President of Dominion Herbal College 1962-1987
Ella Birzneck was born in Libau, Latvia in 1909. She was raised by her maternal grandmother until age 14 when she immigrated to Canada. Her grandmother, a mid-wife, Herbalist and “bonesetter”, introduced Ella to Herbalism at an early pre-school age. Additional training in Herbalism was received from her uncle, a professor in Botanical Medicine, who owned and operated several botanical pharmacies in her native Latvia. Sorting herbs, preparing tinctures and mixing salves was a Saturday and holiday occupation much enjoyed by Ella as a youngster.
In Canada, Ella received her High School and Business College education in Manitoba where she spent 10 years on a homestead 85 miles from the nearest hospital. Food and medications were all grown on the farm. All four of the Birzneck children got their start on the farm - no phones, no running water, lots of fresh air and natural food.
Founder of Dominion Herbal College
Dr. Nowell, my friend and teacher, was a man of great integrity who inspired many to dedicating their lives in helping the sick get well.
He was very much like the great Dr. Thompson with the exception that Dr. Nowell was academically well-informed; whereas Dr. Thompson lacked a formal education. Dr. Nowell taught medical doctors Botanical Medicine in the days when Botanical Medicine was both accepted and practiced by the medical profession.
“Herbs are my religion.” Dr. Nowell would often say to me. “If they take away my herbs, they might as well take away my family Bible.”