Traditional herbs (Photo courtesy of Romain Guy/Flickr)

Traditional herbs (Photo courtesy of Romain Guy/Flickr)

Herbalists and Traditional Healers Can Learn to Grow Businesses at NMSU Seminar

Monique Gutierrez-Ortega, a native of northern New Mexico, grew her part-time business focused on the medicinal properties of Southwest plants, called Essentials By Monique, into a profitable enterprise that supports her family.

Modern herbalists can learn how to market their products to a wider audience and manage the financial, technical and liability risks associated with the commercialization of traditional herbs and remedies at a two-day seminar hosted by New Mexico State University (NMSU).

The seminar, “Southwest Medicinal Herbs Production and Marketing,” hosted March 4-5, will help healers reach a budding market of people interested in alternatives to mainstream medical treatments.

“The Southwest landscape has a large number of under-utilized native medicinal plant species that, if properly developed, could be turned into value-added herbal products to supplement income and diversify businesses,” said Charles Martin, NMSU agricultural specialist at the Sustainable Agriculture Science Center in Alcalde.

The seminar will also instruct on business-sense, like principles of entrepreneurship, balancing culture with commerce, and incorporating value-added production methods in growing, harvesting and producing products, the NMSU press release states.

The program, made possible by a grant from the Washington State University Western Center for Risk Management Education and the U.S. Department of Agriculture National Institute of Food and Agriculture, will run from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Friday and Saturday, March 4-5, at the NMSU Albuquerque Center, 4501 Indian School Road NE. It costs $40 for both days and $30 for students with student ID.

Pre-registration is required at

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