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Degree Overview: Certificate Programs for Master Herbalists and Chinese Herbal Medicine

Majors Overview October 26, 2017

This article talks about certificate programs for master herbalists and Chinese herbal medicine and their coursework, career options, and job and wage outlook.

Overview of Certificate Programs for Master Herbalists and Chinese Herbal Medicine

Aspiring master herbalists cannot avail any official certification; however, a master herbalist graduate certificate may be earned by them by enrolling in programs specifically devised for students who hold bachelor’s degrees in a related field. The focus of coursework may be on medical-based use or secular practice. Students may become adept at cooking with a variety of herbs and identifying applications for different plants.

While training in western herbology is available at the majority of schools, postgraduate certificate programs are offered by others, with a focus on Chinese herbal medicine.

Certificate Programs for Master Herbalists

Students learn the techniques necessary for becoming a master herbalist through a certificate program in medical herbalism or a certificate program for master herbalists. Students obtain a strong grasp of traditional and modern herbal knowledge along with applicable techniques.

Some programs focus on offering assistance to students with the integration of their studies into their day-to-day affairs; in others, students apply the knowledge gained to healthcare-related situations. Students can easily take these programs along with other related programs.

Admission criteria typically require incoming students to hold a bachelor’s degree, usually in subject areas such as culinary arts, horticulture, environmental sustainability or health.

The emphasis of herbalist programs is on the safe use of natural herbs, along with the simultaneous encouragement of dosage efficacy and promotion of product quality. Students enrolled in many courses learn about using herbal supplements or remedies every day, primarily in cooking. In some programs, seasonal usage is promoted, and students learn about rotating herbal intake in accordance with the changing climate and time of year.

Coursework

Program coursework involves the study of scientific research methods, herbs, and healthcare-related subject areas. Students attending herbology classes learn about selecting, planting and preparing herbal remedies. Students research plants and use the scientific method to create additional remedies. The focus of healthcare-related classes is on the use of medically sound herbal techniques and knowledge when they treat illness. Students learn about the types of herbs to use, and the frequency of use, in promoting wellness or treating a disease. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Plant identification and uses
•Phytochemistry
•Cooking with healthy herbs
•Herbs as Medicine
•Herbal research

Certificate Programs in Chinese Herbal Medicine

Enrollees in this certificate program learn about traditional and modern Chinese herbal remedies. A current acupuncturist licensure is compulsory in some states before a prospective student can apply for admission to the program. Programs are postgraduate and consequently, incoming students are expected to have a bachelor’s degree in a relevant field.

Coursework

Program coursework is devised to impart expertise in diagnosing illnesses and promoting healing through the preparation of herbal medications or implementation of therapeutic techniques. Schools encourage students to practice their skills at therapeutic centers, local clinics, and stores. A study abroad option in China is offered to program enrollees. Core coursework may cover topic areas such as:

•Botany
•Herbal therapy
•Medical applications
•Drugs and herb interactions

Career Options

Varying by the program’s focus, which could be either wellness promotion or a medical basis, program graduates are allowed to begin careers at health clubs and herbal medicine clinics. Alternately, they may choose to run their clinics or herbal remedy stores. They may choose from possible career options such as:

•Natural remedies consultant
•Herbal remedies researcher
•Herbal store owner
•Wellness Guide
•Herbal supplements vendor

Job and Wage Outlook

In May 2012, 30,590 individuals were employed as health diagnosing and treating practitioners in the United States and earned an average annual wage of $84,800 (U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics). Their main employers were hospitals, the federal government, and offices of other practitioners.

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