Herbalista Free School

Welcome to the Free School, a new Herbalista initiative offering free online classes to help you along your herbal journey.

All classes are FREE and open to the PUBLIC.  Classes are on a variety of subjects and are open to herbalists and herb lovers of all levels.  We have put together a broad  foundational curriculum, based on the 50 hour in-person program we taught in Atlanta for many years. 

Topics include: Herbal First Aid, Wildcrafting, Medicine Making, Field Botany, Herbal Actions and Energetics, Holistic Lifestyle, Materia Medica, Herbal Therapeutics, Community Herbal Initiatives, and oh-so-much-more.

All classes are taught live via Zoom.  Classes are recorded and the links are sent to registrants after the class, as well as loaded to the Herbalista Toolkit for access by sustaining members.

 

How it works

To Register: Registration links will be posted in the month before a class takes place. Once you register, you will receive an email that includes the Zoom link to your class as well as links to any instructional materials so you can print or download them for class.  PLEASE NOTE: All registrants will be added to our mailing list for the Herbalista digi-newsletter.  Please email us if you would like to be removed from that mailing list.  

Using Zoom: You will need Zoom in order to attend these classes.  If you don’t already have a Zoom account, they are free to create.  Here is the link to get started and create your account: https://zoom.us/freesignup/  And here is a video that shows you how to join a Zoom meeting: https://support.zoom.us/hc/en-us/articles/201362193-Joining-a-Zoom-video-call

Class Schedule: Classes take place on Wednesdays and Sundays throughout the year.  There are between 2 and 3 classes each month.

Wednesday Classes are 90 minutes long and last from 2:30 – 4 PM Eastern Standard Time (EST). For those of you joining us from Ireland, class meets from 7:30 – 9 PM Irish Standard Time (IST).

Sunday Classes are longer (yay!).  They consist of 3 hours of class time with a 30 minute break in the middle.  Classes run from 12:30 – 4 PM Eastern Standard Time (EST) and 5:30 – 9 PM Irish Standard Time (IST).

Support the Free School

The Free School is only possible thanks to the support of our sustaining members and donors.  Please consider support this initiative by making a tax-deductible donation.

Calendar of Classes

SEPTEMBER classes are now OPEN for registration 

The classes listed below are open to herbalists and herb lovers of all levels.   

Registration links and detailed class descriptions are posted month by month.  Please save the registration email Zoom sends you when you register as, in addition to the Zoom class link and password, this also has links to any worksheets we need for class! 

We’ve color coded the classes — green for Sunday classes and blue for Wednesday classes

All those who have registered for a class will receive a link to the class video recording a week after the class is completed, so even if you can’t make the live class, please still register if you want access to the recording.  Folks can register for a particular class even once the class has begun, as long you register before the officially posted end of class.  

SEPTEMBER


Maintaining a Botanical Dispensary- NEW DATE

Sunday, September 25th [12:30 – 4 PM EST] 

I had to reschedule this class from the 4th to the 25th due to illness.  For everyone who has already enrolled, your previous link will still work!

Register here

For close to 20 years, Herbalista has managed a variety of apothecaries and dispensaries, serving sweet, sweet herbal medicine to the community. We make most of our own remedies and do our best to follow a set of guidelines we like to call Good Herbalista Practices (cGHP’s). In this class we take a glimpse inside Herbalista’s Mother Apotheke and share many of the procedures and documentation we have found helpful over the years.


Kitchen Herbalism: Autumn Health

Wednesday, September 7th [2:30 – 4 PM EST]

Registration closed

Living in harmony with the seasons is one of the most important ways we can support our health. As we move into Autumn, we can support our health by building up our immune systems with nourishing and delicious remedies. In this class we will explore the energetics of autumn, meet seasonal herbs, sharing recipes and discover daily practices we can use in our kitchen apothecary.


Oil Medicine: Infused Oils and Salves

Sunday, September 18th [12:30 – 4 PM EST]

Registration closed

Be prepared to lubricate your bodies and minds, as we learn about the benefits of this often misunderstood element. Oils are a life sustaining, protective force and we will discover ways to harness the power of oil to deliver therapeutic herbs to our bodies. This class includes medicine making demonstrations of both herbal oils and salves. We will share some of our favorite oil and salve recipes that we use at clinic and show a couple packaging and labeling tricks while we are at it!

OCTOBER

Herbal Basics: Skin + Basic Wound Care

Sunday, October 2nd [12:30 – 4 PM EST]


Tincture Making: Percolation

Wednesday, October 5th [2:30 – 4 PM EST]


Distillation: Hydrosols and Essential Oils

Sunday, October 16th [12:30 – 4 PM EST]

NOVEMBER

Kitchen Herbalism: Ginger Candy

Wednesday, November 2nd [2:30 – 4 PM EST]


Herbal Basics: Heart Medicine

Sunday, November 6th [12:30 – 4 PM EST]


Making HerbCare Packs

Wednesday, November 9th [2:30 – 4 PM EST]

DECEMBER

Kitchen Herbalism: Winter Health

Wednesday, December 7th [2:30 – 4 PM EST]

Previous Classes

If you missed one of our back catalogue of classes and would like to watch the video, all of the classes listed here have been added to the online Herbalista Toolkit, available to sustaining members.  There you will find all class videos with their corresponding class materials, worksheet, and resources listings.

FEBRUARY

Kitchen Herbalism: Fire Cider

As we kick off our first class of the Herbalista Free School, we thought what better way of kindling this fire than by making a batch of Fire Cider 🔥 We will also share info on starting a Fire Cider Brigade. Class was recorded on February 2, 2022.


Herbal Traditions

The world of Herbalism is vast and varied, a veritable rainbow of traditions. In this class we will explore a few traditions in order to discuss common themes of health and healing.  We can then apply these concepts to our work as community herbalists. Class was recorded on February 6, 2022.


MARCH

Kitchen Herbalism: Spring Health 

Living in harmony with the seasons is one of the most important ways we can support our health. And just as the earth awakens from her winter slumbers it’s time to energize and cleanse ourselves. In this class we will explore the energetics of spring– meeting seasonal herbs, sharing recipes and daily practices we can use in our kitchen apothecary. Class was recorded on March 2, 2022.


Herbal Actions and Energetics

Language is a building block of culture and in this class we will explore herbal language used to describe the medical action herbs have on the human body. Understanding categories of herbal actions will allow us to read herbal texts, deepen our understanding of our materia medica, make appropriate choices when we formulate, and can also be helpful when bridging the gap between conventional medicine and herbal medicine.

We will also spend time exploring the qualities of herbs, including energetics and flavors as an additional and exciting layer to understanding how herbs work in the body.  Class was recorded on March 6, 2022.


Tincture Making 101: Weight to Volume + Mixing Custom Menstruums

Making your own medicine is one of the most thrilling aspects of herbalism and it is something that can be done in your own kitchen. In this class we will focus on some of the basic aspects of creating herbal extracts known as tinctures, including understanding how to properly prepare them according to the weight to volume method. We will also share how to mix your own custom menstruums, allowing you to maximize the extraction potential.  Class was recorded on March 13, 2022.


APRIL

Herb Cart Crash Course

The Herbalista Herb Cart served the Atlanta streets for 7 years, providing free, herbal care to communities in need.  This class offers a crash course on how we ran this unique grassroots program and will cover a wide range of topics– mobile clinic logistics, clinical forms, dispensary considerations, packing lists, safety and sanitation, and oh-so-much more.  There will be ample time for Q & A to support folks looking to set up mobile herb clinics of their own.  Class was recorded on April 3, 2022.


Crafting a Materia Medica

A “materia medica” is a detailed listing of the remedies used in medicine. For herbalists, our materia medicas are filled with simple and compound plant preparations. While there are many incredible materia medicas already in existence, gifted to us by herbal and medical authors over the centuries, the exercise of crafting your own materia medica is an empowering and enriching experience. Your materia medica will continue to grow with you, becoming a wonderful reflection of your unique herbal journey. Class was recorded on April 6, 2022.


Herbal First Aid

Learning Herbal First Aid empowers us to take care of some of our most basic needs and those of our loved ones. Join Herbalista Lorna for a workshop exploring basic first aid principles; strategies and remedies for common injuries; and how to customize your own first aid kit.  Class was recorded on April 24, 2022.


MAY

Different Strokes for Different Folks

“Different strokes for different folks” might be the phrase I use most as a practicing herbalist, as a teacher, and hopefully as a compassionate human.  Although I believe that what we share is greater than our differences, these differences are very important when it comes to selecting appropriate remedies and creating health plans for folks.  Most herbal traditions have created archetypal patterns for recognizing the various ways humans manifest these physical, mental, and spiritual differences. In this class we will touch on concepts such as western constitutional physiology, humoral theory, the 3 doshas of Ayurved, and Chinese 5 phase theory to illustrate ways you can begin to customize your herbal approach.

We will also concepts such as patient centered care and how we can meet people where they are at and help them get to where they want to go… another favorite phrase 💚 Class was recorded on May 4, 2022.


Botany for the Herbalist

There are many ways for an herbalist to deepen their relationship with plants.  Botany is one such way. It offers us a language with which we can observe and describe plant characteristics and also a structure through which we can understand the relationships between plants and plant communities.  An understanding of basic botany will not only enhance your understanding of herbs, but also assists us in the gathering and preparing of our medicines.  This class will cover Breathtaking Botanical Basics, from terminology to practical application.  Class was recorded on May 15, 2022.


Hot Glycerite Extraction

As we continue our studies of Herbal Medicine Making and Liquid Extraction, we now turn to Hot Glycerite Extraction, a great option for making effective, alcohol-free tinctures.  While Glycerites are not a commonly used form of liquid extract, often considered a “weak” alternative only for children, their importance is finally being recognized.  At Herbalista, we specialize in alcohol-free preparations and so have cultivated a wide range of glycerite medicine over the years.   Today’s class will focus on the “hot” extraction technique which quickly yields potent and delicious medicine.  Class was recorded on May 25, 2022.


JUNE

Kitchen Herbalism: Summer Health

Living in harmony with the seasons is one of the most important ways we can support our health. And as the summer days grow longer and hotter, we can support our health with cooling, anti-inflammatory and delicious remedies. In this class we will explore the energetics of summer– meeting seasonal herbs, sharing recipes and daily practices we can use in our kitchen apothecary.  Class was recorded on June 1, 2022 .


Water Medicine: Tea, Syrup and Hydrotherapy

If there is one time when we feel the importance of water, it’s high summer. Sizzling pavement and parched lips make us grateful for a glass or a dip. But water is more than coolant; water has the power to heal. The water that sustains us and grows our food also washes our wounds, suspends medicine in a cup of tea, soaks away our aches and pains, releases our grief in the form of tears and banishes toxins in the form of sweat. In this class we explore the simple and profound nature of water-based medicine, sharing techniques for making basic infusions and decoctions, herbal syrups, and a brief dive into the world of hydrotherapy.  Class was recorded on June 5, 2022. 


Making Fresh Plant Tinctures

Oh the controversy! If you’re confused about the “best” way to make a fresh plant tincture, it’s because you’ve waded into a fiercely debated topic in medicine making. In this class we will discuss the various methods and theories for making fresh plant tinctures, empower you to make the choices appropriate to your work as an herbalist, and get you ready for tincturing gorgeous fresh herbs all summer long!  Class was recorded on June 15, 2022.


JULY

Herbal Foot Care

There’s nothing so hardworking and in need of lovin’ as our feet.  When we offer foot care, we have a chance to not only address foot specific ailments, but also to radiate health throughout the body.  Foot care can reduce stress, boost immunity, offer pain relief and emotional support. In this class we will discuss the principles of foot care, assessment strategies, and remedies for common ailments.  Combining both conventional and herbal therapeutics, this class is all about meeting people where they are at and helping them get to where they want to go!  Class was recorded on July 3, 2022.


Creating an HerbCare Station

Herbal medicine is truly a medicine by and for the people!  One way to empower folks to use herbs is by setting up HerbCare Stations directly in our communities.  These stations are geared towards herbal self-care and dispense simple remedies, often based on kitchen medicine.  These mini-health stations offer folks a chance to both heal and to learn.  If you are interested in creating an HerbCare Station in your neck of the woods, this is the class for you.  Class was recorded on July 6, 2022.  


Herbal Basics: Diet and Digestion

The word ‘diet’ comes from the Greek ‘diaita’, meaning ‘a way of life’.  When we consider the roots of this word, we realize how incredibly sacred and life affirming eating can be.  In this class we will explore simple ways to support our health and vitality through dietary choices.  We will also share remedies for common digestive complaints such as constipation, heartburn, diarrhea, gas + bloating, nausea and more.  Class was recorded on July 17, 2022.


AUGUST

Urban Foraging

Herbs grow all around us, even in the concrete jungle. In this class we will share basic tips for wildcrafting in urban areas with a focus on foraging safety; working with urban weeds + invasive species; and developing a deeper relationship with your green neighbors.  Class was recorded on August 3, 2022.


Herbal Basics: Daily Rhythm, Stress + Sleep

While herbs are powerful tools of health and well-being, as herbalists and holistic health workers, it’s important we also look to the bigger picture of our daily lives. In this class we will explore practical ways to help folks find a healthier daily rhythm (aka dinacharya). We will focus in particular on movement, de-stressing techniques, and improving our sleep.  Class was recorded on August 7, 2022.