Dedicated to Developing Responsible Herbal Practice
Established in 2002 by Susan Wynn, DVM, CVA, CVCH, AHG, DACVN
VBMA FOUNDER: SUSAN WYNN, DVM, CVA, CVCH, AHG, DACVN
Susan Wynn is an incredible individual who had the energy and dedication to start the VBMA. In her words, here is how her idea became the Veterinary Botanical Medicine Association, as well as her vision for our future.
"VBMA became an idea in about 2002, when I had finished foundation courses in Chinese veterinary herbal medicine (which was not science-heavy enough for my taste) and a human Western herbal medicine (which had no veterinary information or experience to present). Knowing that holistic veterinarians were really the best source of information to start accumulating a 'collective memory' and information database, I talked to a few other vet herbalists (specifically Ihor Basko) and we put VBMA together.
10 years later, we have Listserv archives that are beginning to serve that purpose, and I know that VBMA members really helped Barbara Fougere and I gather all the knowledge we needed to write the Veterinary Herbal Medicine text book*.
When it came time to start planning annual conferences, AHVMA was really supportive, allowing us to have our own track and room for board and other meetings. From our get-togethers, it became obvious that VBMA really could play a role in educating not only veterinarians, but regulators and the public, so we developed white papers (over lunch) that have ultimately been studied by FDA and other bodies to learn about veterinary herbal practice.
I'm not aware that herb identification walks were a common practice at *any* veterinary meeting until VBMA began offering one at its yearly conference. I think veterinary herbalists now recognize that personally knowing and being able to identify these plants helps us understand their actions and place in our materia medica more thoroughly.
One of our goals in the beginning was to offer certification of a certain knowledge level so that pet owners and other veterinarians could recognize true herbal expertise at a glance. This program involves a yearly exam and some additional work, and has been slow to take off. VBMA will have reached its true potential, at least in my eyes, when our certification process is sought after and better monitored. I hope newer members will recognize the value and work with older members to make it a reality.
I practice in a hospital with 30+ veterinarians, and herbs give me the capacity to offer clinical benefits that none of these other veterinarians can provide. I'm often amazed at the difference they make, and hope to continue to teach our interns and other impressionable vets how to use them effectively!"
*You can purchase a copy of Susan and Barbara's Veterinary Herbal Medicine from Amazon, either in print or ebook, HERE.
To learn more about Dr. Wynn, please visit her website, Veterinary Nutrition and Integrative Medicine.
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The VBMA is not affiliated with the American College of Veterinary Botanical Medicine (ACVBM).