I absolutely love studying herbs! Every aspect from their healing properties, to their skincare applications, all the way to how they enhance my food dishes, I’m absolutely fascinated with. Even though I’ve been studying herbalism for a while now, I’m only getting started. It’s truly a life long passion and one that only gets more intricate and beautiful as time goes on. So where do you go to begin this magical journey into the world of plants?
A Spiritual Calling
It all started a couple of years ago when I was meeting with a spiritual life coach who asked me a very simple question, “What do you believe your line of work was in your past life?”. I took a while to ponder that question and then responded, “I was an herbalist”. At that time, before My Tiny Laguna Kitchen, I was interested in the study of herbalism, but never really dove into the subject or even had any ties to the subject. However, I always felt that I had an intuitive connection with plants. Even as a child while gardening with my Grandma, I felt very connected to the Earth and plants, but never in a healing way.
Fast forward a few years, and I was blessed to go on a spiritual yoga retreat to the mountains of Peru. While there, I met a cocoa leaf reader who was very direct about what she saw and told me “You’re a healer” and you need to follow this path in order to find the happiness I was searching for in my work. In hindsight, that was a very pivotal moment in my life. At the time, I never really saw myself as a true healer even though I have always immersed myself in every realm of the healing arts that I could get my hands on. As I began tying the statement together, with my past experience and intuition, I felt this calling to began my training to be an herbalist. To start diving into the healing properties of the plants that I felt an intuitive connection with. It was almost like she gave me permission to explore new and fascinating studies that align with my spiritual calling.
How I Got Started
My first adventures in herbalism came from finding ways to curb stress and work with hormone-balancing. I found that working with even the smallest pieces of herbal ingredients made a huge difference. I’d work with adaptogens in lattes, or throw some rosemary/thyme in a dish to enhance the flavor. These were just little experiences that I felt really got me intrigued and motivated to learn more.
Next thing I know, I began buying books and reading as much as I could on the subject. I also began taking classes (both online and in person) which stoked the flame that will be with me for ever. So, what were these classes and books? That’s up next!
Online Herbalism Schools
If you want to start learning Herbalism, there’s a ton of great resources online, but hands down my favorites are Herbal Academy and Gather & Root Online Foraging Course. Yes, I’m an affiliate for both of them, but that is because I believe in them whole-heartedly and they have made a huge difference in my herbalism journey & my life! As both online courses have truly inspired me and lit the fire for my herbalism studies.
My personal review of Herbal Academy: The classes offered at Herbal Academy are absolutely amazing! They literally have something for every facet of herbal studies. They offer everything from skincare, making your own tea, mushrooms, and adaptogens, to classes that are an overview of herbal studies. Their courses are in-depth, taught by highly educated individuals, and able to be completed online. Also coming from a background in Graphic Design, I am very impressed with the Herbal Academy’s overall online user-experience, they have a beautiful, and easy to follow structure, with videos, recipes & interactive learning.
The classes that I have enjoyed studying the most are:
By offering their classes online, I am able to take their classes anywhere and at any time which is extremely convenient! The classes come with videos so you can see how to work with herbs along with tips and techniques. You can even order books along with the courses that allow you to study at your own pace.
Also, this is being written on April 21st and both of the Introductory & Intermediate Herbalism Course is 50% off! This will only last until April 26th, 2020. So if you have been wanting to empower yourself & your family while learning herbalism. I highly recommend taking advantage of this offering! Even if you are reading this course after the stated date & time. The next course I am looking to study at the Herbal Academy is The Mushroom Course! Where you learn how to forage, identify & cultivate your own mushrooms!
Gather + Root Online Foraging Course
If you are interested in foraging your own herbs, I’d HIGHLY recommend this course! Oh, AND enrollment is open now (early spring), so go here and sign up right away! The Gather + Root course is taught by Colleen from Grow Forage Cook Ferment, who has years of knowledge and expertise in foraging, homesteading, and using herbs in everyday life.
Learning about foraging is super exciting and really opens your mind to the beauty of nature around you at all times. Before long, you will be identifying edible and medicinal plants whenever you go hiking or out in nature. It’s highly recommended to take her class to not only learn, but to be safely educated about these herbs before you try it yourself. With this course, you will learn all of the tips and tricks! She is even offering a Dead Purple Nettle Freebie sheet to those who want to get a feel for the course before signing up which you can download here.
I’ve also taken a few in-person classes which I highly recommend. While I love learning online and at my own pace, sometimes being in a group of herbalists that are passionate about the subject is extremely beneficial. Not only do you get hands-on experience, but you can also ask questions right away! I’ve taken classes in both Southern California and in the Midwest.
If you are in Southern California, specifically the San Diego area, I’d recommend looking out for classes by Sage Country Herbs. I took a culinary-focused class and one called “Eat Your Weeds” which showed the different ways you can use “weeds” to make delicious dishes. Both classes were absolutely amazing (they are also offered online) and I can not recommend them enough. The classes are taught by Shana Lipner and are more botany focused. She partners with beautiful local farms in the San Diego area where you can get a lot of hands-on experience.
Herbalism Courses in the Midwest
If you are located in the Midwest, I’d highly recommend looking out for classes by Moonwise Herbs. The classes are taught by Linda Conroy and are more focused on homesteading and wild food/foraging. She offers a variety of classes throughout the year and is extremely knowledgeable about how to forage and use herbs. I’ve gone to the Mycelium Mysteries Mushroom retreat and learned about foraging wild mushrooms and how to identify and use the healing properties of these magical entities. It was so magical to be in the community while learning & exploring!
What I’m Looking Forward to
There is so much more for me to study, and honestly, I’m so excited! Besides taking more classes online and in-person with the amazing teachers that I’ve met. The next place I’d like to study is an in-person course either in San Diego or Mailbu, CA I had a friend attend a botany course with Sage Country Herbs and she was just blown away. It’s a much longer commitment, but you really get to know the energy and healing properties of the plants and how to use them to their fullest potential.
Besides studying, I’m really looking forward to coming up with more tinctures, elixirs, skincare and other ways to incorporate herbalism into recipes to share with all of you. I’m truly passionate about learning as much as I can and finding ways to share these creations with you all.
If you have any recommendations for herbal classes, please reach out to me on Instagram (@mytinylagunakitchen) or post in the comment section below! I really hope to hear some of your stories on how you became passionate about studying herbs and how that’s changed your life!