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About ICH Programs

To ensure that a student is receiving a complete and in-depth education in the practice of Chinese medical herbalism, we have developed the following programs. You may register for one of the programs below and receive a Certificate of Completion after successfully completing all coursework. In order to qualify for the Certified Herbalist Certificate from ICH you must complete the entire series of courses listed below.

Note: Health professionals who have a background in Chinese Herbology may be able to skip some courses in the Comprehensive Herbalist Training (Program One) depending on their knowledge of Chinese Herbology. Please call or email us if you have any questions as to whether your background qualifies you to skip any courses.

Program One

Comprehensive Herbology Training

120 hours

Program Two

Advanced Herbalist Training

132 hours

Program Three

Clinical Herbalist Training

Approx. 100 hrs

The above times do not include study hours; this could easily add an additional 200 hrs. Students can work at their own pace, there is no time limit to complete these courses.

The Certified Herbalist Certificate you receive from ICH confirms that you have completed a high-level course of training in Chinese medical theory and herbal formulation. You can now consider yourself a Certified Herbalist who is able to effectively diagnose and prescribe herbal formulas in accordance with the principles of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Concerning State Licensing for Herbalists

At this time, no state has authorized separate licensing for practicing herbalists. After graduating from the Institute of Chinese Herbology, you can put your education to work for you immediately because herbs are not generally mentioned in the statutes in state acupuncture laws; these laws specifically state that although an acupuncturist is licensed to “prescribe the use of … nutrition, including the incorporation of drugless substances and herbs as dietary supplements to promote health.” “Nothing in this section shall be construed to prohibit any person who does not possess an acupuncturist’s license from … prescribing the use of… nutrition [including “drugless substances and herbs”] … to promote health, so long as such activities are not performed or prescribed in connection with the practice of acupuncture (or by implication the practice of medicine). ”

The only real concern is whether or not one is practicing medicine without a license. We teach you what you can say about your patient’s health in terms of disease or medical advice using Traditional Chinese Medicine terminology. It is not using herbs that are at issue but diagnosing a western named disease and suggesting a treatment, without having a medical license issued from the state you practice in.

There are thousands of herbalists practicing in America and Europe. In the West, Herbalists have been accepted as healers for hundreds of years. In China, herbalists have been the mainstay of the medical healing arts for thousands of years.

Acupuncture School and Licensing – You can now receive credit for ICH courses.

Through a special arrangement with the Phoenix Institute of Herbal Medicine and Acupuncture (PIHMA) in Arizona, students who complete the ICH program qualify to “test out” and receive credit for their work. Students wishing to use ICH education in conjunction with other acupuncture schools: please contact your school to determine if they will allow you to transfer credits. This can shorten the time you need to spend in acupuncture school and lower your educational fees.