Choosing a Herbal Training Institute
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Name not given
Posted on: August 14, 2001

I would like to obtain a master herbalist degree,or diploma, or certification via correspondance learning.

I’m having a problem deciding between schools. What separates them?

First, think about whether you are interested in Western herbal Medicine, Chinese herbal medicine, Ayurvedic medicine or a combination of modalities.

Decide how you want to use herbal medicine. Do you want to practice as a consultant? Use herbal medicine for your family only? Work with herbal stores or companies? To make herbal preparations? To grow herbs? Is it important that your diploma or certification is recognized by herbal organizations?

For example, in making my decision, I was interested in the herbs that grow around me, and I wanted to practise as a consultant. I wanted to ensure that I had a full picture of when I could and could not use herbal medicines for a medical problem. It was important that my training include major course work in anatomy, physiology, pathology and pharmacology so that I could understand what was happening in the body. I wanted distance education so that I could continue to live at home. It was important to me to choose an established school, because I had heard that some schools were unable to develop course work in time for the later years of training. I did not want my training disrupted. I knew that 1 or 2 years of training would not qualify me to practise as a herbalist, so I eliminated short course training from my list.

Look at web pages of herbal schools, if available, or send for course information from the school, to get an idea of the courses included in each school, the length of time the school has been in operation and where the course work, seminars, clinical training and exams take place. A good period of clinical training should be included in the course to get the practical experience needed to start your own practice, if you want to practise herbal medicine. You may get some idea of how organized the school is by the quality of information they send out and how long it takes the school to reply to your queries.

Contact information for some herbal schools is listed on our website at http://www.richters.com. Choose "Q&A" from the main menu, then choose "Medicinal Herbs and Their Uses" and search for the item "Herbal Training". The American Herbalists Guild has educational information: see http://www.americanherbalistsguild.com/. Henriette’s herbal homepage has links to herbalists’ organizations: http://www.ibiblio.org/herbmed/goodlink.html

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