practitionerNikki works as a practitioner of herbal medicine, aromatherapy, aromatic medicine and sometimes incorporates CranioSacral therapy and Sacred plant medicine into her clinical work. Nikki Darrell was born in Middlesex, UK. From an early age she was fascinated with plants; how to grow them, their therapeutic uses, their perfumes, and the food they provide. She started growing herbs at the age of 8, bought her first herbal at the age of 11 and has not looked back since! She attended the Sutton Bonnington campus of Nottingham University to study Horticulture and Plant Science (because she could not find anywhere to train as a herbalist!) and after graduating spent 5 years as a research scientist researching into phytochemistry and plant tissue culture. Having discovered the School of Phytotherapy she decided to move back to her first love of working with medicinal plants and so studied massage, aromatherapy and fitness instruction as a way of paying her way through herbal school. In 1990 she moved to Cork and set up the Evergreen Clinic of Natural Medicine with her colleague, Kevin Orbell-McSean. She also set up a business growing organic herb plants, an Aromatherapy School and an essential oil importing business. In 1999 she finally graduated with a diploma in Herbal Medicine (Phytotherapy) from the School of Phytotherapy. In 2008 she completed a Masters in Social and Co-operative Enterprise with her minor thesis researching the potential for co-operatives to help develop a Medicinal and Aromatic Plant industry in Ireland. She now lives in Coachford, Co. Cork with her family. Nikki works as a practitioner of herbal medicine, aromatherapy, and aromatic medicine. She has lectured for 3rd level institutions, including the School of Nursing and the School of Pharmacy at University College Cork. Nikki runs introductory courses about herbs and their uses, as well as forage walks and has groups of students visit the garden here to learn more about identifying and using the 200 plus species that grow here. She is a campaigner, a writer and spends as much time as possible in her garden and walking in nature. Nikki has set up a 2-year Apprenticeship course in Herbal and Botanical Medicine for people who wish to learn community herbalism. She also designed the Colaiste Luibheanna Clinical Practitioner training and is course co-ordinator and one of the teachers on this program.
Student, grower, Foodie, kitchen herbalist.Siobhan is a cork native with American connections. She began her herbal career after finishing an Art degree and finding herself bewildered as to where to go next. With an encouraging whisper in the ear from a friend, aware of her love of nature and interest in healthcare, she tried her hand at first year of the apprenticeship run by Nikki Darrell here at Veriditas and found a door to a career that finally combined her love of people, nature, healing and the creative. Currently based In Houston, Siobhan is learning about and building connections with the herb scene in the USA’s southern states and working on developing a practice of her own with a long term plan of returning closer to home. Until then she is keeping highly involved in all things planty, including medicine making, treatments, plant growing and food! Siobhan is involved in the admin at Veriditas and helps by updating things here on the website.
Plant ecologist, herbalist, gardenerJo’s love of plants and the natural world began at a young age, walking with her family in nature and getting to know plants through the seasons. She made poultices and remedies for her family in her teens, but chose to follow her passion for plants and the environment by studying Environmental Life Science at University of Nottingham, followed by a Masters in Natural Resource Management at University of Leicester. she spent the next 10 years working in ecological research and consultancy in the UK and Ireland before starting a family caused her to rethink her life path. Inspired by a presentation Nikki Darrell gave, she started to study herbs, completing Nikki’s apprenticeship in 2010 and going on to study Clinical Practice with Nikki, finishing in Jan 2013. She now runs her own practice, Blackrock Herbal Clinic (www.blackrockherbalclinic.com) in Cork city, and leads plant and food foraging walks within Co. Cork. She also helps schools and community groups learn about plant growing and running allotments and teaches “Herbal remedies for the home” evening courses.
Herbalist, Teacher, Wild Crafter/BotanistChris is originally from Cleveland, Ohio. He left the States 22 years ago and has made his home in Ireland for the last 18 years by way of Spain, Finland, Greece, and Hungary. He began his obsession with plants while living in a tree house for 6 months in an ancient oak woodland in Co. Wicklow in 1997. He went on to study organic horticulture and spent several years running a market garden business based out of a Victorian walled garden adjoining Springfield Castle in Co. Limerick. His herbal studies began there while growing every kind of medicinal plant he could get seeds for. In the past 10 years, he has undertaken formal herbalist training first at the BSc Herbal Science programme in the Cork Institute of Technology and the Veriditas Hibernica Apprenticeship, and then clinical training at the Irish School of Phytotherapy (which evolved to be Cólaiste Luibheanna) with Nikki Darrell. Chris has been practicing as a community herbalist for the past 2 years now. He is passionate about making all his own medicines and has developed some innovative processes incorporating some principles of Alchemy. He has spent the last year getting experience in Acute Herbal Medicine and First Aid by working with 7Song and Lorna Mauney-Brodek and starting Herbal First Aid stalls at Irish festivals. In the past couple of years, he has undertaken intense studies in brewing, distilling, and field botany. Lastly, he has been touring the island of Ireland relentlessly for 20 years in search of nature, beauty, and mystery.