Ontario Herbalists Association

Promoting safe & natural healing with plants since 1982

Professional Code of Ethics, Code of Practice and Scope of Practice.

OHA Professional Code of Ethics

  • Members shall practice herbalism to the best of their ability for the purpose of promoting health and wellness.
  • The foremost consideration of members shall be the health, safety, well being and dignity of their clients/patients.
  • Members shall practice without prejudice regarding age, gender, race, religion or sexual orientation of their clients/patients.
  • Client/patient confidentiality shall be maintained at all times.
  • Members shall refrain from unscrupulous and/or exploitative behaviour toward clients/patients, and from any behaviour, which would compromise the integrity of the OHA or the profession of herbalism.
  • Members shall acknowledge the limits of their individual scope of practice.
  • Members shall make referral to additional qualified practitioners when it is in their client’s/patient’s best interest.
  • Members shall cooperate with other healthcare practitioners for the benefit and well being of their clients/patients.
  • Members shall strive to obtain, recommend and administer herbs which have been properly identified and prepared, are of therapeutic quality and have been grown and harvested in an ecologically sound manner.
  • Members shall honour the Earth and its resources, and educate others regarding the importance of its preservation and renewal.
  • Members shall exchange ideas and information with other herbalists for the purpose of enhancing understanding and knowledge in the field of herbalism.
  • Members shall refrain from criticizing the practice of herbalism, other herbalists, and health professionals in public or before their clients/patients.
  • Members who fail to comply with the Code of Ethics and the Code of Practice of the OHA will be subject to disciplinary action by the Board of Directors of the Association and may forfeit the privilege of membership in the OHA.


OHA Professional Code of Practice

  • Members shall refrain from misrepresenting the nature of the practice of herbalism, including making any promise of a cure.
  • Members shall respect the right of their client/patient to question or refuse any form of treatment.
  • Members shall ensure that their clients/patients clearly understand all information provided, including the proper preparation, dosage and administration of remedies.
  • Members shall obtain prior consent to consult with a client/patient under the age of 16 from their parent or legal guardian if none is present.
  • Fee schedules shall be displayed and agreed upon prior to the start of services.
  • Members shall keep adequate records of their client’s/patient’s information, treatment and recommendations, that must be maintain for seven years from the date of their last visit.
  • Members shall not knowingly assist suicide or abortion.
  • Members shall engage in continuing education to improve their knowledge and skills.
  • Members shall display in their place of practice the OHA Code of Ethics, Code of Practice and Certificate of Professional Membership.


The Scope of Practice of Registered Herbalists

The practice of herbal medicine is the promotion, maintenance and restoration of an individual’s health primarily through the internal and external use of plant-based medicines. Whole plants or parts thereof may be harvested and processed by the herbalist. Herbal medicines are dispensed in pharmacopoeial and other forms, prepared through simple traditional methods in order to retain the naturally-balanced properties of the plant. The use of other natural health products may also be recommended.

The therapeutic requirements for each person are assessed in a manner consistent with the tradition and training of the individual herbalist. Methods of assessment may include but are not limited to case history, physical examinations and the review of diagnostic test results. Relevant issues including nutrition, exercise, hygiene, environment and stress-management are addressed throughout the consultation process.