Community Herbalist Program ~ Intermediate Herbal Training

The Community Herbalist Program is a ten month intermediate herbal program with an emphasis on the Southern Folk Medicine constitutional system, the role of the endocrine system to good health, and related hormones and their effect on health. Southern Folk Medicine is the only folk medicine system that developed in the United States, excluding of course, Native American medicine.

Herbal Studies with Phyllis D Light

In the Community Herbalist Program, you’ll learn about the Southern Blood Types (Bitter, Salty, Sweet, and Sour), the four elements (fire/water and air/earth), and the influence of constitution on health and personality. We’ll discuss ways to help balance a person’s constitution using herbs, foods, and lifestyle changes.

You’ll learn about the functioning of the endocrine system, its interaction with organ systems, the role of hormones in health and well-being, and the primary disorders associated with each gland in the endocrine system. Studies and practice will continue in the traditional assessment techniques of tongue, pulse, nail and hair assessment approaches.

The role of nutrition in maintaining health is studied in greater depth. We’ll study the signs of nutrient deficiency and how this may affect bodily processes and the foods, vitamins and supplements which can bring these deficiencies back into harmony.

You’ll also learn about herbal formulation and how to prepare a formula designed for the individual and their particular constitution.

We’ll also begin a discussion of case studies.

The student will continue to build an herbal materia medica primarily focused on the medicinal herbs of the Southeast and those found east of the Mississippi. Please keep in mind that many of these plants grow from the Gulf Coast to Maine, in the Midwest, in the canyons of the West and along the West coast of the United States.


The Community Herbalist Program (CHP) is an intermediate level of study. Pre-requisites to this program include previous studies from an approved herbal program or the completion of the ACNH Family Herbalist (Basic) Program.

Dates and Times

February 8 – November 10, 2020

The Community Herbalist Program (CHP) is a certificate program, held one weekend a month for ten months, beginning in February and ending in November. Class times are 9:30 am – 5:00 pm on Saturday and 9:00 am – 4:00 pm on Sunday.


Tuition is $2,500.00 for ten months, or $250 per month. There is a $50.00 non-refundable deposit for new students attending the CHP program. Returning students are not required to pay the deposit.
Please make checks out to: Phyllis D. Light. If you would like to use Paypal please contact Phyllis.

Full-tuition of $2,500.00 is due the first day of class unless other arrangements have been made. An optional monthly payment plan of $250.00 is available for your convenience, but must be worked out in advance. Please note, that once you commit to the program and are paying by the month, you are responsible for the month’s payment even if you miss a class. If you pay full tuition on the first day of class, there won’t be a refund for any missed classes. Missed classes will be audio recorded, you will still receive a handout, and class notes can be borrowed from other students.

Please contact ACNH if you are coming in from out-of-town and need overnight accommodations.

There is one partial work exchange program offered for a local student. This goes fast so apply early if you are interested.

Please download the pdf application for enrollment below. (The pdf has fillable form fields so you may type on it, save the file, and email it back to Phyllis. Or print it and snail mail to address on the form.)

Click here for the Application

General Course Information

There are no required texts for the class. All lesson material will be provided.

Check the class syllabus for a full list of topics and dates.

Weekend classes include lecture, demonstration, discussion, plant walks and assignments. Homework is submitted online for review and brought to the next class for discussion. A end of the year project will be presented by each student at the last class in November.

Community Herbalist (Intermediate) Program Syllabus for 2020:

Information on homework, special assignments and projects will be emailed upon receiving registration form.

Most classes meet on the 2nd weekend of each month unless otherwise noted.

February 8 and 9
Saturday and Sunday – Overview of basic nutrition. Role of vitamins, minerals and other nutrients in health. Recommended quantities of basic nutrients and their food sources. How to eat for good nutrition.

March 14 and 15
Saturday and Sunday – Finish nutrition lecture. Southern and Appalachian Folk Medicine Intensive. History of its origins, the four elements, blood types, practices and principles. Stories about Tommie Bass, Granny, and my early training. Discussion of homework.

April 11 and 12
Saturday and Sunday -Actions and processes of liver not related to digestion. How the liver processes toxins. Phase I and II detox systems. The process of methylation. Understanding epigenetics. Herbs, nutrients, and lifestyle support for good liver health, methylation, and epigenetics.

May 9 and 10
Saturday and Sunday – Understanding the endocrine feedback loop and blood brain barrier. Positive and Negative Feedback. Control of endocrine activity. Receptors and target cells. (Sets the stage for future discussions of the endocrine system.) Understanding the actions and role of hypothalamus and pituitary. Spices as Medicine. Discussion of homework.

June 13 and 14
Saturday and Sunday – The Pineal gland: function, hormones produced, disorders, herbs and nutrients, lifestyle support. Guidelines for creating herbal formulas. Herbs for Aches and Pains.
Review of assessment techniques including tongue assessment, face, skin, nails – practice with classmates. Tea tasting, case study or plant walk. Discussion of homework.

July 11 and 12
Saturday and Sunday – The Krebs cycle and how we make energy. Mitochondria. The Thyroid: function, hormones produced, disorders, herbs and nutritional approaches, lifestyle support. The Parathyroid – function, hormones produced, disorders, herbs and nutrients, lifestyle support.

August 8 and 9
Saturday and Sunday – Adrenal glands: function, hormones produced, disorders, herbs and nutrients, lifestyle support. Sympathetic and parasympathetic nervous systems.
Stress. HPA axis. Acid/Alkaline Balance. A look at adaptogens. Tea tasting, case study or plant walk. Discussion of homework.

September 12 and 13
Saturday and Sunday – Pancreas: function, hormones produced, disorders, herbs, nutrients, lifestyle support. Type 1 and 2 diabetes. Enzymes. Understanding weight gain. Weight loss strategies. Causes of health disparities. Tea tasting, case study or plant walk. Discussion of homework.

October 10 and 11
Saturday and Sunday – Reproductive system and hormones – function, hormones produced, disorders, herbs and nutrients, lifestyle support. Creating healthy fertility, pregnancy and childbirth. Tea tasting, case study or plant walk. Discussion of homework. Catch-up on any topics that we missed or that need further attention.

November 9 and 10
Present Projects. Fun, food, certificates.