Appalachia School of Holistic Herbalism

Celebrating 28 Years of Herbal & Holistic Education

The Southeast’s oldest herbal studies school, Appalachia School of Holistic Herbalism offers life enhancing skills to impart deep wellness and vitality.We focus on promoting healing through preventative medicine as well as educating individuals on how to create a sustainable lifestyle.

ASHH combines ancient healing traditions with the latest established research in emerging herbal and medical science. Located in the Southern Appalachian mountains, we work directly with local plants in one of North America’s most botanically diverse regions. Our Holistic Health Center is centrally located in Asheville, North Carolina.


Office, Botanica & Bookstore: BY APPOINTMENT ONLY DUE TO COVID


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At this time, all classes are paused due to Covid.  Please email us at to get on our mailing list to be notified when classes are open again.

We are proud to offer:

  • Knowledge from an outstanding faculty who has over two centuries of combined practical application in holistic healthcare.
  • Certification programs in Foundational, Traditional, and Clinical Herbalism as well Energy Healing, Flower Essences, and Forest Skills.
  • Locally sourced organically grown bulk herbs, handcrafted herbal extracts, artisan botanical products and informative books written by our friends at our vast botanical store.
  • A free library and audio/visual resource center with annual events, seed and plant swaps, movie nights, and other community services.

Let us provide you with the wisdom and tools to heal yourself, your community, and your environment.

Grow with us!

Apply To One of Our Herbalism Certification Programs

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What is Herbalism?

Herbalism is a folk and traditional medical practice that uses plants and plant extracts to treat various ailments. Phytotherapy is another name for herbalism. A prevalent misunderstanding regarding herbalism and the usage of "natural" items, in general, is that "natural" is synonymous with "safe." On the other hand, nature is not always kind, and many plants contain chemical defense systems against predators that may be harmful to people. Hemlock and nightshade are two examples of plants that may be fatal to humans. Herbs, like pharmaceuticals, can have unpleasant side effects, which are compounded by a lack of control over overdose and purity.

Herbalism is the art and science of employing plants to enhance health from a technical aspect. Herbology, Herbal Medicine, Phytomedicine, Phytotherapy, and Phytopharmacology are just a few terms used to describe what it is. Herbalism is genuinely about the human-plant connection from a more holistic perspective. Understanding the "medicinal value" of herbs in the larger context of the natural world and the interrelationship between plants and human activities is an ever-evolving interaction. Your passion for plants will guide you down your unique path on this voyage of learning.

Why is Herbalism Important?

If you go somewhere like a health food store, you'll probably see a lot of herbal goods on the shelf. Herbal medicines have been around for a long time. They've been around for millennia. They've recently been more generally available to the general public, who may or may not be familiar with their conventional use. Foods, drinks, and cosmetic items all contain herbs. Herbal ghees, effervescent herbal beverages, and even herbal skin treatments are available. They're frequently attractively packed and feature appealing substances such as ashwagandha, Lion's mane Mushroom, and Rhodiola Rosea.

Herbs treat the whole individual, not just one ailment or symptom. As a result, it's critical to seek the advice of a certified, licensed, and experienced specialist. This is especially true if you're taking any prescription medications since your doctor will be able to advise you about any potential interactions. Purchasing your herbs from a certified practitioner ensures that they are excellent quality and free of fillers. While natural therapies may be effective, that doesn't imply you should start using wheatgrass pills without first learning what they do.

Herbalist and Herbalism

An herbalist is a practitioner who treats patients or clients with medicinal plants as a primary method. In addition to herbal treatments, a herbalist may utilize additional therapies such as nutrition, medications, or meditation. These other modalities would either not be regarded as the most effective component of the therapeutic intervention or would not be the most often used for treating certain medical diseases or indications. Practitioners can also practice as herbalists full-time or simply employ herbs for specific illnesses or indications. An herbalist is "ideally" someone whose major career is dealing with medicinal plants and treats patients or customers with herbs as "the" primary modality.

Herbalists can be classified into "lay" and "professional." Because herbal traditions and training range considerably among nations and even local authorities, distinguishing between these two groups must be adjusted to each geographic location. Using current certificates, professional titles, and licenses for herbalists accessible in the geographical region of interest is one effective technique of identifying the professional herbalist. 

Over-the-counter (OTC) herbal preparations serve a significant function for the general public and herbalists who cannot carry their goods and must direct customers to stores to obtain herbs. The OTC herbal usage advised by a herbalist is part of a complete system of herbalism, according to our concept of herbalism. This distinction is crucial when looking at prevalence studies of entire herbal systems because a product prescribed by a herbalist may be recorded twice as the product and once as a visit to the herbalist, resulting in an overestimation of herbs and herbalism.

Herbalists devote their careers to dealing with medicinal plants in general. Traditional healers, clinical herbalists, scientists, naturopaths, holistic medical physicians, researchers, authors, herbal pharmacists, botanists, ethnobotanists, herbal medicine makers, wild crafts, herb farmers, or midwives, to mention a few, maybe inspired by their knowledge of plant medicine. You could even find a herbalist in your family tree who was educated through herbal traditions passed down through the generations. As a herbalist, you'll treat patients holistically, looking at the underlying causes of sickness rather than simply the symptoms and prescribing herbal remedies to be used in conjunction with other therapies and medications.

Direction in Herbalism

Herbal goods, botanical products, and phytomedicines are products made from botanicals or plants used to treat or prevent illnesses. An herbal supplement is a plant-based product solely meant to be used internally. Many FDA-regulated prescription and over-the-counter drugs are made from plant sources and solely pure ingredients. Herbal supplements can be made up of complete plants or plant parts.

You may now find labels that describe how herbs can affect certain bodily functions. On the other hand, Herbal supplement labels cannot make claims about curing particular medical ailments. This is because herbal supplements are not subjected to the same clinical testing or manufacturing regulations as a prescription or over-the-counter pharmaceuticals. Unlike medications, herbal supplements do not need to be standardized to assure batch-to-batch uniformity. Certain manufacturers may use the term "standardized" on a supplement label, although it does not always signify the same thing from one manufacturer to the next.

What are the benefits of Herbalism?

A variety of herbal medicines may be beneficial. Others may provide no clear or demonstrable advantage, and some may even be detrimental. If you follow the guidelines for most over-the-counter herbs, you should have minimal chance of having an adverse response. To soothe your stomach, you might consume a cup of peppermint tea, for example. It can ease your upset stomach in the worst-case scenario; in the best-case scenario, it can taste good, warm you up, and have no harmful side effects! For example, in some countries, specific echinacea preparations are approved to treat colds and cold symptoms. While the great majority of herbs have no serious adverse effects if you're thinking about adding herbal supplements to your life, proceed with caution.

Civilizations have depended on herbal medicine and other natural resources to heal ailments and reduce symptoms for thousands of years. Those civilizations may have been on to something, as there is some merit to herbal treatments' genuine benefits. To get the benefits of herbal therapy, one does not need to reject science or live an utterly holistic lifestyle. The following are just a few of the advantages of using natural remedies.

1. Side effects are lessened.

Herbal remedies are frequently well tolerated by the body since they are natural. Regrettably, this is not always the case with prescription drugs. Patients can gradually minimize or even eliminate the amount of prescription-related side effects they suffer daily by substituting a natural supplement for prescription medicine.

2. Increased financial savings

Medications on prescription are costly. Herbal medicine is frequently less expensive since it is made from abundant and simple-to-produce natural materials. A reduced manufacturing cost frequently translates to a lower selling price.

Herbal medicines not only help patients save money on drug expenditures upfront, but they also teach people how to manage their diseases and build the tools and knowledge they need to avoid sickness, and encourage self-healing. Individuals may utilize this knowledge to lead healthier lifestyles and, ideally, avoid the development of costly chronic diseases in the future, typically accompanied by sky-high medical expenses, medication prices, and time off work.

3. Self-healing

Prescription medicines are frequently used to mask symptoms rather than treat the underlying problem. On the other hand, Herbal medication may compel people to pay attention to what their bodies are telling them and to pinpoint the source of pain or suffering. A patient may achieve better health sooner than expected with the help of a medical expert who specializes in alternative medicine.

4. Empowerment

Using herbal medicine is mostly about taking control of their health for many people. A skilled natural healer will teach people what their bodies require and how to keep them healthy. The healer will not just give a patient a pill to mask the discomfort.

5. Better overall health

Natural medications have several health advantages. For instance, rather than suppressing symptoms, natural remedies frequently strive to discover and remove sickness. This method is more likely to lead to better health than using medicines. Herbal medicine also strengthens the total body rather than simply combating sickness since it includes vitamins, antibodies, and other health-promoting compounds. 

As a result, someone who uses natural cures rather than pharmaceutical drugs may be better equipped to battle illnesses than someone who relies on Big Pharma. Finally, natural medication is suitable for your stomach. It accomplishes this by improving digestion and creating an environment conducive to the growth of beneficial microorganisms.

Herbal Medicine and Active Components

Active components can be found in herbal remedies. Many herbal remedies' active components are yet unknown. A single active component obtained from a plant source is used in several pharmaceutical drugs. Herbalists think that if an active element is taken in isolation from the rest of the plant, it loses its effectiveness or becomes less safe.

Salicylic acid, for example, is a compound found in the plant meadowsweet and is used to manufacture aspirin. Aspirin can induce stomach bleeds. However, meadowsweet includes additional substances that protect the stomach lining from salicylic acid irritation. Herbal medicine practitioners think that the whole plant has a more significant impact than its parts. The nature of herbal medicine, according to critics, makes giving a precise dosage of an active component challenging.

Herbal medicines are made from plants. They use leaves, flowers, and roots, among other plant parts. Medicinally, each part of the plant can be utilized differently. Manufacturers extract chemicals from plant components in a variety of ways. They use both fresh and dried herbs to make the cure. Herbal medicine aims to assist your body in self-healing by restoring its abilities to protect, regulate, and heal.

It's a comprehensive strategy. It considers your physical, mental, and emotional well-being. Some of the names used to describe it include phytomedicine, phytotherapy, and botanical medicine. Plants are used to make several medications. On the other hand, Herbalists do not extract plant chemicals the same way pharmaceutical companies do. Herbalists believe the remedy works because the complete plant, or plant mixtures, have an exact chemical balance.

Precautions on Choosing Herbal Supplements

Herbal supplements can mix with prescription medications or have potent effects on their own. Do not try to diagnose yourself. Before taking herbal supplements, consult your doctor. Could you make an effort to educate yourself? Consult your doctor and seek information from herbal supplement producers to learn as much as possible about the herbs you're taking. If you use herbal supplements, read the label carefully and only take the recommended dosage. Never take more than the stated amount, and find out who should not use the supplement. Working with a professional is a good idea. Seek a skilled and certified herbalist or naturopathic doctor with vast experience in this field.

Keep an eye out for adverse consequences. Reduce the dosage or stop using the herbal supplement if symptoms such as nausea, dizziness, headache, or upset stomach develop. Keep an eye out for any allergic reactions. A strong allergic response might make it difficult to breathe. If this happens, dial 911 or your local emergency number for assistance. Check out the firm that makes the herbs you're using. All herbal supplements are not equal, so it's better to stick with a well-known brand.

Health Benefits of Herbalism

Herbs have been used for several therapeutic purposes since ancient times, primarily in teas and tinctures. Their nutritional value as a dietary component has just recently been discovered. Herbs, for example, add a burst of flavor to dishes, allowing you to cut back on salt without sacrificing flavor. In addition, several plants, such as parsley, have high quantities of the essential vitamins A, C, and K.

But it's the abundance of beneficial polyphenols — plant components with significant antioxidant and anti-inflammatory properties — that give herbs their actual strength. Polyphenols in herbs have been shown in several studies to help fight cancer, heart disease, Alzheimer's, diabetes, and others. Polyphenols are antimicrobial, which means they can help humans stay safe from germs. Although much research on the effects of herbs has used concentrated solutions of the leaves' active components, there is evidence that their benefits may be obtained when they are prepared and consumed as part of a regular meal.

Purchasing and storing items

Growing fresh herbs in your yard or pots on your windowsill is the most excellent way to have them at your fingertips. All you have to do now is snip as required, and the plants' beauty and aroma will serve as a natural reminder to use them. Please make sure the leaves aren't wilted or wilting when buying cut herbs; they should be brilliant or deep green, depending on the type, and perky. To keep them, wash them and pat or spin dry them in a salad spinner before wrapping them in a moist paper towel and placing them in a plastic bag or an airtight container.

Fresh cut herbs are incredibly perishable, no matter how carefully you pick or store them. The most fragile leaves, such as basil and cilantro, will generally keep no more than a week in the refrigerator. Firmer herbs like parsley and oregano will remain a little longer, while hearty rosemary and thyme can keep for a few weeks. Chop them up and freeze them in ice cube trays with stock or water to keep them fresh for longer. Freeze the herb cubes, then transfer them to a plastic bag and freeze them to use in soups, stews, and sauces. Although fresh herbs have a fresh, vibrant flavor and a springlike appearance, dried herbs have their benefits. Because the drying process concentrates the polyphenols and flavors, dried herbs are equally as beneficial as fresh herbs.

Healing Herbs' Health Benefits

A healing herb, also known as a medicinal plant, is a plant that is harvested from the wild or produced specifically for its medicinal or therapeutic properties. Plants have been utilized to heal illnesses, discomfort, and sickness for thousands of years. Herbal treatments are made from the leaves, bark, stems, roots, seeds, and flowers of these medicinal plants. Herbs for healing are still popular.

When used as supplemental therapy, medicinal herbs can be beneficial, but they aren't remedies for everything. Many have hazards and adverse effects, and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) does not currently monitor herbal medicines to assess their safety. It's critical to seek medical attention since discomfort, sickness, and infections can spread and lead to consequences if not treated appropriately. Before utilizing any herbal therapies, consult your doctor. Some of them may interfere with the prescriptions you're taking.

10 Herbal Treatments


The Withania somnifera plant, commonly known as Indian ginseng and Indian winter cherry, is the source of Ashwagandha. The evergreen shrub is native to Africa and Asia, although it may also be found in the Middle East and India. For thousands of years, Ashwagandha has been utilized for its therapeutic benefits. The adaptogenic plant is commonly used in Ayurvedic treatment (India's ancient medical system) to increase energy, reduce anxiety and stress, and alleviate pain and inflammation.

Calendula (Calendula officinalis)

Calendula is a flower that blooms in a pot and is also known as pot marigold. It's a wound-healing, antifungal, antiseptically that's been around for millennia. The petals of these lovely yellow and orange daisy-like blossoms, which have skin-soothing properties, are included in many natural cosmetics and diaper creams. Calendula is a self-seeding, season-long flowering annual. In full-sun gardens, it's a lovely addition. As quickly as possible, pick the petals. Because they close in the evening, you may even dry full blooms before producing seeds.

Cilantro (Coriandrum sativum)

Cilantro has a peculiar flavor that either attracts or repels people. Mexican and Thai cuisines frequently utilize the leaves as a garnish. In Indian curries, coriander seeds are a vital ingredient. Few people think of this plant as a medical herb, yet research suggests it can aid digestion and eliminate heavy metals and other toxins from the body. Cilantro grows best in a cool, rainy climate and bolts quickly in hotter climates. Seed companies can help you find slow bolt varieties.

Lemon balm (Melissa officinalis)

Oils, tannins, and bitters found in lemon balm's fragrant leaves and blossoms have a relaxing and antispasmodic effect on the stomach and nervous system. According to a study, it may help fight illnesses like herpes simplex when used topically. Lemon balm is pleasant and gentle enough for children when prepared into teas or tinctures with a glycerin base. This calming and uplifting perennial proliferates from seed and makes a stunning bright green area in the yard. The dried herb loses some of its potency after six months. Try this lemon balm and peppermint infusion.

Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)

Popular toothpaste and chewing gum flavors include spearmint and peppermint. Both have a wonderfully refreshing zing, but peppermint is more therapeutic than its culinary cousin, according to the National Center for Complementary and Integrative Health (NCCIH). When made into tea, peppermint can aid digestive problems, including indigestion and vomiting. It can also assist in alleviating tense muscles when applied topically as a liquid or lotion. Mints spread like wildfire in a moist yard. Each plant should be cultivated separately in a large container. Harvest the leaves just before they bloom. If you wait too long, they'll start to taste bitter.

Rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis)

Rosemary has a revivifying solid effect. This perennial woody plant increases energy and optimism through increasing brain oxygenation and sharpening memory and attentiveness. It's a terrific caffeine alternative when you need a pick-me-up. When planted in a row, these drought-tolerant, long-lived plants form a gorgeous, bee-friendly evergreen hedge. In your garden, you may just need one plant — a little goes a long way.

Mullein (Verbascum thapsus)

The calming qualities of mullein may aid in healing bronchial respiratory infections. Cough syrups frequently contain the leaves. Allow enough room for this elegant and majestic biennial and marvel. The robust, yellow-flowered stem will sprout from a rosette of thick, hairy leaves and extend about 6 feet in the air.

Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)

The soft stems and tiny leaves of this groundcover belie the enormous power given to it by Europeans in the Middle Ages. Many people thought that the plant might increase bravery and protect them from nightmares. Modern herbalists use thyme oils' antibacterial and antiseptic characteristics to prevent winter colds and flu. Beyond the straight species, several cultivars, including sweet-tasting citrus types that are great for children's stomachs.

Lavender (Lavandula)

According to studies, Lavender is well-known for its pleasant aroma, but it also has therapeutic benefits as a mild antidepressant that may help your nervous system. To ease tension, anxiety, and insomnia, take a bath with lavender oil. Anti-acne and sunburn creams also include it. Wood-grown Lavender thrives in hot, sunny, and dry circumstances. The fresh flowers are great in salads, honey, butter, lemonade, and even shortbread biscuits in tiny amounts. Make a herbal heating pad or eye pillow with scented dried flowers if you're feeling crafty.

Companions in the Herbal Garden

These simple-to-grow herbs benefit your garden as well as your family's health. Many of them are attracted to beneficial insects such as bees. They can also assist in repelling pests from nearby plants that are more sensitive. Choose plants that will grow in your garden's light, water, and temperature conditions. For example, Rosemary, lavender, and mullein are excellent for hot, dry locations in full sun. Cilantro and mint thrive in moist, shaded environments.

Plants as a Natural Product Source

Antioxidants are abundant in plants, which are necessary for their survival in the environment. Antioxidants are frequently linked to reducing health risks that lead to diabetes. Plant-based traditional medicines are still widely used since they are typically affordable to manufacture, effective, and have minor side effects when used to treat common conditions. Therefore, plant extracts have become a valuable source of candidate molecules for therapeutic research.

There are a variety of endophytes that may be found inside a live plant. Endophytes are endosymbiotic microorganisms that invade plants and microbes without producing illness. They are commonly bacteria or fungi. Endophytes are common and have been detected in all plant species investigated to date; nevertheless, most endophyte or plant interactions are unknown. Some endophytes can help plants withstand abiotic conditions like drought, while others can help with host development, nutrient acquisition, insect, plant disease, and herbivore resistance.

These endophytes play a vital part in managing plant communities, and they may be of interest because they produce secondary metabolites. In local towns and places, various plant species play an essential part in healing traditions.

Who doesn't benefit from Herbal Supplements?

Because many supplements include active components that substantially affect the body, herbal goods might bring unanticipated hazards. Taking a mixture of herbal supplements or combining supplements with prescription medicines, for example, might have dangerous, even life-threatening consequences. 

It's essential to discuss herbal supplements with your doctor if you:

  • You're on a prescription or over-the-counter drug. Some herbs can have dangerous adverse effects when used with drugs like aspirin, blood thinners, and blood pressure meds.
  • You're expecting a child or are nursing. Medications that are safe for you as an adult may be dangerous for your child.
  • You're going to have surgery. Many herbal supplements can have an impact on surgical outcomes. Some may reduce anesthesia efficacy or create hazardous consequences like bleeding.
  • Either you're under the age of 18, or you're beyond 65. There have been few studies on herbal supplements in children, and no acceptable amounts for children have been established. Drugs may also be processed differently in older adults.

Final Thoughts

There are occasions when using herbal treatment rather than medication is better. An herb, for example, might occasionally provide a safer alternative. Take chamomile, for example; the flowers have been used as a moderate sedative for both young and elderly for ages. 

For most of human history, knowing about plants or having access to someone who did was a matter of life and death. In truth, traditional medicine is still practiced by the majority of the world's population, and even in developed nations, folk medicines are still employed to cure sickness daily. This essential link to the natural world has only lately been lost. Therefore, is it any wonder that there is a growing movement to reinstate old plant-based therapeutic traditions in these modern times, given the expanding alternatives of medical technology?

Healthcare is not easy to come by: medical expenditures are growing, leaving many people unable to afford it. Others have difficulty getting quality care because of their ethnicity or gender and seek alternatives to the traditional medical system. Herbal medicines may be a more accessible approach for controlling some chronic disorders, while it does require careful usage to avoid interactions with other therapies given by your doctor.

Planting a herb garden is a fantastic opportunity to experience many different plants' sights, scents, and tastes. Fresh herbs are generally simple to grow in a small backyard garden, in pots on an outdoor patio or sunroom, or even in a kitchen window box. Gardening is a great activity that allows your elderly loved ones to express their creativity. It's a fun pastime to do with others, such as grandkids, or with friends in a club as a social activity, or even by yourself. Gardening not only relieves stress but also improves hand-eye coordination, motor skills, and self-esteem.

 Before starting any herbal therapy, carers should consult their senior's doctor to ensure that it will not conflict with any drugs they are currently taking.

Herbs have long been utilized in medicine to treat a variety of ailments. (As usual, please with your senior's doctor before using any herbs for medicinal purposes.) "Old fashioned remedies" are largely herb-based and have been used for decades to help with everything from upset stomachs to anxiousness to immune system strengthening.