Studying herbal medicine
Herbal medicine is hugely popular, both throughout history and nowadays, as the status quo of self-care and healthcare developments. Studying herbal medicine can bring many joys – from the knowledge of plants and how they work in the human body to the understanding of human physiology and how we find health and wellbeing in our natural world.
In this course you will learn about the herbs themselves with monograph tasks. You will learn as much as you can about a given herb and present that learning (with drawings, pictures, thoughts and facts) in a monograph. You also have the opportunity to make medicines from the herbs and test the herbs in your own home as we go through the course. You are encouraged to do as much outside, experiential work as you can manage – from sitting with a hawthorn tree studying its botany or listening to the tree to tasting a cup of chamomile tea and trying to figure out its constituents.
While studying you will also learn about the role of herbal medicines throughout history and in different parts of the world – for example, how Ayurveda works in comparison and contrast to modern day herbalism. This is to inspire you to explore the great wide world of herbal medicine and find out which parts you may really enjoy.
Studying herbalism at this level will enable you to make and use basic herbal medicines for yourself and your family or friends. It can help you to safely prescribe some basic herbs in your practice should you be, for example, a nutritionist or a naturopath.
You will also learn about lifestyle factors and the role of nutrition and diet within the realm of herbalism and how herbs affect health and nutrition. In fact, diet is one of the foundations of herbal medicine and you will see how a herbalist uses information about dietary intake to assess the patient and determine which herbs might be indicated. You will learn that herbalism is as much an art as a science and begin to understand how to blend herbs and administer them.
Medicine making is a big part of herbalism and this course will teach phytochemistry, materia medica and medicine making so you can identify, understand and use herbs growing commonly around. You will learn how to make different types of remedies to suit different kinds of people and ailments.
We will look at the physiological systems of the body and see how to apply herbs any why. There are many different ways of using herbs and many to choose from and this course will help you to see which herbs can be used in certain conditions and ailments and why. All basic systems of the body are covered, for exampe cardiovascular, nervous system etc.
Plant medicine works on many different levels and so can be applied in different ways. This is something that orthodox medicine struggles with. Often people in the west come to herbalism because they’ve tried orthodox methods, but they are not finding health. Others come because they have always had a leaning towards more natural treatment. Still, herbalism isn’t easy to standardise, as the whole plant medicine (as opposed to extracted constituents) seems to work differently on the body in different people. For example, some people react to St. John’s wort with tears and sadness while others applaud its uplifting qualities. It is because of this that scientific research is limited. However, there is research on plants that is readily available – it must be critiqued but we can learn so much from a blend of traditional and scientific knowledge.
By studying herbal medicine you will find that you have the tools to enable you to choose how to further develop your health or plant studies, and you will be well equipped to use basic herbal remedies in the home.
We hope you enjoy the course and getting to know the plants and the amazing remedies they each hold.