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About Our Farm
Mandala Botanicals is located on ten rural scenic acres facing Spruce Mountain and Groton State Forest, four miles from Barre City in the town of Orange. We respectfully acknowledge that we are residing on land known to the Western Abenaki as N'Dakinna, referred to by non-indigenous people of this region as Vermont USA.
With reverence and gratitude for the opportunity to steward this parcel of earth, we are in the early stages of creating a folk medicine learning center at our herbstead, informed by permaculture, natural farming, and social justice principles.
As herbal remedy makers, we are accountable to the land as we observe her shifting and changing due to human impact. Therefore in our apothecary’s formulas, we are replacing botanicals listed on the United Plant Savers 'at risk' and 'to watch' list with locally cultivated or invasive medicinal analogs. For example, barberry instead of coptis or goldenseal, and goldenrod instead of arnica.
Mandala Botanicals believes that responsible herbalism is inherently linked to issues of food security and public health. We are in solidarity with numerous food and health justice initiatives and contribute to them throughout the year.
After offering the Local Healers Program, our herbal apprenticeship, for nine consecutive years, we took pause in 2015 to focus on constructing our new home. In 2016 we offered a new summer course called the Community Herbalism Studio. Inspired by popular education, the group formed the curriculum based on personal interests, in alignment with the growth cycles of plants in the region. We covered a range of interconnected topics from home remedy making to astrology and seasonal wellness, permaculture gardening, first aid, health justice issues, and plant spirit medicine.
We will likely offer another Community Herbalism Studio program in 2017. We are also contemplating offering a weekly Medicine Making Circle as well as garden tours and herbs walks. Please email us at: email@example.com to be sent information when it becomes available. Our programs are VSAC approved. Income eligible Vermonters may apply for non-degree grants to cover tuition before the start date of our programs. Stay tuned; once we integrate 2016 we will be ready to announce what we plan to do on the farm in 2017!
Herbal Cupping Therapy
I am a clinically trained herbalist and professional member of the International Cupping Therapy Association (ICTA).
About the practice:
To schedule an appointment:
I believe each person is an ecological expression.
About Sandra Lory
Hello, I am Sandra Lory. I am rather fond of plants and have unwavering faith in the power of Mother Nature's pharmacy. I keep my hands in the soil and tend it as my home, classroom, and cathedral.
My birthplace is Chennai, India, and I was raised in East Hardwick, Vermont, where my parents settled after years of international relief work. My parents continue to teach me about the importance of social justice and community, the wisdom of nature, and the wild. Both are avid gardeners, and my father is a dowser. My maternal granny, Luiza Maria Antao, was a village herbalist from Goa, India, who raised the family in Nairobi, Kenya during the British colonial era. My paternal grandfather, Andrej Lazorcak, came from Slovakia to Pittsburgh's South Side, where he worked in the wrought iron industry and cultivated a garden to feed the family during the war.
My work incorporates awareness and action, impact and responsibility inherent in being a global citizen. I have been privileged to witness and learn about folk medicine internationally. Currently, I am working on a photo essay series that documents my transnational experiences with healing plants.
I have over 15 years experience with natural foods, urban agriculture, and community based work. In the 1990s I was involved with the community garden movement in New York City and Holyoke, Massachusetts, and I graduated from Hampshire College with a degree in Social Ecology and Visual Arts in 2001. Since 2006 I have been working in Barre, Vermont as a food justice and herbal educator with non-profit initiatives. I helped develop programs at the Family Literacy Center (Capstone Community Action) and Return House (WCYSB) working with teen parents, and youth coming out of incarceration/in the corrections system. I am a member of the 'Good Food, Good Medicine Program,' addressing food insecurity with health empowerment activities at affordable housing, through community gardening, herbalism, nutrition/food as medicine, cooking, and leadership skill building.
I am grateful to my teachers for their generous and timeless instruction. I've had the divine pleasure of working at Sage Mountain Herbal Retreat Center since 2002, under the tutelage of herbalist and author Rosemary Gladstar. I established Mandala Botanicals in 2003 after graduation from a year long apprenticeship with Rosemary. A brief synopsis of my studies in the healing arts the past 15 years include: Astrology and Herbalism with Atmo Abram; Village Herbalism with Amy Goodman-Kiefer; Mayan Abdominal Massage and Spiritual Healing with Miss Beatrice Waight; Clinical Herbalism with Guido Mase; Traditional Healing with Rocio Alarcon; Food Justice Education with Joseph Kiefer; Five Element Shiatsu with Hadar Sarit; Taoist Acupuncture with Josephine Spilka; Somatic Therapy with Bob Onne; and Traditional Cupping with Julia Graves, Peter Schnell, Gabrielle Simon, Mark Perido, and Kim Miller. I completed a Permaculture Design Certification with D Acres in 2013. I also draw inspiration from the late D.C. Jarvis, renowned Barre physician and Vermont folk medicine advocate and from Masanobu Fukuoka-san, Taoist natural farmer from Matsuyama, Japan. I am thankful for my supportive family, especially my sister, Yvonne; parents, Jim and Victoria; and wonderful husband, Zachary Tonnissen.
I have given workshops at the New England Women's Herbal Conference, the International Herb Symposium, the Radherb Convergence, the Gaia School of Herbal Studies, Sage Mountain Herbal Retreat Center, Third Root Community Health Center in Brooklyn, regional colleges, as well as many local venues like public schools, teen centers, workplace wellness programs, and libraries. I have served as adjunct faculty at Sterling College and assistant instructor at the Whole Systems Health Permaculture Design Course.
My writing and photography have been featured in We'Moon, and in the books Fire Heart: The Life and Teachings of Maya Medicine Woman Miss Beatrice Torres Waight, and The Language of Plants: A Guide to the Doctrine of Signatures by Julia Hoffman Graves.
The Northeast Radical Health Care Network
Barre Community Gardeners Alliance and the Barre Community Garden at Metro Way
Herbalists Without Borders, Vermont Chapter
Good Food, Good Medicine Program
Transition Town Vermont
Onion River Exchange and REACH Carebank
Sage Mountain Herbal Retreat Center
Numen (A film about the healing power of plants)
Wisdom of the Herbs School
Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism
Seeds of Renewal
Miss Beatrice Waight
United Plant Savers
Photographs © Sandra Lory.
A Mandala is a universal pattern in nature.
It is the source and cycle of all things, the intersection of dualities, and the mirroring between microcosm and macrocosm.
The elements of nature and life radiate, grow and change in Mandalas. Healing arts throughout the world are expressed in the form of Mandalas.
The services of Mandala Botanicals are for educational purposes only.
They are not intended to substitute for the advice or treatment of your doctor/healthcare practitioner.
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