The AHA Herbal Blog

What to Know About Registered Herbalists in Alberta

● Herbalists Associations are self-governing organizations providing recommendations for education, ethics, & scope of practice to

Registered Herbalists

Herbalists associations set a standard for self-regulation within our industry - we have codes of ethics, codes for practice, and education standards for Registered Herbalists. These codes and policies are set forward by the Canadian Council of Herbalists Associations (CCHA), with a view to providing safe, ethical & effective services to any member of the public who consults a herbalist registered with a provincial association.

Herbalists registered with an association such as the AHA have responsibilities to practice

according to their training and education, always putting the safety of the client first.

Complaints about the conduct of a Registered Herbalist can be made to the AHA’s Standards

& Bylaws Committee – Registered Herbalists who are found to have put the safety of a client

or the public at risk face removal from the association.

● AHA bestows herbalists who have met requirements with the honorary designation “Registered Herbalist” (RH)

The RH designation is one way we let the public know who we deem to be a well-educated and experienced herbalist. Registered Herbalists must provide proof that they meet the educational standards and Continuing Education (CE) standards of the AHA. Registered Herbalists must be members in good standing, with no criminal record, and are in active practice as consulting herbalists. All Registered Herbalists are required to adhere to the codes of ethics and conduct as presented by the AHA.

Please consult our Registered Herbalists directory for a list of AHA Professional Members in good standing.

● Herbalism is not a regulated profession in Alberta or Canada. Herbalists are not covered under Alberta Health Care, and may not bill AHS for services

There is no association or governing body in Canada that provides credentials to herbalists at

the government level. Because of the unregulated nature of the industry, it is important to

consult your provincial association’s list of Registered Herbalists when choosing a herbalist for

a health consultation.

Herbalists may not bill Alberta Health Services for consultations or formulas. Some 3rd party

insurance plans may provide coverage for herbalist consultations – please consult your

insurance provider for information.

● AHA is not a licensing body. Herbalists are permitted to practice by registering their business at their local registry, & obtaining a Business ID number

There is no licensing authority for herbalists in Canada. Herbalists in Alberta are governed as

Health Professionals under Alberta Health Services. No registration is required with AHS,

however you can contact AHS if you have questions about providing herbal formulas to your


● Why is Herbalism Not Regulated by the Government?

The government is interested in regulating professions that may pose a danger to the general

public – because herbalism (when practiced with care and knowledge by a trained herbalist) is

generally safe and carries minimal risk of side effects, the government is not interested in

regulating at this time.

As herbalists, we believe using plants for health is the birthright of every living being. To

protect every persons’ access to medicinal herbs and plants, and in consultation with experts,

the CCHA and our herbalist members, we have decided against pursuing government

regulation for the time being.

Please contact For more information regarding the role & responsibilities of Registered Herbalists

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Bursary applications for students enrolled in the ​January to December 2021​ educational year are now open! Applications will be received until October 31, 2020. Bursary amount(s) will be awarded by December 31,2020. Bursaries are funds for students in financial need. Unlike loans, they do not have to be repaid.

Bursary amount for the 2021 year is one bursary of $500. To be eligible for an AHA bursary, you must be able to demonstrate financial need for the 2021 year and meet the enrollment requirements.

Financial-need criteria

1) Exhaustion or shortfall of available funding sources, including government student loans,savings including TFSAs, scholarships and awards, and family support

2) Demonstration of financial plan to fund herbal educational program or career plan of choice

3) Exceptional or extenuating circumstances causing financial shortfall

Other requirements

1) You must be in satisfactory academic standing or greater based on your most recent term grades if currently attending a herbal institution (overall average of 70%)

2) You must be currently attending classes at a herbal institution either in class or on-line at the time of your application OR

3) You must be registered for the academic year in which this bursary applies

4) Both full-time and part-time students are eligible to apply

5) Herbal practicum costs in the current bursary year that are part of a herbal institution degree are also eligible

6) You must be a current student member of AHA and maintain your membership during the awarded bursary year.

7) Your main residence must be in Alberta

8) Student members that already have volunteer hours with AHA will be given preference.9)The student(s) awarded the bursary must write a short article (500 words) for the AHA spring newsletter describing their career goals and how the bursary helped them.

Note: If you do not meet the eligibility requirements above due to an extenuating circumstance but you would like us to consider your application, please contact with an explanation of your situation before applying and we will advise you whether or not to proceed.

How to apply

1) Review the above guidelines

2) Become a AHA Student Member.

2) Visit the Member's Resources page and complete the application form.

The application will be open from June 1st to October 31st each year, contingent on available funding.​ The number and amount of bursaries varies and is contingent on the current yearly amount of donations, membership fees and ​Alberta Herb Gathering​ revenue. ​Any questions about the application can be sent to

Notification Process

Applications are assessed in the order they are received, then reviewed and the recipients of the bursary are selected by the AHA board in November. Notification of the results of your bursary application will be approximately 2 - 4 weeks from the November AHA board meeting.

How to accept and receive funds

If you receive a bursary offer, you will be notified by e-mail and upon your acknowledgement of the email and a 500 word written article as stated in the criteria, you will receive the bursary amount via cheque or Paypal.

Note: Your acceptance email will include a deadline. If you do not accept the offer before the deadline, it will be revoked and given to another applicant.

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Blue skies, warm nights, and even warmer days. The busy-ness of summer is in full swing and you may find yourself having difficulty sleeping and feeling a bit on edge. This is the perfect time to be introduced to Green Flowering Oats (Avena sativa) . Talking to oat farmers, the green oats will be ready in the next couple weeks to harvest and make the best nervine tincture for the rest of the year.

Both the grass and the seed have this amazing rejuvenating ability to soothe the frayed nerves, improve sleep and provide you a profound sense of calm. Ellingwood (1919) remarks the usefulness of the oats for convalescence from prostration due to mental overwork or great anxiety and worry, and even nervous exhaustion. Seems like just what is needed in the current times. It is one of the few herbs which ‘feeds’ the nervous system, acting as both stimulant for the exhausted and relaxant for the overwrought (Hoffman, 2003).

The nervine quality of this herb also makes this herb valuable for the management of difficult menses both for challenging emotions and far too often headaches that accompany the monthly bleed. Oats are even useful for the challenges of menopause, allowing women to navigate the changing waters of their hormonal evolution (Ross, 2010).

And want to hear a funny fact, you know cat grass that you see in the store, that is often oats. So as you are making your tincture or tea, your cat can happily munch on the herb as well.

Green Flowering Oat Tincture

1 cup of Green Flowering Oat tops

750 mL Everclear or (95% alcohol)

Fill a 1L jar with the Green Flowering Oat tops and then cover with the alcohol until the oats are totally covered. Place in a cool dark place. Check on it every day. Typical tinctures take 6 to 8 weeks to prepare, but I find that you’ll know this ready when all the green is leached out of the oats and the tincture is the pretty emerald green you ever did see.

Works Cited

Ellingwood, F. (1994). American Materia Medica, Therapeutics and Pharmacognosy 11th Edition (1919). Sandy: Reprinted Eclectic Medical Publications.

Hoffman, D. (2003). Medical Herbalism - The Science and Practice of Herbal Medicine. Rochester, Vermont: Healing Arts Press.

Ross, J. (2010). A Clinical Materia Medica. Wald, Germany: Greenfields Press.