The American herbalism community is diverse and guided by a strong sense of values and ethics in herbal practice and education. The AHG Code of Ethics (Revised 2022) expands on the formerly established Code of Ethics, addressing ethics in education, symposium presentation, and mentorship relationships in a more comprehensive framework. These policies ensure that the Board of Directors and organization are best serving the membership and the public. These policies include a Conflict of Interest and Disclosure policy and a Complaints Resolution Process for organization members or members of the public who wish to file a complaint against an AHG member or the organization.
As a member of the public you have the right to formally lodge a complaint if you feel an AHG member has violated the AHG Code of Ethics. Your complaint will be reviewed via a documented Complaints Resolution Process that may include investigation by the Ethics Review Committee.
The American Herbalists Guild Code of Ethics:
The American Herbalists Guild designed the Code of Ethics to ensure a standard of excellence and accountability among its members. While the Guild is not a policy making body for the field of herbalism, it seeks to be a beacon of appropriate professional behavior among its membership. These policies and standards extend to speakers, teachers, mentors, staff, volunteers, participants and chapters of any American Herbalists Guild sponsored event (including, but not limited to the annual symposium, chapter activities, webinars, and other educational offerings).
Conflict of Interest
AHG Members, Board of Directors will disclose activities that are in conflict or may appear to be in conflict with any of the provisions of this Code of Ethics or with one's responsibilities and duties as a member of the Guild. Please refer to the Conflict of Interest policy for more information
AHG members at all levels are expected to exhibit individual leadership as a role model for maintaining the highest standards of ethical conduct, and they should act with integrity in every professional interaction. Members are encouraged to question individual and group actions when necessary to ensure that decisions are ethical and are implemented as such. In teaching and mentoring, AHG members champion the development of others as ethical leaders in the profession and in organizations, setting the standard and being an example for others.
Fairness and Justice
As herbal professionals, we are ethically responsible for promoting and fostering fairness and justice in general and for our members. We respect the uniqueness and intrinsic worth of every individual. We are committed to treating people with dignity, respect and compassion - fostering a trusting environment, free of harassment, intimidation, and discrimination. We strive to ensure an environment of inclusiveness and a commitment to fairness, justice, and diversity, and advocating policies and procedures that foster fair, consistent and equitable treatment for all.
Sexual Harassment, Abuse and Discrimination
AHG Members will not use their position as employers, teachers, mentors, consultants, or leaders to seek sexual encounters or make unwanted sexual advances with students, clients, or other herbalists. Additionally, abuse, racism, discrimination and bullying of any kind are unacceptable and will not be tolerated.
AHG Members are open to peer review of their publications, lectures, and/or clinical protocols. Formal and informal peer review is a primary means of enhancing our level of knowledge and expertise and is encouraged.
Anyone contributing articles, proposals, webinars, presentations, RH applications, materials, or participating in AHG events or activities shall abide by the plagiarism code within our Code of Ethics. Plagiarism is the stealing of another person's ideas and words without crediting the source. The articles, presentations, proposals, and applications of AHG members should be based on their own original ideas and accurately cite and quote sources, without taking credit for them.
AHG Members acknowledge that individual health is not separate from environmental health and we embrace ethics in products and sustainability.
AHG Members are ready to be open and willing to attend to those in need of help when possible.
Professional Referral Network
Clients shall be encouraged to exercise their right to see other practitioners in any area of expertise and obtain their botanicals and health support from the source(s) of their choosing.
AHG Members work in good faith to source and use botanicals that are formulated and manufactured in a way that will deliver the desired results, striving to obtain organically and sustainably grown and ethically harvested botanicals whenever possible.
Practitioner as Educator
Practicing AHG Members shall assume the role of educators, doing their best to empower clients in mobilizing their own innate healing abilities and promote the responsibility of clients to heal themselves.