Herbal Medicine Courses and Schools

Although Western medicine often favors medications developed by pharmaceutical companies, many people turn to herbal medicine either to supplement or replace these treatments. Keep reading for information about the field and the education options in herbal medicine. Schools offering Complementary & Alternative Health degrees can also be found in these popular choices.

What You Need to Know

People from cultures around the world have long relied on herbs and other natural substances as healing agents. Herbal medicine uses herbs combined in precise proportions to treat medical disorders ranging from joint stiffness to heart disease. While some school programs focus primarily on developing and using herbal medicines, others incorporate herbal medicines within a broader practice of naturopathy, acupuncture or conventional Western medicine.

Programs Certificate, Bachelor's, Master's, Doctorate
Courses Anatomy, organic chemistry, acupuncture points, menstrual health, neurological disorders, advanced herbs, environmental medicine
Online Options Degree programs are not commonly offered online, but certificates can be found 100% online

What Classes Will I Take?

Many individual courses provide a brief introduction to herbal medicine; courses included within a certificate or degree program take a more in-depth approach to their subjects. Specific course topics may include botanical studies, shiatsu, pain theories and meridian therapy. Programs in herbal medicine also frequently include classes in the history of herbal medicine and the role of herbal medicine in traditional Western medical practice. The classroom coursework goes along with rigorous clinical courses concentrated on developing herbal protocols for treatment of symptoms and disorders affecting cardiovascular, endocrine and other systems within the body. Here are some additional topics you might study:

  • Human behavior and self-care
  • Chinese herbal treatment of disease
  • Plant identification
  • Herbal formulas
  • Treatment plans

What Certificate Programs are Available?

Herbal medicine certificates are widely available. Students have the option of enrolling in a herbal studies post-baccalaureate certificate program, a graduate certificate program in herbal medicine or a traditional Chinese herbal medicine certificate program, among other options. Some of these programs may be designed for students who have already earned their certificate in acupuncture. Coursework may include toxicology in herbal supplements, nutrition and dietary therapy and Chinese herbology. Online programs exist, as do diploma programs, which are short-term much like certificate programs are. A few schools that offer these programs are as follows:

  • American College of Healthcare Sciences
  • Maryland University of Integrative Health
  • AOMA Graduate School of Integrative Medicine

What Degree Programs are Available?

Students have a variety of options when choosing a degree program in herbal medicine. Programs are offered at the undergraduate and graduate degree levels. You might decide on a bachelor's degree program in herbal sciences. Additionally, programs leading to a master's degree in traditional Chinese medicine and a doctorate in acupuncture and oriental medical are available. These programs are available at schools like the following:

  • American College of Traditional Chinese Medicine at California Institute of Integral Studies
  • Bastyr University
  • Oregon College of Oriental Medicine

To continue researching, browse degree options below for course curriculum, prerequisites and financial aid information. Or, learn more about the subject by reading the related articles below:

  • 1. Degree Options:
The schools in the listing below are not free and may include sponsored content but are popular choices among our users. Tuition and costs will vary across programs and locations. Be sure to always request tuition information before starting a program.

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