Course 2 | Wild Medicinals

Discover the healing powers of familiar wild plants and let the forest be transformed before your eyes into a living medicine chest.


Length: 1.5 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

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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 for a herb walk and learn the secrets of plants that are hiding in plain sight! Many of the plants growing around us, both native and garden plants, are medicines that have been used through the ages to heal and nourish us. Discover the healing powers of these familiar plants, and the forest will be transformed before your eyes into a living medicine chest.

You will discover that your daily walk is transformed into a miracle of discovery and connection with ancient knowledge and stories that the plants carry with them. Growing your knowledge and awareness of the plants will help you deepen your connection with the Spirit of the place you are walking through Herb Walks are full of discovery and this walk will open your eyes to the richness that surrounds you.

As we walk you will discover common plants or “weeds” that are growing by the path are healing medicines that have been used throughout time and we will weave our current understanding of the science of the herbs with time-honoured stories that carry the oral history of their use.

In the course of the Herb Walk, you will see the importance of ecological sensitivity of sustainable harvesting – not only for the plant population but also for the animals, birds and other beings, other plants, trees and shrubs for whom each plant forms a vital part of their interconnected existence.

Upon completion of this course, you will:

• Be aware of safety considerations for your herb walks

• Know what to take with you: plant identification book, magnifying glass, camera, cell phone

• Understand the wealth of medicinal uses, history, the known science and old stories, that have been handed down through time about common wild plants, trees, and herbs

• Learn the basics of how to identify common plants

• Learn common identification mistakes and how to avoid them

• Understand the importance of using Latin names rather than the common names for plants

• Know where to look for reliable information about wild medicinals

• Understand the value of being able to teach others about wild medicinal plants in your area

Lesson plan

Section I | Welcome

1. Introduction

2. Course outline

Section II | Plant walk

3. Plantain (Plantago lanceolate)

4. Hawthorn (Crataegus spp.)

5. Dandelion (Taraxacum officinale)

6. Burdock (Arctium lappa)

7. Clover (Trifolium pratense)

8. Cedar (Thuja plicata)

9. Wild Strawberry (Fragaria vesca)

10. Wild Rose (Rose nutkana)

11. Cleavers (Galium aparine)

12. Ground Ivy (Hendera helix)

13. Nettles (Urtica dioica)

14. Oregon Grape (Mahonia nervosa1)

15. Cottonwood (Populus balsamifera)

More medicinals you may find

16. Arnica (Arnica montana)

17. Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi)

18. Chickweed (Stellaria media)

19. Elder, black (Sambucus nigra)

20. Valerian (Valeriana sitchensis)

21. Western White Pine (Pinus monticola)

22. Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Section III | Conclusion

23. Harvesting

24. Plant identification

25. Environmental considerations

26. Harvesting, drying, and processing

27. Record keeping

28. Final words