The Herbal Apprentice
The in person Herbal Apprentice Program has been suspended due to COVID 19.
Please see the Home page for details of the courses now on offer.
The program begins in April when the plants are starting their Spring growth, and will go through the Spring, Summer and Fall Seasons allowing you to experience the herbs, harvest and make medicines throughout each season. The classes take place in the herb garden, in the forest and in the classroom and kitchen attached to the garden. Herbalist Amanda Howe teaches the classes and she has over thirty years experience working with plants.
The Herbal Apprentice Program is for anyone who is interested in herbs and learning about their healing properties. It is for those who are new to herbs as well as anyone who is seeking to deepen their understanding and knowledge.
The classes include Medicine Making where you will learn how to make tinctures, syrups, oils, ointments, lip balms, herbal vinegars and herbal honeys.
Participants will be invited on a journey to explore the magical world of healing plants through a weaving together of a traditional, scientific and energetic perspective. The classes are at Black Bear Herbs in Cumberland, BC on Vancouver Island. They will take place in the herb garden and adjacent teaching space and in the surrounding forest.
The Apprenticeship is designed to teach you vital foundational skills in your journey to understanding medicinal plants. The Black Bear Herb Garden and surrounding Forest has a wide variety of medicinal herbs, giving you the opportunity gain knowledge of wild medicinal plants growing around you and to learn how to grow, harvest and make medicines from herbs growing in the garden.
You will learn a Materia Medica of herbs that are essential as you start to use herbs for yourself and your family. Materia Medica means the collected knowledge about the therapeutic uses of each plant.
You will learn about the plants, their actions and medicinal uses and how they are prepared and used. The apprenticeship teaches you the energetics of the herbs we are learning about and how to assess and match these herbs to individual peoples constitutional, emotional and spiritual needs. You will start to learn the art of formulating and blending herbs into energetically balanced remedies for healing.
In each class you will learn about how plants can heal and nourish on cellular and energetic levels. We will do this through tasting, smelling and seeing the plants grow, harvesting, preparing and making remedies.
Our study of the herbs will include the perspective of current scientific knowledge and centuries old evidence based knowledge, understanding and wisdom.
The classes teach an holistic approach to how our bodies work and how disease and illness affects us. This is an important part of your knowledge base as you start to learn about the healing power of the herbs we are studying.
We will cover Womens Herbs, Herbs for Children, Wilderness Medicinals, Herbs for the Immune System, Herbs for Digestion and for the Liver, Herbs for Stress and the Nervous System. We will cover many more topics beside this as topics arise in this hands on, questions welcomed environment.
The hands on nature of the classes also includes learning how to grow, harvest, dry and process the herbs you are learning about.
The proximity of the wilderness to Black Bear Herbs makes it very accessible for learning about wild medicinals as well as how to use herbs in a wilderness setting.
Participants who complete the full program will be awarded the Herbal Apprentice Certificate.
The program is not a training to be a professional Herbal Practitioner.
Training to become a Herbal Practitioner is offered by Pacific Rim College in Victoria, BC.
Dates and Time of Classes
Total of 12 classes.
Friday May 8th 2020
Friday May 22nd 2020
Friday June 5th 2020
Friday June 19th 2020
Friday July 3rd 2020
Friday July 17th 2020
No classes in August
Friday September 4th 2020
Friday September 18th 2020
Friday October 2nd 2020
Friday October 16th 2020
Friday October 30th 2020
Friday November 13th 2020
Time: 10am - 4pm
Cost: $1500.00 including materials.
This does not include food or accommodation.
Class size is small - so if you're interested please register soon!
For more information please email
If you would like to register for this program please email:
"I highly recommend this course to anyone wishing to increase their knowledge of herbal medicine and use in their own personal and family life. Amanda graciously invites you into her home and beautiful garden and imparts her incredible wisdom with ease. Learn how to grow and harvest the plants and use them respectfully and ethically. Learn about medicine making and dosages and how the different systems of the body are affected in detail. Meet a wonderful group of like minded people to connect with and share stories, seeds and plants. It has been fascinating, relaxing and a true gift."
Lesley Jones, Herbal Apprentice Participant 2018
"This is the most wonderful and amazing place to study herbal medicine. I have learned so much from Amanda Howe and my fellow apprentices over the last year. I would highly recommend any of Black Bear Herbs courses."
Trish Moroto, Herbal Apprentice Participant 2018
"Amanda is such a knowledgeable and interesting teacher as well as a warm, welcoming person. You feel that "aahh" moment in her garden. She has a large teaching room with a bank of windows looking out on her garden and an open bright kitchen for medicine making. And she always provides tasting experiences as well."
Kathy Duperron, Workshop Participant 2017