East West Clinical Herbalist Mentorship



Dr. Thomas Avery Garran, PhD

Herbal medicine is the people’s medicine and the East West School of Herbology has been serving the people that use herbal medicine since 1980! It gives me great pleasure to carry on the tradition that I was honored to be a part of as one of Michael Tierra’s primary students throughout the early and mid-1990s. For me, working in the clinic with Dr. Tierra was the opportunity of a lifetime and one that changed me forever, both as a practitioner and as a person in service to others.

As the director of the East School of School Herbology, I am thrilled to leverage my more than 30 years of experience in herbal and Chinese medicine to carry on this tradition and help to mold herbal practitioners of the future. While Michael and Lesley have retired, they chose me to continue with the long-established excellence the school has a reputation of exceeding, and delivering a service that will allow students to follow their dreams of becoming a certified clinical herbalist.

Thomas Avery Garran; herbal consultation
Michael Tierra; Lesley Tierra

Original Introduction

Dr. Michael Tierra

Because so many of our graduates become effective, valuable, and successful herbalists, we now offer a clinical herbalist program. The East West School of Herbology East West Clinical Herbalist (EWCH) Course is specific for those desiring to pursue a career as a clinical herbalist. It acknowledges the expertise and experience of our East West clinical herbalists and carries the endorsement of Thomas Avery Garran. This program takes three or more years to complete and offers special benefits and privileges. Prospective EWCH candidates enroll in the Professional Herbalist Course first, and any time after may state their intentions for the EWCH program.


This special certification acknowledges the expertise and experience of our East West clinical herbalists and offers special benefits and privileges.

Admission Eligibility

  • Enroll in the Professional Herbalist Course
  • Complete the Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced tracks of the East West Seminar (Foundation and Intermediate seminars may be completed while working on the Professional Course, Advanced seminar is done after completion of the Professional Course). One seminar is completed per year and seminars are offered once a year in the Spring.
  • Completion of all Professional Herb Course lesson tests, projects, essays, and final exam
  • Apply for admission


  • Complete 400 minimum clinical hours (includes supervised and mentoring hours)
  • Complete Anatomy and Physiology training (from an approved school)
  • Complete Pathology and Disease training (from an approved school)
  • Highly recommended, but optional:
  • Body therapy education (optional)
  • Attend 18 chats per year on the student classroom for three years (a total of 54 chats)


The 400 clinical hours are supervised hours based on your own clients and cases under approved East West School EWCH mentors. This requirement is based on a MINIMUM of 80 cases totaling 400 hours and it may take more than 400 hours to meet our approval. While there are no hour requirements for mentoring, the completion of this condition is based upon demonstration of expertise as determined by the approved teachers, mentors and directors of the East West School of Herbology. Mentoring hours can commence after completion of the 36 Lesson Professional Course and attendance at the foundation and intermediate seminars. Many of our EWCH candidates satisfy the clinical hour requirement by submitting case studies to their mentor via email, followed by scheduled sessions via Zoom and/or telephone.


We strongly encourage our students to attend body therapy seminars or earn a certificate of completion from an approved program of study in shiatsu, tuina, Swedish, or some other form of massage, acupressure, chiropractic, acupuncture, physical therapy, or other physical body work program. Body therapy offers many invaluable tools to the herbalist.


As an EWCH you receive:

  • Free advertising and promotion of your clinical practice on our website*
  • Free referral to your clinical practice
  • Lifetime access to our Learning Center for on-going support with other East West practitioners
  • Lifetime access to the Graduate Learning Center
  • Endorsement by Thomas Avery Garran

    *Advertising and promotion of your clinical practice: On our website we will post a photo of you, your clinic and detailed descriptions of your biography, practice, and services offered. This provides free advertising for your clinic as well as a referral service for clients. We reserve the right to remove this offering for any reason we deem applicable.

Those interested in the East West Clinical Herbalist (EWCH) Course, please CONTACT US. You may also enroll in the Professional Herbalist Course now and state your intentions for the EWCH program at a later date. Enrollment in the Professional Herbalist Course is the first step in the EWCH program.



  1. Students must first complete the 36-lesson East West Professional Herbalist Course before they apply to the Mentoring Program.
  2. Mentoring may only be undertaken with an approved mentor listed with the East West School of Herbology. This is because these mentors know our course program and teachings, which span Western, Chinese, and Ayurvedic herbalism. Further hours obtained through study with other teachers count toward an AHG application but not with the EWCH program.
  3. Before engaging in the mentoring process, the student must first submit their mentor choice to the school for approval before the Mentoring program can begin. Mentoring hours accrue only after the mentoring program begins (thus, no hours are counted for casework completed before the mentoring starts). Mentoring hours can commence after completion of the 36 Lesson Professional Course and two of the three required seminars have been completed
  4. It is highly recommended that students only have one mentor. However, if the student chooses to have more than one mentor, all involved mentors must agree and one must be the primary overseeing mentor. The overseeing mentor is the direct liaison between the student and the school according to all mentor responsibilities.
  5. Mentoring may be accomplished in person, or through long distance methods such as email, phone and/or Zoom.
  6. Before a mentoring session, the student writes out and sends their cases to their mentor.
  7. A mentoring session includes the student’s time spent in the following ways:
  • intake sessions with their own clients
  • working on their clients’ cases
  • presenting these cases to the mentor and follow-up sessions with their clients

However, each case may only count as 5 hours each (see point #17).

  1. The student’s cases must include:
    • intake information (including but not limited to primary and secondary complaints, history, signs, symptoms, tongue, and pulse)
    • TCM and/or Ayurvedic health diagnoses and Western assessment, treatment principle/protocol
    • Chinese, Western, and/or Ayurvedic herbal, dietary, and lifestyle suggestions
    • Adjunct therapies given/suggested, as appropriate for each case
  2. In general, each mentoring session lasts from 1 to 1 1/2 hours, although these may be shorter or longer as pre-arranged with the mentor.
  3. The fee paid for mentoring sessions is arranged with, and paid directly to, the mentor. This fee includes the mentor’s time for giving direction, guidance and teaching plus any brief reports, emails, and time spent considering the student’s cases presented during those sessions. All financial transactions are strictly between the mentor and student; the East West School of Herbology assumes no responsibility.
  4. Students should present several cases to the mentor at each mentoring session.
  5. Ideally students have contact with their mentors on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.
  6. If students lack clients, the mentor may send cases for the student to work on, limited to 20 cases maximum. These mentor-provided cases count for 2.5 hours each (half credit).
  7. The mentoring program requires completion of a MINIMUM of 400 client hours.
  8. Students see and treat a minimum of 80 new patients (thus, the 400 hour requirement).
  9. The mentoring hours are determined by the student’s time spent in the following ways
    • intake sessions with their own clients
    • working on their clients’ cases
    • presenting these cases to the mentor
    • and possibly follow-up sessions with their clients

(The 400 hours do not include time spent with their mentor in the mentor’s clinical practice.)

  1. Each client case counts as 5 hours MAX, which includes
    • the initial client intake
    • working on the case
    • presenting the case to the mentor
    • one client follow-up session
    • further follow-ups, up to two more, count as 1 hour each
  2. Both the student and the mentor should agree on and tally their total hours at the end of each mentoring session.
  3. The 400-hour requirement is the minimum amount of time a student completes before undergoing review by the mentor. If the mentor determines the student has achieved adequate proficiency in clinical practice at this time, then they vouch for the student’s ability to earn the EWCH degree and notify the school as such.
  4. The East West Clinical Herbalist mentorship program takes as long as is necessary to receive proficiency as approved by the student’s mentor.
  5. If the mentor determines the student needs further experience before approval can be given, then the mentorship program may take longer than the 400-hour minimum requirement. The mentor advises the student as to what areas need further experience and study to achieve an adequate level of safety and proficiency and sets another 25-hour mentorship period. After the completion of this, another assessment of the student’s proficiency is made. This continues until the mentor approves the student for completion of the mentorship program.
  6. Once the mentor approves the student for completion of the mentorship program, the mentor and student select three cases to submit for final review by Thomas Avery Garran. These are submitted to the East West School of Herbology with a $150 fee.
  7. Once Thomas approves the three submitted cases, the student graduates from the mentoring program.
  8. Once all the requirements of the East West Clinical Herbalist (EWCH) degree program are complete, including approval by Thomas Avery Garran, the student receives the East West Clinical Herbalist certificate from the East West School of Herbology. They may now apply to, and request a letter of recommendation for, the AHG for professional membership.
  9. The East West School of Herbology reserves the right to give final approval for any student to be admitted to the East West Clinical Herbalist certificate, regardless of whether they have completed the mentoring program and/or other East West Clinical Herbalist certificate requirements.

The 400 (or more) completed mentoring hours may be included in the required clinic hours for the AHG application. Further mentoring hours obtained by studying with other teachers may also be included in the AHG application.