A question that is frequently asked regarding titles in the American herb community:
Do the herbal studies offered at your school make me a Certified Herbalist?
Currently, there is no legal or official certification of herbalists or herbalism in the USA. Some schools and organizations offer a certificate upon completion of their programs. These certificates have meaning only to the giver or receiver of the paper.
The certification label is often used for marketing purposes and is not an indication (either good or bad) of the quality of one’s education.
What this means is that anyone can call themselves a Certified or Registered herbalist. Some even take the title Master Herbalist. These are simply words and can mean whatever you want them to mean.
Because of this ambiguity, it is always good to learn some of the background of herbal instructors:
~How long have they been working with plant medicine?
~Who have they studied with?
~Which traditions have influenced them?
~Is their training from a book, a video class, in the field, clinical?
These answers will mean much more than any certificate. If you would like to know more about my background and training, there is more information at http://www.theforagerspath.com/about-our-school/.
Being certified in Traditional Chinese Medicine or Naturopathic Medicine is different. The training involved is similar to western medical school in length, cost and commitment. Depending on the state, official certification is possible in these fields.
The Forager’s Path School of Botanical Studies is about empowering people to learn how to live healthy lives and to take responsibility for their own health. The emphasis is on training Community Herbalists. These are people who share plants, plant knowledge and healing skills with others in their families, neighborhoods and communities.
While we include the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine and Indian Ayurvedic healing, we also emphasize bio-regional herbs and edible plants of the Colorado Plateau and the American Southwest. The information shared is a combination of practical and theoretical. As much as possible, we try to be outdoors, with the plants, growing, tasting, harvesting, creating our own green pharmacy and applying the new skills.