Discovering Herbal Medicine

This one-year, distance-learning Course is an in-depth introduction to medicinal plants, their properties and uses. The Course is designed according to the systems of the body, for example the immune system or the nervous system. So, in dealing with the immune system, the student is taken through the physiology and anatomy of the immune defences and the pathological changes that this system undergoes in disease. Following on, a section on diagnosis allows the student to distinguish between minor ailments and more serious health problems affecting the immune system and this leads to the Materia Medica section, where the application of specific herbs to promote immunity are discussed. The overall philosophy of using plant-based medicine to support health is also given plenty of attention.

The DHM Course has had wide appeal. Past students have ranged from a teenager to a 78-year-old pensioner. It has also been appreciated by GPs and other health professionals and it is a particularly valuable “jumping off” point for those aspiring to become herbal practitioners. Indeed, several successful practitioners have started their herbal journey with this Course. Until recently, BSc Herbal Medicine courses were available in several UK Universities and completion of the DHM Course was accepted as qualification for entry to these programmes. It was a route by which mature students without conventional “A” levels were accepted. Sadly, such University professional training in herbal medicine is no longer available in the UK, but other courses of a similar standard are now offering professional training.

Although this is a non-practitioner course, it is of a sufficiently high standard to have been accredited by the British Herbal Medicine Association (BHMA). The objective of the DHM Course is to inform and enable the herbal enthusiast to use herbs with confidence and understanding in the healthcare of oneself, family and friends. With more encouragement being given these days to selfcare through organisations like the NHS, we all need to know how to deal with minor ailments. DHM meets this need well – many common ailments benefit from the gentle touch of herbs. Throughout the Course, serious health problems, requiring professional advice, are clearly highlighted.

The DHM Course is based on the traditional uses of herbs, particularly where modern scientific insight has added credibility. Nutrition is not forgotten in the Course, because a good diet should always be the foundation of health and wellbeing, whatever the therapeutic modality.