Natural medicine has lost a true visionary, and many of us
here in Oregon have lost a very good friend. Cancer claimed the life of Cascade
Anderson Geller on May 4, 2013. A deeply
respected and much beloved member of our community, Cascade was a leader in the
field of herbal medicine.
Throughout her career, Cascade inspired thousands of healers
with her wisdom about plants and herbal medicine, which she developed over a
lifetime of passionate study. Her
mission was to teach what she loved and lived and to share her deep wellspring
of knowledge about the healing power of plants. In so doing she helped all of
us better understand and honor the traditional roots of medicine.
Cascade was a graduate of the herbalist program at Dominion
Herbal College in Vancouver, B.C., but she became immersed in plant medicine
much earlier. She was raised in a family whose herbal knowledge went back
several generations. After graduation, Cascade's desire to learn about the
plants she loved led her to study traditional healing methods throughout the
world, from England to Nepal.
Cascade had a long history with NCNM. She joined the NCNM faculty in 1979 after
giving a guest lecture about herbal medicine and later became chair of the
Botanical Medicine department, teaching at NCNM until 1992.
Cascade's passion for plant medicine ignited generations of
NCNM students to cherish it as she did. She was awarded the prestigious NCNM
Teacher of the Year in 1985. In 2012, NCNM awarded Cascade a Doctor of Laws
degree for her lifetime of contributions to the field of botanical education.
Cascade's name became synonymous with botanical medicine and
herbalism. She helped jump-start the botanical medicine programs at Bastyr
University and Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine in the 1980s and
1990s. She was a consultant for the American Herb Association, a founding
member and advisory board member of the United Plant Savers, and a founder of
Everett House Healing Center in Portland (now known as Common Ground). Until
the end of her life, Cascade consulted with a wide range of practitioners about
herbal therapies and frequently lectured at conferences throughout the world.
OANP extends its deepest sympathy to Cascade’s family
including her husband Eliot and her children, Ayala and Lance. Her legacy of
healing through natural medicine will not be forgotten among those of us who
were fortunate enough to work with her.
OANP acknowledges NCNM for its contributions to this tribute.