Practicing a holistic branch of medicine, herbalists address the needs of patients on a physical, physiological and emotional level. Herbalists use plant medicines to relieve illness and promote health. This alternative form of medicine can be used to treat a variety of complaints including illnesses, allergies and chronic physical conditions.
Herbalists use either the whole plant, part of the plant (for example the leaf) or a preparation of the plant, in order to stimulate the patient's natural healing capacities. Interest in the benefits of complementary medicine is growing and, with it the opportunities for employment. Herbalists are typically self-employed, working either on a full-time or part-time basis. Some set up their own practice, working from home and adapting part of their homes into a surgery.
Most, however, work out of a complementary health clinic or herbal dispensary, alongside other alternative health practitioners such as aromatherapists or acupuncturists.
A small number of practitioners work with doctors within multidisciplinary health clinics. Though vacancies are few and far between, they are usually published by the in-house journals of the relevant professional bodies - in particular, the National Institute of Medical Herbology. (NIMH).
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