How to Become an Herbalist
Do you dream of becoming an herbalist but aren’t quite sure where to start?
Herbalism is a calling and a traditional branch of knowledge that’s part of our not-so-distant past—many of our great-grandmothers knew more than just a thing or two about herbs.
These old ways still appeal to us—many folks want to learn about herbalism simply to bring healing herbs into their day-to-day lives. Others feel a distinct vocational calling. In either case, herbalism is flourishing, and you have lots of exciting choices for receiving an herbal education and starting an herbal career.
The world is asking for more herbalists and healers, and we want to help you get going! We’ve put together a FREE 100-page resource as your herbal starter gateway—we’ll talk about options for herbal study, herbalist careers, and herbal certification and other legalities. Plus, we’ll share all of our very favorite herbal resources, from herb schools to blogs to books.
You can also explore any of these topics that tickle your fancy:
Who is the Budding Herbalist Guide for?
Whether your herbal aspirations have already bloomed into a fruitful career, or you’re just starting to sow the seeds of your herbal future, there are guaranteed to be savory morsels inside ripe for the picking.
For Budding Herbalists
- The low-down on in-person & online herbal schools
- Tips on how to start your home apothecary
- Reputable sources for wildcrafting tools & supplies, medicinal herbs, mushrooms & essential oils
- Our favorite medicinal-yet-tasty recipes
For Seasoned Herbalists
- Herbal career roadmaps & salary expectations
- How to navigate cGMPs & the legalities of herbal products businesses
- Resource lists of herbal conferences, organizations & publications
- Information on the best clinical herbalism programs
Join the Botanical Medicine Momentum
It’s an exciting time to be an herbalist! More and more people are using medicinal herbs for their health and well-being. Nearly one-third of Americans use medicinal herbs, and the World Health Organization estimates that 80% of people worldwide still rely on herbs as their primary form of health care. According to the American Botanical Council’s Herb Market Report, US retail sales of herbal dietary supplements reached over $7 billion in 2016.
This botanical medicine momentum shows there’s more interest in herbal products than ever before in modern times. And there’s a greater demand for herbal instruction, along with books and articles that teach about the medicinal use of herbs. With this flurry of interest, there are more opportunities than ever for rewarding employment in the field as well as golden opportunities for entrepreneurship.
Meet the Models
INDY SRINATH is a Los Angeles based urban gardener, mushroom cultivator, and food justice advocate. She’s committed to increasing organic food access and health literacy in underserved populations. Find her work on Instagram @indyofficinalis. Photo by Juliet Blankespoor
AMBER BROWN is an Indigenous Alaskan belonging to the Tlingít people of southeast Alaska and British Columbia. Amber grew up near the small coastal town of Homer, Alaska, in the house her father built, processing wild salmon, picking native berries, learning to bead Tlingít-style necklaces and earrings, and visiting Sitka, Alaska, to watch her grandmother dance in the Naa Kahidi dance group. Amber currently resides in Homer, Alaska, on the Outer Inlet land of the Dena’ina Athabascan. Amber is passionate about wild foods and medicine, learning the traditional Indigenous language and art forms of the Tlingít people, native trees and forest medicinals that promote the land’s long-term health, and trying to live in the moment. Amber works in Student Services and is the Scholarship Coordinator for the school. In addition to her passion for wild food and arts, she’s adept at gathering and propagating local plants and minerals and making small-batch, seasonal tinctures, potions, art, and wild food delicacies. Visit @sunroseorange to follow Amber and her creations. Photo by Lynne Harty
MEGHAN GEMMA is one of the Chestnut School’s primary instructors through her written lessons, and is the principal pollinator of the school’s social media community—sharing herbal and wild foods wisdom from the flowery heart of the school to an ever-wider field of herbalists, gardeners, healers, and plant lovers.
She has been in a steady relationship with the Chestnut School since 2010—as an intern and manager at the Chestnut Herb Nursery; as a plant-smitten student “back in the day” when the school’s programs were taught in the field; and later as a part the school’s woman-powered professional team. Meghan lives in the Ivy Creek watershed, just north of Asheville, North Carolina. Photo by Juliet Blankespoor
COCO VILLA creates one of a kind conceptual clothing pieces for seasonal collections and private clients. Creations are wildly crafted in small batches and naturally dyed by hand with locally foraged plant matter. All goods are stitched together from natural fibers, folk fabric, hand printed textiles, or salvaged materials. Follow Coco on Instagram and visit her website. Photo by Juliet Blankespoor