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Natural Awakenings Boston

Apprenticeship Programs Teach How Herbs Can Heal

Feb 28, 2014 11:10AM

Madelon Hope, clinical herbalist and core teacher at Boston School of Herbal Studies

Opportunities in herbal education are available in the Boston area for anyone interested in learning more about how the energies of herbs help heal the body, mind and spirit. Two local herbal schools, The Boston School of Herbal Studies and CommonWealth Center for Herbal Medicine, offer Apprenticeships and Advanced Training Programs.

The faculty at The Boston School of Herbal Studies, located in Arlington, is comprised of practicing herbalists passing down the time-honored tradition of herbalism, incorporating scientific knowledge with traditional practice and clinical experience. They utilize home gardens and the many parks and community gardens around Boston for teaching.

Students are welcome to join the Apprenticeships with any level of knowledge; the only requirements are enthusiasm and a desire and commitment to learn about plants. The next First Level Apprenticeship begins April 19 and 20, and is a seven-month program, meeting one weekend each month. Students will gain hands-on experience in making tinctures, teas, salves, oils, herbal sprays and flower essences, and will be exposed to various herbal traditions such as Chinese, ayurveda and Western Herbalism. Each month, a different body system and the herbs that support and nourish it are covered in diverse and exciting classes.

CommonWealth Center for Herbal Medicine’s nine-month apprenticeship program is a complete course in practical herbal medicine for beginning and intermediate students. Their popular weekend group has filled, but there is still space in the Thursday night group which begins March 6, from 6 to 9 p.m., and continues through November at their clinic location in Brookline.

The curriculum covers the major systems of the body and how they function, become injured or imbalanced, and how herbs and natural therapeutics can restore health. Students will learn medicine making and take plant walks to become familiar with local herbs. Complementing the study of medicinal plants, teachers will discuss natural movement and primal nutrition, major components of the vitalist approach to healing which cannot be neglected when long-term, sustainable health is a goal. Access to an online forum for discussion of assigned readings, recordings, exercises and projects is included for all students, as well as kitchen sessions.

For more information on The Boston School of Herbal Studies course offerings, call 781-646-6319 or register online at To learn about CommonWealth Center for Herbal Medicine programs, call 617-750-5274 or visit

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