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Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Legal Implications of Practicing as a Herbalist

Herbs and regulated but Herbalism is not(right now).  Learning Herbs.com has a legal and regulatory video with Roy Upton you can purchase.  I also have some information from a workshop I had a local herbalist give at my school on being compliant with the new laws and regulations just going into effect this year(GMP guidelines) on my social networking site for the school on the spruz social network.

Practicing herbalists, are just that---PRACTICING.  Some herbalists believe that the big pitfall in herbal medicine as a modality is the lack of access to clinical training that herbalists receive if they want to practice and accept money--aka professional.

My Registration is with the only "professional association" of herbalists in the nation.  It means that people I respect went over my qualifications and experience and I answer not only to my clients but to this Guild.  I believe in some ways the Registration does nothing and in others it hold me to a higher level of accountability.  Registration or certification as an herbalist is not necessary and many would like to keep herbalism away from Licensure or any other form of institutionalization. 

It is suggested that those seeking registration with the AHG see clients and practice as herbalists for several years.  There are many different types of herbalists.  Some make medicine, some wildcraft, some see clients, some teach, some do a little of all of it.

If you see clients and take money, I do feel that it is important to have some sort of protocols and scope of practice for yourself.  The AHG suggests an informed consent and full disclosure form when practicing to avoid any miscommunication.  I think that because we are unregulated, and I am one that likes it that way, I am pretty methodical about how I practice since it is publicly on the internet and my community.

As far as selling.  That is an entirely other realm.  There are lots of new regulations.  They pretty much suck to put it mildly.
There is a several hundred page document that was just drawn up on the matter.  Yuck.
Basically if you sell you are supposed to follow a bunch of guidelines and protocols and make sure you document EVERYTHING, oh yes and have a commercial kitchen.

There is an article that a colleague of mine did in Plant Healer Magazine on the subject--Sean Donahue wrote it.

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