Has anyone gone to school to study herbalism? I’ve been searching for online ones. Any recommendations? I’m mainly wanting to do it at home and not have any in person.
I’m not sure of any herbalism schools, but I do know that there are other witches here that have some experience with online schools & herbalism.
I don’t know if you have seen the 3 relevant courses from Spells8.
@Janis may know of how to get you started or another recommendation.
A huge congrats to you for embarking on your journey into herbal studies- it’s just a wonderful area to study! The first one that comes to mind (and the most magick-based of the courses I know of) is the Green Witch Herbalism Course here at Spells8 that Siofra mentioned
I also know that The Herbal Academy has an assortment of courses on many different areas of herbalism (all are online). I haven’t actually gotten around to taking a course with them (but I believe @wade has- here are some of his thoughts on the course), but I have read some of their free herbalism ebooks and have been very impressed with their content!
For self-studies, here is a list of Free Herbalism/Green Witch eBooks you could explore- you may find some additional course recommendations in these books.
You could also do some digging and see if any local apothecaries/herbalists/seed libraries are running courses in your area- some of the best herbalism classes I’ve taken were through locals and local groups. Because of the pandemic, I imagine they may have ways to participate in classes online
Good luck and blessed studies!
I’ve been working through Herbal Academy’s Introductory Herbalism course, and I love it so far! I’ve been distracted and super busy because I recently started back to school, but I’m planning on doing a review post about my thoughts on the program I’m doing through Herbal Academy soon
TLDR: If you want to use your herbal knowledge on other people or to get a certificate, I’d recommend it. If you just want the knowledge for yourself, then you can learn just as much for free or at a much lower cost than taking herbalism courses online. Whatever you decide, keep in mind that there aren’t really many established legal protections and it’s not really an established legitimate field (at least in the US because of Big Pharma and established norms and superstitions about herbalism, which is stupid ), so I’d be super leery any online school that implies that doing their programs will automatically qualify you to practice herbalism on others
The two schools I’ve looked at that are up-front about the legal status of herbalism in the US are Herbal Academy and Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine (if I remember the name correctly)
Sorry about the delay in adding this in with my previous post, but I got distracted by breakfast
I just wanted to add that if you have the funds, I would recommend taking an online herbalism course through a good online school (such as those I’ve mentioned previously) because they (hopefully!) put a lot of time into making sure they’re doing thorough research and pulling information from up-to-date sources. Unless you’re really good at evaluating resources, it can be super hard, if not impossible, to determine which information is accurate when it comes to herbalism because there’s so much folklore and superstition involved.
For example, one thing I read online (which I won’t share as an example because I don’t want to mislead you) was talking about how a plant was completely safe to consume, but when I looked into their sources, the sources they used were all pre-1900s “medical” and pharmacology books, as well as pre-1700s herbals. Upon further research, all modern sources said that that particular plant was not in any way, shape, or form safe to use, even externally.
Online herbalism schools are a great place to start to get to see what kinds of resources are reliable, and they provide their resource lists (as they should!) so that you can read the original sources for yourself and use those resources as a springboard to find further information.
If you decide to go the route of not taking online courses, please make sure that you do LOTS of research from reliable, up-to-date, scientific resources, NOT folk resources. Folk/traditional resources are great for determining magickal applications of herbs, but absolutely should NOT be used as a resource for medicinal information.
TLDR: Make sure to do A LOT of research before you use any herb for any medicinal purposes (whether internal or external applications) and make sure to do copious research on anything you read online – and even in books!! – before taking it as gospel (for lack of better words ) and risking your health or anyone else’s.
I am interested in herbalism education as well. I like Wade’s suggestion of online herbalism schools. I am going to dig in and do some research. I will let you know if I find anything good!
Hi @wade! I am so sorry, I didn’t mean to leave you out, but I honestly couldn’t come up with the person that was attending the classes. I knew it was someone that I “knew” in the forum. Thank you @TheTravelWitch & @wade for your assistance!
@JaniceMarie, please keep us updated on your progress or thoughts on the courses! I hope you do well in your studies!
It’s all good, no worries!
Greetings @Siofra , @NoName and @JaniceMarie (my middle name is Marie ) I have limited experience with herbalism and my current focus is gathering local herbs in my neighbour in the Pacific West Coast, like stinging nettle Urtica dioica and hawthorn Crataegus. to name a few.
I have taken a few free on-line classes with Seraphina Capranos who offers a course from May to October. Her course also includes access to the Pacific Rim College Home Herbalist Course at no extra cost. . She is very generous with her email shares. Like this free Year Compass booklet and herbal tea recipe below from her last email.
Tea For a Weary Heart
1 tsp Hawthorn berries - to feed and nourish the heart, quiet anxiety and inspire gladness
Rose hips - to brighten the mood and tonify tissues
Rose petals - to bring gentleness to grief, and soothe heartbreak
Cinnamon - to bring warmth and invigoration to the heart
linden blossoms - to encourage steady sleep and dissolve anxiety
I also came across a list of 35 Herbal Podcasts that might be helpful.
wishing you all the best in your herbal journey.
Thank you, @wade for highlighting the importance of doing our own scientific resources.
I may be a bit biased in my insistence on scientific information because of my background in science (when I started college, I started as a chemistry major), but there are also some pretty scary plants out there
It’s always great to hear from you @wade! I know you’ve said you’re very busy with all of your exciting schoolwork, so thank you so much for taking the time to jump in and share your thoughts about the Herbal Academy and other online herbal schools That’s an important point about double-checking for up to date knowledge when using herbs for medicinal purposes, and I appreciate what you added a heads up about the lack of legal protections for herbalists in the USA.
May all of your studies continue to go well- thanks again for sharing your wisdom!
Awesome, @JaniceMarie! Yes, please do feel free to share if you find any herbal schools/resources that look interesting. Best of luck with your search and studies!
Beautiful tea recipe @Janis- thank you for sharing that! I’ll have to check out Seraphina’s courses and email shares, is it like a scheduled newsletter that arrives at certain times? I’m always up for more herbal info- thank you very much for the recommendation!
Ah, you beat me to it… I was going to mention The Herbal Academy I remember that you said you like their material, too on another post I made.
@NoName but yeah, I also recommend The Herbal Academy! Good luck with whatever you do.
It’s nice to meet you! So funny that we have the same middle name!
I appreciate all of the suggestions you posted above. I am going to check out Seraphia Capranos and the herbal podcasts. Sounds like something I am going to LOVE