Integrative Herbal Apprenticeship Program

Herbalist & Holistic Medicine Apprenticeship Program




A 2.5 - 3-year program unlike any other available 


This program is designed to take one from a beginner stage of the herbal study to an in-depth practical understanding of how to be a professional and effective Herbalist / Natural Healer.  


This unique and innovative approach to study will be based on:


Our world is in desperate need of well-educated herbalists, growers, harvesters, producers, and educators.  As our healthcare systems become increasingly stressed, and the awareness of our culture improves, we are increasingly in need of more holistic health professionals, community healers, and herbalists.  

Chad Cornell, Master Herbalist, is committed to helping a new generation of people who are inspired to ensure that every family and community is holistically supported.  As with other countries, and in other eras, we can see how important it is that we have a more grassroots system for healthcare and well-being. As we move into an uncertain economic and ecological future this is becoming an increasingly important topic. 

However, this training is essentially focused on how to develop your own natural and inherent gifts and concern for life into a deep and transformational path that benefits all. The training is not only about gathering information with our left-brains - but learning to tune in to the inherent intelligence of our hearts, intuition, and creative imagination.  You will always be learning, and there will always be more to learn.  

Unlike many herbal programs, where you have to follow a set design of study regardless of your strengths, weaknesses, goals and unique vision, this course is customized to suit you the student as an individual.  It has core essential modules that must be completed but it also has optional electives to choose from in order to complete your studies.  It is also focused on the practical side of how you can personally establish your life work in your own unique way so as to also support you financially.  

There are basics that should be covered by all herbal courses but this course, designed by Master Herbalist, Chad Cornell, is designed to be personal and to focus not only on textbook information but monthly interactions between instructor and student.  It was not created for large groups of people en mass.  Its intention is to help grow a new generation of herbalists and natural healers that will be greatly needed in the coming decades – as efficiently, affordable, and holistically as possible. 

How do we study?

Ideally, we can meet in person, though the ways in which we learn have changed a lot since the internet and it is now easier for students to study distance than ever.  All kinds of educational institutions are offering courses via online classes and cyber meetings. The good side of technology is that we are now able to cut the expenses of becoming fully trained by doing as much as possible to connect via technology and minimizing travel.  There is the possibility of orchestrating trips to share time in person with Chad Cornell if it is an option for the student.  Nearing the completion of the program is essential that the student spend time in the apothecary Hollow Reed Holistic and offer one on one guidance with the supervision of the Herbalist.  


Otherwise, we will be connecting via Skype-type technology, or by phone as well as sharing video, audio, and written articles. The heart of this process is communication, online technology, and a commitment to constant self-growth and learning.  Most of the study is done on your own along with meeting with Chad once per month for about 1 hour in some way.  

Who was this course designed for?

This is not a 2 - week or 1 month intensive for those dabbling in herbal medicine.  This is a course designed for the serious student and committed future Herbalist.  It is for those who are looking to truly explore and integrate the concepts of holistic medicine.  It is also for devote traditional wisdom keepers, or for the doctor, nurse, or therapist who wants to integrate natural sciences such as Ayurveda, Modern Herbalism, and Mind-Body Healing into their practice.  Its terrain is both wild and modern and it requires a personal devotion to extract and integrate information in a practical and meaningful way.  In this program, we integrate modern research and traditional views and often ancient on healing in a fashion.

 Take Special Note:

In order to reach your potential and nourish your authentic gifts as healer and herbalist, it takes time and effort, and it is not simply a path of personal development.  The path of learning is an active one and takes a good deal of effort and sacrifice. One’s commitment to learning should be carried out daily or weekly with the authentic intention of seeing less suffering in the world. The ideal student is burning with the desire to learn about the mysteries and ways of nature and becoming truly helpful to others in their community. they are asking not only what nature can do for them but what they can do for nature also.  

Herbalism is a Healing Response from Nature

In order for one to learn to help others, we must first learn to help ourselves.  We need to address our own obstacles to our most authentic, fearless, and awakened life.  Herbalism is a healing response of nature, it’s a form of healing and in some ways even evolution.  If we learn how to position our selves in a healthy alignment with nature we can become a conduit for healing.  

Though the earth struggles and our future may appear uncertain, one thing that is for sure is that the plants and other methods of healing that we will cover are profoundly helpful for the challenges we may face.  Just as they always have been, herbalism, natural healing, and holistic philosophy are at the heart of a growing movement to bring balance and harmony back into our cultures, homes, and planet. 

Herbalism and holistic methods of healing can also provide a path of reconnection to the earth, to the sacredness of life, and to our own inherent spiritual nature.  Our own true nature emanates wisdom, peace, fearlessness, joy, and compassion.  If you are not interested in exploring the perspective that our physical world is interwoven with a subtle or spiritual reality then this is not the course for you.  This is a practical “nuts and bolts” herbal course but it also has plenty of what some might call “spiritual content.”  More accurately we could say that we have to reintegrate the more subtle aspects of creation into the modern obsession with materialism - especially in the arena of the healing arts and sciences.  

What do you need to qualify for this program? 

Fill out the application and ensure you have read below.

Number One:

You have a commitment to a process of transformation, growth, and learning that will at times be really fun, and at others times very mundane and challenging. 


Hold a great respect and compassion for the natural world, all life, and future generations. It is your care for yourself, the world, and others that motivates you. 


Students require a commitment and capacity to find the money (= energy) to invest financially in your education and process.  The entire cost of the course, all modules, is approximately $6, 700 plus about $500 in textbooks. Tax not included. 


A commitment to continuously explore how you can practically integrate your love of herbal medicine and natural healing methods into a lifestyle that financially supports you.  In other words, part of this program is applying your interests in a way that can not only potentially grow you an income but also make you a valuable resource in your community as a caregiver, grower of herbs, or medicine maker.    


You will need the ability to travel at one point during this program for personal instruction and practicum. It will be expected that you attend some form of wild plant identification events or retreats either with Chad Cornell or an otherwise similar event(s) that will help ensure you are connected to the natural world around you.  Again, you will have to travel for the final module of the course which is for the clinical experience.  


Again a deep commitment to unsupervised self-study and to carry out assignments and prescribed practices.  Some assignments will be very rational such as writing a paper.  Others will be very creative such as creative visualization, dream-work, meditation, journeying, or the art of medicine making.


To recognize that you are not simply consuming information but becoming a vessel and a carrier of a living tradition that has been passed down for thousands of years. A path that is rational and magical, practical and beautiful. It is an honor, a gift, and a joyful responsibility for those that are called to it.

What else do you need to know?

Though there is no official regulating body for herbalists in Canada there are generally three main ways to become a recognized professional Herbalist in Canada (According to the Canadian Council of Herbal Associations):

a) Formal Study through an Herbal School

b) Ancestral Traditional Learning (First Nations or other)

c) Apprenticeship under a practicing Herbalist.

This program will take place over approximately a 2.5 - 3 year period depending on your own inspiration and lifestyle.  The total number of estimated hours of study is 1255 which is just over 1 hour per day.  Due to the natural flow of our lives, though this will depend on life schedules, vacations, etc.

Course Design

The course is designed to include “one on one teaching scenarios” as mentioned via skype, phone, and or in person.  There is also a private online forum for apprentices to share, learn. and discuss concepts.  There will audio and video options available as well. 

Like holistic medicine itself, we cannot approach all apprentices/students in the same way.   Each person will advance at a different pace and carry their own personal gifts. 

In order to nurture and develop the herbalist, healer, and holistic counselor in you, we will work with your own individual strengths and weaknesses, your current life schedule, and your own unique vision and path of unfolding.  To do this we have split the course content into “compulsory” content and “elective” options.  So for example, if a student is very interested in medicinal mushrooms they can take the elective and but if they would rather focus on growing herbs or Trees then they can take that elective instead in order to fill their requirements.  

The course can be made available for those who do not live near Winnipeg, via meetings by online or even telephone if need be.  We will be doing some video or audio recording at the group meetings for those who cannot make any group dates.

The course will Include: 


–     Monthly personal instruction (1-hour meeting -1 time per month).


–      Reading assignments, using textbooks, handouts, or specific web articles.


–      Audio and film recordings of Master Herbalist, Chad Cornell discussing relevant topics are suggested at times.


–      Short essays, audio and video recordings, and other assignments on various topics will be assigned to ensure the information is being well integrated. 

–      Verbal exams, written quizzes, and case studies to ensure you are integrating the information in a usable fashion. 

–      Field Exams and Excursions When Possible: Where you will be asked to identify plants in the wild, demonstrate other healing techniques, assessment techniques and so on (not necessarily in this order).   

Modules (Individual or Combined) - * Note the costs do not include textbooks.  Texts average between $25 and $50 dollars each. 

1.   Historical & Present Trends in Herbal Medicine & Basic Botany and Basic Physiology (Compulsory unless you completed the Next Generation Online Learning Program)

Discussion with Chad Cornell

Text: Textbook of Modern Herbology

Estimated Time: 2 months (70 hours of Study)

Assignment: Essay and Quiz

Cost $449


2.  Ayurveda Basics, Elemental Perspectives & Holistic Cosmology (Compulsory)

Texts:  The Yoga of Herbs (50 hours of study) 

Assignments: Creating a Practical Elemental Herb Chart, Questions, Oral Quiz, Essay.

Estimated Time: 1.5 months

Cost: $339


3.   Fundamentals Of Physiology (Compulsory)

Texts (2): Holistic Anatomy & The Human Body Colouring Book (Colouring book with some pages required to be colored).  

Assignments: Handing in Questions and Colouring Assignment

Estimated Time: 2 Months (80 Hours).

Cost: $449


4.   Manitoba Herbal Medicine Course (audio, video or attendance).  (Compulsory)

Text: Our Common Roots

Handout and Written Assignment

Estimated Time:  1 month of Audio and Text Study & Review (25 hours)

Cost: $249


5.  The Energy Body 1Introduction to The Physiological and Psychological Implications of Chakras. (Compulsory)

Text: Eastern Body Western Mind / Yoga of Herbs Chart

Assignment: Summary Diagrams and Essay

Estimated Time: 1 month (30 Hours)

Cost: $339 


6.    Eastern Perspectives on Herbology & Nutrition (Compulsory):

Text: Planetary Herbology, and Healing with Whole Foods  

Assignment: Questions and Written Assignment

Estimated Time: 2 months (60 Hours of Study)

Cost: $339



7.  Preparing Herbal Remedies (Compulsory):

Text: Herbal Medicine Maker’s Handbook

Estimated Time: 2 months (60 hours)

Assignment:  Ethical Wildcrafting, Properly Drying herbs, Making 2 salves, 3 folk tinctures, a sits bath blend, decoctions, oils, and infusions. Discussing formulas, storage, drying methods. Choosing your primary herbs of interest, and one other specialty remedy to make such as a healing bath, jello, soap/wash, or flower essence.  

Cost $349


8.   Commonly Helpful Extracts and Nutraceuticals (compulsory):

Hand Out, Web Research, and Quiz:

Estimated Time: 1 month – (60 Hours)

Cost: $149


9.   Client Assessment (compulsory)

Tongue and Pulse Assessment Basics

Text:   Ayurveda, The Science of Self Healing 

 2 months (60 hours) 

Assigned Questions and Quiz

Cost: $349


10.  Foundational Meditation Training:  Exploring the Benefits of Meditation (Compulsory)

Text: The Breath of Awakening by Namgyal Rinpoche – Audio Meditation Guidance from Chad Cornell.  

Time Investment: 

60 hours

Cost: $111 


11.     Common Ailments and Recommended Protocols (compulsory):

Discussions with Chad Cornell, Web Research, Audio Recordings, and Assignment.  Designing a first aid kit.  

Texts: Encyclopedia of Herbs, The Holistic Herbal or The Robert Rogers Herbal, and Internet Research – Time reviewing products that are commonly used. 

Estimated Time: 3 months – (90 hours)

Cost: $549


12.  Safe Practices & Client Assessment & Legalities (Compulsory): Handouts and Personal Discussion, and Web Research with Chad Cornell.  Designing custom client intake form and process.  

Text: Herbal Safety Text, Herb-Drug Interaction Text. 

Estimated Time: 1 Month (25 hours)

Cost: $249


13.      Cleansing & Detox Protocol & Healing Diets:

Text: Healing With Whole Foods, Internet References & Text to be announced (Compulsory)

Assignment: Reading and Quiz 

Estimated Time: 1 month (30 hours study)

Cost: $336

Personal Research, Handout, Discussion

Focus: Fungal cleanse, heavy metal cleanse, general body systems cleanse.  

Summary report of 5 kinds of cleanses to be handed in.  


14.   Choosing and Designing Your Primary Remedies - Special Focus on Issues Unique to Men and Women (Compulsory): 

Personal Assignment, Discussions with Chad, 100 grams of 12 loose herbs provided.

Estimated Time: 1 month of focused study (30 Hours)

Cost: $249


15.  Mind-Body Medicine

       Estimated Time: 1 month: (30 hours)

       Texts: You are the Placebo & Vibrational Medicine 

       Essay Assignment  

       Cost: $249


16.    Designing Your Herbal Business (On Going): Personal Discussions with Chad Cornell and Assignment.  On-Going Business Plan Refinement.  Website Research. (Compulsory) 

Estimated Time Investment: 80 hours (2 months)

Cost: $249 Ongoing conversation and exploration.  


17.    Complimentary Practice:  This module can be satisfied by studies or courses in energy healing, meditation, acupressure, working with smudging, sweat lodge, sound therapy, homeopathy, focusing, crystal therapy, or other. (Compulsory).

Estimated Time: 2 months (60 Hours)

Text: (Example) The Encyclopaedia of Healing Points 

Assignment: (On Going) Instruction and discussion with Chad and a personal choice of study. 

Cost: To be discussed based on personal choices


18.  Assessment and Consultation Design

Herbal consultation intake form design and client process map.  Listening to audio of Chad with Clients at Hollow Reed Holistic.  Practicing with 20 friends, family, or community members and we will review the assessment and the chosen remedies.  (Compulsory).

You will continue to do these and review them until Chad and yourself are confident that you are ready to proceed on your own without supervision.  If you are really struggling to find confidence and need continued supervision there may be an additional supervision cost.  

 Estimated Time: (120 hours – 3 months) 

Cost: $549


19. Wild-Harvesting & Plant Identification Retreats (2) With Chad Cornell and other students (video plant walk optional if you are distance student).  - (compulsory)

Guidebooks: Suggested based on your region

1 (3 days) retreat with Chad Cornell & Local Botanist

Assignment: Identifying the abundant and endangered plants in your region. Identifying 3 local or accessible medicinal mushrooms.  

Cost: $500 ($250 for each retreat) This will depend on your location and ability to travel but it is highly essential that you connect directly to wild and cultivated plants

Time Investment: (60 hours)


20.  Phone Consultation or in Person Meetings with Chad Cornell and Written Exam Time Investment: (90 hours)  



3 are required


21.  Growing and Using Herbs (elective)

        Texts: The Herb Gardener & The Medicinal Herb       Grower – Richo Cech

                Cost: $249 


22. Medicinal Mushrooms – (elective)

       Text: The Fungal Pharmacy by Robert Rogers

       Estimated Time:  1 Month (30 hours)

       Cost $249


23.  Fermentation Essentials (elective):

Text: The Art of Fermentation

Estimated Time:  1 Month (30 Hours)

Cost: $249

Assignment and Essay


24.    Aromatherapy Essentials (With Nancy Hall) (elective).

Text: Ayurveda and Aromatherapy

Personal Instruction with Nancy Hall – 2 hours in person or audio/video.

Assignment: Essay on Personal Oil Selection Rationale

Estimated Time: 3 weeks (30 hours)

Cost: $333


25.     Entheogens: Modern and Traditional Uses of Psychoactive Plants and Navigating Their Modern Resurgence (elective).

Discussion, Web Links, and Essay

Text: Visionary Plant Consciousness

Estimated Time: 1 Month (30 hours)

Cost: $249  


26.    Plant Spirit Herbalism & Non-linear Ways of Learning (elective)

Suggested Texts: Plant Spirit Healing & Plant Spirit Medicine, Shamanic Healing by Sandra Ingerman

Personal Discussions with Chad

Exercises:  Dream Yoga, Dream Journaling, and Plant Spirit Medicine

Estimated Time: 1 Month (30 Hours)

Cost: $249


27. Flower Essences, Vitalism, & Homeopathy (elective)

Text: Vitalism (Mathew Wood) 

Estimated Time: 1 Month: 30 Hours


28.  Sweatlodge & Lodge Medicines (elective) Traditional Steam and Sauna Research.   

Estimated Time:

1 weekend – (6 hours) $100

Questions to answer and return.....


Apprenticeship Program Application

  1. What is your goal with this program?
  2. What are your strengths and weaknesses when it comes to learning/ways of learning?
  3. Have you any knowledge of plant medicine or healing arts yet?
  4. How passionate are you about committing to this learning process (between 1 and 10 with 10 as the highest).
  5. How financially able are you to complete this program based on monthly payments?
  6. Do you feel you have the time and personality to commit to self-study?
  7. Besides Herbalism what other types of healing/well being are you interested in?
  8. On a scale of 1-10 how open are you to spirituality?
  9. When would you be interested in starting the Program? 
Please let us know if you have any more questions at chad@hollowreedholistic.caHollow Reed Holistic

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