(Prerequisite to the Integrative Herbalist Apprenticeship Program)

This course includes a certificate of graduation signed by Master Herbalist Chad Cornell. It is designed to function as a direct “teacher to student mentorship program” and provide a solid foundation in the living tradition of herbalism. Chad is also the author and presenter of our internationally acclaimed film “Our Common Roots – Unveiling Our Global Traditions of Healing with Plants”.  The program includes an extensive program of study as well as one on one meetings with Chad. 


When completed you will be well steeped in many necessary concepts, terms, and practical knowledge to embark on the path of an herbalist and plant healer.  Herbalist is just a title and you can get all kinds of certifications online but in order to integrate the true essence of healing, plants, and the mysteries of nature it takes serious study, mentorship, and time.   There are no short cuts.

This program is designed to develop a solid root for those seeking to plant themselves well for their future blooming as a professional practicing Herbalist.  All studies included here can be applied towards the full Integrative Herbalism Apprenticeship Program with Chad Cornell and lead to graduation as an Integrative Herbalist from The Hollow Reed School of Healing Arts & Sciences.

If you feel that this course may suit you please click the link below and answer these questions.


You will be contacted by Chad Cornell to review and ensure this course is a good fit for you and determine if there is room in the program at this time.


1. Historical & Present Trends in Herbal Medicine & Basic Botany and Basic Physiology. 

Herbal Ancesters

This module, text and shared film links will ground the student in the history of herbalism as a living tradition, the use of medicinal plants, and their increasing importance in our world today.

Text: Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine: 550 Plants, Andrew Chevalier

Estimated Time: 2 months (70 hours of Study)

Assignment: Essay and Quiz

Cost $425 This module includes two meetings with Chad Cornell in person or online.

2. Ayurvedic Wisdom – Elemental Perspectives & Holistic Cosmology (Compulsory)

Ayurveda Screen

Ayurveda represents a vessel of ancient wisdom once found throughout Europe and around our planet.  Our body is a garden not a machine, and we are more than our biology we are spiritual beings embodied and expressed in the world of elements and cycles.  Understanding how we fit into the cosmos, and how to enhance longevity as well as self realization and happiness are a topics at the heart of the 5.000 year old science of Ayurveda.

Texts:  The Yoga of Herbs (60 hours of study)

Assignments: Creating a Practical Elemental Herb Chart, Questions, Oral Quiz, Essay.

Estimated Time: 2 months

Cost: $425 (includes 1 hour meeting with Chad Cornell with assignments to clarify your understanding.)

3. Fundamentals In Physiology (Compulsory)

The Human Body Colouring Book

Texts (2) : Holistic Anatomy & The Human Body Colouring Book (optional but suggested).

Assignments: Handing in Questions and Colouring Assignment to be reviewed by Chad Cornell.

Estimated Time: 2 Months (80 Hours).

Cost: $275.00

4. OCR Herbal Wisdom Series (audio, video or attendance)  

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This includes all of the content of the previous levels of engagement offered by OCR including interviews with the Masters.

Text: Our Common Roots – Online Learning – Audio & Podcast

 Estimated Time:  1 month of Audio and Text Study & Review (25 hours)

Cost: $225.00

5.  Preparing Herbal Remedies (Compulsory) 

Herbs for LifeIMG_5304 SM

Text: Herbal Medicine Maker’s Handbook

Estimated Time: 2 months (60 hours)

Assignment:  Designing your own medicine chest and choosing your essential herbal allies.  Ethical Wildcrafting, Properly Drying herbs, Making 2 salves, 2 folk tinctures, a healing bath blend, decoctions, healing oils, and infusions. Discussing formulas, storage and safety. Choosing your primary herbs of interest (24 with basic rationale).  There will be a Skype / Zoom meeting with Chad Cornell to review the remedies you create and the herbs your have chosen as your familiars.

Cost: $325

6. Timeless Ways of Knowing  

Chad and Rob Traditional Teachings

Science is amazing, but our ancestral healers learned so many things about nature, healing, and plants through non-linear methods.  They did not use laboratories, or microscopes, or chemistry.  Since the temples of Asclepius in ancient Greece, and long before them, there have been “methods of knowing” and healing that we could consider endangered in these modern times.  Working with Tibetan practices such as Dream Yoga, using the Doctrine of Signatures, and Shamanic Visualization Techniques help us tap into the infinite capacities of our own minds.  Logic is one way of knowing but creativity, intuition, and direct gnosis are powerful pathways to knowing also.  While exploring the content and practices in this module we can learn to relate to the intelligence of nature effectively as a pathway of discovery. Honing such timeless methods aligns us with the medicine people of all ancient cultures, and when truly developed can help us, others, and the planet immensely in the times ahead.     


Text: Chad Cornell’s Medicine Dreaming PDF.  

 Assignment:  Keeping a dream journal, working with dreaming and visionary herbs and techniques. 1 month of practice and essay required to complete program.  This will include a 1 hour meeting with Chad Cornell in person or online.

 Cost: $325

Program Application

If you feel that this course may suit you please click the link to the right and answer the questions. Chad Cornell will contact you to review and ensure this course is a good fit for you and determine if there is room in the program at this time.


Over the past 15 years, Chad Cornell ~ co-owner of Hollow Reed Holistic Centre, has been guiding himself and others towards a greater experience of health and well being.  While primarily working with modern understandings of health and physiology, Chad also draws deeply from his training in traditions such as Ayurveda (India), Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM), and both Eclectic Herbalism and Indigenous herbal healing lineages of the Americas.

Chad graduated from The Wild Rose College of Natural Healing as a Master Herbalist in 2003. He works along side his clients to restore them to their natural state of heath and happiness using diet, herbal remedies, nutraceuticals, lifestyle adjustments, and additional therapies such as meditation when required. His assessment techniques involve an in-person thorough lifestyle questionnaire, reviewing any relevant medical information, tongue and pulse assessment, as well as voice, skin, nail, and eye assessment.

Common ailments people come to Chad for include; digestive problems, stress / anxiety management, depression, insomnia, mental health, infertility, exhaustion / adrenal issues, high blood pressure, weigh loss, cleansing, glandular rejuvenation, dosha balancing, personal growth & development, mysterious health challenges not being addressed by the medical system, and many others. Chad considers himself an experienced guide, educator, and friend on the healing path. He is dedicated to assisting his clients to gain practical results, safely and affordably.

Chad is hired annually by the University of Winnipeg / Indigenous Studies Department to teach herbal plant medicines to students alongside traditional elders. He has also taught natural healing principles to medical students at the University of Manitoba Health Sciences Campus for 5 years.

Chad is also the author and presenter of the film Our Common Roots – Unveiling Our Global Traditions of Healing with Plants. The internationally acclaimed film can be found on GAIA and has a field guide book available. Currently he provides the Integrative Herbalism Apprenticeship Program for students across Canada.

He is available for consultations in person or online. Sessions run and average of 1.5 hours. If you are wondering if Chad may be able to help you personally, it is possible to book a free initial 5 minute conversation regarding your goals and challenges. Full consultations run approximately 75 minutes depending on the issue and are $95. To arrange a consultation please contact admin@ourcommonroots.com.

Chad Birch Field - wide copy