Photograph of a bear representing Bear Clan Member Paul Red Elk, Clinical Herbalist, who is teaching an herbal first aid class using herbs that are useful in first aid.

Paul Red Elk, Traditional Lakota Herbal Medicine Man

Dear Readers,

Being a life scientist has taught me to respect life and nature and the interconnections.  All my experiences, including succeeding at pharmaceutical research and development, worried me more and more that we could be missing human knowledge and experience that has been passed through generations for as long as there have been humans.  Most importantly, I became alarmed that human wisdom and experience, so hard-won for so long, could be lost.

“Let your food be your medicine, and let your medicine be your food,” said Hippocrates, the Father of Medicine.

I started educating myself about herbal medicine by reading the literature, taking classes and even attending a conference.  I started gardening and growing food and herbs.  Finally, I found who I was looking for, and it is my honor to present him to you here today.

Paul Red Elk is a Traditional Lakota Herbal Medicine Man.  He is trained in Dakota, Anishinaabe, and Ho-Chunk Nation medicines.  He is also trained in Western Herbalism.  Paul is a clinical herbalist as well as a lecturer on traditional herbal medicines.  He is a well-known and respected teacher of native herbalism as well as a teacher of teachers, with vast knowledge and the clinical experience of a lifetime.  He was a professor at a community college for 13 years and has even consulted on the restoration of woodlands and prairies.  He is a Minnesota Department of Natural Resources Master Naturalist.

Paul Red Elk is one of the last truly traditionally trained medicine men alive today.  He is a voice of true Northern American Indian herbalism.  He will be teaching a 7-week intensive herbal studies workshop here in Minnesota, USA, where we will learn how to create our own herbal first aid kits:

Create Your Own Herbal First Aid Kit

7-Week Intensive Herbal Studies Workshop

Tuesday evenings from 6:00 pm – 8:00 pm, February 4 through March 17, 2020

Sally Manzara Interpretive Nature Center, Sunfish Lake Park, Lake Elmo, MN

Workshop fee is $475 (or $452 if you pay in advance)

Space is limited.  For reservations, email

Grizzly Cub with herb root

In this workshop, we will discuss seven herbs that can be used for herbal first aid.  Each week, we will discuss one of the seven herbs in detail, and we will make herbal tinctures and an herbal salve.  We will discuss common herbal plants that can be used for cuts, bruises, broken bones, sprains, burns, insect stings, and trauma.  Plants we will discuss include Yarrow, St. John’s Wort, Plantain, Arnica, and more.  At the end of the workshop, participants will leave with their very own herbal first aid kits.

I will be a volunteer assistant, so I hope to see everyone there who can make it.  I highly recommend this workshop!

Lots of Love,


(p.s. What’s up with the bears?  Paul Red Elk is a member of the Bear Clan, Guardians of the Earth, Keepers of Medicine.)

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