Herbal Update 11/3/2021

Wow! I can’t believe how long it’s been since my last Herbal Update post. I don’t know about you, but it seems like ever since we started August, we’ve been in this whirlwind. Here we are, the day after Election Day. It seems like I blinked and September and October were over!

Just because I haven’t been blogging about my herbal education, doesn’t mean there has not been progress made.

For longtime RKJ readers, this Herbal Update section was originally started earlier this year when I enrolled in the Heart of Herbs Phytotherapy Diploma. And for the better part of this year, that was my sole focus on herbal education. I had steadily completed many of the sections in the Phytotherapy Diploma program and began the flagship program “Master Herbalist Course.” And to be honest, I still am working my way through the very large, intense course. Up until now, most of the stuff that has been covered is stuff I already know: the history of herbal medicine, botany, methods of herbal administration. Even the next unit, herbal actions will most likely be review for me.

However, there is one section of material that covered a new topic for me — essential oils. Obviously, my interest in alternative medicine means that I’ve come across this topic before. But, I haven’t done much education in terms of using essential oils before. While this unit from the Master Herbalist Course only provided a brief outline of essential oils, the Phytotherapy Diploma does have an entire course on the use of essential oils. It will be a lot of fun to explore this new-to-me alternative medicine pathway once I get to the point in the diploma program.

As of right now, I am in the Botany section of the Master Herbalist Course. Since I completed an entire unit on Botany as part of the Phytotherapy Diploma this is mainly serving as a review for me. I hope to move onto the next unit a little bit before Thanksgiving.


Early 2017 was the first time that I began to take my herbal education seriously. After doing a lot of research I decided to enroll in East West School of Planetary Herbology’s (EWSPH) Professional Herbalism Course. This school is extremely highly-rated and was founded by a well-known American herbalist, Michael Tierra. At the time of my enrollment, I signed up for the payment plan option and paid for and received the materials for the first unit of study. I got all the way through unit five of twelve before life consumed me and my interest in herbal medicine took a back seat. Luckily for me, their payment plan option does not require you to continue paying if you don’t want to. Meaning, I didn’t waste money on not completing the full course since I wasn’t charged for the full thing.

However, as my studies with HoH have been continuing, I decided that I wanted to have a more eclectic background to herbal education than just the traditional “Western Herbalism” method. In late August, I decided to reach out to them. Upon doing so, I learned that I was technically “still enrolled” in their program (I guess they give their students a sufficient “grace period” before removing them), so I decided to continue on with the EWSPH course as well. This course has a completely different method of teaching and their view on herbal medicine is unlike any other on the market. Combined with the HoH courses, I have no doubt that by the end, I will be a knowledgeable and competent herbalist.

From here on in, most of the herbal updates will focus on the EWSPH course material. While they are less hands-on at this stage than some herbal courses, I intend to make up for that by continuing to navigate through the HoH and experimenting with herbal and the applications as time and lessons allow.

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