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When Charlie was first diagnosed with diabetes, he was placed on medication and a diet by his family physician. Still, he was looking for a more natural way to control the disease rather than taking conventional medicine. He consulted an herbalist, who put together a remedy that included all-natural herbs and spices. After six months, he was controlling the disease through the herbs, diet, and exercise and was off the conventional medicine.

More people are seeking the help of alternative medicine to help them overcome pain and disease. Herbalists are people who study the impact herbs and natural plants have on the body and mind. An herbalist may also be called an aromatherapist, herbal therapist, or ethnobotanist. If you have an interest in herbs and their remedies, you might be a candidate to become an herbalist.

There is no national accreditation procedure in the United States for an herbalist. Depending at which level of herbalist you wish to practice, you might only be required to have a GED or high school diploma to enter an herbology school. Some schools, depending on the level of herbalist, may require you to have an associate's or bachelor's degree. In the case of an acupuncturist, who is also an herbalist, you may need to attend a medical acupuncture school.

What Classes Should I Expect to Complete to Become an Herbalist?
To become an herbalist without any level of medical practice, you can expect to complete an herbalist program in a matter of a few months. Some schools have campuses where you can physically attend herbalist courses and some schools have online learning programs.

Some of the courses you can expect to complete before becoming a certified herbalist through your chosen school are: diets, health and herbs, the properties of herbs, internal and external preparations, principles of administering herbs, important herb identification, main herbs to know and use, massage and reflexology and herbs, common ailments and herbology, basic anatomy and physiology, dangerous herbs, your state regulations regarding authority to heal, growing herbs, cooking with herbs, and herbal formulations.

You may also be required to complete projects before graduating as an herbalist. These projects might include: herbals baths, herbal teas, infusions, liniments, tinctures, herbal oils, taste identification, spouting seeds, growing plants, cough syrup, powered herbal blends, capsules, salves, smudging, cooking, and handling herbs.

Most herbalists are self-employed, so once you complete a program at an herbalist school, you might consider taking some business or entrepreneurial courses to help you on your new path. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics does not track the profession of herbalist or income possibilities. However, the BLS does say that the demand for alternative medicine practitioners is expected to grow in the next decade.

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