Make herbalism your career, and help others build health and vitality.
In this program, you’ll learn how to support more complicated health situations, dig deep into herb-drug interactions, gain confidence reading scientific studies and working collaboratively with medical professionals, and build your practical clinical skills.
You'll have the opportunity to work live in clinic with us, both observing and practicing, and to join in live roundtable discussion to analyze the cases you're working on.
At the end of this program, you'll be confident in your capabilities to help others - safely and according to the law - and you'll be ready to start your own clinical practice. And if you are planning to apply to be recognized as a Registered Herbalist with the American Herbalists' Guild, we can help!
With the right skills, you can change lives.
There is so much we can do to help people move out of discomfort and into more vibrant health. As a clinical herbalist, you might collaborate with a team of doctors to support someone in chemotherapy. You might help someone with low functioning thyroid boost their endocrine function naturally. You could work together with someone with a chronic illness to create a strategy to re-build strength and resilience.
As a clinical herbalist, the work you get to do every day is to make people's lives better.
This program has pre-requisites. More information below!
Doing clinical work today is not like it was 20 or even just 10 years ago.
Most of the time, you'll be working with folks who have complicated issues - often issues that other types of practitioners haven't been able to help them with. It's very common for clients to be working with multiple medical doctors, taking multiple pharmaceuticals, and to have long-standing chronic health problems they are trying to manage.
In fact, you may be managing this kind of situation yourself - that might be how you came to herbalism! People who have dealt with complicated health issues make great clinical herbalists, because they really understand what it's like to live with and try to get help managing their health.
Herbalism really shines in these kinds of complex and chronic issues - there's so much we can do to improve this kind of situation! But adequate training is required so that you feel confident working in complicated situations, and so that you provide excellent care and collaboration.
You may already have been studying herbalism for a while - maybe with us or maybe at other schools, or both!
🌿 You'll need a bunch of education!
Some schools will refer to it as "beginner, intermediate, and advanced" work. In our school, it goes like this:
Family Herbalist - where you learn how to make all the medicines and what all the individual herbs can do.
Community Herbalist - where you learn how the body works, how health breaks down, and how to rebuild it again with herbs and holistic strategies.
Clinical Herbalist - that's this program - where you'll learn advanced pathophysiology and how to devise herbal support strategies for complicated health issues, as well as clinical skills, principles of practicing legally and ethically, clinical research skills and detailed herb-drug interaction and herb safety, and more.
🌿 You'll also need in-person mentorship.
You can't just launch into clinical practice if you've never done it before. The best way is to start out by observing experienced clinicians and discussing the cases that you observed, then to practice in tandem with faculty clinicians so that you know there is help right there beside you, and then to go ahead and take clients on your own and discuss them afterwards with your teachers.
This process should last at least a year, though we recommend more. In fact, we recommend that even once you have your own practice, you maintain a group of peers with whom you regularly do case review, so that you can feel supported in your work and continue to grow in your practice.
Information about the Live Clinical Mentorship is here.
🌿 You might want to be recognized as a Registered Herbalist with the AHG.
Because herbalism is unlicensed in the US, being a Registered Herbalist is the only way to show that your skills have been evaluated. Although it is not required to practice, we do think it's worthwhile - it shows that you take your professional development seriously. (And don't worry: we can help you get there!)
You'll find a free tool to help you track and organize all of your requirements for AHG Registered Herbalist application here.
🌿 And, you might also want some business training, so that you feel comfortable with the parts of the job that aren't herbal - creating and maintaining your website, marketing and finding clients, paying taxes - all that nitty gritty stuff that isn't necessarily fun but has to happen.
We can help you there too! The Herbal Business Program has everything you need to build your business, even if you have never done anything like this before!
Where are you on your path to clinical herbalism?
If you have not studied herbalism before, but you know this is the kind of work you want to do, then welcome! We're so excited you're here!
Your best bet is to start with the Family Herbalist program, or if you like, you can do Family + Community at the same time.
Once you have finished both the Family Herbalist and the Community Herbalist, you'll take an exam and then meet with us to talk about it. Don't worry: it's not the kind of exam you can fail! It's just a great way to help you assess your strengths and to figure out what areas need more support.
Then you'll move on to the Clinical Herbalist program, and you will have the opportunity to start your live clinical work with us.
If you have studied herbalism on your own or at other schools, you have a few options. You can always email us directly to help you determine where you should start, or you can use the checklist below to help you choose your starting point:
🌿🌿 If you have taken self-study programs such as Sage Mountain, Herbal Academy, Chestnut, or Centre of Excellence, then you might feel comfortable skipping the Family Herbalist program and starting with the Community Herbalist program, but you won't be ready to move directly to Clinical Herbalist.
We don't repeat any of the Family or Community material in the Clinical program, so it's important that you are very confident in working with that material in a community setting before you try to do more advanced work and to work with clients. You are welcome to work on any of the Clinical Herbalist courses at any time, but you will definitely need to get the pre-requisite courses as well, so that you have the full foundation to understand the material.
🌿🌿 If you have completed two years or more at CSCH, NAIMH, or VCIH, you might feel very comfortable jumping right into the Clinical Herbalist program.
You can always go back and get any of the pre-requisite courses at any time, so there's no risk in starting with the more advanced Clinical coursework.
🌿🌿 If you have studied elsewhere, and you have:
then you might feel very comfortable jumping right into the Clinical Herbalist program.
There is no exam required to access the Clinical Herbalist coursework - you can take it at any time. The only one who needs to decide if you're ready is you!
The recommendations above are based on our work helping other students be successful with this material. But you are the one who can make the final decision about what's right for you.
If you choose to jump directly into the Clinical Herbalist coursework, each course contains a list of pre-requisites. That way, you'll know what material you should be confident with before you start. If you have met those pre-requisites at another school, you're ready to go!
But if you get going in one of the Clinicial courses and you're realizing that you have a lot of foundational questions, it's no problem! You can just grab the pre-requisite course(s) that you need at any time! We want to make sure that you have all the material that you need to develop these skills.
And we're always here to help you navigate the material - plus, there are weekly live Q&A sessions and we reply to written questions daily, so you never have to wait for an answer!
The only thing that requires an exam before you join is the Live Clinical Mentorship - we do require an exam before you start your work live in clinic with us.
We do require an exam before you work in live clinic with us.
If you have taken the Community Herbalist program and passed the exam, you will be invited to work in clinic with us immediately, and you will be able to do that work concurrently with your Clinical Herbalist coursework (this bundle).
If you "transfer" from another school directly into the Clinical Herbalist program, you will have the opportunity to work live in clinic with us AFTER you have passed the exam for the Clinical Herbalist coursework (complete this bundle and pass the exam).
This ensures that you will feel very confident with our system of practice before you have to do it live.
We want to make sure that your live clinical work feels good and enjoyable, and that you never feel like you're "without a net".
If you have completed EITHER the Community Herbalist program and its exam, OR the Clinical Herbalist coursework and the exam, you will go into the live clinical work feeling strong and confident, and every client you work with will be well served.
Our specific goal is to turn out clinical herbalists who are confident because they are highly skilled.
Clinical herbalism is not something you can study for some months or a year and then jump into - seeing clients, especially in today's health landscape, is challenging work.
No one should push you into that before you are ready, and when you do start, you should feel held and supported by a community of peers and mentors who will help you along the way.
That is the way we have designed our program, so that you never feel like you're "out there without a net" - even after you've achieved RH recognition! We want you to always have the support and community you need to nourish yourself, so that you can nourish others.
Modern society says “hurry up, skip steps” - and that just leads to imposter syndrome.
We would rather give you all the time that you need to develop your skills - and we'll be there with you every step of the way!
We will keep working with you till it clicks for you.
If a concept is hard, like reading scientific studies, that’s ok! You can do it, even if you hated high school science.
You can do it even if you’re “past the prime learning age” (there’s no such thing!).
You just need someone to break it down in a way that makes sense to you and who is committed to you really getting it. That's us! :-)
If you plan to apply for recognition as a Registered Herbalist with the AHG, we estimate that you can complete all of your clinical requirements for application in 24-36 months.
It's ok if it takes longer - you have all the time that you need! You have lifetime access to this learning material, and you receive all future updates automatically for free! So there's no rush or pressure on you to go fast.
If you are not planning to apply for RH, you should still plan for at least 24-36 months of clinical mentorship to support you as you develop your skills and encounter new challenges in your practice.
If you have not yet completed the pre-requisites for the Clinical Herbalist program, then you should plan for more than 24-36 months: in all, it is very normal for people to spend a minimum of five years on their education and mentorship.
This is antithetical to what our culture expects of you: friends may expect you to "be a pro" after one year or less. You don't need to feel pressure to go fast! It is better for you, and for your clients, if you take the time to build your education and experience.
Herbalism is unregulated in the US, which means that each one of us bears the responsibility to practice ethically, legally, and to provide exceptional care and education for our clients. In order to do that successfully, you need time.
You will also have access to weekly live Q&A sessions where you can ask katja and ryn your questions directly, as well as access to our student community forum, answers to your written questions daily, and more.
You have lifetime access to all of our courses - there is absolutely no time limit - and as we add new material, it will show up in your account for free, automatically!
Some of these courses have only been available by live webinar in the past, and we recognize that this not the most accessible method.
So this year, we are converting all of the courses that were previously taught live into self-paced video courses - and updating all of their content.
That way you will have the benefit of being able to watch them any time you want AND they will be closed captioned.
This also means that you will only have to schedule live time in your calendar for actual interactive clinical work - everything else can be done at whatever time is best for you to learn!
We hope this makes it easier for everyone's schedules!
If you enroll in the bundle of Clinical Herbalist coursework, the newly self-paced versions of the courses will show up automatically in your dashboard as they are released.
Some of the courses are already available as self-paced video; you may go ahead and start those. As their updates go live, they will also be added to your account automatically!
Courses will be released/updated in the order that they appear in the next section below.
If you prefer to take the Clinical Herbalist courses individually, you can! They will become available individually on the website over the course of this year and into 2024.
All of these courses are included in this bundle.
Each course includes studies and references, resources, quizzes and capstone assignments, and more!
In each course, in addition to your thorough understanding of the topic, we prioritize your ability to teach your clients what they need to know so that they are empowered as active participants in their own health.
🌿 Clinical Orientation
This course is free and you can take it any time, even if you're not ready to start the Clinical Herbalist material yet! You'll learn about what a clinical herbalist does, what it's like to run your own practice or to collaborate with other practitioners in a group, different ways you can do this work, and how you can support yourself AND provide support and mutual aid in your community.
You'll also learn about the Registered Herbalist process, and all of the details that you'll need to get from wherever you are now to recognition as a Registered Herbalist (if that is your goal) and your own sustainable practice.
🌿 Making Herbalism Accessible (Herbalism On A Budget)
This course is free and you can take it any time, even if you're not ready to start the Clinical Herbalist material yet!
You'll learn how to source herbs and good quality food in a cost- and time-effective way. As you step into your work as a clinical herbalist, you will find that both time and money, as well as location and even systemic racism can all be barriers between people and plants. You might have a lush beautiful garden with all the herbs you need, but you may work with clients who work two jobs and have no time or space even for a bucket of Catnip on their porch. This course will teach you how to help everyone get access to the herbs and the food they need to build better health.
🌿 Herb-Drug Interactions & Herb Safety
Because most doctors and pharmacists don't know very much about herbs, the primary work of ensuring that herbal protocols won't cause problems with a client's prescription medications falls on the herbalist. This is a rapidly-developing field, and this course covers not only the information we know to date, but also how to stay current on all herb-drug interaction issues, and how to logic through potential interactions in situations without documented data.
This course also includes information about herb safety that is not directly related to herb-drug interactions: for example, herb safety with specific populations (such as elders or the immuno-compromised), essential oil safety, safety considerations of certain constituents (such as coumarins), and safety considerations for certain herbs that have the most potential to cause adverse reactions.
🌿 Clinical Skills
This is a large course that will encompass several different sections of work - everything you need to practice safely, ethically, legally, and successfully.
🌿 Clinical Nutrition
Although herbalists are not nutritionists or dieticians, food absolutely is a factor in our work - it often sets the foundations that we build on with herbs. Learn how to help your clients support their health goals with their food choices, and how to make better food possible for all people. This includes a thorough understanding of fad diets and navigating the ever-changing food advice in the media, by grounding our work in whole and unprocessed foods as much as possible.
🌿 Weight & Health
The culture we live in is obsessed with weight, and that's a completely unreasonable situation to try to build health in. All people can build health, regardless of their weight, and losing weight is not a direct route to better health - in fact, many forms of weight loss can cause physiological problems, not to mention emotional harm. This course focuses on building health in the context of weight. For some people, some weight loss may also occur, but that is not the goal of this course: the goal is to get healthy now, not in some mythical future when you're "thinner" and therefore "good", as society would like you to believe. This course also incorporates the science behind getting healthy at the weight you're at, and the science behind the problems with our culture's assumption that you must lose weight to get healthy.
🌿 Chronic Headache Management
The occasional headache is one thing, but chronic headaches are difficult to manage and often are part of more complicated health issues. Just to make it more challenging, chronic headaches are often very specific to the person who has them - most of the time, you'll need to create entirely new protocols for each person. Learn how to do this successfully and how to navigate complications.
🌿 Chronic Illness & Autoimmunity
Chronic and "Long" illness, chronic inflammatory diseases, and autoimmune conditions are the most common issue we see as herbalists today. Understand the pathophysiology behind these issues and learn to create protocols to help your clients manage them successfully. These issues are complicated and highly personalized, but they respond very well to holistic intervention - there is so much we can do to help! Learn how to understand the labyrinth of chronic illness, and how to collaborate with your clients to create integrated protocols to build strength, resilience, and a more vibrant life.
🌿 Insulin Resistance & Diabetes
Holistic strategies can make an enormous impact for those who are insulin resistant or have diabetes. Diabetes is a major driver of a cascade of other pathologies, and everything we can do to support health for diabetic individuals means less risk of the co-factors that are often present. Learn how to support your clients safely, how to educate them about how they can strengthen their metabolic health, and how to collaborate with their medical practitioners so that every member of the client's care team - including the client! - is working together towards better health.
🌿 Endocrine Health
Learn how to support health issues that stem from the endocrine system - such as thyroid disorders, "adrenal depletion", reproductive issues, chronic fatigue, and more. Gain insight into how intricately the endocrine system is intertwined with overall health and how it plays a role in all health issues. Help your clients rebuild endocrine function as a whole, not just in the context of one endocrine gland or hormone.
🌿 Cancer Support
Cancer care is evolving rapidly: learn how to integrate herbal and holistic strategies safely to support your client's health goals and get the best outcome from the interventions they choose. Learn how to collaborate with your client's oncological team so that everyone is working together to support your client's goals.
🌿 Managing Lyme
Learn how to build effective strategies to support your clients' recovery from Lyme, and help them to understand how Lyme and its coinfections can be managed to prevent relapse.
🌿 Elements of Detoxification
"Detox" is a complicated topic, and many clients are looking for help in understanding the issues. In fact, "detox" products are usually the major profit driver for health stores & the health section in natural food stores! Help your clients understand how the body's own process of detoxification works, how they can support that, and what they should do if they are interested in a detox program.
🌿 Fertility & Family Planning
This course will teach you how to support folks who want to conceive and folks who don't. Infertility issues are alarmingly common, but taking the time to build a holistic foundation before folks start trying - or at any point in the process - will make conception and pregnancy much easier. For folks who don't want to conceive, birth control choices are complicated and personal. Learn how to best support your clients as they decide what options are best for them, how to deal with the side-effects of hormonal birth control options, as well as how to succeed with non-hormonal methods of birth control.
🌿 Prenatal and Post-partum Support
Learn how to safely work with herbs in pregnancy and during lactation, how herbs can support complications in pregnancy and post-partum recovery, how to prevent post-partum depression (or to support it if it's already happening), and how to collaborate with your clients' birth practitioners.
🌿 Holistic Health for Elders
Because our elders are frequently "medically complex" and may be taking multiple pharmaceuticals, supporting their health issues can become complicated. Learn how to support vibrant longevity, how to deal with health issues in older populations, and how to build protocols to help our elders be as strong and resilient as possible. This course also includes strategies for supporting those who care for elders, including the adult children of elders, who often face special challenges as they balance caring for their families and their aging parents.
In order to give you the most freedom and flexibility, you can enroll in all of the Clinical Herbalist coursework either as a bundle with the buttons below, or you can take them individually whenever you feel ready.
You can decide when you're ready - and if you need to go back and grab a pre-requisite to help you with the foundations, you can do that any time! There's no risk in trying and then getting the pre-requisites if you need them.
You can find all of the information about the Live Clinical Sessions & Mentorship here - you will be invited to join once you have completed either the Community Herbalist program exam, or the Clinical Herbalist program exam if you are transferring in from another school.
You will receive certificates for each course if you take them individually, or for the entire program if you enroll in the whole bundle.
You will receive a separate certificate for your live clinical work and your mentorship time.
If you are planning to apply to be recognized as a Registered Herbalist in the AHG, the Clinical Herbalist coursework is counted as educational hours, and your clinical hours will be counted in the Live Clinical Sessions & Mentorship.
This bundle includes ALL of the Clinical Herbalist coursework.
There is no additional cost for weekly live Q&A sessions, daily answers to written questions, lifetime access, all future updates, and more - it is all included in this price!
12 monthly payments of $270
If you are enrolled in the Live Clinical Mentorship at the same time as the Clinical Coursework, there is a special payment plan for you. We will discuss the options during your exam review meeting.
In addition to the videos, we provide features to accommodate all the different ways people like to learn, so you can internalize the information easily!
Lifetime access - so you can review the content as many times as you like, forever!
Weekly live Q&A sessions with Katja and Ryn- to ask your questions directly, live and in person! (They're even archived, in case you miss one!)
Ask questions anytime - we're always just a click away: you can ask any questions in the integrated discussion forum, and we're committed to personally answering your questions, usually within 24 hours
Printable PDF materials - if you like to follow the videos along on paper, or keep them handy for a quick reference
Downloadable MP3 files - so you can review the content while you commute, workout, garden, ... anytime!
When you enroll in the Clinical Herbalist program, you get a 10% discount on your purchases at Mountain Rose Herbs for a whole year! You'll receive email with your access code as soon as you enroll.
It's better together :-)
Do you want to learn with a friend or three? We've got a discount for that!
If two people sign up for a course or program together, you each get a 10% discount. Three people get a 15% discount each, four people each get a 20% discount, and if you have five or more in your group, everyone gets a 25% discount. This works on all payment options!
Just send us email directly at firstname.lastname@example.org before you enroll so that i can create a custom coupon code for your study buddy group!
Teaching isn't just about conveying information - there's also an aspect of being someone's "cup of tea".
So we want you to take the first 14 days to really decide if you love it or not. If for any reason you feel like this program isn’t right for you - if we're just not your cup of tea - we’ll give you a full refund. You don't even need a reason - just please let us know within 14 days of purchase.
Two heads are better than one!
Katja & Ryn almost always teach together. They each have particular talents and areas of interest, and their perspectives on certain issues are quite different! Together, they convey a fuller picture of the realities of herbal theory & practice than either one could do alone.
Katja is an herbalist and teacher working to help people rebuild their relationships with their bodies and their own ability to heal. She’s been in clinical practice for nearly 20 years, but it all began with a desire to make her own “fancy tea” at home instead of paying high prices for imported blends at specialty stores. Through the years, that desire grew into a passion to improve her own health and ultimately, to help others to do the same.
Ryn has been a practicing herbalist since 2010. He came to herbalism by way of martial arts, where his first experiences with herbs were focused on getting back into the game and becoming more flexible, adaptable, and resilient. Passing that experience on to others is what keeps him motivated every day.
Together, Katja and Ryn teach everyone from children to elders, as well as pharmacy students from Massachusetts College of Pharmacy and Northeastern University School of Pharmacy, where they both serve as associate faculty. Ryn and Katja are also the creators of the weekly Holistic Herbalism Podcast. You can find their first book, Herbal Medicine for Beginners, on Amazon and in local book stores.
This is actually a complex question to answer - and the long answer gets into the oddities of professional regulation, educational standards, and related topics - but the short version goes like this:
Herbalists in the US are not certified or licensed by any governmental body, which means that neither we nor anyone else can make you a “certified herbalist” - just an herbalist with a certificate. Similarly, herbal schools in the US are not accredited according to any national standard, and terms like “master herbalist” or “certified herbalist” are used by different people to indicate very different courses of training and experience. Many schools do use that terminology, because it’s something that our culture sees as recognition, but these are not titles with a uniform meaning or any legal status.
Given all of the above, when choosing an herbalist to study or consult with, you have to keep your critical thinking hat on and assess each school, teacher, or practitioner on their own merits!
At our school, we look at mastery of herbalism as a lifelong, ongoing pursuit - not something earned after a single year of study. We teach skills and practices that will make you a competent, safe, and confident herbalist - now and in the future.
We are a Member School of the American Herbalists Guild, and all of our programs do complete with a certificate documenting your hours of study, which can be helpful if you choose to join the AHG as a professional member in the future. If you’re interested in recognition by the American Herbalists Guild, we can help! The following course progression meets the educational requirements to qualify as a professional member:
Live Clinical Mentorship
During clinical mentorship, you have the potential to meet the clinical requirements for professional membership as well. We’re happy to help guide you through that process!
Our program will get you there! Once you have completed the Family Herbalist, Community Herbalist, and Clinical Herbalist programs, you will have met and exceeded your educational requirements.
And with the Live Clinical Mentorship, you'll be abele to achieve all of the clinical hours required to apply to be recognized as a Registered Herbalist. This mentorship takes place live by video conference in small groups, so that you not only learn from your own case reviews, but from others as well. Plus, you'll be building a network of peers who you trust to support you as you transition into your new profession!
It’s absolutely true that you can’t deeply understand and the practice of herbalism just by reading, watching, or listening alone - you do need to get your hands dirty to learn this. However, you also can’t learn herbalism simply by being in the presence of a teacher. The real question is, do you get direct contact with the plants? It’s that contact, along with some guidance and structure, that makes the difference. And we’ll help you make that contact, even from a distance - we’ve got a system for it, and it works!
This is material we’ve developed over our combined years as practitioners and teachers - that’s 24 years for Katja and 12 for Ryn, and counting! - and we’ve thought long and hard about how to best present it at a distance while maintaining the authenticity of presence. What we offer here is the result of continual, ongoing refinement in methods of conveying that material to you, so you can really come into your own as an herbalist.
It's no problem! We include online clinical observation and practice time for all students - even those who are local to us - because these days, so many people want to do online consultations even if they are local. Consultations online allow people to meet with you even if they don't have child care, or if they can't take time off of work, etc. So we want everyone to be trained to work online no matter where you're located