Class meets every Thursday (6:30 to 9:30pm) from October 1, 2015 thru June 30, 2016 (holidays excepted). Two clinic days on Mondays from 10-5pm: February 15 and March 21. Core Intensives occur one weekend per month from 10am to 5pm: 2015: October 3-4, November 14-15, December 12-13. 2016: January 23-24, February 13-15, March 19-21, April 16-17, May 14-15, and a Botanical Camping Trip to Mt. Shasta June 23-26.

Click here to fill out the on-line application.
Your prior experience and commitment to an intensive program must be reviewed before acceptance into the program. Please apply early as enrollment ends in mid-September. We will review your application and setup a phone interview prior to acceptance. Once accepted, you may register by clicking the Sign-Up button below to pay your deposit.

COST: $3,750. A $550 deposit holds your space.
Monthly payment plans are available with arrangements made at time of acceptance into the program.

Contact Us: 415-524-8693 • Email: info@gatheringthyme.com

Sign Up

Click the sign-up button to register.
Registration can only be completed after acceptance into the program (see Application, above).

The Practicing Herbalist

A Nine-Month Intensive Program in Clinical Herbalism

Nursing Continuing Education Units Available

Drawing from the expertise and experience of a well-rounded faculty, the goal of this intermediate/advanced-level course is to prepare students with the essential skills necessary to pursue a career as a professional herbalist.

Class meets every Thursday evening in addition to a Core Intensive session one weekend per month. (See exact dates outlined on the right-hand panel of this page). Students who complete this program will receive instruction in the following areas:

Matthew Wood begins the program with the history of Western Herbalism including Thomsonian, Physiomedicalist, Eclectic, Homeopathic and Naturopathic medicine.

Learn to assess health states and constitutions using a variety of traditional skills and methods.

Students are expected to have a basic understanding of the Western materia media and to research and build upon their personal monographs. The focus of discussion on herbs will be within the context of disease states, herbal energetics and individual constitutions.

We will cover anatomy and physiology with an emphasis on pathophysiology. Topics covered include common pathologies by body system as well as autoimmune conditions, inflammatory processes, degenerative disorders, endocrine disorders, sexual health, mental health, pain and cancer. These classes will be taught by Dr. Jennifer Clemons.

Kia Sanford and Sarah Bearden will teach the nutritional components of this program.

  • Macro-nutrients, vitamins and minerals with an emphasis on indications and ailments caused by deficiencies as well as using nutritional supplements and food as supporting adjuncts to an herbal protocol.
  • What constitutes a well-balanced diet? Analyzing dietary plans from raw to paleo and everything in-between.
  • Food allergies vs. sensitivities and food elimination protocols.
  • Detoxification – the what, why and how.


  • What constitutes a well-rounded herbal formula.
  • Acute vs. tonic formulas
  • Herb safety
  • Herb/Drug interactions including side effects of common drugs.

Learn about basic phytochemicals found in medicinal plants - from alkaloids to polysaccharides - what they are, where they are found, and what effect they have on our bodies. This weekend intensive will be taught by David Hoffmann.

Students will be expected to craft their own medicines outside of classtime. We will discuss menstruum solubility for major plant constituents and focus on more advanced preparations, including: percolation, succus, herbal pills, boluses and suppositories, oxymels and electuaries, nasal irrigation, herbal waters and more.

Essential oils are often used for immune support, relaxation and sleep, stress relief, emotional balance, skin care, respiratory health, green cleaning, and even muscle tension and pain. In each class, geared toward a particular topic, you'll learn about 5-6 different oils and how they can be used to support health. You will learn how oils are extracted from plants, essential oil safety, dilution percentages and blending principles and you will make 2 products to take home with you. This is a great adjunct to clinical herbalism and is designed to broaden your therapeutic repertoire. Sarah Bearden of Roots to Health will teach this component of the program. NOTE: Due to the nature of this course, an additional materials fee of $35 will be charged.

This course includes a four-day wildcrafting/camping trip to Mt. Shasta and will be lead by Cheryl Fromholzer and Judy Lieblein. An additional cost will be incurred for this trip for the cost of camping/meals and travel.


  • Analyzing scientific studies
  • Allopathic medical terminology
  • Understanding medical lab tests
  • Research skills
This class will be taught by Donna Odierna.


  • Creating intake forms including consent/disclosure forms
  • Clearing space for yourself and clients
  • Setting good boundaries
  • Holding safe space for clients
  • Ethics and confidentiality
  • Legal considerations
  • Taking a health history
  • Patient compliance
  • Scope of practice – knowing when to refer
  • Developing a client protocol
  • Client follow-Up

Throughout the course, students will be expected to develop “theoretical” client protocols based on information provided by the instructors. Each protocol will be presented to the group and evaluated by the instructors. Students will have the opportunity to sit in session with experienced practitioners with case review held as a group after each session.

Mentorships may be developed between a practicing herbalist and student to further their clinical skills under the tutelage of a clinician. (Note: These are optional and will be reviewed on a case-by-case basis at an additional cost to the student).

We’ll guide you through the different steps required for creating a successful business including the legalities of herbal medicine.

  • Government regulations: DSHEA, FDA, cGMP compliance
  • Different business entities: from sole proprietor to B-Corps
  • Record keeping
  • Marketing methods – from social media to print publications
  • Website, blogs and other forms of on-line communication
  • Creating collateral – business cards, flyers, brochures
  • Networking with other professionals

Unpaid internships are available for those who seek to immerse themselves into deeper avenues of learning. We have three tracks: a garden internship, an internship in our retail shop as well as a teaching assistant for the Explorations class which meets every Monday evening. These internships require a commitment of 3-hours per week for the term of the session you are enrolled in. If you are interested, please contact us for more information.

Continuing Education Credit for Nurses
This course is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing for 211 continuing education credits for the full certificate program. For more information on CE Units, please contact Anne Pera at afpearrn@gmail.com

For a complete list of Core Faculty and Guest Teachers, please visit: Faculty Listing

Students must have completed a first-year comprehensive herbal program or otherwise show proficiency in a Western herbal materia medica, basic anatomy and physiology, conditions and therapeutics as well as basic medicine making skills. Upon receipt of your application, a phone interview will be setup to ascertain if this program is a good fit for you. While a desire to be a clinician is not necessary for admission, the financial means, drive and motivation for completion of studies is key.

In addition to classroom lecture and experiential “hands-on” core intensives, each student is expected to work independently or in teams to complete assignments on schedule before the next module begins. Certification is based on participation and successful completion of all assignments.

It is recommended that each student build a good herbal reference library. Suggestions will be offered throughout the course on recommended books. Required books include the following (and more may be indicated as the course progresses):

  • Traditional Western Herbalism and Pulse Evaluation by Matthew Wood
  • Reading the Body by Margi Flint (Margi will bring those with her when she teaches in February)