My training as a Medical Herbalist was 4 years at Degree level, I studied s Medicine, Pathology and Clinical Diagnosis as well as Nutrition and of course Materia Medica (study of Herbs) Botany, Phyto-chemistry and Pharmacognosy ( how the herbs actually work in the body)
Herbal Medicine can be considered both an Art and a Science, the Art is in the formulation of the prescription which suits the individual person, actions of herbs are considered ( anti-inflammatory etc) as well as the energetic properties of the herb including their temperature ( heating or cooling)
Because the whole person is treated, many conditions can be helped at once and because no two people are the same, the prescription of Herbal Medicines are unique, for example if two people came to the same herbalist with osteoarthritis, they would leave with a different prescription of herbal medicines, and different Nutritional and Lifestyle recommendations.
Although Herbal Medicine can alleviate symptoms, and often I will prescribe herbs for acute situations such as colds, ear infections, urinary tract infections etc, Herbal Medicine really is able to assist very well with more long term or chronic conditions. The approach of the Medical Herbalist is to seek the underlying cause therefore assisting the body to heal itself, rather than treating symptoms alone.
My Clinic Dispensary is fully stocked with over 100 different Herbs in the form of Tinctures ( liquid whole plant extracts) Dried Herbs for Medicinal Tea blends, Capsules, Aromatic Waters and Glycerites as well as Herbs for topical application in the form of Creams, Infused Herb Oils, and Essential Oils.
I only use certified organic or wild crafted herbs and purchase from suppliers dedicated to Medical Herbalists. I also wild harvest some herbs for medicinal tea blends from our local countryside and make my own Herbal Infused Oils. There is something very special about taking herbs that come directly from our own local area.