Becoming an AHG Registered Herbalist

The mission of the American Herbalists Guild supports herbal education and practice. We envision a world where everyone has access to herbal medicine and skilled, competent herbal practioners are an integral part of every community. 

Documents Relevant to this page:

Criteria for Registered Herbalist Membership and Application Process

Preparing a Case for Review

AHG Code of Ethics




PLEASE NOTE: We are currently in the process of updating the application process for both Standard and Expedited Registered Herbalist Applications.  No new applications will be accepted until sometime in 2020 when we plan to have the entire application process available on-line, along with some revised polices and other changes that we hope will make things easier for our members. Questions? Feel free to contact Admissions Coordinator. 

What is a Registered Herbalist?

Registered Herbalist Membership is offered as a way for herbalists to demonstrate a core level of knowledge and experience in botanical medicine practice that establishes a meaningful standard of competency for themselves, their communities and other health professionals and institutions.

We recognize that there are many skilled herbalists in the world and choosing to become registered with the American Herbalists Guild is only one of many ways herbalists may choose to demonstrate their skills. For those who welcome review by their peers as confirmation of their clinical skills, the designation ‘Registered Herbalist’ establishes a recognized level of expertise and commitment to the practice of herbalism. All Registered Herbalists promise to abide by the American Herbalists Guild Code of Ethics.

Who Can Apply?

Before you can apply you must have completed a minimum number of hours of herbal training and clinical practice. We also offer an Expedited Application for health care practitioners who have achieved competency or licensure in other medical fields or traditions such as acupuncturists, naturopathic physicians, etc. and meet the herbal studies requirements above.

Download a copy of the Criteria for Registered Herbalist Membership and Application Process to learn more.

The Application Process

To complete the Registered Herbalist application you must provide details about your herbal education, clinical experience, several case histories from your practice and letters of recommendation. We’ve created some resources to help guide you through the application process and ask that you carefully review them as you consider applying. You’ll find details about requirements and the application process when you read the Criteria for Registered Herbalist Membership and Application Process. A non-refundable application fee ($75 for members, $125 for non-members) is due when you submit your application. 

The Admissions Committee reviews applications three times a year. All applications submitted before these dates, March 15, July 15 and November 15, are considered for review. Please note that we are not accepting applications for the November 15, 2019 cycle while we update the application process. We expect to have this complete in early 2020. To be notifed when we are accepting applications in 2020, please send us an email. You should submit your application before the deadlines so we have time to notify you if we need any additional information before passing it on to the Admissions Committee.

Expedited Applications are reviewed once a month and it may take up to six to eight weeks to for an answer from the committee. If you are considering the Expedited Application you may want to contact us for more details and to see if you qualify.

All applications are prescreened by Patricia Kyritsi Howell, AHG Admissions Coordinator. If your application is complete, it then goes to the Admissions Committee. David Winston, Admissions Committee Chair, oversees the process of reviewing applications along with a group of other Registered Herbalists members. Current Admission Committee members are Christopher Hobbs, Feather Jones, KP Khalsa, Phyllis D. Light, Lesley Tierra, Michael Tierra and Alan Tillotson.

Admissions Committee members are each assigned several applications to review. A Leikert Scale of 1 to 5 points is used for scoring. The committee meets by phone to review applications. The Admissions Committee Chair reviews scores for consistency and then collates the scores submitted by the committee members to determine whether the applicant has been accepted; this is based on a minimum score in each category and an overall passing score.

Should an application fail to score high enough to be accepted, members of the committee will provide written, detailed suggestions for continued study in preparation for resubmitting the application. These applications are categorized as ‘Pending’ and applicants are given a specific amount of time (usually 1 to 2 years) to complete additional education or clinical experience before submitting an amended application. The Admissions Coordinator is available to provide one-on-one guidance to help with process of understanding the required criteria and the reapplication process. ‘Pending’ applications are not required to pay second application fee.

The entire application review process takes approximately three months: March applications results are announced in late June, July applications in late October and November applications in late February.


We Want You to Join Us!

The American Herbalists Guild is committed to excellence in herbalism and empowering future and present herbalists in their careers. This website contains many resources for furthering your education, including details about our annual symposium. Also, all AHG members have access an impressive array of a recorded webinars and lectures from past symposia, digital archives of the Journal of the American Herbalists Guild and members-only discounts. Learn more about joining the Guild here.

Here are a few of the resources you can access now:

Becoming a Registered Herbalist: Details about what is needed to apply for membership.

Preparing a Case for Review: Here you’ll find clear information about what you need to include when submitting case studies along with your application.

Letter of Recommendation Template for Mentors

Looking for herbal studies programs? Find our list of member schools here.

Need help completing your clinical hours? Check out the AHG Mentorship Program. You can purchase and download a copy of our Mentorship Handbook ($10 for non-members, free for AHG members), or find a mentor to support you in the process of preparing to apply. Many of our Registered Herbalist members enjoy helping others pursue their herbal career goals, find the complete directory of available mentors here.

Hippocrates said 2000 years ago "It is more important to know the person that has a disease, than the disease a person has"