Renshen (Ginseng) is the most powerful Qi-Tonifying herb.

What is Chinese Herbal Medicine?

Chinese Herbal Medicine (CHM) is a major branch of Chinese Medicine.  Although most associate Traditional Chinese Medicine with acupuncture, the majority of cases in TCM clinics in China are treated with herbs, either with acupuncture or alone, rather than with just acupuncture.  In the States, more and more TVCM practitioners are following suit by incorporating herbs in their veterinary practice.  CHM therapies has its historical origins with TCM, and dates back 4,000 years.  Herbs today are prepared with the benefits of modern technology, but are still guided by the historical wisdom underlying TCM. In CHM practice, herbs are used to correct imbalance underlying a disease pattern and to promote the body's ability to heal itself.  Each herb has a different effect on the body and can fall under a number of classifications such as warming, cooling, sour, or bitter and can affect a variety of organs, including the liver, lungs, or heart. TCVM utilizes herbal formulas that are a combination of single-herb ingredients to treat a specific pattern of disease.

The increasing popularity of CHM lies in the fact that it is an all-natural treatment option that is generally safe and effective when prescribed correctly.  An extensive body of clinical research have shown CHM to be extremely effective in  treating chronic veterinary medical issues in the fields of: gastroenterology, cardiology, dermatology, endocrinology, reproduction, oncology, and behavior.  CHM is also commonly used to treat respiratory issues and sports injuries.  In addition, CHM increases the quality of life for geriatric patients, especially those diagnosed with terminal cancer, since it assists the body's ability to reduce tumor size when chemotherapy is not an option.  CHM can be combined with acupuncture and/or Western Medicine to enhance clinical results.

Course Overview

The Veterinary Herbal Medicine Course is a 165-hour (RACE approved) continuing education course approved by American Association of Veterinary State Boards Registry of Approved Continuing Education (AAVSB RACE) that certifies students in Veterinary Chinese Herbal Medicine. It is presented in five modules, each covering different sets of organ systems and their affiliated health disorders. Each module offers five hours of wet lab a total of 29-30 continuing education hours. All five modules are offered each year, and can be taken either online or on-site. The modules are:

  • Respiratory/Cardiovascular
  • Gastrointestinal/Spleen
  • Liver/Endocrinology
  • Kidney/Urinary/Reproductive/Geriatric
  • Dermatology/Oncology/Immune-mediated Diseases

Each module features tongue and pulse diagnosis and real case studies through wet labs.  The course is intended for small, mixed, and equine vets, and both small and large animals (mostly dogs and horses) are used during case studies and wet labs.  General topics covered in each module include herbal medicine, a TCVM approach to Western diseases, and advanced TCVM theories and principles. Online modules are self-paced and have 4 months of online access. All modules include lectures and quizzes that may be accessed at any time during the 4 month period. For a detailed list of topics covered in each herbal module, please see the course syllabus page.

Course Features
  • On-site class size limited to 30 students to ensure a more intimate learning environment
  • Learn from master TCVM practitioner Dr. Huisheng Xie, who has over 35 years of teaching experience in the U.S. and abroad
  • 165 continuing education course approved by American Association of Veterinary State Boards Registry of Approved Continuing Education (AAVSB RACE)
  • Choice to take modules online, on-site, or both, allowing for more schedule flexibility
  • Free case consultation with TCVM experts for all students
  • Certified Veterinary Chinese Herbalist (CVCH) certification from the Chi Institute after completion of course requirements
  • Clinical practice receives strong emphasis throughout the entire course, and each module contains at least 5 hours of wet labs.
    • Complimentary "goodies" to all our herbal students include:
        • Herbal kit for each module with at least 20 individual herbal samples
        • Lunches during on-site modules (with plenty of vegetarian options)

    Students wishing to enroll in any of the herbal courses must have background knowledge of TCVM and herbal medicine, and must fulfill the following two requirements:

    • Completion of at least one session of veterinary acupuncture at Chi OR
      Completion of an acupuncture course at another accredited institution OR
      Completion of the TCVM Fundamental Theories lecture series (a 5-lecture DVD-set, $100)
    • AND
    • Completion of the Chinese Herbal Fundamental Knowledge online lecture series OR
      Completion of an herbal course from another accredited institution
    CVCH Certification

    Students in the Veterinary Herbal Medicine course are eligible for the Certified Veterinary Chinese Herbalist certification, endorsed by the Chi Institute of Chinese Medicine. The CVCH certification requirements are as follows:

    • Enrollment and completion of all five herbal modules (can be online, on-site, or a combination of both)
    • Pass five take-home examinations, each administered upon completion of a module
    • Submission of three case reports to be approved by Chi faculty

    Please note that the Chi Institute cannot issue any certification to DVM students until their DVM has been obtained.

    Required Reading

    Required Reading Assignments for Any Herbal Module:

    Required Reading Assignments for Each Herbal Module:

    • Respiratory/Cardiovascular Chapters 2-4
    • Gastrointestinal/Spleen Chapters 6-9
    • Liver/Endocrinology Chapters 5 and 10-13
    • Kidney/Geriatric/Urinary/Reproductive Chapter 1
    • Dermatology/Oncology/Immune-mediated Diseases Chapters 14-17


    Lodging and Accommodations

    For information about accommodations, travel, and what to pack, please visit our lodging and accommodations page.

    Instructor Dr. Pat Perkins leads a case diagnosis and treatment wet lab.

    On-site wet labs are recorded for the online course.

    Instructor Dr. Roger Clemmons demonstrates palpation on a cat.