The Herbal Apprentice

An in-depth learning experience exploring ecosystem health through herbal practice.

Course details

This eight-week course will run again in 2024 –  please add your name to our waiting list below to be advised when bookings open

CERES Brunswick, corner of Roberts & Stewart Streets, Brunswick East, Victoria

Concession available

An in-depth learning experience exploring ecosystem health through herbal practice, crafted by permaculturist and herbalist, Taj Scicluna (The Perma Pixie).

This course is designed for those wanting to deeper their connection to medicinal plants, whilst supporting the wellbeing of ecosystems.

The Herbal Apprentice course is designed to give participants the tools they need to evoke medicinal practice into daily living, through wild and medicinal cuisine and seasonal recipes, ethical gardening and wildcrafting techniques, mindful harvesting and deep botanical connection.

Much clinical herbalism in Australia is practiced in an extractive fashion, only using lab-made standardised medicines with herbs grown overseas, which means there is a significant amount of embodied energy and unsustainable practice to our wellness industry. This course addresses bioregional herbalism, botanical colonisation and extractive culture, giving strategies and practices for deepening a connection to medicinal plants whilst supporting the well-being of ecosystems.

The art of herbalism is rooted in earth stewardship, rather than clinical practice.

I was hoping for an introduction to Herbs, their uses, benefits and  applications. The course provided a comprehensive introduction and much much more.

Participant, 2023

You will gain an understanding of basic herbalism principles and patterns, that can be applied to human physiology and medicinal gardening, where people and plants meet.

This course is designed to assist those who are striving to connect to the true meaning of healing, as the herbalist is a conduit between the human body and external environment, encompassing holistic health through the understanding of systems and our role within them.

This eight-week course has been designed to provide an introduction to:

  • Understanding plants through lenses of both folklore and science, giving a grounding in basic botany, phytochemistry and physiology as well as guidance to intuitively work with plants
  • Developing a relationship with plant medicine that is not primarily extractive, focusing on regenerative medicinal systems that can empower people and communities and repair ecosystems

Students will:

  • Design medicinal gardens using permaculture principles, techniques and strategies
  • Create hand-crafted herbal remedies at home, with a focus on locally sourced and grown herbs for both potency and ecological conservation
  • Gain knowledge of herbal properties, uses and applications
  • Explore intuitive ways of understanding plants, cultivating a sense of trust in our ability to work with plants and empower ourselves

The course incorporates topics such as medicinal plant cultivation, introduction to plant identification and botany, understanding common ailments, herbal language and terminology, patterns of traditional western herbalism, plant chemistry basics, introduction to medicine making, botanical animism and community supported herbalism.

Course Sessions:

Session 1

  • Botanical animism
  • Medicinal seed germination
  • Making infused herbal oils

Session 2

  • Patterns of traditional western herbalism
  • Medicinal plant cultivation
  • Making herbal infused vinegars

Session 3

  • Herbal language and terminology
  • Medicinal garden design
  • Making herbal syrups

Session 4

  • Herbalism and human physiology
  • Harvesting and drying herbs
  • Making herbal tinctures

Session 5

  • Understanding common ailments
  • Cultivating rich soil
  • Herbal Ffermentations

Session 6

  • Plant chemistry basics
  • Intro to herbal formulation
  • Making herbal salves

Session 7

  • Plant alchemy intro
  • Case studies of common ailments
  • Making herbal incense

Session 8

  • Community supported herbalism
  • The medicine wheel – bringing it together
  • Plant project and celebration

The Perma Pixie is Taj Scicluna‘s small business, based on her deep poetic love of the botanical realm.

Taj is an artist who fuses together her love of herbalism, foraging, writing, cooking, ecosystem health, personal health and education into a cohesive offering. Her business is a platform for creativity, a place to weave the romantic wonder of the botanical into something tangible to share with the world.

At her core, Taj aims to support people as they bridge the gap between themselves and ‘nature’, to support the ‘remembering’ that we belong to the botanical, that we are woven into the photosynthetic web, and that we are truly animal.

She aims to co-collaborate in repairing the rupture we have created in our experience of being ‘civilised’, of using language to keep us separate, believing that healing is done in this process of being in relationship with the botanical rather than treating it as a resource. Healing is within the process, not the product.

To carry out this purpose, Taj lives a lifestyle dedicated to her values, and educates via workshops, courses, mentorship, patreon and one-on-one client consults.

What will I learn?

  • Medicinal plant cultivation
  • Plant identification and botany
  • Understanding common ailments
  • Herbal language and terminology
  • Plant chemistry basics
  • Medicine making

What should I bring?

  • Chopping board
  • Knife
  • Secateurs
  • Garden trowel

Terms and conditions

Our booking and refund policies, concession pricing information, FAQs, as well as other general terms and conditions can be viewed here.


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