The Faculty of Traditional Herbal Medicine

The IRCH Register and distance learning course was originally established in 1960 and has been successfully producing qualified practitioners of herbal medicine ever since.  Our Herbal Medicine Course is recognised by the Complementary Medical Association for its excellence and depth of training. The CMA represents the interests in excess of ten thousand practitioners including medical herbalists, and is now the largest multi-disciplinary professional membership body in the world.

The IRCH distance learning course is carefully structured to enable students to fit study in and around the everyday pressures of living.  It is however, a course that demands commitment and a desire to reach the high standards set by the Faculty staff.  The course is divided into five modules, with the lessons within each module supplemented by seminars at the Annual Conference and Summer School. The Annual Conference is an opportunity to meet students from all modules, practising herbalists and to take part in lively lectures and discussions.

The IRCH course is much more than theory. Clinical skills seminars give students the opportunity to learn about herbal medicine first hand from our experienced practitioners including case taking, examination techniques and diagnostic methods.  A recognised amount of clinical training must also be undertaken at our training clinics that are situated around the country.  This is on a supervised one to one basis, giving the student confidence to develop his/her own clinical practice.

Throughout the course, students are continually assessed and examinations are taken with the on-going support of tutors.  All the IRCH tutors are fully qualified as medical herbalists or homoeopaths as well as experts in their particular field.  Our tutors include nurses, doctors, scientists as well as academics, some of whom teach in universities. External tutors are used ad hoc for specialised areas of training. Students also have a mentor who is available to guide and support those with personal problems as well as issues around their study.


The cure of the part should not be attempted without treatment of the whole. No attempt should be made to cure the body without the soul and if the head and the body are to be healthy, you must begin by curing the mind, for this is the greatest error of our day in the treatment of the human body that physicians first separate the soul from the body.

Plato 429 – 347 BC

“Happiness cannot be traveled to, owned, earned, worn or consumed. Happiness is the spiritual experience of living every minute with love, grace, and gratitude.”
“If you have health, you probably will be happy, and if you have health and happiness, you have all the wealth you need, even if it is not all you want. “


I have been qualified as a pharmacist for over forty years and during the course of practising my profession, I have realised how the culture of over-prescribing medicines, driven by a powerful pharmaceutical industry has lead to terrific side effects in terms of  unnecessary suffering, hospital admissions and fatalities, the latter often not recorded on the death certificate as the cause of death.

As a result of this, I decided to engage on a road to training in holistic health using my salary as a pharmacist to fund it. I was determined to  treat the cause of disease and educate people on health promotion and disease prevention, rather than just treating symptoms with what I can only describe as a chemical assault by the majority (but by no means all) of the medical profession. I wanted to do this holistically realising the inter-relationship of body, mind and spirit. I started off studying and qualifying in counselling, massage, homeopathy and aromatherapy and then realised the power of plants in the healing journey. I studied flower essences and their role in emotional healing and became a member of the British Flower and Vibrational Essence Association (BFVEA) and the same time started to study herbalism.

I have studied on a number of herbal courses before finally becoming a member of the International Register of Consultant Herbalists and Homeopaths. I would like to recommend their course of study for a variety of reasons-

1. The course is student centred and students can proceed at their own pace in their own space but with much support from tutors and other students. The flexibility of the course allows students to fit it with their other life commitments and financial situation.

2. The IRCH  herbalism course is the only one I know which captures the soul, art and science of treating people with herbs, diet and lifestyle changes bringing it all together in the traditional ,person centred, holistic and a very practical and thorough clinical practice.

3. It is the best herbal course for treating the 21st century patient who is subject to the increasing de-personalisation of technology, bureaucracy, stress and target driven competition in work , social isolation and a breakdown of empathy, community and family support.

B. Draper

If you are interested in finding out more about the IRCH and its unique course, please contact us for a full prospectus.

The IRCH is a fully accredited member of IADL International Association for Distance Learning