Isla Burgess to visit Waiheke Island


Waiheke Island will play host to internationally acclaimed medical herbalist Isla Burgess next month (April 9-10) for two days of hands-on education about the healing qualities of plants.

Isla brings her 40 years’ experience as a researcher, author and teacher for a weekend series of guided walks, talks and practical lessons under the title of “Plant Immersion, Incubation and Inspiration. The Plant/Person Relationship in Healing”.

Isla says, “These participatory workshops have evolved over the past three years to a point that while each experience is unique and changes according to the plants, the group and the location, a pattern is emerging that connects them all.

“The workshops are experiential and participatory and my role as observer/perceiver/ connector/facilitator/focaliser/gatherer requires immersing myself into both the plants and the people present”.

Here are comments from some of her students.

We were shown …” that we could be more than what we were prior to attendance… how one could study plants in a rational and personal way and gain as much, if not more, than from a book. Honestly, I would not use the word ‘intuition’ for the learning that took place, …it was more a matter of using more of what we had and did not know we had. The observations and conclusions that the students made were quite impressive and went well beyond the element of chance . (Lorraine M. Harwelik, US)

I would like to thank you for the wonderful and remarkable experience I got last weekend at your workshop in Toronto. Right thing came to me at the right time.…Elena Doubova, Toronto

I enjoyed this unique workshop very much! I loved learning the techniques for, and having the beautiful, earthy experience of, getting acquainted with a plant…something I intend to continue to develop. (Liz Stevens, US)

Why are these workshops so different that gardeners, herbal medicine practitioners and students alike are inspired and experience something they had not previously experienced?

They are different because they are not about gathering information or even knowledge, they are not ‘about’ a plant at all, they are about creating a relationship that is participatory and not objective.

The April 9-10 workshop costs $345 per person and will take place entirely on Waiheke Island. Please contact Helen Elscot on 021 5444 19 or to reserve a place or go to for more information.