Comfrey Central - A Clearinghouse for Symphytum Information



Dorena Rode

Dorena Rode 2004


Dorena's goal as a teacher, writer, and health care practitioner is to educate individuals so that they can make the best decisions in support of their own healing.   Her complementary background in human physiology, anatomy, herbology, chi gung, herbal medicine making and personal recovery allow her to approach healing from a broad perspective.   Having cultivated and wild-crafted herbs for over twenty years, Dorena knows that the healing power of herbs goes beyond the mere chemicals they contain.

Dorena began studying herbal medicine at the Institute of Traditional Medicine in 1984 and completed a two-year practitioner course there.   Subsequently she has studied independently and with a variety of teachers, including two years at the Pacific School of Herbal Medicine.    Since 1994 she has had a daily Chi Gung practice and also practices Wu style Tai' Chi.    Her teachers and mentors include (in no particular order):    Richard Upton, Christopher Hobbs, Phyllis Bala, Adam Seller, Subhuti Dharmananda, Lois Johnson, Ellin Chess, James Snow, Kym Josephine, and many plants.

Dorena earned her doctorate in physiology in 2004 from the University of California at Davis supported by a fellowship from the NIH NCCAM (National Institutes of Health National Center for Complementary and Alternative Medicine).    Her undergraduate education was at University of California, Santa Cruz, where she earned highest honors in chemistry (1988).

Areas of Interest

  • immunology
  • endocrinology
  • liver physiology
  • traditional pharmacy
  • herb cultivation
  • subtle energies
  • food as medicine

Professional Affiliations

  • California Native Plant Society
  • United Plant Savers
  • American Herbalist Guild
  • American Botanical Council


Conflicts of Interest:
Dorena has no financial interest, either speculative or actual, in the use of comfrey in the diet or as medicine.   She does have a personal interest in disseminating accurate and complete information regarding plants and alternative medicine.

2004 Dorena Rode       Acknowledgment