Becoming a Certified Herbalist

Certified Herbalists use plant and mineral-based remedies for health promotion and disease prevention. They guide the patients how to supplement their health needs with traditional herbs such as plant leaves, flowers, seeds, berries, bark or roots. They participate in all stages of the herbal medicine process from growth to the manufacturing of raw herbs. In addition, they may process one or more herbs into various products, such as pills, capsules, powders, or tinctures.

Certified Herbalists usually focus on one of three kinds of herbal medicines such as Western herbs, Chinese herbs and Indian Ayurvedic herbs.

These professionals can work independently or with naturopathic physicians or other alternative providers to treat patients and assist with the healing process. They may work as consultants, researchers, educators, producers of herbal products or authors of books and articles in herbal areas.

Educational Requirements

In USA, there is no uniform national educational standard to become a Certified Herbalist. It varies according to the certifying body. Some aspirants earn the Doctor of Naturopathy degree while other candidates obtain four-year of bachelor’s degree in botanical medicine. Herbal studies explore the knowledge of the human body as well as the effects of various plant extracts on bodily functions and healing.

Certified Herbalist aspirants can find training within several fields of holistic medicine, including Ayurveda, traditional Chinese medicine and western scientific botanical applications. Employers may prefer to hire candidates with cross-trained in other alternative therapy, such as acupuncture.


Certified Herbalists in USA can obtain exam-based certification from various organizations such as the East West School of Planetary Herbology, the National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, the American University of Complementary Medicine etc.

Skill Set

Apart from the clinical knowledge, Certified Herbalists possess various traits such as a great deal of knowledge in herbal formulas and supplements, ability to source raw herbal materials, understanding of human dietary needs, motivating and convincing abilities, understanding of patient assessment and diagnoses standards, excellent communication skills, computer skills to name a few.

Job Outlook and Salary

The job outlook for a Certified Herbalist remains excellent across the USA. According to U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), the growth rate for job opportunities in this profession may rise 20% during 2010-2020. The average annual salary of a Certified Herbalist was $ 43,920 in 2013.

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