Portland Community College | Portland, Oregon


Questions? Contact: Wes Harwood

Herbalism is an interactive online course. It is designed for those interested in enhancing their herbalism skills, becoming a credentialed professional herbalist and developing a professional practice; entering the rapidly expanding complementary medicine, natural health and organic food industry; or those preparing toward The American Herbalists Guild (AHG) for Registered Herbalist (R.H.) status. The course covers:

  • Herbal therapeutics for each body system
  • Specific healing properties of over two hundred individual herbs
  • Basic principles of herbalism from three major traditional herbal healing systems

Students receive a Professional Herbalist Award of Proficiency upon completion of all six course modules, and will have obtained substantial academic knowledge toward applying for professional membership in the American Herbalists Guild, the only professional association representing herbalists in the United States. Each module is one term in length. We recommend you learn more about the educational guidelines of the AHG and R.H. credential.

Each module includes reading assignments and concludes with a take home, open book, multiple choice test that represents the skills developed in the module.

Class times and content are designed for adult learners and nontraditional students. CLIMB intentionally designed the Herbalism Program so that students could begin any term as they are not in a required "order" (Students must complete Modules 1-3 before taking 4-6). Every topic draws from, and contributes to, each of the other topics so students who begin Winter or Spring term are not at any learning disadvantage from a student who begins in Fall, for example.

Online courses require that students have basic to intermediate computer savvy, and are skilled in personal discipline, task organization and time management. High-speed internet access (DSL, cable modem, or satellite) is required in order to meet online learning technical requirements.

Students should expect to invest a minimum of 2-3 hours of study time for every hour of lecture in order to be successful in this course.

Is it right for you?

The demand for trained herbalists is growing and this in-depth 6-module curriculum helps prepare students for professional membership in the American Herbalists Guild. It you want to gain the knowledge necessary to consult privately, in a clinic, work in the dietary supplement industry, in a health food store, herbal import/export industry, or education, this course of study is for you.

Reasons to become a certified professional herbalist?

  • Herbal medicine is becoming very popular and more mainstream every year. Two thirds of Americans say they expect herbs will be a significant part of their health care program. These people will be seeking herbal professionals to help them find the appropriate herbs that they will need for their health concerns.
  • This course prepares you to take the entrance exam for professional membership in the American Herbalists Guild (AHG), the only professional association representing herbalists in the United States.
  • As herbal medicine becomes mainstream, credentialing, as it occurs, will be state- by-state. Typically, a state will offer a "grand fathering" period, during which qualified practitioners will be credentialed without further requirements. We expect that AHG membership will be the best avenue to credentialing.
  • This course is very economical. We expect that licensing requirements will eventually include 3-4 years of schooling. Now is the time to enter this expanding field and have the chance of grand fathering at far less cost.
  • The teaching staff reflects the utmost in professionalism. Well trained herbalists, especially instructors, are hard to find.
  • The founder of this program was the first AHG professional member in the state of Washington and is a clinician, teacher and speaker, with 40 years in the field. Several graduates of this program have also become professional members, and the number is growing.
  • This course is well organized and in-depth. The curriculum covers herbal styles and plant remedies from around the world. European, Chinese and Ayurvedic systems are included in a well rounded perspective.
  • This course is practical. The demand for trained herbalists is growing. Many trained herbalists are making a full time career of herbal services. With this training, you can consult privately or in a clinic, work in the dietary supplement industry, in a health food store or herb pharmacy, in the herbal import/export business, or education.
  • This course is a tremendous opportunity to gain the knowledge you need to benefit your family and friends, or just to be a healthier person.

Professional herbalists follow many career paths

  • Private practice, consultations
  • Consultant, Freelance, Industry
    • Formulation
    • Sourcing
    • Marketing
    • Production & processing
    • Quality control
  • Writing
    • Books & Magazines
    • Production literature
    • Technical
  • Education
    • Schools
    • Stores
    • Freelance
    • Conferences
  • Manufacturing
    • Small business opportunities
  • Wholesaling
    • Bulk ingredients
    • Distributor of finished products
  • Retailing
    • Herb pharmacy, health food, mail order
    • Owner / operator, Employee
    • Multilevel sales
  • Sales Representative
    • Freelance
    • Company representative
  • Import & Export
  • Research & Development

Please read the Herbalism FAQs for detailed course and registration information.

Next Steps:

For more information on this program contact: Wes Harwood, or climbhealth@pcc.edu

To Register:
  1. View the current schedule of classes for Herbalism and write down your CRN.
  2. Visit Non-Credit Registration and create a new account. Returning PCC Students can skip this step.
  3. Register for your course online using MyPCC.