Review: HA's Introductory Course

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If you are just starting out in your herbal education or want to learn the basics, the Herbal Academy’s Introductory Course is for you! It’s ideal for students with little to no experience looking to dip their toe into herbal studies through a convenient and affordable self-paced program. By the end, you should not only have a basic understanding of many familiar (and some unfamiliar) herbs, but you should also feel comfortable and excited about making your own teas, tinctures, and body care products with your newfound knowledge. The Herbal Academy’s Introductory Course can be purchased for one flat fee of $195.00 or for $65.00 per month $169.00 or for $57.00 per month -- the Back to School Sale ends September 9th!

I greatly enjoyed this course on the basics; I learned about some herbs I’d never even heard of before! Plus, I found out even more about some herbs that I had always used in cooking, but had never thought about in regards to their medicinal benefits. Now, I seek out those herbs when cooking – especially during cold season. Herbs like sage or ginger, which I used only infrequently before taking this course, have now become staples in my kitchen, particularly when I’m making soup for an ill family member. In addition, I now know which teas to buy at the supermarket because I understand better how the herbs in each tea blend work. Furthermore, I can even make my own teas when I have the correct herbs and spices on hand, making me more free to experiment with different blends.

I was initially drawn to the Herbal Academy because of the self-paced nature of their courses. I love that I can set my own schedule and pace for my herbal education without compromising my personal or professional life. It can be difficult to find a balance in life, so not having to stick to a strict schedule, with assignments due at specific times and classes with a set start and end time, has been a blessing. It’s so much less stressful, and I can learn at my own pace when I have the time. You get a whole year to complete the course, so I can log in and read through the material without having to follow an arbitrary schedule. If I happen to have any questions, there is always the course forum – or I can email the teachers directly, as they are always available to help. Plus, students have access to an awesome Facebook group which is great for providing feedback and assistance right away. Thankfully, the material, while informative, doesn’t read like a typical textbook, so it’s quite easy to understand. Each unit provides a .pdf format of the material for you to download, which makes for a great review if you’ve completed the course and want a brief refresher via the handouts, charts, recipes, and flip books covered in the course. To assist with your familiarity of the herbs, the course also offers over fifty herbal monographs to examine, as well as several educational video demonstrations. Each lesson requires you to pass a brief quiz to ensure your mastery of the material, but you can take the quiz as many times as necessary. You even receive a certificate for the completion of the course! Plus, the course offers great “freebies,” including a number of infographics, label designs, and more. Not to mention, students gain access to the Herbal Academy’s catalogue of discounts! Those discounts mostly apply to memberships or magazines, plus the occasional discount to the Bulk Herb Store or Mountain Rose Herbs, but considering how pricey certain herbs can be, the savings can really add up.

In this Introductory Course, you will cover six in-depth units:

  • Unit 1: Herbal Basics (The Herbal Approach and World Healing Tradition, Choosing Herbs, Storing Herbs, Making an Herbarium, Developing your Materia Medica, Herbal Teas and Tinctures, Syrups and Topical Applications, Herbal Actions, Anatomy Overview)

  • Unit 2: Common Discomforts (The Immune System, Prevention, Detoxifying and Cleansing, Colds and Flu, Respiratory System, Herbs for Kids, Herbs for Her and Him, Materia Medica)

  • Unit 3: Kitchen Remedies (What’s in Your Kitchen, Spices, Kitchen Materia Medica, Making Kitchen Remedies, Wildcrafting and Foraging)

  • Unit 4: Nervous System (Overview of the Nervous System, Stress, Headaches and Migraines, Essential Oils, Sleep and Insomnia)

  • Unit 5: Body Care (Introduction to the Skin, Body Care Recipes, External Health, Internal Health, Salves, Balms, and Butters, Topical Oils, Scrubs, Cleansers, Herbal Baths, Moisturizers, Toners, Hair Care)

  • Unit 6: The Holistic Approach (History, Conventional Medicine, The Holistic Model, The Holistic Body, Herbalism Is More Than Just Herbs, Placebo Response, Holistic Approaches)

These units include twenty-six basic lessons and five bonus lessons, spanning from herb use in the kitchen to medicinal remedies. You will learn about the herbal approach, as well as why herbs are so important. Furthermore, you will learn how to use herbs when making your own healing teas, topical applications, body care products, infusions, decoctions, tinctures, and syrups. The course covers the effect of herbs on the various body systems, including the immune system, and will address the internal and external application of the herbal preparations, actions, and dosings in reference to those systems. You will discover how herbal support can help maintain balance among the body systems, as well as how herbs can help treat common complaints such as colds, insomnia, flus, headaches, bronchitis, and allergies. You will even learn how herbs can have different effects on men, women, and children. The course will also address the benefits of various herbs on the nervous system. Our day-to-day lives can be so stressful, but a calm and strong nervous system can help lay the foundation for better health. The course will also cover body and skin care and how to incorporate herbs into your daily beauty routine for an anti-aging lifestyle approach. The course will finish with a overall examination of the holistic approach to medicine: what it is, how to put it into practice, and how it differs from conventional medicine.

It is my hope that this class will instill an appreciation for the gifts herbalism has to offer and inspire you to pursue your herbal education to the intermediate level and beyond. In my opinion, no matter where you are in life or the world, learning about herbalism can help you in all walks of life and at any age. If you’ve taken up an interest in natural remedies at a young age or much later in life, herbalism should definitely be on your educational path – and the Herbal Academy is a fantastic place to start.

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