Foundation Holistic Herbalist Certificate Program

The Foundation Holistic Herbalist Certificate program guides students to become skilled herbalists.   As part of becoming an herbalist, students learn all the fundamentals of holistic herbalism including traditional and modern use of medicinal plants, Holistic Evaluation Skills including Tongue and Pulse Analysis, , Medicinal Herb Cultivation, Wild Plant Identification, Essentials of Nutrition, Stress Management, Herbal Formulation, and Medicine Making.

In addition to becoming an herbalist, and learning the skills to help others heal, when you join the Vital Ways Foundation program, you become part of a community of like-minded peers, and faculty and staff who support and inspire each other along the way.  The Foundation Program at Vital Ways is not just an herb class, its a healer’s training journey, and a connection to people on a similar path.  

Upon successful completion of the Foundation Program students are eligible to apply to the Advanced Holistic Herbalist Training Program.

Vital Ways Institute is a Holistic Herbalism School and Education Center that has trained over 700 people over the past 10 years in herbalism, nutrition and holistic health. We have programs of study that range from 1-4 years for people of all levels from absolute beginners to advanced clinic practitioners.

Our accomplished and highly experienced faculty are passionate about herbalism, holistic health and education. Our programs have flexible schedules to fit modern people’s busy lives, are priced to fit most budgets and we have a vibrant and inspiring student community.

Specific Topics of Study:

  • Medicinal Plants: Traditional and time honored European, Asian and Native American herbal medicine combined with cutting edge modern scientific and state of the art clinical understanding of medicinal plants.

  • Botany for Herbalists: Northwest Wild Plant Identification

  • Wildcrafting: Harvest your own medicinal plants and mushrooms.

  • Essentials of Physiology for the Holistic Herbal Healer

  • Foundations of Nutrition: Applied, Individualized, Body Positive Food as Medicine

  • Holistic Approach to Stress Transformation and Emotional Balance: Holistic approach to a vibrant mind-body balance.

  • Medicine Making: Infusions, decoctions, infused honeys, oils, salves, tinctures, herbal vinegars and more.

  • Holistic Evaluation Skills: Tongue, Pulse, Reading the Body

  • Northwest Wild Foods: Identification, Harvest, Preparation

  • Ethnobotany & Ethnonutrition: Northwest cultural ecosystems and native plant foods

Become a Certified Herbalist in 2021
Apply Today.


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

The only professional organization of Herbalists in the United States.  All of our students can become student members of the Guild and all of our coursework counts towards the requirements for professional membership which confers upon its members the ability to use AHG after their names.

“My time at Vital Ways deepened my understanding of holistic health and nutrition,gave me a sense of connection and fostered deep personal growth.”



1 Weekend per month for 9 months

March  26-28

April  16-18

May 14-16

June 18-20

July 23-25

August 20-22

September 10-12

October 15-18

November 5-7

Friday 2:30PM-6:00PM
Saturday and Sunday 10:00AM-5:00PM



COVID -19 Update: Our Classes Are Always Available Online, and Recorded and In-Person when Safe and Legal.   Our classes can be taken 100% online or  in person or a combination of both. 

We are always evolving, and upgrading our Holistic Herbalist Certificate Courses to Be Hands-On, Interactive and Experiential Even While We’re Online.




None-This program is for people with no prior experience, and for those with holistic health or herbal experience looking to broaden and deepen their skills and knowledge.



Includes all materials, and herbs and supplies mailed to students.

Become a Certified Herbalist in 2021
Apply Today.


Hear From Our Graduates

“Vital Ways has been the most positively impactful program in my educational pursuits in nutrition, herbalism and wellness with each year adding another deep and important layer to my knowledge and skills. It has provided me with the ability to use herbs and nutrition with a methodology and structure to help clients with confidence. It has been invaluable and I can’t recommend it highly enough.”

Vital Ways Health Coach certificate Program Farrah

“I received an amazing education at Vital Ways that gave me new perspectives, and 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.”


Our Location

We are located in the very lively NE Alberta Arts district at 2714 NE Alberta street, surrounded by food, art galleries, cute unique shops, coffee houses and true Portland culture.

Phone: 503.914.7908