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.

Get all of the info in one place by downloading the FREE 100-page eBook!


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 a Native Alaskan from the Tlingit & Haida tribe of southeast Alaska and the Nisaga of British Columbia. She now resides in the rich mountainous fold of the Cherokee Nation territory, in what is currently known as western North Carolina, where she homesteads with her partner and their three spritely children. Amber is a concoctress of wild food delicacies and puts her culinary expertise to the test at the Chestnut School by helping to create and test herbal and wild foods recipes. She is the Scholarship Coordinator for the school and also supports her team with modeling and photography assistance and various administrative tasks. Visit her website to learn more about 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

Not quite sure which of our online courses is the best fit for you?

Take a peek at our Course Comparison Chart to get started on your herbal journey!