Many years ago, when I first started on my herbalism journey, there weren’t any herbalist courses that I knew of and very few resources to learn from aside from books or mentors, if you were lucky enough to have one.
The internet was still in its infancy and Amazon had not yet been created. I relied on the library for all of my informational needs. That wasn’t necessarily a bad thing, but it certainly wasn’t convenient. Now with access to information at my fingertips, I can easily get swept away for hours at a time with all the knowledge and learning possibilities that are available at the touch of a button. As a former librarian, I still love a good book though and often have to stop myself from ordering more herbal texts from Amazon.
Let’s explore some free online herbalist courses and resources and get a deeper understanding of the herbal medicine world.
Getting a free herbal education
Herbalism, the study and use of plants for medicinal and therapeutic purposes, has been a part of human history for thousands of years. In recent years, there has been a resurgence of interest in herbalism as people seek out natural alternatives to conventional medicine. However, the cost of formal education in herbalism can be prohibitive for many people. Fortunately, there are many free herbalist courses and resources available on the web that can help you gain a herbal education without breaking the bank.
Finding reputable sources
First and foremost, the internet is a wealth of information on herbalism. A simple search will yield countless articles, blogs, and videos on the subject – many can be found right here on The Outdoor Apothecary. Many of these sources are written by experts in the field and provide valuable insights into the history, uses, and benefits of various herbs. Of course, it’s important to be discerning when it comes to online sources, as not all information is created equal. Make sure you’re getting your information from reputable sources, such as established herbalists and scientific studies.
Herbalist Courses Online
In addition to online resources, there are many free herbalist courses available on the web that can help you gain a solid foundation in herbalism. One great resource is the Herbal Academy, which offers a free Introductory Herbal Course that covers the basics of herbalism, including plant identification, harvesting, and preparation. The course is self-paced and includes interactive quizzes and activities to help reinforce your learning. They also offer a free cancer series full of resources for holistic cancer care.
Another great resource is the American Herbalists Guild, which offers a number of free webinars on various aspects of herbalism. These webinars are presented by experienced herbalists and cover topics such as medicinal plants for the immune system, herbal first aid, and herbal support for mental health.
If you prefer a more structured approach to learning, there are also many free online courses available from universities and educational institutions. For example, the University of Minnesota offers a free course on Herbal Medicine that provides the necessary background for providers to begin to incorporate herbal medicines into their practice, particularly with regard to their therapeutic properties, efficacy (or lack thereof), and safety concerns, including quality control and potential adverse effects.
A personal favorite of mine is the Herbalista Free School. This platform is a gem for community herbalists, offering all courses at no cost. It’s an open invitation to the public, emphasizing the spirit of community herbalism and making the ancient art of healing accessible to everyone.
Finally, self-study is a valuable tool for gaining a herbal education. While it’s important to seek out reliable sources of information, there’s no substitute for hands-on experience. Consider starting a herb garden to grow and experiment with different plants, or taking walks in nature to learn to identify different herbs in the wild. There are also many books available on herbalism that can provide in-depth information on different plants and their uses.
Amazing FREE Herbalist Courses and Resources Online
- American Herbalists Guild (https://www.americanherbalistsguild.com/) – The American Herbalists Guild offers a variety of free resources and herbalist courses to its members. These include an online library of herbal monographs, a monthly newsletter, and a series of webinars and online courses. The online library contains detailed information on the medicinal use of plants, including safety information, traditional uses, and scientific research. The monthly newsletter provides updates on the latest research and developments in the field of herbalism. The webinars and online courses cover topics such as herbal medicine, botany, and nutrition. Additionally, the Guild offers a free online Webinar Intensive for Herbalists in herbalism for beginners. This course covers the basics of herbalism, including plant identification, safety, and preparation.
Berkeley Herbal Center (https://www.berkeleyherbalcenter.org/online-courses/) – Berkely Herbal Center offers two free trainings for herbalists. One is using botanical allies for immune protection, optimum health and longevity, and the other is the Herbalists Wild Fire tool Kit training. This course offers a medicine making technique for herbal lung-support, how to prepare and practice a herbal steam for your lungs, and the best practices for maintaining systemic health.
Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine (https://chestnutherbs.com/handcrafted-herbalism/) – The Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine offers a range of online herbalist courses, including free introductory courses on herbal medicine and wild edible plants that cover the basics of herbal medicine, including plant identification, medicine making, and more.
CommonWealth Holistic Herbalism (https://online.commonwealthherbs.com/) CommonWealth Holistic Herbalism offers several Free courses, herbal study tips to make learning herbalism easier, and the 4 keys to holistic herbalism.
Florida School of Holistic Living (https://www.holisticlivingschool.org/) – The Florida School of Holistic Living offers the Roots of Herbalism home study course. This course explores the philosophies of ecological Herbalism, the practices of herbal nutrition, and the foundations of holistic health. Students learn to make their own herbal preparations, including tisanes and tinctures.
Green Path Herb School (https://greenpathherbschool.com/) – Green Path Herb School offers a variety of free resources to help students learn about herbal medicine and medicinal plants. These resources include herbalist courses, articles, books, and an introductory slideshow. The courses cover topics such as herbal medicine making, medicinal plants, and holistic medicine. The articles provide information on topics such as plant medicine, herbal remedies, and natural healing. The books provide an in-depth look at herbal medicine and medicinal plants. The introductory slideshow provides an overview of the school and its offerings. Additionally, the school offers a free consultation with a professional herbalist to help students get started on their journey.
The Herbal Academy (https://theherbalacademy.com/) – The Herbal Academy provides free online herbalist courses on various aspects of herbalism, including introductory courses, herbal first aid, and medicine making. Students will receive a certificate of completion for each course completed.
Herbal Hub (https://theherbalhub.com/)- The Herbal Hub offers a free introductory class for the beginner herbalist. Discover wild herbs that can be used as nutritious wild foods, home herbal remedies and natural cosmetics.
Herbalista Free School (https://herbalista.org/free-school/)- Offers FREE online classes to help you along your herbal journey. All classes are FREE and open to the PUBLIC. Courses focus on community herbalism. Studies include: Herbal Traditions; Herbal Actions + Energetics; Different Strokes for Different Folks; Herbal Basics: Diet + Digestion; Herbal Basics: Daily Rhythm, Stress + Sleep; Crafting a Materia Medica; Seasonal Kitchen: Spring, Summer, Autumn + Winter.
Herbs with Rosalee (https://www.herbalremediesadvice.org/online-herbal-courses.html) – Herbs with Rosalee offers a free herbal jumpstart herbalist course on understanding how herbs work so that you can best choose herbs that will work for you.
Home HERB School (https://homeherbschool.thinkific.com/courses/free-online-herbalism-course) – The Home Herb School offers a free online herbalism course that includes easy and effective home herbal remedies that are essential to have on hand for life’s most common ailments.
Laura Carpenter (https://www.lauracarpenter.co.uk/) – Laura Carpenter provides free herbalist courses on the incredible healing and nurturing qualities of plants. These classes are designed to help people understand the medicinal properties of plants and how to use them to improve their health and wellbeing. The classes cover topics such as herbal medicine, nutrition, and lifestyle. They are taught by experienced medical herbalists who have a deep understanding of the healing power of plants.
LearningHerbs (https://learningherbs.com/) – LearningHerbs offers a variety of free herbalist courses online, including a free mini-course on the fundamentals of herbalism and a free course on herbal remedies for stress and anxiety.
Little Herbal Apothecary (https://thelittleherbalapothecary.com/) The Little Herbal Apothecary offers a free course on making herbal infused oils. This free mini course will teach you how to make beautiful herbal infused oils to amplify the benefits of all your handmade herbal products.
Locust Light Farm (https://www.locustlightfarm.com/) -Offers a Free class on herbs for resilience. Life is hard. Herbs can help. In this free class, you’ll learn herbalism + personal ritual to get you through life’s tough times.
Matthew Wood Institute of Herbalism (https://www.matthewwoodinstituteofherbalism.com/) – The Matthew Wood Institute of Herbalism is an online educational platform that offers a variety of herbalist courses and resources for individuals interested in herbalism. While the majority of their courses are not free, they do offer a few free resources that can be accessed by anyone interested in learning more about herbalism.
One of their most popular free resources is the Introduction to Herbalism Course. This course is designed for beginners and covers the basics of herbalism, including plant identification, harvesting, and preparation. The course is self-paced and includes video lectures, readings, and quizzes to test your knowledge.
In addition to the Introduction to Herbalism Course, the Matthew Wood Institute of Herbalism also offers a number of free webinars on various aspects of herbalism. These webinars are presented by experienced herbalists and cover topics such as herbal support for stress and anxiety, plant energetics, and the role of the liver in detoxification.
Another valuable free resource provided by the institute is the Herbal Study Guide. This guide is a comprehensive resource that covers over 50 herbs, including their uses, properties, and preparations. The guide includes detailed descriptions of each herb, as well as recipes for herbal remedies and teas.
Overall, the Matthew Wood Institute of Herbalism provides a variety of free resources that can be a great starting point for individuals interested in learning more about herbalism. While their free offerings are limited, they can be a valuable tool for those who are just getting started and looking to gain a basic understanding of herbalism.
Medicine Lodge Ranch (https://www.medicinelodgeranch.com/) The Medicine Lodge Ranch offers a free Herbal Medicine Making Mini-Course where students will learn the herbs that are great for herbal oils and what each can be used for, understand the rules for using fresh vs. dried herbs in different recipes, and get tips and tricks for buying materials and ingredients.
Mountain Rose Herbs (https://www.mountainroseherbs.com/) – Mountain Rose Herbs offers a free label template to help with labeling homemade herbal remedies, essential oil blends, and other handcrafted goods. This template makes it easier to identify the contents of the product, as well as the appropriate dosage information and age of the formulation. Mountain Rose Herbs offers a variety of courses and workshops on topics such as herbalism, aromatherapy, and natural health 2. These courses and workshops are designed to help individuals learn more about herbal remedies and how to use them safely and effectively.
Nor’Eastern Herb Company (https://noreasternherb.com/) Nor’eastern Herb Company offers free mini course on herbal energetics. Herbal Energetics is an online, text based, self-paced mini course perfect for everyone who wants to get started in the work of herbal energy and plant spirit allies.
The Herbalist’s Path (https://www.theherbalistspath.com/) – The Herbalist’s Path offers free classes that provide an introduction to the world of herbalism. These classes are taught by Mel, an experienced herbalist who has a wealth of knowledge and a friendly, approachable teaching style. The classes cover topics such as beginner and intermediate herbalism, herbal astrology, and more. Students have praised Mel’s classes for being easy to understand and enjoyable to learn from.
The School of Evolutionary Herbalism (https://www.evolutionaryherbalism.com/programs/) – The School of Evolutionary Herbalism offers a free step-by-step guide and mini-course for using medical astrology with your practice of plant medicine.
Wild Ginger Community Herbal Center (https://www.wildgingerherbalcenter.com/online-herbal-classes.html) – The Wild Ginger Community Herbal Center offers a free home herbalism mini course. Additionally, they offer a free Herbal Recipe Guide which can be accessed by joining the Wild Ginger Community.
Wild Rose College of Herbal Medicine (https://wildrosecollege.com/single-courses/) – Wild Rose College of Herbal Medicine offers free courses on a variety of topics on western herbalism, urban herb gardening, plant ID and more. They change their selection of free courses periodically and seasonally.
Wildflower School of Botanical Medicine (https://wildflowerherbschool.com/all-courses/) – The Wildflower Herb School offers free online courses in Herbal First Aid and Free Introductory course on herbal medicine.
The Truth about herbal certification
In the United States, the path to becoming a herbalist is often paved with passion and dedication rather than formal certification. While you can practice herbal medicine without a license or herbalist certification, it’s important to understand the value of comprehensive lessons and education in this field. Engaging in herbalist courses not only enriches your knowledge but also connects you with a vibrant herbalist community that shares a commitment to natural living.
This journey of learning isn’t just about acquiring skills; it’s about embracing a lifestyle that harmonizes with nature and ancestral wisdom. Remember, certification might not be a legal requirement, but the lessons you learn and the community you join can profoundly deepen your understanding and practice of herbalism.
In conclusion, gaining a herbal education doesn’t have to be expensive. By taking advantage of the many free resources and free herbalist courses available on the web and by doing self-study, you can gain a solid foundation in herbalism without spending a dime. Remember to always seek out reliable sources of information and to approach herbalism with respect and caution, as some herbs can be harmful if not used correctly. With dedication and hard work, you can become a knowledgeable and skilled herbalist and enjoy the many benefits that herbalism has to offer.
Disclaimer- I am not a medical professional. All information shared here is for information and entertainment only. Do your own research and consult your health care provider before treating yourself with any product, plant or mixture.
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