Updated: Feb 21, 2021
One of the questions I get asked the most is how I became a Clinical Herbalist, and which classes I recommend for beginning, intermediate, and advanced herbal students. So, I thought the best way to address this is with a blog post! In this post I will share just about every single herbal class I have taken, so if you are interested in a specific herbal topic, scroll through and I bet you’ll find something that interests you!
In the beginning…
My very first herbal class was The Herbal Academy’s Introductory Course. I found it after doing tons of research and it fit so perfectly with my goals when I was just starting out. It was the perfect introduction to kitchen herbalism, herbs for body care and holistic living. It has a huge amount of information wrapped into the 6 units. I loved the flexibility. You can wait to start the course until the time is right, and once you do get started, you have 12 full months to finish. I began it the day I purchased it and inhaled the information in about a month. It is reasonably priced for the amount of information you get, and I love the flexible payment plan options! If you are just starting out, I highly recommend this class
After completing the intro course, I was hungry for more, so I immediately jumped into the Intermediate Course from The Herbal Academy. This one dives into the body systems and phytochemistry, teaches the basics of building a materia medica, and provides *so many* amazing recipes and video tutorials. I started making my own medicine with the guidance of this course. It also expands on kitchen herbalism and talks about herbs for kids. If you already know the basics and want to learn more about how herbs work to balance the body, and learn more about making your own herbal preparations, I highly recommend this course. They, again, have super great flexible payment plans. Once you start, you get two years to complete the course.
Once I was done with the Intermediate Course, I decided to take some shorter courses to expand on some of the topics that interested me. Here is a list of those courses:
My first short course was the Craft of Herbal Fermentation Course and my oh my did I enjoy it. I learned SO much about making herbal beer and have since made several types, all with great success! I also leaned how to make fermented foods and kefir. It also taught about making kombucha and mead which I have yet to do, but hope to sometime soon! This class opened up my eyes to all of the incredible ways to use herbs. To this day, it has been my very favorite class.
The Materia Medica course was up next. It was short and sweet, and inspired me to start my own binder full of plant monographs which has since grown to 2 huge binders! This is helpful for beginning and advanced students, so if you want to make your own materia medica, check it out!
Next, I took the Herbal Self Care for Stress Management, which provided so much information about self care and ways to manage stress with herbs, lifestyle, and diet. This has helped me craft self care practices for myself and for my clients.
I threw in the Making Herbal Preparations 101 mini course just because. There are always new techniques to learn about the best way to make salves, balms, and oils, and I enjoyed this quick course.
I took the Botany and Wildcrafting Course, because I had only ever used dried herbs purchased from faraway lands, and I wanted to get to know herbs right in my own backyard, and learn the best practices for wildcrafting. I also purchased the optional workbook offered with this course and LOVE it! Since taking this course, I have started my own herb garden and I've taken some trips to the mountains to (respectfully) wildcraft!
I took the Botanical Skincare Course and absolutely loveeedddd the amazing amount of recipes and ideas it inspired. This is the perfect class for anyone wanting to make their own herb inspired body care and beauty related items! I purchased the optional recipe book and reference it very frequently.
At some point during all of these courses, I also joined The Herbarium which I recommend for beginners and advanced herbal students alike. The resources provided are more than worth the $45 annual fee. You get access to short courses on topics like PCOS, herbs for animals, and ADHD. They have an extensive monograph library, and sooo many herbal articles. When I am doing any type of research, I more often than not start with The Herbarium.
Once through these, I knew I needed to expand my knowledge base, so I joined the American Herbalist’s Guild, which I *highly* recommend for any serious herbalist. It is well worth the yearly rate, and if you’re a student, you get a discount! They have tons of free webinars, and I watched more than I can count or share with you here. They also offer some paid live courses that are more in depth, and I took the following:
The Edge’s of Consciousness which talked about epigenetics, mental health, neurodegenerative diseases, and potential herbal protocols. It was an extremely interesting deep dive into neurotransmitters and hormones, and how all of these things are connected. it is one I look forward to re-watching (which I can do, because when you purchase, you get lifetime access!).
Managing Methylation in Clinical Practice which was a fascinating intro into genetics and gene mutations, and the health implications of poor methylation. This class has helped me immensely in my clinical practice because its a huge area of interest to me.
Herbs for Animals – this is another topic I would love to learn more about. It was an intro class that was very insightful and I recommend for beginners that want to use herbs with pets. (please get in touch if you know of any other classes on this topic!).
By this time, I knew that I wanted to work with clients at some point, and I knew I would need to add a lot of skills to make that happen. I started with a short course called Demystifying Herb-Drug Interactions offered by Sovereignty Herbs.