Course 6 | The Art of Herbal Medicine Making – External Preparations

Learn how to safely make simple and effective high-quality herbal remedies for external use.


Length: 3 hours

Instructor: Amanda Howe | RHT, Medical Herbalist

This course is only available with the following programs:

  • Home Herbalist Online

    Mini-Certificate Program

    view course
  • Community Herbalist Online

    Full Certificate Program

    view course

Meet your course instructor

Amanda Howe | RHT, Medical Herbalist

Amanda Howe has been a Herbalist for over thirty years. She trained in England in the early ’80s and became a member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists. She went on to receive her MSc in Herbal Medicine from the University of Wales. Amanda worked in England in a multidisciplinary clinic before moving to Vancouver Island twenty-five years ago. Since moving to Canada Amanda has been active in practice as a herbalist and as a herbal educator. She has served on the board of the provincial Canadian Herbalists Association of BC as well as the national Herbal Practitioners Council - the Canadian Council of Herbalists Associations (CCHA), working to ensure continued access to herbal medicines for Herbalists and the general public. And she also sat on Health Canada’s Natural Health Products Expert Advisory Committee. Amanda spent several years teaching at Pacific Rim College in Victoria, BC. as a teacher in their excellent full-time Herbal Practitioner training program, and was involved in funded research projects with the Centre for Livelihoods and Ecology at Royal Roads University. Amanda is passionate about herbs and herbal medicine and about sharing the connection to the natural world that can be found through connecting with and learning about the healing power of plants. Amanda loves to teach and is happiest when she is in the garden teaching people how to grow, harvest, use and listen to the magic of the plants that are thriving there.

Course description

Join herbalist Amanda Howe as she shows you how to capture the healing power of plants in various remedies. 

This hands-on Medicine Making course demonstrates how to make the following high-quality herbal medicine in your own kitchen: Healing Herbal Oils, Salves, Lip Balms, Poultices, Compresses, and Plasters. 

The herbal ingredients for the above products are readily available to purchase, and Amanda shows you how to harvest and prepare herbs that you can grow in your garden. No specialized product-making tools are required! 

Video lessons show every step of each recipe, ensuring that you won’t make a mistake or get left behind. Not only are the recipes simple, but they are fully adaptable so that you can easily substitute in other herbs. The course allows for your full creative expression and the use of local herbs. 

The herbal applications and medicines covered in this course are referred to throughout the Materia Medica, Therapeutics, and First Aid Modules.

Making your own herbal medicines is fun, empowering, and exciting to share with your kids and family. You can all work together to make beautiful healing remedies for your own use or to share or give as gifts. Wouldn’t it be great to offer up your homemade salve to soothe the next wound or ache? 

This course is primarily about crafting products, but it contains so much more! The video lessons incorporate history, simple math and measurements, writing and record keeping, recipe reading, First Nations knowledge, health advice, plant cultivation and use, and self-reliance.

The beauty of this course is that it is fully integrated with other modules of the program. For example,  when you learn the application of a Poultice to help with a muscle strain, you will also have a step-by-step video demonstration of how to make that Poultice and apply it.

As you learn the Materia Medica in the program, you can substitute other herbs into these exciting recipes.  

By the end of this course, you will be astonished by the amount of high-quality healing products that you have created and can put to use!

Upon completion of this course, you will have the ability to:

  • Infuse herbal oils as the starting point for many topical medicines and healing applications. 
  • Understand the different oils, their relative merits for different herbs, their different uses, and their therapeutic applications.
  • Make simple cold-infused oils from dried herbs.
  • Understand the sun extraction method of making infused oils.
  • Make high-quality potent oils from the herbs growing in your garden using warm-infusion methods.
  • Create high-quality healing salves from infused oils. These salves can be used for healing cuts, grazes, bruises, and minor burns. They can also be used to relieve sore muscles and joints.
  • Make lip balms from infused oils and ingredients that are so safe and non-toxic that you could eat them! 
  • Understand ancient traditions of poultices, what they can be used for, and how they are made.
  • Know what a compress is, what it can be used for, and how it is made.
  • Know what a plaster is, what it can be used for, and how it can be safely and effectively made at home.

Lesson plan

Section I | Welcome

1. Introduction

2. Course outline

3. Preparing your space

Section II | Infused herbal oils

4. Calendula Infused Oil

5. Infused Oil

6. Lavender Infused Oil

7. St. John’s Wort Oil

Section III | Salves & lip balms

8. Calendula Salve

9. Lip Balm with Lemon Balm

Section IV | Poultices & compresses

10. Poultices with Comfrey

11. Compresses with Chamomile, Lavender & Rose

Section V | Plasters

10. Plaster with Kelp