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How to Get Certified in Herbalism

Lois has over ten years' experience in the home/herbal remedy field. She seeks to inform her readers and help them save money.

Herbalism is a traditional medicinal practice where plants and their oils and extracts are used for medical purposes. It goes by different names such as herbology, medical herbalism, phytotherapy, and botanical science. While this study concentrates mainly on plants and herbs, it can be extended to minerals and animal products, such as bee products. Whether you are interested in using herbal remedies for your home remedy needs or by turning it into a business venture, you may want to consider getting certified in herbalism.

Herbs contain many health benefits and healing properties.  Knowing which herbs are best for which ailments is an excellent idea.

Herbs contain many health benefits and healing properties. Knowing which herbs are best for which ailments is an excellent idea.

Excellent Business Venture

As you learn about the medicinal uses of plants and how they can be used as excellent remedies for various health ailments and conditions, you may be thinking about going into business selling remedies and treatments for people. You may be surprised, but you can build a strong customer base on this niche. If this sounds interesting to you, you will need to get certified in herbalism, which, in simple terms “is the use of plants for medicinal purposes, and the study of such use” (Wikipedia).

When you become certified, you are known as an herbalist. While one goal is to make money selling remedies, you can also educate people about natural remedies. Becoming certified gives you the chance to be more knowledgeable about different types of herbs and how to use them as natural medicine. Even though herbs have been used for thousands of years for medicinal reasons, you still need to have the knowledge to properly use them to treat your, and other people, health ailments and conditions.

Becoming a Herbalist

“How do I become a herbalist?” you may ask. You get certified by taking classes at schools that offer them. There are many different types of programs that can last from three months up to a year. However, there are some Chinese Medicine Schools, herbalist schools and universities that offer three to four-year programs. You can even get certified online through a variety of programs. However, not all programs are the same. Some offer a certification, after taking basic instructions for a few weeks. It is best to avoid those. You will want a school that allows you to have hands-on experience.

Herbalism Is Not A New Concept

Some people may scoff at the idea of herbalism certification classes. They may think that these are bogus, like the snake oil treatments back in the day. However, this is one of the oldest studies in the world, dating back thousands of years. The most popular herbs studies during the ancient Egyptians times included:

  • Opium
  • Coriander
  • Castor Oil
  • Garlic
  • Mint
  • Indigo
  • Mandrake
  • Caraway

Today, over half of the world's populations use herbs and medicinal plants for health care. In the United States alone, a quarter of modern medications are derived from plants. Herb gardens are becoming a popular addition to many gardens. The most popular plants include:

  • Aloe Vera for skin conditions
  • Cranberry for urinary tract infections
  • Echinacea and elderberry to treat cold and flu symptoms
  • Green Tea for general well-being
  • Honey for reducing cholesterol
  • Rose Hips for strengthening the bones
  • Tea Tree Oil for treating head lice
  • Vanilla as a fever reducer
As you learn about specific herbs, you will be able to stock your kitchen with healthy alternatives.  Kombucha tea can be found in most grocery stores.

As you learn about specific herbs, you will be able to stock your kitchen with healthy alternatives. Kombucha tea can be found in most grocery stores.

Learning About Herbs and Interactions

Even if you are not thinking about running your herbal healing business, you may still want to consider taking classes in herbalism, You can find classes that offer classes that give you a basic understanding of herbs are less expensive that the certification classes. Some herbs and plants can cause side-effects. These classes will help you understand about different risks that each plant and herb entails.

Especially you will want to know about herbs that may interact with other herbs and supplements that you are already taking. Some common ones are listed below.

Black Cohosh and Garlic

Black cohosh is the woman’s herb since it is very effective in relieving menstrual cramps and the symptoms of menopause such as hot flashes, depression, and anxiety. Used with certain drugs such as sleeping pills, blood pressure medications, and contraceptives, it increases the effectiveness. However, if you take iron supplements, it may prevent your body from absorbing iron.

Garlic is a heart-friendly herb because it is a natural blood thinner. It helps reduce the levels of bad cholesterol in your body and prevents atherosclerosis with is the buildup of fatty plaque inside your blood vessels. It decreases the number of platelet cells that are responsible for causing blood clots. It is also effective in reducing high amounts of bad cholesterol and lowering blood pressure. People who are on blood thinners, including aspirin or fish oil, or are taking anti-platelet medication should avoid garlic. They run the risk of bleeding excessively, where a cut may take longer for it to stop bleeding. Also, it is said to make birth control pills less effective.

Echinacea and Gingko Biloba

Echinacea contains flavonoids and is excellent for boosting your immune system. There are 45 medications that may cause minor interactions when combined with Echinacea. For more information, go to:

Gingko Biloba is a major source of antioxidants and helps increase blood flow to the brain. This helps prevent the onset of dementia and helps reduce short-term memory loss. It also helps improve circulation, thus reducing pain such as leg pain and headaches caused by poor circulation. Since this is a natural blood thinner, do not take Gingko if you are already on blood thinners.

Ginseng and St. Johns Wort

Ginseng is a natural energy booster. It plays a role in lowering blood sugar levels in diabetics. If you are on blood thinners, avoid ginseng since you run the risk of bleeding. Also if you are on heart medications, avoid this herb since in can affect your blood pressure.

St. Johns Wort is excellent in treating anxiety, insomnia, and depression. However, f you are already on antidepressants, such as Pristiq, avoid taking St. Johns Wort. You can have the risk of developing a wide range of symptoms including changes in blood pressure and heart rate, confusion, stomach cramps, nausea, vomiting and in rare cases coma and death. If you are taking any medications that might make you drowsy, such as cold medications, avoid taking St. Johns Wort since this will make you even drowsier.

You can find many herbs at your local grocery.  Just remember that some herbs may interact with other herbs and medications that you may already be taking.

You can find many herbs at your local grocery. Just remember that some herbs may interact with other herbs and medications that you may already be taking.

If you have decided to pursue a career in herbalism and want to become a certified herbalist, look around your local area. Check out what your local universities have to offer. Even ask at your local B.O.C.E.S. They may offer a course in herbalism. If you know any herbalists in your area, you can ask him for advice on what programs to take. Check out the website It lists many onsite and distance learning herbalist schools.


This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and does not substitute for diagnosis, prognosis, treatment, prescription, and/or dietary advice from a licensed health professional. Drugs, supplements, and natural remedies may have dangerous side effects. If pregnant or nursing, consult with a qualified provider on an individual basis. Seek immediate help if you are experiencing a medical emergency.

© 2020 Lois Ryan


Dora Weithers from The Caribbean on January 13, 2020:

Great suggestion! Good way to improve one's own health and hel other people improve theirs. Thanks!

Lisa Jane from Washington on January 12, 2020:

I love this article. Thanks for an interesting and informative article. This is something that I will think about. I learned my knowledge of herbs from reading books but getting certified may be an option.

Lois Ryan (author) from Binghamton NY on January 12, 2020:

I too would have went to school for this. Most of my knowledge comes from books.

Susan from Dover Delaware on January 12, 2020:

Very interesting article. If I were younger I might try to go to school for it. I got interested in the use of diet and herbal remedies when the medical profession seems to fail me. Thank you for posting this.