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Budding Herbalist? Five Reasons to Attend a Herbalism Course in Person

Written by Meghan Rhodes MCPP MAPA


Whether you’re a budding herbalist, looking to develop your skills as a home herbalist or currently working towards qualifying as a clinical medical herbalist, choosing the right herbalism course for you can be a bit overwhelming. And whilst online on-demand herbal medicine courses abound - and can be great if you’re just starting to dip your toes in the water or if you haven’t yet found a herbalism course that works for your location or timing - there is just no substitute for learning in person. So if you’re trying to decide what the next step in your herbal learning journey will be, here are five reasons to attend a herbalism course in person.


students attending a herbalism course in person making a herbal body lotion

1. Nourishing knowledge vs. information bingeing

The modern world is a constant stream of content. But learning herbal medicine isn’t about consuming content, saving soundbites and infographics that will never weave their way into your hands and home. When you attend a herbalism course in person, you develop nourishing knowledge. You’re not whizzing your way through recordings and ticking boxes. You’re working with your hands, you’re engaging your senses, you’re asking questions in the moment when they arise. This is an exchange of energy, not just facts, which makes learning herbalism significantly more fulfilling and empowering.


2. It actually happens

How many exciting and inspiring herbal recipes and on-demand herbalism courses have you got sat in your inbox right now? And how many have you actually managed to do or complete? And out of those, how many have you done more than once? When you attend a herbalism course in person, you are committing your time, your headspace and your focus to learning herbalism. There are no distractions. You can simply do what you set out to do. And once you’ve done it in-person with an expert, it’s significantly easier to repeat and try again at home - over and over, which is how it becomes part of your daily life. So many well-intentioned online courses never get completed. But if you’re learning herbalism in person, you can’t wait for the next lesson!


3. Meet like-minded people and build your herbal community

Whether it’s meeting new people who want to learn herbalism for the same reasons as you, seeing them season after season to connect with the herbs and each other or making friends for a lifetime, we all know there is power in community. Not only are we stronger together than in isolation, there is also something incredibly freeing about spending time with like-minded people - that ability to fully exhale and just be, knowing you’re not the odd one out, knowing you can just ask the questions that come to you, connect the dots out loud and share your thoughts and yourself with others. When you attend a herbalism course in person, you’ll be reminded you are not alone.


4. What you learn is local and relevant to your life

There are a wealth of herbs and herbal traditions from across the globe, but it’s harder for what you’re learning to really land if all of the concepts are linked to plants you don’t have any context for or easy access to. There are obviously environmental and sustainability benefits to this, as well, but the point is the landscape where you live will be lit up with medicine, inspiration and access to herbs you can work with cheaply and easily when you attend a herbalism course in person (particularly if it’s in the same country where you live). There are many brilliant herbs native to North America, for example, with rich traditions of use, but if you’re here in the UK like I am, you’ll get more benefit out of getting introduced to what’s native to our hedgerows, meadows, woodlands and seashores. This gets you in touch with your environment, your ecosystems, the way the seasons turn in your world in a very tangible way that means you can develop your relationship with the herbs first-hand throughout the year.


5. Your herbalism course becomes a gateway to real life

However you want to weave herbalism into your daily life - whether you’re keen and curious, want to build your confidence and become a home herbalist or are looking to make your medical herbalist training as tangible and visceral as possible, attending your herbalism courses in person gives you a natural gateway to weaving herbalism into the fabric of your real life. Herbal medicine was always passed down from person to person, hands to hands, in community and conversation. It is the living, breathing medicine of the earth, not stuffy or theoretical. There is only so far textbooks and digital screens can take you. You have to get out in the landscape, out in the soil, into your kitchen, into your community and live it - and learning herbalism on an in-person course opens the gate to that path.


So if you’re either on the fence trying to choose between different herbalism courses or completely overwhelmed by the vast array of options available to you, take a breath to ground yourself and ask yourself what you want out of a herbalism course. Are you looking for nourishing knowledge or are you looking to cram lots of facts and information into your head? Do you need that in-person commitment to make sure learning herbalism actually happens for you? Do you appreciate the value and feel the urge to be a part of a community and build your own network of herbalists you can actually call on, share recipes with, make remedies and grow herbs together with? Does it make sense to you that when you’re learning herbalism, it’s local and relevant to your life? Ultimately - do you want herbal medicine to become a living, breathing part of your life? If so, then attending a herbalism course in person is the right choice for you.


And if you’re here in the UK, you’re very welcome to take the next step on your journey learning herbal medicine with me. I offer day-long herbalism workshops and pop-up herbalism workshops, as well as my intensive herbalism course - Awaken Herbal Wisdom - which spans all four seasons and gets herbalism both deep into your bones and your daily life. So head to my events page to see what’s coming up or learn more about my herbal medicine course here.


Enjoy the journey!



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