Ann Armbrecht, Director and Co-Producer

Ann ArmbrechtAnn is a writer and anthropologist (PhD, Harvard 1995) whose work explores the relationships between humans and the earth, most recently through her work with plants and plant medicine.

She is the co-producer of the documentary Numen: the Nature of Plants, and the author of the award winning ethnographic memoir, Thin Places: A Pilgrimage Homebased on her research in Nepal. She is a student of herbal medicine and was a 2017 Fulbright-Nehru Scholar documenting the supply chain of medicinal plants in India. She is currently completing a book, From Seed to Shelf: Following Herbs Through the Supply Chain, to be published by Chelsea Green Publishing and is a Visiting Scholar in the Department of Anthropology at Dartmouth College. She lives with her family in central Vermont.

Mark Blumenthal, Partner

Mark has been a leader in the concern for more rational regulations of herbal and natural product manufacturing, and education on plant-based medicines for over 40 years. He is the Founder and Executive Director of the American Botanical Council (ABC) and the Director of the ABC-AHP-NCNPR Botanical Adulterants Prevention Program, an international consortium of industry, analytical labs, non-profit research societies et al. dedicated to educating the industry about the problems associated with the adulteration of botanicals, extracts, and essential oils.

Mark is the Editor/Publisher of ABC acclaimed journal HerbalGram, Senior Editor of the English translation of The Complete German Commission E Monographs–Therapeutic Guide to Herbal Medicines (1998), Herbal Medicine: Expanded Commission E Monographs (2000), The ABC Clinical Guide to Herbs (2003), and co-author of Rational Phytotherapy, 5th edition (2004).

 In 2008, Mark was awarded the “Natural Legacy” award from Natural Foods Merchandiser magazine and he has also been named to Natural Health Magazine’s Hall of Fame Award for “…opening America’s eye to the healing powers of herbs.” See more.

Steven Foster, Collaborator

Steven Foster

Steven Foster began his career, at age 17, at the Herb Department of the Sabbathday Lake, Maine, Shaker Community. He is the author of over 900 photo-illustrated articles and is well known for his photography. Steven is also the author of 19 books, including three Peterson Field Guides. He lives in the Ozarks. Foster serves as the president of the Steven Foster Group, Inc., providing consulting, editorial and stock photography services. Read the HerbalGram article about Steven.

View Steven’s page on the ABC Web site.


Terrence Youk, Co-Producer

Sustainable Herbs Project TeamTerrence Youk began work in film and television in 1985, first as a composer and later writing, producing, directing and editing independent documentaries.

He has produced nationally acclaimed programs for PBS, A&E and the Wisdom Channel as well as educational and presentation films crafted for nonprofit institutions including the National Hospice Foundation. Award-winning films include: Thich Nhat Hanh: Roots of Peace, Pioneers of Hospice & The Birth of Modern Hospice, and Numen: The Nature of Plants.