There is a common denominator for schools of herbalism that are of high quality, and that goes for both herbalist schools online as well as in-person herbalism schools
In regards to herbalist schools online, I like to think of the herbal community as being very collaborative and very supportive of each other because there’s a great need for herbalists in our country, in our world, and there’s no shortage of people who need the help. I feel there are some common denominators of what I would consider to be a quality herbalist school, whether it’s in person or online.
A quality herbal school is going to speak to two sides deeply: the human side and the herbal side, especially where and how they come together.
As I say a lot, the term “herbalism” is an umbrella that encompasses a diversity that is much greater than I see in any other health modality.
In all of the other traditions, let’s say allopathic medicine, the curriculum is essentially going to be the same no matter what med school you go to. One school may have a few unique electives that others don’t, but in order to graduate there is a specific program and curriculum. The same is true for many other health fields. When you see herbalism, however, what is considered inside the umbrella and outside the purview is much wider than any other tradition that I have noticed.
I feel that quality herbalist schools online are going to have a certain central common denominator, and that is a lens through which to look at human health. It is important that the school fully own and honor whatever lens or lenses they choose to embrace and teach. Whether it’s a Native American lens or a European lens, you are going to be looking at the people from a point of view that shows what it looks like when healthy and in balance and what it looks like when things go out of balance. This lens needs to include skill-sets and concepts that inform a person’s observations as well as an ability to recognize and interpret patterns in order to understand what’s going on and it can be helped.
Quality herbalist schools online need to have that as one of its fundamental components
When it comes to medicinal plant knowledge, again we need a lens that enables us to understand plants on paper as well as in our hands, and even more so in our noses and our taste buds, so that we understand how these medicines work in our bodies. It is important to understand plants from the point of view of what constituents make them up and what their medicinal influences are. This does not necessarily mean knowing 500 plants in-depth and by heart, but understanding what it means to be an adaptogen or alterative or modulator or function enhancer or an anti-this or an anti-that.
We need to have a way of understanding plants — where and when and how they work, and why — and how we can use these plants alone and in formulas to maintain or regain health and balance. This is essential for any school of herbalism.
From there I feel it is in the hands of the person looking for an herbalism school to determine what kind of flavor speaks to them the most. Do they want an intensely scientific herbalism course? Do they want it to focus more on energetics? Or one that has a spiritual component to it (and by that I don’t mean religious, of course).
There is a big need for the consumer to be aware of what is available. There are lots of offerings out there in regards to herbalism correspondence courses, so the consumer has to dig a little deeper to see what is being offered because. There’s a lot of shallowness and mediocrity out there, as you would find in any field that is fast gaining in popularity.
I want people to take my course who are open to the way I understand and teach herbalism. That is, looking at the lenses of European-based herbalism and Native American traditional healing systems with equal measures of science and spirit, intellect and intuition, and honoring the health systems for what they are and not trying to turn them into something else.
Herbalist schools online: Introducing Western Foundations of Herbalism, part 1 – an online herbalist course
This online herbalist course will provide you with a diverse and comprehensive set of theory and skills to help better understand humans and herbs. You will discover tools, awareness skills, theoretical and hands-on learning, and different lenses for understanding, integrating, balancing and healing ourselves, and in so doing, building a solid foundation upon which to help others to do the same.
Learn more about the course, including free previews and an introductory video, when you visit the registration page for Foundations of Western Herbal Medicine, Part 1. This online herbalist course is offered through the Teachable platform. You can complete the course from the comfort of your own home and can access the content as frequently as you like. Like other herbalist schools online, we will be adding new courses in the future. Sign up for our email list to get notifications about courses and herbal information.