Imagine learning about herbs like your ancestors did — using local herbs, from the comfort of your home, and in the simplest way possible.
A place where plants and your curiosity intersect. Where you can open your mind to what the plants have to teach you about themselves. They are the best teachers, you know. A place where you can experiment, make observations, and come to your own conclusions without any wrong answers. Where your plant intuition has room to develop.
That’s what “simpling” is.
When I first began to study herbs, I tried to cram as much information on herbs into my head as possible, but as you can guess, that didn’t work too well. I continually found myself having to return to my notes and herbal books, again and again — relying on these resources instead of my own intuition and knowledge. What I needed was to learn about herbs in a way that stuck with me — making the information easy to recall.
Eventually, I learned the value and necessity of spending time with a single plant until it became an ally — something I could rely on in times of need. Something I knew well and felt confident using. I learned that this was called “simpling” — a traditional herbal technique that our herbal ancestors used to help them learn about plants. By using one herb regularly over a period of time, they became intimately familiar with that plant on many different levels.
“Simpling” is one of the best ways to learn about an herb in a comprehensive way no matter your experience level in herbalism.
In this in-depth six-week course, I’ll lead you through the process of “simpling” using an herb of your choosing (a safe one, of course!). Each week, we’ll dive deeper and deeper into our plant — studying it from high-quality herbal resources we have available to us, using it in various herbal preparations, and evaluating it based on our personal experience.
There are many ways to learn about herbs. “Simpling” just so happens to be one of my favorite techniques, so I’ll be sharing my own personal way of doing it — a mix of traditional art with some modern science thrown in as well. By the end of this course, you will have studied one plant in-depth, created an herbal monograph for future referencing, made several herbal preparations using your plant, learned how it can assist you in different situations, and ultimately, developed an intuition that will call this plant back to you time and time again over the years to come.
Being an herbalist is more than learning how to make herbal preparations, assessing people and creating formulations for their specific situation, or even being able to identify plants in the wild — it’s about having a RELATIONSHIP with plants. It’s about that pull deep inside each of us to connect with nature — to a simpler way of life — so we can live our best lives on this earth.
WHO THIS COURSE IS FOR
ABSOLUTE BEGINNER HERBALISTS
If you’ve never used herbs, are scared of side effects, or can barely make a cup of tea using a prepackaged tea bag, this course is for you. You will find plenty of safety information along with a list of herbs that are thought to be generally safe for persons of all ages (including those who are pregnant or nursing, those taking medications, and those with previous health conditions). I’ll also show you how to test your herb for a potential allergy, and I’ll walk you through making each herbal preparation with detailed, step-by-step directions. Not only that, but I’ll be right there with you throughout the course in our student-only Facebook group where you can ask questions any time.
OCCASIONAL DABBLING HERBALISTS
If you’ve used herbs here and there throughout the years and are familiar with making various herbal preparations, but you’ve never taken the time to get to know the herbs you’re using one-on-one, this course will help you structure a routine for your learning. Sometimes we need a guiding hand to walk with us before we feel ready to walk on our own.
If you’ve been using herbs regularly for years and have a good solid knowledge base to draw from, you will already know much of the information I share in this course as far as creating monographs and making herbal preparations go. However, if you feel like you’ve yet to develop a relationship with the plants you’re using, this course can help you find your sweet spot between your book knowledge and your own personal intuition. Not only that, but it can be nice to set aside all of the “right answers” for a while and simply let the plants teach us. Am I right?
WHAT YOU CAN EXPECT
- In-depth email lessons, five days a week
- Hands-on herbal exercises to bring your lessons to life
- Engagement prompts to help you dig deeper into each lesson
- Interviews with herbalists on how they’ve benefitted from “simpling” and how they use it in their herbal practice
- Guidance and fellowship in a student-only Facebook group
- A lovely PDF download of the entire course to keep forever
WEEK BY WEEK
SESSION ONE: Laying A Foundation
In session one, we will lay a foundation so we are prepared to get to know an herb intimately over the coming weeks. This is the time to gather and prepare for the coming weeks ahead.
We will cover:
- What “simpling” is and how it can help us
- Herbal safety
- How to dose herbs
- How to choose the herb we will study over the coming weeks
- How to source herbs
- How to test for herbal allergies
- What supplies we need to have on hand
SESSION TWO: Getting Messy In The Kitchen
In session two, we will head to the kitchen and dive into herbal preparations. We will get our hands messy as we learn from herbs through some hands-on exercises. We’ll also have our first herbalist interview with herbalist and author Rosalee de la Forêt as well!
We will cover:
- How to create an herbal monograph
- How to make an infused herbal oil: Part 1
- How to make an herbal tincture using fresh and dried herbs: Part 1
- Alcohol substitutes
- How to get to know your herb more intimately using your five senses
- What the taste of an herb can tell us about how to use it
SESSION THREE: Time For Tea
In session three, we will step into the world of water-based preparations. Not only will we enjoy the simplicity of these preparations, but we’ll touch on some deeper herbal concepts as well.
We will cover:
- Our plant’s name, family, description, and cultivation and harvesting information
- Herbal actions and energetics
- How to make herbal teas using fresh and dried herbs
- How to make herbal infusions with hot and cool water
- How water temperature affects extraction
SESSION FOUR: The Sweeter Side Of Herbalism
In session four, we will venture over to the sweeter side of using herbs where we’ll explore a variety of sweet preparations and tackle some sugar, preservation, and shelf-life topics as well. We’ll also have our second herbalist interview with Appalachian folk herbalist Phyllis Light as well.
We will cover:
- Our plant’s constituents, actions, energetics, tastes, and sustainability concerns
- The difference between herbal teas and herbal infusions
- How to make two different strengths of herbal syrup and how to preserve them
- How to use herbal powders on their own and in other types of preparations
- What the benefits of simple preparations are and how to use them effectively
- How to benefit from folk herbalism
- How we can learn from plants
SESSION FIVE: Putting On The Finishing Touches
In session five, we’ll be putting the finishing touches on our lessons and herbal preparations — tying up loose ends and getting everything in its place. We’ll also hear from the grandmother of American herbalism in our third herbalist interview with Rosemary Gladstar!
We will cover:
- The various ways our herb can be used and what science is saying about it
- How to make an infused herbal oil: Part 2
- How to make an herbal tincture using fresh and dried herbs: Part 2
- How herbal tinctures compare when using fresh and dried herbs
SESSION SIX: Developing One’s Herbal Intuition
In session six, we’ll wrap things up and come back around to how simpling helps us develop one’s herbal intuition. We’ll also finish the week off with our last herbalist interview of the course with folk herbalist Kiva Rose Harden!
We will cover:
- Herbal formulas that our herb is often used in
- Simpling practices and rituals
- What is herbal intuition and how can we heighten ours
- The difference between spontaneous and applied herbal intuition
- How we can be a student of herbs and how they can be our allies
- The beauty of folk herbalism
REGISTRATION OPENS: Sunday, February 17th
START DATE: Monday, March 4th
DURATION: 6 weeks
FEE: $67 USD
Sign up to get emailed when registration next opens!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
What do I need to do this course?
An email address and a computer (tablet or phone). A journal and a pen or pencil. An herb of your choosing (preferably one you can access in fresh and dried form). Common kitchen and herb supplies (supply list here). Study aids such as herbal books, an online herbarium, and/or Google. OPTIONAL: A Facebook account if you’d like to join the student-only Facebook group where you can ask questions, get feedback, share what you are learning, and engage with others (not mandatory, but HIGHLY recommended).
How does this course work?
You will receive a daily email, Monday – Friday, for six weeks. Each email will contain a lesson, an exercise, photos, and journaling prompts. On the last day of class, you will receive a beautifully designed PDF to download of the entire course so you can keep it forever!
Is there a class schedule?
Ideally, the lessons and exercises would be completed in order each day they are received. However, this is completely up to you. You can read the day’s email as soon as you get it or you can save all your lessons and exercises for the weekend (but know that will make for a busy weekend). This course is designed to fit your lifestyle. I will be checking into the Facebook group several times a day throughout the course to answer questions and help you out in whatever way I can. Feel free to come and go and participate as you wish. You can expect to spend three hours or so on the course each week. With that said, don’t stress about falling behind — make this work for YOU and your schedule.
Can I share these emails with my friends or family members?
No. This course is copyrighted material and only available to the person who purchased it. I’ve worked hard to create this course, and you paid good money to have access to it, so please, make sure that you respect my copyright. With that said, if I see emails being forwarded, I will remove you from the course immediately without a refund. Thanks for understanding.
What will I get out of this course?
A deeper connection to plants and to yourself. A stress-free experience (hopefully!!). A completed herbal monograph. A variety of herbal preparations you can continue to use. A deeper understanding of how your herbal intuition works, how to develop it, and how to use it.
The payment is in US dollars. Do you accept payments in other currencies?
Yes! Your currency is automatically converted when you check out using Paypal. If you would like to check the current exchange rate, this useful online currency converter is my favorite.