I grew up on the shores of Lake Michigan in northern Illinois where I first fell in love with wildflowers. Later I attended The Evergreen State College in Olympia, Washington, where I studied media arts with an emphasis on film and television. After college I moved to San Francisco where I worked in the music business for a number of years as an audio engineer for Ella Fitzgerald, Peggy Lee, Jackson Browne, Bonny Raitt and many others. That was a wild and crazy time!
In the late '80's I decided to take my herbal "hobby" seriously and enrolled in the California School of Herbal Studies, studying with David Hoffmann, Amanda McQuade Crawford, Gina Banghart, Tim Blakely, Mindy Green and James Green.
After completing the CSHS program and additional clinical training, I returned to the Midwest where I met Althea Northage Orr, an acupuncturist and herbalist who founded the Chicago Center of Psychophysical Healing and the Chicago College of Healing Arts. Together we started Living with Herbs Institute, the first herbal training program in Chicago. I also opened my herbal practice using an approach to herbalism that incorporated my training in traditional Western herbalism with the energetic principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine and a strong commitment to using local plant medicines.
In 1993 the Healing with Herbs Institute expanded and began to offer herb classes in Atlanta, Georgia. Five years later, I moved the school (and myself!) to the mountains of northeast Georgia and we became the BotanoLogos School of Herbal Studies. We celebrated our 25th year as the premier school for herbal studies in Georgia in 2018. We offer lots of classes, workshops and opportunities for field studies as well as webinar for distance learning. I am the school’s director and primary instructor.
My book, Medicinal Plants of the Southern Appalachians, was published in 2006 and has been cited as one of the foremost resources on regional native plant medicines.
One of my cooking mentors is Aglaia Kremezi, noted cookbook author and owner of Kea Artisanals, a cooking school in Greece.
About Patricia Kyritsi Howell
Leading an herb walk at the Foxfire Heritage Center and Museum
Because I believe that the line between food and medicine is hard to discern, I have continued to be a passionate cook, following in the footsteps of my father and grandfather, both of whom were chefs, as well as my great uncle who once cooked for the royal family of Greece. Since 1999, I have been visiting Greece almost every year where the traditional cuisine of Crete, with its emphasis on wild ingredients, has inspired me to bring my knowledge of herbs and wild plants into the kitchen.
In 2000, Robinette Kennedy and I founded Wild Crete Travel LLC and began leading culinary tours on Crete. I also teach classes on Greek and wild foods cooking here in Rabun County, Georgia at the Teaching Kitchen of the Northeast Georgia Food Bank and at the John C. Campbell Folk School in Brasstown, NC.
I have had the honor of sharing my love of herbs with many groups and professional organizations including: American Herbalists Guild, American Holistic Veterinary Medicine Association, Atlanta Botanical Garden, Cullowhee Native Plant Conference, Emory Center for Lifelong Learning, Foxfire Museum, Georgia Holistic Veterinary Medicine Association, Georgia Master Gardeners, Hambidge Center for the Creative Arts and Sciences, International Congress of Ethnobiology, International Herb Association, John C. Campbell Folk School, North Carolina Natural Products Association, School of Medicine: Emory University, School of Pharmacy: University of Georgia, State Botanical Garden of Georgia, Southeastern Women’s Herbal Conference, and Veterinarian Botanical Medicine Association.
I also offer wellness consultation at my clinical practice in downtown Clayton, Georgia. For information about booking an appointment, click here.
As the Herbalist-in-Residence at the Foxfire Heritage Center and Museum here in Mountain City, I am helping establish herbal programming that continues the rich tradition of herbalism here in the Appalachians. I have served three terms on the Governing Council (board of directors) of the American Herbalists Guild and am currently co-chair the AHG Symposium Committee. And, because I still find myself with free time, I am president of our local League of Women Voters.