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Optimise your practice with
Chinese herbal medicine

Significantly enhance your ability to effectively treat a wide range of diseases through our quality lectures and supported study with the leading practitioner-researchers in the UK.

Starting in September 2018,  the White Crane Academy (WCA) is providing a new, exciting, 3-year CHM course held at the International College of Oriental Medicine, East Grinstead.


Academic rigour



Clinical competence



Combining modern research & traditional practice



Deepening connections with the natural world


News, updates, events and workshops….

Event - 2 day course: Dispensary and pharmacognosy course

We are delighted to announce that the White Crane Academy, in conjunction with the Chinese Herb Garden, at Bristol University will be holding a practical weekend on how to prepare and dispense Chinese medicines. It is a great opportunity to develop your knowledge of herbal medicines and to explore ways of preparing and dispensing herbal products.

The weekend will be taught by Tony Harrison, an expert in this field.

2018 course welcome page (and links to important course resources)

A reminder to those intrepid pioneers joining the September 2018 cohort, that your course and resource information is here:

As always, if you have any questions. comments or concerns, please contact us at the administration email address:

Good luck!

White Crane Academy - news updates

I am delighted to announce that the White Crane Academy course has now been formally entered into the EHTPA Accreditation process. We still have a way to go before achieving full Accreditation but it is an acknowledgement that we are on track and that the standards we have set are in line with the requirements defined by the professional associations of Chinese herbal medicine.

The WCA course will now start in September 2018. This will give us time to spread the word about the incredible potential of herbal medicine to effectively treat a wide range of common health conditions to other complementary and conventional medical practitioners. It will also allow us to develop our eLearning capacity which we believe will significantly enhance the learning experience of our students.

We are also proposing to make it possible to complete the theoretical and clinical training of the course in two and a half years followed by a period of ‘long arm supervision’ for our students to allow them to practise herbal medicine before they submit their final thesis. This means that you can start using the herbs more quickly and that you can develop a thesis on the basis of your clinical experience with CHM. It also means that you will have ongoing support in your early months as a CHM practitioner.

One of the big obstacles to actually getting going is the lack of ongoing post training support and supervision for new CHM practitioners. We will make sure we provide this at the WCA. We will also teach you about dosages, basic herbal actions and clinically effective formula construction…

If you want to chat about applying please feel free to contact me by email or you can phone me on 01273 813352. I am confident that studying CHM at the WCA will be a really rewarding intellectual adventure that will benefit you and your patients for the rest of your working life.

Andrew Flower

Past event - 2 day workshop: From flavour to flavonoid - Dr Chris Etheridge PhD MCPP

Essential pharmacology for herbal practitioners

As practitioners, we often prescribe herbs based on empirical and traditional knowledge, but how many of us understand the pharmacological mechanisms and effects of the herbs we’re prescribing?

It is really important for us:

  • To know the primary and secondary plant substances that underpin the therapeutic action of herbs
  • To be able to explain herb actions and the underlying plant biochemistry in terms of modern pharmacology
  • To understand how herbs are metabolised and appreciate how this influences how plants work, their potential side effects, and how they may interact with conventional pharmaceuticals
  • To understand the mode of action of schedule 20 and restricted herbs
  • To be able to evaluate chemical identification and separation techniques such as chromatography

Whether you are a new learner, or brushing up rusty knowledge, join us at King’s College, London on 8th and 9th of December 2018 for our workshop: “From Flavour to Flavonoid: Plant Chemistry and Pharmacology for herbal medicine practitioners” led by Dr. Chris Etheridge, President of the College of Practitioners of Phytotherapy and an expert in Medicinal Chemistry.

The White Crane Academy

  • Provides a rigorous training that ensures the fundamental building blocks of Chinese Herbal Medicine are in place
  • Ensures its teachers are clinically experienced
  • Organises excellent clinical training in our student clinic & in China.
  • Enables students to connect with living plants & the ecology of herbal medicines.


Course taster

Here’s a video we shot of Dr. Andrew Flower introducing the concepts of Chinese herbal medicine to a varied audience at ICOM in February 2018.

We had about 15 people in the room and Andrew took us through some of his favourite herbs. We tasted them, discussed their individual properties and explored how they could be combined.

Andrew’s enthusiasm, knowledge and wisdom had us all captivated.

How to Apply for the 2018 herb course

We already have enough students in our 2018 – 2019 cohort to run the course, but it’s not too late to apply.

The White Crane Academy of Chinese Herbal Medicine is still accepting applications from students who want to take part in the course starting in September 2018. Click here to download an application-form.

We are also extremely grateful to the organisations and individuals who have generously agreed to provide bursaries to help students complete their herbal training: the Journal of Chinese Medicine, Donica Health Ltd., and the estates of George Lewith and Giovanni Maciocia. These bursaries have now been awarded, but if any more become available, we will let you know through this website.

Blog entries

WCA 2018-2019 course program now available

We're very excited to announce that the White Crane Academy course program for the 2018 - 2019 academic year is now available online here. If you're already enrolled on the course, please add the dates to your diary. If you're not yet enrolled and interested in...

View propsectus

Our prospectus gives you a comprehensive overview of our course’s contents, teaching methodologies and outcomes.