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Medical

Medical herbalist

Medical herbalists use plants and herbal remedies to help improve their clients' health and wellbeing.

Annual Salary

variable

Average UK salary in 2022 was £33,200
(source Office for National Statistics)

Working hours

37 to 39 variable

You could work: freelance / self-employed; managing your own hours

3.8%
Future employment

There will be 3.8% more Medical herbalist jobs in 2027.

Day to day tasks

As a medical herbalist, you may:

  • take a detailed history of your client's symptoms and lifestyle
  • carry out a physical assessment and tests
  • prescribe an appropriate course of herbal treatment
  • grow herbs and prepare them, including capsules, extracts, ointments or infusions
  • keep accurate client records
  • refer clients to their GP where necessary

Working environment

You could work in a therapy clinic or at a client's home.

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course
University

To prepare for work as a medical herbalist, you can complete a degree level course in herbal medicine approved by the National Institute of Medical Herbalists.

Courses last 3 years full time or 4 to 6 years part time and include at least 500 hours of supervised clinical practice with patients.

If you're a trained medical practitioner like a doctor or nurse, you could take a postgraduate degree in herbal medicine.

Entry requirements

You'll usually need:

  • 2 or 3 A levels, or equivalent, including biology for a degree
  • a degree in a relevant subject for postgraduate study
For more information
Volunteering and work experience

You'll find it useful to arrange some work shadowing with a practising medical herbalist before you begin your studies.

Requirements and restrictions

You'll need to:

More information

Career tips

Some training providers offer short courses in herbal medicine, which give you the opportunity to learn more about the subject and to see if it's a career you want to get into.

Further information

There is currently no statutory regulation for medical herbalists.

You can find out more about how to become a medical herbalist from the National Institute of Medical Herbalists.

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With experience you could move into teaching or research.

Skills required and how your skills match up

What skills are required?

You'll need:

  • knowledge of biology
  • sensitivity and understanding
  • knowledge of psychology
  • counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills
  • the ability to understand people’s reactions
  • knowledge of medicine and pharmacology
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device
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