Core Faculty


Betzy Bancroft, RH(AHG)
As core faculty and co-founder, Betzy contributed to the development of much of the curriculum offered at VCIH. Currently, she teaches primarily in the Family Herbalist and Clinical Herbalist programs.

Courses taught:
Family Program/Clinical Program Year 1: Food as Medicine*, Energetic Systems*, Herbal Therapeutics I, Herbal Skills Practicum, Exploring the Medicinal Landscape, Materia Medica I

Clinical Program Year 2: Nutrition and Supplementation*, Advanced Herbal Preparations*, Ethics and Legal Considerations, Pathophysiology I, Herbal Therapeutics II, Pharmacology and Formulation, Field Experience, Materia Medica II, Intro to Clinic/Observation & Round table

Clinical Program Year 3: Community Teaching Practicum*, Pathophysiology II, Herbal Therapeutics III, Materia Medica III, Clinical Round Table, and Supervised Clinical Practicum
*Denotes course taught primarily by Betzy


Betzy is a teacher, clinical herbalist, gardener, craftsperson and environmentalist who’s had a deep appreciation for the magic of plants since childhood. As VCIH co-director and core faculty, Betzy provides the earth element to the organization’s staff. Plants are truly her friends, and she feels ever inspired by the natural world—all its varied beings and the amazing interconnections and beauty that make up the great web of life.

In 1987 she began formal study at Herbal Therapeutics School of Botanical Medicine (now David Winston’s Center for Herbal Studies) and went on to teach herbal pharmacy, field botany and other subjects as an assistant instructor at the school. Lucky to be in the only class of David’s that continued for 3 years, Betzy went on to complete two graduate courses in clinical herbalism with him, as well.

Still an avid student, she has taught classes in herbal medicine, wild edible plants and the medicinal uses of food throughout the Northeast for over two decades, including major conferences such as Northeast Organic Farming Association, Pennsylvania Sustainable Agriculture Conference, the American Herbalists Guild Symposia and the New England Women’s Herbal Conference. Betzy was a part time instructor at the Tracker School for 7 years, specializing in edible wild plants and the physical languages of plants. Teaching there enabled her to take many classes in primitive skills, and she happily maintains connection to that community by teaching at the ROOTS School Rendezvous.

Betzy currently serves on the United Plant Savers’ Advisory Board. Her experience also includes over a decade in the herbal product industry as staff herbalist and general manager for Herbalist & Alchemist, Inc., a manufacturer of quality herbal extracts and other herbal products. Her favorite tasks at H&A were working with growers and the herbs they sent, and teaching workshops for natural food store personnel and customers.

Working at H&A made it possible for Betzy to attend numerous herb conferences. She’s also taken weekend or multi-weekend courses with a number of respected herbalists, including Amanda McQuade-Crawford and the late William LeSassier, two teachers who have particularly inspired her.

Practicing in the Western energetic tradition of herbal medicine, Betzy has been influenced by the Eclectic and other botanic physicians of the 19th and early 20th centuries in this country, and deeper back to the traditions of Europe. Her focus is on the common threads between all ancient medical systems, which ultimately lead to Nature itself–the four basic elements and the qualities intrinsic to them. Helping students and clients recognize the Nature of herbs, peoples’ constitutions and imbalances is a key part of her approach.

Betzy loves to introduce others to her green friends, to share the herbal wisdom she feels very blessed to have learned. Her goal is to help students and clients understand the plants’ “personalities” and relate to them as fellow living beings and guides to better health.

Email Betzy

Larken Bunce, MS
As core faculty, co-founder and current Executive Director, Larken contributed to the development of much of the curriculum offered at VCIH. Currently, she teaches primarily in the Clinical Herbalist program.

Larken will have reduced teaching hours in 2021 to focus on directorial duties while VCIH adapts to the changes brought on by the pandemic and transitions into hybrid residential and distance learning programs.

Courses taught:

Family Program/Clinical Program Year 1:  Materia Medica I, Herbal Therapeutics I, Justice in Herbalism

Clinical Program Year 2:  Applied Energetics*, Practitioner Skills*, Intro to Clinic/Observation & Round Table, Pathophysiology I, Herbal Therapeutics II, Materia Medica II

Clinical Program Year 3: Materia Medica III, Clinical Round Table, Supervised Clinical Practicum

*Denotes course taught primarily by Larken

Larken is a clinical herbalist, educator, gardener, writer, and photographer deeply inspired by a life-long love affair with plants. Her approach to herbal medicine is equally rooted in science and spirit, novel practice and tradition, clinic and garden, reflecting her diverse experiences over 20 years in the field. Her work is primarily informed by Western herbal medicine, classical Chinese medicine, whole-food nutrition, mind-body and narrative medicines, and social justice advocacy. Larken is passionate about accessible and culturally competent care, bridging traditional medical systems with biomedical sciences, and restoring Nature to culture through herbal medicine.

Her work is rooted in the premise that the heart of healing lies in remembering that we belong to each other and to the land. In all she does, Larken hopes to increase awareness of the capacity of not only medicinal plants, but of all nature and wildness, to sustain and heal.

In addition to working with clients in VCIH’s community clinic, Larken’s passion is sharing her craft through education. As founding co-director and core faculty at VCIH, she developed the comprehensive curriculum together with Guido and Betzy, and continues to think about and experiment with new methods to inspire the combination of rigorous critical inquiry and joyful exploration that herbalism calls for. She is interested in education as necessarily life-long and transformative, and views learning and healing as parallel endeavors of discovery.

In addition to her roles at VCIH, Larken served for seven years as faculty in the Health Arts and Sciences (HAS) program at Goddard College, where she worked with students passionate about various herbal traditions, nutrition, agriculture, social and environmental justice, deep ecology, and radical public health. She continues to guest lecture and advise in the HAS program and is a recurring lecturer in the nursing programs at the University of Vermont. She teaches widely at national conferences and has served as faculty for numerous other clinical herbal programs. She also proudly serves on the advisory board of Integrative Medicine for the Underserved (IM4US), an educational and advocacy organization working towards a healthcare paradigm of wellness, prevention, patient empowerment, and self-care.

Her education includes a Master of Science in Herbal Medicine from Maryland University of Integrative Health (formerly Tai Sophia Institute for the Healing Arts) and a Bachelor of Arts from Goddard College. Larken holds certificates in Zen Shiatsu and Swedish/Esalen Massage from the Heartwood Institute and in using Teishin (acupressure) for pain and stress from the Barefoot Doctor Institute. She has also studied mind-body skills at the Center for Mind-Body Medicine in Washington, DC and is currently completing certification in Somatic Experiencing, based on the trauma resolution work of Dr. Peter Levine.

You’ll find Larken happiest on an afternoon spent in a field with a harvest basket, a blue sky, and the sun on her face or kneeling in the dirt meeting a new plant. She lives on a ridge in East Montpelier with her animals, gardens, and similarly green-thumbed sweetheart. Close

Linden de Voil, RH(AHG)
Linden is a clinical herbalist, writer, and plant wonderer. She was initially drawn to herbalism as a practice for community care, health advocacy, and personal empowerment, then discovered the deep joy of connecting with plants and ecosystems.

Courses taught:

Family Program/Clinical Program Year 1: Materia Medica I, Plant Chemistry and Herbal Actions*

Clinical Program Year 2: Pathophysiology I, Herbal Therapeutics II, Materia Medica II, Ethics and Legal Considerations, Intro to Clinic/Observation & Roundtable, Herbal Safety*

Clinical Program Year 3: Materia Medica III, Pathophysiology II, Herbal Therapeutics III, Supervised Clinical Practicum, Clinical Round Table 

*Denotes course taught primarily by Linden


Linden began studying herbal medicine in 2008 with a series of apprenticeships. After graduating from VCIH’s clinical training program in 2014, Linden spent several years working for a tincture manufacturing company, assisting with production and managing regulatory affairs. She moved on to hold a private clinical practice and help manage a naturopathic wellness center. Linden has also served as a guest lecturer at Bastyr University and other herbal education programs and conferences in the Pacific Northwest. The heart of her clinical work is the use of compassion, deep listening, and a collaborative partnership with clients as they create new patterns and connect with the power and beauty of plant medicine. Close

K. Henningsen_VCIH Headshot

Kristin Henningsen MS, RH(AHG), E-RYT, IYT
Kristin is a clinical herbalist, yoga therapist, writer, and educator, who first fell in love with plants in the desert southwest. There she was inspired to complete her graduate work, researching the Ethnobotany of the region. In addition to studying Native American herbal medicine in the Southwest, she has worked in academia and for non-profit organizations in the field of botanical research all over the country.

Courses taught:
Family Program/Clinical Program Year 1: Holistic Physiology*, Herbal Therapeutics I, Materia Medica I, Herbal Skills Practicum, Botany for the Herbalist*

Clinical Program Year 2: Research Skills*Ethics and Legal Considerations, Pathophysiology I, Herbal Therapeutics II, Materia Medica II, Applied Energetics

Clinical Program Year 3: Pathophysiology II, Herbal Therapeutics III, Materia Medica III, Supervised Clinical Practicum, Clinical Round Table

*Denotes course taught primarily by Kristin

Kristin’s passion has always been bringing this medicine to the people, however, integrating Western Herbalism, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Ayurvedic practices to empower those who are seeking a healthier path. Although she has been inspired by many herbalists along the way, some of her primary teachers have included Phyllis Hogan, Michael Moore, and Michael and Lesley Tierra.

Currently she serves as faculty for Kaplan University’s School of Health Sciences, teaching courses on Health and Wellness, and has maintained a private holistic healthcare practice for the past 10 years. As a registered yoga teacher and integrated yoga therapist, she utilizes yoga therapeutics and mind body techniques in her treatment plans as well. She has been researching, writing, and teaching about medicinal plants for over 15 years. Look for her wandering through the woods, kids and dogs in tow. Close

Adjunct Faculty

Hannah Rae Behrens
Hannah Rae is a clinical herbalist, educator, farmer, and bona fide plant nerd, with deep roots in Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (and a few well-tended rootlets in Vermont). Her partnership with the plant world began with her upbringing on a small farm in the big woods, in a daily relationship of interdependence with the natural world. In all of her many roles, she seeks to weave together this lived sense of environmental kinship with scientific understanding, using science as a tool to deepen relationships, curiosity, and awe.

Courses Taught:
Clinical Program Year 2: Pharmacology & Formulation*

*Denotes course taught primarily by Hannah Rae


She first came to the formal practice of herbal medicine seeking to better understand and manage her own chronic illness. This personal experience has made her a passionate advocate for a truly integrative healthcare paradigm, one that considers all options and makes compassionate, collaborative, and informed choices about care. Her approach in clinic and classroom is centered on this paradigm, particularly as it relates to bridging the unfortunate and unnecessary communication gaps between science, tradition, and mystery.

Aside from herbal and integrative medicine, her academic interests include botany for its own sake, data and scientific literacy, science education, and conservation biology. She holds a BA in conservation biology from Middlebury College, and works part time as an adjunct instructor in Plant-Based Wellness at Northern Michigan University. When she is not teaching or holding space in clinic, she can usually be found cooking, tending plants, curled up with cats, tea, and her 85lb “lapdog”, or on the wild beaches of Lake Superior.


Stephanie Boucher
Stephanie is a botanical business coach, cannabis entrepreneur, and clinical herbalist currently residing on unceded Abenaki territory in so-called Vermont. She is passionate about helping other herbalists make a sustainable livelihood from their gifts, co-creating a more inclusive and holistic cannabis industry, and integrating this industry with the herbal world. In addition to her work with VCIH, she offers her business coaching as well as a small product line of herbal hemp elixirs, flower essences, and seasonal offerings at

Courses Taught:
Clinical Program Year 3: Business Development*

*Denotes course taught primarily by Stephanie

Bio PicJoann Darling
Joann is a native Vermonter living in Barre, in the homestead where she grew up and today practices and teaches skills in traditional arts. She has been connected to the land of Vermont for generations, closely tied to the plants, animals and people through the seasons. Her knowledge and wisdom includes the myriad ways of knowing the plants, from flower growing and arrangements to dyeing, felting, weaving and growing flax for fibre.

Courses Taught:
Roots Apprenticeship: Medicine-Making, Garden Practicum 

Joann has been growing medicinal plants for many years, opening her nursery and flower farm, Gardens of Seven Gables in 1994. Currently, Joann is VCIH’s garden manager. A real down-­to-­earth entrepreneur, she also owns a soap company, Green Sylk Soap Company.

As an apprentice at the Marshfield School of Weaving, Joann received a grant from the Vermont Folklife Center to document the process of growing flax and processing it all the way through to a piece of woven cloth. In 2009 Joann was  the lead gardener of  The Apple Corps, the group that planted the first vegetable garden on a Statehouse lawn.  She has taught Herb Camp for children at the Two Rivers Farm, and Gardens for Learning, a Foods Work program, at a low income housing site in Barre, Vt.

Joann’s love for teaching about the natural world inspired her study in interpretation, and in 2012 she successfully completed her certification as an Interpretive Guide, through the National Association for Interpretation.

Joann has studied with Rosemary Gladstar where she successfully completed a teacher training program.  She has taught at the International Herb Symposium, New England Women’s Herbal Conference, The Vermont Sheep and Wool Expo and in the community on subjects ranging from seed and plant starting,  natural dyes for wool, to natural hair care. Joann currently holds a first degree in Reiki and attended VCIH in 2011, successfully completing the Family Herbalist training program.

Her experience brings her gratitude for the abundance that Mother Earth provides us if we pay attention to her teachings and circulate it in the community in a generous way. Close

Julie Mitchell, RH(AHG), M.Sc.
Julie wears many different hats in the plant medicine world including gardener, teacher, health consultant, and plant medicine maker. Julieʼs interest in plants and her relationship with the green world began as an apprentice to a natural dyer and spinner in 1976. Her job was to gather plants for the large dye pots used in dying the spun wool. Learning how to identify plants and their diverse uses, led her to herbal medicine. It was the recognition of the interconnectedness–affinity or love with plants–that fueled further study into the ʻmedicineʼ offered. (Interconnect is a device used to connect two things together. Love is the device.)

Courses taught:

Clinical Program Year 3: Skills for Complementary Professionals in the Western Medical Paradigm, Supervised Clinical Practicum


Julie has been an avid gardener for over 30 years. She has taught plant medicine throughout Vermont, in informal settings, at grade schools, high schools, NOFA conferences and the New England Womenʼs Herbal Conference, giving courses ranging from making plant medicines to plant identification and more recently, Goethean plant studies. In more formal settings, she has taught university courses at Middlebury College, along with teaching physical exam skills and interpersonal skills at the College of Medicine at the University of Vermont. She has a consultation practice in Bristol VT focusing on facilitating health through medicine as food, herbs and lifestyle practices. She has run a home apothecary, Eos Botanicals, since 1991 providing quality herbal tinctures to her community in Addison County.

She graduated in 2003 with a BSc from the College of Phytotherapy, University of Wales, was a member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists in the U.K. for two years and became a professional member of the American Herbalists Guild in 2003. She received her MSc, with honors, in Herbal Medicine from the University of Wales in 2008. In the past, Julie has taught a wide variety of subjects in the VCIH curriculum, including Botany, Therapeutics, Materia Medica, and Western Tools for the Herbalist. Currently, her primary role is as a supervisor in VCIH’s student clinic. Close

Ayo Ngozi
Ayo is a community herbalist, writer, and artist whose work blends Western herbalism, ancestral healing technologies, and emergent strategy. A graduate of the Maryland University of Integrative Health, Ayo is also an instructor and advisor to several herbal schools and programs, including Seed Soil + Spirit School, The People’s Medicine School, Wild Ginger Herbal Center, and the Gullah Geechee Herbal Gathering.

Courses taught:

Family Program/Clinical Program Year 1: Materia Medica I, Justice in Herbalism 

Clinical Program Year 2: Research Skills, Ethics and Legal Considerations, Pathophysiology I, Herbal Therapeutics II, Materia Medica II, Applied Energetics

Clinical Program Year 3: Materia Medica III, Pathophysiology II, Herbal Therapeutics III, Clinical Roundtable, Supervised Clinical Practicum 


Ayo is also a writer and frequent contributor to publications and podcasts, with work in the Journal of the American Herbalist Guild, Yes! Magazine, Rooted Magazine and KPFA’s The Herbal Highway. She has also been featured in Lucretia Vandyke’s African-American Herbalism (2022) and Leah Penniman’s Black Earth Wisdom: Soulful Conversations with Black Environmentalists. 

Ayo’s commitment to learning from ancestral tradition, documenting herbal and cultural practices, and serving the community is evident in her work. Ayo spent many years working as a visual artist before training as an herbalist, and now incorporates plants both as media and as subjects for her artworks.

A fourth-generation descendant of Virginia herbalists, Ayo grew up on unceded Nipmuc territory (Western Massachusetts), where she spent much of her childhood exploring its forests and meadows.


Netta Mae Walsh Netta Mae Walsh
Netta Mae is a clinical herbalist, activist, teacher, outdoor guide, and magic-maker. The heart of her work is to inspire wonder in others; wonder for the beauty of the world around us, wonder for the magic in the faces and souls of our communities, and wonder for the power and ultimate perfection within each and every one of us. Netta believes that truly listening and loving are some of the most powerful ways to effect change. She is dedicated to continue learning and growing herself as well as to be a part of that process in others. She sees her work as a community herbalist as being an integral part of creating sustainable and resilient communities that are not dependent upon capitalist and patriarchal systems of oppression.

Courses taught:

Herbal Roots Apprenticeship: Herbalists’ Worldview, Home Remedies for Self-care*, Medicine-Making*, Garden Practicum

Family Herbalist/Clinical Program Year 1: Justice in Herbalism*

Clinical Program Year 3: Skills for Complementary Professionals in the Western Medical Paradigm*

*Denotes course primarily taught by Netta


Netta Mae graduated from the Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism in 2015 and has formally studied western herbalism for the last 8 years. She is also a member of the International Cupping Therapy Association and loves how plant medicine and cupping work so well together. Netta is committed to bringing clients high quality herbal consultations and formulas specifically designed to meet their individual needs according to their physiological and energetic patterns for sliding scale and affordable rates. She works hard to be accessible to all people, especially teens and youth, queer and trans* folks, families, and folks who typically don’t have access to alternative healing modalities that are not covered by insurance. She is constantly working on what it means to be an ally through healing work, especially in the occupied territories of North America. Close