Medical Herbalist

Job Description:

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

Job Category:
Health Care & Social Assistance

What you will do:

As part of your day-to-day duties, you may:

  • take a detailed history of the client’s symptoms and lifestyle
  • carry out a physical assessment and appropriate tests
  • prescribe a relevant herbal remedy
  • grow and prepare herbs in various forms, including capsules, extracts, ointments or infusions
  • keep client notes
  • see clients for follow-up appointments
  • refer clients to their GP where necessary


You’ll need:

  • knowledge of biology, human physiology, and anatomy
  • knowledge of psychology
  • acupunture methods
  • counselling skills including active listening and a non-judgemental approach
  • to be able to carry out basic tasks on a computer or hand-held device

As well as:

  • sensitivity and understanding
  • to be thorough and pay attention to detail (organisational skills)
  • thinking and reasoning skills
  • excellent verbal communication skills (leadership skills)
  • the ability to understand people’s reactions
  • emotional intelligence & ethical behaviour
Illustration of employee looking at workspace

Entry Requirements:

To become a medical herbalist, you’ll typically need to pursue higher education and specialized training in herbal medicine. While there are no specific subject requirements for this field, it’s important to have a strong foundation in science and related subjects to prepare for further education in herbal medicine. Here’s a general list of subjects that can be beneficial:

  1. Biology (Recommended): Biology provides a fundamental understanding of living organisms and natural processes, which is relevant to herbal medicine and healthcare in general.
  2. Chemistry (Recommended): Chemistry can be useful for understanding the chemical properties of plants and their active compounds, which play a role in herbal medicine.
  3. Physics (Optional): While not directly related to herbal medicine, physics can enhance your scientific knowledge and problem-solving skills.
  4. Mathematics (Required): Mathematics is typically required for most higher education programs, including those in herbal medicine. It’s important for data analysis and scientific calculations.
  5. English Language (Communication Skills): Strong communication skills, including English language proficiency, are important for patient interactions, documentation, and research in herbal medicine.

Post School

You can get into this job through:

  • a university course


To prepare for work as a medical herbalist, you should complete a degree in herbal medicine.

Courses last 3 years full time or 5 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.


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

Working Hours and Environment:

A typical week consists of 37-39 hours of work. You could be required to work freelance/be self-employed managing your own hours.

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

Career Path & Progression:

With experience you could move into teaching or research.