This course is intended to give students the necessary knowledge on Herbal Medicine which includes but is not limited to— basic knowledge of local herbs, therapeutic capabilities of certain herbs, proper preparation of herbal remedies, pharmacognosy, the right dosages & prescriptions, and especially which herbs can improve certain illnesses alongside the tried and tested formulas which make use of them.

Herbal medicine, also called botanical medicine or phytomedicine, is the use of any plant’s seeds, berries, roots, leaves, bark, or flowers for medicinal purposes. As modern research continues bringing herbal medicine into mainstream therapies, more and more research also shows its value in treating and preventing disease.

Through this course, students will go through the necessary information & herbal remedies that are successfully being used as part of professional clinical practice.

These are the specifications of Herbal Medicine Course:

1. Awarding Institution / Body:
2. Teaching Institution:Online and distance learning, with tutor support
3. Programme Accredited by:
4. Final Award:Compulsory course for students taking the Bachelor’s in Naturopathy and Holistic Medicine
5. Programme title:Herbal Medicine
6. Course Code and level:BNHM6013 – Bachelor Level
7. Duration of programme:One trimester or 12 weeks
8. Total number of study hours:Equivalent to 6 US credits or 60 clock hours of study
9. Enrollment requirements:Students enrolled in the Bachelors in Naturopathy and Holistic Medicine but also available to all students, of all academic backgrounds
10. Enrollment date:Second-year, First Trimester of Bachelor’s degree
11. Fees:


  1. LESSON 1 – A Brief History of Herbal Medicine
    • This lesson takes you through some of the fascinating histories of herbal medicine beginning from the oldest Chinese herbal practices more than 3,000 BC. Dioscorides (c. 40-c. 90) and Galen (131-200 A.D.), both Greek surgeons in the Roman army, compiled herbals that remained the definitive materia medica texts for 1500 years. You will also read about Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim, better known as Paracelsus (1493-1541), as well as the English herbalist Nicholas Culpeper (1616-1654). There are many illustrated examples from Greek physician Pedanius Dioscorides (c. 40-c. 90). There are many original historic documents that you can download in .pdf format and review their fascinating contents including the original Lloyd Brothers plant drug pamphlets (1897 to 1915), Samuel Thomson’s Materia Medica, and his book “A Guide to Health” written in 1848. Also Dr. Petersen’s 350-page book “Materia Medica and Clinical Therapeutics.” Also, the American herbalist Ellingwood’s 450-page book entitled “Ellingwood’s Therapeutist” is also available for download, written in 1914. There are also many videos to watch.
  2. LESSON 2 – Philosophy and Principles of Herbal Medicine
    • Looks at the main philosophical premises behind herbal medicine, where did it originate, how does it work, what are the risks and effectiveness as well as the clinical studies. The issue of standards and quality control is reviewed as well as the dangers of extinction. Also, the different ways in which we can understand the wide variety of herbs, including their chemical constituents and actions.
  3. LESSON 3 – Herbal Preparation and Dosages
    • This lesson covers the various herbal preparations such as powders, tinctures, extracts, infusions, boluses, compresses, poultices, baths, electuaries, ointments, oils, vinegar, salves, vapour inhalation, fresh and dried herbs, and how these are prepared. Also, dosages are discussed for various age groups as well as their routes of administration. There are also a number of videos to watch on how herbs are made.
  4. LESSON 4 – Herbal Materia Medica
    • Materia medica is a Latin medical term for the body of collected knowledge about the therapeutic properties of any substance used for healing. Simply put, Materia Medica is Latin for ‘Medical Material.’ The lesson covers the Materia Medica of over 90 herbs covering 350 pages of downloadable and printable material. The primary therapeutic actions of herbs are also provided in a searchable format and a materia medica for different body systems. There are also historical documents and books on Materia Medica used during last century as well as videos to watch.
  5. LESSON 5 – Herbal Pharmacognosy
    • Pharmacognosy is “the study of the physical, chemical, biochemical and biological properties of drugs, drug substances or potential drugs or drug substances of natural origin as well as the search for new drugs from natural sources.” This lesson looks at the origins of pharmacognosy and the primary and secondary actions of herbs, as well as the active chemical constituents. The chemical structure of flavonoids and anthocyanins, and their metabolism, bioavailability, and disease prevention are examined. There are also videos and other online resources.
  6. LESSON 6 – Herbalism Philosophy and Science
    • In this lesson, the concepts of health, ecological healing, allopathy, phytotherapy, co-evolutionary mutualism, controlled studies, and the science behind evaluating herbs are discussed.
  7. LESSON 7 – Classification of Medicinal Plants
    • Here the common ways in which plants are classified using the Linnaean system of classification are discussed, as well as the naming nomenclature used in modern herbal medicine.
  8. LESSON 8 – A Brief Introduction to Phytochemistry
    • This lesson will examine concepts such as normalizer and effector herbs, primary and secondary metabolism in plants, and various functional groups in phytochemistry and their structure and actions.
  9. LESSON 9 – Carbohydrates
    • This is the study of carbohydrates found in herbs – their classification, function, and therapeutic actions.
  10. LESSON 10 – Lipids
    • This lesson looks at the study of Lipids in plants, their function, structure, and therapeutic actions.
  11. LESSON 11 – Terpenes
    • This is the study of terpenes or isoprenoids, the largest group of plant metabolites. Their classification, general properties, function, pharmacological activity, toxicity, and therapeutic actions are examined in depth.
  12. LESSON 12 – Polyphenols
    • This lesson examines the polyphenols found in plants – their major functions, herbal activities, classification, pharmacology, and therapeutic potential.
  13. LESSON 13 – Pharmacology
    • This is deepening the topic of herbal pharmacognosy studied in lesson 5 and 8 and will examine the concepts of pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics, enzymes, up-regulation and down-regulation, bioavailability and biotransformation, oxidation, reduction, hydrolysis, and immunomodulation.
  14. LESSON 14 – Toxicity, Contraindications, and Safety
    • Examines the important issues of toxicity, safety, drug bioavailability, LD50, therapeutic index (TI), threshold effect as well as the safety of herb preparations.
  15. LESSON 15 – The Formulation and Preparation of Herbal Medicines
    • This lesson looks at the preparation of herbal medicines and the concepts of extraction, menstruum, marc, using the British Pharmacopoeia (BP), maceration, digestion, percolation, and other related material to correctly preparing a variety of herbal medicines.
  16. LESSON 16 – A Model of Holistic Herbal Medicine
    • This lesson discusses a model that can be used by the practitioner to identify and address a whole range of factors, from symptoms and pathology to constitutional differences and the whole body toning.
  17. LESSON 17 – The Digestive System
    • Here we examine the role that herbal medicine plays in the treatment of the digestive system, including the treatment of flatulence, constipation, diarrhoea, aphthous ulcers, periodontal disease, oesophagitis and gastro-oesophageal reflux (GERD), gastritis, peptic ulcer, hiatus hernia, functional dyspepsia, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis, jaundice, chronic hepatitis, viral hepatitis, cirrhosis, cholecystitis, cholelithiasis, and hemorrhoids.
  18. LESSON 18 – The Cardiovascular System
    • This lesson looks at European cardiovascular tonics and other herbs for the following cardiovascular problems: cholesterol, hypertension, arteriosclerosis, congestive heart failure, angina pectoris, peripheral arterial occlusive disease, and varicose veins.
  19. LESSON 19 – The Respiratory System
    • In this lesson, we examine how herbal medicine can be used in the treatment of respiratory diseases such as dyspnoea, cough, acute and chronic bronchitis, pertussis, asthma, emphysema, common cold, influenza, hay fever, sinusitis, laryngitis, and tonsillitis.
  20. LESSON 20 – The Nervous System
    • This lesson examines the use of herbal medicine nervines in the treatment of stress and neural diseases such as anxiety, acute and chronic stress, depression, insomnia, withdrawal from benzodiazepines, anorexia nervosa, headache, migraine, neuritis, tinnitus, motion sickness, and shingles.
  21. LESSON 21 – The Urinary System
    • Here we examine the use of herbs in the treatment of the urinary system for dysuria, haematuria, oedema, cystitis, and urinary calculi.
  22. LESSON 22 – The Reproductive System
    • In this lesson, we examine the herbs that can be used to treat the male and female reproductive system, such as amenorrhoea, dysmenorrhoea, premenstrual syndrome, menopause, morning sickness, threatened miscarriage and other complications in pregnancy, postpartum depression, mastitis, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, fibrocystic breast disease, and benign prostate hypertrophy.
  23. LESSON 23 – The Musculoskeletal System
    • Here we look at the role that herbal medicine plays in the treatment of rheumatic disease, arthritis, fibromyalgia, systemic lupus erythematosus, ankylosing spondylitis, gout, myalgia, osteoporosis, bursitis, tendinitis, and restless legs syndrome.
  24. LESSON 24 – The Skin
    • In this lesson, we will see how herbs can be used in the treatment of a variety of skin diseases such as eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, and acne.
  25. LESSON 25 – The Immune System
    • Here we examine the concepts of immunomodulation and immunostimulation and the phytotherapeutic approach to the immune system. These include immunodeficiency diseases, hypersensitivity reactions, autoimmune diseases, and general support protocols.
  26. LESSON 26 – The Endocrine System
    • In this lesson, we look at the role herbal medicine plays in balancing and treating the endocrine system such as hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, diabetes mellitus, and imbalances of the adrenal glands.
  27. LESSON 27 – Phytotherapy and the Elderly
    • Here is examined the effect herbs can play in toning and nurturing the health in elders, as well as the prevention and treatment of disease in elders.
  28. LESSON 28 – Phytotherapy and Children
    • Children can greatly benefit from herbal medicine in the treatment of a variety of childhood diseases such as measles, mumps, colic, constipation, diarrhoea, indigestion, nausea, otitis media, attention deficit disorder, diaper rash, cradle cap, and impetigo.
  29. LESSON 29 – Phytotherapy and Pregnancy
    • This lesson examines how certain herbs can help the birth process, including labour, while other herbs must be strictly avoided as they can cause miscarriages and other complications.
  30. LESSON 30 – Online Herbal Research
    • In this lesson, you will find a wide variety of resources that will enable you to research individual herbs and formulations in a lot more depth, as well as other herbal medicine topics.