Instructor Biographies

Gerri Boyd

I’m Gerri Boyd, I’ve been drawn to plants since I was a small child. I’ve been independently studying herbs as long as I can remember. I completed both the MCTC Herbal Program, with Red Elk and Erica Fargione, and an internship with Lise Wolff.

My main herbal interest is in the herbs that which help mothers-to-be, mothers, and children. I will be continuing my education to become a certified mid-wife.

I am a mother of three children, and something I enjoy sharing with them is my appreciation for plants.

elizabeth heckElizabeth Heck

Elizabeth is an inspirational herbal educator and writer with a passion for nurturing the human/plant connection. She is the founder of the Home Herb School which offers online courses in herbalism for the home as well as an educational herbal blog. She teaches in-person at herbal events and conferences nationally. Elizabeth also devotes time to honoring the plants. She spent several years on the Board of the Minnesota Native Plant Society and as a staff naturalist at Eloise Butler Wildflower Garden. Additionally, Elizabeth participates in plant conservation and land stewardship projects for both governmental and private agencies.

Connie KarstensConnie Karstens

Connie Karstens holds a Bachelor’s in Biology from the St. Thomas University with emphasis on Nutrition and Botany and a Master’s in Holistic Health and Nutrition Education from Hawthorn University. She taught college level nutrition for 14 years. She is also certified as a First Line Therapy® Lifestyle Educator and a Master Naturalist.

After studying Traditional Western Herbalism for several years, she began her own clinical practice in 2005 and continues to see clients today. Her key mentors include Mathew Wood, MSc, RH (AHG) and Lise Wolff, MSc, RH (AGH), but also include many other recognized herbal experts. She received her clinical training through an 18-month apprenticeship in Minneapolis. Connie offers private wellness consultations incorporating whole foods nutrition, herbs, flower essence therapy, stress management techniques, and other natural remedies to support and build overall health and re-balance the body.

Connie is the owner of the Lamb Shoppe & Wellness Center ( west of Hutchinson, MN where she also teaches a variety of classes on holistic health including herbal medicine, wild edibles, nutrition and natural healing. Connie offers Home Herbalist courses which provides a solid foundation for plant identification, wild food foraging, numerous preparation techniques, and knowledge on proper usage. In addition, she is the author of educational herbal card sets which include Nature’s Medicine, Garden Medicine, Wild Edibles and Making & Using Herbal Preparations.

Katherine KrumwiedeKatherine Krumwiede
Licensed Acupuncturist and Herbalist

Katherine is owner and acupuncturist at Diamond Stone OM, Inc. in the Uptown area of Minneapolis ( Katherine’s practice focuses on digestive health, pain relief, mental health issues and increasingly on brain health, memory issues and recovery from concussion.

Katherine employs many modalities to assist in health restoration: acupuncture, cupping, botanical medicine, and take-home health-promotion strategies.

Teaching is a large part of Katherine’s practice whether it be advice given in the take-home health-promotion strategies or teaching about breast health, digestive health or keeping the liver happy. She is currently developing a class on brain health that will debut in 2020.

Katherine earned a Master in Oriental Medicine from Northwestern Health Sciences University in 2005. She is nationally certified in acupuncture through the NCCAOM, and licensed in the states of Minnesota and Wisconsin.

The Chinese herbs were Katherine’s first introduction to the power of plant medicine, but Lise Wolff’s “Three Seasons of Herbal Wisdom” in 2008 was a game changer. The Chinese herbs and formulas are quite powerful and elegant, but there’s nothing like the local herbs and drop doses!

Katherine was the Board President of the North Country Herbalist Guild ( from 2008-2012. The NCHG is a Minneapolis-based organization that brings herb teachers to the people. Meetings are held the first Wednesday evening of each month except January and July. A highlight of the year is the silent auction held in conjunction with the December meeting.

Heather MashugaIMG_2112[2729]

Heather Mashuga earned her master’s degree in Holistic Health Studies from St. Catherine University. For an elective she took a class on herbalism with Lise Wolff and she found her passion. Heather ended up doing a concentration in herbalism with Lise Wolff. Heather has been a traditional Western Herbalism practitioner and teacher and owner of Herbal Alchemy Medicaments for 4 years. Her mission is to help people on their path to health and wellness, and to provide high quality herbal remedies to those that need them. Heather sells her products at a store in Osceola and online, and at community events and the Osceola farmer’s market. Heather teaches herb walks and classes in Osceola, Marine on St. Croix, and Stillwater.

Betsy Nelson

Betsy is a native Minnesotan and has always been ‘herb curious’, finding and tasting plants, flowers and herbs. She has degrees in Psychology and Studio Arts, and then went on to a carreer as a restaurant chef, her last restaurant gig being the Head Chef at the Aveda Spa and Retreat Center. Currently, Betsy works as a freelance food stylist and recipe developer, and has authored a cookbook ‘Tasting Minnesota’ as well as writing recipes for local magazines and food clients. Thinking about food as medicine has led her to study Western Herbalism and Ayurveda, and incorporates this knowledge into her cooking. Betsy has completed an Ayurvedic Wellness Counselor program with James Bailey and an Ayurvedic Chef Training at Hale Pule in Kauiai with Myra Lewin, ‘Herbalism for Women’s Health’ with Erin Poirier and is nearly complete with Lise Wolff’s “Thee Seasons of Herbal Wisdom” course.

headshot 3Erin Piorier, Registered Herbalist, AHG, CPM

Erin Piorier is a Traditional Western Herbalist who has been serving the Twin Cities community with plant-based medicine for fifteen years.   Erin is available for private consultation and provides her clients with handmade wildcrafted herbal products gathered from the fields and forest of the upper Midwest or grown in her organic garden.  She is committed to safe, collaborative, natural health care that treats the whole person.

Erin teaches extensively. She enjoys  both introducing beginners to the world of plant id and medicine making and digging into the big questions of herbal medicine and helping advanced students take their herbal work to the next level.  Erin is also a traditional midwife who offers homebirth services. She integrates her herbal practice into the care she provides childbearing women. She also offers classes and consultations focusing on health for women, babies, children and the whole family.

Erin is a mother of two children and lives with her family in St. Paul.  You can find her writing about plants on the web where she blogs about plants at and in the pages of the Plant Healer Magazine.

Marina PovlitzkiMarina Povlitzki

Marina is an herbalist, flower essence practitioner, yoga instructor, and educator based out of St. Paul, Minnesota. Marina has always loved the outdoors and started off learning about wild edible plants that can be used for food.  After seeing an herbalist and experiencing the healing benefits of plant-based medicine, she began studying traditional western herbalism.  Marina has studied under Erin Piorier RH (AHG) and Lise Wolff, RH (AHG). She also completed a Flower Essence Therapy training program with Loey Colebeck. Marina sees clients for herbal consultations in the Twin Cities, and teaches yoga and barre classes with an emphasis on healthy, functional movement. When working with clients, she use a holistic approach, seeing the whole person and tailoring the herbal regime or yoga practice specifically to address the individuals unique set of health concerns and goals. Marina teaches workshops occasionally, and enjoys experimenting in the kitchen, crafting a variety of different herbal products.  You can learn more about Marina at

paul ratte

Paul Ratté

Paul Ratté, ND is a naturopathic doctor and an assistant professor of clinical nutrition at Northwestern Health Sciences University. With one foot in the clinic and one foot in the research, he offers his patients and students a balance between the art and science of medicine. With much humility and curiosity, he takes a detective approach in the clinic with often complex patients. Functional medicine is the playing field where he integrates the patient’s experience with objective data to find an approach that validates and empowers them to redirect their story towards health.

laura shaw sandenLaura Shaw Sanden

Laura is a Master and Teacher of Unlimited Body, Unlimited Breath and a certified Western Herbalist. She is trained in Flower Essences, Homeopathy, Ho’oponopono (Huna shamanism), Buddhist Psychology, and Jungian Psychology. She holds a Master’s degree in Human Development from St. Mary’s University.

Her search for the keys to healing has led her to many diverse experiences, including sleeping in a cave in Tibet, breathing for 45 minutes while submerged in freezing water, and walking on fire seven times without being burned. As an herbalist, Laura has created a pharmacy in her basement of herbs she has wildcrafted.

Laura has been in practice for over 20 years and teaches both locally and nationally, most recently on public television as part of the Mind-Body Lecture Series, and The Minnesota Waldorf Holistic Health & Wellness Conference.

Laura has a private practice in Excelsior, Minnesota at Peak Life Clinic. She lives is Orono, Minnesota with her husband, two daughters and Papillon, Cowboy.

lise wolffLise Wolff, Registered Herbalist, AHG

Lise Wolff has studied herbalism for twenty-nine years, with herbalists from Susun Weed to Matthew Wood with whom she apprenticed in 1995.  She is a professional member of The American Herbalist Guild and received her MSc in Scotland.   An active practitioner, Lise supplies her apothecary primarily with herbs she gathers and prepares.  She maintains a private practice in South Minneapolis and is available for private consultations.  For the past eighteen years she has taught beginning and advanced herb classes in the Midwest based on actual case histories. Lise’s primary focus is on the most prolific plants available commonly called weeds, that insistently volunteer their nutrition and healing powers everywhere we walk.

In 2010 and 2011 Lise taught at the University of Minnesota Center for Spirituality and Healing as a part of the School of Nursing curriculum for the Doctor of Nursing Practice.  Fall 2010 Lise was appointed to the academic faculty of St. Katherine University. As adjunct professor, she teaches the Herbology course for the Master of Arts in Holistic Health Studies.  Beyond herbalism, her other great loves include her husband and her son Nick.

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