Overview Of The Course

'Discovering Herbal Medicine' was originally written by two of the UK's leading herbal pioneers, Hein Zeylstra and Simon Mills. In the early 80’s Hein had the foresight and energy to found the College of Herbal Medicine (or Phytotherapy as he preferred to call it) in the South of England for the training of herbal practitioners. As the world's primary teaching school for western herbal medicine, it influenced standards set by subsequent institutions in many countries.


Over the 25 years that he ran the College, Hein Zeylstra and those who studied under him, like Simon Mills, were responsible for bringing western herbal medicine out of the dark ages into the modern day. They brought a scientific basis to the study of medical herbalism and this approach enabled the enormous expansion of interest in herbal medicine in Britain during the 1980s and 90s, which continues worldwide today.

There is no doubt that herbal enthusiasts around the world owe much to Hein Zeylstra. Many of Hein’s students have gone on to make enormous contributions to the knowledge-base of herbal medicine. Some have become successful herbal practitioners, others have become teachers of the subject. All this activity is only possible because of the plethora of books written by Hein’s former students - books which integrate the traditional use of medicinal plants with scientific insight.

The Discovering Herbal Medicine Course retains the ethos of Hein Zeylstra’s teaching, as documented by Simon Mills. In the early days it was a Course designed for first-year herbal practitioners. In 2005, when the College of Herbal Medicine was declared bankrupt, herbal practitioner Ann Walker, who was also a student of Hein Zeylstra, took over the Course and, with her husband, Alan Lakin, she updated it to the stand-alone introduction to the subject it is today.

The DHM Course is not a 'coffee table' course, merely stating that this or that herb might be used to treat such and such a condition. On the contrary, the course materials are comprehensive and impart a great deal of knowledge and understanding of the use of some fifty medicinal plants. Specifically, the pathology and diagnosis of a wide range of common medical conditions are carefully described and safety considerations are paramount throughout. Health problems that cannot be treated by non-professionals are clearly identified, and the Materia Medica is confined to herbs with well-established safety credentials.

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