Medical herbalist

Medical herbalists use plants and herbal remedies to help improve their clients' health and wellbeing.

Average salary (a year)


Typical hours (a week)

37 to 39 variable

You could work

freelance / self-employed managing your own hours

How to become a medical herbalist

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course


To prepare for work as a medical herbalist, you should complete a degree in herbal medicine approved by the National Institute of Medical Herbalists or one of the organisations represented by the European Herbal and Traditional Medicine Practitioners Association.

Degrees last 3 years full time or 5 to 6 years part time and include at least 500 hours of supervised clinical practice with patients.

If you're a trained medical practitioner like a doctor or nurse, you could take a postgraduate degree in herbal medicine.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • at least 2 A levels, including biology, for a degree
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

More information

Volunteering and experience

You'll find it useful to arrange some work shadowing with a practising medical herbalist before you begin your studies.

More information

Professional and industry bodies

There is currently no statutory regulation for medical herbalists.

Check with the National Institute of Medical Herbalists and European Herbal and Traditional Medicine Practitioners Association for the latest information about regulation.

Further information

You can find out more about becoming a medical herbalist from the National Institute of Medical Herbalists.

What it takes

Skills and knowledge

You'll need:

  • knowledge of medicine and dentistry
  • knowledge of psychology
  • counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • the ability to read English
  • knowledge of biology
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

What you'll do

Day-to-day tasks

Your day-to-day duties may include:

  • taking a detailed history of the client's symptoms and lifestyle
  • carrying out a physical assessment and appropriate tests
  • prescribing a relevant herbal remedy
  • growing and preparing herbs in various forms, including capsules, extracts, ointments or infusions
  • keeping client notes
  • seeing clients for follow-up appointments
  • referring clients to their GP where necessary

Working environment

You could work at a GP practice, in a consultation room, at a client's home or in a therapy clinic.

Career path and progression

With experience you could move into teaching or research.

Current opportunities

Apprenticeships In England

We can't find any apprenticeship vacancies in England for a medical herbalist right now.

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Courses In England

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