The Excelsior Apprenticeships in Herbal Medicine was founded in 2018 by veteran herbalist Danny O’Rawe to provide professional practitioner-level training in the ancient art and science of Western Herbal Medicine (WHM). Graduates received a Diploma in Herbal Medicine award on completion of studies.

The Professional Associations which represent Herbal Practitioners and maintain occupational standards have set the high standards education providers need to meet in order for their graduates to enter into professional practice. Unfortunately many schools do not provide the degree of training necessary, particularly in the area of clinical study.

There has also been a decline in university courses, with just a few Herbal Medicine courses now available in the UK and none in Ireland. In part, this is because of ever-increasing university fees; but also because such courses tend to be overly-scientific or medicalized barely paying lip service to the more energetic approaches which were and are the cornerstone of the WHM Tradition. Graduates often have to retrain in an energetic model after leaving university as a consequence.

Other herbal schools mix up Western with Eastern traditions, and in some establishments the student does not even get to work with actual plants, and as a result cannot identify herbs in the wild. The gradual increase in online courses also suggests that the type of hands-on experience and experiential knowledge necessary to become a confident herbalist are at risk of being eclipsed by a culture of convenience. In some schools lecturers lack the experience to deliver a quality learning experience.

These are just some of the issues surrounding teaching herbal medicine that this course hopes to address. Excelsior aims to deliver the highest training standards by embracing both traditional concepts and modern academia, including a full program of 500 hours clinical study and almost 1000 hours of live lectures and botanical field trips.

Our apprenticeship-style training includes the History and Philosophy of WHM; Western Energetics; Anatomy & Physiology; Clinical Study; Botany; Cultivation; Sustainable Wildcrafting; Nutrition; Aromatherapy; Pharmacy; Chemistry; EBM Systematic Research; Scientific investigation; Diagnostics; Case Taking; Practical medicine making and dispensing; Setting up in practice and much more, including modules not taught on any other courses. We invite potential applicants to compare and contrast other courses. Excelsior intends to offer the most advanced course of its kind and be known as a centre of excellence. Excelsior is the first ever practitioner course to run in the North of Ireland.

The next intake will be 2021, however a number of lectures and clinics are available to herbalists and external students. For more inforation contact admin@excelsiorapprenticeships.co.uk.