David Winston

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David Winston RH (AHG) (born 1956) is an American herbalist and ethnobotanist. He has been in practice and teaching since 1977 and has written several books on the subject. Winston is a founding/professional member of the American Herbalists Guild, and is a founding advisory board member of United Plant Savers. He serves as visiting faculty at the Maryland University of Integrative Health (formally Tai Sophia Institute). He is the founder and dean of the Center for Herbal Studies.


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

Winston is a founding and professional member of the American Herbalists Guild, for which he has served four terms as board member.[1] He is a founding advisory board member of United Plant Savers.[2] He founded and is the dean of the Center for Herbal Studies in Broadway, Warren County, New Jersey. It sponsors classes also in the Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina.[3]

Herbal Therapeutics Research Library[edit]

David Winston has one of the largest private libraries of botanical medicine in the United States[citation needed], 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, pharmacy, pharmocognosy, poisonous plants, mycology, botany and economic botany. The HTRL also has substantial holdings in Southeastern Native American 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.[4][citation needed]

Herbal manufacturing[edit]

Winston founded Herbalist and Alchemist, an herbal tincture firm known for spagyric alchemical processing of herbs. The alchemically processed herbs have mineral constituents reduced to ash from the marc added back after filtration.[citation needed] 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."[5]


Over the last three decades, Winston has lectured widely at major herbalist conferences, and given classes at the Blue Ridge School.[citation needed] He has also lectured at such institutions as the National Institute of Medical Herbalists (NIMH) in York, England; Bastyr University in Kenmore, Washington; the University of Medicine & Dentistry (UMDNJ) in Newark, New Jersey; George Washington University Medical School in Washington, DC; Dominion Herbal College 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.[6]

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.[7] A number of the leading younger herbalists in the United States today were trained in his methodology.[citation needed]


  • 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)


  1. ^ "History", American Herbalists Guild, accessed 12 May 2011
  2. ^ About Us, United Plant Savers Website, accessed 12 May 2011 [dead link]
  3. ^ Center for Herbal Studies
  4. ^ David Winston's Website
  5. ^ Tillotson Institute of Natural Health - "Growth, Manufacture, Quality"
  6. ^ "Herbal Medicine", Tai Sophia Institute, accessed 12 May 2011
  7. ^ David Winston's Center for Herbal Studies

External links[edit]