For as long as there have been herbalists, there have been herbalists teaching each other. Most herbal practitioner communities are close knit,
so it’s not surprising that herbalists who train together also work together. Some students of David Winston banded together in 1996 to create the Herbal
Exchange Guild, a monthly gathering of herbalists and practitioners. From this group, Changewater Wellness Center was formed to provide service to
their local community.
“Originally the Herbal Exchange was open only to graduates of David’s two-year program but recently we began accepting graduates of other herbal programs
as well,” said founder Kerry Adams RH (AHG). “The Herbal Exchange Guild meets the 3rd Wednesday of every month, where we support each other as practitioners, discuss
case studies, and talk about questions or concerns.” Each month they tackle a specific topic, either by a presentation or open group discussion. Recently this guild
has become the New Jersey American Herbalist Guild Chapter.
Co-founder David Harder RH (AHG) added “When Kerry Adams, Pat Rudolph, Jennifer O’Hagan and I started meeting on a regular basis to exchange our experiences
in practice, we recognized the need for a reduced fee service to enable some people to access ‘the people’s’ medicines who otherwise could not afford the expertise.
Also we saw the need for a teaching clinic to help newly graduated students to get hands-on experience.”
Changewater Wellness Center meets the first Monday of each month, and provides services based on the ability to pay. The clinic was created to allow an
exchange of insight and education between practitioners, while providing service to the community. The clinic has grown not only in providing herbal care to those in
need but now offers clinical mentorship for students of herbal medicine.
“So far word of mouth is the main way patients are finding us, but we are starting to do brochures,” Harder said. “We work in a circle format where one
herbalist is primary and the others are auditors. We are working on adding more involvement from David Winston’s students.”