How to Make a Living as an Herbalist

Posted by Lindsay Kluge on Thursday, August 22, 2019

Herbal medicine is a remarkable and totally rewarding profession. It’s personal, and truly a soul calling. There’s not a single herbalist I know who “got in it for the money”. One of the beautiful things about being an herbalist is the ability and opportunity to do lots of things. There’s no one job description for us, and we have a plethora of gifts to offer the world. The below options are certainly not a complete list. If you’re new to herbalism and feeling frazzled with options, sit with these topics and see which one really resonates with you. These 9 ways to make money as an herbalist are just the beginning!

Making Money as an Herbalist

  • Teaching for local herb schools, online programs, virtual classes, doing plant ID walks, or in your local community with classes and workshops.
  • Writing for professional publications, online journals, magazines, blogs, curriculum development, or research. There is a lot of opportunity for trained herbalists to offer their skills via writing, especially now when online herbal interests are booming.
  • Speaking at conferences, local groups, or health organizations. You don’t have to book big time, super lengthy speaking gigs to get out there and share your knowledge. Even 30 minute talks at your local health food store are attended by those interested, and you can share so much in a short amount of time.
  • Consultations in your own practice, in an integrated or shared practice, online, or at specific times and locations. Herbal consultations are a personalized way to share your gifts of herbal knowledge with individuals. This is where you can really shine if you’re into the one-on-one-connecting-plants-with-people-personalized-side of herbal medicine.
  • Herbal compounding for your own clients, for other practices or other practitioners, and other businesses. Creating an herbal apothecary can not only serve you and your clients, but if you’re really loving that side of herbalism and want to jump through some hoops to service a larger practice, you can!
  • Herbal products for sale online and/or in stores (wholesale fits in here, too). This is a super fun and admittedly somewhat confusing area for herbalists to venture into, but it’s so rewarding if you’ve got a gift for herbal formulating, marketing, and a desire to reach a larger pool of people with your skills. (FYI, if herbal product creation is something you really want to dive into, the Herbal Academy has an excellent course on preparing you to run an herbal products business – Entrepreneur Herbal Course.)
  • Consulting (as an independent contractor) for doctors, hospitals, supplement departments in health food stores, local tea or coffee shops, or naturopathic practices. This is where networking within your local community is essential. Are there practitioners within your community that can benefit from your expertise who may want to keep you on a retainer, or call on you when they have questions about their clients? Are there local shops that could use help purchasing herbal products, or need herbal products made for them? Scope it out, and see if your skills and services could fill a niche, even in a small way.
  • Blogging for your own blog, or contributing to reputable online wellness blogs. This is a uniquely personal way to write about exactly what you want, and share your perspectives and skills with your target audience.
  • Herbal Gardening in your local botanical gardens, or as a consultant for those wanting to grow their own herb gardens. This ventures into the horticultural realm, and mosts herbalists I know have quite a love of gardening, too.

Read more: How to find your niche in your herbal medicine business

Increasing Portals of Revenue

Portals of revenue are where all of your revenue streams are coming from. How many of these portals are open to you at a time will determine how your time is spent, and how much revenue is coming in. Take inventory of your portals every few months. Are you spending your time doing things you really love that actually pay you enough to maintain your business and/or make a living? Notice what’s taking up the majority of your time, and if you’d like to add to that, keep it the same, or back off a bit. Sometimes we can feel stuck doing the same things over and over, and not actively seek out other opportunities that we could be awesome at doing.

It’s very easy to get into a scattered business practice taking on too many portals just because you’re capable of accomplishing it. Really sit down and evaluate the opportunity as something you LOVE to do, and then set your rate accordingly to make is financially sustainable to continue (more on that soon!).

Business Herbal Course

You’re ready to embark on your career path in herbal medicine, holistic nutrition, or a related field, and don’t quite know where to start (or you’ve hit a plateau in your current business!). The Herbal Academy offers a fantastic Business Herbal Course covering the foundations you need to grow a thriving business practicing the skills that you love. Whether you aspire to launch an herbal products business, open a clinical practice or herb store, start a wellness blog, teach in your community, bring your harvest to market or sell in bulk, or pursue another type of plant-based path, this course will guide you as you navigate the unique and sometimes challenging regulations, requirements, and considerations that come along with starting and growing a successful business.

Read More: Setting Rates for Herbal and Nutrition Services

Photo by Renee Byrd

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