Denise Cusack

Choosing Aromatic and Medicinal Plants for Your Sustainable Herb Garden

Interested in growing your own medicinal and aromatic plants? Want to learn more about how to create a regenerative and sustainable garden for your home or practice while doing it? I will share tips and pointers on picking the best plants for your region and climate. We will cover:

  • What does sustainable mean in our gardens?
  • Look at hardy native and resilient plants that suit your zone
  • Get a few ideas for plants that suit different climates and needs
  • Select plants that can be used in many ways to support people, plants, & earth
  • And finally, get pointers on how to evaluate your own needs and make it sustainable!

Denise Cusack is a clinical regenerative herbalist, certified aromatherapist, and a certified permaculture designer, with over 20 years of experience in the natural health and wellness community. Denise is a hands on educator that brings permaculture principles, environmentalism, and ethical ecology to the subject of sustainable herbalism and aromatherapy.

Denise has volunteered with Herbalists Without Borders since 2017 as US Seed Grant Coordinator, US Donation Network Coordinator, and Clinical Herbalist and Aromatherapist for the Veterans Resiliency Holistic Clinic under HWB (17-22). She is the former Executive Director of Herbalists Without Borders (2017-2022), a former Council Member of the American Herbalists Guild (2019-2022) including serving as Secretary and Chair. Denise lives at Wholly Rooted Permaculture Farm which is a United Plant Savers Botanical Sanctuary and education space, where she grows over 250 varieties of medicinal herbs and preserves at-risk and endangered plants.

My education includes past and current coursework including:

  • Clinical Herbalism:
  • Family & Master Herbalist: Dr Jessie Hawkins School of Vintage Remedies
  • Herbal Medicine for Women: Dr. Aviva Romm
  • AHG Clinical Mentorship Program
  • Hundreds of hours of additional courses in formulary, clinical assessments, diagnostics, case studies, botany, anatomy and physiology, etc.

Certified Aromatherapist:

  • Aromatic Medicine and Aromatherapy: Dr. Jessie Hawkins School of Vintage Remedies
  • Certified Aromatherapist: Aromahead Institute
  • Hydrosols Certificate: School of Aromatic Studies
  • Flower Essence Certificate: Floracopeia
  • Tongue and Pulse for Aromatherapists: School of Aromatic Studies
  • Over 700 additional aromatherapy course hours in therapeutic clinical practice

Permaculture & Sustainable Management:

  • PDC Permaculture Certificate and Advanced Social Systems Design: Women’s Permaculture Guild
  • Seed Savers Virtual Seed School
  • Seed Seva Mentorship: Rowen White
  • Organic Seed School


  • Once a Warrior – Always a Warrior: Enhancing Care of PTSD and Other Trauma-Related
  • Conditions for Military, Veteran, and Civilian Clients: Ergos Institute
  • Certified Mental Health First Aider
  • Canadian School of Natural Nutrition Courses
  • Teaching in Nature’s Classroom Certificate
  • Psychological First Aid Certificate
  • Disaster Response for First Responders

Over 5000 hours total of continuing education in subjects including permaculture, sustainability, seed saving, growing medicinals, aromatherapy, herbalism, trauma, disaster response, first aid, native medicinal plants, plant conservation, regenerative agriculture, organic gardening, foodscaping, and more.

I am also an ordained minister and have additional training in trauma, first aid, and disaster relief and response.

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