Herbal Medicine

Mankind’s use of plants as herbal medicine dates back to the very beginnings of Civilisation

Mankind’s use of plants as herbal medicine dates back to the very beginnings of Civilisation and continues to impinge on many facets of human endeavour. Self-evident relationships are with orthodox medicine, physiology, pharmacy, plant biochemistry, botany, ethnobotany, gardening, etc, etc. Less obvious connections are with disciplines such as anthropology and social history.

Our ‘Discovering Herbal Medicine’ Course gives in-depth coverage

‘Discovering Herbal Medicine’ gives in-depth coverage of several of these associations and touches on many others. It really is an absorbing course, as our students repeatedly testify.

To give you some idea of the scope of Herbal Medicine and its key role in both our history and present-day life, we have provided a selection of websites to be explored out of interest. Click on the links below to be taken to the relevant pages. We hope you enjoy them!


Although we make every effort to ensure the external links throughout our website are accurate, up to date and relevant, NVT cannot take responsibility for pages and content maintained by external providers once you leave this site.

British Herbal Medicine Association

Founded in 1964, the BHMA has been a leader in advancing the science and practice of herbal medicine in the UK and is regularly consulted by the Government. The membership includes manufacturers and suppliers of herbal medicines, practitioners, academics, pharmacists, students and others with herbal interests. The objectives of the BHMA include the encouragement of wider knowledge and recognition of the value of herbal medicine; one of its reasons for accrediting this course, 'Discovering Herbal Medicine'. For further information, see links on this page.

National Institute of Medical Herbalists

Founded in 1864, the NIMH is the UK's largest professional body of herbal practitioners. Its objectives include the promotion of the benefits of herbal medicine and ensuring that its members are fully trained in its theory and practice. Before qualifying for admission, all members have at least 500 hours of clinical experience, and can be identified by designation "MNIMH'. They are fully insured and are able to treat a wide range of acute and chronic medical conditions. For Further information, see links on this page.

College of Practitioners of Phytotherapy

The CPP was founded in 1993, mainly due to the enthusiasm of Hein Zeylstra (one of the originators of the DHM Course). All of its members are fully-qualified practitioners, who have met the same admission criteria as those for the NIMH, and use the designatory letters 'MCPP'. Although these societies have many common aims (practitioners often belong to both), all CPP members are committed to integrating the scientific understanding of herbal medicine into their practice. For further information, see links on this page.

European Herbal Practitioners Assosiation

Founded in 1994, the EHPA is the unifying body for all European associations of professional herbalists. As well as Western Herbal Medicine, traditions from China, India and Tibet are represented. In addition to fostering unity among the herbal professions, the EHPA is concerned with maintaining high standards of training and practice. Also, it plays a key role in monitoring and developing legislation relating to herbal medicines and their use. For further information, see links on this page.

The Herb Society

Founded in 1927, it was known as the Society of Herbalists until 1957. It played a key role in the development of herbalism in the UK, by keeping the tradition 'alive' whilst it was outlawed (until 1968) by the 1941 Pharmacy Act. The activities of the society now extend to promoting all aspects of herbs, including culinary, aromatic and cosmetics uses, as well as medicinal. Furthermore, it is a lay society whose only criterion for membership is an interest in almost anything herbal. For further information, see links on this page.