David Winston
David Winston RH (born 1956) is an American herbalist
Herbalism is a traditional medicinal or folk medicine practice based on the use of plants and plant extracts. Herbalism is also known as botanical medicine, medical herbalism, herbal medicine, herbology, herblore, and phytotherapy...

 and ethnobotanist
Ethnobotany is the scientific study of the relationships that exist between people and plants....

. He has been in practice and teaching since 1977 and has written several books on the subject. He works in the Cherokee, Chinese
Traditional Chinese medicine
Traditional Chinese Medicine refers to a broad range of medicine practices sharing common theoretical concepts which have been developed in China and are based on a tradition of more than 2,000 years, including various forms of herbal medicine, acupuncture, massage , exercise , and dietary therapy...

 and the Western eclectic
Eclectic medicine
Eclectic medicine was a branch of American medicine which made use of botanical remedies along with other substances and physical therapy practices, popular in the latter half of the 19th and first half of the 20th centuries....

 herbal traditions. Winston is a founding/professional member of the American Herbalists Guild
American Herbalists Guild
The American Herbalists Guild is the only professional organization for herbalists of all traditions in the United States of America. The Guild was founded in 1989 as a non-profit, educational organization...

, and is a founding advisory board member of United Plant Savers
United Plant Savers
United Plant Savers is a group founded to protect native medicinal plants of the United States and Canada and their native habitat while ensuring an abundant renewable supply of medicinal plants for generations to come....

. He serves as visiting faculty at the Tai Sophia Institute. He is the founder and dean of the Center for Herbal Studies.


David Winston was born in 1956 in xxx. He started experimenting with plants in the late 1960s, ingesting them and observing their effects. By age 17 he was leading herb walks and teaching about herbs.

In 1974 he moved to New York City
New York City
New York is the most populous city in the United States and the center of the New York Metropolitan Area, one of the most populous metropolitan areas in the world. New York exerts a significant impact upon global commerce, finance, media, art, fashion, research, technology, education, and...

, where he studied with Dr. Eng, a doctor of Chinese herbal medicine. In 1976 he began study with the Western herbalist William LeSassier
William LeSassier
William LeSassier was an influential herbalist and acupuncturist who lived from 1948 to 2003. He developed William’s Triune System of Formulation which continues to be taught by herbalists such as David Winston who has significantly expanded LeSassier's materia medica...

, who developed the theory of Triune formulas. Winston took university courses in anatomy and physiology, pharmacognosy
Pharmacognosy is the study of medicines derived from natural sources. The American Society of Pharmacognosy defines pharmacognosy as "the study of the physical, chemical, biochemical and biological properties of drugs, drug substances or potential drugs or drug substances of natural origin as well...

, and cellular biology.

In 1977 he started his clinical practice. In 1982 he founded one of New Jersey's first holistic health
Holistic health
Holistic health is a concept in medical practice upholding that all aspects of people's needs, psychological, physical and social should be taken into account and seen as a whole. As defined above, the holistic view on treatment is widely accepted in medicine...

 centers, the Awareness Health Center, in Franklin Park
Franklin Park, New Jersey
Franklin Park is an unincorporated area within portions of North Brunswick Township and South Brunswick Township in Middlesex County and Franklin Township in Somerset County, in New Jersey, United States...

. Winston has studied herbal medicine with several Cherokee
The Cherokee are a Native American people historically settled in the Southeastern United States . Linguistically, they are part of the Iroquoian language family...

 elders, as well as other indigenous people.

Winston is a founding and professional member of the American Herbalists Guild
American Herbalists Guild
The American Herbalists Guild is the only professional organization for herbalists of all traditions in the United States of America. The Guild was founded in 1989 as a non-profit, educational organization...

, for which he has served four terms as board member. He is a founding advisory board member of United Plant Savers. He founded and is the dean of the Center for Herbal Studies in Broadway, Warren County, New Jersey
Warren County, New Jersey
Warren County is a county located in the U.S. state of New Jersey. As of the 2010 Census, the population was 108,692. Its county seat is Belvidere...

. It sponsors classes also in the Blue Ridge Mountains
Blue Ridge Mountains
The Blue Ridge Mountains are a physiographic province of the larger Appalachian Mountains range. This province consists of northern and southern physiographic regions, which divide near the Roanoke River gap. The mountain range is located in the eastern United States, starting at its southern-most...

 of North Carolina.

Herbal Therapeutics Research Library

David Winston has one of the largest private libraries of botanical medicine in the United States, with holdings of more than 8,000 books and over 12,000 articles on file. The holdings relate to eclectic and Thomsonian Medicine, physiomedicalism, the history of medicine, ethnobotany
Ethnobotany is the scientific study of the relationships that exist between people and plants....

, pharmacy, pharmocognosy, poisonous plants, mycology, botany
Botany, plant science, or plant biology is a branch of biology that involves the scientific study of plant life. Traditionally, botany also included the study of fungi, algae and viruses...

 and economic botany. The HTRL also has substantial holdings in Southeastern Native American
Indigenous peoples of the Americas
The indigenous peoples of the Americas are the pre-Columbian inhabitants of North and South America, their descendants and other ethnic groups who are identified with those peoples. Indigenous peoples are known in Canada as Aboriginal peoples, and in the United States as Native Americans...

 ethnology, Southeastern material culture and ethno-musicology.

Winston also operates an antiquarian book company, Herbalist and Alchemist Books. It deals exclusively with herbal and medical books.

Herbal manufacturing

Winston founded Herbalist and Alchemist, an herbal tincture firm known for spagyric
Spagyric is a name given to the production of herbal medicines using alchemical procedures. These procedures involve fermentation, distillation and the extraction of mineral components from the ash of the plant...

 alchemical processing of herbs. The alchemically processed herbs have mineral constituents reduced to ash from the marc added back after filtration. Herbalist and Alchemist does not standardize their herbal products.

Winston notes that different companies use different markers, or different levels of the same markers, or different methods of testing for marker compounds. When different compounds are chosen as "active ingredients" for different herbs, he says, "there is a chance that suppliers will get a substandard batch (low on the chemical markers) and mix it with a batch higher in the desired marker to compensate for the difference."


Over the last three decades, Winston has lectured widely at major herbalist conferences, and given classes at the Blue Ridge School and the New York Open Center. He has also lectured at such institutions as the National Institute of Medical Herbalists
National Institute of Medical Herbalists
The National Institute of Medical Herbalists is the largest professional body regulating medical herbalists in the United Kingdom. It was first established as the National Association of Medical Herbalists in 1864 by a group of herbalists from the north of England, but currently has members in...

 (NIMH) in York, England; Bastyr University
Bastyr University
Bastyr University was established as the John Bastyr College of Naturopathic Medicine in 1978 in Seattle, Washington by Sheila Quinn, Joseph Pizzorno, ND, LM; William Mitchell, ND; and Les Griffith, ND, LM...

 in Kenmore, Washington; the University of Medicine & Dentistry (UMDNJ) in Newark, New Jersey; George Washington University
George Washington University
The George Washington University is a private, coeducational comprehensive university located in Washington, D.C. in the United States...

 Medical School in Washington, DC; Dominion Herbal College
Dominion Herbal College
Dominion Herbal College, founded 1926, is a registered and accredited post-secondary school in British Columbia, Canada.-Chartered Herbalist Diploma:...

 in Vancouver, BC; and the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in Tempe, Arizona. He is among the "distinguished lecturers and visiting faculty" in the M.S. in Herbal Medicine program at the Tai Sophia Institute, an accredited graduate school in integrative medicine in Laurel, Maryland
Laurel, Maryland
Laurel is a city in northern Prince George's County, Anne Arundel County, and Howard County, Maryland, United States, located midway between Washington, D.C. and Baltimore. Incorporated in 1870, the city maintains a historic district including its Main Street...


His company, Herbal Therapeutics Inc., runs his library, his consulting entity and school. The David Winston Center for Herbal Studies trains herbalists and medical personnel in the use of herbal medicines. They use more than 300 plants taken from a variety of traditions. His philosophy is to create the custom construction of formulas based on Cherokee, Triune, Chinese or other traditions to match an individual, rather than using herbs stereotyped or standardised for a specific disease. This kind of "constitutional medicine" puts the patient at the center of the analysis, rather than the named disease; it is an approach common to most traditional herbal medicine traditions. A number of the leading younger herbalists in the United States today were trained in his methodology.


  • Winston and Kuhn's Herbal Therapy and Supplements: A Scientific and Traditional Approach (2007)
  • With Steven Maimes, Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief (2007)
  • Herbal Therapeutics: Specific Indications for Herbs & Herbal Formulas (2003)
  • With Merrily Kuhn, Herbal Therapy and Supplements: A Scientific and Traditional Approach (2001)
  • Saw Palmetto for Men & Women: Herbal Healing for the Prostate, Urinary Tract, Immune System and More (Medicinal Herb Guide) (1999)
  • " Nvwoti; Cherokee Medicine and Ethnobotany", in American Herbalism, edited by Michael Tierra (1992)

External links

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