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Dedicated to Developing Responsible Herbal Practice

Established in 2002 by Susan Wynn, DVM, CVA, CVCH, AHG, DACVN




The International Herbal Symposium is an incredible bi-annual herbal event that was founded by Rosemary Gladstar more than twenty-five years ago to help benefit the United Plant Savers organization. Herbalists from around the globe attended this event, and it's an experience not to be missed. Seven years ago, Rosemary agreed to allow the VBMA to start a veterinary speaker track which has enabled us to greatly expand our herbal knowledge. Registration is now open...CLICK HERE to sign up. 202.5 IVAS CE has been awarded for this event.



Robin Wall Kimmerer


“What if you were a teacher but had no voice to speak your knowledge? What if you had no language at all and yet there was something you needed to say? Wouldn’t you dance it? Wouldn’t you act it out? Wouldn’t your every movement tell the story? In time you would be so eloquent that just to gaze upon you would reveal it all. And so it is with these silent green lives.”

– Robin Wall Kimmerer


Robin Wall Kimmerer is a mother, scientist, decorated professor, and enrolled member of the Citizen Potawatomi Nation. Her first book, Gathering Moss, was awarded the John Burroughs Medal for outstanding nature writing. Her latest book, Braiding Sweetgrass: Indigenous Wisdom, Scientific Knowledge and the Teachings of Plants, was released in 2013 and awarded the Sigurd Olson Nature Writing Award. As a writer and a scientist, her interests in restoration include not only restoration of ecological communities, but restoration of our relationships to land. Her writings have appeared in Orion, Whole Terrain, and numerous scientific journals. She lives in Fabius, New York, where she is a SUNY Distinguished Teaching Professor of Environmental Biology, and the founder and director of the Center for Native Peoples and the Environment. In collaboration with tribal partners, she and her students have an active research program in the ecology and restoration of plants of cultural significance to Native people.



Learn from an extraordinary gathering of herbal teachers, elders, and healers from around the world representing diverse backgrounds and experiences. The 2017 International Herb Symposium will also feature over 40 highly respected teachers from 12 different countries including:


Rocio Alarcon (Ecuador), Mary Ayodele (Africa), Aku Dunyo Richter (Ghana/Canada), Jacquelin Guiteau (Haiti), Marcela Ibieta (Chile), Sebastian Pole (England), Swanie Simon (Germany), Dinah Veeris (Curaçao), Rosa Tupina Yaotonalcuauhtli (Mexico), Wolf-Dieter Storl (Germany), Rafael Ocampo (Costa Rica), Mary Bove, Phyllis Light, Tieraona Low Dog, MD, Tradd Cotter, Daniel Gagnon, Thomas Avery Garran, Amikaeyla Gaston, Rosemary Gladstar, Dr. Christopher Hobbs, Dr. Aviva Romm, Karyn Sanders, Deb Soule, Kevin Spelman, David Winston, 7Song, Larken Bunce, Kate Clearlight, Rosalee de la Foret, Sajah Popham, Guido Masé, Richard Mandelbaum, Steven Yeager, Nancy & Michael Phillips, Jim McDonald, Andrea & Matthias Reisen, and many more!



IHS 2017- Veterinarian Tract Teacher bios and topics



Ihor Basko, DVM, CVA

Speaker information:

Ihor Basko, DVM, CVA

6240 Helena Lane

Kapaa, Hawaii 96746

808-822- 4229


I graduated from Michigan State University, 1971 with a DVM degree. My special interest at the time were focused around cardiology, orthopedic surgery & internal medicine.  I began my studies in Chinese Medicine and Acupuncture in 1974 by participating in a UCLA medical school research project to treat animal paralysis with acupuncture 1974-76. Became vegetarian, and studied nutrition based upon Ayervedic Medicine, Chinese Food Therapy, and Macrobiotic cooking for personal use. Later, I studied Western and Eastern Herbology with Dr. Sidney Golinsky, Subhuti Dharmananda Ph.D, Stephen Chang OMD, and many masters. I joined the International Veterinary Acupuncture Society in 1977 and began teaching acupuncture, herbology, and nutrition.  I have published several books including 2012 Fresh Food Ancient Wisdom; Preparing Healthy and Balanced Meals for Your Dogs.  Currently, I have a small animal practice in Kauai and Oahu Hawaii, using nutrition, Western, Polynesian, and Chinese herbs and acupuncture. Also consult for NaturVet Company who makes pet supplements as well as lecture for the AHVMA, VBMA, IVAS, WVC, AVMA, ACVBM and locally to pet groups. In his first lecture, Dr. Basko will lecture on two plants found in Hawaii, Noni and Java Plum.  His second lecture will discuss feeding fresh food with the wisdom of TCM.  Dr. Basko will also hold an intensive coving many aspects of mushrooms.



Title: Medicinal Mushrooms: Cancer Prevention, Control and Support; with Medicinal Mushrooms for Other Conditions: Kidney and Liver disease, Cushing’s disease, and Geriatric issues

Description: Cancer rates continue to rise, especially in susceptible breeds. What is Cancer and what are the causative factors that create it? Knowing the causes will assist the practitioner in understanding how to best use medicinal mushrooms to help prevent or suppress the cancer process within the body.

Which mushrooms are efficacious to use for prevention and treatment of cancer? A discussion of Trametes versicolor (“turkey tail”) Ganoderma lucidum (Reishi), Grifola frondosa (Maitake), Cordyceps spp, and Lentinus edodes (Shiitake) will be presented.

Medicinal mushrooms can be used to prevent, support and cure many diseases due to its properties: Multi-Dimensional Healing.


Lecture 1: Title: Cultural and Modern Uses for the Polynesian herb Noni Morinda citrifolia and the use of Java Plum (Syzygium cumini), a medicinal tree for many diseases


Description: For centuries the fruit has been used for the treatment of many aliments including: kidney disease, diabetes, fish poisoning tonsillitis, abdominal swelling, burns, broken bones, and inflammation of the toes and fingers. How can this be? Local Hawaiian healers (La au lapa au) use the fruit juice to treat hypertension, diabetes, kidney and liver ailments and cancer. The leaf was also used for abscesses, infections, broken, and painful wounds. The fresh leaf provides instant pain relief. A review of the plant’s active constituents and uses will be reviewed. The invasive species Java Plum (Syzygium cumini) was likely introduced to Hawaii for its fruit, which is very astringent, sour, sweet and spicy. It is spread by birds that eat the fruits and disburse the seeds throughout the jungles and forest lands. Java Plum is native to India, Bangladesh, Nepal and Indonesia. It can also be found growing in the warmer regions of the USA such as Florida, and other parts of the world such as Eastern Africa, South America and Madagascar. All parts of the plant are medicinal and can aid in the treatment of diabetes, high blood pressure, heart disease, protect against radiation and contains high amounts of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties


Lecture 2: Title: Fresh Food and Ancient Wisdom: Back to the Beginning; with actions based on TCM theory


Description: Review of Bio-Anthropology and Bio-Anthropology will be presented. What did dogs eat before commercially available dog food? How did wolves transform into dogs? Wolves and the domesticated dog diets living with hunter-gather culture vs. agriculturally based communities will be reviewed. TCM theory can explain how ancient diets relate in a modern world. Facts show that the “raw food diet” fad for all pets is faulty.

Using TCM theory one can ascertain the actions of food and herbs.  The health practitioner can use taste and color to assist in targeting specific benefits to the patient from food: vegetables, fruits, and herbs.




Donna Kelleher, DVM

Speaker information:

Donna Kelleher, DVM

1111 West Holly Suite C

Bellingham WA 98225

phone number 360 739 7343



Donna Kelleher has practiced holistic veterinary medicine since 1994. She is both IVAS and AVCA trained in the 1990’s for acupuncture and chiropractic and her initial herbal training in the late 90’s came from AHG’s certification training lead by  KP Khalsa. She became NAET (Nambudibrad’s allergy elimination technique) trained for both basic and advanced by 2003 and has integrated these modalities since then.  Her personal experiences with asthma, allergies, and an early exposure to diverse cultures with their approach to healing greatly affected her openness towards all holistic treatments. In her Pacific Northwest garden and a mountain adjacent to her property she is continually inspired by the true healers, the healing plants. Her website, blog and social media case studies can be found at


Lecture 1: Pacific NW Plants:   A photo journey of the healing plants of my backyard here in WA stat; a brief intro of each herb including Angelica, Devil’s club, Corydalis, Nettle, Cleavers, Cascara, Yew. (All levels):


Lecture 2: Skin cases: Advanced: Itchy dogs have become something of an epidemic in veterinary medicine now encompassing over sixty percent of my practice. This talk is aimed at veterinarians trying to rule out and treat secondary infections versus primary allergies. What are the most common food allergies and how to address this problem. In my practice, I use NAET but I will trouble shoot food allergies based on my experience to help you weigh through this growing dilemma.




Cynthia Lankenau, DVM

Speaker information:

Cynthia Lankenau, DVM,CVA,CVCHM, RH (AHG), Dip VWHM

9002 Sunset Drive

Colden, NY 14033

Holistic Center for Veterinary Care



Dr. Cindy Lankenau is a holistic mixed animal veterinarian currently practicing in western N.Y. She graduated from Cornell’s College of Veterinary Medicine in 1981 and became quickly frustrated with the limitations with conventional medicine.  After working in Africa with the Peace Corps in 1985, has been learning how to heal; not hide symptoms. She is certified in acupuncture, homeopathy, chiropractic and herbal medicine. Since 1991, she has been exclusively using alternative modalities. She is a past president of the VBMA and has lectured at the University of Buffalo's Mini- Vet School, AHVMA, IVAS and IHS. Dr. Lankenau’s talks will be on energetics of Western Herbs focusing on specific animal GI and Respiratory conditions and a lecture on the severe level of illness our animals are facing while discussing a Chinese formula, Wu Mei Wan in treating diseases of a Jue Yin Excess.


Lecture 1: Energetics of Western GI herbs: All herbs has different energetic properties, they can be cooling or warming, drying or nourishing and all diseases have unique pattern for example too much heat, too much phlegm.  With the growing popularity of herbal medicines, often individuals forget this important aspect of herbal prescribing and forget the basic energetics of herbs when formulating a prescription.  This lecture will focus on the patterns seen in common animal GI issues to then match that with the energetics of western herbs.


Lecture 2: Energetics of Western Respiratory herbs: All herbs has different energetic properties, they can be cooling or warming, drying or nourishing and all diseases have unique pattern for example too much heat, too much phlegm.  With the growing popularity of herbal medicines, often individuals forget this important aspect of herbal prescribing and forget the basic energetics of herbs when formulating a prescription often to the dismay of the patient.  This lecture will focus on the energetics of common western herbs used in common respiratory problems that are found in animals.


Lecture 3: The Use of Wu Mei San:  An Epidemic of Jue YinDiseases: The Six Stages of disease was first developed by the great master of Chinese Herbology, Zhang Zhong Jing (142-220 ACE) when he wrote the Shang Han Lun on Cold Damage. When examining these diseases in the context of the Six Stages of Disease; diseases found at the level of the Jue Yin are serious and are occurring at the deepest stage in the body. A Jue Yin disease reflects the separate of Yin and Yang and the collapse of Zheng Qi. This talk will focus on a number of current diseases from Equine Metabolic Syndrome to feline cystitis to canine epilepsy that are examples of Jue Yin Diseases




Rob Silver, DVM, MS, CVA

Speaker information

Rob Silver, DVM, MS, CVA

PO Box 590

Niwot, CO 80503



Bio: Dr. Robert Silver is a 1982 graduate of Colorado State University’s College of Veterinary Medicine. Frustrated with the failings of conventional medicine, Dr. Silver began his studies into the use of diet, acupuncture, herbs and nutraceutical compounds to better assist his patients in their healing process. Dr. Silver founded one of the first Integrative Veterinary practices in Boulder, Colorado, blending the best of both worlds into successful protocols for difficult diseases. Dr. Silver studied herbal medicine from a variety of great teachers, including William LeSassier, Michael Moore, Matt Wood, Brigitte Mars, and Feather Jones. Silver taught several years at the Rocky Mountain School of Botanical Studies in Boulder on the topic of herbs and animals. Dr. Silver is Chief Medical Officer for RxVitamins, an animal nutraceutical company that sells exclusively to licensed veterinarians, and Director of the Animal Health Division of Folium Biosciences, a vertically-integrated domestic hemp company in Colorado. Dr. Silver is currently the president of the Veterinary Botanical Medical Association and a former member of the Board of Directors of the American Holistic Veterinary Medical Association. Dr. Silver speaks extensively to professional audiences around the world.


Intensive: Cannabis sativa L.: Its Impact on Animals


a. This ancient herb has found its resurgence in the past 20 years for medicinal applications. Come learn how this herb affects our pets, and how it can be used safely to address a number of common conditions that afflict our four-legged companions.




1. Practical Considerations Formulating Herbal remedies for Pets

a. Animals are not just “little people” when it comes to creating unique herbal remedies. Palatability, flavor, texture, format, type of  menstruum for liquids, preferred solid formats, and potential toxicities and interactions all need to be taken into account. Come learn from a product formulator for animal herbals and nutraceuticals how it is done.




All content © Veterinary Botanical Medicine Association (VBMA) 2018.

The VBMA is not affiliated with the American College of Veterinary Botanical Medicine (ACVBM).