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 an effective Herbalist / Natural Healer.  Unlike many other herbal training programs the focus is on the human to human transmission of knowledge from teacher to student - along side the studying of texts and forest retreats.  
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.  Each student has their own unique gifts and future direction and this program is designed to develop individual uniquely also.  

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 offering in your own unique way.

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 at the bottom here and email it in and ensure you have read the description 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 $4900 plus textbooks. Tax not included. This may increase slightly depending on which electives you choose.  

A commitment to continuously explore how you can practically integrate your love of herbal medicine and natural healing methods into a lifestyle that supports you and those around you in many different ways beyond the typical financial goals of our culture.  In other words, part of this program is applying your interests in a way that could potentially grow you an income but more importantly 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 ( one hour meeting - one 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 $40 and $50 dollars each.  There is one text that may cost over $150
Testimonials from Students . . . 
“My journey into the program started from my passion to provide efficacious healing for my community, but it has also permeated the deepest layers of being to really help me understand why Chad reminds us ‘Healer, heal thyself’. That healing has provided deeper understanding of the teachings, and also greater empathy for the journeys of the members of my community. While it hasn’t always been easy, the increased practice of discipline is unto itself a healing process that provides great wisdom that was well known to our ancestors.” - Chaley Martens

"The Integrative Herbalist Program through Master Herbalist Chad Cornell, allows one the space and opportunity to cultivate experience and knowledge from vast areas of interest in the herbal medicine world. Throughout my time as an apprentice herbalist, I have undertaken learning topics such as Traditional Chinese Medicine, Ayurvedic practices, anatomy, herbal remedies, healing with whole foods, among others. The integrative approach allows each apprentice to follow their own path of interests, while still adhering to the outline of the Herbalist Program. The Apprentice Program instilled a drive to learn and experience what I could not have thought possible before, such as working with energies, astrology, and breath work. Additionally, the summer herbal retreats out onto the land, rejuvenate oneself from the hustle and bustle of everyday life, while seeing directly for yourself the wild Manitoba plants and herbs in their natural environment. The Integrative Herbalist Program in short not only taught me about herbs, healing, and health, it thought me about myself and how to navigate and integrate myself more holistically into our world today." - Ryan Kologinski

“The Herbalist Apprenticeship program with Chad Cornell is so much more than just learning about plants and herbs. It is a program that integrates all modalities of healing. You will deepen your connection with yourself while deepening your connection to Mother Earth and all living things. While learning how to heal others, you will also learn how to heal yourself and how to become “whole”. The practices you learn while working with Chad will serve you and will serve the people around you for your the rest of your life. “  ~ David Toews

“I feel blessed to have the opportunity to be guided through herbalism by Master Herbalist, Chad Cornell.  His Appreticeship Program has been a knowledgeable and heartfelt journey through science and spirit.  I am confident that this knowledge, integrating past and present, ancient and current, will be the foundation in my practise of guiding others toward their path of healing.”
~ Stephanie Snadden
"The Integrative Herbalist program has been an important part of my development not only as a healer, but as a more mature and whole human in general. Chad’s wisdom, friendship and guidance has given me a rich base and anchor in my personal growth. We come to this work to offer people healing through natural means. Chad’s program goes far beyond that, addressing balance on all fronts, physical, emotional, mental and spiritual. In this program we explore both east and west, ancient and modern to bring together the medicine our time needs most. A strong sense of independence is earned through this process as well as the opportunity to recognize and overcome personal challenges and an invitation to explore and integrate our unique flavor and interests.
This program is for those called to reconnect with the wisdom of nature and enter into deep personal exploration. It’s for those committed knowing themselves, helping others and bringing more balance to this world. For those ready to go on this transformative journey, I couldn’t recommend it enough."
~ Danielle Caners  
Course Content Outline
1.   Historical & Present Trends in Herbal Medicine with Intro to Botany and Physiology (Compulsory).
Discussion with Chad Cornell
Textbook will be assigned.
Estimated Time: 2 months (70 hours of Study)
Assignment: Essay and Quiz
Cost $425
2.  Ayurvedic Wisdom - Elemental Perspectives & Holistic Cosmology (Compulsory)
Texts:  The Yoga of Herbs (60 hours of study) 
Assignments: Creating a Practical Elemental Herb Chart, Questions, Oral Quiz, Essay.
Estimated Time: 1.5 months
Cost: $425
3.   Fundamentals In Physiology (Compulsory)
Texts (2) : Holistic Anatomy & The Human Body Colouring Book (optional but suggested). 
Assignments: Handing in Questions
Estimated Time: 2 Months (80 Hours).
Cost: $390
4.   Manitoba Herbal Medicine Course (audio, video or attendance).  (Compulsory)
Text: Our Common Roots - Online Learning - Audio & Podcast
Written Assignment - choosing your main herbs locally.  
Estimated Time:  1 month of Audio and Text Study & Review (25 hours)
Cost: $369
5.  The Energy Body:  Introduction to The Physiological and Psychological Implications of Chakras. (Compulsory).  Meeting focussed on the use of essential oils and sound / toning / postures as tools for adjusting chakras and subtle energy flow.   
Text: Eastern Body Western Mind / Yoga of Herbs Chart
Assignment: Summary Diagrams and Essay
Estimated Time: 1 month (30 Hours)
Cost: $369 
6.   Eastern Perspectives on Herbology & Nutrition (Compulsory): An incredibly practical a accessible look at 5 element theory, eating for the seasons, herbal energetics, etc.  
Text: Planetary Herbology, and Healing with Whole Foods 
** Now Including Cleansing & Detox Protocol & Healing Diets:
Text: Healing With Whole Foods, Internet References & Text to be announced.  Special focus on other emerging issues like radiation influence and low lying ozone and formaldehyde issues. (Compulsory)
Personal Research, Discussion
Focus: Fungal candida cleanse, heavy metal cleanse, general body systems cleanse. Discerning hot or cold and dry or moist foods and remedies and much more.
Summary report of 2 kinds of cleanses to be handed in.  
Assignment: Questions and Written Assignment
Estimated Time: 2 months (60 Hours of Study)
Cost: $475
7.  Preparing Herbal Remedies (Compulsory):
Text: Herbal Medicine Maker’s Handbook
Estimated Time: 2 months (60 hours)
Assignment:  Ethical Wildcrafting, Properly Drying herbs & storing Discussing formulas, storage, drying methods. Choosing your primary herbs of interest (13 with basic rationale), and 4 other specialty remedies you make such as a healing bath blend, tincture, salve, oil, tea blend, or flower essence.  
Cost $295
9.   Client Assessment (compulsory)
Tongue and Pulse Assessment Basics
Text:   Ayurveda, The Science of Self Healing 
** Now Including: Foundations in Meditation Training:  Exploring the Benefits of Meditation & Dream Journalling (Compulsory)
Text: The Breath of Awakening by Namgyal Rinpoche – Meditation Guidance from Chad Cornell.  Keep a log of 13 meditations and write  2 page summary on the practical importance of practice as you see it.  
Time Investment: 
50 hours and on going practice!
2 months
Assigned Questions and Quiz
Cost: $395
10.  Common Ailments & Protocols (compulsory):
This is a very important module.  It includes meetings and discussions with Chad Cornell, Web Research,  Audio Recordings and Assignment.  Designing your complete medicine chest and process of working with clients part 1.   
Text: Prescription for Nutritional Healing.  Notes made visiting with Chad. 
Estimated Time: 3 months – (90 hours - 4 one hour meetings with Chad via Skype or in person).
Cost: $649
*** Now Includes the Safe Practices & Client Assessment Form & Legalities (Compulsory): Handouts and Personal Discussion, and Web Research with Chad Cornell.  Designing custom client intake form and process.  Covering the inner and more subtle aspects of consulting with others). 

*** Also Includes - Commonly Helpful Extracts and Nutraceuticals
Hand Outs, Web Research, and Quiz.  Review of the top most important Nutraceuticals and their uses.  AOR and St Francis Herb Farm, & Douglas Labs.
Text Required: Prescription for Nutritional Healing latest edition.
Cost: No fee
12.  Complimentary Practice:  This module can be satisfied by studies or courses in energy healing, meditation, Yoga Nidra, acupressure, working with smudging, sweat lodge, sound therapy, homeopathy, healing bath,  breath work, focusing practice, crystal therapy, or other. (Compulsory).
Estimated Time: 2 month (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 choice.  Generally not done through Chad so the cost is based on your choice and path.  



13.  Client Assessment Focus & Additional Common Ailments & Protocols: Actually Practicing / Assessment and Consultation Design / Refinement.  Here you will begin to listen to consultations that Chad has done, sit in on some he is doing, and begin to do some of your own.  
Herbal consultation intake form design and client process map.  Practicing with 12 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.  Again we also focus on safety and protocol.   
Estimated Time: (120 hours – 3 months - 4 one hour meetings with Chad).
Cost: $549
14. Wild-Harvesting & Plant Identification Retreats (2 required) With Chad Cornell and other students. (compulsory). A herbalist must be able to access medicines and foods in a wild setting. It is also essential to commune with the plants and learn to develop a relationship with them.

Guide books: Our Common Roots Field Guide: Full Edition by Chad Cornell. 1 (3 day) retreat with Chad Cornell & Local Botanist - Boreal Retreat at the Birch River Medicinal Plant Reserve.
Assignment: Identifying both the abundant and endangered plants and mushrooms in your region.
Cost: This will depend on your location and ability to travel but it is highly essential that you connect directly to wild and cultivated plants and be able to identify them Cost may vary depending on the length of the retreat and the length of your stay. Generally it is a two day retreat and $180.00. Longer retreats are possible.
Time Investment: (40 hours )
15.  On-going Phone Conversations, Skype, or in Person Meetings with Chad Cornell and Written Exam Time Investment: (90 hours). No extra cost. One per month as long as the modules are completed within the estimated time.
16.  Thesis -  8 to 20 page thesis based on research you have done into a specific issues that is relevant to our modern times such as lyme disease, herbs and climate change, gender transitioning and herbalism, intellectual property rights and herbalism, etc.  This is ideally an area you are planning to specialize in.  
Cost for discussion, co-design of content and review - $150 
17.  Electives - 3 are required, the following electives are suggested as ideas for focus but if you have an interest in something else like homeopathy or natural healing and animals then please speak to Chad about your vision.  
A  - Growing and Using Herbs (elective)
        Texts: The Herb Gardener & The Medicinal Herb       Grower – Richo Cech
        Cost: $249 
B -  Medicinal Mushrooms – (elective)
       Text: The Fungal Pharmacy by Robert Rogers
       Estimated Time:  1 Month (30 hours)
       Cost $249
C - Fermentation Essentials (elective):
Text: The Art of Fermentation
Estimated Time:  1 Month (30 Hours)
Cost: $249
Assignment and Essay
D -  Aromatherapy Essentials (elective).
Text: Ayurveda and Aromatherapy
Personal Instruction with Nancy Hall – 2 hours in person or audio/video.
Assignment: Essay on Personal Oil Selection Rational
Estimated Time: 3 weeks (30 hours)
Cost: $333
E - 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  
F - 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
G - Flower Essences, Vitalism, & Homeopathy (elective)
Text: Vitalism (Mathew Wood)
Estimated Time: 1 Month: 30 Hours
H - Sweatlodge & Lodge Medicines (elective) Traditional Steam and Sauna Research.  
Estimated Time:
1 weekend – (6 hours) $100
Suggested that you partake in a small cleanse, gentle fast, visioning process, for clarifying your intentions for your practice ahead.  This can be done on the land out at the yurt or elsewhere. 
You will of course receive a beautiful certificate of completion for your office / apothecary or intake space! 

Applying - If you're interested in exploring this program further and applying for a spot . . . please answer the following questions in email and send them to Chad at [email protected] The next step would be an in person, online, or phone interview to clarify any questions and make sure it's the right program for you If all proceeds well, and there is a space available, then you can get started!

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 1-10)

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? 

10.  Where are you located?


Please email if you have any questions! 

[email protected]

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