Herbalism & Medicine Making

Introduction to Herbalism & Medicine-Making

At the Santa Cruz Permaculture Farm

6 weekends in 6 months

April – September & October – March

Join seasoned herbalist Devalina Waring and guest instructors for a comprehensive introduction to herbalism and medicine making.

In this practical and fun class, participants will learn how to source, make, and use a wide range of herbal medicines. We’ll build your home apothecary by making tinctures, syrups, oils, salves, lotions, pastilles and much more. We’ll introduce herbal actions such as Adaptogens, Calmatives/Sedatives, Immunostimulants, Qi tonics and Harmonizers that can be grown in our gardens or sourced locally. We’ll also discuss the crucial role diet and nutrition play in promoting our vitality, immunity, and resilience to stress. Whether you’re interested in herbal medicine and want to begin your journey or are just looking for natural ways to support your energy and nervous system, relax more, and sleep better, all within a supportive community of practice, this class will teach you an abundance of tools that you will use for decades to come. 

Course Dates & Times

Join any time! Sign up now for the whole series or join us midway through the program.

Saturday 10am to 5pm & Sunday 10am to 3pm

Fall 2023-Winter 2024 (Herbalism6)

Individual Weekend Attendance Available

October 14-15, 2023

November 11-12, 2023

December 9-10, 2023

January 13-14, 2024

February 10-11, 2024

March 9-10, 2024

Spring-Summer 2024 (Herbalism6)

April 13-14, 2024

May 11-12, 2024

June 8-9, 2024

July 13-14, 2024

August 10-11, 2024

September 14-15, 2024

Session Descriptions

All sessions include plant walks, plant sits and lots of hands-on making & crafting.

Read our Herbalism blog post series for more information about each weekend.

Session One: Basics

  • Explore the basics of herbalism: the how, what and why we use herbs.
  • Explore the language of plants, learn how to engage with plants and become familiar with botanical vocabulary.
  • Study herbal actions, constitution basics, and herbal dosage.
  • Gain proficiency in the art of tea making and blending. Learn about infusions, sun teas, decoctions, and more.
  • Learn about ethical wildcrafting.
  • Discover how to source high quality herbs and learn best practices in drying/storing herbs.

Session Two: Immune

  • Explore herbs for building a healthy immune system. 
  • Learn all about immunmodulators and immunostimulants.
  • Explore the wonderful world of medicinal mushrooms.
  • Make herbal syrups and fire cider.
  • Make herbal gummies and pastilles.
  • Learn about herbal vinegars and botanical waters

Session Three: Nervous System + Botany

  • Gain understanding of the sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous system and the benefits that a well regulated nervous system can provide.
  • Learn about adaptogens, Qi tonics, and Nervines.
  • Learn to identify plant families, their scientific names, and cultural history of plants.
  • Understand the reproductive parts of plants, and how plants photosynthesize and communicate across landscapes.
  • Explore the basics of plant constituents.

Session Four: Kitchen Herbalism

  • Explore digestion and nutrition basics to support overall health.
  • Learn how herbs can support the digestion system.
  • Discover herbal flavors and taste, and how they interact with the body.
  • Learn about herbal monographs and materia medica.
  • Make various herbal culinary items like herbal salts, vinegars, oils, pesto & herbally-infused ghee.

Session Five: Skin System & Tincture Land

  • Discover the supplies needed for making herbal preparations.
  • Make herbal body oils, salves, lotions & poultices.
  • Explore the basics of oxymel, tincture, and glycerine making.
  • Learn about herbal first aid and the tools you need to make your own
    first aid kit that’s tailored to your lifestyle.

Session Six: The Herbal Garden

  • Get to know characteristics and ideal growing conditions for different plants.
  • Dig into soil microbiology and structure, the carbon cycle, and how water moves in soil.
  • Learn about holistic pest management, beneficial insects, and supporting your local biome.
  • Differentiate between growing habits of annuals, biennials, and perennials and how to plan your garden thoughtfully.
  • Explore the many methods of propagation and what works best for particular plants.
  • Learn about watering and nutritional needs, the importance of mulch, and the basics of building rich compost.
  • Discover the benefits of biodiversity and closed-loop gardening.
  • Gain hands-on experience seeding, transplanting, pruning, and harvesting herbs.


  • $1295 – Full Tuition

  • $1195 – Early Bird DiscountRegister before September 15th, 2023 and Save $100

  • $1095 – Super Early Bird DiscountRegister before August 15th, 2023 and Save $200

  • $295 – One Session Only

  • $995 – Partner / Spouse Discount – When one partner registers for the full course, the second gets a discount

  • $995 – Teacher Discount – For K-12, College and University Teachers

  • $795 – Youth Discount – When an adult registers for the full course, their child gets a discount (ages 13-18)

  • Give someone the gift of permaculture! Purchase a gift card.

  • Please Inquire about Payment Plans, Low-income, BIPOC Discounts

Registration includes access to all course sessions. After payment, a registration form will load for you to complete.

Registration Options

Devalina Waring - Herbalism

 About Devalina Waring

Devalina is a clinical herbalist, whole-food chef, animist, beekeeper & educator. Originally from the West Coast of British Columbia, she has spent the last decade diving deep into herbalism, Traditional Chinese Medicine, functional nutrition and the natural world. Deva has been teaching herbalism classes at various schools in the Pacific Northwest and held herb camps throughout Northern California. She has a strong background in ethical harvesting, medicine making & herbal first aid. She is passionate about reconnecting people to land and getting people excited about plants. She is currently seeing clients through her private practice: www.wellrootedherbs.com. In her spare time she enjoys bee-centric bee keeping, exploring wild places and weaving.

Frequently Asked Questions

Are there readings, videos, and other materials to supplement our time together?

There are no required readings, though here is a list of recommendations:

How do I register?

Please use the PayPal link above. Registration for the Full Course includes access to all course sessions. There is a PayPal Handing Fee included in the price. You do not need a PayPal account to register. Clicking on the Pay Now button will take you to the PayPal site, and then once you make your payment please fill out the additional form to complete registration.

What should I bring to class?

Please bring sun hat, a 16 or 32 oz jar with lid for making garden teas, comfortable shoes for walking, a notebook and pen.

What is the refund policy?

For the Full Course, cancellations up to two weeks before the course begins will be refunded, excluding a $125 processing fee. No refunds are given after that date.

What is your COVID-19 protocol?

We are pleased to be able to hold all classes outdoors, allowing for plenty of space for social distancing. Folks are welcome to wear masks if they prefer.

What if I miss some classes? Can I make them up?

Yes. Once you enroll in our course you are a lifetime member. You can make up material you missed during the next session, or even just come join us again for a refresher.

What time does class start and end for the weekends of class?

Class meets Saturday from 10-5 and Sunday from 10-3, with a lunch break both day. We typically have potluck lunches either Saturday or Sunday.

Can I camp on site?

Course participants are very welcome to camp at the farm Friday and Saturday of the course weekends. Building community around the campfire is a wonderful bonus!

Order hoshigaki for local pickup in Santa Cruz - now through December!