|LATEST SCHOOL NEWS:
|Herbal Field Studies
The dates of the Herbal Field Studies field workshops have now been confirmed. It is necessary to register for the online Introductory Class in order to be eligible to attend any of the field workshops. Upon completion of the Introductory Class, participants may attend as many of the field workshops as they wish.
|The Spirit of Herbs
We are now accepting registrations for The Spirit of Herbs workshop which is scheduled for July 14-19, 2013. Space is limited for this workshop. We recommend that anyone who is interested in attending it register early.
|Online Lecture Series
The first two of our new lectures, Immune Support and the Natural Treatment of Colds and Flu and Herbs for Stress, are now available for online registration.
This series is based on the popular weekly lecture series that Michael Vertolli offered a number of years ago when Living Earth was located in Toronto. Each lecture will be on a single topic. They can be taken as supplementary to the online courses, providing focussed information on a specific topic. They can also be taken by anyone who is interested. These lectures can be streamed as a video. An alternative audio file will also be available for students who do not have efficient internet access or who wish to listen to them in an environment where viewing a video is not appropriate. For each lecture there will be a forum so that students can ask questions on the lecture content. Information on additional lectures will be posted in the coming weeks.
A video of Michael Vertolli introducing the lecture series and talking in general terms about healing is available on the Current Courses page.
|For more information or to register please visit the Program and Curriculum, Current Courses, Scheduling and Registration sections of our website.
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ABOUT LIVING EARTH SCHOOL
Living Earth School of Herbalism
provides quality education in Western herbalism and related subjects for
those who wish to learn more for their own personal benefit, or who wish to pursue a career in this field. Living Earth offers
courses and workshops for the general public as well as professional training
for herbalists, other practitioners, and employees of the natural health
Living Earth is located in a rural setting north of Toronto. It is not
the institutionalized environment typical of other schools and colleges.
Classes are smaller and less formal. A significant proportion of classes
and programs is devoted to experiential content. Students also have plenty
of opportunity to interact with herbs in their natural environment and
in a clinical setting.
Courses and programs offered by Living Earth are based
on the philosophy and practice of traditional Western herbalism. The
curriculum consists of a modern synthesis of traditional European and
Native American traditions, incorporating current advances in physiology. However,
we do not subscribe to the reductionistic and materialistic bias of the modern medical paradigm. Our philosophy is based on a holistic and organismic paradigm, recognizing the
importance of all levels of human functioning and experience (biochemical,
physiological, emotional, mental, social, spiritual,
etc.). The focus is on helping people to achieve a greater level of
health and well-being, not just the elimination of symptoms at the physiological
level. At Living Earth we ensure that all of our classes and programs
offer the best blend of traditional wisdom and scientific knowledge
without compromising the spirit of holism. Within the holistic paradigm,
people are the focus, not diseases. This philosophy is the cornerstone
of all courses and programs offered by Living Earth.
Living Earth offers many general interest courses that are open to anyone. The majority of these courses are also part of the Traditional
Herbalist diploma program. This program provides in-depth training and
clinical experience for students who wish to embark on a career as a
One of the limitations of many programs in Western herbalism is their
lack of a clear and precise system of herbal therapeutics. Students are expected
to memorize an abundance of information in herbal materia medica, therapeutics
and related fields of study, along with subjects in modern medical science
(often at a level of depth that is significantly in excess of what is
necessary for the practice of most systems of herbalism). However, the information is often not integrated in a meaningful way,
nor are the students provided with a system that allows them to easily
apply what they have learned.
European herbalism was originally practiced according to a system of
energetics that has its origins in early Greek and Roman medicine. A
significant amount of the knowledge of this tradition was lost during
the middle ages and much of what remains is incomplete or no longer
relevant in the modern context. Although some practitioners and schools have attempted to
resurrect this approach, which is preferable to not using any system
at all, we believe that it is more useful to incorporate the fundamental
philosophy of traditional herbalism into a modern context.
The backbone of the curriculum of the Living Earth Traditional Herbalist
program is based on Four Elements Herbal Therapy. Although
this system is named after the four elements of European and Native
American traditions, it is not based on the system of energetics from
Greco-Roman medical traditions. Four Elements Herbal Therapy
incorporates traditional and modern knowledge and experience into an
organismic approach that addresses all levels of physiological functioning
within the context of a broader, holistic, person-centred approach to
healing. This system is safe, easy to understand and apply, and significantly
improves clinical outcomes. It eliminates the many years of trial and
error that students must inevitably experience when they graduate from
programs that do not provide a concise system of herbal therapeutics.
Many graduates of programs offered by other schools have enrolled in
the accelerated version of the Traditional Herbalist program in order
to learn and benefit from the Four Elements system of herbal
therapeutics in their practice. All of them have found that this system
has helped them to significantly improve the effectiveness of their
Four Elements Herbal Therapy is a system that was developed
by herbalist Michael Vertolli, the director and primary instructor of
Living Earth School of Herbalism, during the twenty-five years
that he has practiced and conducted empirical research in herbalism.
It is one of the important features that differentiates the Traditional
Herbalist program from other Western clinical herbalist programs.
Western herbalism is a very eclectic tradition. Practitioners often
enthusiastically incorporate herbs from other traditions and parts of
the world into their practice. Unfortunately, the desire of herbalists
and the herbal industry for information on and access to exotic herbs
has resulted in a general neglect of many valuable North American and
European herbs. During his many years of research, a major focus of
Michael Vertolli's work has been to develop an in-depth understanding
of the therapeutic properties and indications of many of the common
North American and European herbs that grow in eastern North America.
As a result, another unique feature of the curriculum of Living Earth
is that the materia medica is primarily based on herbs that grow or
can be grown in eastern North America. Information on many of these
herbs is scarce or completely lacking in the general literature and
can only be obtained at Living Earth.