How to Get a Degree in Herbal Medicine


One of the many different categories of medicine is herbal medicine. It is an interesting and popular field in the medical industry. One can say it falls under the umbrella of complementary medicine – but that is a discussion for another time perhaps. The detailed study and the use of the medicinal characteristics of plants are known as herbal medicine.

Also known as herbalism, herbal medicine involves the use of the medicinal properties of plants which may include leaves, roots, shoots, flowers, stems and other extracts. Some properties may be used independently while others may be used in conjunction with other extracts of formulations. A degree in this field can help you gain a solid understanding of plants, herbs and related areas which will allow you to treat patients for their illnesses. It will allow you to help people improve their general health and wellness as well.

Importance of Education

Education provides people with the learning, knowledge and skills that can help them improve their health and well-being and allow them to provide for themselves and their future. Education equips people with the necessary skills for their individual development and growth as well as to make changes and a meaningful contribution to the society and for the economic growth of a nation.

Related Reading: How to Get a Degree in Alternative Medicine

Gaining and increasing knowledge and wisdom through education can sharpen minds and create opportunities for personal growth. Education can also increase awareness, which can help people make good choices in life. So if you wish to make an impact on the world of herbal medicine, you better be ready to dedicate yourself to a life of studying.

Degree Options and Requirements

There are a number of degree options available to students who are interested in pursuing a career in herbal medicine. It is important to understand that certain degrees carry more weight than others and may have a whole new set of requirements.

For instance, to get into a bachelor’s or similar undergraduate program in herbal medicine, it is advised that students possess some background in the health sciences or general sciences. Although practical training and relevant academic training may be provided in the bachelor’s program, some form of relevant background is a benefit.

As a student of herbal medicine, you may come across a number of fundamental and advanced courses during your degrees. Such courses include nutrition, human anatomy, biochemistry, Chinese herbal therapy, herbal pharmacology, botany, Chinese herbal medicine, toxicology, herbal preparations, alternative medicine, and so on. Each course serves a strategic purpose during the degree and helps form the foundation for future education.

To get into a master’s program in herbal medicine, most schools require candidates to have a relevant bachelor’s degree. Some master’s programs may require students to have some practical exposure in the field of herbal medicine. Requirements vary depending on program so it is important to understand what you are looking for in your herbal medicine program.

When it comes to licensing and certification, at the moment there are no ruling bodies or academic authorities that regulate herbal medicine. So it is safe to say that licensing and certification are not a concern at the moment. However, some institutions and potential employers may set minimum academic standards for entry into a program or position. However, the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) may provide certification in certain areas of herbal medicine.

Career Outlook

Herbal medicine has been around for quite a while and it seems that it is here to stay. Chinese medicine and alternative / complementary medicine all have their roots and extensions in herbal medicine. Although there are no specific statistics available for herbalists, the fact that the natural power and remedies of herbs and plants are still used in products, cosmetics and medicine, is quite reassuring.

Salary Prospects

Salary figures of herbalists vary depending on the market dynamics. According to The American Herbalists Guild, the average annual salary for herbalists falls anywhere between $20,000 and $120,000. This depends on the level of experience and various entrepreneurial aspects. According to another source (, the mean yearly salary for herbalists is $31,000. According to yet another source ( the average annual salary for herbalists is $43,920 as of 2013’s 4th quarter. You can see these figures are dispersed and hence the salary depends on factors such as experience, clientele, research, market dynamics, and so on.

Further Reading

The list of websites below should help you with research into this field. It is a good idea to get familiar with the industry dynamics, markets and current research trends. Use these websites as a point of reference to understand what the market has to offer.

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