Herbal medicine involves the use of plant-based supplements to prevent and treat illnesses or simply ease the symptoms of those conditions. Herbal medicine may come in the form of powders, pills, topical creams, or tinctures. Although some of these supplements have been used for centuries, the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) doesn't regulate them using the same standards as over-the-counter drugs. Instead, the FDA classifies them as food products. With that in mind, it's important to note that not all herbal supplements are suitable for everyone. In fact, some may have harmful side effects or interact with over-the-counter medications.
Learning about herbal medicine can put you on track to becoming a clinical herbalist. You'll consult with patients one-on-one and recommend supplements that might alleviate their symptoms. You can also use your education to pursue a career as a holistic health educator. The position involves educating others about the pros and cons of various natural treatments and making suggestions. You can also aim to become an aromatherapist, a job that involves creating oil blends that might help clients relax.
Online herbal medicine courses will introduce you to the history of herbalism and the ways in which different cultures have traditionally approached the field. You'll also learn how to assess which herbal remedies may offer relief in patients. Lessons may cover other alternative healing and pain-relief methods, including mindfulness and guided imagery. Herbal medicine is often intended to supplement other medical treatments, so some courses focus on how to work with patients and other healthcare providers to come up with safe and integrative plans. Flexible deadlines and easy access to course materials allow you to fit these classes into your personal schedule.