- Access to course content on mobile, tablet or desktop
- Make your own study schedule and take advantage of online tutoring hours
- Obtain a certified diploma once you finish the course.
A fully online distance learning Level 3 Diploma Course.
Equivalent to 1 A Level.
Herbal medicine has been used throughout human traditions to treat both humans and their animals, and is as applicable today as in the past. Many cultures today remain far removed from access to a Doctor, or even if one is present prefer to take locally available remedies rather than man-made alternatives. Today, many medicines and scientific development of treatment are based on these past remedies or their derivatives, and herbal medicine has become more scientific. This course aims to provide an overview of the principles involved in the practice of herbal medicine today. What plants are used and how are they classified, so phytochemistry (the chemicals inside plants used in treatment) – plant terminology and its metabolism is widely covered.
Unit 1: The Principle and Practice of Herbal Medicine
The principles and practices in herbal medicine are based on a historic perspective, and include exploration of origins and philosophical contexts in which herbal medicine sits today. How did the use of herbs and holism develop, how are plants classified in botany and for use (many have tens, even hundreds of common names!) and the scientific perspective. Phytochemistry will be introduced and explored to explain how the use of plant products has developed and grown. Key and useful terminology useful in this field are introduced.
Unit 2: Molecules, metabolites and substances
Plants are unique in that they are primary producers – they can directly harness energy from the sun and are able to absorb nutrients from the soil or produce their own. Plant biology forms the basis therapeutic herbal use. The phytochemistry of plants is expanded in this module by introducing the structure and function of carbohydrates, lipids, terpenes and polyphenols. Plants are living things that contain groups of chemicals and methods for self-protections, and these qualities are often exactly what makes them ideal for use in herbal medicines.
Unit 3: Pharmacology, toxicity and contra-indications
Plants can be as toxic as they can be useful. Much of their use was discovered by trial and error, at times with disastrous consequences. Today we are able to understand more about drugs and compounds work; most react or affect the inside of the body. 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 – how and how much to use, and storage of herbal medicine, toxicity of certain substances and drug-herb interactions.
Unit 4: Formulation and preparation
The routes of administration and dosage depend on extraction methods and draws comparisons between different methods as well as exploring incompatibilities. Plants are used as a whole or in part in defined formula, and are obtained by maceration, percolation, infusion, water-based preparations, decocting, alcohol use, concentrations of herbs, and fluid extracts. They are administered as e.g. syrups and elixirs, emulsions, dry preparations. This will equip a practitioner with skills to select, prepare and administer the correct dose.
Unit 5: Treatment approaches and herbal actions
In order to prescribe plants in treatment, how they work, what they do and in what amounts is essential knowledge. A client assessment procedure is developed. Opportunity is provided 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 need to be considered. Specific actions of herbs and how to apply models/ approaches of herbal medicine to therapeutic contexts is explored. Dosage, dose adjustments, formulation and prescribing are learned with units of measurement. This unit will also present information about the herbal actions (most have several impact and action) related to alterative, anticatarrhal, anti-inflammatory, antimicrobial, antirheumatic, antispasmodic, astringent, bitter and other relevant remedies.
Unit 6: Body systems part 1 - Cardiovascular, respiratory and musculoskeletal
The structure, basic physiology and function of each of these anatomical systems is studied in order to identify common disorders and ailments that affect each, e.g. asthma, respiration and lung functions, . This learning can then be applied to help the herbal practitioner. It is not expected that every detail of this module is memorised, as one becomes more experienced, one will be able to prescribe and make recommendations naturally, confidently and easily.
Unit 7: Body systems part 2 - Digestive, immune, endocrine
The aim of this module is exactly the same as the previous and next module. Also immunity is covered in detail. Common illnesses range from stomach ache, indigestion, ulcers to irritable bowel syndrome to Diabetes and other hormone-related illnesses/ disorders.
Unit 8: Body systems part 3 - Central nervous, urinary, reproductive, skin
This module looks at the internal and external environment of the body. Once these system are studied and their associated disorders met, Herbal medicine can be used to treat anything from haemorrhages, to nerve damage, epilepsy, Dementia, Herpes, Impetigo, Eczema, acne, hypertension, renal failure, and a host of disorders and diseases related to Inheritance and the reproductive system.
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. Here specific conditions such as childhood illnesses, diseases of the elderly are explored and considered in relation to herbal medicine practice such as doses and associated difficulties in use as, for example the skin is more sensitive. Therefore issue like ageing are considered and how they affect treatment. Also the most common disorders affecting these special groups will be addressed.
Unit 10: Materia Medica
The key knowledge of a learner and a practitioner is understand the best and safest use of plants in all their forms. Materia Medica forms 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. This is by no means an exhaustive list. Practitioners will normally add to a Materia Medica and cross-link to those prepared by others as they become more experienced practitioners and it comprises a dynamic and on-going knowledge base and record of remedies used and their origins and actions.
This course is Quality Assured by the Quality Licence Scheme
At the end of this course successful learners will receive a Certificate of Achievement from ABC Awards and a Learner Unit Summary (which lists the details of all the units the learner has completed as part of the course).
The course has been endorsed under the ABC Awards Quality Licence Scheme. This means that Oxford Learning College has undergone an external quality check to ensure that the organisation and the courses it offers, meet certain quality criteria. The completion of this course alone does not lead to an Ofqual regulated qualification but may be used as evidence of knowledge and skills towards regulated qualifications in the future.
The unit summary can be used as evidence towards Recognition of Prior Learning if you wish to progress your studies in this sector. To this end the learning outcomes of the course have been benchmarked at Level 3 against level descriptors published by Ofqual, to indicate the depth of study and level of demand/complexity involved in successful completion by the learner.
The course itself has been designed by Oxford Learning College to meet specific learners' and/or employers' requirements which cannot be satisfied through current regulated qualifications. ABC Awards endorsement involves robust and rigorous quality audits by external auditors to ensure quality is continually met. A review of courses is carried out as part of the endorsement process.
ABC Awards is a leading national Awarding Organisation, regulated by Ofqual, and the Welsh Government. It has a long-established reputation for developing and awarding high quality vocational qualifications across a wide range of industries. As a registered charity, ABC Awards combines 180 years of expertise but also implements a responsive, flexible and innovative approach to the needs of our customers. Renowned for excellent customer service, and quality standards, ABC Awards also offers Ofqual regulated qualifications for all ages and abilities post-14; all are developed with the support of relevant stakeholders to ensure that they meet the needs and standards of employers across the UK.