Welcome to the NHAA

Founded in 1920, we are Australia’s oldest professional association of complementary therapists. Representing Western herbalists and naturopaths, we are the only national professional association specifically concerned with the practice and education of Western herbal medicine (WHM) in Australia. Our Vision is to:

  • Enable practitioners and the practice of herbal and naturopathic medicine to become fully integrated into the primary healthcare system in Australia;
  • Make herbal and naturopathic medicine accessible to all;
  • Maintain the integrity of the profession;
  • Continue to promote the standards and quality of education, of the profession;
  • Make greater career opportunities and research pathways for herbalists and naturopaths;
  • Continue the integration of traditional medicine and evolving science.   

We have a range of membership options for professionals, interested parties and students and our members have access to great resources, our online discussion forum, professional guidance and more!

We also work to connect the public with our highly trained practitioners through our Find A Practitioner service. 

Latest News

Newly launched course ‘Natural Health Products and Scientific Evidence’

NHAA member discount available!

As a naturopath or herbalist, passionate about improving the health of individuals and the quality of health care, this may be the course for you!

The Natural Health Science Foundation’s (NHSF) new course, Natural Health Products and Scientific Evidence has been developed without commercial bias and with the assistance of leading naturopaths including prominent NHAA members. It will enable you to make better informed decisions about natural medicine products.

This online at-your-own-pace course consists of short lectures, interviews with international experts, footage of production, handouts, case studies and quick quizzes. Upon completion, you will be accredited by the Foundation to improve your referral base and will have gained a stronger understanding of evidence based natural medicine product use.

A special discount of US$50 is available for NHAA members for a limited time only. To access this discount, login to the member section of this site.

For more information on the course, click here.

Important Information on the Novel Coronavirus (COVID-19)

The virus, which originated in Wuhan, China, has now spread to nations worldwide. While Health officials continue to advise that the risk to Australians is low, Naturopaths should inform themselves of the information available from the following credible organizations and be prepared to report and/or advise patients accordingly.

The WHO provides detailed information and daily updates at: https://www.who.int/westernpacific/emergencies/novel-coronavirus

The Australian Government Department of Health provides information for a range of situations including for Health Professionals on the use of Personal Protective Equipment and the use of Surgical Masks notably “Surgical masks in the community are only helpful in preventing people who have coronavirus disease from spreading it to others. If you are well, you do not need to wear a surgical mask as there is little evidence supporting the widespread use of surgical masks in healthy people to prevent transmission in public.”

It is also important Practitioners remain careful they do not breach guidelines set out by the TGA around the supply or advertising of good or services in relation to COVID-19 specifically “Any representation made in the advertising of therapeutic goods which refers to novel coronavirus (explicitly or by implication) is a 'restricted representation' and cannot be used without prior approval from the TGA”.

The World Naturopathic Federation has prepared a public document outlining the background, symptoms, transmission, and prevention for the COVID-2019 (Click here to access). The WNF is in the process of preparing a professional guide: "Supportive Care for Respiratory Infections", which the NHAA will post on the member portal when it becomes available.

The NHAA will continue to monitor the progression of the virus and will update members on any significant developments.

Submission To The TGA On Proposed Poisons Standard Amendments

The NHAA recently made a submission to the TGA on proposed amendments to the Poisons Standard concerning two compounds commonly found in herbal medicine.

The Advisory Committee on Medicines Scheduling is considering whether to list Sanguinarine as a Schedule 10 substance (prohibited). The Joint Advisory Committee on Medicines and Chemicals Scheduling will be considering whether to amend the entry on Arbutin currently as Schedule 4 (prescription only).

Sanguinarine is the compound found in Black Salve, which has been inappropriately marketed as an alternative treatment for skin cancer.

While the NHAA supports moves to limit the misleading use of Sanguinarine, listing it as Schedule 10 could have the unintended consequence of banning two approved herbal medicine ingredients that contain Sanguinarine in amounts greater than 0.1% - Chelidonium majus and Eschscholzia californica. While these herbs may not always contain more than 0.1% Sanguinarine, literature suggests it is possible. For these reasons the NHAA would like to see further consultation on the amendment to avoid unintended consequences.

In the case of Arbutin, last year the TGA published an update stating that herbs which contain Arbutin in a concentration exceeding 10 ppm are not eligible to be included in Listed complementary medicines in Australia due to scheduling of Hydroquinone in Schedule 4 of the Poisons Standard. This has subsequently had an effect on the availability of medicines and extracts used extemporaneously by practitioners. Of concern is the loss of medicinal herbs with important therapeutic benefits that are commonly used in therapeutic goods or in extemporaneously dispensed preparations, such as Bearberry (Arctostaphylos uva-ursi) and Damiana (Turnera diffusa). Since the announcement last year we have lobbied that the understanding of the metabolism of Arbutin and clinical use of the herbs affected should be more closely considered, and an amendment to the Poisons Standard recommended.

This proposed amendment for the Arbutin entry in the Poisons Standard would thankfully see an exception for oral herbal preparations containing 500mg or less of Arbutin. The proposal is also to remove the cross reference of Arbutin to Hydroquinone. We have written in support of this amendment.

See the submission: https://www.nhaa.org.au/docs/Submissions/NHAA_Submission_on_proposed_amendments_to_the_Poisions_Standard.pdf


PHI Review Announced!

The Federal Health Minister’s announcement of a review into natural therapies is a significant step in the campaign to have naturopathy and western herbal medicine private health rebates reinstated.

The review, announced on 7th April, will look at the evidence to support certain therapies, that has emerged since the original review was undertaken in 2014-2015.

We particularly welcome the inclusion of the University of Technology Sydney’s Associate Professor Jon Wardle on the panel, and the decision to take into account the views of those who benefit from natural therapies - the public.

Thank you to everyone who signed our petition - all 9000 of you! - and especially everyone who took the time to write to Health Minister Greg Hunt and their local Coalition members.

Those actions, along with the work of David Casteleijn and the NHAA Board of Directors helped highlight the shortfalls of the private health insurance changes.

With your help, we were able to make a strong case for naturopathy and western herbal medicine to key decision makers in Canberra.

While we were unable to stop the changes from coming into force last week, the Health Minister’s announcement means we can work towards having these modalities removed from the banned list.

There will no doubt be further opportunities for NHAA members to engage in this campaign over the coming year.

We will keep you posted on any developments!

Recap of our 11th International Conference!

Thank you to everyone who attended our 11th International Herbal and Naturopathic Conference! This was our our biggest event to date, shared with a record number of herbalists, naturopaths, students, academics and integrative health professionals.

The three day event showcased the work of over 60 wonderful presenters, whose diversity and expertise was a testament to the quality of our work in this profession; as students, clinicians, researchers and advocates. (For anyone who couldn't attend, or if you would like to revisit your favourite topics, audio files and notes from the presentations can be ordered by completing and returning this form.)

We were proud to host the World Naturopathic Federation at our conference, who held their general assembly in Melbourne the two days leading up to the NHAA's event. It was a pleasure to have many of WNF's delegates - our international colleagues - share their knoweldge and experience with us. We were also honoured to have the Indigenous health organisation Anangu Ngankari Tjutaku Aboriginal Corporation (ANTAC) attend, share their work and run a ngangkari clinic during the conference, for delegates to experience ngankari healing.   

Importantly, our 11th International Conference kicked off celebrations for the NHAA's 100th birthday! The dedicated Centenary Room contained the fascinating and detailed timeline of the NHAA, herbal and naturopathic medicine in Australia over the past 100+ years. The Centenary Room was also host to a number of informal, but extremely passionate and galvanising conversations about the future of our profession. Watch this space!

Michelle 100yr timeline IC

Michelle Boyd, with the 100 year timeline she created (all 10 metres of it!) for the Centenary Room at our 11th International Conference.

Ses Ruth Sue 2019 IC

Dr Ses Salmond, Ruth Trickey and Dr Sue Evans in discussion in the Centenary Room: how herbal tools have changed over their decades of clinical practice.

Francesca Debbie ANTAC

Dr Francesca Panzironi and Debbie Walton shared their work with ANTAC and Debbie, together with her brother Max, ran a ngankari healing clinic for delegates during the conference.

Regina Jon Andy Janet Award Winners 2019 IC

Professional Award Winners (L to R): Regina Lasaitis (2019 Notable Contribution to Herbal and Naturopathic Education), Assoc Prof Jon Wardle (2019 Notable Contribution to Herbal and Naturopathic Medicine), Andy McLintock (2019 Student of the Year) and Dr Janet Schloss (2019 Early Career Research Award).

Ses Ruth Life Members

2019 Life Membership was awarded to Dr Ses Salmond and Ruth Trickey.


More From NHAA...

  1. NHAA members at ICCMR2019
  2. PHI reform update
  3. AGM outcomes
  4. 2018 Annual General Meeting - Mon 22 Oct
  5. Poisons Standard Scheduling of Herbs that contain Arbutin

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