This colourful gathering will be the climax of Lampeter’s ‘Summer of Herbs & Folk’ in which the community and the University have come together in a celebration of traditional folk medicine and traditional folk music.
Community events, talks, herb-walks and demonstrations are spread throughout the Summer. The Town Museum offers a display on local herb lore, including recipes and recollections provided by local people. Antique herbals from the original library dating back to the very foundation of the University almost exactly two hundred years ago, are being displayed in our Founders’ Library - with postcards available of some of their most striking and charming botanical illustrations and frontispieces.
The folk music programme, headlined by Catrin Finch & Seckou Keita and the iconic Martin Carthy, will conclude with the Twmpath and folk music concert on the final evening of the conference featuring local singers, musicians, and dancers.
The conference itself is being presented by the University and its Harmony Institute in conjunction with the National Institute of Medical Herbalists, Britain’s oldest professional body of herbal medicine practitioners.
The conference is open to all with a personal or professional interest in herbs, health, and healing. Please come! The more the merrier
The Conference ProgrammeThe conference is composed of three potentially stand-alone days - particularly important if you have to choose particular days to attend.
A detailed, hour-by-hour timetable will be available on this page nearer to the event.
Friday August 16th
Welcome to Lampeter
Friday afternoon and evening, will be for arrivals and welcomes. There will be a Welcome Desk in the Cloisters of our Saint David’s Building and Dinner will be at 6:45pm.For those travelling to Lampeter via the M4 - or who have time for a pleasant detour - we have arranged a particular welcome at the National Botanic Gardens of Wales for you to visit their Apothecary’s Garden, the Physicians of Myddfai Collection, and the Apothecary’s Hall: a charming re-creation of an Edwardian pharmacy. The Gardens are about ninety minutes from Lampeter. Further suggestions for Friday activities are very welcome.
Saturday, August 17th
‘The Living History of Western Herbalism’
The first big day of the conference will celebrate the living history of western herbalism. Talks will range from herbal medicine in the Anglo-Saxon world, through Galen’s medicine with its humours and temperaments, to the esoteric tradition with its hermeticism, elements, correspondences, and astrological calculations.
Presentations will include:
- Dylan Warren Davis on ‘Nicholas Culpepper and the Missing Philosophy of Western Herbalism’
- Steve Taylor on ‘The Galenic Assessment of Constitutions, Humours, and Temperaments’
- Val Thomas on ‘Anglo-Saxon Remedies and Modern Practice’
- Professor Nicholas Campion on Medical Astrology
- Elisabeth Brooke ‘As Above, So Below: The Key to Traditional Herbal Medical Practice’
- Alison Denham ‘Dr John Skelton (1805-1880): herbal practitioner, author and lecturer in Victorian Britain’
- Dr Graeme Tobyn ‘Ancients versus Moderns in Herbal Medicine: Authority, Evidence, and Effectiveness’
Sunday, August 18th
‘Myddfai: The Spiritual Home of Welsh Herbalism’
The second day will be devoted to the Welsh Herbal Tradition. The conference will be taken up into the hills to the little village of Myddfai, the spiritual home of Welsh herbalism.
In the new Visitors’ Centre, recently opened by Prince Charles, we shall be welcomed by Dr R. Brinley Jones C.B.E., the Chairman of the Physicians of Myddfai Society and the President of our University. There will be lunch and a chance to explore this beautiful little village with its extraordinary history. We shall then have presentations by the leading authorities on the Myddfai legends, texts, and tradition, and review the ancient remedies and their present day uses. Then back to Lampeter and - appetites honed by our hearty day out - there will be the Conference Dinner in the evening (nothing too formal, but there will be table service and so forth).
Presentations will include:
- Dr Brinley Jones Welcome and Introduction
- Dylan Warren Davis on the Lives and Legends of the Physicians of Myddfai
- Dr Diana Luft on the Medical Texts of the Myddfai Tradition
- Rosemary Westlake on Myddfai remedies in current practice for respiratory conditions
Monday, August 19th
‘West meets East and the Future of Traditional Herbal Medicine’
The third day will explore the future of Western Herbal Medicine and its relation to the ancient traditions of India and China.
In the afternoon, with talks, discussion groups, and panels, we will explore the challenges facing all traditional medicine and the future of herbal medicine in the modern world.
The day will end, after dinner, with our traditional ‘Physicians’ Twmpath’: a traditional Welsh Ceilidh and concert featuring local folk musicians and dancers. Should be jolly! For these festivities, we shall be joined by members of the broader community and proceeds from the event will go towards Lampeter’s National Eisteddfod Fund. This will be a fairly casual affair with no regimented seating, compulsory dancing or deafening music - just pleasant entertainment and plenty of space to chat with folks and swap contact details as the conference draws to a close.
Presentations will include:
- Anne McIntyre on the Principles of Ayurvedic Herbalism
- Charles Buck ’Chinese Medical Herbalism: Insights into a Great Medical Tradition’
- Abbot Wang Chengya on Yao Shan (Medicine Diet): the Traditional Daoist Art of adding health-giving herbs to food to promote health and to treat imbalances. The Abbot kindly offers optional workshops on Daoist medicine in the afternoon.
- Dafydd Monks on ‘Yr hen doctor mynydd’, The old doctor of the mountain: David Thomas Jones, Wales’ forgotten herbalist.
- A Plenary Session with many of our speakers.