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Herbal Medicine course

This Herbal Medicine course is compulsory for the students enrolled in the Bachelors in Naturopathy and Holistic Medicine. It is based on Western Herbal Medicine – the basic theory, pharmacognosy, therapeutic constituents in herbs, preparation of herbal formulas, prescribing and dosages, curative herbs for many diseases as well as obtaining tried and tested formulas that have been used successfully in clinical practice over many years. There are many downloadable files and videos to facilitate the learning process.



To pay in 3 monthly installments (€105/month), click the INSTALMENTS button

 Herbal Medicine course 

These are the specifications of the Da Vinci Institute of Holistic Medicine’s

Herbal Medicine course:

1. Awarding Institution / Body: School of Integrative and Complementary Medicine, University of America, USA
2. Teaching Institution: Online and distance learning, with tutor support
3. Programme Accredited by: School of Integrative and Complementary Medicine, University of America, USA
4. Final Award Compulsory course for students taking the Bachelor’s in Naturopathy and Holistic Medicine
5. Programme title: Herbal Medicine
6. Course Code and level: BNHM6013
7. Duration of program: One trimester or 12 weeks
8. Total number of study hours: Equivalent to 6 US credits or 90 clock hours of study
9. Enrollment requirements: Students enrolled in the Bachelors in Naturopathy and Holistic Medicine but also available to all students, of all academic backgrounds
10. Enrollment date: Second-year, First Trimester of Bachelor’s degree
11. Fees: Full payment: €300 euros; Installment plan: €105 per month for 3 monthly payments.

This Herbal Medicine course is compulsory for the students enrolled in the Bachelors in Naturopathy and Holistic Medicine. It is based on Western Herbal Medicine – the basic theory, pharmacognosy, therapeutic constituents in herbs, preparation of herbal formulas, prescribing and dosages, curative herbs for many diseases as well as obtaining tried and tested formulas that have been used successfully in clinical practice over many years. There are many downloadable files and videos to facilitate the learning process, as well as a collection of antique books to download.

society-herbalists-smlWhat is herbal medicine?

Herbal medicine, also called botanical medicine or phytomedicine, refers to the use of any plant’s seeds, berries, roots, leaves, bark, or flowers for medicinal purposes. Modern research is bringing herbal medicine into mainstream therapies as more and more research shows their value in the treatment and prevention of disease.

Herbal Medicine Course

In this Herbal Medicine course, there is enough information and herbal formulas that have been successfully used in clinical practice for the practitioner to begin immediately using in clinical practice.

Course materials: All the lessons, downloadable .pdf files, assignments, and final exams, as well as videos to watch are all provided online and there are no other books required to complete the course.

Guidelines for Study: There are 30 lessons in this Herbal Medicine course that are to be taken in consecutive order, so it best to begin from the first Lesson and continue in order until you complete all the lessons. Each lesson acts as a prerequisite to the lesson following it. There are many links on each of the lessons – please do not skip these as they open up into downloadable .pdf files that are a significant part of the course – you can either save them onto your hard drive and review them later, or simply print them out and read them at leisure. You will find that some of the final exam questions are based on these downloadable links.

These 30 lessons cover a wide gamut of different topics – simply click on the links below to begin your exciting adventure into the world of herbal medicine.

Lesson 30 contains many links to various herbal resources including databases with a lot of information about herbal medicine, as well as free downloadable books, videos, and more. Use this as a reference database or as a library to broaden your knowledge base in herbal medicine.


  • LESSON 1 – A Brief History of Herbal Medicine

This lesson takes you through some of the fascinating histories of herbal medicine beginning from the oldest Chinese herbal practices more than 3,000 BC. Dioscorides (c. 40-c. 90) and Galen (131-200 A.D.), both Greek surgeons in the Roman army, compiled herbals that remained the definitive materia medica texts for 1500 years. You will also read about Theophrastus Bombastus von Hohenheim, better known as Paracelsus (1493-1541), as well as the English herbalist Nicholas Culpeper (1616-1654). There are many illustrated examples from Greek physician Pedanius Dioscorides (c. 40-c. 90). There are many original historic documents that you can download in .pdf format and review their fascinating contents including the original Lloyd Brothers plant drug pamphlets (1897 to 1915), Samuel Thomson’s Materia Medica, and his book “A Guide to Health” written in 1848. Also Dr. Petersen’s 350-page book “Materia Medica and Clinical Therapeutics.” Also, the American herbalist Ellingwood’s 450-page book entitled “Ellingwood’s Therapeutist” is also available for download, written in 1914. There are also many videos to watch.

  • LESSON 2 – Philosophy and Principles of Herbal Medicine

Looks at the main philosophical premises behind herbal medicine, where did it originate, how does it work, what are the risks and effectiveness as well as the clinical studies. The issue of standards and quality control is reviewed as well as the dangers of extinction. Also, the different ways in which we can understand the wide variety of herbs, including their chemical constituents and actions.

  • LESSON 3 – Herbal Preparation and Dosages

This lesson covers the various herbal preparations such as powders, tinctures, extracts, infusions, boluses, compresses, poultices, baths, electuaries, ointments, oils, vinegar, salves, vapour inhalation, fresh and dried herbs, and how these are prepared. Also, dosages are discussed for various age groups as well as their routes of administration. There are also a number of videos to watch on how herbs are made.

  • passiflora-incarnataLESSON 4 – Herbal Materia Medica

Materia medica is a Latin medical term for the body of collected knowledge about the therapeutic properties of any substance used for healing. Simply put, Materia Medica is Latin for ‘Medical Material.’ The lesson covers the Materia Medica of over 90 herbs covering 350 pages of downloadable and printable material. The primary therapeutic actions of herbs are also provided in a searchable format and a materia medica for different body systems. There are also historical documents and books on Materia Medica used during last century as well as videos to watch.

  • LESSON 5 – Herbal Pharmacognosy

Pharmacognosy is “the study of the physical, chemical, biochemical and biological properties of drugs, drug substances or potential drugs or drug substances of natural origin as well as the search for new drugs from natural sources.” This lesson looks at the origins of pharmacognosy and the primary and secondary actions of herbs, as well as the active chemical constituents. The chemical structure of flavonoids and anthocyanins, and their metabolism, bioavailability, and disease prevention are examined. There are also videos and other online resources.

  • LESSON 6 – Herbalism Philosophy and Science

In this lesson, the concepts of health, ecological healing, allopathy, phytotherapy, co-evolutionary mutualism, controlled studies, and the science behind evaluating herbs are discussed.

  • LESSON 7 – Classification of Medicinal Plants

Here the common ways in which plants are classified using the Linnaean system of classification are discussed, as well as the naming nomenclature used in modern herbal medicine.

  • LESSON 8 – A Brief Introduction to Phytochemistry

This lesson will examine concepts such as normalizer and effector herbs, primary and secondary metabolism in plants, and various functional groups in phytochemistry and their structure and actions.

  • LESSON 9 – Carbohydrates

This is the study of carbohydrates found in herbs – their classification, function, and therapeutic actions.

  • LESSON 10 – Lipids

This lesson looks at the study of Lipids in plants, their function, structure, and therapeutic actions.

  • LESSON 11 – Terpenes

This is the study of terpenes or isoprenoids, the largest group of plant metabolites. Their classification, general properties, function, pharmacological activity, toxicity, and therapeutic actions are examined in depth.

  • LESSON 12 – Polyphenolsmilk-thistle

This lesson examines the polyphenols found in plants – their major functions, herbal activities, classification, pharmacology, and therapeutic potential.

  • LESSON 13 – Pharmacology

This is deepening the topic of herbal pharmacognosy studied in lesson 5 and 8 and will examine the concepts of pharmacodynamics and pharmacokinetics, enzymes, up-regulation and down-regulation, bioavailability and biotransformation, oxidation, reduction, hydrolysis, and immunomodulation.

  • LESSON 14 – Toxicity, Contraindications, and Safety

Examines the important issues of toxicity, safety, drug bioavailability, LD50, therapeutic index (TI), threshold effect as well as the safety of herb preparations.

  • LESSON 15 – The Formulation and Preparation of Herbal Medicines

This lesson looks at the preparation of herbal medicines and the concepts of extraction, menstruum, marc, using the British Pharmacopoeia (BP), maceration, digestion, percolation, and other related material to correctly preparing a variety of herbal medicines.

  • LESSON 16 – A Model of Holistic Herbal Medicine

This lesson discusses a model that can be used by the practitioner to identify and address a whole range of factors, from symptoms and pathology to constitutional differences and the whole body toning.

  • LESSON 17 – The Digestive System

Here we examine the role that herbal medicine plays in the treatment of the digestive system, including the treatment of flatulence, constipation, diarrhoea, aphthous ulcers, periodontal disease, oesophagitis and gastro-oesophageal reflux (GERD), gastritis, peptic ulcer, hiatus hernia, functional dyspepsia, irritable bowel syndrome, ulcerative colitis, inflammatory bowel disease, ulcerative colitis, diverticulitis, jaundice, chronic hepatitis, viral hepatitis, cirrhosis, cholecystitis, cholelithiasis, and hemorrhoids.

  • LESSON 18 – The Cardiovascular System

This lesson looks at European cardiovascular tonics and other herbs for the following cardiovascular problems: cholesterol, hypertension, arteriosclerosis, congestive heart failure, angina pectoris, peripheral arterial occlusive disease, and varicose veins.

  • LESSON 19 – The Respiratory System

In this lesson, we examine how herbal medicine can be used in the treatment of respiratory diseases such as dyspnoea, cough, acute and chronic bronchitis, pertussis, asthma, emphysema, common cold, influenza, hay fever, sinusitis, laryngitis, and tonsillitis.

  • LESSON 20 – The Nervous System

This lesson examines the use of herbal medicine nervines in the treatment of stress and neural diseases such as anxiety, acute and chronic stress, depression, insomnia, withdrawal from benzodiazepines, anorexia nervosa, headache, migraine, neuritis, tinnitus, motion sickness, and shingles.

  • LESSON 21 – The Urinary Systemcapsicum-anuuam-southest-as

Here we examine the use of herbs in the treatment of the urinary system for dysuria, haematuria, oedema, cystitis, and urinary calculi.

  • LESSON 22 – The Reproductive System

In this lesson, we examine the herbs that can be used to treat the male and female reproductive system, such as amenorrhoea, dysmenorrhoea, premenstrual syndrome, menopause, morning sickness, threatened miscarriage and other complications in pregnancy, postpartum depression, mastitis, uterine fibroids, endometriosis, fibrocystic breast disease, and benign prostate hypertrophy.

  • LESSON 23 – The Musculoskeletal System

Here we look at the role that herbal medicine plays in the treatment of rheumatic disease, arthritis, fibromyalgia, systemic lupus erythematosus, ankylosing spondylitis, gout, myalgia, osteoporosis, bursitis, tendinitis, and restless legs syndrome.

  • LESSON 24 – The Skin

In this lesson, we will see how herbs can be used in the treatment of a variety of skin diseases such as eczema, dermatitis, psoriasis, and acne.

  • LESSON 25 – The Immune System

Here we examine the concepts of immunomodulation and immunostimulation and the phytotherapeutic approach to the immune system. These include immunodeficiency diseases, hypersensitivity reactions, autoimmune diseases, and general support protocols.

  • LESSON 26 – The Endocrine System

In this lesson, we look at the role herbal medicine plays in balancing and treating the endocrine system such as hypothyroidism, hyperthyroidism, diabetes mellitus, and imbalances of the adrenal glands.

  • LESSON 27 – Phytotherapy and the Elderly

Here is examined the effect herbs can play in toning and nurturing the health in elders, as well as the prevention and treatment of disease in elders.

  • LESSON 28 – Phytotherapy and Children

Children can greatly benefit from herbal medicine in the treatment of a variety of childhood diseases such as measles, mumps, colic, constipation, diarrhoea, indigestion, nausea, otitis media, attention deficit disorder, diaper rash, cradle cap, and impetigo.

  • LESSON 29 – Phytotherapy and Pregnancy

This lesson examines how certain herbs can help the birth process, including labour, while other herbs must be strictly avoided as they can cause miscarriages and other complications.

  • LESSON 30 – Online Herbal Researchblessed-thistle-snicus-beni

In this lesson, you will find a wide variety of resources that will enable you to research individual herbs and formulations in a lot more depth, as well as other herbal medicine topics.

Course Material

All the Herbal medicine course materials are online, including the lessons in HTML as well as downloadable .pdf files, videos, images of plants, assignments, and the final exams. There are no further books required to complete this course.

To pay in 3 monthly installments (€105/month), click the INSTALMENTS button


  1. Mary Smith

    An interesting and enjoyable course. Even though I am not an alternative medicine practitioner I chose this course because I wanted to learn about herbal medicine for my personal benefit. I would recommend this interesting course to practitioners and other people who want to learn more about herbal medicine and its benefits. My thanks to the tutor who patiently replied to all the specific questions I may had.

  2. Martin Luther King Davies

    The course was very transparent as each opinion of knowledge was very straight to the point. It reviews details comparism and medication characteristics including their Latin names of the plants, parts, active components, preparations, extracts and dosages. I really took a special interest on the knowledge I acquire on the Digestive system. Every aspect of the program is very well explanatory without involving big words or grammars.

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