The world is riddled with health problems, and when it comes to solutions, conventional medicine isn't the only option. For many reasons, the shift to more holistic healing methods is growing and research is stacking up on the benefits of herbal medicine. This growing interest means that the essential role of a herbal healer is more important than ever before. 

Whether you're interested in becoming a great herbal healer or if you want to incorporate herbal medicine into your own life, we've got all the information you need to get started.

What Is an Herbal Healer?

Herbs

A herbal healer is a person who studies herbal medicine. Herbal medicines are natural, plant-based materials with healing properties. Herbal medicine is powerful and can be used to heal an array of illnesses and boost overall health.

Although anyone can learn about herbal medicine, implement it in their own lives, and reap its enormous benefits, becoming a practicing herbalist involves a little more.

Becoming a Herbal Healer

If you want to become a practicing herbalist that recommends healing advice to others, you have to go through recognized training to make you an expert in your field. Because of the innumerable benefits of herbal medicine, the practice of herbalism is growing, so there are many courses and diplomas you can receive from universities and other educational facilities.

But before we get into the details and benefits of herbal medicine, let's look at some tips on becoming a successful herbal healer.

Enhance Your Herbal Knowledge

Books about natural medicine

Just like in most things, you can't just jump into the role of herbal healing. Actually, before you take courses, it's important to dig into the topic on your own. Educate yourself on understanding not just herbalism, but other botanical components too.

Earn Recognized Training

As we mentioned before, your herbal healer practice can be casual or formal; it's your call. But, if you're aiming for a more formal practice, you'll have to go through some training. To become a professional herbalist, with credentials, you'll have to sign up for courses and even go as far as earning a degree.

Before signing up for coursework, it's important to know the work you put in will be accepted by peer-reviewed organizations like:

  • The American Herbalists Guild, Registered Herbalist designation
  • The National Certification Commission for Acupuncture and Oriental Medicine, Diplomat in Oriental Medicine (NCCAOM), or Diplomat in Chinese Herbology (NCCAOM) designation
  • The Natural Healing College Master Herbalist and Holistic Health Practitioner
  • National Institute of Medical Herbalists

Pick the Right Location  

Location is a big part of becoming a successful herbal healer. Choosing where you practice herbal medicine can be a huge component of your success. While the easiest option might be staying right where you are, it's important to look into the places where your life as an herbal healer can thrive.

Join a Partnership 

various herbal medicines

Once you've got your training out of the way, starting a herbal medicine business, like any business can be expensive and challenging. One option to help reduce the load of starting out as a new herbal healer is by initially practicing with other herbal healers.

Starting an herbal medicine practice on your own can run from $5,000 to $10,000, and you might not see profits until three years after opening your doors. Joining a partnership can lower these costs for you and also provide added support and bring in more client referrals.  

Be Prepared

Unfortunately, we live in a world where you always have to stay protected. So, for your herbal healer career, make sure you look into all the right insurance. You'll want both malpractice insurance and general liability insurance. And, if you plan on practicing from the comfort of your home, look into your local municipalities zoning codes.

Now that we've covered what a herbal healer is and some tips on how to become one, let's look into the origin of herbal medicine and what keeps it relevant today.

What Part of the Population Uses Herbs and Why?

Herbal medicine is used all over the world, and herbal healers have been using the remedies of plants to heal others since ancient times. Herbal medicine has been effective for such a long time that written records date it back to over 5,000 years ago. Back then, it's believed one of the earliest civilizations, the Sumerians, were the first recorded people to practice herbal medicine.

While the ancient Sumerians are linked to the first written record of herbal medicine use, herbal medicine has its roots in almost every ancient civilization. Although herbal medicine has ancient roots, today, it's still relevant; In fact, this is true maybe even more than ever before.

Modern Herbal Medicine

Some popular herbal medicine practices that are still present in the world today are Ayurvedic medicine and traditional Chinese medicine. Both practices believe in health over treatment. This means that these practices focus on the healing powers of herbs to boost overall health, instead of treating specific symptoms; they believe all illness comes from imbalances in the body. But, that doesn't mean that herbal medicine can't spot treat as well.

Herbal medicine is also still strongly present in other parts of the world today. In fact, a staggering 80 percent of people all around the world rely on herbal medicine for some percentage of their primary health care. And today, the market for herbal products is close to $60 billion, and more money continues to be invested to finding the best herbs.

So, what's keeping herbal medicine relevant today? Well, for starters, natural plant medicine interests in the United States are rising because of the high cost and hefty side effects of prescription medications. But, all around the world, there are plenty of other herbal medicine benefits.

Main Benefits of Herbal Medicine

Herbs

There are many benefits to using herbs to both treat ailments and maintain overall good health.  Here are the main reasons.

Affordability 

Modern conventional medicine can be pricey. From doctors visits to prescriptions, the bills can really rack up. One great benefit of herbal medicine is that it's far more cost effective than conventional medicine, yet, you still get powerful remedies.

Easy Access

Herbs, including extracts, teas, and essential oils are usually available for purchase by anyone in health food stores and online. This means you can skip the process of getting a prescription and the unpleasant pharmacy lines too.

While herbal medicine might be easier to access, it's important to use high-quality products. As a herbal healer, you'll always want to recommend the purest and safest herbal medicines.

Natural Healing Powers

The healing power of herbal medicine just naturally exists. In fact, the herbs are so abundant that many conventional medicines also include them. When you use pure herbal medicines, you're reducing the negative side effects and treating your body the way nature intended.

What Plant Parts Are Used?

herbal medication

As an herbal healer, or just an herbal medicine enthusiast, it's important to understand what parts of the plant are used for their medicinal properties. For treating diseases and relieving ailments, the plant's seeds, leaves, bark, roots, and flowers can be used.

Due to each plants' unique nature, for different plants, different parts may be more potent and effective. Other than parts of the plant that are used, there are a few more factors important to the quality of an herb. The environment where the plant grew, the way it was harvested, and how it was processed all impact the beneficial potency of an herb. Mostly, herbal medicine can be purchased as either a raw herb or as an extract.

7 Most Popular Healing Herbs and What They Treat

There are so many herbs all over the world, and they each have multiple amazing benefits. As an herbal healer, a big part of your job is understanding different herbs and what specific ailments they can be used to treat. Plus, you should understand how ailments relate to each other and how herbal medicine can promote overall health.

To get you started, we've got seven of the most powerful herbs, and what they can be used for, right here.

Raw Garlic

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If you're into herbal medicine, you've probably heard about the beneficial properties of raw garlic. Raw garlic is packed with nutrients such as flavonoids, selenium, allicin, oligosaccharides, and sulfur. These properties make consuming raw garlic great for:

  • Combating inflammation
  • Treating diabetes
  • Regulating blood pressure
  • Enhancing the immune system
  • Fighting cardiovascular disease
  • Easing allergies 
  • Treating fungal and bacterial infections 
  • Improving hair loss

Turmeric 

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Turmeric has been a part of herbal medicine for a long time, so it definitely deserves its spot on this list. Dating back to uses from over 4,000 years ago, this herb has continually proven its effectiveness. In fact, today there are over 3,000 publications mentioning the benefits of turmeric.

So what's it good for? Because of its antioxidant-rich, anti-inflammatory, antimutagenic, anticarcinogenic, and antibacterial properties, turmeric has many benefits. Here are some of the most effective:

  • Reducing inflammation 
  • Preventing blood clotting and reducing existing clots
  • Relieving arthritis symptoms
  • Managing diabetes 
  • Aiding in cholesterol regulation 
  • Easing gastrointestinal issues 
  • Reducing depression 
  • Preventing and fights cancer

Ginger

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While you might most commonly know ginger as a compliment to sushi, or as a great drink for easing stomach issues, ginger has many other uses. Ginger has strong antioxidant and antibacterial properties, bringing with it many benefits. An herbal healer can use ginger for these benefits: 

  • Relieving nausea and indigestion 
  • Reducing pain 
  • Preventing malabsorption 
  • Fighting fungal and bacterial infections 

Plus the functional ingredients in ginger such as gingerol, paradols, and shogaol can even help prevent cancer growth.

Ginseng 

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Ginseng is a great herb historically used by Native American herbalists, and it's been expansively used in Asia and North America for hundreds of years. Native Americans were known to use ginseng to reduce headaches, as a stimulant, and to treat infertility, fever, and indigestion. Today, an herbal healer can use ginseng for:

  • Assisting in weight loss
  • Improving immune support 
  • Reducing stress 
  • Lowering blood sugar levels 
  • Enhancing lung function 
  • Reducing Inflammation 
  • Treating sexual dysfunction 

St. John's Wort 

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An over 2,000-year-old natural remedy, St. John's Wort is great for any herbal healer. It gets its effectiveness from the production of dozens of biologically active substances. This herbal medicine can be used for: 

  • Relieving depression 
  • Reducing PMS symptoms 
  • Improving mood 
  • Relieving skin irritations 
  • Fighting inflammation 
  • Helping with obsessive-compulsive disorder 

Ginkgo Biloba 

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Number six on our herbal healer top remedies list has a strange name and its nickname, maidenhair, gets none less strange. Regardless, this herb has tons of healing properties and has been used for thousands of years in ancient Chinese medicine. Today's research shows it can be used for: 

  • Boosting cognitive function 
  • Enhancing concentration 
  • Improving memory 
  • Reducing risks of Alzheimer's and dementia
  • Combating anxiety and depression 
  • Maintaining eye health and vision 
  • Increasing libido
  • Fighting fibromyalgia 
  • Reducing ADHD symptoms 

Aloe Vera 

Aloe Vera

Whether you're training to be a herbal healer or not, this item is one you've most likely heard of, especially if you've ever suffered a sunburn. But, the healing powers of aloe vera go beyond sunburn relief.

With roots in both traditional Indian and Chinese medicine, this herb has been around for a long time. This is no surprise when you consider that Aloe Vera, in one plant, contains 20 of the 22 amino acids that humans require and all eight essential amino acids.

Today, it still packs a powerful punch with its antiseptic, anti-inflammatory, antifungal, and antiviral properties. It can be used for:

  • Relieving rashes and skin irritations 
  • Treating burns 
  • Treating cold sores 
  • Moisturizing skin, hair, and scalp 
  • Reducing inflammation 
  • Relieving constipation, irritable bowel syndrome, and other indigestion issues 
  • Preventing fungal infection 

Conclusion

Herbal medicine is nothing new. Powerful plants have been used across different cultures around the world since ancient times. Herbal medicine has so many benefits and is so effective that it continues to grow in popularity today. With seemingly endless benefits, powerful plants can be used to ease almost any ailment, without the monetary burden or side effects that come with prescription medication.

If you are interested in becoming an herbal enthusiast, you will have support from millions in a more modern practice providing medicinal help to the world through a practice with ancient roots. Whatever your reason for interest in herbal medicine, now you have a good understanding and jump off point to get started.

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