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Our Story


The Breitenbush Herbal Conference is an annual gathering for herbalists and healers of all kinds, starting in the 1980’s. People come from all corners to celebrate and learn from some of the most inspiring teachers in our herbal community.

The healing waters and ancient forests of Breitenbush provide an unforgettable setting for this gathering. Workshops, demonstrations, and herb walks appeal to all levels of students. Fine handmade goods and books are available in the Herbal Marketplace. Much joy and laughter is to be shared during the Talent Show and Raffle.

Breitenbush offers a variety of activities including hiking trails, a meditative walk through the large labyrinth, energizing morning yoga practice, and of course 24 hour access to the sacred hot springs.

The Breitenbush Herbal Conference is so much more than just a "conference". It's a personal healing retreat for your body and mind. 


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There are herbal conferences. And then there is Breitenbush Hot Spring Herbal Retreat. There’s just nothing quite like it. Of all the herbal events I’ve attended in my years, it remains among my very favorite. Not only filled with the great classes and inspiring herbal teachers one expects to find at herbal conferences, Breitenbush also has one of the most magical healing hot springs in the country and the beauty of the surrounding wilderness. It has a rich enduring herbal history that is amazing to step into: it was among the earliest of the herbal conferences offered in the United States; it is where the earliest discussions of the still to be established American Herbalists Guild were held; its where some of the earliest discussion of United Plant Savers took place, and it’s the home of the best Herbal Trivia games and some the most outstanding talent shows in herbal history. Really, whether you’re a well seasoned ‘herbal retreat junkie’ like I am or have never experienced an herbal conference , treat yourself with a gift to Breitenbush. It’s not easy to get there, but once there you’ll be eternally glad you made it and will never want to leave…. at least, I never do.
— Rosemary Gladstar, Founder and director of the first Breitenbush Herbal Conference

 
 
From our first visit to Breitenbush Hot Springs we knew we wanted to host an herbal gathering there. Such a healing place on our planet amongst the green allies of the forest and the healing waters.
— Jane Bothwell, Herbalist
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During the 1980s, the Breitenbush Herbal Conference served a pioneering role in bringing together herbalists from the West Coast for retreat, renewal, and sharing of information. It was the only such conference on the continent, with fewer than 80 participants when I began attending in 1986. Many of the attendees and faculty from that era became key players in the subsequent resurrection of herbalism in North America. and helped to form some of our key institutions. A full generation later, we have dozens of herbal conferences each year, but this gathering continues to offer a unique respite in a natural off-the-grid setting in old growth forest, vital renewal and regeneration, and the chance to share ideas with the a range of veteran and emerging major voices in North American Herbalism.
— Paul Bergner, Director of North American Institute of Medical Herbalism

Breitenbush remains an exemplary model of the quintessential herb retreat. Surrounded by the glories of unique hot springs, rivers and old growth forests, the historic site harkens back to our healing roots. Since the early 1980’s this event has maintained the principles on which it was founded - teaching, learning, restoration, meeting new and long-time friends, and celebrating, honoring and connecting with the plants. It continually offers amazing instructors, furthering the evolution and integration of our herbal community. If you call yourself an Herbalist, you must attend and contribute to its enduring legacy - plus it’s a fabulous party. You will leave invigorated with a renewed sense of purpose, both personally and professionally.
— Mindy Green, Author, Registered Aromatherapist and Herbalist
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Breitenbush, Breitenbush... do you mean the place in Oregon where the saying originated, “Hey! I didn’t recognize you with your clothes on!”
— Mark Blumenthal, Founder & Executive Director, American Botanical Council