Herbalism has a rich, beautiful history and is once again finding a place in many modern homes. The herbalism revival that began in the 1970s has become a renaissance of renewed interest in the healing arts of the past. Now is a vibrant, exciting time to be an herbalist!
The herbal community is growing by leaps and bounds. We are seeing this very clearly here at the Herbal Academy, where an astonishing number of new students are joining us each and every day! More and more people are interested in becoming home and family herbalists and more people than ever are reaching out with questions about how to use herbs to support their health. Each year, new herbal gatherings join the annual tradition of bringing eager students and wise teachers together from far and wide to learn and connect.
So much about this herbal revival is shared collectively, and yet each person is on his or her own path. Among these passionate individuals are some who will be inspired to become the next teachers, healers, and herbal entrepreneurs. These are the herbal visionaries of our time!
The potential and possibility that these individuals can see wherever they look is what sets them apart. They go on to become leaders, healers, business owners, writers, and even farmers – they have found their calling and follow an internal compass that directs them to work with complete dedication to educate themselves about the science and art of herbalism.
Do you long to be a part of this exciting herbal resurgence? Are you one of these visionaries? You may already be an herbalist of sorts but not be aware of it!
An herbalist, at the heart of the matter, is simply someone who studies and uses herbs. How an herbalist uses or studies herbs can take many different paths, from the very informal use of herbs in daily life all the way to in-depth study and training. Perhaps you tend a few herbs in pots to make teas for your health or enjoyment even though you live in the city. Maybe you are a grandmother or grandfather who teaches your grandchildren how to harvest dandelion and honeysuckle.
If your goal is to be one of the visionaries of the herbal resurgence – to teach, to help others, to create a vibrant future for herbalism – you may find that a more formal path with an herb school or an apprenticeship may help you progress more rapidly and confidently toward your goals. But it’s also important to remember that at this time there is no governing body that declares when someone is “officially” an herbalist (read more about herbalist certification here)!
It’s up to you to determine when you feel ready, and to look to other herbalist role models to judge when you have learned enough to feel comfortable with transitioning from study to practice.
Becoming an herbalist is a noble, honorable, and grace-filled vocation. You will be able to share the journey with other enthusiastic students and wise, creative instructors. If we let it, the bountiful and beautiful tradition of herbalism can teach us much more than using plants as allies and healers. Learning about plants, our bodies, and natural systems can teach us the power of collaboration and cooperation, appreciation and gratitude, and respect and wonder. Studying the plants that surround us can help us listen more deeply and speak more wisely.
Bringing vision into reality can be a long and difficult process, but it becomes easier when there is a framework of reference, a base of collective knowledge, and experiences from which to draw. With the herbalism revival taking place now, herbalists benefit from more opportunities and more community! Here at the Academy, we’re seeing more and more students desire to take their education to the next level to prepare for a career in herbalism – may that be clinical work or more entrepreneurial, such as creating an herbal product line.
The Herbal Academy has worked diligently to bring together many current visionaries and professionals of the herbal community to create online courses that are relevant for the modern herbalism revival. By sharing perspectives, wisdom, and knowledge, these herbalists have collaborated as part of the Herbal Academy to create educational opportunities unlike any others in their diversity, depth, and ability to prepare students for a professional career in herbalism.
Courses at the Herbal Academy can be taken individually or as part of an Herbalist Path that helps guide you toward your educational and career goals as an herbalist. The Introductory Herbal Course is a popular way for new students to get their feet wet and learn how to use herbs safely and effectively at home. Filled with recipes and hands-on learning, the Introductory Herbal Course is a flexible and affordable way to begin your herbal journey and build community with student herbalists like yourself.
The Entrepreneur Herbalist Path helps prepare herbal visionaries to create their own vibrant herbal businesses by learning from the experiences of other successful herbal entrepreneurs.
The Clinical Herbalist Path takes students from a beginner level all the way through the advanced concepts of herbal theory and critical thinking that it takes to become a successful herbalist practitioner.
Wherever your herbal journey takes you, may your path be one of peace, joy, and vibrant community.
Photos provided and copyrighted by Herbal Academy.
Marlene Adelmann is the Founder and Director of the Herbal Academy, the home of the Online Introductory Herbal Course and the Online Intermediate Herbal Course, and meeting place for Boston-area herbalists. Through the school and online herbal classes, Marlene has brought the wild and wonderful world of plant medicine to over 1,000 students across the globe. Marlene spent several years studying herbs and learning under some of the most revered modern herbalists and continues to practice plant medicine through correspondence courses and teaching others. Read all of her MOTHER EARTH NEWS posts here.
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