The Roots Holistic Herbalist Training program teaches you how to be a holistic herbalist and use the healing power of plants to heal yourself and your loved ones. You’ll learn traditional and modern use of medicinal plants, wild plant identification, essentials of nutrition, stress management, herbal formulation, medicine making and tongue and pulse analysis.
The Roots Holistic Herbalist Certificate program is a complete Community Herbalist Training.
The comprehensive holistic herbal skills and wisdom that you gain at Vital Ways Institute are a complete method of healing, and can be the foundation for Advanced study in the second year of the clinical herbalist’s program. The training you receive is based on an integration of Traditional Herbal Wisdom, with the cutting edge of modern herbal research.
Vital Ways Institute is a multi-year Holistic Herbalism School and Education Center, Free Clinic and Apothecary in Portland Oregon, that has trained over 750 people over the past 10 years. We have programs of study ranging from 1-3 years for people of all skill levels, from beginners to advanced 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 online and in-person student community.
“This class changed me from the inside-out. I never dreamed I could make such progress so quickly. I achieved permanent results and gained knowledge that will last me a lifetime. “
“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.”
Specific Topics of Study:
Medicinal Plants: Traditional and time honored European, Asian and Native American herbal medicine informed by modern scientific and state of the art clinical understanding of medicinal plants.
Botany for Herbalists: Holistic physiology basics
Wildcrafting: How to harvest your own medicinal plants and mushrooms
Introduction to body systems: Brief introduction to physiology
Foundations of Nutrition: Essentials of Food as Medicine
Holistic Approach to Stress Transformation and Emotional Balance: Holistic approach to mind-body balance.
Medicine making skills: Infusions, decoctions, infused honeys, oils, salves, tinctures, herbal vinegars and more.
Holistic evaluation skills: Tongue, Pulse, Reading the body
Northwest wild foods: Harvest and preparation
Ethnobotany & Ethnonutrition: Northwest cultural ecosystems and native plant foods
Christopher Smaka is the owner and director of the Vital Ways Center for Holistic Herbalism, a 1-3 year Holistic Clinical Herbalist School, Community Free Clinic, and The Herbal Apothecary, a community based herb store. He has been fortunate to study herbalism and holistic health since 1995 with amazing educators in the US and on in his travels in India, China and Nepal. In his clinical practice, Chris combines traditional herbalism with modern advancements in holistic health, from nutrition, functional medicine and mind-body medicine to provide a comprehensive approach to healing. In his spare time, he is most likely to be found in the woods with his Siberian husky, sitting on a bed of moss, stooped over a patch of colorful fungi, field lens in hand.
Elise Krohn, M.Ed. is an educator, author, herbalist, and native foods specialist living in the Northwest. During her 15 years of experience teaching in tribal communities, she has worked with elders and cultural specialists to develop community gardens, food sovereignty resources, a program on healing addiction, and curricula on chronic disease prevention. She also has over 10 years of experience as a clinical herbalist, and has authored two books and numerous articles on herbal medicine and wild foods. Elise is currently a Fellow in Ethnobotany and Ethnonutrition at the Center for World Indigenous Studies.
One Saturday and Sunday per month
10:00AM – 5:30PM
None-This program is for people with no prior experience, and for those with experience looking to broaden and deepen their holistic herbalist skills.
$1900 includes all supplies and materials
“My time at Vital Ways deepened my understanding of holistic health and nutrition, and taught me how to use medicinal plants in a powerful way. It also gave me a sense of connection and fostered deep personal growth that I didn’t expect. It was a truly transformative journey, that I am eternally grateful for.”
May 30, 31
Jul 25, 26
Aug 29, 30
Sep 12, 13
Oct 10, 11
Nov 14, 15
Dec 5, 6