The shared vision of an herbalist guild was first verbalized in the mountains of Breitenbush, Oregon, where each year a large group of professional herbalists from all parts of the nation gathered to teach, walk together in ancient forests, soak in mineral-rich hot springs and discuss issues important to herbalism. Discussions at the Breitenbush retreats always included the vision of creating a guild for dedicated herbalists and serious herbal students. A 1989 letter from Michael Tierra invited herbalists from all regions of the country to come and exchange ideas about what this guild might become. On the weekend of February 17, twenty herbalists gathered at the Santa Cruz mountain home of Christopher Hobbs and Beth Baugh to initiate the organization of the guild, and the long hours of discussion that followed proved productive.
The first order of business was to adopt a name, and The American Herbalists Guild was born. As we continue our journey as a guild, we have sorted out and crystallized many of the details of our initial enthusiasm. We have learned much, not only about herbalists, but also about herbalists working together within the framework of an organization.
We go on with our work heartened by the belief that we are contributing to the evolution of herbalism in our country and in the world. We hope that all herbalists, regardless of their affiliation or non-affiliation with the AHG, will work together as peers toward this end.
The founding Herbalists of the American Herbalists Guild are Michael Tierra, Cascade Anderson Geller, James Green, Roy Upton, Grace Marroquin, Mindy Green, Amanda McQuade-Crawford, Christopher Hobbs, Paul Lee, Mara Levin, Brigitte Mars, Jane Bothwell, Lesley Tierra, David Winston, Steven Foster, Kathi Keville, David Hoffmann, David Bunting, Mark Blumenthal, Ed Smith, and Sara Katz. The Past Presidents (now referred to as Board Chairs) of the American Herbalists Guild are Tieraona Low Dog, David Eagle, David Hoffmann, Steven Horne, Feather Jones, Aviva Romm, Karta Purkh Khalsa, and Bevin Clare.