Herbal Medicine Training Course
The aim of this course is to provide students with the opportunity to study Herbal Medicine, its principles and practices at level 3. It is suitable for those with a general interest in the topic or for students who wish to progress into herbal medicine practise, as this course will provide the opportunity to gain theoretical knowledge and understanding as well as insight into practical applications.
The course is delivered online and in ten units, each with an assessment which can be submitted to the tutorial department for feedback, and prepares students for the end of course online examination.
Each unit bases knowledge and understanding on learning outcomes and incorporates guided activities, knowledge checklists and concept boxes to facilitate learning.
Unit 1: The Principle and Practice of Herbal Medicine
This unit presents an overview of herbal medicine’s principles and practices, and includes exploration of origins and philosophical contexts in which herbal medicine sits today. This unit also covers herbs and holism, how plants are classified for use and the scientific perspective.
Students will also have an opportunity to explore basic phytochemistry which includes plant metabolism and terminology.
Unit 2: Molecules, metabolites and substances
This unit introduces students to the structure and function of carbohydrates, lipids, terpenes and polyphenols.
This unit is important because plant chemistry forms the basis of therapeutic herbal usage and therefore offers students an overview of this subject.
Unit 3: Pharmacology, toxicity and contra-indications
This unit explores the principles of pharmacology related to herbal medicine and uses examples to demonstrate pharmacological actions and contra-indications for use. This involves discussion about the safety and storage of herbal medicine, toxicity of certain substances and drug-herb interactions.
Unit 4: Formulation and preparation
This unit looks at routes of administration, dosage, extraction methods and draws comparisons between different methods as well as exploring incompatibilities.
Students will learn about maceration, percolation, infusion, water-based preparations, decocting, alcohol use, concentrations of herbs, fluid extracts. Syrups and elixirs, emulsions, dry preparations (amongst others).
Unit 5: Treatment approaches and herbal actions
This unit provides students with an opportunity to learn about the protocols in herbal medicine practice, how to select the correct therapeutic remedy through investigation of criteria, assessment of the impact of the herbs on individual clients, and what kinds of influencing factors that need to be considered.
The unit will also explore specific actions of herbs and how to apply models to therapeutic contexts.
Dosage and formulation are an important component of this unit, so students will learn about units of measurement, dose adjustments and prescribing.
This unit will also present information about the herbal actions related to alterative, anticatarrhal, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antirheumatic, antispasmodic, astringent, bitter and other relevant remedies.
Unit 6, 7 8: Body systems part 1, 2 and 3
Each of the following three units will deal with specific body systems and explore health and wellbeing, as well as discussing a range of conditions specific to those systems, treatment programmes, formulae and other related issues.
The systems will be covered as follows:
Unit 6: Cardiovascular, respiratory and musculoskeletal
Unit 7: Digestive, immune, endocrine
Unit 8: Central nervous, urinary, reproductive, skin
Unit 9: Special groups
For any application there are special groups in society for whom the ‘norm’ does not apply. These are generally the elderly and the young.
This unit explores specific conditions such as childhood illnesses, diseases of the elderly and relates these considerations to herbal medicine practice.
Unit 10: Materia Medica
The final unit presents a basic Materia Medica which will form the fundamental resource for herbal medicine practitioners.
The Materia Medica covers the most commonly used plants, where they are found, a brief description of them and, their actions and preparation and dosages.
Practitioners will normally add to a Materia Medica as they become more experienced practitioners and it comprises a dynamic and ongoing knowledge base and record of remedies used and their origins and actions.
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