Herbalist Certificate Training Program

Course Comparisons, Policies & Herbal Study FAQ

Interested in going deeper into your herbal studies? Thinking of turning your herbal passion into a career? Consider Maria's three-part herbalist certificate program...

Click here to register for classes!

Program Overview

Maria's Herbalist Certificate Program is comprised of three parts, which you can do all in one year (intense!) or spread it out over two years.

  1. Home Herbalist Series (HHS): Beginner/Introductory. Available live or online. 9 classes. Live classes run THURSDAY June-August, 6-9 pm with optional herb walks from 5:30-6 pm on select nights. (The original Tuesday-night series is FULL, but I've opened up a second class night to accommodate the overflow. All other series remain on Tuesday nights.)
  2. Beyond the Home Herbalist Series (BHHS): Beginner/Intermediate. Available live or online. 9 classes. Live classes run Tuesdays September - October, 6-9 pm with optional herb walks from 5:30-6 pm on select nights.
  3. Advanced Herbalist Intensive Training Program (HITP): Intermediate/Advanced. Available live only. 15 classes, running every other Tuesday May - November, 9:30 am - 4 pm.

Click here for a program overview of the 2018 live/classroom classes including tentative dates, costs, and how the topics lay out.

Also, for those of you joining me in my Allenstown classroom, please be aware that my friendly rescue mutt Reishi will be joining us - mainly sleeping or chewing on a toy at our feet. She's very sweet, almost never barks, and is low-shed, but she is not hypoallergenic. If you have any concerns about sharing the classroom with a dog (allergies, phobias, etc.), please don't hesitate to message me at office@wintergreenbotanicals.com.

The Home Herbalist Series (HHS)

Live Classes: THURSDAYS* June - August, 6-9 pm (also available online any time)
(The original Tuesday-night series is FULL, but I've opened up a second class night to accommodate the overflow. All other series remain on Tuesday nights.)
A 9-class, 30-hour study program that can be done online or in the classroom (weeknight classes). The HHS is your gateway to medicinal herbalism. Each class covers a body system and as well as a core remedy making technique, and each class builds on the next. While some students take series out of order, students new to herbal medicine will do best to start with this program. To get the Herbalist Certificate, you must also complete all homework for this series, which takes approximately 20-30 additional hours of personal time. Click here to learn more and register. The live 2018 series is currently full, but you can get on the waitlist or take the online version. Topics include...

Class 1: Introduction to Herbalism & Herbal Nutrition | The Art of Tea
Class 2: Stress & Energy: Adaptogens for Health | Tinctures
Class 3: Relaxation & Mood: Herbs for the Nervous System | Flower Essences
Class 4: Digestive Wellness: Herbs for the Upper & Lower GI | Herbal Oils
Class 5: Detoxification: Herbs for the Liver, Colon & Urinary Tract | Capsules
Class 6: Herbs to Support Blood Sugar Balance | Skin Salves
Class 7: Heart Health: Hypertension & Cholesterol | Herb Honey & Vinegar
Class 8: Herbs for Immunity, Allergies, Cold & Flu | Elderberry Syrup
Class 9: Herbs for Women & Men | Lip Balm, Cream, Bodycare
Note: Online and live class content is the same; however, online student will need to buy materials to make their own remedies at home, and live classes include periodic optional herb walks before class. Live students will have access to online materials and may begin working on course material before classes begin. Registration is nonrefundable.
Cost for Home Herbalist Series
Each: Online for $160 (no early bird or bundle rates)
Live classes for $350 CURRENTLY FULL

The Beyond the Home Herbalist Series (BHHS)

Live Classes: Tuesdays June - August, 6-9 pm (also available online any time)

This 9-class, 30-hour study program builds on the Home Herbalist Series with new body systems, topics, and remedies (weeknight classes for those who take it live). Likewise, to get the Herbalist Certificate, you must complete all homework. Click here to learn more and register. Topics include...

Class 1: Backyard Medicine | Tea Blending
Class 2: Herbal Safety | Herb-Infused Broths
Class 3: Longevity & Vitality | Cordials, Elixirs & Oxymels
Class 4: Brain-Boosting Herbs | Brainiac Bonbons
Class 5: Strong Bones | Nourishing Infusions & Seaweed Snacks
Class 6: Managing Chronic Pain | Gin Raisins or Topical Pain Oil
Class 7: Strong Lungs | Herbal Cough Syrup
Class 8: Healthy Skin with Herbs | Flower Water & Herbal Exfoliant
Class 9: Herbal Allies for Weight Loss | Herbal Chocolate Truffles!
Note: Online and live class content is the same; however, online student will need to buy materials to make their own remedies at home, and live classes include periodic optional herb walks before class. Live students will have access to online materials and may begin working on course material before classes begin. Registration is nonrefundable.
Cost for Beyond the Home Herbalist Series
Each: Online for $160 (no early bird or bundle rates)
Live classes for $350

Advanced Herbalist Intensive Training Program (HITP)

Live Classes: Every other Tuesday, 9:30 am - 4 pm, May - November (not available online)

This 15-class, 90-hour intensive series is only available as a live class in Maria's Allenstown, New Hampshire classroom on weekDAYS, every other week from May through mid-November. The homework for this class (also required to be completed to get the Herbalist Certificate) is less formulaic and more experiential - botany exercises, researching herbs, making various remedies at home, case studies, project presentations, etc. Expect the homework to take 50-90 hours outside of classroom time. Although students will find it easier to complete the Home Herbalist and Beyond series before jumping into the Advanced series, the topics are arranged in such a way that determined students could do all three series simultaneously (even though the advanced series actually begins before the weeknight classes) to complete the Herbalist Certificate Program in 7 months. Click here to learn more and register. Topics include...

Topics Covered, Taught by Maria:
Gardening & Wildcrafting Herbs
Botany, Identification and Plant Families, Field Work
Organoleptics, Phytochemistry, Quality Assessment, and Intro to GMPs
Constitutional Energetics and Taste of Herbs
Advanced Apothecary Techniques including Herbal Formulation, Percolation, and Flower Essences
Clinical Skills, Case Studies, Setting Up an Herbal Practice
Advanced Clinical Topics: Autoimmune, Advanced Gut Repair, Thyroid, Endocrine
Special Guest Teachers and Topics:
Saving and Planting Herbs Seeds with Val White
Aromatherapy & Plant Spirit Medicine with Jessica LaBrie
Tongue, Nail, and Facial Assessment with Sara Woods Kender
Medicinal Mushrooms with Nathan Searles
Lyme Disease with Debbie Mercier
Cancer Support & Prevention with Christine Tolf
Note: This course is only available live (not online).
Students will have access to online materials and may begin working on course material before classes begin. Registration is nonrefundable.
Advanced (HITP) & Certificate Program Costs
Advanced (HITP): $1375 early bird until Jan 31 (then $1500)
Series Returner Discount: If you've already completed BOTH LIVE HHS and BHHS in a previous year, use the discount code SERIES RETURNER to get $100 off HITP registration.
*Taking all three series simultaneously in one year is do-able (the course layout among the three is harmonious even though the advanced series starts first) but is only recommended for driven, ambitious students and/or those who already have some background in herbalism.

Bonus Memberships!

I really want you to delve into your herbal studies! New for 2018, all Home Herbalist Series and Beyond the Home Herbalist Series will receive a United Plant Savers membership, and all Advanced students will get an American Herbalists Guild membership. These memberships are included in your registration fee - one per person, nontransferable. Online students will not have these memberships included (the online prices are already really low!), but they will have the opportunity once or twice in the year to purchase discounted memberships.

Course, Cancellation & Missed Class Policies

All course registrations are nonrefundable. With your registration, you will have access to online materials including PDFs of class notes, homework assignments, audio of previously recorded classes, and (for the Home Herbalist and Beyond series only) links to watch remedy making videos. If you miss a class, you will not get a refund, and work-study students are expected to complete their work hours even if they miss a class. You can access course materials online. If appropriate, Maria will save remedies from in-class activities or you will have $5 credit to use in the classroom store on books, gadgets, etc. Students are expected to attend at least 80% of classes in order to receive a certificate of completion. (For students who  miss slightly more classes than that, completion of homework for all missed classes may suffice. Discuss with Maria if this applies to you.) If you feel that this policy is unfair for your personal situation - or if you feel genuinely unhappy with the course material - please contact Maria to discuss. Make-up classes are usually not available, but you can refer to online materials for missed content.


What Does this Certificate Mean?

Budding herbalists often want to know: How do I become a professional herbalist? How do I get certified? What can I actually do with my certificate. The truth is, the path to being an herbalist is not clear or regulated, and there is no standard or legal recognition for a "certificate." Let me explain...

Wait... A Certificate Means Nothing?

There’s no set way to become an herbalist in the United States since there are no regulations, no licensure, no nationally recognized certification (though many programs, including mine, grant a certificate of completion and possibly a title that has no legal standing). Legally, any certificate you get - including mine - means nothing. However, it does indicate that you completed the program. (Read on for what kinds of skills I expect you'll attain from my certificate program and how this compares with other herbalist training programs.) Although it can be frustrating to students to now have clear regulatory guides or markers for "completion" of your herbal training, regulation is highly controversial in the herbal medicine world. Herbalism as a practice is rich and diverse, and many fear that regulating it will make the practice less nuanced, useful, and accessible. Note that there are a few types of regulated/licensed practitioners that incorporate herbalism into a broader clinical practice: licensed acupuncturists (some programs are more herbal than others - the focus will be on Chinese herbs), naturopathic doctors ("natural doctors," many but not all states license - I recommend an accredited school, not correspondence), and integrative medicine doctors. Note that even though these fields are regulated and licensed, the herbal training may actually be less rigorous and comprehensive than what you'd get going to unregulated herbalist route. 

How Do I Know When I Can Practice to Be an Herbalist?

You decide when you’re ready and stick within your legal and personal capabilities. That makes it challenge to say “what can you do when you do x program” because education is usually an ongoing process and there are no formal guidelines. I personally used and recommend the American Herbalists Guild guidelines your herbal education. This includes 400 hours of education in a variety of areas as well as 400 clinical hours, which can be completed via formal course work and/or self study. 

How Does the Wintergreen Botanicals Herbalist Certificate Program Compare?
What Can I Do With My Certificate?

My programs are designed to be dense with information and affordable, yet not an enormous time commitment. Among the three courses that comprise the program, we will touch on all the categories the AHG recommends, but not for the full amount of hours recommended. My program includes 150 in-class hours with an additional 90-150 hours of out-of-class homework, so it definitely falls short of 400 education + 400 clinical hours recommended by the AHG. That said, my program is comparable to and often surpasses the content in most of the "one weekend a month" herbal apprentice-style programs.

You will complete the series with a solid skill set for practicing as an herbalist, be it seeing clients (the primary focus of the advanced series) or otherwise acting as an herbal entrepreneur. You will have a good understanding of anatomy, physiology, pathology, botany and plant identification, medicine making, ethics, clinical skills, materia medica (the plants!), herbal energetics, and more. My teaching style tends to be heavy on lecture and critical thinking, as well as experience through hands-on remedy making and (in live classes) experiencing the herbs via demo jars of dried herbs, tinctures, and sometimes the live plants. You will feel like you're back in school at a college level course (albeit a very fun topic)! I come from a western herbal perspective with a focus on herbs that are common in commerce and/or our backyards. My program tends to be very down-to-earth and focused on a mix of traditional and folk herbalism modern science and evidence-based herbalism, and whole foods tradition within a western herbal context. Although we will touch lightly on plant spirit medicine when we learn about flower essences and via guest speakers, it's really not the focus of the program. Likewise, while you will learn to use some Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurvedic herbs, we will not be delving into these topics as the course is focused on western herbalism. (If you want to learn more about plant spirit medicine, TCM, or Ayurveda, you're better off studying somewhere else or adding that herbal education to that which you'll get from me.) While we will cover business and clinical skills, we can't cover them adequately in 150 hours; you're encouraged to further your skills after the program via self study, other herbal programs, mentorship, etc. In future years, I may add a forth module to this program that incorporates mentorship, more clinical, and business/marketing skills.

My program is nowhere near as comprehensive as multi-year herbal study programs that incorporate thousands of in-class study hours, teaching clinics, etc. These kinds of programs are relatively new, and we're blessed to have more of them popping up across the country. In contrast, they are a huge financial and time commitment compared to my program, but they offer an excellent education opportunity for those interested and able to pursue them. My program is also not accredited - which really isn't necessary to practice as an herbalist - though there are a few like Bastyr and MUIH if you want to go that route.

If you're thinking of signing up for my program and have never attended a class with me before, you can find videos of me teaching on YouTube, take the first online class in the Home Herbalist Series for $20, or catch me at a community class before signing up for a full program. 

Other Herbal Education Programs

Mine is certainly not the only education program out there! One of the best in my opinion is the multi-year program offered by the Vermont Center for Integrative Herbalism. Other live, rigorous programs include the Colorado School of Herbal Studies and Arborvitae (NYC), though certainly there are others. Here in NH, we have programs that are not quite as rigorous but also good. Misty Meadows in Lee is very popular and also has a more significant hands-on/experiential approach as well as a strong focus on plant spirit medicine. Greenwood Herbals in Limerick, Maine is also very good. Online programs include Herbal Academy and Maryland University of Integrative Health. For a distance program that includes Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda, the East West School has an excellent reputation. For more herb schools, visit the American Herbalists Guild  (this is not a complete list).

Happy Herbal Adventures!