How to become a Herbalist

  • Price: £5.99
  • Published: October 2015
  • Type: Business Opportunity Profile
  • Format: PDF
  • What qualifications and skills are required?
  • What are the key market issues and trends?
  • What are the main trading issues?
  • Legislation
  • Further information

Herbalists supply herbal remedies for a range of health conditions including infertility, impotence, depression, anxiety and other mental health problems, and to aid weight loss or improve general health and wellbeing. Some also supply herbal food supplements and cosmetics. Herbalism is not widely available through the NHS, and most patients pay for their treatment privately.

Herbal remedies must have a marketing authorisation (MA) or a traditional herbal registration (THR) from the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) before they can be placed on the market. However, an exception applies that allows herbalists to prepare and supply un-licensed herbal remedies following a one-to-one consultation with the patient (the herbalist exemption).

Herbalism is not statutorily regulated in the UK. However, herbalists who belong to a professional association such as the Association of Natural Medicine (ANM) or the Complementary Therapists Association (CThA) can register with the General Regulatory Council for Complementary Therapies (GRCCT), one of two voluntary regulators for the UK’s complementary and alternative medicine (CAM) sector. Although registration with the GRRCT is not mandatory, it demonstrates the herbalist's qualifications, training and professional standards. Herbalists can also join the National Institute of Medical Herbalists (NIMH), which is the leading professional association representing this type of CAM in the UK.

This profile provides information about starting up and trading as a herbalist. It describes the skills required, the training available, the current market trends and some of the key trading issues. It also explains the main legislation that must be complied with and provides sources of further information.

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