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Medicines from the Earth

  • The Donnelly Center at Aquinas College 157 Woodward Lane Southeast Grand Rapids, MI, 49506 United States (map)


Naturopathic medicine emphasizes prevention, treatment, and optimal health through the use of therapeutic methods and substances that encourage individuals' inherent self-healing. One such approach is botanical medicine, which has been in use since ancient times. Based on the use of plants and plant extracts, these “medicines from the earth” can be substitutes for other treatments or drugs, or used in conjunction with more traditional approaches. They are often used within the context of more holistic approaches such as dietary changes, exercise programs, and stress reduction methods.

This session discussed herbs and other botanical medicines, as well as supplements, and how to use them to address common complaints, heal illness and injury, and maintain good health.


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Dr. AnnAlisa Behling is a licensed Naturopathic Doctor and has been practicing general family medicine in Michigan for 17 years with a focus on women's health and phototherapeutic medicine. She holds a BA from Duke University and her Doctorate from National University of Naturopathic Medicine in Oregon.

She treats each person as an individual, and provides patients with complementary and integrative care for acute, chronic, and degenerative conditions. She has been a medical consultant for Ford Motor Company, and is a frequent presenter throughout Michigan and a contributor to a variety of media. She also lectures nationally and internationally.

Dr. Behling is a board member of the American Association of Naturopathic Physicians, the Vice-president of the Michigan Association of Naturopathic Physicians (MANP), and a member of the Flint Initiative Task Force, working on the lead water crisis.



Evelyn Clingerman, PhD, CNE, RN, FNAP is the Executive Director of The Bonnie Wesorick Center for Health Care Transformation in Kirkhof College of Nursing at Grand Valley State University. Dr. Clingerman leads the Center in its mission to transform healthcare through interprofessional collaboration that brings education and practice together around scholarly research and projects. Dr. Clingerman also leads the Interprofessional Institute of Polarity Thinking in Healthcare as she consults, develops research and projects, provides workshops and teaches a course in polarity thinking. Her knowledge of nursing practice experiences, founded upon patient, family and community experiences across the continuum of care, emphasize community care for underserved and vulnerable populations.