Learn about Medicinal Herbs
- How to grow medicinal herbs
- The chemicals found in different species
- What those chemicals do in the human body
If you are curious about using herbs for medicinal purposes, the Medicinal Herbs Short Course will provide you with a great place to start! This self-guided course leads you through the different chemical components that herbs contain and their effects on the human body. It covers the following areas: Getting to know medicinal herbs, the chemicals in medicinal herbs and their effect on the human body, the different ways in which herbs are used for medicinal purposes, a guide of over 50 herbs and different ways in which you can find work or make business opportunities using medicinal herbs.
There are optional activities that you can complete along the way to learn more about the topic, including both practical and research activities.
The following lessons are covered in this course:
- Scope and Nature of Medicinal Herbs
- Chemicals that are found in Herbs and Effects on the Human Body
- Ways Herbs are Used in Medicines
- Methods of Preparing Herbs for Medicinal Use
- A Review of over 50 plant species; covering appearance, culture, chemistry, medicinal properties and uses.
- Working with Medicinal Herbs
An ideal learning experience for anyone seeking to better understand medicinal herbs.
- 20-hour, self-paced course
- Fully online
- Optional practical set tasks throughout
- Automated self assessment tests
- "Certificate of Completion" on achieving a 60% pass rate on a final assessment
COURSE CONTENT IN MORE DETAIL
1. Introduction The Nature and Scope of Medicinal Herbs
- What Are They?
- Uses of Medicinal Herbs
- The Evolution of Medicinal Herbs
- The Scope of Medicinal Herbs
2. Chemicals in Herbs and Their Effects on the Body
- Terms Used To Describe Medicinal Effects of Herbs
- Types of Chemicals found in Medicinal Herbs
- Other Terms Describing Medicinal Herbs
3. Ways Herbs Are Used
- Different Applications
- Medicinal Uses
- Some Important Points
4. Methods of Preparing Herbs for Use
- How to Make Herbal Tea
- How to Make Herbal Decoctions
- How to Make Herbal Ointments
5. Directory of Medicinal Herbs
- Agrimonia eupatoria
- Allium sativum
- Aloe vera
- Alpinia galanga
- Angelica archangelica
- Armoracia rusticana
- Asparagus officinalis
- Asperula odorata (syn. Galium odoratum)
- Betula spp.
- Borago officinalis
- Calendula officinalis
- Cannabis sativa
- Capsicum annum
- Citrus limonum
- Echinacea purpurea
- Elettaria cardamomum
- Eucalyptus spp.
- Ficus carica
- Foeniculum vulgare
- Glycyrrhiza glabra
- Humulus lupulus
- Hyssopus officinalis
- Lavandula angustifolia (syn. L. officinalis)
- Levisticum officinale
- Linum usitatissimum
- Matricaria recutita (syn M. chamomilla)
- Melaleuca alternifolia
- Melissa officinalis
- Mentha x piperita
- Mentha pulegium
- Mentha spicata (syn. M. viridis)
- Oenothera biennis
- Origanum vulgare
- Panax quinquefolius
- Papaver orientale
- Petroselinum crispum (syn. P. sativum)
- Pimpinella anisum
- Rheum palmatum
- Ribes rubrum
- Rosmarinus officinalis
- Rubus idaeus
- Ruta graveolens
- Salix alba
- Salvia officinalis
- Sanguisorba officinalis
- Satureja hortensis
- Symphytum officinale
- Taraxacum officinae
- Thymus vulgaris
- Ulmus rubra (syn. Ulmus fulva)
- Valeriana officinalis
- Vanilla aromatica
- Zingiber officinale
6. Working with Medicinal Herbs
- Selling Medicinal Plants: Opportunities
- Where to Market Herb Products
- Processing Concerns
- Starting a Herb Business
- Preparing a Business Plan for a Herb Farm or Nursery
- Production Requirements
SEE WHAT ONE OF OUR STUDENTS SAYS ABOUT STUDYING WITH US!
LEARN WHAT THE CHEMICALS FOUND IN PLANTS CAN DO TO THE HUMAN BODY
Medicinal herbs are plants which contain chemicals that have an effect upon the body. Of course whilst many have a favourable effect, those which are classed as poisons are regarded as medicinal because when given in appropriate doses they can be used to attack pathogens in the body. But how useful are these herbs? Some people swear by them, yet others are highly suspicious. Is their suspicion well-founded? The answer would have to be possibly, but not unequivocally. Herbs have been used for such a long time that it is hard to deny their usefulness. Before the mass production of synthesised drugs they were all we had to rely on.
If you delve a little deeper, you'll soon discover that many of the medicines prescribed by doctors and sold by pharmacists today also originate from herbs. Many synthetic medicines have been created to mimic compounds found in plants. For instance, aspirin (acetylsalicylic acid) is very similar to salicin which is found in willow bark. Once metabolised in the body, salicin forms various salicylic derivatives. Although their presence is not found in sufficiently high concentrations to provide an analgesic effect, other chemicals in the bark including flavonoids and polyphenols contribute to combat pain.
The proper processing of herbs for medicinal purposes is complex and beyond the skills of the average home gardener, but there are many herbs which are relatively easy to grow and safe for most people to use; herbs such as rosemary, lavender, garlic and lemon balm. Many herbs also have the added benefit of attracting predatory insects to your garden which will keep unwanted pests in check.
Whilst we mainly think of herbs as being useful for flavouring and garnishing food dishes, many of them can also be quite easily transformed into herbal teas or topical ointments which may provide medicinal benefits. Sometimes these benefits are preventative rather than curative - you can help your body to fend off infections and illnesses by boosting your immune system and natural defences.
All kinds of chemical compounds occur in plants. Some are toxic, some may be toxic in high quantities, and others may be required in high concentrations to be of any use. Knowledge of these chemicals, and an understanding of what effect they may have, is imperative for herbalists.
All the chemical compounds found in plants are derived from carbohydrates which are synthesised during photosynthesis. These compounds can be divided into two main groups: primary and secondary metabolites. Some chemicals may be both primary and secondary, so this grouping is a slight generalisation but it is a widely used method.
These are found in all plant cells. They are used in basic plant processes and biochemical reactions concerned with growth and metabolism. They include fats, proteins, and carbohydrates. From a commercial perspective primary metabolites are harvested for use in large quantities as relatively low value raw materials for industry, or foods such as vegetable oils, as well as food additives such as proteins and carbohydrates like starch, cellulose and sucrose.
Among the primary metabolites, some have physiological influences on the human body but it is mostly secondary metabolites.
This is the group of most interest to us because medicinal plants have lots of these chemicals. In fact, it is the presence of secondary metabolites which give medicinal plants their name. There are thousands of these secondary metabolites. They are generally not involved in growth and metabolic processes but instead many of them are used by plants to fight against pathogens or to ward off attacks from herbivores - by being toxic or repellent to them. They therefore play a role in defence. Others may inhibit the growth of other competitor plants, and some are responsible for pigments and odours which attract pollinating insects to plants.
Secondary metabolites are derived from primary metabolites. There are different ways to classify them but one method which is widely adopted is to group them into alkaloids, phenolic compounds, and terpenoids. Alkaloids and phenolic compounds are synthesised by the shikimic pathway. Terpenoids are synthesised via the acetyl-CoA mevalonic acid pathway.
WHY STUDY THIS COURSE
- For personal or professional development
- To enhance your business or career
- As a student, to fill in gaps in your knowledge of herbs
- Because this is your passion
Whether you are planning to start your own business selling medicinal herbs or herb products, or you would like to know more about using herbal remedies for your family, this micro course will provide you with a great foundation. Using a self-paced, interactive study guide, you can take as little or as much time as you wish to complete this course.