How to Become an Herbalist

Overview

This can be a very interesting career but in some ways a little difficult to explain how you would go about becoming an herbalist because there to date are no official accreditation to go by. Here we will discuss what it entails and what those who come to you for treatment would expect you to do and to know as well as what the educational system has come up with to offer those who wish to have some kind of formal training to show for and it will help a lot in building that patient-practitioner rapport.

What is a lay herbalist and how do I become one?
A lay herbalist means you are an ordinary person with an interest in entering the field of herbalism and you are self-educated in the knowledge of all things you need to practice. You can do this by going to an herb school. This should be done with much research and word of mouth about the academy that you will attend. Because there is no accreditation for herbalist schools it is best you know a few things about the school.

  • Find out how long the school has been in business
  • Find out what the teachers credentials are
  • Find out how many people graduated and are working and where
  • Speak to graduates that are practicing and get their opinion

What credentials do I get from an herbalist school?
Every school or university that offers the courses gets a certificate. This is not a license by the state, city or county to practice but it does show several things that boost your credibility with potential clients.

  • A certification shows that you did more than just sit home and ready books and watch videos on the subject. It shows that you went out of your way to study seriously and achieve the highest possible credential that is offered and that means a lot.
  • It backs your academic competency in the subject.
  • It shown professionalism

How to become an herbalist with physician status?
Well, if you insist on having a full accreditation behind you then we would have to say, go to school and come out with an MD, that’s right, a medical doctor. This entitles you to so many more bills than your counterparts are paying like million dollar pal-practice insurance. You would be considered a naturopathic doctor and you will have to go through all the rigors of a standard MD such as residency and a very large educational bill to pay back.

If you want an easier rout without all the hassle, most people will respect a consultant that knows his or her stuff. It is best to stay a lay herbalist and register with the American Herbalist Guild in order to boost your credentials.
Do universities offer any degrees in this stuff even if you are not licensed?
The answer to this is yes you can get a bachelor in of science with a major in herbal sciences. Now of you are wondering why you would spend four years doing this when you don’t get a license? Well, it is simple really; because you have other career doors open to you right away.

  • Quality assurance
  • Herbal industry representative, formulator, consultant, manufacturer and manager
  • Instructor
  • Researcher
  • Production
  • Health and wellness
  • Supplements
  • Cosmetics industry worker

What will you learn in this program?
In this program you will learn things such as cultivation of herbs, you will learn how to identify medicinal herbs, disease prevention using medicinal herbs, maintaining health using medicinal herbs, economic and sociopolitical views on herb and herbal treatments.

You will be studying these courses

  • Anatomy and physiology 1, 2, and 3
  • Organic chemistry
  • Botany
  • Intro to herbal science
  • Biochemistry
  • Research Methods
  • Herbal preparations
  • Herbal science practicum
  • Plant identification
  • Ethno botany
  • Disease processes
  • Microbiology
  • Pharmacognasy

These are but to name a few of the main subjects covered in the bachelors program. This information comes straight from the only university offering this program as of yet in this way which is Bastyr University in California. It is not surprising that California would have such a program that would give more of an academic credential to the art of herbalism as California has more herbalists practicing than any other state in the Union with Florida running close behind.

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