Becoming a Member of the NIMH

The NIMH has operated a voluntary register for professional medical herbalists since 1864. The NIMH is recognised for its high professional standards.

Our members have completed degree level qualifications or equivalent. We ensure high standards of education in in herbal medicine and work to raise the professional standing of medical herbalists.

The National Institute of Medical Herbalists welcomes applications for membership from qualified medical herbalists who can demonstrate that they meet NIMH’s Fitness to Practise requirements.  This normally includes graduation from an accredited programme of Western Herbal Medicine.  Applications from suitably qualified individuals who have not studied on an accredited course may be considered via our Individual Accreditation scheme. 
Please note, however, that eligibility does not guarantee membership as additional information about each candidate is also considered.

For further information about NIMH membership, please contact the NIMH office on 01392 426022  or email

How to Join the NIMH

If you have graduated from an accredited programme of Western Herbal Medicine, please contact the NIMH office for an application  form. 

You can also request an application form if you have been a member of NIMH in the past, left in good standing, and wish to re-join.  (Note that former members whose membership lapsed within the last 2 years should contact the NIMH office as full re-application may not be necessary.)

Your Request for an Application pack for NIMH Membership should be sent to NIMH, Clover House, James Court, South Street, Exeter, EX1 1EE.  

Please note that eligibility to apply does not guarantee membership to NIMH as there are a number of other factors that are considered during the application process.

Individual Accreditation:
The  NIMH has developed a scheme to consider applicants who have not graduated from an accredited course.  If you would like to be considered for membership, you are invited to write to NIMH Individual Accreditation Scheme outlining your background and qualifications.  Please contact for further information.


Application Fees

There is no application fee for graduates from accredited programmes. Application and assessment fees for applicants through the Individual Accreditation Scheme apply.


Why join the NIMH?

The NIMH is the largest body of traditional western herbal practitioners in the UK. We liaise with the Department of Health, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency, and policy makers to ensure our voice is heard where it matters. We run national PR campaigns to promote the benefits of herbal medicine.

As a member of the NIMH you will benefit from:



  •  NIMH website practitioner search listing for potential new patients to find practitioners

  •  NIMH printed register listing: circulated to potential new patients
  •  MNIMH after your name and use of the NIMH logo: recognised throughout the world as an assurance of your high status as a safe, competent professional

  • A flexible Continuing Professional Development scheme to meet your individual CPD needs 

  • Member website with resources to support your professional work, including the latest news, and PR and marketing materials

  • Promotional materials for you to buy, designed to meet your marketing needs

  • Dedicated PR activity including regular press releases and social media posts
  • Up-to-date news and information on current laws and regulations affecting the profession.

  • Representation of Western Herbal Medicine and NIMH members at parliamentary meetings: we work to raise political awareness  of the herbal profession

  • Worldwide membership and links with the American Herbalists Guild and the New Zealand Association of Medical Herbalists.

  • Raising awareness of herbal medicine including a GP/ healthcare professional awareness scheme
  • Access to the NIMH library 
  • NIMH was established in 1864, and is the largest and longest supporter of medical herbalism

  • Professional insurance:  with additionalinsurance benefits as standard: 
    • 24-hour legal helpline
    • professional legal protection up to £100,000 for defence costs
    • cover for additional therapies e.g. massage, reflexology and aromatherapy
    • cover for teaching workshops and leading herb walk
    • Jury or witness service for lost income as a result of having to attend
    • Negotiation and representation in the event of an Inland Revenue partial or full enquiry
    • Plus an optional personal accident insurance up to £25,000 (not standard but available for additional low cost)

The NIMH support members with:

  • PR support from a PR specialist with individual advice and tips to help you deal with the media
  • Access to Journal of Herbal Medicine
  • Access to the Natural Standard research database
  • Discounted block insurance scheme with Balens
  • Quarterly member’s newsletter – Herbal Thymes, written for members by members
  • An annual professional conference featuring speakers from the across the world
  • New member’s mentorship scheme and discounted membership for new members
  • Student affiliate scheme
  • Affordable and varied Continuing Professional Development events 
  • Weekly e-newsletter containing special offers, herbal medicine news, events and much more
  • Regional groups
  • Member special offers and discounts with suppliers
  • Member support from our head office – financial, guidance regarding training, CPD 
  • Access to online guidance and a members discussion area 
  • Development opportunities to become involved with the NIMH and its governing Council

Promotion of your practice

  • Online directory – the Find a Herbalist facility
  • Calendar of member’s events e.g. talks and workshops given by practitioners
  • PR support and guidance regarding advertising, keeping you informed about the laws that govern how you advertise your practice
  • NIMH leaflets and posters to use in your practice
  • Access to Yellow Pages: you can promote your practice using the NIMH corporate box

The Register of Medical Herbalists
More to follow.

New Members Scheme
The NIMH is the only Western Herbal Medicine Practitioner Association that offers a scheme of Initial Professional Development and support to new member practitioners in recognition of the specific needs that exist at the start of professional life. The programme of support begins when you join the NIMH and lasts for a year, during which, you are assigned an experienced herbalist as your mentor, and assisted with setting up in practice, business development, expansion of your professional knowledge, and with confidence building.

Library Services
The NIMH library collection includes many old herbals and the Fred Fletcher Hyde and the Thomas Bartram collections. It is accessed by arrangement with the head office in Exeter. 

Regional Practitioner Groups

Members can join regional practitioner groups or set one up, where fellow herbalists can discuss herbal medicine, practice issues, CPD or offer peer support and guidance to each other.

Permanent Head Office
The NIMH runs a full time head office in Exeter which fields thousands of enquiries every year. As a member you can access the Institute during working hours and a response can be provided quickly to your query. 

External Relations
As a Professional Association of Herbal Practitioners, the NIMH is actively involved in the political processes relating to the profession through affiliation and liaison with other Practitioner Associations, Government and Regulatory bodies. The Institute represents its members on such matters as regulation of the profession, review of medicines legislation, maintenance of professional standards, and securing and protecting the criteria for admission to the Professional Registers amongst many others.

Developmental opportunities
NIMH is governed by its Memorandum and Articles of Association. The Council of NIMH is elected by the members and the Council appoints volunteers to various sub-committees to carry out the work of the Institute on behalf of the members. Apart from the administration of the NIMH carried out by the head office in Exeter all of the activities of the Institute are carried out by volunteers and carry no remuneration.

As a member, you may wish to volunteer your services in the support of your practice, your profession, and your professional organisation.

Student Affiliate Scheme
The NIMH offers a student affiliate scheme, which is available to all students on NIMH accredited courses, and on EHTPA accredited Western herbal medicine courses. The scheme can be accessed immediately after enrolment, and aims to provide help and support to herbal medicine students in a variety of ways.
The scheme is promoted and supported by the Student Liaison Officer, who visits all the training institutions usually once a year, and is available to students via telephone and email. Students on each course are encouraged to put forward their own student contact representative, and to engage in NIMH activities as much as possible. The SLO is sometimes accompanied by a volunteer who helps run Initial Professional Development who provides information on the programme.

GP Awareness Scheme

It is in the NIMH’s collective interest as well as in the interest of individual members that GPs can have confidence in referring patients to NIMH members. All members can request materials and information to help explain to GPs the training and professionalism of NIMH medical herbalists.

Types of Membership


There are three categories of professional membership of NIMH.  These include:

  • Practising Members includes currently practising members of the NIMH, who are subject to the rules and regulations under the NIMH Memorandum & Articles of Association, Code of Ethics, Code of Practice, Disciplinary & Complaints procedures, and other policies required by the NIMH Council to ensure Fitness to Practise.
  • Non-practising Member includes members who are currently taking a leave of absence from their practice, such as a family leave.  These members normally intend to return to practice in future.  These members are required to uphold the same on-going requirements as Practising Members in order to maintain their competence during leave and will normally be required to update skills on return to practice, depending on their time on leave.
  • Retired Member normally includes former practising NIMH members now in retirement and no longer practising.

Professional NIMH members can be recognised by the letters MNIMH or FNIMH after their name.

MNIMH designates the person as Member of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists.  This includes ordinary members of the Institute who have completed recognised training in Western Herbal Medicine and passed the examinations required for membership.

FNIMH designates a Fellow of the National Institute of Medical Herbalists. The NIMH council can elect any ordinary member as a Fellow if he/she has distinguished themselves in any branch of Herbal Medicine.

Life membership can be offered by the NIMH Council to members who have made an extraordinary contribution to the field of Herbal Medicine (in a professional capacity).

The NIMH includes Honorary Associates, who are elected by Council, having contributed notably to the advancement of herbal medicine (not in a professional capacity).  An Honorary Associate does not have any professional status, is not a practising herbalist, and is not subject to the NIMH requirements of its professional members.


If you have graduated from an accredited programme of Western Herbal Medicine, please email the NIMH head office at who will guide through the process


Application & Membership fees


Membership Fees

£322.59    Annual Subscription fee for a practising member

£193.55    Annual subscription fees for non-practising member

New members who have completed an accredited programme within the last 2 years are granted discounted fees of 40% in the first year and 20% in their second year.

Note that fees are normally due on 1 January of each year and are pro-rated accordingly depending on the time of year of joining.

In addition to membership fees, NIMH members must take out indemnity insurance through the NIMH block insurance scheme (approximately £59.50 annually for a £6,000,000 cover.

Professional Development


Professional development is the way health professionals continue to learn and develop throughout their careers so that they keep their skills and knowledge up to date and are able to work safely, effectively and legally. Professional development can have different focuses which helps us deepen our understanding of subjects of special interest, or allows us to broaden our knowledge into a related field.

There is a wide scope in this area for the practitioner to develop extra skills, for example developing counselling skills or studying nutrition in more depth.

New Members Scheme

New Members Scheme
When a newly qualified herbalist joins the NIMH they embark upon lifelong professional development. NIMH has a specially designed programme of development and support for new members which recognises that the newly qualified herbalist has needs that are additional to those of the established practitioner.

Established in 1996, the New Members Scheme was set up to provide support and CPD to members starting out in practice. 

Continuing Professional Development Programme

All members of the NIMH are required to carry out Continuing Professional Development (CPD). A carefully monitored CPD scheme ensures herbalists retain high standards of safe, effective and legal practice. As the role of the modern herbalist continuously evolves to meet the requirements of the 21st Century, the CPD programme ensures that NIMH members meet this challenge in fine form. This is achieved through a wide range of learning activities that enable practitioners to develop and update their skills where most appropriate.

The CPD programme includes the annual NIMH conference and seminars to update their clinical skills and therapeutic knowledge and to keep abreast of new research.  Members are also encouraged to contribute to the development and organisation of NIMH.

International Members have full access to lecture notes of the NIMH Seminars and can communicate readily with other herbalists via a NIMH online discussion forum. There are also many opportunities for them to be involved in the organisation.

The Postgraduate Training Board

The Postgraduate Training Board (PTB) organises seminars for initial and continuing professional development as well as organising the lecture and workshop programme for NIMH’s Annual Conference. The PTB is also responsible for the management and administration of the Initial Professional Development Programme (New Members Scheme.

The Postgraduate Training Board comprises a Chair, Secretary, the Initial Professional Development Programme Coordinator, the Mentor Coordinator, and ordinary officers.  For queries to the PTB please contact the NIMH head office at