NWSH Herbal Medicine Studies Apprenticeship  

Aside from offering occasional classes through out the community we have shifted away from offering a structured program and now only offer private apprenticeships and classes at our farm.

Thank you for your interest but, we will not

be accepting any apprentice/private mentorship applications for 2012. 

The apprentice/private mentorship course of study is designed for students who wish to work one-on-one or in small cohorts with an experienced practicing herbalist.  Fashioned in an old-world style of hands-on training with knowledge handed down from mentor to protégée there will be less of an emphasis on organized “classes” but moreover on individual or small get-togethers with dedicated herbalists and herbalists in training, all coming together with the mutual intention of learning from and with each other. 

This is adult non-credit life enriching education. This is not a degree program.  And, diploma, degree or certificate aside, what one gets out of this kind of education is directly proportional to what one puts into it.  This is an interactive style of learning, not just the teacher lecturing and the student taking notes.  Fees will be calculated on an individual basis, determined by contact hours and depth of training (estimate approximately $10-75 per contact hour), and some work trade is available With guidance, the student will create one's own syllabus.  Below is a sampling of classes we have offered over the years and by selectively reading through these class descriptions one can come away with a strategy to create a personalized program. The training season is from April to September, independent study can be managed year-round. 

Join us for a pleasurable, interactive and alternative adult learning opportunity. Our coursework is designed for real people with limited time and budgets but, for those who are also seeking sound knowledge, practical experience and personal attunement with herbal medicine.  Join us and and/or a small group of student colleagues as we explore, revere and celebrate the unique world of botanical medicine. 

The NWSH is officially allied with the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine, specifically linked for students who are participating in the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine’s distance learning programs.  For those students who are interested in hands-on learning and field work we offer mentorship that is fashioned in a similar teaching style as Michael Moore.  This gives the SWSBM distance learner an in-residence option for exploring facets of herbalism that cannot easily be taught through correspondence coursework such as: field work, clinical methodology and most importantly medicine making as well as pop culture jokes and esoteric ramblings…


An Alphabetical Sample List of Possible Classes

Aromatherapy - Learn how to use essential oils in your everyday health regimen.  It can be more than just inhaling!  Students will learn key concepts, how to safely blend essential oils and how to administer aromatherapy products while having fun and being creative.  

Aromatherapy: Top Ten Essential Oils to Have on Hand - We will take an in-depth look at ten essential essential oils.  These are the EO’s that every first aid kit and home apothecary should have on hand such as lavender, peppermint, tea tree and more.  

Aromatherapy: Ten Fundamental Essential Oils - An in-depth look at ten essential oils.  These may be less familiar EO’s or may be used a bit less frequently than the old stand-bys, however they can be quite useful for specific conditions and aliments as they arise.  These are also EO’s that deserve consideration as an addition for first aid kits and home apothecaries such as Cardamom, Ginger, Helichrysum, Vitex and more.  


Culinary Herbalism - Using herbs in our daily lives can enhance our wellness and it is possible to ingest our herbs creatively.  Various recipes will be provided demonstrating how to enjoy our green allies as more than medicine but also as gastronomical delights.  We will prepare an array of herbal foods and enjoy them in an afternoon of culinary exploration. 

Culinary Herbalism: Spice Cabinet Herbs - Herbs found in the culinary spice cupboard of any kitchen are most often medicinal as well as tasty.  We will take a look at the medicinal side of some common and not so common cooking herbs.

Farming and Gardening - Students committed to actively learning gardening/farming skills will gain valuable experience with hands-on participation working with our sister business Morning Dew Farm LLC.  Propagating, transplanting, watering, weeding, harvesting and processing plants are all essential segments of garden and farm production.  Aside from learning how to grow food & herbs students will gain additional herbal experience by learning how to harvest, dry and process herbs as well as assist with additional medicine making for the school’s apothecary. Watching and working with the plants through the season deepens one’s understanding and connection to them especially food and medicine plants.  Students will participate in all phases.  We grow veggies, fruit, flowers, herbs and tend laying chickens. We will also explore canning, preserving & pickling of the farm's bounty. This class offers students the opportunity for the most hands on contact time – the more time we spend together the more learning opportunities are maximized.

Foundations of Herbalism - Possessing a clear understanding of how to utilize herbal medicine and how to access the herbal community creates a strong foundation for those who endeavor to use herbs for wellness on regular basis. This class provides an intense immersion to lay the ground work for future practice and studies. The syllabus: What is Herbalism and understanding the scope of different natural modalities; herbal resource cultivation; introduction to materia medica; proper medicinal tea preparation and recipe formulation.

Herbs for Mom & Baby - Safe and non-invasive herbal remedies are discussed for use prior to and throughout pregnancy as well as infancy & early childhood. This class can easily be presented as three separate and consecutive classes; pre-pregnancy/pregnancy, labor and delivery, post partum and infancy.  


Herbs for Pets - This class will provide reasonable herbal approaches for our companion animals focusing on cats & dogs such as nutritionally balanced whole food diet plans, herbal supplementation, holistic first aid, vibrational medicines and natural strategies for chronic conditions.

Herbs for Pets: Natural Coop Management: The Herbal Gallus gallus

Everything you ever wanted to know about how to naturally care for your homestead chickens such as coop management, feed, pests, predators and contagious diseases.  Class is focused on the laying hen.  Truly, a class for chicken geeks...

Herb Walks - The study of herbal medicine would not be complete without observing plants in the wild or in cultivation. Weather permitting herb walks are offered throughout the year beginning in the spring and ending in the fall. Some of my favorite locations are Powell Butte Nature Park, Tryon State Park, Willamette Mission State Park and Mt. Hood National Forest.  

Herbs for Women's Health - It is an understatement to say that women experience many physical & emotional changes throughout their lives!  This class discusses and will provide recipes & samples for various herbs and herbal strategies that can assist women through those complex stages of life.   This class is best presented as three individual classes; maiden, mother, crone.

Herbal First Aid - Learn how to make herbal first aid kits for home or for travel.  Class covers basics such as antiseptics, salves, ointments and more. 

Herbal First Aid: Approaches to Deep Wound Management - Intermediate approaches to apply herbal first aid strategies to serious wounds.  Discussion includes wound assessment, knowing when to seek help and safely avoiding antibiotics as well as recipes for irrigation, compresses & poultices and scab/scar care.

Herbal Libations - Building upon elemental tincturing and syrup making skills we will discuss recipes for homemade cordials and liqueurs using herbs, fruits and nuts. Sample a tasty range of elixirs such as Lavender Liqueur, Damiana Delight and Chai Cordial as well as the classic Kahlua, with some suggestions to transform these beauties into tempting cocktails that can shift the happy hour paradigm into the herbal sublime.


Herbal & Natural Body Care Products - Numerous recipes will be discussed and samples shared for various herbal and very natural body care products such as tooth powder, face wash & splash, scrubs, powder, hair conditioner, cream, lip balm and lotion.  Homemade goodness at its best and great gift ideas too; free yourself from expensive and potentially toxic commercial products by learning how to make your own body care items.  

History of Herbalism - The use of plants as foods, tools and medicine dates back to the dawn of humankind.  This class spans from the ancient Goddess era through ancient Egyptian, Greek, Roman cultures and through the last 2000 years of western herbalism, including extra discussions regarding the European witch burning era and the Flexner Report.  Timeline crosses over with the history of western allopathic medicine. 


Materia Medica the Herbal Monographs - Building upon the Intro or Medicinal Herbalism classes we will discuss various herbs individually. Selected herbs will be thoroughly outlined and the topics can include: botanical/common names, parts used, habitat, cultivation, therapeutic actions, indications, lore, current research and so on. Herbalists can never get enough materia medica, that’s what it is all about.  Ideally this class allows students the opportunity to study individual herbs with an on-going interactive cohort. Materia medica will be the focus but inevitably herbal & natural theories, patho-physiology and clinical strategies will be part of the discussion.

Medicine Making: Tincture Making - Learn how to make the weight to volume maceration method of tincturing which was how Victorian pharmacists once made extracts.  At the turn of the last century it was the US Pharmacopoeia protocol and to this day is the current preparation method for most professional tincture companies.  Ideal menstruums, solvency ranges and resources will be covered.  We will make tinctures in class together, exploring fresh and dried plant preparations.

Medicine Making: Carrier Oils, Infused Oils and Salves

This class will focus exclusively on carrier oils and the diversity of plant oils available to the herbalist, how to make dried and fresh plant infused oils, working with plant waxes as well as the ultimate salve preparation technique.

Medicine Making: Advanced - Designed for those seeking more medicine making strategies, techniques and practice.  This class includes making syrups and compound elixirs, percolation and fluid extracts as well as MPS tincturing, the supreme preparation method for processing polysaccharides for immune modulation.  You can’t get this class many other places.  Pre-req: basic tincturing skills required.

Personalized Clinical Applications & Private Consultations - We will meet for three individual private sessions over the course of the year. The focus of this class is to provide the student with a thorough and personalized health assessment, discuss holistic health regimens and initiate herbal wellness strategies but also to teach the student how to work one-on-one with others.   The participant will benefit from a confidential health assessment, subsequent guidance & starter herbs but will also begin to gain valuable skills in taking health assessments and determining safe and proactive health regimens for oneself looking ahead toward helping others. This class is designed for teaching the art of private consultation but at the student’s discretion these private times could also be utilized for personalized tutoring or mentoring. 

Toxic Tampon - The widespread use of chlorine, plastics and industrial chemicals are poisoning our planet and our bodies.  We will take a closer look at common household products considered safe such as paper, tampons, menstrual pads, diapers, toilet tissue, etc.  Get the facts about industrial pollutants and their connection to our wellness.  Alternatives will be discussed. 

Winter Wellness - Learn how to use specific herbs, strategies and recipes to help you stay well during the winter and throughout the year focusing on prevention & enhancing immunity.   We will also discuss what to do if you do get that cold or flu and how to maximize recovery time.



 Registration & Payment

All classes require pre-registration and pre-payment, there are no drop-ins.  

We accept cash, check and Pay Pal.  With the deposit plus 1/3 down payment we will consider a payment plan, please be prepared to submit post-dated checks.  Pay Pal and payment plans will incur additional administrative fees to be determined at the time of enrollment.  Registration and Refund Policies will be discussed at the time of registration.


If you are looking for a hands-on herbal studies program in the PNW try contacting the Columbines School of Botanical Studies.  Or, if you are interested in a correspondence program try the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine.


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