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About Medicine Hill Herbs

Joan side Ojo 235x213Joan ML Zinn, owner and operator of Medicine Hill Herbs, is an herbalist, healing consultant, writer and teacher.  She works from her consultation studio space, surrounded by herb gardens in Centennial, Colorado.




Joan Zinn apprenticed with Stephen Harrod Buhner, master herbalist and expert on indigenous and contemplative spiritual traditions, now the author of many non-fiction books and renowned lecturer on herbal medicine, the sacredness of plants, and the intelligence of Nature. Early in her apprenticeship, Joan joined the first "Pharmacy from the Rainforest" excursion with James Duke, PhD and the American Botanical Council to Rosita Arvigo’s Ix Chel Farm in Belize, Central America to learn about the rainforest herbs and worked with native healers there, collecting rainforest plant specimens for the National Cancer Institute for U.S. research. She also apprenticed with Maurieke Sheyelle, MD, who was educated in Surinam, Denmark, England and the U.S. and who was Joan’s influence in recognizing the healing power of food and diet. Joan’s teachers include those who have been guides and teachers for her Wilderness Fasting Vision Quests over the years as well as her clients and apprentices. 

A long time entrepreneur, Joan started her first business, a commercial design and typesetting company, after attending Rocky Mountain School of Art and working as a commercial artist.  Prior to learning about plants as medicine, Joan owned and operated a commercial greenhouse in Denver for sixteen years, accumulating much of her knowledge and experience of plants and growing.  Her business grew herbs for the Botanic Gardens, sold retail foliage plants year-round and seasonal bedding plants and perennials.  Throughout this time, she offered landscape designs and services, as well as interior plant design and maintenance for her customers. In the early years, the greenhouse offered a unique environment for theatre productions and art shows, showcasing her love of the arts. 

Joan has been learning and teaching about plants for about forty years.  She has been a Sacred Plant Medicine teacher and healing consultant for over twenty years and is a life-long spiritual seeker.

Teaching History

  • Individual Sacred Plant Medicine apprenticeships
  • Herb Walks, medicinal herb garden tours, wild plant identification and wildcrafting, as well as Medicine Making Classes for Integrative Earth Medicine, previously Just for Health School of Reflexology and Healing Arts Master Herbalist certification program: Botanical Medicine - East and West.  Approved and regulated by the Colorado Department of Higher Education, Private Occupational School Board.  Integrative Earth Medicine is no longer open.
  • How to Design Your Personal Medicinal & Culinary Herb Garden
  • Classes on Growing and Cooking with Herbs, Edible Gardening in pots, Gardening and Home Remedy classes
  • Cooking for Good Health Classes
  • Herbal First Aid Classes
  • Co-teaching of Mentoring classes with Diana Barnhill, mystic.  Diana is an intuitive inspirational coach, palm reader and medium.
  • Wildcrafting workshops and face crème making classes for Mani Powers' Inner Powers School of Cosmic Shamanism.


Joan did the book design, formatting and editing for friends Mary O'Brien and Karen Vail of Steamboat Springs, Colorado, and won first place gold award for interior layout/design with the Colorado Independent Publishers (CIPA EVVY) book awards. The book was also awarded the silver award for academic/reference. Their spectacular new plant book is called Edible and Medicinal Plants of the Southern Rockies and includes plants of the fertile and spectacular Yampa Valley of Steamboat Springs as well as areas ranging from Denver's front range foothills, throughout our mountains west into Utah, north into Wyoming and south to Santa Fe.  The book information is an excellent resource and field guide, published in full color. The pictures, descriptions and information, including lots of anecdotes and recipes, are excellent.  Available now!  Click on Books tab for more information.

As writer, Joan has written a book with Richard Patten called “Loving Transitions: A Guide for Compassionate and Effective Care for the Dying”  and contributed to a delightful children’s book "Lefty the Left-Pawed Cat" by Macy & Lefty & Friends, both published by her self-publishing company, Conspectus 3 Publishing.  She is also the writer for the life story of Ba Forde, a Vietnamese War bride and long time owner and operator of Kim Ba Restaurant in Denver.

Joan's future writing goals include creating a book of her own stories based on personal experiences of life, imagination and spirit while on the path of her healing practice and Sacred Plant Medicine teachings.