Supporting the Herbal Community: American Herbalists Guild Symposium

Herb Co.’s customers, regardless of industry, stand on the foundation of herbalism. It’s important to us to engage and support the community of herbalists and the preservation of herbalism. For that reason, Monterey Bay Herb Co. is a proud member of the American Herbalist Guild (AHG). Our goal is to connect with the greater community and broaden our understanding of herbs to better serve the herbal practitioners, tea blenders and natural product creators who buy from us.

Each year, AHG holds a symposium—a place where herbalists and plant lovers of all knowledge levels and walks of life come together to learn, network, and socialize. They recently announced the date and location of this year’s gathering, Herbal Roots and Medicinal Mushrooms. Registration opens in June. Don’t miss out on this wonderful educational opportunity in beautiful Black Mountain, North Carolina.

In honor of the upcoming symposium, we wanted to share Sarah Bay’s first-hand experience from the 2023 event in Granby, Colorado. Sarah is a California-based herbalist and writer who attended on our behalf. Hopefully, this will inspire you to deepen your knowledge of plants, whether it be by signing up for the next symposium or joining the guild and enjoying the benefits of membership, including 100’s of educational webinars, courses and more.


Author: Sarah Bay, Herbalist, Writer

2023 AHG Symposium

Granby, Colorado is a land that has been tended by the Cheyenne, Arapaho, and Ute tribes since time immemorial. At about 8,000 feet elevation, the landscape is blanketed with pine trees and at this time of year, a sweet layer of powdery white snow.

The road to Granby is a winding one. After arriving at the Denver International Airport, I loaded into a sprinter van with eight other herbalists from across the country and we started our two-hour journey west into the Rocky Mountains. We weaved our way up along the mountain roads and through national forest lands as the snowflakes danced in the air around us. We arrived at the symposium location at night, so it was truly a moment of awe when I opened the curtains of my hotel room in the morning and gazed through my window to see the sun lighting up the vast expanse of wild landscape around me.

The days that followed at the symposium were an herbalist’s dream. The conference was a hub of connections, with budding herbalists, practitioners, and medicine makers converging to share their wisdom and experiences. This year’s symposium theme, preserving herbal legacies, inspired important conversations of remembering our ancestors and the diverse array of lineages that have shaped herbalism today. The certificate track offering of the year was low dose botanicals and the air buzzed with the names of herbs such as poke, mistletoe, aconite, and veratrum.

The heart of the conference lay in its enlightening workshops. Experts from around the country came to speak on a wide variety of topics from Culpeper to Curanderismo. Within the theme of preserving herbal legacies, the schedule featured a selection of classes representing diverse bioregions and sociocultural backgrounds such as Hoodoo.

Other classes focused on the topic of low dose botanicals in clinical practice; a topic which can feel intimidating for many herbalists as these plants are often toxic or even deadly if not used properly. Walking into certain classes such as The Flight of the Witch and Baneful Balms gave the feeling like walking into the “Restricted Section” of the Hogwarts library.

wild landscape

The wild landscape of the Rockies served as the perfect backdrop for herb walks discussing the medicines growing in the region and how to work with them. Overall, the class lineup was a treasure trove of knowledge that left attendees feeling inspired, empowered, and connected.

Attending the AHG Symposium this year was an impactful experience on many levels. My hope for all those who attended is that we may let the connections we made, the knowledge we gained, and the beauty that surrounded us serve as a reminder of the boundless potential of herbs and the importance of preserving this ancient wisdom for generations to come. I look forward to many more such gatherings that celebrate the world of herbs and the power they hold in our lives.

Looking for Other Ways to Connect with the Herbalist Community or Strengthen Your Knowledge of Herbs?

The herbalist community is almost as expansive as the plant world itself, so there are many ways to connect and learn both online and in person.

  1. Join the AHG to get access to journals, classes and herbal educational tools.
  2. You may be interested in The Northern California Women’s Herbal Symposium, another herb-focused event that Monterey Bay Herb Co. supports.
  3. Browse our catalog of herbs and spices where you’ll find extensive information on the product page about each plant from historical background to botany and modern uses.
  4. You can also sign up for our newsletter. We send weekly emails sharing botanical trends, information, and suggested uses for herbs.