To study herbology, individuals can look to specialty natural health schools since this program of study isn't as common to community colleges and universities as more traditional fields of study.
Admissions requirements will depend on the level pursued. A diploma or undergraduate certificate program will require a high school diploma, while a graduate certificate may ask for a bachelor's degree from a related major.There are also master's degree programs in related topics, such as medicinal herbalism, therapeutic herbalism and Western herbalism. Master's degree candidates will also need a bachelor's degree, but they may need to have a health care professional license. Students should confirm enrollment requirements prior to applying. You can expect to study the following topics in your classes:
- Human organs
- Native American medicine
- Patient assessment
- The nervous system
- Folk medicine
- Medication interaction
List of Courses
Introduction to Herbology
In this class, students study the principles of herbal healing. They learn to identify and classify a variety of medicinal herbs. The parts and properties of herbs are studied, as well as their intended effects on the body. This course, usually required at the beginning of an herbology program, focuses on individual herbs as they relate to modern alternative medicine practices. However, the course curriculum may include references to Chinese, Ayurvedic, Native American and traditional folk medicine as well.
Patents and Formulas
After completing introductory courses in herbology, instruction moves from the theoretical to the practical. Students learn about custom preparations of herbs in powders, pastes and salves. Both traditional and modern applications are taught. Students are encouraged to understand the art and science of modifying established preparations in order to meet a patient's individual health needs. Many herbal remedies can interact with a patient's other prescribed medications and students study these interactions, their causes and effects.
Anatomy and Physiology
In this class, typically taken midway through an alternative medicine degree program, students learn about the organs and systems that make up the human body. This course focuses on the nervous, circulatory, respiratory and digestive systems and the organs they contain. This course is important because herbal medicine practitioners need to know how the human body works in order to choose the most effective herbal solutions.
Clinical courses in herbology typically conclude advanced degree programs. This is a required class in which student practitioners assess patients' conditions and determine what herbal remedies would best address their symptoms. Students prepare herbal remedies for patients and provide instruction on their use. Students may work in a school-sponsored clinic or other health care setting, supervised by practicing herbology professionals.