Fresh Clips: Become a Professional Herbalist

| October/November 2010

• Learn Where To Get An Herbal Education 

Getting to know herbs evokes a variety of responses, from “How would this taste in a cream sauce?” to “Could these really help my blood pressure?” Some people take the conversation much further, however, and realize that they want to learn everything they can about medicinal plants so they can become herbal healers. Immediately after that inspiration, they’re likely to find themselves asking some very basic questions: “How do I become a practicing herbalist?” or “What are the steps, where are the schools and what’s next?”

Answering those questions isn’t always easy. The United States requires no state or federal licensing for medical herbalists. However, herbal medicine is a growing field with good professional prospects and many choices, depending on your career preferences.

One option is to become a naturopathic physician with a degree from an institution such as Bastyr University in Kenmore, Washington. Bastyr is one of seven programs accredited by the Association of Accredited Naturopathic Medical Colleges.

Naturopaths are licensed in 15 states, which you’ll find on the website for the American Association of Naturo-pathic Physicians, . Naturopathic practice includes a variety of natural therapies, including a strong component of herbal medicine.

If Traditional Chinese Medicine (acupuncture and botanical practice) piques your interest, explore the informative website of the Accreditation Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine ( ). Most states have licensing for acupuncturists, many of whom use herbs in their practice.

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