Bios & Consultations

After graduating from Chinese Medical School where I received a masters degree in herbology and acupuncture, I took a full-time herbal coure at Blue Otter School. I found their class to fill in a lot of the gaps that I felt were missing from my education. I loved their emphasis on honoring the physical and spiritual aspects of the plants. Amazing experience~ — Tatiana, Full Time Program 2007

Karyn Sanders and Sarah Holmes created and founded the Blue Otter School of Herbal Medicine, opening its doors in the spring of 2003. Both practicing herbalists, they are committed to teaching and passing along this craft. Karyn and Sarah had been teaching for many years prior to the opening of Blue Otter and wanted to create an environment in a rural location where students could completely immerse themselves in the study of plants, nature and self. Together they have over 50 years of experience.

Karyn Sanders, Clinical Herbalist

Karyn has been working with plants for most of her life. She was first trained in Native American traditional plant medicine. In her mid-teens she apprenticed with a Mexican curandera and has subsequently studied with various traditional teachers as well as Western herbalists. Karyn has been teaching and practicing herbal medicine from an energetic perspective for over 32 years.

Karyn has a live radio show, The Herbal Highway, that has aired weekly since 1996 on KPFA, 94.1FM out of Berkeley, California. She co-hosts this program with Sarah. You may listen to her show live through the internet at http://kpfa.org/herbal-highway, Thursdays from 1 to 2pm. Karyn is also available to teach at other schools, community groups and conferences.

Consultations

Karyn Sanders is available for consultations in-person or by phone both in the United States and internationally. Her work is based on Native American energetic herbalism. This includes any health care issue as well as; difficult cases, rare diseases, cancer (with a focus on children), reproductive imbalances, and children’s health issues. She also works with animals as clients. Karyn also makes spirit formulas for people who want to work on emotional and spirit/soul issues that do not currently have a physical manifestation. These formulas are helpful for either current or old issues.

Karyn may be reached at Karyn@BlueOtterSchool.com or (530) 468-4342 to arrange an appointment.

Sarah Holmes, Clinical Herbalist and Educator

Sarah Holmes has been in private practice as a clinical herbalist since 1998. She trained in Native American and Western Herbalism starting out at the Pacific School of Herbal Medicine in Oakland, CA and continued with Karyn Sanders.  Sarah believes strongly in the interconnectedness of mind, body and spirit and enjoys working with clients and students to open them to this concept on both obvious and subtle levels.

Sarah has a strong commitment to service that started with volunteer work in her teens and continued into a career in social work. Her background in social work enriches her current vocation bringing together her love of nature and a commitment to working with people and service.

Sarah also has a love for teaching and has been teaching people for many years before beginning her career as an herbalist which has expanded her teaching beyond health to also include plants and the outdoors. She also runs an outdoor education program for The Sierra Club Foundation on Mt. Shasta with local school children and is trained as a Wilderness First Responder through Wilderness Medicine Associates.  Sarah co-hosts The Herbal Highway on KPFA public radio with Karyn Sanders.

When not working, Sarah can often be found hiking in the vast wilderness of this area, puttering in her garden or curled up with a good book. Sarah is also available to teach at other schools, community groups and conferences.

Consultations

Sarah Holmes is available for consultations in person or by phone for people living outside of her area. As a clinical herbalist Sarah works with individuals to support them in regaining and maintaining their  health through herbs, diet and flower essences. She addresses the physical,  emotional and spiritual from an energetic perspective.

This practice of herbalism addresses multiple needs. On a physical level the herbs provide overall support to the body as well as focus on specific issues. Herbalism looks at the whole system and looks to support any weaknesses in the body so that the body overall may be stronger.

Believing strongly in the interconnectedness of mind, body and spirit, Sarah also addresses emotional and spiritual needs through her formulations as she finds this necessary to truly be in balance.

Sarah may be reached at Sarah@BlueOtterSchool.com or (530) 468-4342 to arrange an appointment.

Annie & Stella

Our four-legged staff, when they are available, assist students in relaxing and being in the moment.  Annie, resting on the trail, specializes in joyful presence. Stella likes to hang out in the garden.