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Herbal Medicine

This course is currently unavailable for booking

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This course will focus on the traditional use of plants in Western herbal medicine, particularly those growing wild or easily cultivated in the UK, but  will also consider plants used in other cultures around the world.

There will be an introduction to the main body systems and the safe and effective use of plants for common ailments. Practical sessions will offer the opportunity to learn how to make herbal infusions, decoctions, tinctures, creams, ointments, oils and poultices. The range of topics to be covered is as follows:

  • botany - plant structure and identification - in the classroom, and in the field
  • plant chemistry
  • essential oils - chemistry and production
  • human anatomy and physiology - pathology of the body systems
  • herbs for specific conditions
  • preparation and application of: infusions, decoctions, tinctures, oils, creams and ointments
  • the actions of herbs and their physiological effects
  • traditional herbal medicine and it's origins - China, Tibet, India, America
  • safety first - precautions and guidance on correct usage.

This course is ideal for anyone interested in the practical aspects of herbal medicine.

Learning and teaching

There will be illustrated lectures, discussions and practical work.

Coursework and assessment

To award credits we need to have evidence of the knowledge and skills you have gained or improved. Some of this has to be in a form that can be shown to external examiners so that we can be absolutely sure that standards are met across all courses and subjects. The most important element of assessment is that it should enhance your learning.

Our methods are designed to increase your confidence and we try very hard to devise ways of assessing you that are enjoyable and suitable for adults with busy lives.

Reading suggestions

  • Hoffman, D. (1996). The Complete Illustrated Holistic Herbal. Element.
  • Mabey, R. (1993). The Complete New Herbal. Penguin. Wren, R.C. (1998). Potter's New Cyclopaedia of Botanical Drugs and Preparations. The C.W. Daniel Company Ltd.
  • Ody, P. (1993). The Herb Society's Complete Medicinal Herbal. Dorling Kindersley.
  • Bown, D. (1995). The Royal Horticultural Society Encyclopedia of Herbs & their Uses. Dorling Kindersley
  • McIntyre, A. (1994). The Complete Woman's Herbal. Gaia Books.
  • Sullivan, K. (1997). The Complete Family Guide to Natural Home Remedies. Element.
  • Tobyn, G. (1997). Culpeper's Medicine: A practice of western holistic medicine. Element.

Library and computing facilities

As a student on this course you are entitled to join and use the University’s library and computing facilities. Find out more about using these facilities.


Our aim is access for all. We aim to provide a confidential advice and support service for any student with a long term medical condition, disability or specific learning difficulty. We are able to offer one-to-one advice about disability, pre-enrolment visits, liaison with tutors and co-ordinating lecturers, material in alternative formats, arrangements for accessible courses, assessment arrangements, loan equipment and dyslexia screening.