalists’ to think and feel outside and beyond the curriculum, and to think of herbs as friends and allies, rather than as tools. Often called a wizard by students and patients alike – he was well over six feet tall, with a full beard and a dandelion clock of white hair (though it used to be fiery red) – he brought endless compassion and humour to his work.

The award will be made to honour the memory of Christopher Hedley, FNIMH, and will be awarded annually. Nominations:

The award recognises an individual herbalist who has made a significant contribution to herbal medicine. Examples of this contribution might be through practice, education, community work, research, or environmental work. Any herbalist, whether practicing or retired, anywhere in the world can be nominated to receive the award. Nominations are not restricted to members of any particular professional association. Nominations can be made by any person.

Each nomination should have a proposer and a seconder and should explain how this nominee’s activities have contributed to herbal medicine and why they are worthy of the award.

Nominations should be sent to the NIMH office marked Christopher Hedley Award. Judging of the award will be done by the NIMH Council; the judges decision will be final.

Closing date for 2018 nominations: 31st August 2018

Previous Board Bio: Rick DeSylva

President: Rick DeSylva, DNM, CH, RH

RickDeSylvaRick has been involved in the natural health food industry for over 30 years, both as a registered herbalist, and as a manufacturer of premium quality NHP’s made from wild-crafted and certified organically grown botanicals. He is a founding member of the Ontario Herbalists Association (OHA), the Canadian Council of Herbalist Association (CCHA),and sits on their Board(s), as well as that of the Ontario Doctors of Natural Medicine Association (ODNMA), and the Natural Health Products Protection Association (NHPPA)

Rick practices a branch of herbalism known as botanic medicine, which views herbs as very specialized foods for the cells of the body. He has lectured on this topic in Australia, Russia, the USA and Canada, and continues to teach and write about this discipline in various magazines, and schools of natural healing. His company, The Herb Works is located in Rockwood, Ontario, where he specializes in treating chronic degenerative ailments.

Previous Board Bio: Elizabeth Boyd

Treasurer: Elizabeth Boyd, RH

ElizabethBoydGrowing up on a farm in Southwestern Ontario gave Elizabeth very strong ‘weed’ identification skills.  Most of her early jobs were in agriculture which exposed her to more Ontario plants, but as she started to explore the world of herbs she quickly discovered that most of the ‘weeds’ were actually very useful herbs!  From this background, Elizabeth prefers to use herbs in her practice that grow in Ontario and can be harvested fresh.  Elizabeth has been practicing herbal medicine from her home office in Burlington since graduating from the Institute of Traditional Medicine (ITM) in 2011.

Elizabeth’s background also includes a degree in Chemical Engineering and Management from McMaster University and some time with TD Bank working as an Agriculture Account Analyst.  She uses her finance skills as the volunteer treasurer for the Burlington Women’s Basketball League and the bookkeeper for Clarkshome Farm.  Elizabeth is a Professional member of the Ontario Herbalists Association.

Previous Board Bio: Susan Elliotson

Secretary/Privacy Officer: Susan Elliotson, RH

SusanElliotsonAfter 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 writing 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 is a faculty member of The Institute of Holistic Nutrition (Toronto), teaching Introductory Herbal Medicine and Advanced Herbal Medicine Applications.

2016 Letter from the President

Richard DeSylva R.H. DNM

While writing this letter on one of the coldest days of the winter, it is hard to realize that Spring is just around the corner…. and with the advent of warmer weather, comes the renewal, and growth of our earth-based medicines.

And so it is with the Ontario Herbalist Association(OHA); having formally started back in 1983, and with this – the advent of our 33rd year, it is likewise, time for a renewal of our purpose, goals and direction.

With heartfelt thanks and gratitude to those members of the old Board: Diane Kent, Monika Ghent and Michael Vertolli, who have chosen to retire from the demands of running the OHA, we now have a full complement of both current & new Board members. John Redden – a long time professional member and former editor of the Canadian Journal of Herbalism is now vice-president; thankfully, Susan Elliotson is still our Privacy Officer and Secretary; Elizabeth Boyd is once again our Treasurer and a co-ordinator for the newsletter; Lianna Vargas has agreed to take on again, the role of working with the student committee, web design and all round networking with groups.

Coming a long way from Peterborough area, is Marianne Beacon, with such dedication and fresh insight as to how the OHA can re-invent itself; Chris Lamont has taken over the considerable task of reviewing new member applications & working on developing our social media efforts; Elena Pintilie a masterful taker of minutes keeps us all on track of what was said, and what is to be completed; and last but not least is Tamara Segal – working under contract with the OHA as office manager diligently behind the scenes, answering emails, sorting through correspondence, and firing off emails to Board members, etc.

And lest I forget – yours truly is now president. Recently, I was asked why I agreed to take this position; in response, perhaps it could be said that having been vice-president for the past number of years, it was only natural to move up the ladder. However, as will be explained in the forthcoming re-issue of the OHA Journal, there remains much to be done in the way of protecting the rights of herbalists to practice here in Ontario. I’ve been actively involved with the OHA since its inception, & am well aware of how other CAM disciplines have encroached on our area of practice, both in the recent past, as well as in the early ‘80’s.

These are some of the challenges we face in the coming months. However, another important issue is how to re-invigorate the OHA, & its membership, and especially the public’s perception of the OHA. In retrospect, the unfortunate cancellation of both the Journal and the annual Herb Fair a number of years ago – due entirely to costs that were insurmountable, significantly diminished the OHA ‘brand’ : both in the eyes of the professional members and the public. Now, with the Board’s approval, once again will the Journal be available, starting in the Spring of this year. Initially, the format will be electronic, but ultimately we hope to advance to a ‘print-on-demand’ basis that could be printed once a year.

The OHA Board has also agreed to be part of the HEARTWOOD Gathering; this is a group of herbal enthusiasts, herbalists, collectors, medicine makers and all round herb aficionados who will be offering herb walks, lectures and work-shops devoted to the study of herb plants and their uses.

All of the above marks the turning over of a new leaf in the life of the OHA. We have an excellent Board, infused with the desire and the energy to take the OHA to the next step. I’m really looking forward to our professional members involvement as we rekindle the interest in matters herbal. It is time we rightfully became more visible in the public’s eye, as the keepers of the herbal flame.

most sincerely,

Richard DeSylva

President of the Ontario Herbalists Association

Herbal Specific

Herbal Medicine Associations, Foundations, Societies, etc.

Ontario Herbalists Association
Canadian Council of Herbalist Associations (CCHA)
Herb Research Foundation
American Herbalists Guild
American Botanical Council
National Institute of Medical Herbalists
European Herbal Practitioners Association
European Scientific Cooperative on Phytotherapy
North American Institute of Medical Herbalism
National Herbalists Association of Australia

Herbal Journals, Magazines, etc.

Canadian Journal of Herbalism
European Journal of Phytotherapy

Herbal Schools

Dominion Herbal College
Scottish School Of Herbal Medicine
Living Earth School of Herbalism
University of East London
North American Institute of Medical Herbalism
SW School of Botanical Medicine
International College of Herbal Medicine

Herbal Monographs

David Hoffman’s herb monographs
Australian Naturopathic Network


Henriette Kress’s
Plant Image Database
Alternative Nature Online Herbal
Vascular Plant Imagery Library
Fuchs Botanical

Herbal Websites

Henriette Kress
Michael Tierra’s
Michael Moore’s Southwest School of Botanical Medicine
Howie Brounstein’s Home
Christopher Hobbs
Alternative Nature Herbal
Herb Med
Susun Weed
Northeast School of Botanical Medicine
Richter’s Herbs
Herbal Diary


Ethnobotanical Resource Directory
Ethnobotany Research and Applications

On-line Books and Old Journals

Links to Classic Herbals
Lots of books
The Merck Manual
Mrs. Grieves
Herbal Therapeutics Library
Homeopathy books
Culpeper’s Complete Herbal
Kings Dispensary
Medical Botany
Richters On-line Books

Specific Herbal Traditions: Ayurveda

Ayurvedic Institute Homepage
American Institute of Vedic Studies
Ayurveda Infocenter

Specific Herbal Traditions: Humoral

Unani Herbal Healing
The History of Melancholy
The Four Humours

Specific Herbal Traditions: Native American

Traditional Native American Indian Medicine
Earth Heart
Native American Herbal Remedies
Traditional Herbal and Plant Knowledge,
Uses Of Plants By The Indians Of The Missouri River Region

Specific Herbal Traditions: Traditional Chinese Medicine

History of Traditional Chinese Medicine
TCM Herb Library

Specific Herbal Traditions: Other Cultures

Aboriginal Medicine

History of Medicine

History of Medicine

Herb, Drug and/or Nutrient Interactions

Drug-nutrient Interactions Table