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Herbalists use remedies made from plants to stimulate a patient's own bodily defences to produce relief of, or to cure ailments and diseases.

First herbalists diagnose patients by having them explain their symptoms and provide detailed medical and dietary histories dating back to their childhood. Once a diagnosis has been made the herbalist gives the patient a remedy made from certain plants, which are specifically blended to deal with the patient's particular condition.

Some herbalists use modern diagnostic methods such as blood-pressure tests, biochemical tests or X-rays. Their approach to medicine is essentially holistic, so they advise patients about diet, exercise, breathing, and other lifestyle factors which could have an impact on their health. Some herbalists sell ready-made remedies to pharmacies and health shops.

Satisfying Aspects
- helping patients
- alleviating pain and suffering
- constantly meeting new people
- always learning about new treatments

Demanding aspects
- being careful that a patient is not allergic to a specific treatment
- dealing with demanding and difficult patients

A herbalist should:
- have an interest in the healing properties of plants;
- have a desire to cure sick people;
- be dedicated and responsible;
- empathetic but firm;
- interest in medicine and disease;
- have integrity.

School Subjects
No specific requirements.

Compulsory Subjects: None
Recommended Subjects: Life Sciences

Diploma: N.Dip: Somatology - CPUT, CUT, TUT, DUT, UJ.

There are also correspondence courses on herbalist practice available. Many learner herbalists gain their training under the supervision of experienced herbalists.

- Self-employment, own practices
- Partnership with established herbalists

SA Association of Herbal Practitioners
P O Box 12167
Die Boord
Tel: (021) 976-5200