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Medicine Hunter Chris Kilham with Palo santo. Photo by Jeff Skeirik

Workshops & Speaking Engagements

“There are few things I enjoy more than speaking about medicinal plants, foreign lands, and native cultures. An old shaman once said to me ‘You bridge the worlds.’ I never forgot that. It is tremendously rewarding to share what I learn out in the field in far-flung places. ” - Chris Kilham

Chris Kilham is an in-demand charismatic public speaker. He regularly presents to a wide variety of audiences, in the following areas of expertise:

  • Herbs & Medicinal Plants
  • Natural, Plant-based Cosmetics
  • Environmental Sustainability
  • Ethical Global Trade
  • Cultural Preservation
  • Ethical World Trade
  • Yoga & Meditation
  • Shamanism
  • Cannabis
  • Ayahuasca, “La Medicina”
  • Psychoactive & Psychedelic Plants
  • Hot Plants (Natural Aphrodisiacs)
  • Purpose-driven Adventure Travel
  • Holistic Health/Fitness
  • Natural Products Industry & Organic Trade

A holistic approach to health is a multidimensional endeavor. Eating well, using medicinal plants, exercising, and staying vital in many ways, are all part of total wellness. Additionally, adventure travel, preservation of native cultures and environmental sustainability are at the heart of Medicine Hunter activities. In talks and presentations around the world, Chris shares a deep knowledge of highly integrated holistic health, and the plants, people and places he encounters around the world as a medicine hunter.

Today the communication landscape is more diverse than ever before. Topics like shamanism, psychoactive plants, aphrodisiacs and native practices now are received warmly. Speaking from decades of experience, with candor, humor and extraordinary images from the field, Chris compels audiences to embrace natural medicines, environmental preservation and indigenous cultures, to think broadly, and to know more. Viva la evolution!

Please see Events for current information.


Natural Products Industry & Organic Trade

Chris is a lifetime contributor to the growth and development of the Natural Products Industry. He has been a regular guest expert at Whole Foods, Natural Products Expo East and Natural Products Expo West in the United States, most years since 1980, and has spoken at international conferences such as Natural Products Expo Asia in Hong Kong, and in Dubai, and repeatedly at Vita Foods Geneva. He has also presented at well over two hundred independent natural retailer outlets across the United States.


Expert Advisor and Thought Leader

Chris Kilham speaks to many types of groups, from gatherings of herbalists to industrial interests. As a guest expert to industry, Chris has presented across a wide variety of sectors to companies such as; Coca Cola, Pepsi, Unilever, Pfizer, Roche, Beiersdorf, Avon, L’Oreal, Chanel, Clarens, Body Shop, Royal Canin, GNC, Vitamin Shoppe, and Whole Foods. He is also a regular adviser to Woman’s World, Fox News Health, and is on the Medical Advisory Board of The Dr. Oz Show and various industry and trade publications. This broad and diverse range of engagements affords the opportunity to influence cultural trends in influential, action-oriented ways.


Botanical Gardens

Chris has been invited to speak at some of the finest botanical gardens. He has given presentations at great institutions such as the Missouri Botanical Garden, the Atlanta Botanical Garden, and the New York Botanical Garden. These centers perform vital roles in the promotion and preservation of plants of all kinds, including medicinal plants. The major botanical gardens are world centers for plant knowledge.


Plant Medicine & Herbal Gatherings

When Chris is in a room filled with herbalists he feels a deep connection to the core of the path of healing. Herbalists are fun, friendly, largely good-natured, and devoted to the healing power of nature through herbal medicine. Chris has spoken at gatherings such as the American Herbalists Guild, International Herb Symposium, and Medicines from the Earth Herb Symposium, and at the International Federation of Essential Oils and Aroma Trades, International Plant Medicine Conference.

Since 1994 Chris has worked, traveled and studied with shamans in Brazil, Peru and North America. He has participated in many dozens of ceremonies, both with and without the ingestion of ceremonial psychoactive drugs. He is experienced with Sacred Plants, including Ayahuasca, San Pedro cactus, peyote, coca, sacred mushrooms, and tobacco. He has spoken about sacred plants all over the world, including Psymposia 2015 Conference: Envisioning a Post Prohibition World, the Plant Teacher's Convergence, a global gathering of thought-leaders deeply engaged in the exploration of Ayahuasca, “La Medicina”, in the Peruvian Amazon. Chris has presented psychoactive and psychedelic plants and shamanism keynotes at Visionary Convergence LA, The Spirit Plant Medicine Conference, Bastyr University and many more.

Chris is founder of The Ayahuasca Test Pilots, a collaboration of individuals who engage in the ceremonial practice of ayahuasca journeying with skilled shamans.

Chris speaks at the Evolver's Ayahuasca Monologues, where he combines his decades of experience in the field of yoga with his deep involvement in South American shamanism. He is a thought leader in the ayahuasca scene, and writes articles on shamanism for Reality Sandwich, FOX News, and other venues.


The Shaman’s Pharmacy

Over the course of time, Chris developed a tremendous love for the Amazon and its people, and an abiding sense of heartbreak at the demise of the forest and its native cultures. On an ongoing basis, he works in the Amazon to help develop sustainable projects with medicinal plants. Chris is deeply committed to finding ways to protect this rainforest and its indigenous people. Thus, this workshop, The Shaman’s Pharmacy.

Chris has taught popular ethnobotany course, "The Shaman’s Pharmacy" at The University of Massachusetts at Amherst from 2002 – 2010. This course was part of the curriculum of the Medicinal Plant Program in the Department of Plant & Soil Sciences. In January of 2010, Chris led the first The Shaman’s Pharmacy Amazon Field Immersion Course, Shaman’s Pharmacy course on the Rio Napo in the Peruvian Amazon. Amazon Shamanic Medicine provides a unique, intensive exploration of the plant-based medicines of Amazon rainforest, a body of knowledge derived from shamans who are considered among the most capable of natural healers alive today. The course involves three two-hour class sessions, and eight days of travel and participation in studies and rainforest activities, in the Amazon rainforest. From 2010 – 2014, students from the Pioneer Valley's "Five Colleges" were eligible to participate.

“I would like to share with you what I have seen and experienced. Let me take you on a journey to the great Amazon rainforest and areas nearby, to the land of the shamans, who carry vast medicinal knowledge, and are willing to share their secrets. This is a journey of mind, of heart, of spirit.” – Chris Kilham

Learn more about The Shaman’s Pharmacy #ShamansPharmacy


Psychedelic Sermons

Before organized and hierarchical religions, people of almost all cultures employed plants and fungi, so-called plants of the gods, to encounter spirit directly, to effect profound healing, and to divine knowledge obtainable by journeying in the spirit landscape. In ceremonial and intentional ways, this engagement afforded a direct experience of mystical consciousness without intermediaries. The Psychedelic Sermon series delivers messages of spirit, without sponsorship by isms, ologies and osophies, offering insights into intentional and radically transformative engagement with the great psychedelics.

Learn more about Psychedelic Sermons #PsychedelicSermon

Yoga & Shamanism

This workshop features insights and teachings from Chris Kilham’s unique weave of 40+ years of daily yoga practice, eighteen years of working with the shamans of South America, and regular daily yoga practice.

The lines between yoga and shamanism are blurry at best. Any deep involvement with yoga also includes the knowledge and use of medicinal plants. Just as yoga travels, so does the use of beneficial plants from all around the globe, including the Amazon. From the shamanic tradition come medicines and life-changing psychoactive potions for true healing. In this lively romp through the spirit landscape, Chris will show how yogic, shamanic and other methods all help to crash boundaries of the body, mind and spirit, and open us up to true healing and ecstatic awareness.

Learn more about Yoga & Shamanism #YogaShamanism

Yoga & Meditation

Chris has also been a long-time speaker and presenter on yoga and meditation, at venues such as Midwest Yoga and Southwest Yoga, Jivamukti Yoga School and Yoga Chicago. Since 1971 Chris has taught yoga to thousands of people in classes at colleges, universities, dance centers, conferences, hospitals and jails. In his yoga presentations, Chris integrates information and methods of yoga, meditation and the martial arts, to enhance mind/body integration and sexual health, and to promote healthy aging. Chris is althe creator of True Kundalini, Yoga of Pure Spirit, and The Lotus and The Bud.

His best-selling yoga book, The Five Tibetans, is published in twenty-seven languages.

Learn more about Yoga & Meditation

True Kundalini

In the field of yoga, one of the most alluring of all concepts is the awakening of the primordial energy known as kundalini, also referred to as the serpent power. Kundalini is described in the foundation texts of yoga, and many books have been written on this topic. Specific methods of yoga are considered essential to the full awakening of this partially dormant force, and many teachers offer classes and programs designed to fulfill the full promise of kundalini awakening.

Sadly, many popular methods of so-called kundalini yoga are inauthentic, wholly made up in the 1970’s, with no basis at all in yogic history or use. The proliferation of these methods is misleading, and the practice of them is largely a waste of time. Fortunately, real and authentic methods do exist, and these methods do in fact fulfill the quest of awakening the brilliant kundalini force within.

Learn more about True Kundalini®

The Lotus and The Bud

Yoga itself is an energetic and conscious current that runs through human history, and cannabis is expressing itself as a volitional entity of healing and consciousness-expanding power now when humanity needs it most. The Lotus And The Bud explores Yoga practice as a specific approach to manipulating the human nervous system, and cannabis as an agent which, through the endocannabinoid system modifies nervous system function in ways that may enhance yoga.

Sadly, many popular methods of so-called kundalini yoga are inauthentic, wholly made up in the 1970’s, with no basis at all in yogic history or use. The proliferation of these methods is misleading, and the practice of them is largely a waste of time. Fortunately, real and authentic methods do exist, and these methods do in fact fulfill the quest of awakening the brilliant kundalini force within.

Learn more about The Lotus and The Bud #lotusandbud

The Five Tibetans

“A time-honored classic that belongs in every yoga library. A true yogi, Chris’ voice is strong, sensitive, and clear, his calling deep and genuine.”Deepak Chopra

The Five Tibetans has established itself as a classic among yoga practitioners and teachers alike. In this new edition the author shares his own positive experiences from more than 30 years’ devotion to the practice, even during his extensive worldwide travels, and explores the spiritual benefits of the Five Tibetans as well as the profound impact the practice has on health, longevity, and healthy aging.

“As a medicine hunter, I travel the world in search of beneficial traditional remedies that can help to alleviate human suffering, and can be used in place of dangerous, potentially lethal pharmaceuticals. As part of this work, I find myself in many countries, often in very remote places. In all my travels, The Five Tibetans have been my companions. I have practiced these methods in Vanuatu South Pacific, in Siberia, in Morocco, in the Peruvian, Brazilian and Ecuadorian Amazon, high up in the Indian Himalaya, in the Syrian desert, along Xinjiang’s Naladi grasslands, on the Mexican coast, and in countless cities from Kathmandu to Shanghai to Marrakech to Moscow to London to Accra. I have practiced them in hotels, on beaches, on stone patios, in native shacks, on boat docks, in forests, on mountains, in airports. As the Johnny Cash song says, I’ve been everywhere. And so have The Five Tibetans.” - Chris Kilham, excerpt from new edition of The Five Tibetans

Learn more about The Five Tibetans #fivetibetans


Environmental Sustainability & Ethical Global Trade

If you want true holistic medicine, you can't offer symptomatic relief while the natural environment is systematically destroyed and native people are forced to live in poverty.

In a sustainable system, all parts flourish. Speaking to influential groups about ethical trade affords an opportunity to share ideas about real sustainability. Chris has spoken for the Vanuatu Ministry of Trade, the Thai Ministry of Trade, the Canadian Health Food Association, the Australian Health Association, the Hawaiian Kava Association, and many other organizations around the world. It's not hard to engage in sustainable trade, but you have to care.

The reasons to care are many. Without nature we have no life. Future generations deserve access to beautiful, undisturbed ecosystems. We cannot ultimately survive in a toxic, over-developed world. And surely, the people who perform the back-breaking labor of harvesting and collecting our medicinal plants and aromatic spices deserve far better than a lives of abject povert and pitiable wages. Part of the challenge we face with sustainability concerns getting large corporations to care one way or another. Some companies do understand that we need to manage natural resources differently and pay people fairly if we want a future. Additionally, now there is real market demand for sustainably-produced, ethically-traded products.

Chris Kilham continually promotes sustainable principles and practices, and communicates these values in a host of venues. Even if a company engages is environmentally responsible practices to benefit from “green” marketing, the effect is positive. The market offers room for true adherents and marketers alike.

Our planet is in real peril. At least 60% of all ecosystems have been damaged, some beyond repair. Other ecosystems are being degraded rapidly. Additionally, indigenous people live largely in poverty, and face bleak futures. We believe that anyone with half a heart will want to do better than this.


Natural Cosmetics

Interest in botanicals in the health and beauty sector is growing rapidly. Chris has spoken at the Health and Beauty Association in New York City, at In Cosmetics in Munich and France, and most recently, the Symposium International Aromatherapie & Plant Medicines, also in France. He has also presented to numerous cosmetic companies including L’Oreal, Chanel, Avon, and The Body Shop.


Universities and Educational Institutions

Chris is Explorer in Residence at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst. On occasion, Chris speaks at academic venues as a guest lecturer and enjoys sharing his work as a medicine hunter. He has guest lectured at educational institutions such as Cornell University, the University of Texas at Austin, the University of Arizona School of Medicine and Massachusetts College of Pharmacy. Colleges and universities offer great opportunity to reach peers in the fields of plants, medicine, and cultural studies, as well as to influence students who are studying these and other disciplines.


Please visit our Upcoming Events page for an updated list of confirmed engagements.