We're the Only School to Teach Planetary Herbology

Led by alternative health pioneer and American Herbalists Guild founder Dr. Michael Tierra, O.M.D., and accomplished acupuncturist, herbalist and author Lesley Tierra, L.Ac., AHG, ours is the only herb course that teaches Planetary Herbology, Tierra's unique, global approach to the world's greatest herbal healing traditions -- western herbalism, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Traditional Ayurvedic Medicine (TAM). East really does meet west here at the East West School of Herbology.

Since its founding in 1980, we have thousands of students and graduates from around the world now practicing as health professionals, clinical practitioners, and home herbalists.

We are equally proud to say that our school has graduated the largest number of leaders and professionals in the herbal industry.

The East West correspondence course unites a solid study of herbs from all over the planet with scientific research, medicine-making and diagnostic systems that will increase the efficacy and healing results of practitioners at any level.

Guided by the Tierras' combined six decades of worldwide clinical experience, and staffed by a talented faculty of professional herbalists, the East West correspondence course offers its students distance and on-site education from the very best experts in the field.

With the East West Herb Course, you get:

  • Online and in-person lessons from real professional herbalists with real clinical experience
  • Direct study with Dr. Michael Tierra, O.M.D., one of the world's most respected and influential herbalists
  • On-line Learning Center, forum, weekly case studies and special studies directly with Michael Tierra
  • A 36-lesson step-by-step education which you complete at your own pace from home
  • Adjunct study tools such as books, CD's, videos and DVDs
  • Adjunct training modules
  • Personally-graded essays and tests
  • A comprehensive understanding of over 400 herbs from all over the world and their uses
  • Diagnostic tools appropriate to herbalism
  • Dietary energetics and food therapy (see below)
  • Guidelines for herbal preparations, remedies and traditional healing therapies and techniques
  • Detailed teachings on herbal formulary
  • Energetic herbalism as applied to disease and herbs found anywhere in the world (see below)
  • Two different Western science courses
  • On-site and hands-on annual East West training seminars, including three advancing levels of teachings and continuing education classes for graduates.
  • Mentorship program guiding graduates through clinical experience and study
  • An extensive materia medica of over 500 herbs -- Western, Chinese, Ayurvedic and from other world traditional medicines
  • Specific treatment of over 90 different disease conditions with their assessment and herbal treatment strategies
  • Advanced assessment and treatment strategies and techniques
  • 400 CE hours approved by California Board of Acupuncture for the Professional Course
  • The confidence to use herbs to heal yourself and others safely and effectively, no matter where you are, using both local and exotic plants

Last but not least, if you complete the East West Professional Herbalist Course, three seminars, western sciences and mentorship hours you become an East West Clinical Herbalist. This is the highest level an herbalist in the United States may obtain. East West certification opens the way for acceptance as a professional member of the prestigious American Herbalists Guild (AHG).

East West Herb Course Teaching Approach

The East West Herb Courses are founded in integrity and written and taught by practicing herbalists and clinicians. Our graduates are among the leading professionals in the herbal field. We do not teach doctrines, nor do we offer non-substantiated degrees and titles, but we do effectively train home and community herbalists along with graduate professional herbalists and clinical practitioners who can become members of the national herbal organization, the American Herbalists Guild (AHG).

We then present a materia medica of over 500 plants along with advanced assessment skills.

Energetic vs. Allopathic Herbalism

While western herbal training tends to emphasize the allopathic use of herbs ("this herb is good for that") along with their pharmacology and biochemistry, our Planetary Herbal approach teaches the energetic identification and application of herbs. Energetic herbalism recognizes the heating or cooling, strengthening or eliminating, rising or descending, taste, properties and so on of herbs as well of disease. This system does not diagnose and prescribe, but identifies patterns of illness based on specific energies and then chooses herbs and treatment strategies accordingly.

The Planetary Herbalism energetic teachings of the East West Herb Courses are based on the oldest, living, extant herbal medicine systems, TCM and TAM, each of which have over 5000 years of experience and practice. These energetic systems are only tools, yet they have proved to be the most effective, efficient and alternative approaches to allopathic herbalism and medical diagnosis and treatment. The Planetary Herbalism system provides a rational assessment methodology system on which to base which herbs you choose for treatment, an approach unfortunately lost in most western herbal training systems.

The East West Herb Courses also teach energetic diet and food therapy along with tools to tailor your own health-supportive diet along with preparations, remedies and other healing tools, techniques and therapies. In fact, many students regain their own health, and/or help their family members and friends regain their health, just by studying and applying our course teachings.

East West Herbalist Course Details

Because the East West Herb Courses are correspondence courses, you may complete them according to your own time frame needs. However, each may be finished within two years or less. We also offer on-site and hands-on annual training seminars divided into three separate, advancing tracks along with graduate continuing education courses. In addition, we offer a mentorship program guiding our graduates through clinical experience and study.

On-line we provide student networking through the Student Assembly classroom, weekly cases study chats, Webinars, and special studies directly with Michael Tierra. These sessions are archived and available in reserve for East West students for on-going study. In addition, there are student forums which are regularly perused by more advanced students, Michael Tierra and the East West faculty. This is a place where students are encouraged to ask questions pertaining to their study. Also in the East West Online classroom: special articles, supplementary study articles and power point and video presentations are increasingly available for student use and study.

Select an Herbalist Course

A Call for Herbalists

Herbal medicine in North America has grown from an off-beat interest promoted by a handful of non-mainstream adherents, to an 8 billion dollar a year mainstream business -- and it's still growing. Increasingly we see professional medical practitioners including medical doctors, pharmacists, nurses, chiropractors, acupuncturists to non-professional lay persons exhibit a keen interest in herbal medicine prompted at the behest of their patients. The reason is clear -- herbs work. For this, there is no dispute even by those who would be normally critical of so-called 'alternative medicine.' As a result, there is an urgent need for qualified people in the growing professions of clinical herbology, herbal pharmacy, herbal research, herb cultivation and wildcrafting, herbal marketing and product development.

Throughout the last several decades Michael and Lesley Tierra and the East West School of Herbology have been in the forefront of the herbal renaissance, promoting its widespread growth and acceptance throughout the Western world. To increase the standards, credibility and acceptance of clinical herbalism, in 1989 Michael founded the American Herbalists Guild.

There is no shortcut to mastery

Courses and schools that purport to offer 'master herbalist' (MH) or other misleading degrees, often based on a 'quickie' weekend or a single week-long workshop, have no guaranteed legal professional standing.Be that as it may, there is a growing number of professional herbalists throughout North America. Many of these are graduates of the East West Herb Course which represents a comprehensive and thorough herbal training program. Our graduates are confident and competent herbalists! (Meet our East West Clinical Herbalists. Read some of our students' letters.)

Remember; one can learn hundreds of herbs, but that knowledge is clinically worthless without its integration into a traditional system of diagnosis and treatment. Additionally, only the East West Herb Course systematically integrates the three main systems of herbal medicine based on the traditional practice of Western, Chinese and Ayurvedic (East Indian) herbal medicine.

We believe that herbal medicine is not simply another profession, but an inspired calling. It is to this inner calling, as well as the increasing numbers of students who feel drawn to become an herbalist, that we dedicate our teachings. If you are one of those who feel such inner promptings, come journey with us down this heartfelt path of wonder and learning. A wise person once said that whatever energy is expended towards education is never lost. Enroll in one of our courses today and let it serve as your guide on your personal 'Way of Herbs.'

Students enrolled at East West receive a
25% discount from our friends at Mountain Rose Herbs!


(With the East West School of Planetary Herbology)


1. Students must complete the 36-lesson East West Professional Herbalist Course before they can apply to the Mentoring Program.


2. Mentoring is undertaken with an approved mentor listed with the East West School. This is because these mentors know our course program and teachings, which spans Western, Chinese and Ayurvedic herbalism. Further hours obtained through study with other teachers count toward an AHG application, however East West mentoring hours are only accrued through specific mentors approved by the East West School based on their knowledge and expertise in the Planetary Herbology system.


3. Before engaging in the mentoring process the student must first submit their mentor choice to the school for approval before the Mentoring program can begin. Mentoring hours accrue only after the mentoring program begins (thus, no hours are counted for casework completed before the mentoring starts). Mentoring hours can commence after completion of the 36 Lesson Professional Course and two of the three required seminars have been completed


4. It is highly recommended that students only have one mentor. However, if the student chooses to have more than one mentor, all involved mentors must agree and there must be a decision as to who is the primary overseeing mentor. The overseeing mentor is the direct liaison between the student and the school according to all mentor responsibilities.


5. Mentoring may be accomplished in person, or through long distance methods such as email, phone and/or Skype.   


6. Before a mentoring session, the student writes out and sends their cases to their mentor.


7. A mentoring session includes the student's time spent in the following ways: intake sessions with their own clients, working on their clients' cases, presenting these cases to the mentor and follow-up sessions with their clients.


8. The student's cases must include: intake information (including but not limited to primary and secondary complaints, history, signs, symptoms, tongue and pulse), TCM and Ayurvedic Tridosha health diagnoses and western assessment, treatment principle/protocol, Chinese, Western and Ayurvedic herbal, dietary and lifestyle suggestions and adjunct therapies given/suggested, as appropriate for each case.


9. In general each mentoring session lasts from 1 to 1 1/2 hours, although these may be shorter or longer as pre-arranged with the mentor.


10. The fee paid for mentoring sessions is arranged with, and paid directly to, the mentor. This fee includes the mentor's time for giving direction, guidance and teaching plus any brief reports, emails and time spent considering the student's cases presented during those sessions. All financial transactions are strictly between the mentor and student; the East West Herb School assumes no responsibility.


11. Students should present several cases to the mentor at each mentoring session.


12. Ideally students have contact with their mentors on a weekly or bi-weekly basis.


13. If students lack patients, the mentor may send cases for the student to work on. These mentor-provided cases count for 2 hours each (half credit).


14. The mentoring program requires completion of a MINIMUM of 400 client hours.


15.  Students see and treat a minimum of 80 new patients (thus, the 400 hour requirement).


16. The mentoring hours are determined by the student's time spent in the following ways: intake sessions with their own clients, working on their clients' cases, presenting these cases to the mentor and possibly follow-up sessions with their clients. (The 400 hours do not include time spent with their mentor in the mentor's clinical practice.)


17. Each client case counts as 5 hours MAX, including: the initial client intake, working on the case, presenting the case to the mentor and possibly the client follow-up session.


18. Both the student and the mentor should agree on and tally their total hours at the end of each mentoring session.


19. The 400-hour requirement is the minimum amount of time a student completes before undergoing review by the mentor. If the mentor determines the student has achieved adequate proficiency in clinical practice at this time, then they vouch for the student's ability to earn the EWCH degree and notify the school as such.


20. The mentorship program takes as long as is necessary to receive proficiency as approved by the student's mentor.


21. If the mentor determines the student needs further experience before approval can be given, then the mentorship program may take longer than the 400-hour minimum requirement. The mentor advises the student as to what areas need further experience and study to achieve an adequate level of safety and proficiency and sets another 25-hour mentorship period, the completion upon which another assessment of the student's proficiency is made. This continues until the mentor approves the student for completion of the mentorship program.


22. Once the mentor approves the student for completion of the mentorship program, the mentor and student select five cases to submit for final review by Michael or Lesley Tierra. These are submitted to the East West School with a $100 fee.


23. Once Michael or Lesley Tierra approves the five submitted cases, the student graduates from the mentoring program.


24. Once all the requirements of the EWCH degree program are complete, including approval by Lesley and Michael Tierra, the student receives the EWCH degree from the East West Herb School. They may now apply to, and request a letter of recommendation for, the AHG for professional membership.


25. The East West School reserves the right to give final approval for any student to be admitted to the EWCH degree, regardless of whether they have completed the mentoring program and/or other EWCH degree requirements.


26. The 400 (or more) completed mentoring hours may be included in the required clinic hours for the AHG application. Further mentoring hours obtained by studying with other teachers may also be included in the AHG application.




I have read and agree with the Mentoring Program. Signed:


________________________________                                    ___________________

                  (Student signature)                                                             (Dated)


________________________________                                    ___________________

                  (Mentor signature)                                                               (Dated)




(Both student and mentor keep a copy and mail this signed original to: East West Herb School, Box 275, Ben Lomond, CA 95005)















Payment One, $829

  • Professional Herbalist Course Lessons 1-12 with the following eight books:
  • The Way of Herbs by Michael Tierra
  • Healing with the Herbs of Life by Lesley Tierra
  • The Way of Ayurvedic Herbs by K.P. Khalsa and Michael Tierra
  • Herbal Medicine Makers Handbook by James Green
  • Chinese Traditional Herbal Medicine, Vol. 1 by Michael and Lesley Tierra
  • Way of Chinese Herbs by Michael Tierra
  • Planetary Herbology by Michael Tierra
  • Tao of Nutrition by Maoshing Ni

Payment Two: $785

  • Professional Herbalist Course Lessons 13-24 with the following four books:
  • Herbal Medicine From the Heart of the Earth by Sharol Tilgner
  • Botany in a Day by Thomas Elpel
  • Chinese Traditional Herbal Medicine, Vol. 2 by Michael and Lesley Tierra
  • 300 Herbs by Matthew Alfs (new addition to the course materials March 2015!)

Payment Three: $785

  • Professional Herbalist Course Lessons 25-36
  • AHG Student Membership for one year

Payment Plan Detail

Payment One: $829; Payment Two: $785; Payment Three $785

Students have up to two years to complete all three payments at the set price with enrollment in payment one, although actual course completion may take longer. All benefits of the Professional Course apply. Payments not completed within two years are subject to a small fee to continue enrollment and are determined on an individual basis depending upon student progress. Students are not obligated to continue with the course if they do not proceed to payments two or three. East West School reserves the right to make book substitutions based upon title availability.

To enroll with the payment plan please click here and then select 'payment one' in the online store or call: 831-336-5010  

coming soon

How do I choose the right herbal study course for me?

For those of you who are undecided as to which course of study to choose in herbal medicine, we offer these insights for your evaluation process:

  • First of all, review the credentials of the course author(s). If you want to practice herbology, do they have sufficient clinical experience and/or licensed to practice in any professional fields? Or if you want to manufacture products, do the author(s) have that experience and background in those areas and so on?
  • How old is the school? How long has it been operation? How many students does the school have?
  • Talk with student graduates of that school (ask the school for contact information). Are those students practicing herbalism in any of its many fields of application?
  • What credentials are offered by the school upon completion of its program of study? Have they any value? Many schools create attractive titles, such as Master Herbalist and so on, but these titles are meaningless and carry no weight legally or otherwise in the herbal field. Other schools offer degrees, such as a masters or doctorate, but they are not from an accredited institution.
  • Consider the guiding philosophy of the school, does it match your own philosophy and needs?

East West graduate, Rosalee de la Forêt of Methow Valley Herbs

Will a student graduating from the Professional Herbalist Course be able to conduct a professional practice as an herbal consultant?

The curriculum vitae of the East West Professional Herbalist Course has received positive recognition from some of the country's most distinguished herbalists, many of whom are directors of established schools and holistic institutions. The school has enrolled thousands of students from 36 countries, on every continent, and we have on file letters of appreciation and praise form many of our students who are presently incorporating the practice of herbology as a professional career, some of whom already are medical doctors, chiropractors, massage practitioners, hypnotherapists and acupuncturists to name a few, although most students are lay practitioners. Many of the graduates of the Professional Herbalist Course have obtained professional membership status in the American Herbalists Guild.

Can I receive continuing education credit if I am a professional?

The East West School is approved by the California Board of Registered Nursing and the California Board of Acupuncture to offer continuing education credit for the Professional Herbalist Course.

Are there any additional materials I must purchase, or extra costs to meet, when I take any of the courses?

No other materials are required in addition to what is included with each of the courses. However, it is recommended that students read herb books and related subjects as appropriate, and we offer a selection of useful books which may be purchased if desired. Some of the lessons in the Community and Professional Courses have herbal projects to complete. Students choose the herbs for the hands-on projects and thus the herbs used are at the discretion of the individual. Cost will depend upon how elaborate or simple you choose to approach the projects, though usually this is a minimal amount.

A week-long seminar is offered annually to which the student may travel and receive first hand instruction. Attendance is an additional cost and dedicated students are encouraged to attend the seminars while those completing the East West Certified Herbalist Degree Program must attend all three East West Seminar tracks. Graduate continuing education classes are offered then as well. We also recommend that students make an effort to attend any of the various herbal symposiums that take place around the country throughout the year. Those in the East West Certified Herbalist Degree Program must complete additional studies as outlined by that program, each at the student's own costs.  East West Certified Herbalist Degree Program

What is the average length of time required to complete the courses?

The courses are completed at your own pace in your own home. However, as a guideline, most students take around 6 months to complete the Family Herbalist Course, 2 years to complete the Professional Herbalist Course and 3 or more years for the East West Certified Herbalist Program. Students have up to 5 years to complete the 36 Lesson Professional Course. Students enrolled in the Professional Course who have not completed all 36 Lessons within 5 years, but would still like to be an actively enrolled student, are charged a fee of $150 for an additional 2 years, beyond the first 5 years to complete the course.

Will I be able to receive personal responses to my questions and evaluation of my progress?

Those taking the Professional Herbalist Course and in the East West Certified Herbalist Program receive personal responses and evaluations to their lesson tests, essays and projects. The Family Herbalist Course includes testing material with a self-correcting key. However, all students in any course may log on to our website to receive answers to their questions and study material through dialogue with other students and the East West faculty in the private student classroom.

What is unique about the East West Herb Courses?

The East West Herb School is the second oldest correspondence herb school in the U.S. In operation since 1980, we have thousands of students and graduates from around the world and have graduated the largest number of leaders and professionals in the herbal industry. We offer four certificate courses for all levels of interest and training, plus two western science courses.

The East West Herb Courses train home and community herbalists, herbal professionals and clinical practitioners. We are the only course to teach Planetary Herbalism, the most thorough blend of the three major herbal systems of the world: Western herbalism, Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Traditional Ayurvedic Medicine (TAM). Learning this system enables you to use herbs effectively no matter where you live. We then present a materia medica of over 500 plants along with advanced assessment skills.

In addition, the East West School of Herbology provides annual on-site training with three levels of advancing expertise and continuing education classes for graduates. Students can choose to specialize in Western, Chinese and/or Ayurvedic herbalism.

What exactly will a graduate of the East West Herb School gain?

Graduates of the East West Herb Courses gain the ability to use western herbs (or others from around the world) according to traditional and time-honored diagnostic systems. Those who graduate from the Professional Herbalist Course will be able to evaluate illness according to such assessment methods as interrogation, observation, tongue, pulse and other differential systems based on the integration of traditional Chinese and Ayurvedic medicine (TCM & TAM) diagnostics. Herbs are then recommended according to the individual signs and symptoms unique to each patient. Through this system the student learns how and why certain types of herbal treatments may be appropriate for one person but not for another with the same ailment.

Why study Chinese herbs along with Western herbs?

Studying Chinese herbs along with Western herbs has many advantages. First of all, many of the Chinese herbs are the same herbs you'd use in Western herbalism such as mint, hawthorn, elecampane, dandelion, garlic, ginger, licorice, loquat, motherwort, mugwort, myrrh, raspberry, blackberry, rhubarb and safflower just as a few examples.

In other cases, many herbs are common plants that grow in the West but aren't used much, if at all, by western practitioners, such as sedge root (Cyperus rotundus), teasel (Dipsacus asperi) and hookvine (Uncaria rhynchophylla). Further, learning the uses of herbs from other herbal traditions teaches new ways to use herbs that aren't known by western herbalists, such as yellow chrysanthemum flowers treating red eyes and colds with higher fevers and yellow mucus, mimosa flowers relieving certain types of depression and burdock seeds clearing red skin outbreaks. All of this and much more is taught by the East West School of Herbology herb courses.

I want to learn to use local western herbs and I hear your course is a Chinese Herbal Course. Is this true?

Our courses are not Chinese herbal course but are, in fact, much more. The East West Herb Courses teach mostly western herbs along with other herbs from around the world, such as Chinese, Ayurvedic and others. However, the courses do teach traditional principles of Western and Eastern herbal medicine along with Eastern energetics for disease assessment and herbal treatment.

We teach herbs based on a foundation of eastern medicine because it provides an effective and efficient assessment system for understanding and applying herbs. A drawback to the strictly Western herbal training is that it does not provide a fundamental diagnostic or assessment methodology appropriate to the use of herbs. Thus, at the lowest level, Western herbalists tend to practice '˜allopathic' herbal medicine based on the treatment of named diseases, while at its best, western herbalists prescribe herbs based on treating systems such as the endocrine system, the respiratory system, the digestive system and so on as applied to the imbalance of each patient.

Let's look at an example of the difference between the allopathic and energetic use of herbs for the treatment of the flu. If someone has chills, slight fever, white nasal mucus and body aches Western herbalists would tend to recommend mint, lemon balm, yarrow, elder or boneset. All of these, however, have a cooling energy and would only make the chills and mucus worse, thus, deepening the flu instead of clearing it. In this type of flu, herbs with a warming energy are needed instead. Thus, it would be appropriate to choose herbs such as garlic, ginger and hyssop, all of which have a warming energy.

Another example between the Western and Eastern knowledge and use of herbs is the idea of tonification, which means using herbs to build or strengthen the function of an organ, system or property in the body. Western herbalism doesn't have a true concept of tonification and in fact, what Western herbalists call 'tonification' is actually eliminating or clearing something in the body in order to restore balance. This is quite different that building and strengthening.

In the case of blood tonification, Western herbalists use yellow dock and dandelion as blood tonics. However, these herbs are actually bitter and cold in energy which clear dampness and heat from the blood. Thus, the yellow dock and dandelion will thin the blood rather than build it, and in time could even cause dizziness, blurry vision and tiredness. In contrast, blood is warm and moist in nature and so true blood tonics moisten and nourish blood. Thus, if blackstrap molasses is added to the dandelion and yellow dock, however, their drying and cooling properties will be ameliorated and their iron content will build blood. Alternatively, blood tonifying herbs may be given such as lycii berries (Lycium barbarum, or  wolfberry) and dang gui (Angelica senensis).

What is your refund policy?

Due to the informational nature of our courses, once access to the online classroom has been granted, and the materials have been shipped, there are no refunds. 


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