Numerous schools offer recognized herbal medicine designations. Some courses require an on-site presence for a specific amount of time, while others can be completed online. Compare your options to decide which of these courses are right for you.
Dominion Herbal College
Accredited by the province of British Columbia in Canada, Dominion Herbal College has been offering courses since 1926.
This is the basic diploma needed before moving on to the higher levels.
- It is a one-year, 600-hour course of study with a cost of about $2,500 depending on materials used, etc.
- Students must have high school graduation or can apply as mature students.
- A basic understanding of herbal medicine and the body is provided by this diploma.
- Classes cover basics of anatomy, physiology, disease, and herbs.
Master Herbalist is a one-year online program with no formal courses.
- Students and the school agree on a thesis topic in herbal medicine.
- The student is required to finish and submit the thesis within the one year time period.
- The diploma is a career-oriented diploma. Writers, freelance writers, teachers and lecturers generally opt for this degree, which costs around $1,000.
Herbal Consultant is a career-oriented diploma.
- Individuals wanting to work in the herbal medicine industry selling, manufacturing or distributing herbal products should consider this diploma.
- Courses include learning about biochemistry, botany, herbalism, pathology, pharmacology, and similar subjects.
- While you can complete the course online, attendance at one 5-day seminar is also required.
- Costs are around $5,500.
- It is a 1,320-hour, one-year course.
Clinical Herbal Therapy
Clinical Herbal Therapy is a four-year program.
- Careers in private practice as a Clinical Herbal Therapist, researcher, community resource or consultant are available to graduates.
- The first year classes are the same as those taken by the herbal consultant program.
- Additional studies include Materia Medica, anatomy and physiology, clinical assessment, clinical pathology, and classes about the various body systems and functions.
- Students can do most of the coursework online; however, there are four, 5-day, on site seminars required, and students must complete more than 500 clinical hours throughout years two through four at school approved clinics.
- The course also has a practical clinical exam.
- Cost is around $5,500 for the first year, and additional costs are available for each year from the University.
Dr Earl Mindell PhD MH, author of the Vitamin Bible and the Herb Bible, received his MH from Dominion and says, "My herbal education from Dominion Herbal College was outstanding."
American College of Healthcare Sciences
The American College of Healthcare Sciences (ACHS) offers numerous degrees in alternative medicine. In herbal medicine, there are four lower level certificates and diplomas. At the higher levels there are two masters degrees and two graduate degrees.
Herbal Retail Management Certificate
People interested in a career as an herbal retailer will be interested in this certificate.
- The requirements for this program are a minimum of a high school diploma or equivalency and recommendation for admission by the ACHS Admissions Committee. No on-site presence is required.
- Classes will cover setting up a business, lifestyle and wellness counseling, state regulatory information, herbal medicine, FDA regulations, plant identification, safety, and uses.
- The program is eight months.
Natural Products Manufacturing Certificate
- Requirements for admission to this course are the same as above for the Herbal Retail Management certificate.
- No on site presence is required.
- Structured online courses include herbalism, aromatherapy, nutrition, holistic health consulting, and business skills.
- It is a 12-month program.
- Costs are around $5,800 and include tuition, books, and fees.
Herbal Studies Master Herbalist
This program is designed for those people wishing to teach, lecture, or write about herbs. Students wishing to set up a private herbal practice are also covered by this course.
- The requirements for this diploma are the same as above for the Herbal Retail Management Certificate.
- No on site presence is required.
- Courses include herbalism basics; health, English, or psychology; Materia Medica, anatomy and physiology; holistic pathophysiology; pathology protocols; healthcare terminology; business skills; and holistic health care consulting.
- The Herbal Studies - Master Herbalist Diploma is a structured program. Considered a 12 month course for full time students, it generally takes approximately 18 months to complete.
- Costs are about $17,500 USD and include registration, tuition, books, and fees.
Associate of Applied Science Complementary Alternative Medicine (AAS)
Students can apply for four different specialties with this degree.
- Careers for graduates include Master Herbalist, Herbal Educator, Consultant, Retailer or Writer.
- Requirements are the same as above for the Herbal Retail Management Certificate.
- Courses required for this program are 17 in number and cover English, Anatomy, Physiology, Materia Medica, health and nutrition and herbal medicine.
- The AAS Herbal Medicine Specialty takes 24 months to complete for full time students.
- The costs are about $27,000 USD.
Masters and Graduate Diplomas and Certificates
The higher level programs include:
- Graduate Certificate in Botanical Safety. This is an eight month course. Graduate students will receive specialized training in the safety and effectiveness of herbal medicine. The cost is about $7,400. The entry requirement is a "Bachelors degree from US Department of Education approved accredited institution, an admissions interview and recommendation for admission from the Dean of Admissions."
- Graduate Certificate in Herbal Medicine. Also an eight month course, graduate students will increase their "comprehension and application of herbal medicine." The cost is about $9,700. The entrance requirements are the same as for the Graduate Certificate in Botanical Safety.
- Master of Science Complementary Alternative Medicine. Students for this program will be leaders in the successful integration of alternative medicine. The course duration is 18 months but will not allow students to teach at this time. The costs are about $24,000. The entry requirements are the same as all other masters and graduate programs.
Alternative Medicine, Nutrition, Aromas & Herbology College & Clinic
The Herbology Certificate is a career focused program.
- Health food stores, pharmacies, herbal pharmacies and aromatherapy and massage clinics are just some of the careers available to graduates of this program.
- Basic requirements are high school diploma or GED.
- Courses include bontanical and herbal medicine and formulation training.
- There is an optional on site formulation workshop offered.
- The timeframe to complete this program is three to six months.
- The cost is about $500.
The Herbology Diploma program prepares students for careers as above in the Herbology Certificate Program.
- The requirements for this program are the same as the Herbology Certificate program.
- The courses include botanical and herbal medicine, aromatherapy, and formulation training.
- The Herbology Diploma program is a 24 month program.
- The cost is about $1,000.
Master Medical Herbalist
Master Medical Herbalist graduates will be prepared for the same careers as the Herbology programs. In addition, they will be prepared for a career in an herbal medicine clinic performing consultations.
- This program is a Masters program and requires successful completion of a bachelors degree. A class or demonstrated knowledge in Anatomy and Physiology equal to the AMNAH course is also required.
- Courses include botanical and herbal medicine, aromatherapy, formulation techniques, and online clinical classes.
- A non-credit procedures, exam, and practice workshop is offered at the end of the program. The grade is pass or fail and covers elements of becoming a practising herbalist.
- There is a 12 to 15 month commitment is required to complete this program.
- The costs are about $2,200.
Herbal Medicine Doctorate
Graduates of the Herbal Medicine Doctorate program will be qualified to provide healthcare, consultation, education, formulation, research and development.
- Courses include pathophysiology, botanical and herbal medicine, aromatherapy, electives, specialization classes, formulation training, and online clinical classes. The degree also requires thesis submission.
- A non-credit procedures, exam and Practice workshop is offered at the end of the program. The grade is pass or fail and covers elements of becoming a practising herbalist.
- Optional on site formulation and clinical training are offered.
- This is a 30 - 36 month program.
- Costs are about $5,800.
Heart of Herbs Herbal School
The Heart of Herbs Herbal School offers two certification programs in herbal medicine, as well as several others in related fields. There are a number of testimonials from former students that are happy with the herbal education they received.
Heart of Herbs Certified Herbalist
Graduates of Heart of Herbs Certified Herbalist Certification Program will be eligible for membership in the American Herbalists Guild (AHG). Careers can include herbal practices, herbal product companies and herbal shop owners.
- The only requirement for this program is an interest in herbal medicine.
- Courses include herbs for specific systems, harvesting and preparation and herbs for children and pets.
- The Certified Herbalist program requires seven to ten months of study.
- The cost for online only is about $300 USD. The cost with textbooks and online access is about $400.
Heart of Herbs Master Herbalist Certification Program
The Heart of Herbs Master Herbalist Certification Program is modelled on the intensive apprenticeship program taught at the school. Graduates will have an extensive knowledge of the body in health and be able to educate others.
- There is no official requirement for this program other than an interest in herbal medicine.
- The courses cover the same systems as in the Certified Herbalist program as well as business courses, yoga, ayurveda, and diagnostics. Emphasis will be given to anatomy and physiology.
- A commitment of 2,300 hours of study is required to complete this course. Heart of Herbs has a breakdown of the hours.
- The cost for online only is about $900. For online and textbooks the cost is about $1,000.
New Eden School of Natural Health & Herbal Studies
The New Eden School of Natural Health & Herbal Studies is an accredited school. The designations awarded for completion of the programs are widely recognized. There are a number of happy graduates from New Eden.
Certified Herbalist Program
Graduates of the Certified Herbalist Program will be qualified to educate and guide the public in making wise herbal choices.
- The basic requirement for this program is a high school diploma or GED.
- The courses include anatomy and physiology, natural health, nutrition, herbology, nutritional herbology, herbal first aid, and business courses.
- A four to six month commitment is required to complete this program.
- The cost is $900 USD excluding textbooks.
- An additional course in Traditional Chinese Medicine is recommended.
Master Herbalist Program
Graduates will be qualified to educate the public, as well as obtain jobs in herbal pharmacies, health food stores, and herbal stores.
- The requirements for this program are a high school diploma or GED.
- The courses include anatomy and physiology, natural health and nutrition, nutritional herbology, herbal first aid, aromatherapy, herbal preparations, clinical botanical medicine, and business courses.
- A six to nine month commitment is required to complete this program.
- The cost is about $1,500 USD excluding some textbooks.
- Traditional Chinese Medicine is recommended as a supplemental course.
Medical Herbalist Program
This program is a much more scientific program than some others. According to New Eden, "The students are taught from a science and clinical perspective how to effectively operate as Medical Herbalists."
- The requirements for this program are a high school diploma or GED.
- Courses include anatomy and physiology, natural health and nutrition, chemistry and nutrition, pathology, pharmacology, natural health approaches, herbology, nutritional herbology, herbal first aid, aromatherapy, clinical botanical medicine, herbal preparations, Bach flower remedies, and business courses.
- Additional recommended courses include Practical Iridology, Natural Health Approaches IV and Traditional Chinese Medicine.
- This program takes 24 to 30 months to complete via distance learning.
- The cost is $3,000 excluding some textbooks.
A Certified Herbal Consultant program is also offered. This course is E-book only. The program requires high school diploma or GED, takes three to five months to complete and costs $600 USD excluding most books.
Benefits of Herbal Education
If you choose to be involved in your personal health care, want to help people or want to change careers, an education in herbal medicine is beneficial. The level and school you choose are strictly up to you. Whether you want a diploma program or just a basic knowledge of herbs, there are numerous programs and schools offering an herbal education.