Herbalist Training FAQs

Considerations when choosing an herb school

For those of you who are undecided as to which course of study to choose in herbal medicine, we offer these insights for your evaluation process.

  • First of all, review the credentials of the course author(s). For instance, If you want to practice herbology, do they have sufficient clinical experience and/or are licensed to practice in any professional fields? Or if you want to manufacture products, do the formulator(s) have the experience and background in those areas?
  • How old is the school? How long has it been operation? How many students does the school have?
  • Talk with student graduates of that school (ask the school for contact information). Are those students practicing herbalism in any of its many fields of application?
  • What credentials are offered by the school upon completion of its program of study? Many schools create attractive titles, such as Master Herbalist, but these are meaningless and carry no weight legally or otherwise in the herbal field. Other schools offer degrees, such as Masters or Doctorate, but the institution is not accredited for these.
  • Consider the guiding philosophy of the school. Does it match your own philosophy and needs?
Rosalee de la Foret, EWCH

What is unique about the East West Herb Courses?

The East West School of Herbology is the second oldest distance learning herb school in the U.S. In operation since 1980, we have thousands of students and graduates from around the world and have graduated the largest number of leaders and professionals in the herbal industry. We offer certificate courses for all levels of interest and training, plus two western science courses. The East West Herb School trains home and community herbalistsherbal professionals and clinical herbal practitioners.

We are the only school to teach what Michael Tierra has called, Planetary Herbalism, a system rooted in the three major herbal systems of the world: Western herbalism, traditional Chinese medicine (aka-TCM) and traditional Ayurvedic medicine (TAM). However, we focus primarily on Chinese medicine for its depth in the areas of clinical assessment and its “energetic” system of classifying herbs. Learning this system enables you to use herbs effectively no matter where you live. We present a materia medica of over 600 plants along with advanced assessment skills. In addition, the East West School of Herbology provides annual on-site training with four levels of advancing expertise plus continuing education classes for graduates.

How Do I Choose the Right Herb Course for Me?

 There are several considerations in choosing an herb course:

  • You know nothing about herbs and just want to learn the basics first? Home Herbalist Course
  • You definitely want to an in-depth study of herbs and herbal medicine: Professional Herbalist Course
  • You know you want to use herbs professionally in the natural health industry or as a practitioner: Professional or Clinical Herbalist Courses

“Of the many herbal training programs I have seen, I consider the East West Herb Course to be one of the best introductions to the world of clinical herbal medicine currently available. It provides a detailed introduction to the broad world of Western and traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic herbalism, unlike most schools which only focus on one discipline. It is also one of the most innovative programs that combines distance learning with in-person study of multiple herbalists, and for those who desire it, a clinical mentorship program. I would recommend it to any serious herbal student who seeks a distance learning model.”

Roy Upton, AHG
President of the American Herbal Pharmacopoeia
Shoshanna Katzman, East West School of Herbology graduate and practicing herbalist

What is the average length of time required to complete the courses?

The courses are completed at your own pace in your own home. However, as a guideline, most students take around 6 months to complete the Home Herbalist Course,  6-12 months to complete the Home Herbalist Course, 2 years to complete the Professional Herbalist Course and 3 or more years for the East West Clinical Herbalist Program. Students have up to 5 years to complete the 36 Lesson Professional Herbalist Course. Students enrolled in the Professional Course who have not completed all 36 Lessons within 5 years, but would still like to be an actively enrolled student, are charged a fee of $299 for an additional 2 years, beyond the first 5 years to complete the course.

Sheila Devitt (with Lesley Tierra), East West School of Herbology graduate and professional herbalist

Are there any additional materials I must purchase, or extra costs to meet, when I take any of the courses?

No other materials are required in addition to what is included with the courses. However, it is recommended that students read herb books and related subjects as appropriate. We also offer a selection of useful books, which may be purchased if desired.

Some of the lessons in the Home and Professional Courses have herbal projects to complete. Students choose the herbs for the hands-on projects and thus the herbs used are at the discretion of the individual. Cost will depend upon how elaborate or simple you choose to approach the projects, though usually this is a minimal amount.

week long seminar is offered annually to which the student may travel and receive first hand instruction. Attendance is an additional cost and dedicated students are encouraged to attend the seminars. Those completing the East West Clinical Herbalist Degree Program must attend the Foundation, Intermediate and Advanced East West Seminar tracks. Graduate continuing education classes are offered at the seminars, too. We also recommend that students make an effort to attend any of the various herbal symposiums that take place around the country throughout the year.

Those in the East West Clinical Herbalist Degree Program must complete additional studies as outlined by that program, each at the student’s own costs.

East West Clinical Herbalist graduate Craig Williams, EWCH

Will I be able to receive personal responses to my questions and evaluation of my progress?

Those taking the Professional Herbalist Course and the East West Clinical Herbalist Program receive personal responses and evaluations to their lesson testsessays and projects. All students in any course may also log on to our website to receive answers to their questions and study material through dialogue with other students and the East West faculty in the private student classroom.

Pamela Shaw, East West School of Herbology graduate and practicing herbalist

Will a student graduating from the Professional Herbalist Course be able to conduct a professional practice as an herbal consultant?

The curriculum vitae of the East West Professional Herbalist Course has positive recognition from some of the country’s most distinguished herbalists, many of whom are directors of established schools and holistic institutions themselves. The school has enrolled thousands of students from 36 countries on every continent. We have on file letters of appreciation and praise from our graduates who are at present practicing herbology professionally. Some are also medical doctorschiropractorsmassage practitioners, hypnotherapists, or acupuncturists to name a few. Many have obtained professional membership status in the American Herbalists Guild.

East West Clinical Herbalist graduate and practicing herbalist Holly Hutton