Herbalists are life-long learners. Our journey of knowledge never ceases, and we’re not afraid to put in the hard work that comes with that learning. The amount of research, preparation, and study that goes into herbal practice would astound many. Our numbers include doctors and scientists, teachers and farmers, students and parents, and many more besides. One thing that we all have in common though, is our drive to put in the earnest effort needed to learn about herbs.
For example, we study anatomy and physiology to understand how herbs affect the alimentary system, and how exactly our body reacts to the bitter herbs that stimulate digestive secretions. That might sound like a lot of work just to learn to soothe a stomach-ache, but we know the value of knowing our bodies goes far beyond just that. We are committed to our studies.
Herbalists also study botany, and many of us grow our own herbs. But even after all that research into what herbs we want to grow, next comes looking up the ideal growing conditions, and how to harvest them. For example, it might not be obvious to a first-time herbalist that burdock is a biennial that takes two years to grow. And since the roots, the leaves, and the seeds are all parts of the burdock plant you might want to harvest, it’s important to know that you should harvest the root from first year plants, and the leaves and seeds from a second year plant. These are the kinds of things that we learn, not only through reading, but through getting our hands dirty.
We aren’t afraid to dive right into research studies, to find where science backs up the information we’ve learned by doing. The amount of research can be daunting, especially if you have to go at it alone. That’s why we love our community, and why we do our best to bring all those resources together, so that you don’t have to wade through pages and pages of superficial, misleading, or even wrong information before you get to what you’re actually searching for.
At one time, herbal information was almost exclusively learned through apprenticeships. These days, there are some wonderful books out there that do a good job of giving you the basics, or that cover one aspect of herbalism. But finding masters of herbal crafts and an in-person apprenticeship may be next to impossible for many people.
That’s why we have opened up the Online Intermediate Herbal Class, as an apprenticeship for distant learners. We’ve collected information on anatomy, physiology, and traditional use as well as clinical research and academic studies, all into one place. And the best part is, you won’t be alone while learning. We’ll be with you every step of the way, as will your fellow students. You can interact with them on our students’ forum, or email us directly if you have questions.
Herbalists are scholars, academics, students, teachers, wildcrafters, growers, farmers, community builders, and more. If you’re ready for the next step in your lifetime of learning, if you want to learn more about herbalism so that you can see the benefits for yourself, if you love sharing in a community with other folks who share a passion for enjoying the good things that nature gives us, consider joining us for the Online Intermediate Herbal Course, and see where your journey takes you.