Herbalists use natural herbs and plants for medicinal purposes. 'Family herbalist' is not a professional term but a colloquial one used to describe individuals who have a basic knowledge of herbal medicine they use to treat their own families.
No properly accredited schools offer certificate programs specifically in the field of family herbalism. However, individuals interested in studying natural herbs and remedies might consider enrolling in a Chinese herbal medicine certificate program to gain comprehensive training in Chinese herbology, medicine formulations, and herbal therapeutics. Students should consider programs that are accredited by organizations like the American Naturopathic Medical Accreditation Board or the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine. It may be helpful for potential applicants to herbalist certificate programs to have some clinical or didactic experience in the medical field.
Family Herbalism Certificate Program
Students enrolled in a Chinese herbalist certificate program study the hundreds of herbs and herbal formulations that can be used to treat medical conditions. Many programs require students to explore case studies and gain hands-on clinical experience before graduation. Most certificates are postgraduate programs that require incoming students to have some degree of clinical or didactic experience in the field of alternative medicine.
Herbalist certificate programs offer training most suitable to aspiring family herbalists and provide introductory-level courses related to identifying, preparing, and using plants for medicinal purposes. Some of these classes include:
- Anatomy and physiology
- Detoxification and therapeutic herbalism
- Herbal and botanical terminology
- History of herbal medicine
- Clinical pharmacology and pharmacopoeia
- Herbal formulations and remedies
Popular Career Options
Individuals can rarely support themselves through a career as a family herbalist. However, aspiring herbalists who pass a certificate program are often eligible to work as an:
- Herbal supplement manufacturer
- Health food store owner
- Herbal medicine researcher
Employment Outlook and Salary Information
Although the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) did not publish statistics specific to herbal practitioners as of 2015, the BLS does predict 17% job growth from 2014-2024 for health diagnosing and treating practitioners in general. As of May 2015, the BLS reported, health diagnosing and treating practitioners earned a median annual salary of $74,710.
Certification and Continuing Education
There is no standard certification available for herbalists. Individuals who are looking to gain a standard, official education in herbal medicine are often required to complete baccalaureate degree programs in fields like acupuncture or naturopathic medicine.
Students who enroll in programs related to being a family herbalist may want to pursue professional certification to increase chances of finding employment in the field. Much of the coursework in herbalist certificate programs centers around preparing and using plants for medicinal purposes.