How to become a medical herbalist

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course

University

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:

  • 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent, including biology for a degree
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study

More Information

Volunteering

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 pharmacology
  • 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

As part of your day-to-day duties, you may:

  • take a detailed history of the client's symptoms and lifestyle
  • carry out a physical assessment and appropriate tests
  • prescribe a relevant herbal remedy
  • grow and prepare herbs in various forms, including capsules, extracts, ointments or infusions
  • keep client notes
  • see clients for follow-up appointments
  • refer clients to their GP where necessary

Working environment

You could work in a therapy clinic or at a client's home.

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.

The Find an apprenticeship service can help you with your search, send alerts when new apprenticeships become available and has advice on how to apply.

Courses In England

Are you interested in becoming a medical herbalist?

Search for training courses near you.

Jobs In the United Kingdom

The Find a job service can help you with your search for jobs and send alerts when new jobs become available.

Skills assessment

Take an assessment to learn more about your skills and the careers that might suit you.

Get help using this service

Call 0800 100 900 or use webchat

8am to 10pm, 7 days a week

More ways to contact us

Is this page useful?

Yes No

Thank you for your feedback.

Thank you for your feedback. Click here if you'd like to let us know how we can improve the service.