Next step: Herbal School!


That’s right – I decided to break my hiatus of learning and courses started when I completed the Macrobiotics course.

Going back some months: I was honestly tired of the obligation of having classes a weekend a month for the past three years and was overloaded with information that – to be honest – needed to be processed and further studied. Hence why I decided to take a break from courses (which, for me, is really hard) and focus on enjoying life calmly until the will of learning came back to me.

Fast forward 9 months (already??) and, after our recent move , I got to spent quite some time looking and enjoying plants. Heck, the first hour of my day is usually that: having breakfast looking at the garden and checking how much the plants grew overnight, water them and talk to them until I am all waken up and ready to start working 🙂

The ones who know me and saw my journey in the past years know that one of my favorite parts (and the one I likely use the most and gives me more pleasure) is the home medicine .. In portuguese: mézinhas 🙂 I honestly love it and it is possibly one of the areas I still use the most.

You might also know that I try to use everything in the household as natural and organic as possible: not only our food, but also the house / clothes cleaning products, body care products, etc..

Based on all of the above – and also on the fact that I aspire to, one day, be self sustainable – it made sense to give in to my love for home made medicine and start learning herbalism – at least to get a sense of things.

Where to Start learning herbalism?

This is a rather personal decision, based on many different factors like: your learning style, how much time you want to devote to learning, where you live, what you value in your education, what’s your purpose and motivation, etc..

In my case:
– Learning Style – i learn better visually and with hands on experiments. I am not a classroom person and I got rather bored – in school – when I had to sit there listening to everyone else’s questions and answers. I could say it is a great way to learn, but my mind fully disconnects when that happens. I needed a model where I could fast forward if needed, choose the pace I learn with, choose – in each class – whether I want to learn in my backyard, in my office or in bed or, on the other hand, if I preferred to take the lessons and listen to them in the woods.
– How much time I want to devote to learning: To be fully honest, it depends on how much I like it. When I love something and get really excited about it, I tend to investigate and learn about it as much as I can, every free hour I get.
– Where I live: this was definitely *the* most important reason to choose an online method. Not the only one, but clearly one of the most important ones! The freedom that comes with it is something that I most needed at this point in life
– What I value: This time around I decided that I am not interested in being a clinical / professional herbalist (let’s face it – it doesn’t legally exist in Portugal) but rather pursue an enterpreneur/student path.. Not sure where that will lead (if anywhere) but seems to be more aligned with who I am now
– Purpose / motivation: I want to learn about herbs, I want to nurture them and use them respecting their cycle and know / enjoy what they can give. Macrobiotic taught me that we are what we eat – and that lesson will, hopefully, live with me forever. Now I want to take that a step further and be able to plant all these rich foods, drinks and products in my backyard.. Is it insane? Maybe 🙂

Which herbalism course is the right one for me?

It’s been a couple of long weeks researching online for courses that would suit me. I likely didn’t find even 10% of the ones out there but, for some reason, two of them took my attention and even though I checked a couple more after that, I always came back to those two online schools: The Chestnut Herbs and The Herbal Academy.

I won’t bother you with my findings – as I haven’t experienced (yet) any of the courses . I can say that I did find a great course comparison online which was quite determinant to my choice – together with my extensive research on course outlines, etc.. Any other information I would add here would be repeated from this great article and reviews of both schools and their courses:

After all this I decided to enroll in the Chestnut Herbal, on the “Online Herbal Medicine Making Course“. This course is kind of a part of the “Online Herbal Immersion Program” and it seemed like a good introduction and a good place to start.

FYI: one of the reasons I chose this course was the only one (the Immersion one) that has a good part devoted to permaculture and growing food (as well as harvesting) – which is what makes more sense to me.

So far I have nothing yet to say – it is all quite overwhelming. Online shopping has already started so stay tuned for the next news! 🙂

Small final note: I live in Portugal and we have some pretty amazing herbs here. I thought a good foundation of herbalism, along with some knowledge structure, would help me take the steps to then study all things herbal in Portugal. If you live here (or nearby) and have some herbal related news / knowledge / interest, please let me know or comment below 🙂


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