Registration opens again December 15, 2022

Why Solubility & Extraction?

Have fun while you enhance your herbal medicine making skills! Come study with us to expand your understanding of how and why we extract herbs with certain menstrua (solvents) and methods. We'll demystify the chemistry and bring the botanical science to life with practical demonstrations and clear explanations of how it all works.

As you progress through this course, you'll learn:

    • How to make better herbal medicines
    • Why understanding herbal constituents & solubility matters
    • What solubility is & how solvents / menstrua work
    • What determines the solubility of a constituent
    • How we match constituents to their preferred solvents
    • What polarity is & how it affects solubility
    • How to understand & use the polarity & solubility continuum
    • How to choose the best solvent or combination of solvents
    • Solubility characteristics of water, ethanol, glycerin, vinegar, honey, & oils
    • The effects of time, temperature, agitation, surface area & pressure on solubility
    • How the individual plant matrix affects solubility
    • How to use your knowledge of solubility to select for desired constituents & actions from any herb
    • What are glycosides & aglycones, & why it matters
    • The effects of pH (acidity & alkalinity) on solubility & extraction
    • What precipitation is, why it happens, & what to do about it
    • How to use organoleptics to evaluate your extracts
    • The classification of herbal constituents & their solubilities
    • How to learn more about using the principles of solubility & extraction

Make Better Medicine: Solubility & Extraction is divided into 8 lessons:

  1. Why Solubility Matters
  2. Polarity & Solubility
  3. Polarity & Solvents
  4. Solubility: Other Influences
  5. Plant Matrix & Solubility
  6. Glycosides, aglycones & pH
  7. pH, Precipitation & Solubility
  8. CO2, Organoleptics & Constituents

    Each lesson includes a video, a detailed study guide, an audio file to download, and a self-assessment quiz. You'll also receive a program booklet with information on herbal constituents and their solubility, and an illustrated PowerPoint deck. You'll have access to all the materials in this course for one full year after registration. The course includes an actively managed forum where you can share your experiences and ask us your medicine making questions! 


 "Thank you very much for creating this course and making it such an accessible price.  I have been following your work for some time now and have the recent and previous edition of your book.  I have always struggled with chemistry though I am passionate about making herbal preparations. I am a herbal educator, specializing in teaching folk to grow, harvest/forage and make their own medicinal preparations from scratch ... The learning never ends."    Tatiana Lustre Dawn - Alchemilla Herbals

"Thank you Lisa for a wonderfully informative course. I finally have a greater understanding of solubility and its impact on making really good medicine. I've made many tinctures over the years and I can't help but wish I had this understanding many moons ago! However, I am still grateful for all the plants and medicines I've worked with and this only deepens my understanding and appreciation for future medicine making. You really made the chemistry friendlier for me :) Much appreciated."   Rose Casey - Rosewoods Herbal


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Workshops & Herbal Retreats

Join us for a variety of herbal education workshops throughout the year. Find out about our upcoming herbal healing retreats.

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Herbal Constituents 

Foundations of Phytochemistry

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Your Teacher


Lisa began studying herbal medicine in the early ‘80s. After practicing as a Wise Woman tradition community herbalist, wildcrafter, and medicine-maker for a decade, Lisa returned to school at UNCA and graduated summa cum laude with multiple awards in biology and chemistry. After graduation she focused on exploring herbal constituents (pharmacognosy and phytochemistry) in the context of Western clinical herbalism and Vitalist therapeutics.

In addition to founding and directing the Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism from 2012-2020 and managing Elderberry’s Farm (a Rocky Mountain Herbal Education Center in Paonia, CO), Lisa has also served as Adjunct Professor of Pharmacognosy at the Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine, and has lectured and taught classes at numerous schools and conferences around the world. She is the author of Herbal Constituents, 2nd Ed., a popular textbook on herbal phytochemistry for natural health practitioners, which is used by schools and universities worldwide. Lisa also teaches a comprehensive distance learning course on herbal constituents and formulates botanical and CBD products.