The power of nature is undoubtedly very powerful when it comes to health improvement and healing. One of the ways this fact is reflected is in herbalism. More and more people are seeking solutions and healing for their body and mind in medicinal herbs, rather than rely completely upon conventional medicine.
In the course of this, many people would be looking to employ the services of herbalists who are suppose to know how to use natural plants to treat diseases and conditions. But unlike the medical profession, herbalism is not strictly regulated by law in many countries. This means that any one can practice as a herbalist without having any special qualification and certification.
However, if your aim is to find out which herbalists are qualified and credible to serve you appropriately, there a few things that you can pay attention to or inquire about regarding herbal practitioners. Although herbs are natural, they can still result in serious side-effects if used incorrectly. Therefore, it’s important that you find a qualified herbal practitioner to use their service.
Education And Training
Although by law as it stands in many countries anyone can work as a herbalist without formal certification, that doesn’t mean that all herbalists are quacks or charlatans. Many of them are actually highly trained and certified professionals. There are a number of accredited schools and courses that offer genuine and professional studies to help people train to become herbal experts.
Some herbalists may also practice as naturopathic physicians, who goes through and passes a series of rigorous exams in order to fulfill academic and clinical requirements similar to those of a medical doctor.
On the other hand, there are some herbalists who don’t possess professional education and recognized certification, but may be very skillful and credible due to their experience and knowledge in herbal practice.
Whether they possess professional education or not, it is important that a herbalist knows the right herbs that have a positive effect on the body and can combat illnesses and conditions. Not all herbs are suitable to be used as medicine, so the herbalist must have thorough knowledge about the safe use of herbalism.
He or she should understand the active ingredients of medicinal herbs and how to prepare and prescribe them for treating diseases and conditions. Different types of herbs possess properties that are used for treating specific medical conditions. For example, bitter substances are used for improving stomach-related issues, and they provide better digestion and absorption of nutrients.
A herbalist is suppose to have this kind of knowledge, and skilled in selecting the appropriate herbal formula for each individual. They should also know about common adverse reactions to some herbs. Certified medical herbalists are usually qualified to understand which herbs interact with conventional medicines.
Many trained herbal practitioners get registered with a recognised organisation who reviews professional qualifications, skills and experience before allowing membership and certification. Such organisations and their requirements vary in different countries.
In the UK NIMH (National Institute of Medical Herbalists) is the main organisation for medical herbal practitioners. Members of NIMH are required to complete a BSc degree in herbal medicine at an accredited college or university. Members also must carry out a continuing professional development programme to ensure that they maintain a high standard of practice.
In the US recognized organizations who review and register herbal practitioners includes The American Herbalists Guild (AHG), The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM) and The Natural Healing College Master Herbalist & Holistic Health Practitioner.