WE ARE IN THE PROCESS OF APPOINTING NEW DIRECTORS AND WOULD LIKE TO APPOINT MORE. IF YOU ARE INTERESTED IN BECOMING A BETONICA BOARD DIRECTOR, PLEASE CONTACT US. 

HELEN KEARNEY (Founder and Director)

Helen has a BSc (Hons) in Herbal Medicine, a background in permaculture, first aid and teaching gardening and growing.

Helen trained for five years in Herbal Medicine in London gaining experience in the dermatology department of Whipps Cross Hospital, Middlesex University Archway Clinic, Westminster University Herbal Medicine Clinic and the University of East London Clinic. She continues to keep up to date with the latest findings on herbal medicine, attending seminars and lectures as well as keeping a connection with the plants she uses as medicine by making many of her own tinctures, creams and ointments, and offering herb walks and teaching workshops.

Helen has gained a lot of experience in acute medicine (both herbal and orthodox) through her work as a festival first aider and community first responder. Helen has also worked in the Calais ‘jungle’ as part of a team of medics.

Helen is an excellent teacher and will be introducing the world of growing and harvesting medicinal plants and trees, as well as telling a tale or two!

CLARE SHIPPEY

Clare is a qualified Medical Herbalist. She studied for five years at the Scottish School of Herbal Medicine, Glasgow, graduating in 2010 with a BSc(Hons) in Herbal Medicine and ITEC diplomas in holistic massage and aromatherapy.

After completing her degree she spent six months working as a volunteer on a herb farm and permaculture smallholding in the south of England. Her experiences there helped define an interest in sustainable, local plant-based medicine. 

She remained in Devon and lived there for seven years, running a successful private practice and teaching workshops and courses on home herbalism to the public. She is now living in Oxfordshire and her current focus is on teaching. 

‘I enjoy many aspects of herbal medicine including growing, foraging, medicine making, clinic work and especially teaching. Herbal education is at the forefront of my work with plants and I love inspiring people to reconnect with sustainable, natural medicines that are growing in the hedgerows and up through the cracks in the pavements.’

ILE ASHCROFT (Academic Director)

Ile is a Western Medical Herbalist who has been practising from her clinic in Credition since 2009. She also trains students of herbal medicine. She lives in Mid-Devon and wherever possible gathers local plants (mostly from organic farms and gardens nearby which are often common weeds!) to use in her pharmacy to treat patients. 

SEBASTIAN POLE (Lic OHM, Ayur HC, MAPA, MRCHM, MURHP)

Sebastian Pole practices traditional herbal medicine and is Master Herbsmith and Co-founder of Pukka Herbs.

I am passionate about the sustainable supply of organic and pharmacopoeial grade herbs as well as working with communities to protect both their livelihoods and local ecosystems. I’ve spent the last 20 years dedicated to bringing the best quality herbs for Pukka’s herbal teas and organic wellbeing supplements whilst pioneering sustainable organic and fairwild herbal value chains.

I also run a small herbal practice in Somerset and have been in clinical practice since 1998, working with an eclectic blend of Ayurvedic, Chinese and Western herbalism with a special interest in digestive, skin, mental and women’s health.

I qualified as a herbalist with the aim of using the principles of Ayurveda (the ancient art of living wisely) to help transform health. I have a Licentiate in Herbal Medicine, a Diploma in Oriental Herbal Medicine and am an Ayurvedic Health Counsellor. I am a registered member of the Ayurvedic Practitioners Association, Register of Chinese Herbal Medicine and the Unified Register of Herbal Practitioners.

Fluent in Hindi, a qualified Yoga therapist and passionate about inspiring business that brings benefit to everyone it connects with, I’m on a mission to bring the incredible power of plants into people’s life.

Serving on Pukka’s Board and Mission Council, I also support the Advisory Board of the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia, The FairWild Foundation, and American Botanical Council Sustainable Herbs Project. Its been highly educational sharing some herbal insights in my books; Ayurvedic Medicine, The Principles of Traditional Practice (Elsevier 2006), A Pukka Life (Quadrille 2011), Celebrating 10 Pukka years (2012) and Cleanse, Nurture, Restore with Herbal Tea (Frances Lincoln 2016).

I live on a two acre garden-farm in Somerset where I grow a rainbow spectrum of medicinal and nourishing plants for my bees and family to thrive on.