Anna-Marija Helt, PH.D.

Osadha Natural Health

About the herbalist

Marija grew up running wild in the woods. (Well, at least ’til sunset.)  She’s a research scientist-turned-clinical herbalist, practicing in Colorado since 2010.  Marija studied botanical medicine with Pam Fisher at the Berkeley Herbal Center (formally the Ohlone Center of Herbal Studies), with Kathi Keville at the Green Medicine Herb School, and for shorter stints with other herbalists.  Much of her herbal training was done while running a motorcycle cafe in San Francisco, and the cafe was a great place to recruit victims (er, volunteers) to try her herbal remedies. Prior to becoming an herbalist, she spent a dozen years as a research scientist, with a focus on cancer and infectious disease.  She earned her doctorate in microbiology from the University of Washington School of Medicine while studying cancer-promoting mechanisms of human papillomavirus, the primary cause of cervical cancer. Her postdoctoral research on dengue virus replication was through the School of Public Health at the University of California-Berkeley. She was an infectious diseases trainee at the UW Center for AIDS & STD and an infectious diseases fellow through UC San Francisco Division of Infectious Diseases. Despite the high tech past, Marija’s focus as an herbalist is a simple and holistic approach to health that integrates botanical tradition with a critical evaluation of what botanical research science has to say.   

Marija is a regular columnist for Plant Healer Magazine and Basmati.com. She loves to teach and has taught herb classes for the following organizations/conferences:

  • Berkeley Herbal Center, CA

    Albuquerque Herbalism, NM

    The Forager’s Path School of Botanical Studies, AZ

    Fort Lewis College, CO

    The Good Medicine Confluence Annual Conference, CO

    The Discovery Museum, CO

    The Native Plant Society of New Mexico, NM

    The Native Plant Festival, AZ

    WholeExpo, CO

    Blueprints of Hope – Living Fully with and beyond cancer

    Durango Garden Club, CO

    Durango Seniors Outdoors, CO

    Cortez Garden Club, CO

    Pura Vida Healthcare, CO

    Natural Grocers, CO

    Meet the Doulas & Midwives Night, CO

Marija’s Goals as an Herbalist:

1) To promote a low tech approach to preventative health & disease by:

  • working against the “wait for the fire, then put it out” mentality;
  • working to establish wellness and balance in the body, allowing the body to heal itself  and, better yet, to not get sick in the first place.

2) To empower people to take responsability for their health by:

  • encouraging people to make healthier lifestyle choices and educating them on how to do so;
  • encouraging folks to go informed and with questions when they see their healthcare provider;
  • providing free or low-cost classes on various topics related to herbs and wellness.

3) To bridge the gap between herbalism & Western allopathic medicine by:

  • interfacing with medical doctors interested in learning about & using medicinal plants in their practice;
  • holding classes for herbalists on various science-related topics such as microbiology, cancer biology, reading and interpreting scientific literature, etc.

Marija’s Training

Herbal Training in Detail:

Ohlone Center for Herbal Studies. Pam Fisher, Director. Berkeley, CA.

  • Student Clinic – saw clients under Pam’s supervision in the donation-based communitity clinic
  • 10-month Herbal Therapeutics Program
  • 10-month Foundations of Herbalism Apprenticeship Program

Songbird Herbal Co-op, Cotati, CA & The Green Bough, Sonoma County

  • One-on-one training with Dawn Zaft on clinical herbalism and Traditional Chinese
    Medicine. Saw clients on my own & reviewed cases with Dawn.

Green Medicine Herb School. Kathi Keville. Grass Valley, CA

  • Herbal Apprenticeship
  • Herbal Medicine and Body Systems
  • Aromatherapy Series (Level 1 Training)

California School of Herbal Studies, Forestville, CA

  • A variety of short courses

Other Courses:

  • International Certification Course in Aromatherapy. Pacific Institute of
    Aromatherapy. Kurt Schnaubelt, Director. San Rafael, CA.
  • The Art and Science of Herbology. Rosemary Gladstar, E. Barre, VT.

Scientific Training:

  • 2002-2005: Postdoctoral Fellowship. Dengue virus replication. Division of Infectious Diseases, School of Public Health, University of California, Berkeley
  • 2003-2005: Infectious Disease Fellow. Division of Infectious Diseases. University of California, San Francisco.
  • 1996-2002: Doctoral studies in Microbiology. Molecular mechanisms
    of Human Papillomavirus-induced oncogenesis. Department of Microbiology, University of. Washington, Seattle, WA. Work carried out at Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center, Seattle, WA.
  • 1997-2000: Infectious Diseases Trainee. University of Washington Center for AIDS and STD.
  • 1993-1996: Research Technician in cancer drug pharmacology and in digital microscopy. Department of Pharmacology, Fox Chase
    Cancer Center, Philadelphia, PA.
  • 1991-1993: Research Technician in the Department of Ornithology, The Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia. Philadelphia, PA.
  • 1989-1993: Bachelor of Science in Biology w/ Chemistry Minor, Neumann
    College, Aston, PA.