Herbal Apprenticeship Program

As an herbal apprentice, you will learn how to synthesize the wisdom of nature, herbal traditions, science and intuition, while gaining personal experience in herbal healing for yourself and others.

This is a comprehensive training program for aspiring practitioners but is also for individuals who want to use herbs for self and family.

 Apprentices with horseradish

 What we cover:
  • Ethical Harvesting and Wildcrafting of Herbal Medicines
  • Making Herbal Medicines
  • In-depth exploration including common ailments and herbs used to help the:
    • Digestive System
    • Skin
    • Musculo-skeletal System
    • Cardiovascular System
    • Immune System
    • Respiratory System
    • Nervous System
    • Urinary System
    • Male and Female Reproductive Systems
  • Spring Tonics
  • Insulin Resistance
  • Allergies
  • Plant Spirit Medicine
  • Practical Intuitive Skills

 Student harvesting burdock root

In this program, you will learn:
  • How to use herbs safely for yourself, your loved ones, and/or clients/patients.
  • To separate nutritional and herbal misinformation and myths from traditional health wisdom and scientific facts.
  • Which herbs and preparations are most appropriate for each situation.
  • The language of nature—how plants speak to us through their physical appearance, taste, smell and our intuition, informing us of their best use.
  • To create your own Herbal Apothecary and Materia Medica

We offer beginning and advanced Herbalist classes, scheduled one weekend per month for each level of instruction.Tuition for each semester is $2,025.00. Payment plans are available.

Please visit the Herbal Apprenticeship Program page for detailed information about the material included at each level of instruction.

Please visit the Application page to apply to Wildwood Institute and to pay your application fee online.


 Said by a 2015 Student: Adding plant nutrients from Long Herbal Infusions allowed me to add red meat back into my diet after not having any for over 30 years.


Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ's)


What is included in the tuition?

Twelve weekends per year of collegiate level classroom education and experiential learning with our Founder and Director, Kathleen Wildwood. This includes making herbal medicines, herb walks, work-learn opportunities, assignments, readings, projects, tests. Textbooks are not included in the tuition. They are a separate purchase and are a specialized resource you will use throughout the program, and after completion of your formal education.


Is the application and fee a one-time expense?

Yes. Prior to admittance to our Herbal Apprenticeship program, each student is required to complete an application and submit this with a one-time processing fee of $35. An interview is then scheduled with our Director. Once admitted to the program, renewal is processed yearly.


Do I have to take all three years of the program?

No. Depending upon the extent of herbal knowledge you are seeking, you may choose to take one or two years, or complete the three year program.


How many students are in the program?

The Beginning Apprentice program has a maximum of 10 students each year. The Advanced Apprentice program has a maximum of 5 students each year. Instruction is individualized and personal, with time allowed for questions and interaction with the Director and co-students.


Is there lodging available?

If you are from out of the area, there are several reasonably priced hotels within minutes of Wildwood Institute. A Youth hostel is also available in downtown Madison, about 15 minutes away. The hostel has shared rooms at $25-30 per night.


What if I miss a class day or weekend? How do I make it up?

The course has a sequential structure of building blocks. Each class is unique and experiential. In the case of illness or emergency, you will be provided with any material and handouts from the class you missed. There are no make-up classes within the same year. Most classes are offered once per year. Sometimes, other students are willing to share notes.


What are the practical and professional applications in general for Herbalist training?

Many students use their herbal training to promote health and vitality for themselves and loved ones. Some choose to incorporate herbalism into their current occupations of nursing, pharmacy, nutrition, and other conventional healing professions. Some of our students have chosen to work at a holistic pharmacy or to work in the herb sections of health food stores. Others have chosen to start their own herb farm or herbal products business.


What are the professional applications of Clinical Herbalist training?

For those students choosing to complete the full three year program, a Clinical Herbalist would have the education and training to work directly with clients as a holistic health practitioner, using herbs, foods and lifestyle choices to support and improve clients’ health.

 With this level of clinical knowledge, you could join an existing practice of holistic health professionals, start a business as a practicing Clinical Herbalist, or work within your current capacity as a nurse, nurse practitioner or doctor, according to the guidelines required by your license.


Is there a License for Herbalists?

No. There is no licensing anywhere in the United States for Herbalists, as there is in many other countries throughout the world.


Without licensing, how does one practice legally as an Herbalist?

By following the laws of the state in which you choose to practice, and in not claiming to be or claiming to do the work of a medical doctor. As in developing a business plan for any business, it is important to research your state and to abide by all current legislation. For Wildwood Institute specifically, in the State of Wisconsin, we do not prescribe, diagnose, treat, or claim to be medical doctors. What we do is provide recommendations for greater health and vitality that support and nourish each individual. It is then the client's choice to follow the recommendations, or not.


Do clients have insurance coverage for services offered by a Clinical Herbalist?

No. As there is no licensing, insurance companies do not offer coverage.


What is the American Herbalists’ Guild (AHG)?

A professional organization for herbalists, providing networking and resources. If you complete the three year Clinical Herbalist program at Wildwood Institute, you will have met most, if not all, of the AHG requirements for the “AHG Clinical Herbalist” designation. You would still need to go through their application process, and meet their specific requirements to receive their official designation. Wildwood Institute’s Herbal Apprenticeship program is a registered school with AHG.


What is the legal significance of the AHG Clinical Herbalist designation?

None. It is a designation to add after your name, indicating you completed specific coursework and requirements, as stated by AHG.


What is a Naturopathic Doctor?

There are some states that recognize this degree, including Oregon and Washington. However, the expense of obtaining it is almost the same as a traditional medical degree, without the income potential. An example of a school offering this degree is Bastyr University. This four year degree can include herbalism as a component of the curriculum, along with teaching about supplements, prescription drugs and other treatments.


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