Want to Become a Herbalist
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Elizabeth
Posted on: June 1, 2000

I am a student at the Brigham Young University in Provo, Utah. I am currently a Horticulture major, however, my intent is to ultimately become a medical herbalist like yourself. I was wondering if you could give me the name of the university you attended which had a program in Phytotherapy. I also would like to ask you if maybe you could give me a few tips on what courses I should be taking and things of that nature.

I took my education at: College of Phytotherapy Registrar, Bucksteep Manor, Bodle Street Green, Hailsham, E Sussex BN27 4RJ, England. Telephone: 01323-833812/4; fax: 01323-833869; email: medherb@pavilion.co.uk.

The only prerequisites for the course were high school botany and chemistry. Biochemistry is very helpful. If you have a chance to take any anatomy or physiology, it would be a great advantage.

This school is considered as a standard in U.S., Canada and Britain, qualifying a graduate to join the National Institute of Medical Herbalists in Britain and the American Herbalists Guild in the U.S. I took the distance education option, allowing me to study at home and attend summer seminars, exams and 500 hours of clinical training in Britain. It was a 4 year program.

Dominion College in Vancouver now offers similar education with a distance education option. Dominion offers some of their programs out of Toronto. They are either in or close to agreement to have their graduates qualify for membership in the National Institute of Medical Herbalists in the U.K.

The U.S., Canada and Great Britain are now actively working at determining a means of standardizing education qualifications so that the public knows what they are getting when looking for a herbalist. The American Herbalists Guild and the National Institute of Herbal Medicine (U.K.) (http://www.btinternet.com/~nimh/) have standards worth aiming at.

The Ontario Herbalists Association at http://www.herbalists.on.ca/education/ has contact information on Canadian schools of herbal and natural medicine, and includes the link to U.S. and British schools, http://www.herb.com/school.htm.

Michael Moore http://chili.rt66.com/hrbmoore/HOMEPAGE/ runs the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine at Bisbee Arizona. This is an excellent 5 month hands-on program.

The National College of Phytotherapy 3030 Isleta Blvd. SW, Albuquerque, NM 87105; telephone 505/452-3468; e-mail: phyto@swcp.com. Founded by Amanda McQuade Crawford, this school offers a 3-year bachelor’s degree in herbal medicine. Students get a strong foundation in biochemistry, anatomy and physiology, pharmacology, pathophysiology botany, materia medica and practical clinical experience. Amanda runs an excellent program.

The American Herbalists Guild publishes a directory of schools of herbal medicine. You can get information on this at: http://www.healthy.net/herbalists/Educat.htm.

Good luck!

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