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Our Story

The Elderberry School of Botanical Medicine was founded in 2006 by herbalists who wanted to provide a foundational lay herbal medicine education for adults in the Portland area. Since 2007 our nine month Herbalist Training Program brought people together in community with the plants and each other. Later, advanced courses were added to meet the need for more in-depth clinical study.


In 2019 we felt the need to make our programming more versatile and flexible for people with more focused interest. We decided to break up the foundational program into more accessible pieces and created new courses to meet the needs of students and alumni.


In 2023 we brought back the in-person Herbalist Training Program, while maintaining free standing online courses and one day hikes.

Please visit our FAQ page for answers to common questions about our courses. 


Our Mission

We strongly believe that knowledge of local medicinal plants is essential for all people, and that herbal medicine is a core component of sustainable community health and vitality. We offer a bioregional approach that focuses on increasing knowledge and awareness of the medicinal plants of the Pacific Northwest, and we emphasize the validation of first hand experience and collaboration in teaching and learning. We offer an arena for aspiring community healers to learn to bring herbal medicines and people together, and by promoting the awareness of ethical wildcrafting, we ensure the protection of at-risk & endangered plants and the continued abundance that our local flora provides.

Our Instructors


Erico Schleicher, MAcOM, LAc

Erico is a practicing clinical herbalist and acupuncturist. He has been discovering and working with plant medicines since 1994. His studies with Michael R.S. Moore at the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine put him on a path towards accessible and empowering herbalism based on traditional principles, with a bioregional focus. He has been seeing patients in Portland since 2003, combining his passion for local plants with the therapeutic principles of Chinese Medicine for a unique healing perspective.

He is deeply committed to sustainable directions for community health.


Erico finds that when we work seasonally with locally available plants that thrive in our bioregion, we learn to perceive the many voices that teach us how to integrate our own health into the life of the land around us.


In addition to co-founding the Elderberry School in 2007, Erico’s herbalism workshops have been featured at the Breitenbush Herbal Conference, The Portland Plant Medicine Gathering, The Dandelion Seed Conference, the Northwest Herbal Fair, Tryon Life Community Farm and the Montana Herb Gathering.


Erico has served on the Board of Trustees of Tryon Life Community Farm, The Olympia Free Herbal Clinic, and the Oregon Acupuncture Association. He is a faculty member at the Oregon College of Oriental Medicine. 


Kim Kelsey, MSN, FNP

Kim is a plant lover, nurse practitioner, and singer. She grew up exploring the woods and beaches of Washington State on the Puget Sound. Throughout her childhood Kim was intrigued by plants and their uses as medicine. Following her interests, Kim studied botany and ecology at The Evergreen State College. Later, she chose nursing as her healing discipline, drawn by its person-centered and holistic approach. Kim sees patients at Hand On Medicine, an integrated primary care practice in North Portland.


Kim is a founder of the Elderberry School of Botanical Medicine. She has created a unique anatomy and physiology course for herbalists that entwines her knowledge of plant medicine with her understanding of the human body.


Kim’s work with the school also includes teaching songs and fostering a culture of music in the program. Music is a traditional part of healing work, and Kim has witnessed how singing together can open new ways of understanding ourselves and strengthen community. Kim learned many of her songs from singers at the Singing Alive gathering in Cascadia.


Kim manages the website and social media content for the school. She loves to find ways to share the experience of hiking, gardening, and medicine making through photography.

Elise Krohn is passionate about her relationship with plants. As an herbalist, native foods specialist, educator, and author, she empowers others in gathering and using wild foods and medicines. Her 22 years of experience includes teaching, clinical practice, developing educational resources, and coordinating community education programs.

Building relationships between plants, people, the land, and cultural traditions is at the heart of Elise’s work. During her 16 years of experience teaching in tribal communities, she has worked with Elders and cultural specialists to create successful community gardens, food sovereignty resources, a program on healing addiction, an interactive board game, and several curricula on herbal medicine, native foods, and chronic disease prevention. Through leading ‘train-the-trainer’ workshops, Elise has multiplied the number of educators who are teaching about native foods and herbal medicines in tribal communities. She also has over 10 years of experience as a clinical herbalist, and has authored two books and numerous articles on this and related topics. 

Learn more about Elise on her website.


Elise Krohn, M. Ed.


You may notice these lovely hands in our photographs. They belong to Kim and Erico's daughter, who graciously volunteers to be our hand model from time to time. We are grateful to her for sharing her fresh eyed view of the world and for joining us on our herbal adventures.

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