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For the serious student of herbal medicine, human health, and the ancient, sophisticated connection between people and plants.

This second year course is open to students who have completed the Sweetgrass Herbals Creating Your Home Apothecary course or comparable study elsewhere. The goal of this second year of study is to increase the depth and breadth of your understanding of the human body and emotions, the pharmacopeia of medicinal plants who surround us, the intersections between these plants and our health and well-being, and the movement and mechanism of disease through ecosystems and our bodies.

This is not a course intended to launch you directly into a clinical practice, but is a hugely supportive and necessary stepping stone if that is the path you are hoping to follow. Think of this year of study as a middle step in a path toward becoming a full-time clinical herbalist, and as a strong, comprehensive foundation if your path is one of personal, family, and community support. It is a way of seeing yourself and your loved ones through a lifetime of changing health - both long-term trends based on individual constitution and in-the-moment support as needs arise. If you are working as a healthcare provider, it is a complementary addition to your current healing work. A certificate will be awarded upon successful completion of the course.


Working with the medicine plants is a calling. If you’re here, you probably feel it too. Nurture that feeling, whether it’s a tentative stirring in your soul or an already full-fledged passion. It is one of the deepest, oldest, wisest, and most absolutely normal things about being a person. The plants - both those we call food and those we call medicine - are our venerable teachers, and it is their generosity and nourishment that have kept us alive for as long as we’ve been people. Forever and ever we’ve lived in relationship with them. It is only in the last little while that many of us have lost that tangible connection. As a person who has dedicated her life to learning, remembering, and listening to the wisdom of the green world, I know that this path of understanding, while complex, is not complicated. It makes sense to our hands, to our minds, to our hearts. When we go to the forest or the garden with a pocketful of gifts and a basket in hand, our feet feel the old path we have suddenly stepped onto, and our bones rejoice.

This course is titled Practical Herbalism, which I know sounds dry at first glance. But I mean practical like this:

likely to succeed or be effective in real circumstances;

concerned with the actual doing or use of something;

(and especially) to describe a person skilled at manual tasks.

We have lost the reverence for manual labor, and in fact, think of it as something to avoid. But in reality, labor done with our hands and bodies is where the magic happens. Our hands carry the memories of a thousand grandmothers harvesting flowers, stripping bark, grinding seeds. This is not figurative: try it and see what happens. Your hands will remember how to do the work with ease and grace while your mind is still wondering how to begin.

And so Practical Herbalism takes on a new dimension. Not only are we learning what we need to be effective herbalists in real-life scenarios, we are also awakening the latent magic already residing in our bodies and souls, and in doing so, are learning what it means to be connected to the plants, to our bodies, to the presence of disease and imbalance. Once we know that, we can begin to really see how to move things in the direction of sanity and equilibrium.

Expect lots of practical skills in this course, and leave open a throne for the old wisdom to blossom in your heart as well.


Curriculum Overview

The Art of Formulation: how to create individually-tailored herbal formulas, and when to consider simples rather than formulations

Plant Energetics: hot/cold, damp/dry; the medicinal qualities of taste, how energetics change with preparation, and more

People Energetics : via traditional Chinese, humoural, western herbal, and even allopathic lenses

Diagnostic Tools: face + body, tongue + pulse

Materia Medica: in-depth overviews of many medicinal plants, including preparation + dosages

In-depth Study of Body Systems: a deep, comprehensive understanding of each, what can go awry, and how to address 

Plant Identification: learn to recognize our local plant allies through all four seasons

Sustainable Wildcrafting: the art and study of working with the wild medicinals throughout the year

Medicinal Herb Gardening & Food as Medicine: growing our own medicinals from seed to harvest; kitchen medicine

Preparation Skills: alcohol, vinegar, glycerine tinctures; tea blends; topical preparations, and much more, taught with specific ratios to allow for comprehensive dosing

Case Studies: real-life examples of common health issues and herbal protocols to support healing

Individual Projects: deepen your learning in an area that particularly interests you, either alone or in a small group

and more, as determined by the teachers, the students, and the seasons…

Guest teachers will include Chris Marano, RH-AHG, head of the Clearpath School of Herbal Medicine.


Dates for 2019

Saturday April 27

Saturday May 25

Saturday June 22

Saturday July 20 + Sunday July 21

Saturday August 17 + Sunday August 18

Saturday September 7 + Sunday September 8

Friday September 6th (this is a make up day; please pencil into your calendar in case we have to cancel an earlier class)

— All classes run from 9:30am - 5:00pm —


Logistics + Pricing

This course includes 68 hours of in-class time plus approximately 40 hours of guided out-of-class time, which can be spent practicing diagnostic tools, working on individual/ small group projects, wildcrafting, medicine-making, and completing recommended reading.

The cost of this course is $1200, paid either in full by February 8th, 2019, or $600 paid by February 8th and $600 by July 1st. If you’d prefer a different payment plan, please be in touch.