Medical

Medical herbalist

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

Annual Salary

variable

Average UK salary in 2018 was £29,588
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

37 to 39 variable

You could work: freelance / self-employed; managing your own hours

6%
Future employment

There will be 6% more Medical herbalist jobs in 2024.
In your local area

What's it all about?

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.

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
For more information
Volunteering and work 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.

With experience you could move into teaching or research.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

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
  • the ability to understand people’s reactions
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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