Contemporary Herbal Alchemy – Healing Potions and Elixirs

with Michael Isted, September 15-16, 2018

Course Information

During this hands-on workshop, Michael will discuss the history of herbal medicine and his inspirations, showcasing how to integrate a variety of plant- and mineral-based preparations such as aromatic waters, infusions, C02 extracts, ferments, oleoresins, glycerites, hydrolates, tinctures, crystals, gem and flower essences and essential oils along with raw plant material to create magical healing potions and elixirs. During this workshop we will explore, taste, touch, smell and engage with the following:

  • The long relationship between humankind and plants, and the history of drinking plant-based preparations.
  • How to process the plants to create plant preparations using a variety of extraction methods, such as juicing, distilling, fermentation, C02 extraction, tinctures, decoctions, and cold brewing and how these processing methods influence the type of plant constituents extracted.
  • Journeying through the seasons, key plants, their biochemical makeup, their principal health benefits, and how to best utilize them to create contemporary plant-based preparations.
  • The taste and smell polypharmic distillations / multi plant distillates and the synergy between plants, and how best to capture and express the synergy and essence of these plants.
  • Beginning with spring, how to create restorative and invigorating tonics and highlight the importance of bitters and bitter plants.
  • Then in summer,  the power of aromatics, showcasing the significance of scent and perfume for our wellbeing.
  • Through autumn and winter, how we continue to craft beautiful potions with the plants harvested earlier in the year, whilst also integrating the roots, hips, and haws that are available to us at this time.
  • The influences of ancient Egypt, Persia, China, Europe and India with a particular focus on the influence of India and Ayurvedic practice on Western Herbalism.
  • Some of the key herbs / plants and their influences, including plants such as Ashwagandha, Shatavari and Tulsi.
  • The traditional and contemporary uses of spices for health with a close look at cinnamon, cardamom, black pepper, ginger and turmeric and their constituents and how best to integrate them into daily life.
  • How to prepare our own bottled tonics, attars and perfumes, with a closer look at traditional attar scents such as sandalwood and tuberose and their traditional and contemporary uses.

Course Instructor

Michael Isted is a trained phytotherapist (BSc Hons), aromatherapist and nutritionist who started up his company The Herball in 2013. Michael set up The Herball as a portal to promote and celebrate the many ways in which we can integrate plants and plant preparations to invigorate and enrich our lives. Michael distills in traditional copper and extracts plants with C02, he also works closely with a number of small independent organic growers and plant workers in the UK, Europe and India to source, produce and sell authentic, artisanal plant-based products, such as infusions, hydrosols, spices, extracts, and oils.

Michael frequently runs workshops across the globe teaching plant therapeutics while also consulting, creating and formulating botanical drinks for brands, cafes, bars, restaurants and spas. He is also currently in the process of launching new Herball concepts across Europe, North America and the Middle East.

Michael has also just written and published The Herball’s Guide to Botanical Drinks ,a book which reflects a very modern take on an ancient practice, revealing the history and processes of making botanical drinks with herbs and plant extracts.

Course Dates

Saturday and Sunday, September 15-16, 2018, 9:00am- 5:00pm

Course Tuition

Regular – $300 (Early Bird – $285, until August 1)
Students* – $275 (Early Bird – $250, until August 1)
PRC Alumni – $285 (Early Bird – $265, until August 1)
*PRC diploma students will receive 1 WHS academic credit for this workshop.

Course Registration

To register, please click on the registration button below. Full payment is due at time of registration to confirm placement in the course. Payment can be made via MasterCard or Visa, debit, cash and cheque.

Withdrawal Policy

For course withdrawals submitted in writing or in person 30 days or more before the start of the course, registrants will receive a full tuition refund less a $40 non-refundable registration fee. For course withdrawals submitted in writing or in person more than 14 days but less than 30 days before the start of the course, registrants will receive a 50% tuition refund. Without exception, no refunds will be given for course withdrawals less than 14 days before the start of the course.