Joan Zinn apprenticed with Stephen Harrod Buhner, master herbalist and expert on indigenous and contemplative spiritual traditions, now the author of many non-fiction books and renowned lecturer on herbal medicine, the sacredness of plants, and the intelligence of Nature. Early in her apprenticeship, Joan joined the first "Pharmacy from the Rainforest" excursion with James Duke, PhD and the American Botanical Council to Rosita Arvigo’s Ix Chel Farm in Belize, Central America to learn about the rainforest herbs and worked with native healers there, collecting rainforest plant specimens for the National Cancer Institute for U.S. research. Rosita Arvigo also taught her the Mayan method of Uterine Adjustment. Joan also apprenticed with Maurieke Sheyelle, MD, who was educated in Surinam, Denmark, England and the U.S. and who was her initial influence in recognizing the healing power of food and diet. Joan’s teachers include her clients, apprentices, and those who have been guides and teachers for her Wilderness Fasting Vision Quests over the years.
A long time entrepreneur, Joan started her first business, a commercial design and typesetting company, after attending Rocky Mountain School of Art and working as a commercial artist. Prior to learning about plants as medicine, Joan owned and operated a 25,500 sq. ft. commercial greenhouse in Denver for sixteen years, accumulating much of her knowledge and experience of plants and growing. Her business grew herbs for the Botanic Gardens, sold retail foliage plants year-round and seasonal bedding plants and perennials. Throughout this time, she offered landscape designs and services, as well as interior plant design and maintenance for her customers. In the early years, the greenhouse offered a unique environment for theatre productions and art shows, showcasing her love of the arts.
Joan has been learning and teaching about plants for about forty years. She has been a Sacred Plant Medicine teacher and healing consultant for over twenty years and is a life-long spiritual seeker. Her teaching history includes:
Individual Sacred Plant Medicine apprenticeships
Herb Walks, Medicinal Herb Garden Tours, wild plant identification and wildcrafting, and Medicine Making Classes for Integrative Earth Medicine, previously Just for Health School of Reflexology and Healing Arts Master Herbalist Certification Program: Botanical Medicine - East and West.
Approved and regulated by the Colorado Department of Higher Education, Private Occupational School Board. The school closed in 2016.
How to Design Your Personal Medicinal & Culinary Herb Garden
Classes on Cooking for Good Health, Growing and Cooking with Herbs, Edible Gardening in pots, Gardening and Home Remedy classes, and Herbal First Aid
Native Plant tour guide for Rocky Mountain Chapter North American Rock Garden Society, Steamboat Springs
Owner of Medicine Hill Herbs
Herbalist, Writer, Teacher
Instructor at IBEM
I am dedicated to restoring natural good health with holistic healing herbs and food, Sacred Plant Medicines and Insight.