So you want to go to a herb school? There's lots. Which are the good ones? Which will give you value for your money and which will hand you fancy gold-plated diplomas instead of the knowledge you went there for? Which are the ones where you'll have to arrive with a chastity belt firmly locked in order to avoid the teachers' amorous advances? Where will you learn all about goats and rather less about herbs?
The best way to find out juicy bits like that is to attend a herbal conference or two, and gossip. I can recommend the Southwest conference for that myself, as I've been to that one, but I expect others will be equally enlightening.
Note, the herb school I attended gave excellent value for the money; the diploma is factual and not that fancy; I didn't learn squat about goats; and I didn't have to fend off any of the teachers, either. All this before I attended even one conference ... lucky me, eh?
There is no really comprehensive up-to-date list of herbal schools anywhere. This list will, well, list some schools; there are other lists elsewhere.
- The Natural Healers site lists a few (American) herb schools - sort them by specialty and/or locatio.
- The American Herbalists Guild has put parts of their (US) Herbal Education Directory online.
- The American Herb Association also has compiled a list of (US) schools.
- Herbnet boasts a list of schools.
Whichever school you choose, do read the accreditation notes on this page, especially if you're going for an acknowledged degree (ND).
These schools give you -real- ND degrees, with the possibility to get a ND license in one of the licensing states. There are also fake ND schools - read about those here: 7.6, Accreditation.
- Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine & Health Sciences. Tempe, Arizona.
- Bastyr University. Kenmore, WA.
- University of Bridgeport, College of Naturopathic Medicine.
- National College of Naturopathic Medicine. Portland, OR.
Other herbal hands-on schools:
- Tai Sophia Institute, Laurel, MD. A three year, two days a week school with a few weekends thrown in.
- The Rocky Mountain Herbal Institute, Hot Springs, MT. Mainly Chinese herbalism.
- California School of Herbal Studies, Forestville, CA.
- Desert Woman Botanicals, Monica Rude, Gila, NM. Several 3-month apprenticeships in medicinal herb growing, harvesting, drying, marketing, shipping, use in products. Enthusiastic, hard working workers interested in herb growing should apply.
- NorthEast School of Botanical Medicine, 7Song. Ithaca, NY. A six-month, three days a week school.
- Columbines and Wizardry Herbs, Howie Brounstein, Eugene, Oregon. A wildcrafting class.
- Pacific School of Herbal Medicine, Adam Seller. Oakland, California. Classes range from a couple of hours (for beginners) through 650 hours (to become a professional herbalist). Adam also has clinical case studies for the practising herbalist.
- Christopher Hobbs, Williams, OR. 8 month apprenticeship program, one weekend a month.
- Herbal Therapeutics, David Winston. Broadway, NJ. A two-year school with classes one evening a week.
- Sage Mountain, Rosemary Gladstar, Vermont. 12 month apprenticeship program, one weekend a month.
- Sierra Institute of Herbal Studies: Dodie Harte, California, near Yosemite. 8 month intensive, meeting one weekend a month.
I don't know if these are full- or part time:
- Susun Weed, intensives and a correspondence course.
This school gives you a -real- ND degree, with the possibility to get a ND license in one of the licensing states. There are also fake ND schools - read about those here: 7.6, Accreditation
- The Canadian College of Naturopathic Medicine, Toronto, Ontario.
Other herbal hands-on schools:
- Dominion Herbal College, Burnaby, B.C.
- Living Earth School of Herbalism. Director: Michael Vertolli. The program exceeds the minimum requirements for professional membership with the Ontario Herbalists Association.
- Southwest School of Botanical Medicine, Michael Moore. Bisbee, Arizona.
- Sage Mountain, Rosemary Gladstar, correspondence course.
- The Australasian College of Herbal Studies
- Christopher Hobbs Home study course.
- The School of Natural Healing, founded by Dr. John R. Christopher. They have an Herbalist course and a Master Herbalist course, among others. Note that the puke-n-purge approach of John Christopher and his followers is not for everybody. Specifically, it's not for pale, thin, weak-digestion folks.
- The East-West Herb Course, Michael Tierra. This is TCM, not western herbalism.
- The International College of Herbal Medicine, in New Zealand.
- Living Earth School of Herbalism, in Canada. Director: Michael Vertolli.
From: tim.thorne.thorne.com (Tim Birdsall, ND)
I have absolutely no quarrel with distance learning. However there is a substantive difference between getting an MBA by home study and getting a health care degree! How can you learn physical diagnosis without someone standing over your shoulder saying "No, the spleen is here." or "Yes, this person's liver feels enlarged." To the best of my knowledge, no other health care profession has any legitimate degrees offered exclusively via home study.
From: Paul Bergner <bergner.concentric.net>
Subject: Clayton School
Someone recently posted that the Clayton School had obtained "accreditation". By what body, may I ask? Is it something recognized by the Department of Education, or is it some form of gratuitous self-accreditation? The test of legitimacy is whether students are eligible for government student loans.
I'm told that Clayton have cleaned up their act and ditched the "ND" degree. I'm also told that they're going for real accreditation (with the DETC). If they make it all the way through that process their students are eligible for student loans. (Clayton's "ND" degrees were in essence diploma mill toilet paper. Real ND degrees require about 4 years of on-site study.)
The accrediting agency for naturopathic schools is the Council on Naturopathic Medical Education (CNME), Eugene OR. http://www.cnme.org
The CNME is accredited by the US Department of Education and is the only recognized licensing agency for naturopathic medical schools in the US.
States in which you can get licensed as an ND:
- If you're an ND who has graduated from one of the eligible ND schools you can get licensed in these states:
- Alaska, Arizona, Connecticut, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Montana, Oregon, Vermont, Washington, Utah,
- after passing the Naturopathic Physicians Licensing Exam (NPLEx).
There are additional recognized ND licenses in Florida. No new licenses are being granted there, however.
British Columbia and Ontaria currently license NDs who pass licensing exams and who have graduated from any of the legitimate naturopathic medical schools with an ND.
Federation of Naturopathic Medical Licensing Boards, Inc., 5002 W Glendale Ave, Ste 101, Glendale, AZ 85301, USA, phone 602-937-4756.
American Association of Naturopathic Physicians (AANP), Seattle, WA. http://www.naturopathic.org/