Alabama Herb School sets class schedule

Published 12:04 am Friday, December 31, 2010

If improving your health is among your resolutions for the new year, Thomas Easley’s new Alabama School of Herbalism in Andalusia might be a good place to start.

Easley said this year’s classes are designed for beginners in what he hopes will be a three-year series in all levels over the next three years.

“We’re taking beginners and teaching them about the body and acute diseases that come on suddenly, like cuts, bruises, burns, flu and ear infections,” he said.

The classes are designed to teach people how to treat their family members with herbal remedies, he said. Students will learn to make tinctures and will learn botany so that they can identify plants used medicinally.

“In the South, we have a really rich heritage of herbalism,” he said, explaining that the tradition was partially from necessity when people couldn’t afford more modern medicines.

“Sixty or 70 years ago, it almost died out,” he said, adding that there were geographic pockets in which herbalism was still practiced.

Prior to 1900, he explained, there were three schools of medicine in the United States. Allopathic medicine, also known as Western medicine; homeopathic medicine; and eclectic medicine, which used botanical remedies and physical therapy.

Natural medicine schools started to die out, he said, and the practice took a big blow with the advancement of penicillin.

“Penicillin made it difficult to get people to drink a bad-tasting herbal tea, even if it might work as well,” he said.

Easley became interested in herbalism when his twin sister was ill and doctors couldn’t help her. An herbalist did. Easley began studying at age 14, and completed a five-year apprenticeship five years later. He has studied with a number of herbalists in the United States, and currently consults with patients and lectures across the country.

Five weekend sessions are planned for 2011 at the Alabama School of Herbalism. Each session is $200, and includes classes from 9 a.m until 5 p.m. on Saturday and Sunday. Students can choose to attend one session or all sessions.

January’s session set for Jan. 22 and 23, will focus on treating colds, flu, sinus and ear infections.

For instance, he said, horehound mixed with honey and sugar is an “amazing remedy for coughs.”

For additional information, visit, email Easley at, or call him at 334.804.6830.