We offer a few educational options for you to study herbal medicine.
Select the class or classes that best fits your needs.
One-day Classes & Herb Walks
Offered throughout the community
We have offered one-day classes in and around Portland for 16 years! Over the years we have developed a trustworthy reputation throughout the community and are known for delivering knowledgeable and engaging courses. These classes are great introductions to the world of herbal medicine.
Since 2010 we only offer private apprenticeships. Unfortunately, there are no positions available at this time. Please email us to get on the waiting list.
300 Hour Intensive Program
This Program is on hiatus,
but please refer to this page as an orientation and overview of our teaching style. This page essentially serves as a syllabus for fulltime students.
I tried to register for a class but the forms didn't open what's wrong?
The registration forms are sometimes blocked by pop-up blockers, try deactivating your web browser's pop-up blocker just long enough to get the registration form. If that doesn't work just email us and we'll send you the form as an attachment.
Aside from time and money what are the main academic differences between taking a few one-day classes verses the comprehesive apprenticeship?
The one-day classes will give you just enough information to get going and to do so competently. The program provides much more comprehensive information and has been created for those who really want to use herbal medicine on a regular or primary basis. Our program has been designed in the same fashion as other more notable folk herbal studies programs such as the California School of Herbal Studies or the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine because that's where our director studied. The Northwest School of Herbalism specifically serves the people and plants from the bioregions of NW Oregon and SW Washington.
What kind of certification or licensure will I obtain once I complete your Herbal Studies Program?
A word about herbal certification and herbal licensure - there is none. Currently, there are individuals and professional organizations outside of and within the herbal community who are motivated in that direction, however no license to practice herbal medicine exists.
The closest thing to a license to practice herbal medicine is found by obtaining a degree and then licensure in naturopathy, and while similar it is a whole other ball game. Naturopathy is regulated on a state by state basis and involves considerably more course work than any herbal studies program in existence. Herbal studies programs are plenty these days and some promise certificates and certifications, and while these "diplomas" are often printed on really pretty paper, they are not legally recognized credentials. Most folk herbal studies programs rarely offer accredited classes.
So, let’s be clear here: no matter what any other program promises you in exchange for your hard earned dollars, rarely are there accredited herbal studies programs. We are not accredited and have no interest in jumping through those sorts of hoops. However, some of our classes offered through the community college systems may be utilized for those seeking continuing education credits in certain fields, e.g. massage therapy, please check with your licensing board. Our Herbal Studies programs are more like paid apprenticeships - they are not degree programs. And, diploma, degree or certificate aside, what you get out of these classes is directly proportional to what you put into it. This is adult non-credit life enriching education.
The brunt of our classes should be considered folk or lay training. We adamantly believe that folk herbalism is grassroots and community centered historically as well as within the context of today’s health care crisis. It’s a medical modality by and for the people not the academy, bureaucracies or faceless corporations. One need not be a licensed practitioner to competently care for themselves or their community however one should endeavor to be well studied, trained or experienced in order to effectively and responsibly utilize herbs.
All of our classes are designed to empower the individual so that one can navigate through life with a sound perspective about herbal medicine. To what degree you use this information is up to you. It is fairly unrealistic to expect to find a job as an herbalist however, you might be able to create your own job as an herbalist. What you do after completing a program like this is highly individualized. Some folks work in the health/natural food industry or at herb stores, some start their own businesses such as making herbal products or growing herbs, some perform activist work associated with herbalism and healthcare, many study with other herbalists and attend herbal gatherings & conferences and some go on to access broader educational options. Yet, most folks simply utilize this craft to moderate their own wellness and that of their family and friends. It all depends upon the individual's skills and goals.
“The difference between a “good trip” and a “bad trip” is completely contingent on your willingness to let go – turn yourself over to (it) completely…” “Fisher” Bobby
Testimonials from past students
“The class really helped me know for sure that I want to do something “herbally” related, and motivated me to study more. I really liked the feeling of the class – laid back but really serious, learning a lot.”
“Your experience, teaching style, humor & conspiracy theories made coming to class the highlight of my week.”
“Jo’s knowledge was impressive. I could pick her brain for hours. She’s positive and encouraging.”
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The Northwest School of Herbalism LLC All Rights Reserved