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Artemisia Academy provides community & land based herbal education for Santa Barbara and the Southern California region.  As the only herb school in Santa Barbara & surrounding counties, and one of only 4 herb schools on Southern California, we teach convenient condensed courses, and weekend classes specifically designed for commuters and people with busy lives.


Classes were originally a part of Herbalist Emily Sanders' practice Active Alchemy. However, as interest in the herbal arts has increased, she moved more in the direction of herbal education and founded the first herb school in Santa Barbara in an effort to reconnect people to healing themselves, their land & their community.   Active Alchemy is now part or Artemisia Academy.


The Artemisia Academy of Herbal Arts & Healing currently offers herb walks about uses of local & native plants, hands-on medicine making classes and workshops, and a 3 month Herbal Apprentice Program, giving students who want to begin their journey as a Community Herbalist a place to get there feet wet with a comprehensive introductory course to Herbalism & Holistic Healing.


Artemisia Academy is in the process of expanding to offer an intensive 2 year clinical program.  At this point we welcome supporters and donations of all kinds.  If you would like to get involved in the launch of the herb school to its full potential, please write to us at

Emily Sanders


Founder & Director

Certified Clinical Herbalist,

Certified Clinical Nutritionist,

Certified Massage Therapist (CAMTC #46037)

Emily is a certified plant geek & anatomy freak who loves connecting people with their own personal plant allies and their healer within. Born and raised in Santa Barbara, California, she has been studying holistic health for over 10 years, from farming apprenticeships in Hawaii and at the Herb Pharm, in Williams, Oregon, to pursuing a more formal education in Boulder, Colorado.  Emily studied clinical herbalism & nutrition through a 2 year clinical program at the North American Institute of Medical Herbalism (now called the Colorado School of Clinical Herbalism).  Under Paul Bergner, she learned the importance of teaching from a vitalist perspective, that every body has the ability to heal itself with supportive diet, herbs, and lifestyle practices.  

Emily studied massage therapy & medical qigong at the Santa Barbara Body Therapy Institute, where she began her career as an educator.  She has taught a variety of subjects there, from Anatomy, Physiology, Pathology, Nutrition, Business, Swedish & Lymphatic Massage.  At the Santa Barbara Botanic Gardens, Emily has instructed numerous herb walk on native plants, and herbal workshops for the general public.  She currently runs a private practice, Active Alchemy, where she teaches transformative self-care through massage, nutrition & herbal remedies.  Emily has also started the California chapter of Herbal Medics, located in Santa Barbara.

Through her journey of becoming an herbalist and massage therapist, she learned that there is very little support for health practitioners to learn how to run their businesses.  Emily has taken numerous classes and business training workshops, including Women's Economic Ventures Self Employment Training.  Her hope is to pass on the knowledge of sustainable living with practical entrepreneurial skills, so that herbalists can create thriving practices that fully support themselves, their land, and their community.

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