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Interview w/ Lori Bell: Mom of Four Earns Master Herbalist Diploma Online

Lori Bell has been making herbal remedies for years for her friends and family using the in-depth knowledge she gained from an online education program in herbalism. She had so many testimonials from people desperate for healing that she started her own business. She’s also teaching others how to use ingredients in their kitchen cupboards to make herbal medicines to heal their own families and is writing a book to help others do the same.

Q. What motivated you to attend an online school?

A. In 2003, I graduated with a “Master Herbalist” diploma with honors from an accredited college in Oregon. I enrolled in an online college for many reasons. First, I wanted to satisfy my thirst for knowledge that went beyond common curiosity. I also wanted to be challenged and to learn in-depth how the human body works and to learn how to treat any ailment with herbal medicine. But most important, I wanted to be present during my children’s daily lives. My deep desire to keep my family as healthy as possible motivated me to learn all I could.

Q. What was the most challenging part of earning your online diploma?

A. The tricky part was to find the time to do quality studying during that time I was pregnant twice and nursed both my boys for a year each. Even when I was pregnant with our first son, I found it easier to wake around 4 a.m. and work until it was time to get the girls up for school. This way I was able to get two to two-and-a-half hours of study time at least three to five days a week, then I’d take my lesson with me while the girls had soccer and other sports practice. Then as I had the boys I’d try to keep the same schedule. One of them usually woke for an early morning feeding, so I’d put them back to bed and get studying. At the time of graduation, my fourth child was two.

Q. With four kids and your family responsibilities, how did you manage to keep on track and graduate on time?

A. Pacing was key. The schedule was grueling at times, but I had a deadline for graduation that kept me at pace. I received my entire course in the beginning, so I knew exactly what was required of me to complete in three-and-a-half years. I divided the required assignments equally into months so I could stay on task. If anything happened in our daily life that slowed me down, I’d readjust all of the dates.

Q. How did you find the motivation to complete your coursework with so much going on in your life?

A. I know the reason for my success in my classes was due to the fact that I applied everything I learned to keep my family and friends healthy. Three of my children have never had antibiotics. I’ve only needed to go to the doctors for their immunizations, sports check-ups for high school and college sports, and once for a broken arm.

Q. Can you give us an example of how you use this knowledge to help your family recently?

A. Today, for example, my daughter had a tickle in her throat. I made her a tea to soothe it, then with the left over tea, I made herbal-honey suckers. How awesome is that!

Q. How has your Master Herbalist diploma helped you to achieve your career goals?

A. This year I started my company, Sun Kissed Herbal. I created an ointment that heals, protects and moisturizes. It is generous with many healing herbs and essential oils that are married beautifully to so many skin ailments. It has four different oils with different absorptions speeds to work at many layers of the skin at once. I’ve made this ointment for about eight years with so many great reviews that I decided to sell it.

Lori admits that she wasn’t the best student in high school, but her online education success–which she completed while being pregnant twice–has given her an incredible amount of confidence. Online education gave this busy mom the flexibility and knowledge that she needed to help keep her family healthy and to pursue a career that she can do from home to help others.


JoVon Sotak is a writer, community journalist, and photographer who enjoys living in the middle of nowhere, Nevada. Her articles have appeared in online and print publications in Nevada and throughout the United States.

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