Jump to: navigation, search

File:Herbalist on York Street.jpg
The shop of "Mrs. Hickman, Herbalist" in 1910 in Toronto

An herbalist is:[1][2][3]

  1. A person whose life is dedicated to the economic or medicinal uses of plants.
  2. One skilled in the harvesting and collection of medicinal plants (see wildcrafter).
  3. Traditional Chinese herbalist: one who is trained or skilled in the dispensing of herbal prescriptions; traditional Chinese herb doctor. Similarly, Traditional Ayurvedic herbalist: one who is trained or skilled in the dispensing of herbal prescriptions in the Ayurvedic tradition.
  4. One trained or skilled in the therapeutic use of medicinal plants.

An herbalist is a professional trained in herbalism, the use of herbs (also called botanical or crude medicine) to treat others. Professional herbal designations include

Education of herbalists varies considerably in different areas of the world. Lay herbalists and traditional indigenous medicine people generally rely upon apprenticeship and recognition from their communities in lieu of formal schooling. In some countries formalised training and minimum education standards exist, although these are not necessarily uniform within or between countries. For example, in Australia the currently self-regulated status of the profession (as of April 2008) results in different associations setting different educational standards, and subsequently recognising an educational institution or course of training. Qualifications levels vary from Diploma to Masters degree, with Advanced Diploma level being regulated to some degree by the national Health Training Packages issued by the Australian National Training Authority. The Course Accreditation System Version 2 of the National Herbalists Association of Australia http://www.nhaa.org.au/ is generally recognised as the most rigorous and professional standard within Australia.[10]

Herbalists may engage in wildcrafting or cultivation of herbs, as well as diagnosis and treatment of conditions or dispensing herbal medication. Most herbal traditions depend upon constitutional analysis of the client, treating the patient instead of the disease.[11][12]

See also


  1. Webster's Unabridged; 1977
  2. Webster's New International Dictionary; 1934
  3. Compact Edition of the Oxford English Dictionary; 1971
  4. American Herbalists Guild | An Association of Herbal Practitioners
  5. http://www.nccaom.org/ Website of the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine
  6. http://www.nhaa.org.au/ National Herbalists Association of Australia (NHAA)
  7. http://www.nhaa.org.au/ National Herbalists Association of Australia (NHAA)
  8. http://www.nimh.org.uk/ National Institute of Medical Herbalists
  9. [[1]Website of The Irish Institute of Medical Herbalists.
  10. Breakspear I, 2006. Education and Regulation in Herbal Medicine: An Australian Perspective. Journal of the American Herbalists Guild 6(2):p35-38
  11. David Winston and Steven Maimes Adaptogens: Herbs for Strength, Stamina, and Stress Relief, Healing Arts Press, 2007
  12. Tillotson Institute of Natural Health - Principles and Traditions

External links