Welcome To Vital Ways

School for Holistic Herbalism

You Can Learn Herbalism To Help Yourself, Your Family, and Your Community Heal

At Vital Ways, we’re very inspired by the growing movement of people turning to natural remedies, herbs, and holistic lifestyle to take control of their own health. We believe that this growing health empowerment movement has the real possibility to make a substantial change in the course of our future.

We envision a better time when it is common for people to understand how to use the gifts of nature, for healing themselves and others.

Our Mission is to make this vision a reality, by guiding, supporting, and empowering people on this path in our school, Free Clinic, and Apothecary. We’re passionate about helping people reclaim ownership over their health, naturally.

Our 1-4 year Herbalist Certificate Courses are where we enact this mission by guiding students with the essential skills and wisdom from traditional and modern herbalism, integrated into essential holistic healing approaches for a profound healing synergy. This approach that we teach in each of our courses, is aimed at not just relieving symptoms but bringing about a state of health that is more vital, balanced, vibrant, and whole.

More than just an Herb School

In our courses, you don’t just gain an intimate personal knowledge of plants, but you also develop a complete holistic healing skillset which incorporates nutrition, lifestyle, mental-emotional balance, environmental health and more.

We’re very honored to have been effectively guiding students with this method for over 12 years.

If You Feel Inspired to Learn Holistic Herbalism and advanced holistic healing strategies to be able to help yourself heal, and be able to confidently share it, then we welcome you to join our community of Herbalists and Healers in our courses, or schedule an appointment in our free clinic, or visit our public apothecary.

On the Herbalist Certificate Journey you are personally guided by passionate experts in the field including Christopher Smaka, Paul Bergner, Elise Krohn, Jillian Stansbury, Hanna Jordan, Talia Hammond and others.

Herbalist Certificate Courses

Registering Now!

Beginner to Advanced Classes

Enrolling Now for Limited Time

Learn More About Our Upcoming Herbalists Certificate Course Here
Vital Ways School

‘Studying at Vital Ways has been the most transformational and empowering decision of my life.  I now feel confident in my ability to use a holistic herbal approach to healing to truly change lives.  Chris and the rest of the faculty organized complex material in an easy-to-learn way. The information from this program to heal myself from Lyme disease and I am now symptom-free and deeply devoted to the path of the healer.’

Christine, Class of 2020

Learning at Vital Ways:

To Ensure That You Learn Healing Skills Personally, All of Our Classes Provide You With:

  • A Hands-On Experiential Class: Our classes are experiential. We ship you herbs right to your doorstep.
  • Personal Guidance by Experts in the Field: Your educators are passionate, highly experienced, experts in the field and take an active interest in your learning in our live classes.
  • Support of a Community: When you join our classes you connect with a like-minded community, of people, in-person and online, who share your passion for healing and inspire, support, and encourage each other on the herbalist’s path.
  • Traditional, Modern, and Holistic: We teach a blend of Ancient Herbal Wisdom and Cutting-Edge Health Knowledge, in a whole person healing approach.
  • Focused on You Becoming the Healer: We ensure that you personally develop the skill and wisdom yourself, to use herbs and holism confidently and effectively.

In our Classes, You Develop the Confidence and Skills to be an Effective Holistic Herbal Healer.

Enrolling now for Spring 2022

Vital Ways is a respected leader in truly holistic herbalism and our mission is to share trustworthy, effective, actionable, natural approaches that lead to whole person healing, in mind, body, and spirit guided by the wisdom of nature.

Reach Out To Learn More

We are honored to have been guiding students to become herbalists
and healers for 12 years.

We couldn’t be more proud of our graduates who have gone on to do great things with what they’ve learned here, including being:

  • Skilled Herbal Practitioners
  • Educators, Bloggers
  • Professional Medicine Makers
  • Apothecary Owners
  • Herb Farmers


To Become a Skilled and Confident Healer in 2022, Join Now

4 Herbalist Certificate Programs

Enrolling now for a limited time!

  • The Foundation Program, and Roots Program are community herbalist courses for those with no prior herbal education. Graduates of either are eligible to enroll in the Advanced Herbalist Training Course.
  • The Advanced Herbalist Course, for those with at least one year of prior training, to take their skills to the next level. Graduates of the Advanced Program are eligible to work in our Community Free Clinic.
  • Clinic Practicum Course, is for herbalists who are committed to offering their herbal skills to the community as a Student-Clinician in our Community Free Clinic.
Learn More To Start Your Herbalist Journey

Vital Ways is a Proud Member School
of the American Herbalist Guild

The only professional organization of Herbalists in the United States. Our students can become student members of the Guild, and all of our coursework counts towards the requirements for professional membership.

Vital Ways Institute Health Coaching Certification
Start Your Journey Now
Take the Deep Dive
Vital Ways Health Coach
The Clinicians Path

Unsure of Which Herbalist Training Course Meets Your Needs and Skill Level?

See our Classes Flow Chart below or Reach Out With Any Questions

Learn More
Vital Ways Health Coach Certification Program

“I received an amazing education at Vital Ways that gave me new perspectives, and amazing abilities with herbs and mental-emotional healing. Chris and the rest of the educators have the deepest integrity for healing and led the way with their commitment and passion for holistic health. I couldn’t be more thankful that I found, and was able to attend this program.”

Lila, Class of 2018

Free Clinic Appointments

If you are struggling with a chronic health issue and would like to receive guidance from Free Clinic than please reach out to us by sending an email or calling (503)914-7908 for a phone consultation.

We think that healthcare is a right, not a privilege. Our Free Clinic has been providing 100% free healthcare for over 10 years.

Our clinic is staffed by our 3rd and 4th year Practicum Students and overseen by our clinic faculty.

Find Out More