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Herbalist Adult Education: Overview of Common Herbology Programs

Herbology is the art and science of using herbs to promote health and healing. Learn about a few common courses in herbology and where to find programs for adult learners.

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Aspiring herbalists can pursue courses, workshops and certificate programs in the field. Learn more here about these different programs and course topics.

Program Information

Adult education programs in herbology include instruction in identifying, preparing and administering herbs for health purposes. There are a variety of individual courses and workshops in herbology designed for general interest, as well as certificate programs designed to help adults become members of the American Herbalists Guild (AHG). Adult students can find short courses, workshops and online courses in herbology. Courses and programs include introductory topics in the field, as well as specializations like traditional Chinese medical herbology. A few common courses are outlined here.

Programs At a Glance

Herbal Studies

  • This is a 1-year certificate program.
  • The program is offered on-campus.

Clinical Herbalism I, II

  • These certificate programs consist of 3 courses that can be taken over 2-3 semesters.
  • These programs are offered on-campus, but in the evenings and on weekends.

Where to Find Programs

Adult education programs in herbology can be found at colleges, universities, natural health schools, libraries, horticultural societies and civic organizations. Many of these programs are offered through continuing education or enrichment programs and do not result in college credits. Adults who want to become professional members of AHG should take classes that prepare them for the AHG Registered Herbalist (RH) exam. Some programs are available in the evenings, on weekends or online for adult learners.

Introductory Herbology

This course covers the origin of using herbs for medicinal purposes and an overview of Eastern and Western uses for herbs. Students learn about properties of common herbs and may examine local and regional herbs. Students also learn how to evaluate chemical properties of plants for medicinal purposes. Courses could also focus on using herbs for specific medicinal purposes, such as a course on herbs for digestive health.

Traditional Chinese Medical Herbology

Introductory courses in traditional Chinese medical (TCM) herbology cover the origin and history of herbology, along with traditional uses for herbs. Students study TCM theory and treatment methods. This includes categorization and taste of herbs and the laws of herbal combining. Students are also exposed to current research in the field.

Practical Herbology

This hands-on course teaches students how to make garden herbs into salves, tinctures, poultices and infusions to use for remedies. Some practical herbology courses may focus on one herb or plant, such as using seaweed for medical purposes. Certificates of completion from this course are highly regarded in the herbal community.

Students interested in studying herbology can find several certificate programs, as well as workshops and individual courses in the field. These programs and courses may focus on particular herbs, methods in the field and more.

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