5 Best Online Herbalist Schools & Classes

Have you considered exploring herbalism but aren’t sure where to start?  Although herbalism is still gaining traction in the US, there are numerous herbal medicine and herbalism schools – online …

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Written by: Siobhan Mendicino
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Medical Review by: Daniel Powers, MS
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Have you considered exploring herbalism but aren’t sure where to start? 

Although herbalism is still gaining traction in the US, there are numerous herbal medicine and herbalism schools – online and in-person – that provide a comprehensive, hands-on curriculum for beginners and advanced herbalists alike.

In this article, we’ll discuss the best online herbalist schools for those just setting out on their herbal path or who want a reset on the foundations of herbalism.

If you love medicinal plants and want to find out how to make your passion a career, read on below.

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Best Online Herbalist Schools & Classes

Below is a list of the best online herbalist schools offering various herbal topics and levels. These herbalist schools complement various lifestyles and are especially helpful for those interested in learning about herbalism and herbal medicine making at their own pace. 

1. Herbal Academy

Online only 

herbal academy

Herbal Academy offers four comprehensive courses that range in difficulty, from the Introductory Herbal Course to the Advanced Herbal Course. Herbal Academy even offers a Business Herbal Course for those looking to elevate their herbal entrepreneurial skills. 

If you’re looking for the best online herbalist certification, Herbal Academy is a great option.

The Introductory Herbal Course is self-paced for beginners or those without herbalism experience. Some of the course curriculum includes kitchen herbs (such as ginger and rosemary), herbal support for common complaints, the holistic approach, and more. The course contains: 

  • Content-rich lessons
  • Handouts and charts
  • Ebooks
  • Recipes
  • Herbal monographs
  • Videos 
  • Quizzes
  • Access to teachers
  • Student-only communities
  • Exclusive discounts
  • Lifetime access 

Cost: $349.00 or a payment plan of $58.50/month 

Credit: Certificate of Completion

Other Courses: Intermediate Herbal Course, Clinical Herbalist Path Package, Mastering Herbal Formulation Course

If you’re looking to get a herbology certification online, then check out these courses.

2. Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine

Online only

Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine

Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine offers three different herbal courses that touch on various subsets of herbalism. The Online Herbal Immersion Program provides a deep dive into the world of herbs and is meant for those just starting or who have beginner knowledge.

Some Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine lesson examples include Herb Safety, Common Useful Garden Weeds, North American Herbal History and Traditions, Herbs for the Nervous System, Food as Medicine, and more. 

The 1000-hour Online Herbal Immersion Program is self-paced and will provide monthly emails reminding you of upcoming modules. It usually takes students around 2.5 years to complete. These herbalist classes contain the following: 

  • 17 in-depth modules
  • Course manual 
  • Videos
  • Recipes
  • Student support
  • Student forum 
  • Herbal monographs
  • Lifetime access 

Cost: $3,399 or $159 for 24 months 

Credit: Certificate of Completion

Other Courses: Online Medicine Making Course, Online Foraging Course:

Edible And Medicinal Wild Herbs

*View sample lesson here

3. The Science & Art of Herbalism

Online Only

The Science & Art of Herbalism

The Science & Art of Herbalism offers the Home Study Course that provides students with a foundational knowledge of herbs. Upon completion, students will be able to use herbs and create herbal preparations for their at-home use. Some lessons include Herbal Preparations, Human Anatomy, Herbs for Children, Herbs for Women’s Health, Creating Medicinal Formulas, and more.  

This course was created by the “Godmother of Modern Herbalism,” Rosemary Gladstar, to be self-paced and introduce beginners to the world of herbs. It includes: 

  • 10 in-depth modules 
  • Rosemary’s herbal remedies
  • 250+ recipes
  • Videos
  • Course binder with 500+ pages of instruction
  • Community forum 
  • Herbal monographs
  • Exclusive Online-Only Content
  • Discounts for Herbal Supplies
  • 3 years access 

Cost: $375

Credit: Certificate of Completion

Other Courses: The “Classic” Printed PLUS Online Course

4. East West School of Planetary Herbology

Online Only

East West School of Planetary Herbology

The East-West School of Planetary Herbology offers the Home Herbalist Course, which gives students a basic understanding of herbs and how to use them at home. Students can then take the Professional Herbalist Course and the Clinical Herbalist Course to further their studies and expertise. 

The Home Herbalist Course is self-paced and meant for beginners. It usually takes students 6-12 months to complete and contains information on Herbal First Aid, How to Treat Specific Ailments, Making Your Own Preparations, and more. This course includes:

  • 10 in-depth modules 
  • Videos
  • Quizzes
  • Projects
  • Powerpoint presentations 
  • Student forum 
  • Library of articles 
  • Communication with faculty
  • 1-year access 

Cost: On sale for $297 (usually $497)

Credit: Certificate of Completion

Other Courses: East West Clinical Herbalist (EWCH) Program

*The East West School also offers a Kid’s Herb Course for parents interested in introducing herbs to their children. 

*Download a free lesson here.

5. The Gaia School of Healing 

Online Only

the gaia school of healing

The Gaia School of Healing offers a few online courses, starting with A Year of Gaia, which introduces foundational knowledge of traditional folk herbalism. It’s one of the best herbalism schools for self-educators.

The course provides information on “plant spirit medicine, traditional herbalism, ethnobotany, holistic anatomy and physiology, guided meditation, earth-based ceremony, medicine making, and journeys with the healing spirits of Gaia.”

Year One with Gaia is a self-paced course for beginners and those who want to diversify their herbal approach. It includes

  • 12 in-depth modules 
  • Plant/herbal medicine journeys
  • Audio lectures
  • Recorded guided meditations
  • Plant profiles 
  • Herbal healing rituals 
  • Videos
  • Handouts
  • Optional monthly live Zoom classes
  • Lifetime access 

Cost: $680.00 or $60.00 for 12 months (BIPOC scholarships available) 

Credit: Certificate of Completion

Other Courses: Year Two of Gaia, Repeating A Year of Gaia

*Content is uploaded in March, and you can sample the first module for $45

NOTE: Most online herbal schools are not accredited. If you’re looking for an accredited online herbal school, you may consider Dominion Herbal College (which offers online classes) or the Maryland Univeristy of Integrative Medicine. Both of which are top 10 colleges for herbalism.

Online vs. In-Person Herbalist Schools:

When looking for an herbalism school, it’s essential to consider whether you want an online courses or an in-person herbalist school. Each brings its own benefits, and lifestyle is an essential factor in choosing which works best for you. 

Below are some pros and cons of both options. 

In-Person Herbalist Schools:

Attending an herbalism school in person is an excellent option for those with a school in their area. 

Pros 

  • Work with herbs in a group setting
  • Team-building opportunities 
  • Face-to-face time with instructors 
  • Dedicated academic space 
  • Minimizes at-home distractions 
  • Build friendships
  • Networking opportunities 

Cons 

  • Commute
  • Often more expensive 
  • The instructor sets the pace of learning
  • Location 
  • Strict schedule  

Online Herbalist Schools:

Pros 

  • Self-paced opportunities 
  • Offers a flexible schedule
  • Greater accessibility  
  • No commute 
  • Ability to create own environment 
  • Often more affordable than in-person schools 
  • Accessible digital resources 

Cons 

  • Can be distracting 
  • No face-to-face time with classmates and teachers 
  • Can feel isolating 
  • Online fatigue 
  • Difficult to give direct feedback on herbal preparations 
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Career Opportunities for Herbalists:

There are numerous career opportunities that herbalists can explore. However, depending on qualifications, salary and accessibility may vary. Below are some common job opportunities for herbalists (and what they entail) that students may consider after completing herbalist school. 

You can also click here to learn more about how to become a certified herbalist.

Community Herbalist – A community herbalist usually focuses on traditional folk preparations while incorporating modern nuances and research. Expertise levels vary; however, mentorships or apprenticeships are common for community herbalists to achieve hands-on experience. Community herbalists work with themselves, family, friends, and community members, so a certain skill level is recommended.  

  • Salary: ~ $50,000 annually 
  • Requirements: A community herbalist program and mentorship  

Clinical Herbalist: A more intensive herbalism practice that involves professional education, clinical experience, and training under an herbal mentor. Clinical herbalists work 1-on-1 with patients in a clinical setting or private practice. Extensive training supports their ability to analyze patient symptoms and conduct research to achieve greater holistic health for their patients. Clinical herbalists are expertly able to create herbal preparations for patients.      

  • Salary: ~ $60,000 annually 
  • Requirements: The American Herbalist Guild recommends “800 hours of herbal education” and “400 hours of clinical experience” to become a master herbalist.

Herbal Entrepreneur: This avenue can take many forms, as many different herbal products can be sold. You may consider focusing on one type of herbal preparation, like tinctures, or you may choose to sell various herbal products. Some herbalists open niche businesses that reflect multiple passions, like art made from dried herbs or podcasts.   

  • Salary: ~ $50,000 annually 
  • Requirements: A specialized degree and adequate experience. May include both business and herbalism programs.  

Herbal Photographer or Videographer: It’s possible to support numerous businesses through the path of herbal photographer and/or videographer. Professional herbal photography may capture single herbs, lifestyles, recipes, or products, which are then sold to brands or various publishers.

  • Salary: ~ $50,000 annually 
  • Requirements: Adequate experience in photography and filmography.  A strong background in plant identification is also recommended.

Herbal Writer: An herbal writer is valuable for multiple facets of an herbal business. Whether you write blog posts, product descriptions, web copy, social captions, or digital ebooks, writing content is essential to any business’s success. 

  • Salary: ~ $50,000 annually 
  • Requirements: A specialized degree, adequate experience, and a background in plant identification. May include marketing, literature/journalism, and herbalism programs.    

Supplement Formulator: Another career path is becoming a dietary supplement formulation engineer. Supplement brands typically have a team on staff (or independent contractors) that will do product research and new product formulation.

  • Salary: ~ $75,000 and up 
  • Requirements: Strong scientific health background (pharmacist, medical doctor, naturopath).

Herbal Educator: Being an herbal educator can be verbal, written, or both. You may choose to become an herbal instructor at a college or lead workshops. An herbal educator may speak at conferences or visit schools to educate young people about the herbalism world. They can also double as an herbal writer. There are options!  

  • Salary: ~ $50,000-$70,000 annually 
  • Requirements: A specialized degree and adequate experience. A background in plant identification may be beneficial. 
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Additional In-Person & Online Herbalist Schools:

Below are some additional credible herbalist schools offering online and in-person options. 

Conclusion :

Enrolling in an online herbalist school is a great way to learn about herbalism or refresh your knowledge of herbs.

While in-person herbalist schools are a great option if you have one in your area, online herbalist schools offer incredible opportunities for those with busy lifestyles and the need for self-paced learning.   

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About Siobhan Mendicino

Siobhan is a herbal researcher and writer. She has a bachelor of science in communications as well as having completed a post-baccalaureate certificate in herbal studies.