Herbal Education
Answered by: Susan Eagles
Question from: Christy
Posted on: March 25, 2004

I am interested in studying to become an herbalist. I don’t know where to start. I’ve gotten information from a school called Australasian College, but I’ve also thought that I could simply study on my own. I know you attended school in England, but here in the U.S., I’m not sure what to do. Any advice? Is getting a certificate any better than self-education? Do you have any suggestions on schools that are in the US or offer online education? Any assistance is greatly appreciated.

There are many excellent herbal schools in the United States. I suggest that you contact The American Herbalists Guild, the U.S. organization for well-trained herbalists. Their web site is at http://www.americanherbalistsguild.com. There is information on our web site, www.richters.com, on how to choose a training institute. Select "Q&A" from our main web page, then enter "training" for the search. There is another entry, " Want to Become a Herbalist", with similar information.

I do recommend training rather than or as well as self-education. There is so much to learn that it would be difficult to have the discipline to study everything you need on your own. A well-rounded education will give you the basic scientific background that allows you to apply herbal knowledge through your understanding of the body and the disease process. Most good courses will include essential supplemental studies such as nutrition, wildcrafting herbs and making herbal products. A good school or teacher will often hire experts to teach special areas of interest, giving you a variety of different herbalists’ modalities, views, experience and knowledge, as well as contacts for all of your questions when you’ve completed your studies and are out practicing herbal medicine on your own.

As you learn from the American Herbalists Guild, certain educational standards are necessary to become a practicing member of an institute that gives the public an assurance that their members are well qualified.

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