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ArborVitae seeks to offer the highest quality herbal education taught by masterful herbalists and health practitioners, and to offer that training at a reasonable fee.


Tuition Overview

Tuition cost is based on over 343 hours of program classes plus an additional 24 hours of extra Q&A (367 hours total). This does not include all study materials, further educational hours (such as personal and group mentorship and special events), along with other opportunities and services.

  • History & Philosophy of Herbal Medicine
    The class provides an overview of the history and philosophy of herbal practices throughout the world, with a focus on more recent history in Europe and U.S. Lessons include an introduction to core concepts of a diversity of approaches to herbal medicine.
  • Botanical Materia Medica
    Over 60 medicinal plants and mushrooms are reviewed in depth, including plants & fungi that grow in North America as well as medicinal herbs from other regions. Teachers introduce students an abundance of other botanicals throughout the curriculum. Students will build their own materia medica based on their studies, and will learn about herbal monographs and components: Latin name, common name, botanical information, herbal actions, energetics, system affinities, current and historical uses, specific indications, and herbal toxicity and safety.
  • Traditional Herbalism & Holistic Assessment
    The class provides a survey of various holistic approaches to healing. It focuses on the traditions of herbalism that have evolved in the U.S. incorporating Western European/ Greek systems, tissue states, Vitalist and Eclectic concepts, folk traditions, as well as the use of Native American plants and wisdom adopted from Native traditions. We also provide a comprehensive introduction to concepts and energetics in Arurvedic and Traditional Chinese Medicine. Basic concepts from other healing traditions throughout the world will be introduced as well. Energetics, actions, and flavors, as well as specific signs and patterns are covered. Course content includes basic assessment tools like ways to gather information from tissue states, pulse and tongue.
  • Herbal Apothecary: Gathering, Preparation and Use
    he curriculum reviews various types of herbal preparation, including how, why, and when to use different forms of herbal medicine. Students learn about the ethics of wildcrafting, and methods for harvesting, drying, and preparing roots, stems, leaves, flowers, seeds, and mushrooms into various herbal remedies, and receive hands-on in-depth lessons in the preparation of: - Tea infusions decoctions - Tinctures / liquid extracts - Powders (cooked & raw herbs) - Oxymels, herbal vinegars - Topical: salves, ointments, creams, poultices, linaments - Herbal oils /fats (internal & external) - Medicinal food preparation: herb broths, herbal preserves We also present introductory information about the preparation and use of other forms of herbal medicine including: - Succus - Syrups, herbal honey - Suppositories - Flower essences - Homeopathy - Essential oils / aromatherapy - Herbal baths and soaks - Herbal douches & enemas - Herbal nasal irrigation - Smoke and inhalants - Herbal skin care: hydrosols, lotion, scrubs - Topical: plasters Students also learn the basics of formulation and management of a personal apothecary.
  • Botany & Plant Identification
    As an important part of the first year program, students are exposed to a survey of botanical science to inform the connection between healing and the physical plant world. Field botany includes identification skills, plant families, classification, and structure. The Doctrine of Signatures and other traditional concepts are interwoven with class material.
  • Herbs in the Environment
    A number of class days in fall and spring are spent outside on field trips in the wilds of New York City and beyond the city. Botany, plant ID, basics of herb cultivation, wild crafting and wild food foraging will be covered out in the field.
  • Herbs in the Cycles of Life
    Each period of life has special considerations, challenges and needs. The curriculum integrates herb considerations and wellness practices, along with nutrition and flower essences, for supporting healthy infancy and childhood, puberty, fertility, pregnancy and elder years.
  • Herbs as Food and Food as Medicine
    Traditional foods and nutrition are prominent among course material. Students learn of Aruvedic nutritional principles, specific foods for the various organ systems and for common ailments. In addition to traditional nutrition, students are exposed to nutritive constituents such as vitamins and minerals, as well as secondary compounds, and their roles in healthy body functions. Ways to incorporate both tonic and medicinal plants into meals are explored along with wild food gathering and preparation, and principles of traditional & medicinal food preparation.
  • Herbal Therapeutics: Properties, Actions and Chemistry
    Various aspects of the curriculum highlight the importance of plant tastes: bitter, sweet, pungent, sour and savory, which are considered in their properties and applications. Plant actions, phytochemistry, introduction to herbal constituents, and whole plant poly-pharmacy (synergy versus standardization) are taught.
  • Herbal First Aid
    The first year program includes lessons on dealing with acute injuries using holistic and herbal protocols. Students are introduced to methods for assessing the extent of injuries and applying herbs for basic first aid needs.
  • Herbal Safety
    Students are introduced to the crucial topics of herbal contraindications, how dosage relates to safety, herb-herb interactions, herb-drug interactions, safety during pregnancy and lactation, and how our current knowledge of phytochemical constituents of plants can inform safe use.
  • Herbs as Flower Essences
    Students are presented with an overview of how and when to use flower essences, as well as their energetic benefits for emotional and mental health. These lessons include consideration of emotional trauma and its effects on physiology.
  • Extra Q&A Sessions
    Included in the curriculum and tuition, we offer extra (optional) Q&A sessions, which enable students to meet with the core faculty in a more intimate setting and ask any questions they may have. The sessions are held outside of classroom hours and are optional; however, students receive additional credit hours for attending the sessions. Dates and times of sessions are announced at the beginning of the school year so that students can plan ahead if they would like to attend a session.
  • Additional Outline of Curriculum Topics
    Body Systems, Bioscience & Western Medicine Anatomy, physiology and body systems Herb affinities, actions, interactions and pharmacology Pathology and medical terminology Energetics and Assessment Methods Traditional European, Chinese and Ayurveda energetics Traditional assessment methods including face, tongue, and pulse reading states and Constitution Materia Medica (60+ plants) Nomenclature Herbal actions Energetics Specific indications and use Safety Historical and botanical information Botany & Plant Identification Botanical science Doctrine of Signatures and Energetics Field work Phytochemistry Ethical and quality harvesting Medicine Making & Use Infusions and decoctions preparation methods Various tincture preparation methods Topical herb preparations: poultices, salves, creams, powders Herbal vinegar, oil, electuarys, oxymels Flower essences Introduction to use of other applications Life Cycles Birth and infancy Childhood and adolescence Adulthood, fertility and pregnancy Menopause and andropause Elder years and death Nutrition Traditional nutrition practices Nutritional science Nutrition for particular times of life and ailments Food as medicine Wild and foraged food Herbal History & Philosophy Lineage of ‘Western’ European medical and herbal traditions from prehistory to present Lineage of North American herbalism World Herbal Traditions European – Greek, Traditional Chinese Medicine and Ayurveda Introduction to other traditions throughout the world Law & Practice Legal issues with herbal practice DSHEA: Language GMPs and the herbalist Working with People Developing holistic and herbal protocols Initial approaches and follow up Ethics

Now Accepting
Applications for 2024-25

Holistic Traditional Training for a

New Generation of Practicing Herbalists. We are now accepting applications for the 2024-2025 school year that starts in September 2024.


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