Traditional Western or Community Herbalists base their work on traditional folk medicine or indications of historical uses of herbs and modern scientific information blended together. Backgrounds may include folk, Native American, eclectic, wise woman, earth-centered, and many other traditions. They may be trained through traditional or non-traditional methods such as apprenticeships, schools or self-study. Clinical Herbalists are present in the United States and in most of the nations in the European Union. Professional education is offered in the USA and throughout Europe in a variety of formats. Most programs cover the traditional uses of herbs, the basic medical sciences of biochemistry, nutrition, and anatomy as well as diagnosis and prescription. The most common titles given to clinical herbalists from the Western world include: RH (AHG), Registered Herbalist, American Herbalists Guild; MCPP Member, College of Practitioners of Phytotherapy; FNIMH Fellow, National Institute of Medical Herbalists; MNIMH Member, and National Herbalists Association of Australia.
Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) is the second-largest medical herbal system in the world after Western medicine. TCM doctors go through extensive training in theory, practice, herbal therapy, and acupuncture. Quite a few states now license acupuncturists, and many consider them primary health care providers. Their titles may include L.Ac. Licensed Acupuncturist; OMD Doctor of Oriental Medicine; or Dip. C.H. (NCCA) Diplomat of Chinese Herbology from the National Commission for the Certification of Acupuncturists.
Traditional Ayurvedic Medicine, (Ayurveda), the traditional medical system of India and Southeast Asia, is the third largest herbal medicine system in the world today. Ayurvedic doctors treat more than 80 percent of the people on the Indian subcontinent and go through extensive training that can last as long as 12 years. Some use the title M.D. (Ayur.) when they come to English speaking countries, while those who have passed the accreditation process of the American Ayurvedic Association are given the title D.Av. Diplomate in Ayurvedic Health Sciences.
Naturopathic Medicine integrates traditional natural therapeutics with modern scientific medical diagnoses and western medical standards of care. Most licensed naturopathic physicians, (N.D.) have received full medical training at one of four fully accredited medical universities in North America. There are currently 13 states that license the practice of naturopathic medicine.
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