At ESHM, we know what it’s like to take an herbal program and walk away still feeling unprepared to enter clinical practice…because we’ve all been there! We’ve been working tirelessly over the past few years to develop our newest offering in the ESHM clinical training program lineup: the Clinical Practicum.

A Note from Thomas

Traditionally, herbalists learned how to practice clinically by learning directly from a practitioner (usually within the context of actual client interactions, not through theoretical methods).

This approach focused on developing the skills needed to become an effective clinical practitioner by not simply studying plants (and their pharmacological effects) but by developing other skills. These skills included developing accurate health and disease state assessment, communicating effectively with clients, educating them about the body and how it works, and teaching them how to both build health and address illness.

Our focus at ESHM has steadfastly been on nurturing these clinical capabilities. Over the 14 years since the school’s inception, our training and mentorship programs that are aimed at cultivating these skills have seen significant growth.

We’re excited to announce the expansion of our training initiatives, now with an exclusive focus on this critical aspect of herbal medicine education. Our new fourth tier program, the Clinical Practicum, represents a culmination of our efforts to provide a comprehensive, experience-based educational pathway for aspiring herbalists.

Thomas Easley, RH (AHG), is the founder of the Eclectic School of Herbal Medicine. Since opening his practice in 2001, Thomas has provided guidance and support to tens of thousands of clients.

I wish all herbalists knew that being an herbalist doesn’t have to mean that your primary focus, or only focus, is on the plants you give…although that’s a valid way of practicing herbalism. I hope that herbalists know that they can do a lot more than that.
-Thomas Easley

A Note from Mel

Herbalism is theoretical until we actively engage in practice and follow-up with real clients.

Truthfully, it can be difficult for clinical students to gain enough clinical experience to be safe and effective practitioners. Thomas and I were fortunate to be able to sit in on cases with our early teachers, but many students spend their time, energy, and money on clinical programs, only to leave herb school feeling unprepared to practice on their own.

At ESHM, our Clinical Practicum is a hands-on, 18-month addition to our clinical coursework that provides all of the skills and experience you need to be a safe and effective clinical practitioner, complete with one-on-one mentorship AND support after graduation.

Mel Kasting, RH (AHG) is our clinical director.

ESHM has always had active clinicals, but Thomas and I set out to make sure that this new practicum included everything we wished we had learned at the beginning of our clinical journeys, along with important information we have both learned along the way in decades of collective experience. This practicum marries the theory of our clinical coursework with intensive guided practice working with clients, in one affordable package.
California poppy

Where does the Clinical Practicum fit into the current ESHM clinical training program?

After the Clinical Practicum, students will be prepared to see clients professionally. The Clinical Practicum is required to graduate from ESHM with a clinical practitioner certificate. Our clinical coursework is a prerequisite to joining the practicum.

What does the Clinical Practicum include?

Once you’ve completed the clinical coursework and are ready for the Clinical Practicum, here’s what it includes:

  • 10 week live, online Clinical and Relational Health Skills development series
  • 1 in-person clinic orientation weekend
  • Weekly live case reviews
  • Monthly live skill building classes tailored for your cohort
  • CHIA (Clinical Herbalism in Action), our monthly livestreamed consultation shadowing
  • A membership to Thomas’ clinical bots
  • 4 private mentorship sessions with Mel
  • Access to Mel and Thomas’ weekly office hours
  • 1 year of free case review/mentorship post graduation
  • Free core curriculum program updates for 3 years after graduation
  • A membership to our Clinical Calyx practitioner support group, which includes a monthly live webinar and in-depth write ups of clinically relevant topics
California poppy

We hope that you’ll consider joining us for one of our programs, whether it be our full clinical program that includes our new Clinical Practicum, or one of our other programs.

At ESHM, we believe that as practitioners, the work we do with herbs is only part of the picture. We’d like to wrap up this Clinical Practicum announcement with a quote from Thomas:

“ I feel like some of the most important work that I do in clinic has nothing to do with herbs. It has to do with helping people understand their body and what’s going on in it. It has to do with helping people find a general practitioner that will listen, or the right referral to another practitioner. I think that as herbalists, if we limit our focus to What herbs will help this person? then we’re not really doing anything to fix the problems in healthcare.

I think good herbalism goes beyond just the selection of herbs and moves into how can we practically address the gaps in healthcare that arise directly from our broken medical system.”

Thanks for reading, and if you have any questions about the Clinical Practicum or about any of our other programs, please contact  and we’ll be happy to help.

-Thomas and Mel