Foundations of Holistic Herbalism Online Program

Dig in to Herbal Learning!

The Foundations of Holistic Herbalism online program has depth and breadth – allowing you to solidly root your herbal practice while branching beyond just the plants to create a comprehensive holistic program.

We teach because we want you to become an herbalist. We think more herbalists will make this world a better place! For some people, studying online is the ideal situation, but for others it can be difficult to stay on track. We’ve built a ton of accountability into this program to ensure that you do what you set out to do: become an herbalist!


Our ENTIRE PROGRAM is video recorded. This is NOT a self-guided program – we teach each and every minute of the program ourselves, using the same curriculum that we have been using and perfecting here in Boston for the last seven years. You’re not paying for someone to tell you what you should study: you’re getting in-depth video instruction.

If you can watch TV, you can succeed in this program!


Do you like to practice things a few times to make sure you have it down? We’ve got you covered! In each module, every individual class has homework suggestions – there will be things you can read and listen to, things you can make and try, and review questions you can answer – and a student forum where you can ask all your questions.

We monitor the forum every day ourselves – no admins or work-study students giving answers. And we’ll be checking in on you at regular intervals to see how you’re doing and whether you need any help. In this program, you won’t be left to “figure it out for yourself” – we’ll be with you every step of the way.

We make sure you understand the material in each module before you move on with quizzes and tests – so you can be sure you’re right on target!

I felt supported but also held accountable, which was a huge thing for me!
– Kylee F.

Mentorship and Community

Do you worry that you’ll feel isolated and anonymous with an online program? We bring the community to you! We teach every class personally, and because we’re teaching from our own experience – not just in our clinic, but even in our own bodies! You’ll get to know us pretty well as you go along, and because we answer every single forum question personally, we’ll get to know you too!

We might be separated by miles or time zones, but we’ll be working together towards a common goal: to make you an herbalist! Not only that, but we really encourage all students to comment on each other’s posts as well, so that everyone forms a tight-knit community. In this country, often there’s only one herbalist in any given town, but if we are going to support the health of the people in our communities, we need people to support us as well! By forming tightly connected class groups, we can always be sure that there is someone who understands what we’re going through, right at our fingertips!

We’ll be there, right by your side the whole time – and as students, you’ll be there for one another, too!

They offered so much needed advice, support and love, while pushing me through my own fears to make structure out of 30 plus years of dreaming and study. With their help I was able to organize and plan out exactly what I wanted to create.
– Johanna D.


Maybe you’ve taken some hobby classes, and now you’re ready to dig deep and get serious about this work. You’re in the right place! For the last seven years, we’ve been teaching students who go on not only to care for themselves and their families, but who turn herbalism into a career.

Here’s what some of our Students and Graduates are doing with their herbal education!

If you’re ready to move beyond the hobby stage, or if you’re just a person who takes your hobbies seriously! – this is the program for you!

“The Foundations of Holistic Herbalism is a complete course in practical herbal medicine for beginning and intermediate students.”

And yes!
“After completing this program, you’ll be confident in your ability to care for yourself, your family, and your friends with natural methods.”

But it’s much more than that.

Holistic Herbalism is a 3D, 360-degree philosophy about health and care.

It’s a strong relationship with plants that can nourish, restore, and revitalize.

It’s a thorough understanding of the factors that contribute to good or poor health, and detailed strategies about how to help yourself, your family, and your clients get to a natural place of vibrant health – and stay there!

It’s a panoramic view of the whole body of health, and the interconnectedness within our own bodies and our interconnectedness with the greater body of the earth.

Build Your Practice On A Strong Foundation

You can’t build a house without a foundation. You also can’t build it without a blueprint.

Our step-by-step instruction begins from universal principles and proceeds to specifics, adding layers of complexity in an organized, intentional progression.

A house can be built in all kinds of beautiful and functional ways, but all of them have to abide by the laws of physics and the nature of their materials & methods. Herbalism can be practiced in all kinds of intricate and effective ways, but all practices are defined by their materials & methods.

My previous study was, honestly, kind of all over the map. Having an organized program gave me the structure to make sense of what I’d studied so far and where I was going next.
– Susan M.

You can’t learn herbalism without a foundation, and a plan for taking it from theory to practice.

We’ve been teaching this program here in Boston for the last seven years, and we’ve developed a comprehensive learning system so students can make sense of the complex interconnectedness within our own bodies, and apply the concepts learned in an effective, professional way.

You can study all kinds of things about herbalism, and we think you should! However, without a clear blueprint and a framework to hold it all together, you have a lot of fun facts, but you don’t have a practice. Facts are fun, but when you want to put them into practice, you need a solid foundation on which to stand.

The strength of your foundation is what takes you from being interested in herbalism to being an herbalist. This program will help you strengthen your foundation and branch out into the world of professional herbalism.

Practical Holistic Thinking For Lasting Lifestyle Change

Wouldn’t it be nice if a cup of tea could fix all of your problems?

We think so too! And sometimes, it can! But, more often, the health problems people face today are multifactorial, and require a holistic approach. Our program allows you to be armored with knowledge and tools to understand and implement holistic healing programs that address current societal and individual health challenges.

I’d visited herbalists before, and I’d tried figuring things out on my own, too. It wasn’t until I started consulting and studying with Katja that I started to seriously look at my diet, my sleep, my stress . . . that’s when things turned around.
– Peter K.

You are what you eat.

There’s a lot of conflicting information about which diets are healthy and which aren’t. We spend an entire module analyzing healthy eating habits throughout history and across the globe – and in each body system module, we refer specifically to how nutritional factors affect the health & functioning of your whole body.

You are how you move, too!

In today’s society, we just straight up don’t get enough movement in our daily lives. (And don’t think that’s the same thing as “exercise”!) Movement is requisite to proper functioning of your cardiovascular system, and your lymphatic system, and your immune system, and – well, because of those, every other system!
Since movement is so important for “all the things”, we’ll spend a lot of time talking not only about proper body alignment and functional movement, but also specific recommendations for real-life problems including pain management and proper organ function.

You are at your best when you’re well-slept.

People have been saying “I’ll sleep when I’m dead!” for at least a couple decades now – it’s a perennial favorite of joking-not-joking comedy, with a hint of desperation and a whiff of defiance, some might say. (We’re those some.) Seriously, you need to sleep! Despite our cultural norms and the supposedly glamorous sleep-deprived lifestyles of the rich & famous, sleep is absolutely critical to good health.
It’s not always easy! Pain, anxiety, stress over work – would you believe even the food you eat plays a role in how well you sleep? Each module includes information on how sleep impacts us physically and emotionally, and what you can do to improve the situation.

You deserve a break from stress.

It’s not just pleasant, it’s actually healthy! Stress can bring you down, not just mentally but physically too… Just don’t stress out about it! That’s the tricky part. In the program, we cover herbs and lifestyle strategies to mitigate the effects of daily and chronic stress.

I’m immensely grateful for your teaching and really glad I stuck with the apprenticeship program in Boston. I think that investment is paying off now because I’m putting that training into practice to take care of client zero, which is me. I know I have a lot that I can do, and I can do more of it because I have tools to take care of myself, and way more of them now than ever before.
– Danielle L.

Katja and Ryn go beyond ‘this-herb-for-that’ herbalism and teach foundational support of lifestyle, movement, nutrition and sleep – backed by current research and clinical experience – to bring herbalists to a deeply holistic way of seeing the body’s interplay of physiology, and the many interventions we have to direct it toward health.
– Kenton C.

We believe you should always have more than one teacher. Fortunately, our programs are always taught by two!

Katja and Ryn are great co-teachers! They’re funny and they do a good job of illustrating different viewpoints to help us see the different perspectives on each topic.
– Lisa N.

Any time you put two herbalists in a room and ask a question, you should expect no fewer than three responses. This is still true if those herbalists are husband and wife! Why? Because herbs are just like your human friends: everyone knows a different side of you, and you enjoy doing different things with different friends. Herbalists build different relationships with plants too, so the more you hear about a plant from different herbalists, the more complete your understanding of that plant is!

Teaching as a team allows us to give you our individual perspectives on each herb and on how we apply them in practice, so you can get a multi-faceted sense of the whole field of possibilities and make your own decisions.

“Becoming a student at Commonwealth Center for Holistic Herbalism has been the best decision I have ever made in my life. I felt at home from the first moment I started, and that feeling has not gone away.

Ryn and Katja have lifted the veil of conventional thought, and shown me a world that is vibrant, green, and natural. I cannot thank them enough for that, and I am looking forward to continuing my studies with them!”
– Jesse S.

What’s Included

We love transparency, and we want to be SUPER CLEAR about what this program includes:

  • 200 hours of video instruction by Katja and Ryn.
    Many programs list the hours that they think it should take you to complete reading assignments, etc, in their total program hours, which makes the program look really impressive – but it’s not a good indication of what you’re actually paying for! Make sure to ask how many hours of the program are actual video instruction before you choose a program!
    The COMPLETE list of modules in the Foundations of Holistic Herbalism bundle is listed and described below.
  • PDF handouts, note taking outlines, and more.
    We recommend that you find a large 3 ring binder to keep your handouts and notes in. Our students here in Boston do that, and it seems to be a great way to organize material in a sequential way. As you progress through the program, your binder will grow to become a resource you can return to for years to come! All of the handouts and outlines are optimized for printing, and collating your own notes with the printed handouts creates a construct for you to internalize your work!
  • Access to the student forums, monitored daily by Ryn and Katja.
    You’ve got questions? We’ve got answers – probably two or three! Just toss your questions right into the forum and Ryn and Katja will answer them daily. Plus, we encourage students to comment on each other’s questions as well: we want to acknowledge that everyone has valuable experiences and that together as a community, we have a rich tapestry of knowledge. It may turn out that another student has an experience that gives them unique insight on your particular question! And when we all learn together as a community, we form much tighter bonds of support and solidarity!

I just wanted to remind you of how grateful I am for the work you do. In addition to teaching about herbs, you create a forum where people who are different from each other can find common interests and common grounds, and learn about each other in a loving, welcoming space.
– Katherine G.

  • Homework assignments & quizzes to keep you on track.
  • Certificate of completion.
    There’s no such thing as a “certified herbalist”, because herbalism isn’t regulated in this country. However, it’s completely appropriate for you to receive a certificate that documents your hours of study, and we will provide you with a lovely one! Should you decide to seek professional membership in the American Herbalists Guild, our school is recognized as meeting the educational requirements for your application. (Find more information about certificates and certification here.)

!!! with BIG HEADING about the specific hours and pages and stuff. *


You will receive 4 hours of instructional video content per week. Additionally, it’s good to allocate about an hour a day to work on homework assignments, readings, herbal medicine-making projects, and to generally just have a lot of fun playing with herbs!

!!! [this section will be a clickable grid of modules, each with a photo, title, and a short description. they can click on them for a longer description.]

(orientation, 2 hours, they get that for free)
Holistic Herbalism Materia Medica - 22 hours, 85 plants in depth.
Herbal Medicine-Making - 12 hours 
		Tea - 1 hour
		Tinctures / Vinegars / Wines - 2+ hours
                Fire Cider - 1 hour
		Honey - 1 hour
		Elixirs and syrups - 1 hour
		Oils / Salves / Lotion - 2 hours
		topical, barriers, filters - 1 hour
		Powders etc - 2 hours incl truffles
		respiratory / inhaled - 1 hour
History, Philosophy, and Energentics - 12 hours
		Holism & Vitalism - 4 hours
		History - 4 hours
		Energetics - 4 hours

Forumlation -6 hours
		do the traditional triangle, but “catalyst” was always hard for me
		we have better ways of talking about that now
		do it energetically, with the compass
		expand theories of “friends” vs. “teams”
		give a kajillion examples
		talk about individual plants as formulas

Fundamentals of Holistic Nutrition - 10 hours
	        Nutrition - 6 hours
		Food Intolerances - 4 hours

Digestive System - 10 +1 hour case studies
Cardiovascular System - 10 +1 hour case studies
Urinary System - 4 +1 hours
Respiratory System - 6 +1 hours
	Cold and Flu
Immune System - 6 +1 hours 
Nervous System - 15 +1 hours
        Emotional Health 
	{digestive, nervines, Flower Essences, psych first aid}

Integumentary System - 4 +1 hours 

Musculoskeletal System - 10 +1 hours 
                pathophys and herbal stuff - 4 hours
		Alignment - 6 hours

Herbal First Aid - 9 +1 hours 
		herbal medics .5 hour
		homeless, underserved .5 hour
		basic wound and burn care 1-2 hours
		basic bandaging technique (demonstrate) 2 hours
		how to make a first aid kit and how to use the things in it 4 hours
		(info about how to learn more) .5 hours

Reproductive Systems 10 +1 hours 
Holistic Health for Children - 8 +1 + puberty 8 hours 
Holistic Health for Elders - 4-6 +1 hours 

Final Exam and stuff


If you’d like to purchase the whole Foundations of Holistic Herbalism program, we price it at $12.50 per video instruction hour, for a total of $2,500. That’s significantly lower than other programs either in person or online, as priced per instructional hour. We offer two ways to pay: you can sign up for a monthly plan, or you can pay the full tuition for a discount of $250!

If you’d prefer to purchase the program one module at a time, each module is priced at $15 per video instruction hour. So if the module has 10 hours of video instruction, it will cost $150.

Your handouts, forum access, homework and quizzes, and all the support are included in that fee!

Enrollment in the program constitutes a commitment to pay the entire tuition. If you enroll in the monthly payment option and stop making your payments, your access to the program will be suspended.
Once payments are complete, you have lifetime access to your program!

course materials and incidentals

There are no required books for the program, but several are strongly recommended. A budget of $50-$100 should more than cover the costs for a few basic books, and many of the books we recommend are available in your local Public Library system. All of our assigned readings are in the form of articles, studies, monographs, and other resources which are accessible online for free.

Students will also need to acquire their own herbs and other medicine-making ingredients and tools: tea strainers, oils, beeswax, alcohol for tinctures, bottles, etc. We provide information about local herb shops and online suppliers.

We estimate total incidental expenses should amount to no more than $15-45 per month.

refund policy

We offer a two-week withdrawal period for students enrolled in the full Foundations of Holistic Herbalism bundle. For students in individual modules, we allow withdrawal for a refund anytime before starting the second lesson. After that point, we do not offer tuition refunds.

If you have a question that wasn’t answered on this page, check the FAQ!

!!! here’s a link to the orientation and introduction to the Foundations of Holistic Herbalism program

!!! here’s a link to one of the classes in the Materia Medica module


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