Are there colleges that offer majors such as Phytotherapy or Herbalism?

Question by Momo: Are there colleges that offer majors such as Phytotherapy or Herbalism?
I’m a senior in high school and am fascinated by botany and things like Chinese herbology. I’m looking into the field of medicine, but as far as I’ve seen I can’t find any colleges that offer medical related majors on plants.

Botany majors are common, but I’m more interested in the medicine part of botanical medicine, then the broad biology focus of it. (I’m aware, though, that the biology part is important as well)

Are there any colleges that offer such degrees? Any help is appreciated!

Best answer:

Answer by Shah
Bastyr University

Keystone Technical Institute

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  1. There are a lot of worthless colleges offering bogus degrees in “herbalism”. The entire business of “herbalism” is shot through with quackery, fraud, scam, delusion, and gourd-shaking mumbo-jumbo.

    The real, respectable study of herbs is called “Pharmocognosy”, and it is done at a Master’s and PhD level.

    Bastyr “University” is indeed a leader in crackpot “alternative medicine”.

  2. There are a few. As Shah said, Bastyr University is well respected for herbalism.

    You can also look at SWIHA. I have an Associates in Holistic Healthcare specializing in Western Herbalism. The woman that founded the program is well regarded in the herbal community – people move across the country to take herbalism classes from her. She also teaches at Southwest College of Naturopathic Medicine (SCNM). I’ve heard from several students that she’s better than the main herbalist over there.

    Unfortunately, there are few articulation agreements in place with SWIHA to continue after the associates so the credits don’t transfer easily. (They do transfer, just not easily.) If you decide to go to SWIHA, you’ll need to be aware of that fact or dual enroll with the community college so that you meet the requirements of the next institute you want to attend.

    Phoenix also has PIHMA, which is an accredited TCM school. And they have an agreement so that you can do dual enrollment with PIHMA and SCNM.

    One thing to be aware of is that most herbal programs will not give you enough experience to call yourself a clinical herbalist. They’ll get you half way. You’ll need to find an herbalist to mentor with on your own. They will give you enough to practice with, just not call yourself a clinical herbalist. (Bastyr might. I don’t know much about it except it’s well regarded.)

    Good luck.