HERB 504

Advanced Herbal Materia Medica III Online


HERB 504 Advanced Herbal Materia Medica III completes students’ herbal materia medica study with an in-depth review of tonic, stimulant, antiseptic, stomachic, and hepatic herbs.
Graduates of this course will be expected to demonstrate an advanced knowledge base of the materia medica and principles of various concepts in botanical medicine, including acquiring a strong theoretical understanding of the efficacy based on current research.

Graduates of this course are also expected to demonstrate a sound knowledge base of specific therapeutic groups of herbs and to appraise and relate the botanicals to each physiological system of the human body.

To achieve this, students will locate, review, and critically evaluate primary research in order to appraise the efficacy of the therapeutic action, active constituents and methods of administration for each botanical, contraindications and drug-herb interactions for each botanical, and regulatory status for each, and effectiveness for CAM protocols.

Learning Outcomes

  • Analyze various historical influences upon the use of the botanicals studied, the impact of the botanical on allopathy and vice versa, the current regulatory status of the botanical in the United States, Canada, UK and Australia, and contemporary developments in use of the botanical.

  • Recall the family, Latin name and parts used, active constituents, therapeutic pharmacological actions and applications of the herbs studied.

  • Distinguish, compare, and contrast the botanicals studied in terms of their constituents, therapeutic pharmacological actions, applications, research-based use, dosage, duration, safety issues, and other relevant concepts.

  • Evaluate indications based on constituents, contraindications, precautions, potential adverse effects and toxicology.

  • Evaluate indications based on constituents with specific emphasis on life cycles such as pregnancy, children, and elderly, as well as referral strategies.

  • Explain the relevant phytochemistry of the botanicals studied, with the capacity to distinguish, compare and contrast the types of mechanisms of action (active constituents, therapeutic pharmacological actions, and applications).

  • Make herbal preparations by hand from the botanicals studied, and critically evaluate various issues regarding selection of botanicals, preparations, dosages, and frequency of dosing with respect to their application to specific cases.

  • Critically evaluate and describe potential herb/drug and herb/supplement interactions for the botanicals studied based on current research and constituents.

  • Critically evaluate and critique various concepts, approaches, methods, and issues in the field of herbal medicine.

  • Critically assess basic and clinical scientific studies examining botanical medicine.

  • Locate and evaluate botanical information and plant identification sites on the Internet, including general techniques for plant identification, ethical wildcrafting, sustainable harvesting, harvesting status (i.e., the UpS endangered list) and field identification, and to apply these to plants studied in the student's environment.

  • Understand the theoretical knowledge of the steps required to function as an herbalist under the Health Freedom Acts of California or Minnesota, including credentialing for Master Herbalists and educational training requirements (hours/credits) for professional memberships in organizations like the American Herbalists Guild.

More details

Required Course Pack:

  • ACHS Textbook eBook: Petersen, D. (2020). HERB 504: Advanced Herbal Materia Medica III (20th Edition). Portland, OR: American College of Healthcare Sciences.
    (Optional: Printed copy available for an additional fee)
  • Online Materials and Library Resources (OMLR)
  • HERB 504 Herb Kit

The HERB 504 Herb Kit includes the following experiential learning supplies: 

  • Selection of 25, 1 oz certified organic or sustainably wildcrafted herbs. Note, herbs included may vary due to seasonal availability.

Required Textbooks:

View the required textbooks for this class, including ISBN, edition, and retail price, by visiting our Required Textbooks page.

Total Course Price:

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Current Instructors:

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Admissions Requirements:

Candidates must possess a baccalaureate degree or higher from an institution accredited by an agency recognized by the US Department of Education. Candidates must submit official transcripts directly from the issuing institution along with one professional letter of recommendation. All applicants must be recommended for admission by the ACHS Admissions Committee.

Total Course Price:

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