Herb Schools

Some state-by-state listings of herb schools can be found here:




To inform yourself about what a good herbal education should include, have a look at the American Herbalists’ Guild guide to getting an herbal education:


Also, have a look at “general alternative medicine schools” here on Blooming in Space. Many of these schools also have good herbalism programs.

Some selected herb schools and teachers are below.


Southwest School of Botanical Medicine

Correspondence course from the grandfather of the American herbal renaissance himself (check out the other resources available on his website, too)

Herbal Medicine for Women


Distance learning school specializing in women’s herbal medicine

Sage Mountain


based in Vermont; the preeminent Rosemary Gladstar offers correspondence courses on herbalism

Rocky Mountain Herbal Institute


according to Paul Bergner, of the North American Institute of Medical Herbalism, best correspondence course for traditional chinese herbalism


Wild Seed School of Herbal Studies


Based on Salt Spring Island, B.C. this school offers a  radical/anarchist analysis for its herbal studies program.  The founder (and one of the primary teachers) of the school, Jasmyn Clift, treats low-income and homeless people who have serious diseases in a sliding scale/free herbal clinic in Vancouver.  The school teaches the standard herbal course — anatomy & physiology, materia medica, medicine making, etc. — but also teaches flower essences.  The school’s courses begin at an intermediary level and also offered are an advanced case-study course, wildcrafting trips, specially tailored courses (ranging from one day to two weeks), and a 650 hour intensive.  Highly recommended.  Also have some partial work-trade and apprentice positions available.


Phyllis Light


In North Alabama, Phyllis Light teaches western herbalism along with Southern and Appalachian folk herbalism. She places a strong emphasis on using local plants, and on using the plants that are at hand. She’s also the advising herbalist for the Common Ground Health Clinic in New Orleans.


Wild River School of Herbal Medicine


on the Klamath River in N. California

A month of intensive weekend classes giving students a strong foundation “in western clinical decentralized accessible radical herbal medicine!”  The schedule for the 2011 course: May 20-30 – CPR/Wilderness First Aid; June 4+5 – Intro basic botany, medicine making; 11-12 neuro/muscular/skeletal systems; digestive/renal systems; 18+19 – cardiovascular/respiratory systems; immune system; 25+26 – reproductive system; endocrine system Cost: $100/weekend, $500 for the whole course (5 weekends).  With free camping and shared meals. [Students generally camp onsite at Laurel’s land for the whole month.] (530) 921-3017 laurel@elkcenter.org  Taught by Laurel Luddite, the author of the essay “This is anarcho-herbalism” and student of Michael Moore.  Highly recommended.

Blue Otter School of Herbal Medicine


in Northern California. Has a strong emphasis on energetic herbal/plant meditation as well as standard western herbalism and Native American herbalism, and students also participate in an anti-oppression training.

Pacific School of Herbal Medicine


in the Bay Area of California. One of the only herb schools with an explicitly radical political analysis, and all classes are sliding scale.  Now on long-term hiatus, but still a useful website.

San Francisco Botanical Medicine Clinic


in San Francisco. Taught in the tradition of the Pacific School, with a focus on western constitutional and clinical herbalism, ethics, and access.  The clinic itself turns no one away from treatment for lack of funds.  Sporadic classes that aren’t listed on the website, but email them to be added to the announcement list; distance learners sometimes videoconference to attend classes.  Highly recommended.

Philo School of Herbal Energetics


in the town of Philo, Northern California; learn herbal energetics with the renowned Matthew Wood; internships available.

Sierra Institute of Herbal Studies


between Modesto, CA and Yosemite National Park

California School of Herbal Studies


north of the Bay Area. David Hoffman, author of a number of canonical herbal texts, is one of the teachers here.

California School of Traditional Hispanic Herbalism


near Berkeley, Chuck Garcia (a third-generation curandero) teaches traditional hispanic curanderismo


North American Institute of Medical Herbalism


in Boulder, they teach a standard herbal curriculum and also classes with an emphasis on clinical and nutritional training; the school also offers some distance learning

Paul Bergner, who founded the school, publishes the Medical Herbalism Journal:



BotanoLogos School for Herbal Studies


in NE Georgia, specializes in teaching southern Appalachian herbs


Jim McDonald


herbal intensive program in SE Michigan; strong Matthew Wood influence


Wintergreen Botanicals


Maria Noel Groves teaches herbalism classes around New Hampshire


David Winston’s Center for Herbal Studies


A two-year program that teaches western, Chinese, and Cherokee herbalism; he offers a distance learning program simultaneously, with attendance by an internet video feed. Among other things, David Winston is the author of “the” book on adaptogenic herbs.


Northeast School of Botanical Medicine


in Ithaca; some work/study positions available. 7Song, the primary teacher, has a particular expertise and emphasis in herbal first aid and wilderness first aid.

Susun Weed


The Wise Woman herself, offers correspondence courses


and classes near Woodstock, NY


Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine


in western NC, with an emphasis on Appalachian herbs, with lots of wildcrafting fieldtrips

some work/study positions available

Appalachia School of Holistic Herbalism


in western NC

Blue Ridge School of Holistic Herbalism


in western NC, with an emphasis on using Chinese and Ayurvedic diagnosis systems with western (and local Appalachian) herbs; the school also offers an advanced clinical herbalism program

some work/study positions available

Suki Roth


in central North Carolina, near Chapel Hill, Suki has an herbal gardening apprenticeship in addition to classes

Will Endres


in central North Carolina, near Hillsborough

Will has a specialty in ethical wildcrafting; he offers a free apprenticeship program in addtion to seasonal 12-week class series


Elderberry School of Botanical Medicine


Based in Portland, this school has classroom and field components with an emphasis on gaining knowledge from plants through direct experience and sensory experience, as well as physiology and western herbalism.

Columbines School of Botanical Studies


Run by Howie Brounstein, this school is based out of Eugene. It consists of two levels of intensive herbal apprenticeship programs, one of which is introductory-level and the other of which is intermediate (and includes a focus on ecology and ecosystems). The classes are divided into classroom, field, and clinical series, each of which has separate registration. Apart from the apprenticeship programs, the school also offers two extended field trips to the Sonoran desert of the SW U.S./NW Mexico and to Southern California.


Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism


in Montpelier; a 1-3 year program, with the optional last 2 years being all clinical; they run a free herbal community clinic


Rebecca Hartman


A community herbalist who offers some classes


27 responses to “Herb Schools

  1. You may want to add our herb school to your site. We are located in Berkeley, Ca and have one of the only student community clinics that operate year round. We are a non-profit 501 (c) 3 organization who are actively involved in the implementation and development of herbal clinic around the Bay Area.

  2. Liz

    You should really add Heart of Herbs Herbal School.
    They have been around for over 12 years and offer excellent education programs.

  3. Another to add to the Arizona list:
    Southwest Institute of Healing Arts (SWIHA) in Tempe, AZ
    700 hour Western Herbalism program taught by JoAnn Sanchez
    …& many other Holistic Health programs

  4. Mike Masek

    There is an herb school in Flagstaff, “The Forager’s Path School of botanical Studies” that offers a variety of programs. It is worth looking into.

    Can it be listed here?

  5. Please add alabamaschoolofherbalism.com to your website. Thomas Easley is a member of the AHG and is starting his own school. Thanks

  6. Please add the Vitalist School of Herbology to your list. We are located in Ashland, Oregon – an incredibly place to study herbalism for its biodiversity, as well as being a sweet town to live in. The programs are run by Jon Carlson, with an emphasis on ethical wild-crafting, Vitalist philosophy, and a lot of one-on-one attention and care.

    Thanks for you site! What a great resource!

  7. Rothe

    I second the add for Heart of Herbs Herbal School. It is an excellent program, been around since 1998, and the teacher Demetria Clark is so nice and supportive. She is also the author of Herbal Healing for Children. http://www.heartofherbs.com is the schools website.

    • PSammy

      I second that edition. The school rocks, Heart of Herbs, the teacher is awesome and they have been around forever.

    • N

      Heart of Herbs Herbal School is in Reidsville, NC

    • JJ

      Wow, amazing how people’s opinions can differ so greatly. I found this course an utter waste of money. I could have purchased a book and learned more and saved myself so much money. The course book was ridiculously full of typos, grammar errors, misspellings, etc. I’ve never seen such an unprofessional course text. I know the “instructor” has published books, but the course text read like a two year-old wrote it. Also, when I had questions on the course, it took at least four emails to get a response and even then I sometimes did not. I would not recommend this course to anyone looking for solid education in the herbal/aromatherapy fields.

    • ellis

      I really loved the course. The teacher was responsive and attentive. The course was recently updated. Typos happen, in every course I have ever taken has had them. I really loved the course and learned a lot.
      I just paid $130. For a practitioner manual, from another school, and the typos are so abundant, even the word uterus in the women’s section is wrong. I think that people expect perfection from their herbal teachers, and they expect them to work 24 hours a day, 7 days a week.

    • SMBlossoms

      I too really like Demetria Clark’s Heart of Herbs programs. The support is really the best, open time limits, really friendly when you have a question. I also like Rosemary Gladstar.

  8. s.

    does anyone know of herbalism programs in western washington? i’m kind of surprised that i can’t find any, besides the bastyr program.

    • bloominginspace

      The only one I’ve come across is the Cedar Mountain Herb School in the Skagit Valley, about an hour north of Seattle. I don’t know anyone who’s gone there, and I don’t know anything about the teachers. But it’s worth looking at if you want a source of herb knowledge:

      Another school that’s a little further afield, but definitely worth looking at iis the Wild Seed School on Salt Spring Island, B.C. You can catch ferries to Salt Spring from Washington, and last I heard the school met for one intensive weekend a month — which would make it doable if you’re mobile. I know the herbalist who teaches the school, and she’s awesome. Here’s the website for that school:

      I know the Olympia Free Herbal Clinic has also taught herbal intensives in the past (as a fundraiser for the clinic’s operating costs), so it’d be worth getting in touch with them to see about future classes; from what I’ve heard, they’re really solid, knowledgeable folks:

      And if you’re just looking for a few basic classes, you might try inquiring in Seattle at Dandelion Botanicals in Ballard or The Herbalist in the University District; I know they’ve had classes in the past, and they might also be able to connect you up with classes elsewhere or with herbalists who might be open to apprenticeships. Dandelion Botanicals actually has a link on their website (well, when I check in January 2012) to some classes they’re teaching, including a Professional Herbalist Certificate Course; again, I don’t know anything about the quality of those classes, so talk with them, meet the herbalists, and vet them out yourself:

      One more option — though it’s east of the Cascades — would be to contact Michael Pilarsky/Friends of the Trees in Tonasket, WA. Michael Pilarsky is an herbalist and permaculturist who seems to have some openness to taking on apprentices and interns.

      Finally, I also found a mention of an Ayurvedic Herb School in Seattle, though I know nothing about it:

      Hope that helps some!

  9. bloominginspace

    Here’s a helpful list of herb schools (and herb stores) in the Pacific Northwest:

  10. Leonard Mwangi Mureithi

    pls, can you connect me to a farm where i can work as an apprentice? thanks mureithi

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  15. ryn

    for your consideration:

    The CommonWealth Center for Herbal Medicine
    Boston, MA

    we offer apprenticeship, advanced, and clinical training in the vitalist tradition of herbalism and natural therapies.

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  20. N

    Here’s an herb school in Austin, Texas. I’ve heard good things about the lead herbalist who teaches at the school:

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