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How to become a Herbalist

Written by Nikki Darrell

There are many things to think about when training in herbalism, and this article guides you on what to look for to make sure you get the most out of your training.

There is a growing interest in herbs, herbalism and plant medicine in general. More and more articles appear in the media and on social media, including some ads that pop up claiming to fully train herbalists from £50.00 and in alarmingly short periods of time. It takes time to become a herbalist and even when the training is completed it is a continuing process of life long discovery and learning.

A plant science professor friend said to me that herbalists are rather unique since we have cross disciplinary learning covering plant sciences, human , clinical knowledge as well as understanding the philosophy of healing. We are a quite unusual people in these times of reductionist and specialist trainings. The interdisciplinary art and science of herbalism gives a worldview that is most valuable for the times we live in.

In this article we will explore the journey to becoming a herbalist practitioner.

“There are people and plants who form part of the  herbal network or web as the mycorrhizal network underpinning the world of plant medicine, and the clinical professional herbalists are like the fruiting bodies that pop up and help to spread and extend the web.” – Andrew Flower

The herbal network includes growers, wildcrafters, manufacturers, educators, historians, researchers, chefs and cooks, scientists, lifelong enthusiasts and also the practitioners. Without the mycelium and supporting biome the practitioners would not come into being.

With such a diverse ecosystem, there are many ways to be part of it and many paths to be explored and some people decide they do indeed want to become practitioners.

Nikki Darrell is a herbalist, botanist and aromatherapist. She has a degree in horticulture and plant science and was a scientist researching phytochemistry, plant and tissue culture for 5 years. She then trained as a herbalist and practised massage therapy, and has set up a 2 year botanical medicine apprenticeship for people who wish to learn community medicine. She is also the author multiples books including "Conversations with Plants" Volume 1+2.

Nikki Darrell

Nikki Darrell is a herbalist, botanist and aromatherapist. She has a degree in horticulture and plant science and was a scientist researching phytochemistry, plant and tissue culture for 5 years. She then trained as a herbalist and practised massage therapy, and has set up a 2 year botanical medicine apprenticeship for people who wish to learn community medicine. She is also the author multiples books including "Conversations with Plants" Volume 1+2.

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