... at the heart of herbal medicine

Join the URHP

Althea OfficinalisStandards For Membership Entry Into The URHP

We include members who come from all backgrounds.

This may occur in two ways:

  1. Automatic for students graduating from courses recognised by the register and who are willing to sign up to our code of ethics. They also have to carry current professional & malpractice indemnity insurance and adhere to CPD requirements.
  2. Honorary - for those highly recognised by professional colleagues for being outstanding and competent herbalists with considerable experience and who are deemed to meet the above standards.

Accepted Curricular

We welcome applications from graduates of any course meeting EHTPA standards subject to completion of our interview process.

We also consider applicants who, through other routes, are able to demonstrate from their training, experience and case studies that they have met these standards.

URHP Standards Of Entry For Western Herbal Medicine

Anatomy And Physiology

The applicant should have knowledge of the following topics:

  • Cells
  • Nutritional biochemistry - atoms and molecules, structure, function and metabolism of carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, nucleic acids
  • Fluid, electrolyte and acid base balance
  • Tissue organisation - epithelial, connective, muscular, neural
  • The skin
  • The skeletal system - structure, bone development, anatomy of axial and appendicular skeleton; Joints
  • Muscle tissue - anatomy and physiology of skeletal, cardiac and smooth muscle tissue; Major axial and appendicular muscles and their insertions
  • Surface anatomy and landmarks
  • The nervous system: structure and physiology of neural tissue, spinal cord and nerves, brain and cranial nerves, sensory and motor pathways, ANS, and sensory function including the general senses and special senses
  • Endocrine system anatomy and physiology
  • Composition of the blood and haemostasis
  • The cardiovascular system anatomy and physiology
  • The lymphatic and immune system
  • The respiratory system anatomy and physiology
  • The digestive system anatomy and physiology
  • The urinary system - anatomy and physiology
  • The female and male reproductive system including genetics, fertilisation, the three trimesters of pregnancy, birth and the postnatal period

Pathology And Clinical Medicine

General pathological processes - Acute and chronic inflammation; Infection, The immune system and disease, Healing and repair, Cell damage and cell death, Cell growth imbalances - benign and malignant growths.

Clinical medicine - a more detailed knowledge is expected of those conditions commonly encountered by a herbalist a less detailed knowledge of those conditions rarely seen

  • The branches of medicine, Investigations - blood and urine tests, x-ray, ultrasound, radionuclide scans, MRI, ECG, EEG, pulmonary tests, endoscopy, biopsy.
  • Infectious diseases - Measles; Mumps; Rubella; Chickenpox; Pertussis; Glandular fever; Aids; Dysentery; Giardia; Campylobacter; Herpes simplex (HSV1); Vaccination; Red flags; Fever differentiation
  • Cardiovascular system and haematology - Ischaemic heart disease - angina and myocardial infarction; Congestive cardiac failure; Hypertension; Pericarditis; Peripheral vascular disease - varicose veins, thrombophlebitis, deep venous thrombosis, Raynauds, intermittent claudication, buerger's disease; Differentiation of chest pain and palpitations; red flags. Anaemia; Thrombocytopenia; Oedema; Leukaemia; Myelomatosis; Lymphadenopathy; Lymphoma; Differentiation of haemorrhage
  • Respiratory system - Coryza; Influenza; Sinusitis; Tonsilitis; Allergic rhinitis; Laryngitis; Acute epiglottitis; Bronchitis; Pneumonia; TB; Sarcoidosis; Bronchiectasis; Carcinoma of the bronchus; Asthma, COPD; Pneumothorax, Pleurisy; Pulmonary embolism; Red flags; Differentiation of breathlessness, haemoptysis, cough and sputum
  • Urinary system - NSU; Cystitis; Prostatitis; Acute and chronic Pyelonephritis; Acute and chronic glomerulonephritis; Renal failure; Incontinence; Kidney stones and renal colic; Malignant neoplasia of the bladder and kidney; BPH; Prostatic malignancy; Orchitis, Epididymitis; Benign testicular swellings; Testicular torsion; Undescended testes; Impotence; Premature ejaculation; Red flags; Differentiation of dysuria and haematuria
  • Musculoskeletal system - RA; OA; SLE; Polyarteritis nodosa; Scleroderma; Ankylosing spondylitis; Systemic sclerosis; Dermatomyositis; Polymyalgia rheumatica; Gout; Strains and sprains; Tennis and Golfers elbow; Nerve compression; Bursitis; RSI; Frozen shoulder; osteoporosis; Neoplastic bone disease; Back pain; Red flags.
  • Dermatology - Eczema; Psoriasis; Acne vulgaris; Acne rosacea; Alopecia; Vitiligo; Furunculosis; Impetigo; Tinea - pedis, corporis, capitis, cruris; Pityriasis versicolor; Candidiasis; Scabies; Head lice; Tumours - warts, basal cell carcinoma, sqamous cell carcinoma, malignant melanoma; kaposis sarcoma; Red flags; Differentiation of itching.
  • ENT and Ophthalmology - conjunctivitis, blepharitis, hordeolum, keratitis, episcleritis, uveitis, choroiditis, cataract, squint, glaucoma, red flags, differentiation of redness and loss of vision. Ears - Meniere's, otitis externa, otitis media, tinnitus, perforation of the ear drum, secretory otitis media, labyrinthitis, CSOM, red flags. Throat - hoarseness, adenoids, laryngeal tumours, differentiation of dysphagia.
  • Gastrointestinal disease - Diseases of the mouth and tongue - stomatitis, glossitis, leukoplakia, cancer; Diseases of the oesophagus - reflux oesophagitis, cancer; Diseases of the stomach and duodenum - gastritis, peptic ulcer, stomach carcinoma; Small intestine - malabsorption, Crohn's; Appendicitis; Large intestine - ulcerative colitis, IBS, diverticulitis, carcinoma; Anus - haemorrhoids, fissure, fistula; Pancreas - acute and chronic pancreatitis, malignancy; Liver - jaundice, hepatitis, cirrhosis, carcinoma; Gall bladder - cholelithiasis, cholecystitis; Red flags; Differentiation - abdominal pain, diarrhoea, constipation, melaena, nausea and vomiting
  • Nervous system - TIA; CVA; Subarachnoid haemorrhage; Extradural haemorrhage; Subdural haemorrhage; Epilepsy; MS; Parkinson's; Myasthenia gravis; Motor Neurone Disease; Cerebral tumour; Encephalitis; Meningitis; Insomnia; Herpes zoster; Spinal cord disorder - cervical spondylosis, lumbago sciatica; Peripheral nerves - mononeuropathy and polyneuropathy; Headaches; Cranial Nerves - Trigeminal neuralgia, Bells palsy; Muscular dystrophy; Red Flags; Differentiation - dizziness, black outs, confusion, difficulty walking.
  • Endocrine system - Thyroid disease - hyperthyroidism, hypothyroidism, goitre, tumours; Diabetes mellitus; Adrenal glands - Cushing's syndrome, Addison's disease; Pituitary gland - tumours.
  • Psychiatry - Anxiety and panic attacks; Phobias; Obsessive compulsive disorder; PTSD Depression; Bipolar disorder; Schizophrenia; Dementia; Addiction - drugs and alcohol; Anorexia nervosa and Bulimia nervosa
  • Gynaecology - PID, Menstrual imbalance - PMS, dysmenorrhoea, endometriosis, amenorrhoea, menorrhagia, metrorrhagia; Ectopic pregnancy; Ovarian tumours; Polycystic ovaries; Fibroids; Uterine cancer; Cervical cancer; Infertility; Contraception; Breast disease - cancer, lump, mastitis, nipple discharge, pain; Menopause
  • Pregnancy and childbirth - Morning sickness; Miscarriage; Large-for-dates; Pre-eclampsia; Abrubtio placentae and Placenta praevia; Premature labour; Postmaturity; Labour - three stages of, difficult labour, malposition, malpresentation, disproportion, multiple pregnancy, delivery, retained placenta, post partum haemorrhage; Post natal care - Lochia, Puerperal fever, Breast feeding; Red flags.
  • Paediatrics - Mile stones; Cot death; Feeding problems - pyloric stenosis, oesophageal reflux, diarrhoea; Colic; Failure to thrive; Childhood fever and febrile convulsions; Hand, foot and mouth disease; Croup; Red flags

Western Herbal Medicine Materia Medica

An understanding of 150 plants used in the Western Herbal Materia Medica, which may also include plants used in other systems of herbal medicine which have become part of or are valid as part of a western herbal materia medica. The following should be understood

  • The Latin and Common name
  • Plant identification - the student should be able to identify the majority of the plants studied as they grow in the wild, and should be aware of the plant family to which they belong
  • Parts used and harvesting
  • Western actions - i.e. diaphoretic, alterative, nervine, hypnotic, diuretic, expectorant, anodyne, rubefacient etc.
  • Phytochemistry and Pharmacology - knowledge of the most pharmacologically important contents of a plant and why this may justify the use of the plant
  • Energetics - this is optional, but an energetic understanding of the use of a plant as defined either by historical western herbalists i.e. Culpeper/ Dioscorides or as defined by an established current system of energetic herbalism i.e. Ayurveda, Chinese, Unami or Tibb is encouraged to give a broader perspective of the plant. Where the energetic approach is used the applicant must be able to clearly distinguish when this paradigm is being used, and when a non energetic western pharmacology approach is being used.
  • The body systems and organs affected
  • The uses - this may include knowledge of traditional usage as reflected by the use of the herb throughout history and still within the context of the current day as well as knowledge of current scientific research - i.e. both empirical and evidence based usage of the herb. It is recognised that some students/practitioners may emphasise one of these aspects more than another and this is acceptable.
  • Precautions and indications - possible side effects, drug or herb interactions and safety for use in pregnancy, lactation and children. Knowledge of schedule three herbs.
  • Dosage - knowledge of dosage in both tincture and dried form - this is especially important in the case of more powerful herbs and schedule three herbs

Herbal Formula

The applicant should have knowledge of how to use herbs in formulation as well as simples, and be able to demonstrate the art and science of creating a formula based on the individual needs of a patient, as well as an awareness of traditional formula combinations.


The ability to make and knowledge of the applications for:

  • Decoctions and infusions
  • Tinctures and fluid extracts
  • Powders and capsules
  • Juices
  • Liniments, poultices, compresses, oils, creams and ointments
  • Enemas

There should also be an awareness of what phytochemical are most optimally extracted by what techniques. The student should also have knowledge of techniques used to assess the quality of herbs such as TLC and HPLC, as well as having knowledge of important factors in the quality control and storage of herbs


The student should have a basic knowledge of botany, including knowledge of the characteristic features of plant families in which herbal medicines are commonly found; botanical terminology useful in plant identification; Knowledge of plant structure and physiology in relationship to flowers, leaves, roots, seeds and stems.

Case Taking And Analysis

The applicant should be able to demonstrate the ability to take a clear and thorough case which must cover in detail the presenting symptoms and concomitants of the case as well as a systems survey and comprehension of the patient as a whole. This may include the asking of more detailed symptom questions to be able to perform an energetic evaluation or specific herbal usage. The applicant should be able to evaluate a case in order to high light the most important symptoms, decide which body systems and/or organs are affected and arrive at a assessment/diagnosis which allows them to effectively prescribe on the basis of a western understanding of the body and herbal medicine. In addition some will be able to perform an energetic analysis and further refine the prescription and treatment strategy. In addition there should be sufficient knowledge of western diagnostic skills to be able to recognise and refer where necessary patients with more serious presentations.


There should be a basic understanding of pharmacology so as to enable the practitioner to understand the orthodox medication which the patient is taking. For selected common drugs the following should be understood - the mechanism of action, route of administration, indications, common side effects or interactions and the implications of withdrawal from the drug. There should be knowledge of:

  • Drug receptors and pharmacokinetics
  • Drug response and clearance
  • Commonly used orthodox drugs for: The peripheral and central nervous system, the cardiovascular system, the genitourinary system, the endocrine system, the female and male reproductive system including contraception and HRT, infectious diseases, cancer and terminal disease, musculoskeletal system, psychiatry, analgesia, the respiratory system, gastrointestinal system

Clinical Examination Skills

The applicant should be able to perform a competent physical examination which must show ability to examine the following systems, performing some of the following:

  • General - Inspection- face, mucous membranes, hand (nails), skin, ankle swelling, thyroid gland, respiration rate, temperature; Palpation - cervical, axillary and femoral lymph nodes
  • Cardiovascular - Inspection - JVP, abdominojugular reflex; Auscultation - heart sounds, arterial bruit, blood pressure; Palpation - pulse diagnosis including palpation of the radial, brachial, carotid, popliteal, dorsalis pedis, posterior tibial; Apex beat
  • Respiratory - Inspection - expansion, symmetry, respiratory rate; Palpation - trachea, lymph nodes, expansion of chest, TVF; Percussion; Auscultation - breath sounds, added sounds, WP
  • Nervous - Gait; Mental state; Cranial nerves; Co-ordination skills/Balance - Romberg, rapid alternating movement, accuracy of movement; Primary sensory function - light touch, pin prick, vibration sense; Discriminatory sensory function - stereognosis, JPS, point location; Motor function - ability to move limbs, muscle tone, muscle power, clonus; Reflexes - biceps, triceps, brachioradial, knee, ankle, plantar, abdominal; Straight leg raising
  • Gastrointestinal - Inspection - hands, eyes, abdominal tone etc; Palpation - superficial and deep of all 9 abdominal areas, liver, Murphy's, spleen, kidneys, aorta, Mcburney's, lymph nodes, hernial orifices; Percussion - 9 abdominal areas, masses, liver, spleen, bladder, kidneys, fluid wave and shifting dullness; Auscultation - bowel sounds, aortic/renal bruit.
  • Musculoskeletal - Inspection - deformities, gait, hands, eyes, skin, swollen joints; Palpation of joints (hand and wrist, elbow, shoulder, jaw, feet and ankles, knees, hips, spine- range of movement, passive, resisted and active movement, muscle power; Leg and arm length

Practice Management

The practitioner should be able to demonstrate a basic knowledge of important aspects of being a practitioner:

  • Knowledge of the patient practitioner relationship - ability to demonstrate a caring, considerate approach and basic knowledge of counselling skills.
  • Knowledge and understanding of ethical issues which may arise in practise
  • Knowledge of the everyday running of a practice including good dispensing practise and business management
  • Legal issues

The Holistic Context

The practitioner should be able to demonstrate the ability to be more than a prescriber of plant medicines and have an understanding of other factors which may be important in the treatment of a patient:

  • Diet and nutrition the use of foods and dietary advise as part of a treatment protocol - the practitioner should be able to demonstrate some basic knowledge of western nutrition and the role of different vitamins and minerals in health, as well as the holistic application of foods and herbs on a nutritional level to specific patients this may include the use of an energetic model of nutrition.
  • The role of factors such as stress, lifestyle and exercise in illness and health promotion
  • The importance of emotional and social issues in disease and treatment.
  • Some naturopathic knowledge in terms of fasting, juicing, and hydrotherapy is also encouraged
  • An understanding of the concept of constitution is not essential but is encouraged this may use the old European model of the four temperaments or could draw on an existing non western system of medicine such as the tridosha of Ayurveda or the five elemental types of Chinese Medicine as long as the applications used to address the constitution include western herbal medicines or other naturopathic methods.

Clinical Experience

The applicant must demonstrate that they have clinical experience - both supervised as well as personal clinical experience are acceptable providing the applicant can demonstrate sufficient knowledge of the above.

Mode Of Learning

It is accepted that different applicants may have different backgrounds and may have studied in the following ways:

  • Full time
  • Part time
  • Correspondence and seminar
  • Correspondence
  • Apprenticeship
  • Self taught

It is recognised that the final outcome is more important than the process and providing that the above standards can be met applicants from any of these categories are welcome, although it would normally be expected that the person had studied for a period of between 3-4 years, had some class contact or personal tutor and some clinical experience both supervised and personal.

Ayurvedic Curriculum For URHP

The basis for acceptance to the URHP as an Ayurvedic practitioner is a thorough grounding in the principles if Ayurveda; theory, diagnosis and treatment.

To have completed study of:

  1. Indian philosophy. Study and competence of sat darshana- especially samkhya, nyaya-vaisheshika, mimamsa, and yoga. Detailed understanding of panchmahabhuta theory.
  2. Ayurvedic anatomy and physiology:
    • Clear understanding of the tattwa, dosha (5 sub-dosha), 7 dhatu, 3 mala,16 srota. Specific of location of dosha, interrelationship with dhatu and movement around the body via the srota and the kalas.
    • Dosha: deficiency, excess or imbalance/aggravation
    • Dhatu: deficiency, excess
    • Srota: obstructed, overflowing, counterflowing, excess
    • Detailed knowledge of the 20 guna.
    • Understanding of prana, tejas, oja
    • Knowledge of sattwa, rajas, tamas.
    • Understanding of agni-13 types, 4 states.
  3. Differential understanding of prakruti and vikruti: diagnostic signs, combinations (8 types of prakruti) and variables.
  4. Swasthvritta: Daily life-style.
  5. Samprapti and pathogenesis. Three disease pathways- antar, madhyam, bahya
  6. Nidana- Cause of disease. Pariksha- Diagnos:3-fold method: sparshana, darshana, prashana. 8 . fold method: nadi pariksha, jibha, mutra, mala, shabdha, sparsha, druck, akruti.
  7. Rogavigyana- Specifics of pathology: 80 vataja disorders, 40 pittaja disorders and 20 kaphaja disorders.
    • Ama: signs and symptoms, causes, treatment. Clear ability to diagnose ama and its combination with the dosha.
    • Prognosis- 4 types.
  8. Therapeutic energetics: rasa, virya, vipaka, prabhava.
    • 6 tastes, 2 thermal qualities, 20 qualities, 3 post-digestive effects, special action
  9. Chikitsa:
    • Shodhana, shamana, brimhana, langhana, rasayana, vajikarana, agni deepana, amapachana.
    • Panch karma.
    • Ahara, Vihara: Nitrition and dietetics.
  10. Pharmacology.
    • Karma: Plant actions: deepaniya, balya, bhedaniya etc
    • 100 Herbs and 25 formulas.
    • Pharmacy: plant preparations: gugguls, goli churna, lepa, rasa, phanta, kashaya, asava, arishta, prash, awelaha, tail ghee.
  11. Clinical study: 250 hours

Proposal For The 8th Element

And An Expanded Concept For The East West Certified Herbalist Diploma

Traditional Medical Herbalism (Herbology) (TMH)


  • Traditional Medical Herbalism (TMH) integrates worldwide systems of herbal medicine with each other and in relation to current western scientific models.
  • Uses Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) as the basic theoretical clinical model for physiological, biochemical, pathological classification as well as classification of herbs, formulas, dietary and other treatment modalities.
  • Within this model, TMH integrates other traditional systems especially Traditional Indian Medicine known as Ayurvedic medicine, Traditional European Medicine and traditional systems of native and folk medicine from around the world.

Materia Medica

Learning outcomes

  1. Be able to identify and clinically employ a wide range of plants from around the world, many of which such as European, North American, Chinese and Ayurvedic are traditionally used within regional ethnic systems.
  2. Have an understanding of the taxonomy of medicinal plants with the ability to classify them in terms of their energetic properties, organ terrains affected, their actions, properties and therapeutic uses within the body.
  3. Understand the affect of various plants in terms of body, mind, and spirit in accordance with functional principles of wholistic medical practice.
  4. Appreciate the relative merit of various types of preparations, including water and alcohol extracts, dry extracts, glycerites, standardised extracts, biochemical isolate extracts as well as more traditional forms of preparations including oil based, pastes, syrups, powders, cooked with specific foods" and achieve skill in their preparation.
  5. Know the dosage range of individual plants.
  6. Know pharmacological principles of formulation to amplify, direct, ameliorate, or otherwise assist or control a specific formulation for maximum individual therapeutic application.
  7. Understand the contraindications and incompatibilities of the various medicinal plants studied.
  8. Understand the complementary use of diet in relation to herbal practice, what foods are beneficial and which may be harmful in relationship to herbal therapy. Foods will be studied using the same classification as is used with the study of herbs.
  9. Be engaged in ongoing study and research to further refine classification of pathologies and plants in relationship to traditional classical Chinese energetic models in relation to current western medical science.
  10. Be aware of the wide range of plants from many of the traditional worldwide herbal systems that are already available and growing in local regions either as non-native introduced species, species that are used in other herbal traditions that are currently not in use locally, species that are cultivated as ornamentals.
  11. Develop an ethical earth-centered position in terms of sound ecological harvesting of wild species as well as organically cultivated herbs

Syllabus content

Introductory botany, ethical principles of wildcrafting and the cultivation of herbs.

The study of medicinal plants in terms of their energetic (heating - neutral - cooling) classifications, organoleptic assessment according to colour, smell, flavour and area grown, in relation to biochemical constituents or therapeutic applications, organ terrains affected, nutritional value and other factors that may pertain to their therapeutic actions.

Specific indications and uses of individual plants and in combination with other plants and substances with which they may be combined.

Information sources, including textbooks and online internet sources that presents both traditional and scientific uses, analysis and uses.

Dosage appropriate to individuals based on age, weight, sensitivity and other factors including idiopathic sensitivities.

Methods of application, external, internal, etc.

Issues relating to the ethical conservation.


Assessment will be partly by testing of specific areas of study, project work, written and oral examination by a committee of qualified tutors.


Students are encouraged to think imaginatively and creatively regarding the integration of traditional herbal systems in relation to current systems of western medical science. They will be further encouraged to use and define herbs, foods and various other substances of animal or mineral origin (within recognized safe guidelines) in relation to their use within a differential clinical model of assessment and diagnosis. Hopefully they will continue to feel inspired with the task of utilizing the finest knowledge of traditional healing systems in an ever evolving structure through an integrated system of differential diagnosis and treatment. Through such an approach the ancient wisdom of the past will be carried forth into the present and future.

Minimum level 3 of an undergraduate course

Learning outcomes

By the end of the course the student will be able to:

  1. Formulate a systematic diagnosis, treatment principle and treatment for patients presenting various specific imbalances and pathologies.
  2. Treat individually incorporating appropriate dietary, lifestyle and other factors leading to a more enduring outcome.
  3. They will be able to appropriately modify or change a specific treatment protocol based on ongoing review of the patient condition.
  4. Provide appropriate physiotherapy such as therapeutic massage or touch that will assist in the individual process of healing.
  5. Be aware of possible herb to herb, herb to drug side effects and contraindications.
  6. Be able to assess pros and cons, the effect of a specific treatment protocol after treatment.
  7. Have a working knowledge or at least 200 individual herbs, 70 of which to be studied in depth. A knowledge of other minerals or animal parts that are used in practice.
  8. Be capable of identifying a wide range of at least 150 to 200 live, growing medicinal plants.
  9. Be capable of evaluating the quality of various plants, live, dried and their various preparations.
  10. Be able to make a variety of basic plant based preparations.
  11. Have a full understanding of ethical principles of harvesting and using plants from the wild in relation to global sustainability.
  12. Have an understanding and appreciation of sound ethical principles of practice.
  13. The wisdom and understanding as to when to refer patients to other practitioners whose mode of practice may be complementary or more appropriate to their condition.


  1. Develop differential diagnostic skills both traditional and medical to arrive at a systematic diagnosis, treatment principle and treatment of the patient pending follow-up evaluation.
  2. Students will also be expected to acquire through study a basic physiotherapeutic skill in therapeutic massage, acupressure, etc in accordance to standards within those therapeutic modalities. It is a belief that such a skill whether utilised or not will help develop a practical "hands-on" understanding of the needs of individual patients that will ultimately enhance their efficacy as herbalists.
  3. Have a sound understanding of ethics that relate to clinical practice.
  4. An appreciation and knowledge of other medical systems, exploring therapeutic limits in the use of herbs pertaining to specific patients and when to refer such patients to other health care systems that may be appropriate to their condition.
  5. Consequent to this would be exploring methods of presenting oneself to the community as an education health resource pertaining to herbs and networking with other non-herbal practitioners in the community such as medical doctors, osteopaths and other medical specialists.


To develop an understanding of health and disease in relationship to both traditional models such as TCM, Ayurvedic medicine as well as current western science. Through a system of differential diagnosis that involves assessment of symptoms, appearance and demeanor of the patient in terms of their overall constitution (such as phlegmatic, nervous, fiery, excess or deficient state) and by questions asked, concerning essential basic functions (such as bowels, urine, menstruation, energy level, emotional factors, sweating, hot and cold preferences, etc.), pulse diagnosis, palpation of specific areas of the body, tongue diagnosis, evaluation of standard medical tests, etc., a diagnosis is made appropriate to traditional Chinese or Ayurvedic principles. Following this a systematic definition of treatment strategy is defined and a corresponding treatment prescribed.

  • It is understood that such a diagnosis and treatment remains hypothetical until the patient undergoes preliminary treatment and the practitioner assesses their response. According to the individual patient, treatment will involve appropriate dietary and life style modification.
  • The principle of treating the person who has the disease takes priority over merely treating the disease.
  • Through follow-up evaluation of symptoms, pulse, tongue, appearance, etc of the patient, the practitioner is able to evaluate the suitability of treatment. The practitioner will be aware and able to guide and advise the patient through any passing healing crises that may occur in the course of treatment.
  • The practitioner is able to implement supporting treatment, which may incorporate a form of physiotherapy, other alternative therapies or referral to a qualified medical practitioner.
  • Research, especially in the evaluation of traditional healing systems with each other and western science is expected of each student. An appropriate research project subject to the approval of the tutors must be completed as part of the course.

URHP Standards For Chinese Herbal Medicine


Knowledge of the history of TCM, philosophical influences, and branches of TCM

Traditional Chinese Theory

  • Yin and yang
  • The five elements - metal, earth, fire, water, wood
  • The zang-fu - lungs and large intestine, heart and small intestine, spleen and stomach, kidney and urinary bladder, liver and gallbladder, pericardium and sanjiao
  • Qi, blood and fluids
  • The channels and co-laterals
  • Aetiology
  • Pathogenesis

Traditional Chinese Medicine Diagnosis And Differentiation


  • The eight principles
  • Zang-fu differentiation
  • Qi, blood and fluids differentiation
  • The pathogenic factors - wind, heat, coldness, dryness, dampness, summer heat
  • The four levels of disease - wei, qi, ying, xue
  • The six stages of disease - taiyang, yangming, shaoyang, taiyin, shaoyin, jueyin


  • Observation - including tongue diagnosis - tongue body, shape and colour; tongue coat - colour, quality
  • Palpation - including pulse diagnosis - 28 qualities especially slow, rapid, superficial, deep, slippery, wiry, choppy, thin, tight, weak, full, hollow
  • Auscultation and olfaction
  • Questioning

Chinese Herbal Materia Medica

  • Herbal energetics - the four properties, the five tastes, the four directions, channels, toxicity
  • Processing of herbs
  • Weights and dosage
  • Herbal pharmacy - decoctions, infusions, powders, pills, liniments, tinctures, plasters
  • Antagonistic and incompatible herbs
  • Herbal categories - Release exterior wind, clear heat, purgative, clear wind and damp, aromatic damp reducing, diuretic damp draining, interior warming, qi regulating, food stagnation reducing, anthelmintic, haemostatics, astringents, expectorant/antitussive/anti-asthmatic, liver wind reducing, tranquillisers/nervines, blood moving, tonics, emetics, external applications
  • Knowledge of the Latin and pin yin, taste, energy, meridians entered, parts used, indications, dosage, contraindications, side effects and interactions of 150 herbs, including ability to identify 50-80 of these

Chinese Formula

  • Principles of formulation - monarch, minister, deputy and envoy
  • Knowledge of indications and principles for 80 herbal formula with an in depth knowledge of 50 herbal formula in depth knowledge should include knowledge of the ingredients, actions, indications, and classic modifications.
  • Formula modification

Diagnosis And Treatment Of Disease

  • Principles of treatment of disease - biao/ben, antipathogenic and pathogenic qi, regulating yin, yang, zang-fu, qi and blood, constitution, climate and environment
  • Eight therapeutic methods - sweating, purgation, harmonisation, warming, clearing heat, dispelling, tonification
  • The six exogenous factors
  • The zang-fu
  • Qi and blood disease
  • The differentiation of and herbal treatment of common diseases/presentations - this might include (suggestive rather than prescriptive) - Asthma; breathlessness; cough; common cold and influenza; nasal discharge and allergic rhinitis; sinusitis; nausea and vomiting; fever; abdominal pain - epigastric, hypochondriac, hypogastric; diarrhoea; constipation; palpitations; chest pain; insomnia; depression; dysmenorrhoea; irregular periods; amenorrhoea; uterine bleeding; heavy periods; breast lumps and pain; vaginal discharge; infertility; impotence; eczema; psoriasis; acne; urticaria; wei syndrome; bi syndrome; hypothyroidism; hyperthyroidism; xiao ke; conjunctivitis and red eye; tinnitus; dizziness; headaches; wind stroke; haemorrhage; tiredness; lin syndrome; oedema; lower back ache; childhood infectious diseases; morning sickness; threatened miscarriage; accumulation syndrome.


Knowledge of basic chemical structure, and pharmacological actions of phytochemicals to include plant acids, Phenols - simple phenols (salicylates)/flavonoids/ tannins/coumarins/ anthraquinones, essential oils, alkaloids, cardiac glycosides, cyanogenic glycosides, saponins, bitters, resins, gums and mucilages, carbohydrates - immuno stimulant/ hemicelluloses/ pectins.