AHG Registered Herbalist Membership Criteria

Additional Resources

Are You Ready to Apply for Registered Herbalist Membership?

We invite all clinical herbalists to apply for Registered Herbalist Membership. Applicants must have specific amount of training in botanical medicine and experience in clinical practice along with the other criteria described below.

If you meet the criteria described here, start your application now! It's free!

See Registered Herbalist Application Process for detailed instructions and the application link to Part 1. Note: You can log in to view Part 1 of the application without completing it. 

Education and Training: Approximately 800 hours of comprehensive training in botanical medicine achieved through formal education, independent study, or both. See the Suggested Education Guidelines above for an overview of what AHG considers a comprehensive education in botanical medicine. Learn more about how to track your independent study here.

Materia Medica: A working knowledge of at least 150 medicinal herbs. You will demonstrate your knowledge by providing information about the clinical application of herbs from one of three categories of materia medica: Western, Ayurvedic, or Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Basic Sciences: A practical understanding of human anatomy, physiology, pathophysiology, and basic plant chemistry, obtained through independent or formal education, and applied in your differential assessment of cases.

Clinical Experience: Approximately 400 hours of clinical experience obtained through independent practice, structured mentorship, supervised clinical training as part of an academic program, or a combination of these experiences.

Supervised clinical experience, where you are not the primary practitioner, should account for no more than 100 of your total clinical hours. Examples of supervised clinical experience include roundtable discussions of a specific case or herbal protocol and supervised clinical training. A clinical hour is an actual hour spent with a client. The initial intake/consult and research for your herbal protocols counts for a maximum of two hours (even though we know it often takes much longer); follow-up visits count as one hour.

Independent clinical experience, where you are the primary practitioner, should include approximately 80 individual clients within two years. Your independent practice may include clients you have worked within a clinical training program or supervised clinical practice, and may consist of cases you have presented for review while working with a mentor based on your independent intake and herbal protocols.  The requirement of a minimum number of clients within two years may be waived or adjusted for situations such as an interruption of your clinical practice due to personal or financial reasons, or if you are a practitioner in a rural area. If you believe you may qualify for this adjustment, contact the Admissions Coordinator before submitting your application.

AHG Definition of Clinical Experience: Clinical experience must encompass more than casual consultations with family and friends. To qualify, sessions with individual clients must include a full health history intake, differential assessment, herbal protocols, and a reasonable number of formal follow-up visits. Providing herb recommendations in a retail sales environment does not count as clinical experience unless it includes all of the above. Although everyday health upsets are part of the herbal care herbalists routinely provide, we expect that Registered Herbalist applicants have spent most of their 400 clinical hours addressing health issues that require a broad and comprehensive process of differential assessment, herbal protocols, and follow up care.

We realize that it may be challenging to complete the amount of clinical experience required to apply for RH membership. To address this, we've created an array of Mentorship Resources to support you as you build your experience.

Case Histories and Therapeutics: Demonstrated ability to conduct a comprehensive intake, compile a case history, and provide a differential assessment by presenting three case histories from your practice. Click here to learn more about case histories.

Practice Management and Ethics: Show your understanding of your scope of practice and personal practice limitations by supplying the names and contact information for three health care practitioners with whom you consult or to whom you refer clients when a case is beyond your scope of practice.

Letters of Recommendation: Two letters of recommendation from colleagues familiar with your training and experience as a clinical herbalist. At least one letter of recommendation should be from one of your primary botanical medicine instructors. If this is not possible, you will need to provide a detailed explanation.

Continuing Education: A demonstrated commitment to ongoing botanical medicine education.