Blue Ridge School Faculty

Core Faculty

CoreyPine Shane, RH (AHG), Holistic Clinical Herbalist, is Director of the Blue Ridge School of Herbal Medicine and has been helping clients since the early 1990s by artfully blending Chinese and Western herbal traditions with a focus on local plants. As a seasoned wildcrafter, he has extensive knowledge of local plant identification as well as medicine making. He is an expert on herbal first aid, an experienced Street Medic and Wilderness First Responder.

He has taught and led plant walks across the country, including the Medicines from the Earth Symposium, International Herb Symposium, Traditions in Western Herbalism Conference, AHG Symposium, Wild Herb Weekend, Midwest Herb Fest, and the Montana Herb Gathering. He has written extensively on herbal medicine and is a professional member of the American Herbalists Guild. CoreyPine believes that laughter is an essential part of any medicine chest, which is why he is a part of the “Wise Guy” school of healing.
Sandi Ford, Clinical Herbalist and Health and Nutrition Educator, is the Assistant Director of Clinical Education at The Blue Ridge School of Herbal Medicine and has been working with plants for beauty, food, and medicine for twenty years. She studied at The Blue Ridge School of Herbal Medicine and The California School of Herbal Studies. Sandi teaches near and far at various herb schools and nature centers and local colleges, and she is the Herbal Adviser for the Warren Wilson College Wellness Crew. She received her Master's degree in Holistic Health and Nutrition Education in the winter of 2013. She has a clinical practice where she specializes in addressing chronic health conditions with herbal medicine as well as dietary and lifestyle changes. She is an expert at detecting gluten and other food intolerances and provides the information, support, and guidance often needed through the process of eliminating problematic foods from the diet. In her spare time, she is an avid gardener and the caretaker of an incredible edible and medicinal garden.
Marc Williams is an ethnobotanist. He has studied the connection between plants and people intensively while learning to employ botanicals for food, medicine, and beauty. He holds a Bachelor's degree in Environmental Studies with a concentration in Sustainable Agriculture from Warren Wilson College and a Master’s degree in Appalachian Studies with a concentration in Sustainable Development and a minor in Geography and Planning from Appalachian State University. He has spent over fifteen years working at a multitude of restaurants and various farms and has travelled throughout 24 countries in North/Central America and Europe. Marc has taught hundreds of people about the marvelous world of plants, people, and the interface between them. His greatest hope is that this information may help improve our current challenging global ecological situation.
Mimi Hernandez, MS, RH (AHG) comes from a background as a clinical herbalist, educator, and ethnobotanist. She currently serves as the Executive Director of the American Herbalists Guild and formerly held the position of Coordinator of the Appalachian Center for Ethnobotanical studies at Frostburg State University. With roots in Asheville, NC, Mimi mentors community and clinical herbalists through One World Healing Community network and her formulas are featured through Mortar and Pestle Apothecary. Mimi's courses balance scientific understanding with traditional reverence and intuitive awareness, and she draws upon her rich ethnic background & the Granny healers in her life. Aside from her Latin American Grandmothers, her important mentors have included James Duke, Rocio Alarcon, and Simon Mills. Mimi believes that the handing down of plant wisdom is essential, and it is her life's work to advocate for traditional and professional herbal pathways while building cultural bridges of understanding.
Josh Fox is a plant-enthusiast with a great love for teaching. He is a licensed acupuncturist and herbal clinician, incorporating both deep knowledge of Chinese medicine and nine years of Western herbal studies into his practice. Josh is an experienced guide to our local abundance of plant food and medicine and regularly offers plant walks, workshops, and weekend retreats integrating physical and spiritual healing. When he's not working with plants, you might find him dancing, stilt-walking, or singing songs.
Jamie Sparks is the Founder and Director of Herban Farmacy, Asheville's first Community Supported Herbalism (herbal CSA), which offers seasonal shares of herbal medicine and education to support the journey into the world of herbal medicine. She is also a massage therapist, offering therapeutic body work with herb-infused oils created and blended with her own hands. Jamie teaches programs to adults and children at herb schools, public schools, and various earth skills gatherings in the southeastern part of the country. She has also volunteered her time as an herbalist at the Ithaca Free Clinic and offered first aid and medical support at various gatherings. Jamie's herbal journey began with an ethnobotany class in 1995. She was reminded of our deep connections with the earth, and from that point on wanted to continue to be constantly reminded of that connection, as well as spread that wisdom. She continued to deepen her knowledge about the magic of plants as she earned a BS in Plant Biology at Ohio University, apprenticed with Juliet Blankespoor, studied at the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine, and worked with 7Song of the Northeast School of Botanical Medicine and the Ithaca Free Clinic. She continues to be awestruck by the plants of Southern Appalachia and is happy to call this region home. See for more on herbal shares in the CSH and educational opportunities.

Adjunct Faculty

Lorna Mauney-Brodek is a traveling herbalist, apotheker, wildcrafter, and teacher. Growing up "Americana,” her health practices reflect the diverse influences of these lands, blending western European medical herbalism, traditional Chinese five phase, Ayurveda, eclectic and southern folk. Early barefoot adventures in the Appalachian foothills and global wanderings with tent-packing parents led to more formal trainings in plant medicine. She completed an herbal residency with Michael Moore at the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine, a clinical internship at the Blue Ridge School, and has continued study with Patricia Howell. She believes health care is a fundamental human right and provides free earth-based care at the Harriet Tubman Free Foot Clinic and the Herbalista Free Clinic (aka the Herb Bus), a mobile clinic she founded in 2012.
Vishnu Dass is an Ayurvedic practitioner and herbalist and the owner and director of Blue Lotus Ayurveda in Asheville, NC. He received his training under the guidance of Dr. Vasant Lad and is a graduate of the Ayurvedic Institute in Albuquerque, NM. Having served on the board of directors for the National Ayurvedic Medical Association, he remains an honorary lifetime practitioner member. He teaches extensively on Ayurveda and Yoga philosophy for schools of clinical herbalism as well as Yoga retreat centers and teacher training programs. His knowledge in both Eastern and Western herbal traditions combined with 14 years of clinical practice comes together in his practical and inspiring book, Ayurvedic Herbology East & West.
Asia Suler is a writer, teacher, energy worker, and herbalist who lives amongst her gardens and large apothecary in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Western NC. She is the creator and concoctress of One Willow Apothecaries, an Appalachian-grown company that offers lovingly handcrafted medicines. Asia teaches at gatherings across the country and is blessed to work with people and plants, spirit and stones. You can learn more about her healing practice and herbal medicines at
Rebecca Vann is the Administrator for the Blue Ridge School of Herbal Medicine and has been working with plant medicine for over 15 years. Rebecca teaches various classes at BRSHM, including Anatomy and Physiology, Good Manufacturing Practices for herbal medicine businesses, and Herbal Medicine for Mothers and Children. She currently serves on the board of the Appalachian Botanical Alliance, a grower-owned cooperative of medicinal herb farmers focusing on Western and Chinese herb production in WNC. Rebecca lives at Sacred Mountain Sanctuary, where she farms biodynamically and administers the The Learning Village school.
 ​Karen Savage Shane, of Eye Thrive, has been a practicing clinician (Iridology, Bio-Optic Holography, Homeopathy) since 2006 and dreamt of being a healer since she was a child, making potions in her backyard. Her practice is currently located in West Asheville, NC and via Skype, and she teaches classes nationally. She holds a Bachelor of Science in Natural Health and certifications in Bio-Optic Holography™ and Transformational Homeopathy.  She has worked closely with Robert Tennyson Stevens and Dr. Rudolph Ballentine, her mentors.  In addition, she has held an active volunteer role in Earthaven Ecovillage's Care Team since 2007, providing free first aid, herbal care, and overseeing long-term care organization of community members in need. Karen is a home-school mother, wife, and member-resident of Earthaven Ecovillage in Black Mountain, NC.

Her healing practice specializes in wholistic transformative client sessions and classes, as well as minimally invasive/maximally effective choices and practices. She thrives on realistically empowering clients and students to live to their fullest and feel their best. To learn more about her healing practice, Eye Thrive, visit her website,
Rae Swersey, CH-Advanced Certified Herbalist, is a community herbalist currently in private practice in Asheville, NC. They studied at the Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine, The North American Institute of Medical Herbalism, and in a clinical mentorship with Mary Barnes and Sandi Ford. From there, they have co-founded the Sassafras Community Health Collective and the Denver Community Health Collective Clinic. These collectives have created a multitude of community projects including a Drop-In Herbal Medicine Clinic at AHOPE and the Asheville Health Collective Resource Guide. Rae's passion lies in providing inclusive, comprehensive, and accessible health care. For them, herbalism is about healing their community from the inside out through a social justice lens. In their practice, they have a focus on LGBTQQIA, activists and organizers, and under-served populations. Their personal practice is named Take Care Herbals. To follow their blog, learn more, or contact them visit

Clinical Faculty

Joel Wind Fox Boyle is a Certified Clinical Herbalist certified through the Appalachia School of Holistic Herbalism. He has completed courses in Native American healing through The Good Medicine Society, worked as an herbal extraction technician for Gaia Herbs, and is an avid organic farmer and gardener. He currently teaches classes and plant walks as an educator for Chimney Rock Park and works with the Appalachian Trail Conservancy, Western North Carolina Alliance, Botanical Gardens at UNC Asheville, and United Plant Savers. Joel also teaches programs for the Firefly Gathering, AB Tech, and Warren Wilson College, and he is a regular instructor for the Appalachia School of Holistic Herbalism and the Blue Ridge School of Herbal Medicine. Joel has been running Wind Fox Herbal in Black Mountain since 2007, which has specialized in helping individuals recover from "incurable" diseases. Wind Fox Herbal is currently researching methods to make herbal extracts more potent and effective.
Daisy Conway Marquis began studying meditation and energy healing, including Esoteric Healing, in 1997 at North Carolina School of Natural Healing. She completed apprenticeships in Herbalism, Meditation Instruction, and Energy Healing in 1998 and 1999. In 1999, she began teaching meditation and assisting in the herbal programs offered by NCSNH and has continued teaching these subjects for the past 16 years. Daisy continued studying various energy healing modalities with Deborah Mills during this time. When Deborah left Asheville in 2000, she passed her position at NCSNH teaching Esoteric Healing level 1 on to Daisy. When NCSNH was sold in 2002, the new owner appointed Daisy co-director and primary instructor in the Energy Healing and Meditation Program. Daisy also taught Energy Body Mind Studies, Aromatherapy, Nutrition, and Flower Essences in the Massage Diploma Program and the Professionals Program, after completing the Massage Diploma program in 2003. When NCSNH went out of business in 2007, Daisy founded the Shanti School of Energy Healing and Self Transformation, and continues teaching Energy Healing, Flower Essences, Aromatherapy, Holistic Herbalism, Ethics, Soul Focused Healing, Reiki and Polarity-based Energy Healing, Meditation and the Yoga of Self Realization in the Asheville community. She has also taught classes at Appalachian School of Holistic Herbalism, Blue Ridge School of Herbal Medicine, Mountain Spirit School of Herbalism, and One World Healing Arts Institute. Daisy is deeply committed to a lifetime of teaching and learning in the fields of natural healing and conscious evolution.
Shannon Simpson is a Marriage and Family Therapy Associate with more than ten years of experience in the mental health and alternative health fields. She uses a body/mind approach incorporating body awareness skills in her practice and focuses on releasing patterns stored in the body’s memory. She incorporates Somatic Experiencing, Attachment work, Mindfulness practices, and Biodynamic Craniosacral therapy to bring back physical and emotional health and wholeness. Shannon has also studied as an herbalist and intuitive healer and has been growing and wild-crafting medicinal herbs for many years in Asheville. She loves teaching and sharing her knowledge with others. Recently, she has blended her passion for sustainable farming and therapy into a garden therapy program to support people in developing a deeper connection with themselves, nature, and the community.
Steve Torma has gently guided our culture toward cooperation and regeneration for nearly thirty years. He lives his passion for community and sustainability at Earthaven Ecovillage, where he is a member-resident, and he is on the core faculty for The Asheville Tantra School. Steve is trained in Nonviolent Communication, Radical Honesty, Body Electric, Cuddle Party, Restorative Circles, Permaculture, and Creation Spirituality. Through his compassionate presence and guidance, Steve has helped hundreds to find healing, direction, and meaning in their lives.