A herbalist is a person who has studied healing herbs and their medical properties, as has always been done in traditional China and Native American cultures. Written records of this practice date back to over 5,000 years ago among the Sumerians, among the oldest civilizations in the world. The traditional practice of herbal medicine has remained in some modern societies, such as China for example. With all the evils that afflict us today, we are looking for a more delicate way to heal; that is why we turn to these alternative methods of treatments. One of the most popular approaches is herbal medicine. By becoming a professional herbalist, you will have a fantastic and ever-growing career.
Step 1. Cultivate an interest in herbal medicine
It is not impossible to start your studies without prerequisites, but a basic knowledge of herbs and other botanical systems will help you for the future. If you are already in high school, be very careful with biology classes. Similarly, interest in other aspects of science and love for the environment are useful qualities, before venturing into a career as a herbalist.
Step 2. Enroll in a recognized herbal medicine school
This type of career can be launched both formally and informally, depending on how you want to practice herbal medicine.
- If you want to be recognized as a people's herbalist, within a limited or informal group of people (such as a group of indigenous people), check what the standards of professionalism required by the group are and pursue them.
- If you want to become a professional herbalist with widely recognized credentials, there are many courses and degrees offered by universities around the world, as well as other educational facilities, you can choose from. No matter which path you choose, check in advance that the course of study is certified by specific organizations. In the United States you can find organizations like:
- The Natural Healing College: Masters in Herbalist & Holistic Health Practitioner.
- The American Herbalists Guild: Title of Registered Herbalist (RH).
- The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine: Diploma in Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) "or" Diploma in Chinese Herbalism (NCCAOM) ".
- National Institute of Medical Herbalists (in England).
- You can also practice herbal medicine as a naturopathic doctor by passing a series of rigorous examinations and fulfilling all academic and clinical obligations similar to those of a traditional doctor (unlike a traditional naturopath who has no recognized standards).
Step 3. Choose wisely where to work
It may be tempting to stay in the city where you studied as a herbalist, but competition will likely be fierce.
Step 4. Consider partnering
You can work alone or with another herbalist or curator. Earnings are potentially higher if you work alone but there are also costs. Starting as a private herbalist can cost you from 5,000 to 10,000 euros and it may take up to three years before you start earning; instead with a partnership you can have the support of colleagues, have multiple references (if you work in a clinic) and share overheads, health coverage, insurance for medical errors and other costs.
Step 5. Take precautions
What would happen if a patient sued you? Consider getting medical error insurance if you have a professional liability policy. If you work at home, consider other insurance you may need (such as accidental injury) and also check your neighborhood's zoning regulations.
Step 6. Specialize in an important segment of the profession to distinguish yourself from other herbalists
- The basis of herbal theory; the earliest uses of plants for medical purposes in human history. Evidence suggests that Neanderthals used plants to heal themselves 60,000 years ago. More recently, written records dating back to 5,000 years ago describe the systematic medical use of plants such as thyme and cumin. To date, traditional Chinese herbal medicine has survived from dynasties.
- Specific remedies for different conditions; therapeutic herbs; use of food and herbs for health and healing. There are many orders, classes and families of plants to know and master. A herbalist usually prescribes herbs in the form of tinctures, liquid extracts, capsules, or herbal teas and may suggest changes in eating habits, exercises, and other therapies that can help the healing process. We ourselves inadvertently treat our body with herbs. The caffeine that gives us mild arousal and is so familiar to us in sodas, for example, has herbal bases in alkaloids. On the other hand, other alkaloids such as datura can lead to severe intoxication and even death. Remember that a career as an herbalist is built on a solid foundation of knowledge in biology.
- Administer the active ingredients of the herbs with the diet; teach the principles of disease and diagnosis within multiple medical systems frameworks; teach herbal and therapeutic preparations and formulations. Herbal medicine consists of everything related to the use of herbs for the good of people and to improve life. Herbs are the natural way of treating disease, and they are the products that pass through our body without doing harm if we need them. We cannot say the same thing about drugs that accumulate in the liver and other organs; our body, at times, stops responding to some medicines that would have been lifesavers if they had been used only in an emergency. The uses and effects of herbs in medicinal practice are fundamental principles. Distinctive marks play an important role in determining the characteristics of herbs, and these can be colors, root structure, cracks in the bark of certain trees, and vines that are considered good herbs to use for the blood system. The principles of herbs are the greatest source of their spiritual qualities, and are what make herbal medicine a medicine.