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Black Bear Herbs​

Black Bear Herbs is located in Cumberland on Vancouver Island, on the Pacific Coast of Canada.  

The herb garden and teaching space is situated on the edge of the lush rainforest of the Cumberland Community Forest. The herb garden grows over 80 medicinal herbs, which are used as medicines in the classes. The teaching space is adjacent to the garden and provides ample opportunity to have a hands-on experience of the herbs we are learning about.


Our Wildharvesting Courses and Herb Walks take us through the garden gate and out into the rainforest where we find an abundance of wild medicinals in their natural setting.

Amanda Howe MSc Herbalist

Amanda Howe has been a Herbalist for over thirty years.  She trained in England in the early '80's 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.


The Herb Garden

The herb garden has over 80 medicinal plants growing in it.  It is in its infancy having just moved to a new location but some of the plants have been with Amanda for twenty five years since she first moved to Canada.  The herbs are labelled with their common name, latin name and family.  The garden is open to visitors if you call in advance.  

The Teaching Space

The teaching space is in the village of Cumberland.  We have a beautiful light filled room with windows and door opening onto the herb garden so that we can easily wander out to look at and taste the herbs we are are learning about.

"Amanda is an incredibly knowledgeable herbalist and an excellent teacher. I have taken numerous classes with her, and left each one feeling inspired and well informed. Her teachings inspired me to pursue in-depth studies in herbal medicine and her approach as a teacher and healer continue to influence me. She draws on a strong biomedical knowledge in addition to a clear experiential wisdom of plant energetics and healing. As such she offers a great balance of science and spirit relating to both human health and botany. She is a compassion and wise person with integrity and a good sense of humour. Her understanding of herbalism and her approach to sharing her wisdom make for excellent classes!"


Lindsay Hounslow, Victoria, BC

We welcome your ideas for courses you'd like to see us teaching at Black Bear Herbs
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