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Jay Bartel
Clinical Herbalist & Holistic Health Educator

Health autonomy & community empowerment through connection to the natural world

I am a clinical herbalist and community health educator in Minneapolis, Minnesota (occupied Dakota and Anishinaabe land). In my practice, I provide consultations and teach classes about herbal medicine and holistic wellness.

My herbal practice incorporates traditional herbal systems theory, physiology, somatic practices, whole foods nutrition, scientific research, and clinical experience. I hope to create a healing space that is welcoming and affirming, and strive to ground my practice in principles of harm reduction and trauma awareness. I intend to provide appropriate and accessible care that allows each client to self-determine their health goals and to feel supported and empowered to achieve them.

As an herbalist, my role is to help people connect with their bodies and the natural world. I hope to meet clients where they’re at in order to best support them in their healing goals, approaching their care without judgment and based on their strengths. In my clinical practice, I'm excited to meet with people of all genders and ages, including young people and seniors. I also work with people experiencing a wide range of conditions, including chronic pain, cognitive changes and memory loss, sleep struggles, mood imbalances, digestive discomforts, post-surgical care, pregnancy and pregnancy loss, and cardiovascular issues.  When applicable, I am happy to be part of an integrative team and work alongside other providers, and am comfortable working with people who are taking pharmaceutical medications.

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As a community health educator, I hope to share my skills, knowledge, and experience so that my students can better care for themselves and their loved ones using plants and other holistic strategies. I teach classes on a variety of topics in order to provide accessible, comprehensive herbal information that authentically responds to larger community needs. Click here for a link to my upcoming class calendar.

My interest in herbalism grew out of professional experience in biomedical health care as well as volunteer engagement with multiple community health projects: supporting survivors of intimate partner violence, practicing as a full-spectrum doula, and organizing in a medic collective. The do-it-yourself ethos of herbalism is what first drew me in. I am inspired by autonomous community health projects that seek to build resilient communities in the face of societal repression, such as the community acupuncture programs initiated by the Black Panthers and Young Lords at Lincoln Detox Center; the Jane Collective, ACT UP, and much more. I am also interested in continuing to learn what it means to be a white settler practicing herbalism, and seek to incorporate an anti-racist and anti-colonial framework into my classes, client relationships, and day-to-day life.


I began deep study of herbalism in 2015 through self-study and through classes with midwest herbalist Erin Piorer. In 2015, I attended a 10-month foundational course taught by herbalist Lise Wolff through which I began to cultivate a deeper connection with the plants and ecology in the midwestern plains, gained practical hands-on skills, and formed a new understanding of the theories that inform western herbal medicine. During this time, I was also involved in the local Herbalist Without Borders chapter and various other community health endeavors.

In 2016, I began a 3-year clinical herbalist program at the Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism. My training provided a solid foundation in multiple healing systems (Humoral and Galenic medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, and Ayurveda) as well as pathophysiology, phytochemistry,  nutrition, botany, medicine-making, and a primer on the use of biomedical tools. The capstone of the program was a year-long internship in the school's sliding scale clinic, which annually sees a high volume of clients and distributes a massive amount of herbs through their full-service apothecary. During this time, I  worked with clients experiencing a wide range of concerns and filled hundreds of herbal formulas in the school's apothecary.  This was an invaluable experience in which I was able to connect with a wide variety of clients, expand my relationship with plants, and hone hands-on skills as a practitioner - all while being supervised by an amazing team of skilled faculty. While a student, I also participated in multiple community engagement programs in which I distributed free herbs in tandem with various social justice projects.

I am currently the editor of the Journal of the American Herbalists Guild (JAHG). Check out this website for more information about the JAHG and the American Herbalists Guild. 

I also hold a BA in gender studies from the University of Minnesota, and am trained as a street medic, full-spectrum doula, nursing assistant, early childhood educator, and have extensive university-level experience with human biology, chemistry, psychology, anatomy, and nutrition. Cumulatively, these skills and experiences allow me to approach health and healing practice from a multi-faceted knowledge base tailored to meet the needs of each unique client.

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