Have you ever been intrigued by the healing power of plants, and wanted to develop this interest into a career? A career in herbal medicine has the potential to enable you to train formally in the field and qualify as a practitioner. There has been renewed interest in herbal medicine of late as people look for alternatives to the traditional approach of Western medicine, with less invasive and holistic approaches finding favour. Herbal medicine has principles that focus on treating the root cause of diseases, rather than the symptoms.
What is Herbal Medicine?
Herbal medicine is an ancient holistic healing practice that has been utilised by practically every culture at some point in their history. It uses all elements of a plant, which are typically worked into infusions and remedies, all of which are used to target specific maladies and illnesses. Some cultures continue to use herbal medicine, often in conjunction with Western medicine and there is also increasing interest in herbal remedies from the scientific community. Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is one tradition that still makes extensive use of herbal medicine, and is widely practised in that country.
Studying Herbal Medicine
An introductory course to herbal medicine will typically cover an overview of the field, including the principles of herbal treatments and plant identification. Students will also learn how herbal treatments can be used to help treat a variety of disorders that effect the nervous, urinary and respiratory systems. Other areas of focus include the classification of herbal medicines, herbal formulations, treatment principles of acute conditions, the various elements of the body specifically the respiratory, digestive and nervous systems.
Working as a Herbalist
Newly qualified herbalists will typically go to work for a qualified practitioner as a trainee to gain valuable hands on experience. Herbalists typically work as self-employed consultants, often in their own practice carrying out consultations with patients and offering treatments. Consultations may include a physical examination and a detailed assessment of a patients overall health. Appropriate herbal remedies will then be prescribed or the patient may be referred to another health practitioner, where appropriate.