The School of Herbal Medicine

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Playing with Pharmacy


I took some photos of one of our last Pharmacy sessions in Selworthy with our Year 2 students before we move to our new premises. We were making suppositories [useful for local treatment of haemorrhoids, inflammatory bowel diseases and inflamed prostate, and for delivery of medicaments to the systemic circulation avoiding the stomach and liver] and pessaries [the same idea but for insertion into the vagina to relieve local inflammation and infection].


We also made a range of capsules with the school’s Nukraft 100 capsule machines, and I let them play with my own personal Profiller 1100 which bangs out capsules really fast because you don’t have to separate the two halves manually. I never could understand how the machine separated the two halves and let them drop down to the frame below all facing the same way until a [male] student inspected the apparatus and told me… Our capsules were to treat patients complaining of insomnia, elevated cholesterol and acute infection. [See pic at beginning].


We also messed about a bit trying to create professional pills with a vintage pill roller which looked easy on the video but the students were not impressed…

This is how it should be done….


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Our Proposed New Site from September 2019

The school has outgrown the premises that we are currently using for seminars, in addition we were constantly alternating between classrooms at Fyne Court in Bridgwater and Piles Mill in Selworthy.  After much searching we are really pleased that from September 2019 we will be moving to The Devon Business and Education Centre located in Rural East Devon.  Here is their link
These facilities are fresh, warm and comfortable which allow us all to be under the same roof.
Here is some information about how we will use the facilities, with a few pictures to give you an idea of how it looks.

The Devon Business and Education Centre (DBEC)

A unique award winning venue in the Heart of East Devon, DBEC is an inspiring space, a converted barn built to the highest sustainability standards.  The centre is a passive building and aims to maintain a minimum carbon footprint with features such as a heat pump, green roof and electric car charging point.

Only 20 minutes from Exeter, 10 minutes from junction 28 on the M5, and approximately 3 miles from Feniton Station (South West Trains).

Although accessible DBEC is a sanctuary where you can escape all distractions. Beautiful views and the highest quality facilities provide a wonderful backdrop to an exceptional co-working, meeting and training space.

Chris and Mary Lorimer completed the Centre 1 year ago – with the aim of supporting ethical / sustainable enterprises with a special emphasis on education, and have opened their doors to us.

The facilities include:

  • 5 flexible teaching rooms one with a log burner (yes it’s warm and toasty)
  • Kitchen
  • A shower room
  • Ample parking on site
  • A veranda
  • Excellent WIFI
  • The centre will be available for students to use/relax in throughout the weekend as a base / common-room
  • Camping will be available on site
  • Pretty setting & views.



 The View!



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Some of what we do…

I have been collecting some of the photos the students take while enjoying the days we have together. Whether it’s studying, walking, talking or eating the days seem to fly by.

We have settled in nicely to our temporary site at Broomfield Village Hall, with extra classrooms at Fyne Court; a National Trust property in the Quantock Hills – a beautiful area. The Hall is where we are teaching our first years, and it is just a 5-minute walk away from the rest of the students who have their seminars at Fyne Court. The closeness of the two venues means that we can still enjoy a hot meal all together in the middle of the day.

Most of the seminars are still held in Selworthy at the other National Trust property that we use: Piles Mill.

The lovely dog is called Nettle. She belongs to one of the students, and when Nettle comes she gets a lot of attention…

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The Start of a New Academic Year

The school is entering its 5th year of existence, and its 4th year of delivering the Advanced Diploma. This is going to be a very busy and important year as we are progressing through our accreditation journey, and we hope to get external verification at Level 6. This will mean that we are officially judged to be degree standard. We also want to change our status from an LLP to an Educational Charity, and our accountant is working on that as we speak…

The students have had an intense examination period [we like to work them hard], but we also like to make sure they get plenty of social interaction and practical experience. We still eat a main meal together at lunchtimes where the different year groups can chat and ask each other questions. We get out in the fresh air on field trips and foraging expeditions. This year we have a special Lichen Day with Pat Wolesley.

Because we have more students we now outsource the food to a caterer rather than making it ourselves [although we do hope one of our students will continue to bring in his homemade sourdough bread.] We will be hiring more classrooms will probably see the end of hosting some classes in our homes. We have said from the beginning that we want to keep costs down and only hire rooms when necessary, and it is now becoming more necessary. We are nomads at the moment with no permanent home, but the school is where the students are and that’s fine.

These are just a few pics from the last 4 years…











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End of another year…

So, as we close our jars and tidy up the dispensary all that is left of the academic year are the final 2 days of exams. Four days of exams have been successfully completed, and the students are still alive, and I hope, revising. And I hope, getting enough sleep.

Top tip: read Why We Sleep by Matthew Walker

It’s £5.99 and worth every penny, especially if it makes our students get enough sleep so their brains and memory are in tip-top condition.

But that’s just an aside. It has been a very satisfying year, we are finding our stride and learning from feedback from our students. We love the give-and-take discussions that happen around the dinner table. Especially when our students say things like; ‘We think this course is very special’. So do we, guys.


We eat outside whenever we can. And there is always lots to discuss…

Applying for accreditation is still ongoing. We are taking our time, making sure we get all the paperwork right -it is a huge task, but we are doing well. After the end of the exam period, this will be our main area to concentrate on and get that under our belt.

Our new administrator has settled in well, and we couldn’t run the school without her. Well, not without us having nervous breakdowns. New office hours are in operation, to cope with the surge of inquiries we have had recently, and an accountant is being added to our staff; that leaves us with the fun task of writing modules and teaching students.

See you in September – the beginning of Year 4!


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I’m quite pleased. I cannot lie…..

I’m not well-known in herbal circles. I’m an insignificant jobbing medical herbalist who also teaches. What we are building here at the school is unique. Well, we think so…

The course is long, the subject broad, the study unending.

Yet I would not want to do anything else.

I have been so satisfied with my ‘career’ choice, so entranced by the many aspects of what I do and the effectiveness of the right herb in the right dose, that I wrote the article below.

As I say – I’m quite pleased.

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OPEN DAY Saturday 9th June 2018

Venue: Westbourne, Selworthy Green, Somerset. TA24 8TP

Time: 10.00 – 3.30

Westbourne is the cottage on the right


  • You are welcome to join us at our base in one of the National Trust’s cottages opposite the famous Periwinkle Tea Rooms on Selworthy Green in an area of outstanding natural beauty:                                                                                                                        [We will send out directions on request.]
  • Tutors and admin staff will be there to answer all your questions, explain why our course takes 6 years, and show you some of our course module guides.
  • If you are interested in training to be a Medical Herbalist we would like to meet you and talk you through our Advanced Diploma and what it entails.
  • Tea and coffee will be available throughout the day. Lunch can be purchased from Periwinkle Tea Rooms, or a picnic can be brought and enjoyed on the Green.

01643 862976 / 07788186192    07771660442

The School of Herbal Medicine is a Limited Liability Partnership, registered in England and Wales, OC395594.