Understanding Medicines — Alternatives to Pharmaceuticals

Gain an understanding of medicine systems so you can make an informed choice for yourself.

Recording of a 3-Week Online Workshop
Recorded in 2023

As a physician who practiced holistic medicine for over 50 years, Swami Ravi has had the occasion to ponder the relationships between health and the various systems of medicine that have been available to his contemporaries over the last ¾ of a century. Gradually he has become troubled by the prevailing confusion on the part of the public when it comes to choosing a medicine for the health challenges they face.

This short series is intended to bring more clarity to this dilemma, to help those in need of treatment to choose wisely by having access to the information needed to reach a truly “informed consent,” which is universally accepted as a “human right.” In other words, without adequate, reliable information there can be no real informed consent.

Making flower essences
I’ve known Swami Ravi (Rudy Ballentine) for 15 years now and have had the pleasure to be taught by him on many occasions. His expertise in wholistic health is astounding and his dedication to living in right relationship with Gaia is inspiring. Rudy never fails to surprise me with new facts and insights around the ways nature and humans relate and are intertwined in deeply spiritual ways.
Mana V., Black Mountain, NC

Herbs drying


In this series, we will identify and delve into five major systems of medicine, with the intent of enabling attendees to grasp the pros and cons of each, and to some extent to judge which will be their medicine of choice for a given ailment.

These systems are:

  • Herbal remedies, including “adaptogens”
  • Flower essences
  • Ayurvedic medicines
  • Modern pharmacologic preparations aka “patent medicines”
  • Homeopathic remedies and cell salts

(Conspicuously absent will be Chinese medicines, because Swami Ravi’s expertise with them is minimal.)

Homeopathic preparation


$95 – 225

Sliding Scale Tuition

Because some people have more financial means than others, we have created a sliding scale fee system to accommodate a range of economic realities. The high end of the scale reflects the value we believe the program holds, and the low-end offers a more accessible entry point.

By choosing a higher price point, you are helping make the program more accessible to others for whom the low-end may be cost-prohibitive. Please consider your needs and resources to determine what might be a stretch, but not a strain.


We offer 50% scholarships to black, indigenous, and people of color (BIPOC) who otherwise would not be able to afford to attend. We understand that BIPOC experience more financial and institutional barriers to participation, and this is one way we are able to create more access. If you identify as BIPOC and would like to receive a scholarship, please contact us at [email protected].

About the Instructor

Swami Ravi

Swami Ravi Rudra Bharati


Swami Ravi Rudra Bharati was a clinical professor of psychiatry at LSU in New Orleans before going to India to train in homeopathy and ayurveda in 1973. He returned to help with the fledgling Himalayan Institute, where he set up a combined therapy program and developed a chain of holistic medical centers in the Northeast and Midwest. After writing Radical Healing as a completion of his medical and psychiatric career in 1998, he turned to teaching the principles of tantra that had run through his 20 years of study under Swami Rama. He took his sannyasa in the fall of 2016, and now teaches and writes at Dancing Shiva at Earthaven Ecovillage.