Kathleen Leeson RH – Biography

Kathleen Leeson RH (Registered Herbalist) is a Shamanic Healer & Clinical Herbalist, in practice in the Ottawa-Outaouais region since 1995. 

She is pleased to receive the honour of the title of ‘Elder’ in 2023 in recognition of her contribution to Canadian herbalism from The Canadian Council of Herbalists.

Her evolution came naturally into Shamanism through the normal experience of ‘traditional healers’ by getting sick and having to heal, or ‘walk the walk’ and having already made it her life’s work with the plants.

Before the experience of getting sick with what is now called chronic fatigue syndrome in 1989, she had been studying and working as a horticulturalist because her primary relationship has always been to Nature and its inherent Wisdom that shows us how to live well during our time on Earth. 

Luckily, she met a practicing herbalist shortly thereafter and decided to study Medical Herbalism in order to get well. Her primary teacher has been David Hoffmann MNIMH, an acknowledged leader of the North American herbal renaissance. She also studied extensively with Susun S. Weed, David Winston AHG, and Pam Montgomery, Plant Spirit Medicine Practitioner.

After a four-year process of recovering her wellness with herbs and other traditional healing techniques, she established the first clinical practice as a Clinical Herbalist, in Ottawa in 1995.

She introduced The Wisdom of Plants Herbal Apprenticeship Program, the first of its kind locally,in 1996 and taught it from her teaching space and garden near Wakefield for the next 20 years.

Out of this program emerged midwives, nurses, organic growers, aromatherapists, ceremonialists, sacred circle dance leaders, wise women, many folk herbalists and even a few clinical herbalists.

She has also taught many more topic-specific workshops over the years e.g., treating Colds ‘n Flus Naturally, Aging with Grace, etc.

In 2002, she became the first certified Registered Herbalist (RH) in the Ottawa area through the Ontario Herbalists Association (OHA) when they offered this initiative and has been a member in good standing ever since. In addition, she has offered supervision to the clinical hours required for new RH’s since 2010 including follow up mentoring.

Other Notes about Kathleen Leeson RH:

1)  She has been featured on CJOH TV’s “Regional Contact”, and in the Ottawa Citizen on numerous occasions.

2)  She was a featured guest speaker at various Community Health Centres, Public Libraries, the Billings Estate, to name a few.

3)  Operated a free ‘Herbal first Aid’ clinic along with her students, and offered a lecture yearly at The Herbfest from 1998 – 2018, when the event ended.

4)  She attended annual practitioner intensives with North America’s leading herbalists to keep expanding her knowledge and skills.

5)  She was fortunate enough to be on the team guided by Elizabeth May who brought Earth Day to Canada and in Ottawa specifically, in 1990 and was the local coordinator for events for a few years afterwards.

6) She and her colleagues then left the network to form Capital Region Releaf, an initiative by Friends of The Earth, which advocated and planted native species in municipal parks in the later ‘90’s.

7) She got more interested in the fundraising side of things and studied it at Algonquin College. She coached the OHA Board in 2011 and was involved in developing then online membership newsletter.

As of now, she has been studying, working, growing, sharing, teaching, journeying & playing with plants since 1982 and likes nothing better than to share the wonders hidden in the natural world with others.   

During the pandemic, she let go of her office space and teaches online and works with clients primarily from home now. Which makes it easier for her to manage the cooperative organic food garden that she started with friends in 2021. She is also a founding member of Gaia Sacred Circle Dancers founded in 2022.

What is Shamanic Healing?

A ‘Shaman’ is the traditional intermediary between the Realm of Spirit, or Heaven and the Realm of Matter, or Earth. We could substitute the word ‘spiritual’ for ‘shamanic’ at any time. However, they are grounded in, not separated from, a deep reverence for the Earth and all Her life-forms. They do not place humans as being superior to All-That-Is in Creation.

Shamanism sees all disease as originating in another dimension rather than being ‘just physical’. Allopathic medicine divorces our relationship with a benevolent ‘higher power’ and has no one skilled who can mediate between the ‘worlds’, or ‘fix’ problems at their source. Modern medicine also does not cultivate a healthy relationship with its physical medicines that it offers to its tribe to further health and lessen disease. When both systems are utilized effectively together, health is greatly enhanced for all beings.

As Shamanic Healers, we seek to rebalance the energies within the personality that are often causally related to many health issues and troublesome life experiences.

Other Notes of interest regarding Kathleen:

  • Featured on CJOH TV’s “Regional Contact”, & in Ottawa’s Citizen newspaper on numerous occasions.
  • Spoken on Herbalism at Centretown Community Health Centre, the Nepean, Gloucester & Ottawa Libraries & Billings Estate, to name a few.
  • Teaches at other annual events such as the Herbal Renaissance Retreat & Ottawa’s Herbfest.
  • Attends annual practitioner intensives with North America’s leading herbalists to keep expanding her knowledge & skills.
  • Was on the Earth Day Ottawa Organizing Committee in 1990 & was Coordinator in 1991.
  • She would love to teach general interest workshops at your place.

In addition to teaching the Apprenticeship Program & Internship, Kathleen sees clients one-on-one in clinical practice at Into The Green Holistic Clinic in Ottawa, Ontario.

She designs personalized herbal programs & offers other traditional healing processes in safe, co-created space. She has particular experience with chronic or recurring health conditions, such as chronic fatigue, allergies, irritable bowel syndrome, depression, etc. She has worked extensively with women’s unique health considerations in particular. She also works cooperatively with an array of other health professionals in order to maximize healing & recovery.