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Western Herbalism Diploma

The Western Herbalism diploma program offered at SWIHA is a special 700 hour career-oriented curriculum designed to give students the opportunity to experience every aspect of plant medicine, from seed to sale.

Our program is directed by JoAnn Sanchez, was given the award of ‘Teacher of the Year 2010’ by the Arizona Private School Association.

JoAnn has created one of the top Herbalism programs in the country and we are so blessed to be able to offer such a high-caliber education to you!

Both plant and human science courses solidify the foundation for herbal studies expertise. Students learn to speak publicly, write plant-based literature, coach clients, and develop business plans, lending themselves to future professional success as Herbalists.

You too can start an exciting new career in holistic health in as little as 14 months!

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What is Western Herbalism?

Our program is designed to enhance the student’s connection with the earth and plants from a spiritual and energetic point of view, as well as from the phytochemical science-focused perspective. Healing with holistic plant medicines is far from a new practice; however, it is regaining popularity as more healthcare practitioners are recognizing the need for natural nurturing.

This makes choosing an herbalist training program a viable, leading edge career choice. The experienced herbalists who teach the core classes enhance the exploration of botanical properties and preparations, while introducing students to an array of vocational choices after the program is complete.

Completing this program and the receipt of a diploma provides graduates a contemporary formatted framework of all the appropriate training and experiences to set the stage to become a professional, successful, qualified business person and Herbalist.

What We Teach

Ample support is provided for each student to pursue his or her own unique dream in the field of herbalism. Field work in the desert allows the class to become familiar with local plant life and encourages sustainable wildcrafting practices. There is also an externship which includes opportunities for community education, supervised clinical intake, retail experience and research thesis.

A 30 hour introduction lays the foundation of herbal studies and sets the stage for future learning by presenting the working language of the herbalist and discussion of contemporary issues in the field. This class begins cultivation, medicine making and local plant identification study.

Other lesson overview topics include traditional Chinese herbals, Ayurveda, plants native to America, endangered plants, earth stewardship, plant chemistry, botanical plant families, herb gardening and studies of medicinal plants and the applications of these for all human body systems. A thorough series of herbal pharmacy and medicine-making lessons are included midway. Field study emphasizes desert botanicals identification and use and includes native uses, plant spirit medicine, flower study, and harvesting concepts.

Students also have hands-on, guided intermediate application and experience in seven arenas: herb cultivation, research writing, teaching herbalism in the community, retail work, supervised clinic and botanical pharmacy. The herbalism core is further enhanced with science courses including Pathology, Homeopathy and Biosciences, bringing the connection between body and earth into complete focus.

Aspiring herbalists can receive focused instruction in Herbal product formulation, herbs for children, herbs for women and herbal manufacturing practices. These courses emphasize hands-on learning.

Completion of the Herbal portion of this program will solidify a knowledge base for initiating a vocation in these many earth-centered arenas; that experience, time and commitment can foster into productive, enriching, sustainable, successful life work.

This program may be completed as part of the Associates of Occupational Studies Degree in Holistic Healthcare or it may stand alone.

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