Mandala Botanicals is promoting the creation of a grassroots healthcare system.

We offer single herb tinctures as well as blends tested and formulated in house. We specialize in custom blending using kinesiology and dowsing.

Organic Herbal Products

Tinctures, elixirs, and more.
Our products are made in small batches, in accordance with Vermont's seasons and the moon's cycles. We intimately know the plants in our medicines because we take time to know them from seed to full maturity. We gather herbs by hand, from our diverse organic gardens. We also ethically wild craft from the meadows, fields, streams and mountains nearby.

Mandala Botanicals believes that responsible herbalism entails speaking out for people who don't have access to good food, medicinal herbs and other forms of health care. As herbal medicine makers we speak up for the land as we observe her shifting and changing because of human impact. Therefore in our formulas we are replacing botanicals listed on the United Plant Savers “at-risk” and “to-watch” list with locally cultivated or invasive medicinal analogs. For example, barberry instead of coptis or goldenseal, and goldenrod instead of arnica.

Contact us for mail orders and custom blends.

Select products available at Grian Herbs Apothecary in Montpelier, VT and Fiddleheads Raw Foods Cafe in Worcester, VT.

The summer harvest is a welcomed pleasure, as mid-winter tea!

Classes & Summer Program

Classes and Events:

Request our quarterly e-newsletter of classes, events and updates by emailing:

Our land

Mandala Botanicals is located on ten scenic acres in Orange VT, facing Spruce Mountain and Groton State Forest, ten minutes from Plainfield and eight minutes from Barre. With reverence and gratitude for the opportunity to steward this parcel of earth, we are cultivating medicinal crops and in the early stages of creating a folk medicine and herbal learning center designed with permaculture, natural farming and social justice principles.

• Internship program: Our 2014 Internship Program positions are now filled. Congratulations and gratitude to Shelby Gonzalez, Serena Fox, Flower Kotkes, Danny Rissin-Rosenfeld and Shay Gaay.
If you are interested in applying for a position next year, contact us when the snow flies again in late fall for a description of positions available. We seek enthusiastic, reliable, motivated individuals to gain skills working side by side with us in the gardens, apothecary and as assistants to the Local Healers Program. Interns focus on a special project during their tenure that satisfies a personal interest and contributes to our goals on the farm. This is an exchange opportunity, eight hours per week. No-charge attendance at the Local Healers Program is included during the internship.

• 2014 Garden Work and Learn Days: Free and open to anyone interested in getting hands-on experience with the plants in an informal, soil-centered setting. Bring a potluck lunch dish to share, and wear clothes appropriate for gardening and outdoor projects. Please call ahead (rather than email, we are not on the computer each day), at least 24 hours before you plan to join us for timing and directions. Garden Work and Learn Days this year are: Wednesdays, May 14 & 28, June 11, August 6 & 20, September 3 & 17, October 1 & 15.

Local Healers 2014:

A nine-month herbal training and certification program, celebrating its ninth year of growth.

Local Healers is crafted to keep herbalism and healthcare in the people's hands, where it belongs. The local plants, mycelium and wildlife are the "local healers" given tribute in the program's name. This program is in Orange, Vermont, USA. Open for 2015 enrollment, as our 2014 program is now in session. Class size limited to 12 participants. Email or call us to request an application.

• Learn to grow, identify, gather, prepare and administer medicinal herbs of the central Vermont region, as well as botanicals of other regions in a hands-on, seasonal format.
• Explore the microcosm of your body through the cycles of plants, your ancestry and our connection to the global macrocosm.
• Gain confidence and knowledge for your own healthcare, plus create your own herbal apothecary and herbal first-aid kit.
• Bring your learning to the community level by contributing to Herbalists Without Borders and projects that are dear to you.

Class meets 10am – 4pm on Wednesdays, two days per month.

This year's wonderful guest teachers are: Micki Visten, Amy Goodman-Kiefer, Hannah McLeod, Joann Darling, Dana Woodruff, Sara Spurlock and others yet to be announced. In our effort to create safe learning and healing spaces, our teachers participate in a prerequisite workshop exploring their own ancestry, power and social privileges prior to presenting. We are building this structure into our learning institution as a model for other schools and to create the culture we want to live in.

The program begins late March 2014 and runs through early November 2014. Class dates are: March 26, April 9 & 23, May 7 & 21, June 4 & 18, July 23 & 30, August 13 & 27, September 10 & 24, October 8 & 22, November 5.

Required textbooks: Healing Wise by Susun Weed, The Holistic Herbal (2003 Edition) by David Hoffman, The Medicine Making Handbook by James Green, and Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health by Rosemary Gladstar.

Recommended but not required: The Forager's Harvest and Nature's Garden by Samuel Thayer and Botany in a Day by Thomas Elpel.

Cost: $1100 tuition includes class handouts and in-class medicine-making supplies but not books. $1000 if paid in full by March 1st.

Payment: We have several tuition discounts and payment options available in an effort to make our program accessible and affordable. Please inquire for full details.

VSAC non-degree grants available to income-eligible Vermonters, on a first come first served basis, inquire early. Apply by calling 1-800-882-4166. Community credits (ORE or REACH barter hours) also accepted as partial payment.

Program topics include:
• A folk herbalist manifesto
• Understanding cycles: day/night (sun/moon), monthly (lunar), yearly seasons (solar), life (birth to death, based on concepts of earth-based astrology)
• Yin and Yang
• Nature's elements: Soil, Wind, Fire and Water
• Materia medica of medicinal plants of the northeast USA, month by month through the year (harvest calendar)
• Experiential energetics of herbs
• Herbal actions and chemistry
• Forms of herbal medicine/herbal preparations
• Botany and the patterns of plant families
• Basics of the body systems
• Creating your own apothecary
• Social justice — privilege, and practicing solidarity not charity
• Polycultural herbalism
• Community service
• Emergency relief with herbs
• Herbal first-aid kits
• Responsible wild harvesting and wild edibles
• Food as medicine
• Culinary herbs for healing
• Spring cleansing and tonification
• Preparing for winter — herb preservation and medicine making such as tincturing, salves, infused oils, incense, teas, poultices, soups, smoking blends and more
• Plant ID and plant walks in the garden, in the wilderness and where the pavement grows
• Plant communication
• The seven edible plant parts
• Adaptogen herbs we can grow in the Northeast
• Immune health
• Herbs for dental care
• Do-it-yourself (DIY) body care products and natural cleaning
• Stress relief and spirit care with herbs
• Healing with water and spiritual bathing
• Divination
• Medicinal mushrooms of the northeast USA
• Cultivating at-risk plants and United Plant Savers
• Gardening — permaculture practices including rainwater catchment, planting on contours, homemade fertilizers, cost effective approaches to soil building, disease treatment, the art of pattern observation and more
• Field trips to area sites including Zack Woods Herb Farm, the Metro Way Community Garden and different wild and semi-wild ecosystems
• Knowing a plant from seed to sprout, flower to fruit and root

A balanced menu of practical information, self-healing and activism, this program is appropriate for learners of all ages (children are welcome to accompany adults) seeking a strong foundation in folk herbalism. The skills gained are of lifelong value and are contagious.

Student Testimonials:

“The atmosphere is so wholistic—seed to seed through the seasons, medicine making, food as medicine, a safe space to process my own path and grow in a group setting. The amazing potlucks, the enriching field trips, it was a brilliant orchestra of educational material!” D.W.

“I expected to learn about identification, preparation and usage of healing herbs, and I did. I also expanded my vision and improved my connection to the organic reality. I have become much more aware of and connected to the plant world, and I know how to incorporate my learning into my life.” B.R.

“I enjoyed learning about the medicinal values of plants in my backyard. I will always remember that I can heal myself and others with what is around me in nature.” P.L.

We need to come back to nature. Most Americans need to Localize, or ‘re-localize’—to meet every day needs of food, shelter, medicine, water, fire, etc. with less reliance on fossil fuels and ecological devastation and more attention to resource use and awareness.
We use herbs for their physical medicinal attributes for wellness, as well as the powers they have to heal the mind and spirit.

Natural Health Consultations

Sandra offers traditional cupping sessions on Thursdays from 9 – 4pm.
Call to schedule your appointment.

Each person is an ecological expression.
We are part of nature and need nature. In this rapidly changing global climate we need to attune to the practices of our ancestry, and to the foods and medicines of the bioregion in which we live. Through integrating regular awareness of our bodies with the rhythms of the seasons, we can enjoy great improvements in health.

Relax in the turmeric colored walls of our healing hut.

About Sandra Lory

Sandra Lory is rather fond of plants and has unwavering faith in the power of Mother Nature's pharmacy. She keeps her hands in the soil and tends it as her home, her classroom and cathedral.

Sandra was born in Chennai, India and raised in East Hardwick, Vermont where her parents settled after years of international relief work. Sandra's mother is a social justice advocate and her father is a dowser. Her maternal granny Luiza Maria Antao was a village herbalist from the former Portuguese colony Goa, India who raised the family in Nairobi, Kenya during the British colonial era. Sandra's paternal grandfather Andrej Lazorcek came from Slovakia to Pittsburgh's South Side, where he worked in the wrought iron industry and cultivated a garden to feed the family.

Sandra's herbal practice incorporates awareness and action, impact and responsibility inherent in being a global citizen.

Sandra was involved with community garden organizing in New York City and Holyoke, Massachusetts in the 90's. She graduated from Hampshire College with a degree in Social Ecology in 2001. Since then she has pursued healing arts through apprenticeship, mentorship and/or formal studies with many wonderful teachers, including: Atmo Abram, Rosemary Gladstar, Ms. Beatrice Waight, Guido Mase, Rocio Alarcon, Hadar Sarit, Josephine Spilka, Amy Goodman Kiefer, Joseph Kiefer, Julia Graves, Bob Onne, & Mark Perido. She also draws inspiration from the late D.C. Jarvis, a renowned Barre physician who promoted Vermont folk herbalism. Sandra is grateful to her teachers for their generous and timeless teachings. She is also thankful for her husband Zachary, her sister Yvonne, and her parents Victoria and James for their support.

Sandra has over 15 years experience with natural foods, urban agriculture and community-based work. She has been whole-foods chef at Sage Mountain Herbal Retreat Center since 2002 and established Mandala Botanicals in 2003. She has been offering the Local Healers herbal training program since 2005. Sandra integrates herbalism, social justice, art and community gardening into community-based projects near and far.

Sandra's writing and photography has been featured in We'Moon, and in the books Fire Heart: The Life and Teachings of Maya Medicine Woman Miss Beatrice Torres Waight, and The Language of Plants: A Guide to the Doctrine of Signatures by Julia Hoffman Graves.

Photo Gallery

The Photo Gallery is under construction.


Co-Founder of:
The Northeast Radical Health Care Network

The Barre Community Garden at Metro Way
Herbalists Without Borders, Vermont Chapter

Member of:
Transition Town Vermont
Onion River Exchange and REACH Carebank
Herbal Aide

Dandelioness Herbals
Sage Mountain Herbal Retreat Center
Numen (A film about the healing power of plants)
Roots School
Wisdom of the Herbs School
Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism
Inspirit Healing Arts
Ms. Beatrice Waight, Traditional Healer

Wild summer roses we harvested to blend with raw honey and to add to love elixir with cardamom and hawthorn berries.

Contact Us

By phone: (802) 479-1925
By email:

Photographs © Sandra Lory.

A Mandala is a universal pattern in nature.
It is the source and cycle of all things, the intersection of dualities, and the mirroring between microcosm and macrocosm.
The elements of nature and life radiate, grow and change in Mandalas. Healing arts throughout the world are expressed in the form of Mandalas.

The services of Mandala Botanicals are for educational purposes only.
They are not intended to substitute for the advice or treatment of your doctor/health care practitioner.

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"The best herbalist in Vermont!"