Core Faculty

Cheryl Fromholzer

Cheryl Fromholzer

Owner & Educational Director at Gathering Thyme and Western Clinical Herbalist

Cheryl is passionate about connecting people to the deep healing wisdom of the plant world. She is dedicated to the gentle and nurturing power of herbal medicine and focused on creating vibrant community health. Cheryl has been immersed in the wild world of Western herbalism and natural healthcare for over 25 years. She has studied with some of the most brilliant minds in herbal medicine and is delighted to bring many of those same voices to her community through a myriad of educational programs. The Gathering Thyme herb store, School of Western Herbalism and Holistic Practitioner Partnership were born of her desire to be of service and share her extensive herbal knowledge. Cheryl believes in each individual's innate vital force and using natural medicine to support and enhance health. She and her staff provide expert guidance, draw on a wealth of academic experience and provide the supplements and tools to help people connect to the resources they need to heal themselves. Cheryl is also the founder and creative alchemist behind North Rose Botanicals, a line of all-natural and organic skincare and botanical medicines found locally at Gathering Thyme and Good Earth Natural Foods.

Cheryl offers her knowledge of a vast herbal materia medica, body systems and herbal therapeutics. She also teaches medicine-making skills and herbal cosmetics.

Dr. Jennifer Clemons

Dr. Jennifer Clemons

Naturopathic Doctor, Acupuncturist, Bodyworker & Herbalist

Dr. Jennifer Clemons is a Naturopathic Doctor, Acupuncturist, Bodyworker, Herbalist and Mom. She began her study of nutrition and Western Herbalism in 1994 and continued her study of naturopathic medicine at the National College of Natural Medicine in Portland, Oregon in 2001. She has been teaching Anatomy and Physiology to students of various healing arts since 2006, and practicing medicine as a Naturopathic Doctor and Acupuncturist since her graduation from NCNM in 2007.

Dr. Jen believes that cultivating an understanding of the mechanics and terrain of the body helps people to choose more appropriate healing tools. She feels strongly that demystifying medical terminology can help student practitioners as well as patients to better understand and therefore more effectively heal medical conditions. She is very excited to join Gathering Thyme’s Herbal Education series.

Dr. Jen offers her knowledge of Anatomy, Physiology and Pathology as well as herbal and nutritional therapeutics.

Judy Lieblein

Judy Lieblein

Shamanic Practitioner & Herbalist

Judy Lieblein is a Shamanic Practitioner, Herbalist, Reiki Master, Counselor and Intuitive working as a transformational facilitator since 1994. Bringing a varied and diverse background to her work Judy is able to weave together the sacred and profane & the practical and intuitive to facilitate understanding, growth and healing at all levels. She holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Clinical/Counseling Psychology and is a lifelong student of old and new medicine ways. Judy has worked in the fields of Energy Medicine, Sustainable Agriculture, Native Plant Restoration, Animal Rescue/Rehabilitation, Social Permaculture and Spiritual Emergence. In addition, Judy has completed apprenticeships in Herbal Medicine, Plant Spirit Medicine, Shamanic Studies, Vedic Studies, Pranic Healing and was most recently certified as a PP/Labor Doula.

Currently, Judy has a private practice based in Marin County working with adults, children and animals in person and long distance & is the Founder/Creatrix of SacredvRose Herbals. She is dedicated to assisting and empowering all beings to align to their truth cultivating health and well-being, independence and freedom.

Judy offers shamanic ways of opening and connecting deeper to the plants.

Catherine Abby Rich

Catherine Abby Rich

Herbalist, Flower Essence Practitioner and Quantum Biofeedback Educator

Catherine Abby Rich has been an herbalist and educator for over 40 years. She trained as a folk medicine maker in the Bavarian Alps, Mexico, the U.S. and in India, where she apprenticed with the well known Ayurvedic physician, Dr. Vasant Lad. Catherine Abby was a founding member of the Marin County Farmers Market and for 23 years was their resident herbalist. Her "Combining Forces” products are wildcrafted, organic and enhanced with flower essences she personally creates. In addition, teaching local plant medicine to all ages is one of her most cherished talents, her lifetime assignment and delight. In the year 2000, Catherine Abby began combining her herbal knowledge with the remarkable science of quantum medicine. She has become a respected practitioner of Quantum/SCIO Biofeedback, and through this medium she is able to utilize her knowledge of both ancient and modern wisdom, helping others further their quest for optimal health and well-being. For more information on Catherine Abby, see

"Abby," our herbal elder, shares her wisdom as a "folk" medicine maker and teaches us about flower essences.

Guest Faculty

Matthew Wood

Matthew Wood MS, RH

Internationally-Renowned Master Herbalist and Author

Matthew Wood has been a practicing herbalist since 1982 and is a renowned inspirational lecturer and author of several herb books including The Book of Herbal Wisdom and The Earthwise Herbal as well as his newest book (doing the happy dance!) The Earthwise Herbal Repertory. While he believes in the virtue of many other healing modalities, he has always been inspired to learn, preserve, and practice the tradition of herbal medicine descending to us from our European, Anglo-American, and Native American heritage. For more information on Matthew, see

Matthew teaches many classes and workshops here at Gathering Thyme to beginning, intermediate and advanced herbal students. We are so thrilled and delighted to have the honor of learning from one of the great herbal masters of our time.

Margi Flint

Margi Flint

Master Clinical Herbalist

Margi Flint practices in the seacoast town of Marblehead, Massachusetts and over the past forty years has become their "village herbalist." Margi has been Adjunct Professor at North Shore Community College, The Tufts University School of Medicine and currently at Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Pacific Rim College in British Columbia. She lectures in Canada, Europe and the States (so far). Home is feeling comfy, the gardens are beautiful.

Margi has been working with people and herbs since she began her herbal studies in 1974. Her clinical practice evolved through continued study with admired herbalists. Influential herbalists have been Rosemary Gladstar, David Winston, Matthew Wood, Christopher Hobbs, Kate Gilday, Donald Yance, Mindy Green, Chancel Chabrera, Annie McIntyre, Jeffrey Bland, the late great William LeSassier, David Crow, Karyn Sanders and many more. For more information about Margi, please visit:

Margi offers her wisdom on "Meeting with Clients: Reading the Body" to our community of holistic practitioners who wish to broaden and deepen their diagnostic skills and techniques.

Sarah Bearden

Sarah Bearden, D.N.Med., MS, CN

Aromatherapist & Clinical Nutritionist

Sarah Bearden has been a practicing nutritionist and aromatherapist since 1996. She has taught nutrition in various adult education schools in England and America for over 20 years. She is the Director of Roots to Health, a center specializing in Holistic Health Consulting in Marin County, California. Sarah received a Diploma in Nutritional Medicine (D.N. Med.) in London, England, a Master’s of Science degree (M.S.) in Nutrition and is a Certified Nutritionist (CN) and a Certified Nutrition Consultant (CNC) in America and she is a certified Natural Foods Chef.

Sarah also has a diploma from the Tisserand Institute, in London, England in Therapeutic Aromatherapy. A practicing Aromatherapist, Sarah has also completed courses in Aromatherapy with Robert Tisserand, Gabriel Mojay, David Crow and Kurt Schnaubelt and she completed her teacher training with Andrea Butje at the Aromahead Institute School of Essential Oil Studies. Sarah is a professional member of NAHA (The National Association of Holistic Aromatherapists).

For more information about Sarah, please visit:

Sarah shares her extensive wisdom in therapeutic aromatherapy and clinical nutrition, focusing on "food as medicine"

David Hoffmann

David Hoffmann B. Sc., F.N.I.M.H.

Internationally-Renowned Medical Herbalist and Author

David Hoffmann is a medical herbalist from Britain where he was a member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists and faculty member of the School of Herbal Medicine. David has been a phytotherapist for 32 years. He is the author of 17 books, including the Holistic Herbal and Medical Herbalism. He is on the advisory board of the American Botanical Council, a founding member and past president of the American Herbalist Guild and is active in the environmental & peace movements.

We are honored to have David teaching phytochemistry for our intermediate/advanced clinical herbal program.

Kia Sanford

Kia Sanford MS

Clinical Nutritionist & Counselor

In addition to being an avid gardener and culinary adventurer, Kia Sanford holds Master’s degrees in both Human Clinical Nutrition and Marriage/Family/Child Counseling which she uses in tandem while working with clients to help them foster long term health. She has worked in the Oakland, San Leandro and San Lorenzo schools with economically challenged families and children, and taught 6th grade outdoor ed, rock climbing and backpacking to kids in the California foothills. Kia has taught nutrition and lifestyle classes and conducts individual consultations with clients all over the country. Whether challenged with cancer, recovering from surgery, changing body composition or working to prevent the onset of chronic disease, Kia firmly believes that what we eat, drink, and how we move everyday is vitally important. Kia’s love of good food, and understanding that food can be medicine, informs her positive focus on all the wonderful things we can and should be eating to create and maintain health. For more information about Kia, please visit:

Kia offers her extensive knowledge into the world of nutrition and nutritional supplements as an adjunct to a well-rounded herbal protocol.

Jolie Egert Elan

Jolie Egert Elan, M.S.

Botanist, Ethnobotanist and Ecologist

Jolie Egert Elan, M.S. is the founder of Go Wild Consulting, a company that promotes healthy ecosystems and our connections to them. She is a deep ecologist, ethnobotanist and educator. Jolie has inspired thousands of people to deepen their connection to nature and has recently established the Go Wild Institute for Earth Wisdom that weaves together science, myth, education and spirit to awaken our ecological selves and foster balance within the great web of life. She has worked with ethnobotanical projects on four continents including restoring sacred forest groves in India and developing the herbal medicine sector in war-torn Kosovo. Jolie is adjunct faculty in the Biology Department at the College of Marin and teaches at the California School of Herbal Studies, California Institute of Integral Studies, SF State’s Sierra Field Campus as well as nature organizations, ecoliteracy programs and other herbal medicine schools in the Bay Area. She is a certified forester and permaculture designer. She received her B.A. from the Evergreen State College in Environmental Studies and her Master's degree in Natural Resources from Humboldt State University. Jolie can often be found foraging wild foods and medicines. For more information on Jolie see

Jolie shares her vast knowledge of botany, ethnobotany and ecology.

Karen Aguiar and Terri Jensen

Karen Aguiar and Terri Jensen

Co-Owners of The Herbal Apothecary and Herbal Medicine Makers

Karen and Terri have been making botanical medicines for over 15 years. They are the owners of The Herbal Apothecary a full-line herbal pharmacy preparing both Chinese and Western Herbal Extracts. In addition to running their herbal pharmacy, Terri and Karen are staff members of the California School of Herbal Studies and lecture about medicinal herbs and mushrooms throughout the country. They are the organizers of the Northern California Women's Herbal Symposium, a four-day women’s conference focused on the many aspects of medicinal plants and our relationships with them. For more information about the beautiful work they do, visit The Herbal Apothecary and Northern California Women's Herbal Symposium.

Terri and Karen share their extensive knowledge of advanced medicine making techniques for our intermediate/advanced herbal program.

Alice Duvernell

Alice Encinas-Duvernell

Owner & Cosmetic Designer at Biophilia Botanicals

Alice is an innovative cosmetic designer and consultant who helps people from all over the world develop their own eco-friendly product lines. She has been teaching in the Bay Area for the past 9 years and has developed curriculums in the domains of botanical extraction and distillation, bee products, natural cosmetic emulsification and preserving systems, and any subject related to the amazing capacity of nature to heal us. Her formal ethno-botany studies at the Sorbonne in Paris led her to travel to South America where she first started distillation and botanical extractions. In the north east of Brazil she created an “open house” laboratory and began teaching and collaborating with indigenous cultures and university leaders in the field.

During her adulthood, she experienced sever acne and only found relief and recovery using botanicals, hydrosols, colloidal minerals and nutrients. This opened her heart to a great passion for organic cosmetology, botanical extraction techniques and foods for beauty. Alice is an enlightened plant and product educator. In her various curriculums, the student is initiated into the alchemical realm and introduced to the highest standards of self-care and product creation. Helpful tools are presented to introduce and sustain the student’s connection to nature’s untapped wonders.

Alice shares her extensive knowledge of botanical cosmetics... we are so happy to have her as a new member of our team!

Simone deWinter

Simone de Winter MA, CYT, CMT

Certified Ayurvedic Specialist

Simone has been practicing Ayurveda in Marin County for eleven years. She is the founder and owner of Marin Ayurveda since 2007. Before that she was the co-owner of Sammasati Ayurveda in Mill Valley and Pt. Reyes Station. In 2005-2006 she was closely involved with the development of Safronya Retreat in San Rafael. She has taught in the long distance learning program at the California College of Ayurveda, teaches in the Yoga Therapy Teachers Training at Stress Management Center, Marin County, has been a guest teacher at JFK University, teaches Ayurvedic body therapy trainings, and enjoys teaching on Ayurveda whenever she can. For more information on Simone, see

Simone brings her wisdom of Ayurveda to our herbal programs.

Autumn Summers

Autumn Summers

Herbalist and Educator

Autumn has been involved in the herbal medicine field for over two decades. Besides a degree in anthropology specializing in ethnobotany, she trained with Christopher Hobbs and at the California School of Herbal Studies where she has been core faculty for 15 years. Her focus is on plant, seaweed and mushroom identification and uses and growing medicinal and edible plants. She is passionate about sharing this empowering knowledge with others in an enthusiastic, hands-on way.

Autumn takes us on out in the woods on mushroom forays!

Donna Odierna

Donna Odierna, DrPH, MS, RH(AHG)

Public Health Researcher, Clinical Herbalist, Social Epidemiologist

Dr. Odierna's research focuses on social exclusion and health equity. She has particular interest in how research itself can function as a social determinant of health by virtue of the questions we ask, the populations we include or leave out, and the way we use the findings to develop practice guidelines and health policy. Donna studied clinical herbalism at the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine and public health at UC Berkeley. She completed a postdoctoral fellowship in health policy and health services research at the Institute for Health Policy Studies at the University of California, San Francisco. She is a faculty member in the UCSF Department of Clinical Pharmacy, where she teaches a course on health disparities in clinical practice. She has worked with diverse populations including indigent women in Latin America and needle exchange participants in New York and California. She maintains an independent consultancy practice, and lives in Oakland, California.

Donna teaches critical appraisal of health research to our intermediate/advanced herbal program students.