Graduates & Testimonials


All of our graduates contribute to our community through their care for themselves and their families. Cultivating home and family herbalists is the most important aspect of our work. A number of our graduates have also entered into vocational expressions of herbalism since attending our programs.

(*Graduates – please contact our office and share contact info for your herbal ventures on this page!)
  • Community Herbalist graduates

    Patty Coulton 2011 – Florida Herbal Conference Co-Director
    Jackie Feasel 2011 – Orenda Herbal
    Linda Gutierrez 2011 – Wildflower Farm
    Shannon Lockhart 2011 – Ancient Grove, Orlando Grief Care Project
    Donia Mitchell 2011 – Enchanted Botanicals
    Juan Mercado 2011 – Half of Me is Half of You
    Lesley Greene 2012 – Florida School of Holistic Living former director and Registered Nurse, Florida Hospital
    Summer Singletary 2013 – Great Kosmic Kitchen
    Sarah Benjamin 2013 – Great Kosmic Kitchen
    Caitlin McMullen 2014 – Magnolia and Pine
    Donna Cirell 2014 – Lady of the Lake Herbals
    Annie SewDev 2015 – Take Root Herbarium
    Cat Pante 2015 – Florida School of Holistic Living & Florida Herbal Conference
    Maggie O’Halloran 2015 – Florida School of Holistic Living Education Director
    Debbie Krause 2015 – Deb’s Mega Balm, Orlando Grief Care Project
    Caitlin Ollinger 2016 –
    Lisa Ray 2016 – Graduate, Eclectic Institute of Herbal Studies
    Laura Croson 2016 – Graduate, Eclectic Institute of Herbal Studies
    Miranda Resnick 2016 – Vermont Center of Integrative Herbalism
    Phoenix Fermin 2016 – Florida School of Holistic Living North Florida Regional Director
    Ralph Giunta 2016 – Remember Plants
    Audra Locicero 2017 – Beautyberry Apothecary
    Michele Bumbier 2017 – Bleeding in the Garden
    Stephen Kane 2017 – Bok Towers Education Director
    Samantha Johnson 2018 – Mooncove Botanicals
  • Family Herbalist graduatesMila Belle Dykes – Florida School of Holistic Living Marketing Director
    Malory Foster – Holistic RDN, Florida Herbal Cooperative
    Wilnise Boucher – Well Fed Apothecary
    Erica Boucher – Empath Yoga
    Nancy Flynn – SaMudra Ocean Yoga


Feedback from Students in Roots of Herbalism ~ 2017 & 2018

  • Thank you all so much, this course was great and I look forward to the Family Herbalist Program.
  • I really liked the emphasis on caution and personal responsibility when using herbs as medicine.
  • I LOVED this course. I am now hooked. The teaching was very practical. I love that I can go home and feel confident that I can get this started today. One pleasant surprise is all of the books that are recommended. I have a lot of reading and learning to do and I love it!
  • Course covered all that I was looking for.
  • What I needed. Excellent info, very comprehensive.
  • Thoroughly enjoyed this course. Excited to take future classes and further my herbal knowledge.
  • This class has piqued my interest in all of your other courses offered.
  • The instructors were fantastic-so much knowledge but not overwhelming. Having multiple teachers to hear different perspectives was beneficial to me as well.
  • Awesome class! I enjoyed it and it was very informative and helped me with my life path.
  • I really enjoyed the grounding activity to ease my nervousness.
  • Very informative and loved the open discussions and Q&A. Thanks!
  • Lots of good information and procedures!
  • I think it is a perfect class!
  • Very inspiring. Cant wait to take more classes here. Thank you for starting at the basics so that I didnt feel lost.
  • Loved how multiple herbalists were teaching and answering questions.
  • I was very excited that the first thing handed out was a book with recipes. The plethora of resources are very helpful. Having the longer lunch helped to break up sitting time as well as the garden walk and making tinctures. Tasting/smelling each of the herbs was very helpful. Great class! Thank you!
  • I love the range of hands on things…Experiencing teas, tinctures, and making our own things.
  • I am leaving the weekend feeling uplifted, inspired, empowered, thirsty for more knowledge, and with a new tribe of friends. Look forward to the Family and Community courses. The instructors were amazing!
  • I thought it was perfect. Great pace, loving and peaceful vibe which helped my concentration. Clear lectures, fun and informative!
  • It exceeded my expectations!
  • I like that this course stuck to the basics for better understanding.
  • This was a wonderful experience that I am thankful to have been a part of. I look forward to continuing an herbalism practice and I thank you for your insight and helping me begin my journey!
  • Very instructive and descriptive.
  • Was very happy to leave with 3 preparations and excited to make more. I feel more confident having experience in the class.
  • Teachers had knowledgeable experience and stories that explained how herbs had helped others and themselves which made the herbs more personable for use.


“Herbal Studies courses at FSHL strike the perfect balance between rigorous coursework, in-depth readings and discussions, and hands-on experience with the herbs.  Having almost completed the Family Herbalist certification course, I feel confident in my herbal and natural health knowledge, knowing that I can better take care of myself and the people I love.”
~ Sarah Kate Moore, 2007 Family Herbalist Graduate 

“For many years, I longed for a chance to deepen my knowledge of Herbs, but finding a place I felt comfortable doing so proved to be a challenge. Then one day I had a chance to listen to Emily speak about health and sustainability, and realized just how much knowledge she was willing to offer us. Upon meeting her she was gracious enough to welcome me into the school and her kind nature let me know that she was happy to guide me along my journey. I firmly believe taking herbal classes was the best decision I have ever made. In all my schooling, Emily is the most helpful, assertive teacher/Mentor I have ever had and I truly feel blessed to have been able to have such a wonderful guide on my path of all things holistic and herbal. She has left me with enough knowledge and confidence to pursue my career as a holistic healer.”
~ Shannon Lockhart, 2011 Community Herbalist Graduate

“Emily’s love, gratitude, and knowledge of the plants shines through her teachings. She has a way of making you think on so many different levels. Emily shows what being open to potential and possibility can bring and how very easy it can be. Our community is truly blessed to have her here. Thank you Emily, for all that you do!”
~Melissa Creel, 2013 Community Herbalist Graduate

“In the Summer of 2011, I began my beautiful journey with the school. I started by taking the Roots of Herbalism class, in which I fell in love with this way of life. Listening to my body, to the plants, and to heal in ways that I felt was right. To have control, in a sense. Since my interest had been sparked, I was fortunate to continue my learning in the Family Herbalist Intensive courses. This was a beautiful course where I learned how to make my own medicine, how to listen to the plants, and how to identify them. Above everything else, this has changed my life. I am a practicing herbalist with a cabinet full of herbs that I use DAILY, as well as a garden with medicinal herbs growing.  I am constantly talking to friends and family of how greatly this has impacted me. Not only have I learned a new way of healing for myself, but I am able to help my friends as well. I have also met so many beautiful beings along the way that have been supportive and open instantly. I have so much appreciation and gratitude for Emily, Patty and everyone else at the Florida School of Holistic Living for shedding this beautiful light on me. I am forever grateful.”
~ Leore Wohl, 2012 Family Herbalist Student

“In Roots class, my interest was genuinely piqued about the healing abilities of herbs. Now that I have taken Family Herbalist, I can trust in these plants fully. They are now my allies and beloved friends. The weekend format is spaced out perfectly for you to absorb the information and prepare for the following session. The information is not so heavy that you can’t comprehend, nor so fast that you can’t keep up. This class is well­-balanced in it’s content and covers the major bodily organs ­ so following along is easy. It will teach you about your body, the herbs, preparations, how to use the herbs, how to care for your friends and family, healthy living, and holistic practices. The class also got me in touch with my Self and forced me to really look at my health habits. I had to be honest and evaluate my health issues. I saw areas of my body that needed nurturing and I now have many herbal allies to assist me. I left every session feeling so inspired and eager to make my own herbal concoctions. I feel confident making medicine now and actually giving it to my loved ones. This class has changed me in more ways than I can say. It has had such a profound effect on my spirit, health, heart, and overall practice. Herbalism is a way of life, and the Family Herbal class will make you fall in love with Life and the Plants all over again.”-  ­ Michele Bumbier, Family Herbalist Program Spring 2015

“[The Family Herbalist Program] was a truly amazing week. Honestly, it was more than I could have even hoped for in terms of knowledge and soul feeding. Basically, it was a fantastic introduction to herbalism and after the week I felt that I had a solid foundation on which to further my herbal exploration. But more than that, it was amazing to be in the presence of Emily Ruff who is a future world herbal master and her entourage of wise women. Finally, it was truly soul enriching to be with kindred spirits who were exploring the world of plants and opening to their love and nurturing of Mother Earth.” ­ – Rachel Stewart, Family Herbalist Program Intensive 2015

The weeklong immersion into family herbal studies is an eye opening course that feels like “herb camp”. The steps I took to take that course are nothing compared to the steps I’ve taken since having completed it; I went from accepting that herbalism was a fascinating hobby of mine to now embracing the fact that it is a beautiful way of life! I feel as if I’ve taken a long stroll down this green path and am ready to put some roots down! – Nina DiChristina, Family Herbalist Graduate 2013

The Family Herbalist Immersion was eight days of nonstop learning, bonding with classmates, and opening to new and more nuanced ways of viewing plants, the human body, and the connections between them. This week for me was also one of real perspective and internal growth – being away from my daily life, immersed in this world of herbs, health, and personal responsibility to myself, my community, and my planet, allowed me to see more clearly the patterns within my life I wished to change, and those I wished to amplify and nourish.
Emily is a superb teacher, finding a rare balance between being grounded in scientific research and understanding, and respecting and honoring the intelligent spirit in all of us that allows us to heal ourselves and connect deeply with the plants and each other.
If you can take the time away from your daily schedule, I would give this course my highest recommendation. It is a pretty massive download of information, so be prepared to have a full to overloaded brain, take lots of thorough notes, and know that you can’t learn it all at once. This class is a major step forward in your journey with herbs, and will open all sorts of new doors of possibility within your life, if you are open to them!
– Caitlin McMullen, Family Herbalist graduate 2013 and Community Herbalist graduate 2014