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How to become a Herbalist

herbalist careers

What does a Herbalist do?

Medical herbalists use plant remedies to treat disease and balance the metabolism. The remedies used may include infusions, tablets, tinctures, powders, lotions, creams and ointments.

They begin by gathering detailed information on the patient’s medical history such as their lifestyle, past health problems, current illness and diet. They also carry out a physical examination before prescribing herbal remedies and giving them advice on diet, lifestyle and dealing with problems.

Herbal medicine or phytotherapy can be used to treat a wide range of acute and chronic conditions. The practitioner looks for the underlying problems and tailors treatments specifically for each individual.

Medical herbalists might also prescribe food supplements such as vitamins, minerals or special ingredients.

What's the working environment like working as a Herbalist?

There are no set working hours. Herbalists may need to work some unsocial hours to fit in with patients.

Most of the time is spent sitting down in a consulting room. Some herbalists need to visit several clinics or see patients in their own homes, so a driving licence can be useful.

What does it take to become a Herbalist?

As a medical herbalist, you should:

  • be able to build up a rapport with patients
  • have good communication skills, to both listen to patients and explain what you are doing
  • be able to appreciate and understand what a patient is going through
  • be logical in your approach to problem solving, working out a diagnosis and deciding what treatment to give
  • have a genuine desire to help people
  • know when to refer a patient to a conventional medical doctor
  • have an interest and ability in science, particularly biology and chemistry
  • have commercial sense, to be able to run a business.

Herbalist Career Opportunities

Medical herbalists are usually self-employed, working from a practice in a natural health centre or from home. This is an area of work that is expanding rapidly.

Further information

If you would like to know anything about Herbalist that does not appear on Hotcourses, further information can be found below.

National Institute of Medical Herbalists (NIMH)
Elm House
54 Mary Arches Street
Exeter
Devon
EX4 3BA
Tel: 01392 426022
www.nimh.org.uk

British Register of Complementary Practitioners
Institute for Complementary Medicine (ICM)
PO Box 194
London
SE16 7QZ
Tel: 020 7237 5165
www.i-c-m.org.uk

Courses to help you become a Herbalist