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Herb Classifications & Contraindications

Course Information

Herbal Courses


Unit Title and Code :   Herb Classifications and Contra- indications  Course 2

Unit Duration : 20 hours assignments and home study.

Core or Elective Unit: Core Unit

Pre-requisites : - None

Mode of Delivery External studies delivered with a combination of texts, workbooks, written assignments and an online final written assessment

Unit Objectives The objectives of this unit is to provide an introduction to the terminology that is used in herbal medicine. It looks at the organ herbal remedies and their indications in disease states. It develops student’s knowledge in poisonous and scheduled herbs and the identification of these plants. Student’s skills are developed in the creation of herbal treatments and the management and treatment of acute and chronic conditions. This unit also looks to develop skills in herbal contra-indications and interactions and the management of reactions to herbal treatments.

Course Content:

  • The actions and definitions of herbs                   
  • The herbal organ remedies
  • Introduction to the chemical constituents
  • Recognise highly poisonous plants                     
  • Herb contra-indications and interactions
  • Manage specialised herbal treatments
  • Identify the stages of disease and their modes and methods of treatment.

Learning Outcomes

Learning Outcomes

Assessment Criteria

Learning Outcome 1

The actions and definitions of herbs

  • Identify the terms used to describe the actions and definitions of herbs.
  • Highlight the terminology used in herbal treatments
  • Become familiar with the herbs used for each herbal actions and indications

Learning Outcome 2

The Organ Remedies.

  • Identify the herbal organ remedies and the conditions that they would be used for

Learning Outcome 3

Recognise all highly poisonous plants  

  • Discuss highly poisonous plants
  • Identify poisonous plants in their natural state.

Learning Outcomes 4

Recognise scheduled herbs

  • Highlight scheduled herbs
  • Discuss the reasons for their scheduling

Learning Outcome 5

Herbal contra-indications

  • Identify potential herbal contra-indications
  • Discuss treatment modifications to deal with contraindications
  • Identify drug interactions with herbal medicines

Learning Outcomes 6

Manage specialised herbal medicine treatments

  • Discuss specialised herbal treatment strategies.
  • Highlight possible treatment reactions
  • Recognise and respond to reactions to treatments
  • Discuss means of reviewing treatment plans
  • Outline dosages and special considerations needed for children, elderly, adolescents, pregnant women, menopausal women as well as adult men and women for each herb.

Learning Outcome 7

Identify stages of disease

  • Identify acute and chronic disease states
  • Discuss principles of diagnosis for acute and chronic disease
  • Identify methods of treatment for acute and chronic disease states

Learning outcome 8

Introduce the chemical constituents

  • Outline all the chemical constituents with a brief outline of their importance and actions

Lecture Plans:


Lecture Content

Recommended Reading


Herb Actions and definitions



Herb Actions and definitions



The Organ Remedies



Introduction to the archetypal plant constituents



Poisonous and scheduled plants



Herbal Contra-indications



Acute and chronic disease states



Specialised herbal treatments


Set Texts :

David Hoffman – The Holistic Herbal – Element Press

Simon. Mills - The Essential Book of Herbal Medicine, 1991, Arkana

Mills S & Bone K. – The Essential Guide to Herbal Safety – 2005 Elsevier Churchill Livingstone

Resources and Texts

Relevant texts or journals, paper based material or DVD s.

British Herbal Pharmacopeia – Revised by its scientific committee. 1996. British Herbal medicine Association

Braun L. & Cohen M. – 2005 Herbs & Natural Supplements, An evidence based guide . Elsevier Mosby. NSW.

Chevellier A. 2001 – Encyclopaedia of Medicinal Plants . Dorling Kindersley

Fisher C. & Painter G. – 1996 – Materia Medica of Western Herbs for the Southern Hemisphere

Hoffman D.– The Holistic Herbal– Element Press

Phyllis A. Balch – 2002- Prescription for Herbal Healing. Penguin Putman Inc

Phyllis A. Balch – 2006- Prescription for Nutritional Healing Penguin Group Publishing

Mills S & Bone K. – The Essential Guide to Herbal Safety – 2005 Elsevier Churchill Livingstone

Mills S. & Bone K. – 2000- Principles and practice of Phytotherapy – Churchill Livingstone

Readers Digest – 1994 Magic and Medicine of Plants. Readers Digest Australia

Sherwood Peter – 2005 Healing. The history, philosophy and Practise of natural medicine. Griffin Press. South Australia.

Shippard I. 2003 – How can I use herbs in my daily life? David Stewart

CRELLIN, J. K., and Philpott, J., 1990. Herbal Medicine Past and Present: Volume I, Trying to Give Ease. Durham and London: Duke University Press.

Matthew Wood, Master of Science Degree (Herbal Medicine) 2006 Scottish School of Herbal Medicine

The Energetics of Western Herbs by Peter Holmes (1997). 

A key to Galen’s Method of Physic” (Culpeper, 1990, 376

Weiss and Weiss, 1992, 35

Roger French – The man who lives in three centuries – Natural Health Society of Australia, 2002

Alan Moyle – Nature Cure Explained Health for All Publishing, London 1950

Dr H.C.A. Vogel – The Nature Doctor – Bookman Press 1995

Hoffman D. CD Rom The Herbalist. 2000


Microsoft Encarta Encyclopedia 99. CD Rom

Wilder A. The History of medicine, Maine Farmer Publications, Maine, 1904

S. Garland, The Complete Book of Herbs and Spices. 1979.

Adams J. & Tan E. Herbal Manufacturing, Northern Melbourne Institute of TAFE Printers, 1999

Alternative Medicine," Microsoft® Encarta® Encyclopedia 99. © 1993-1998 Microsoft Corporation.






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