Foundations in Traditional Western Herbalism

Sept 2024 - June 2025
Wednesday evenings 6-8:30pm and two Sundays a month.

Foundations in Western Herbalism is the essential course for anyone stepping into the world of plant medicine. Think of it as the mycelium of your practice - connecting you to ancient and modern traditions, your herbal community, and a lineage of herbal educators (both human teachers and plant and fungi teachers) who have much to share with you. This course is open to anyone with an interest in learning the craft of herbalism as a way to care for your health, and the health of your family and your community.

Join us to learn the principals of herbal healthcare, holistic nutrition, and what it means to live the life of an herbalist. We blend science and earth-based traditional wisdom through our indoor classroom time plus fieldtrips into the plant world. Expect to get your hands dirty and your heart expanded. No prior training, experience or pre-requisites are required.

Classes are held on Wednesday evenings (options of in-person or online) as well as two Sundays a month (hands-on, in-person classes).

Students who complete this 300-hour, nine-month program will receive instruction in:

  • Body System Therapeutics
  • Comprehensive Herbal Materia Medica/Pharmacology on over 100 Medicinal Plants/Fungi
  • Herbal Energetics
  • Extensive Medicine Making Techniques
  • Herb Safety, Herb/Drug Interactions
  • Basic Botany and Plant Identification
  • Creating Deeper Connections with Nature and Ourselves
  • Flower Essence Training
  • Natural Cosmetics
  • Tending a Medicinal Herb Garden
  • Wildcrafting Ethics and Techniques
  • Medicinal Seaweeds and Mushrooms and other Wild Foods
  • Herbal Crafts
  • Whole Foods Nutrition/Food as Medicine

Class Structure 
We organize each lecture to focus on different systems of the body (i.e. respiratory, immune, digestive, etc.). You'll learn basic physiology, along with in-depth instruction of medicinal plants (with an emphasis on plants that grow in our bioregion), how to use them, their actions and energetics. We'll discuss common illnesses and how to approach them holistically using herbs and nutrition.

Become a Confident Medicine-Maker
Over the course of nine months, you will learn medicine making techniques including the proper preparation of medicinal herbal teas, glycerites, tinctures, syrups, oxymels, electuaries, acetums, liniments, oils, salves and more.

 Our course is designed to be rigorous because we believe you deserve a thorough education in herbalism. At the end of this course, you will be prepared for our Intermediate and Advanced Clinical Herbal courses. To get there, plan on additional time outside of the classroom engaging in captivating ‘assignments’ such as spending time with medicinal plants growing in the wildlands and neighborhoods where you live. To embrace herbalism fully, you must dedicate yourselves to the plants - and what a meaningful path you’ll begin to walk.

 We strongly encourage applicants from one or more under-represented and/or historically minoritized groups to apply for this program, including but not limited to, non-cis-gendered individuals, members of the queer community, and BIPOC (Black, Indigenous, and People of Color).

Schedule & Fees:
Class meets every Wednesday evening beginning September 4th from 6:00 to 8:30pm (in-person or online).  In addition, students meet in-person two Sundays a month for hands-on instruction.  Sunday medicine-making classes are held in Petaluma on a beautiful 50-acre ranch as well as field trips throughout the Bay Area.  

Upon acceptance into the program, a deposit of $500 holds your space.  The remaining tuition due is $2,500.  Payment plans are available.  We offer one work/trade scholarship dedicated to under-represented and/or historically minoritized persons. 

This is a rigorous foundational program designed to teach you the basics of Western herbalism and prepare students for our Intermediate and Advanced Clinical Herbal courses. In order to successfully complete this course, students are required to put in additional time outside of the classroom to complete all homework assignments and, most importantly, get to know the medicinal plants we discuss for health and wellbeing, including those growing in the wildlands and neighborhoods where you live. In order to embrace herbalism fully, you must dedicate yourselves to the plants - and what a meaningful path you’ll begin to walk.

Are you ready to walk the path of herbalism with us?
Applications are currently being accepted for the coming school year.  Click here to apply.

Regular price $500.00
Unit price


The lead instructor for this class is Cheryl Fromholzer with guest teachers. For a complete list of Core Faculty and Guest Teachers, please visit: Faculty Listing


For more information, contact Gathering Thyme at 415.524.8693
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