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ABSTRACT

Herbal therapy is one of several holistic therapies gaining recognition within the health care community in the United States. As a discipline, herbal medicine is in its infancy regarding educational standards for credentialling, standardization, and regulation of products and clinical applications within this health care system. This article discusses professional considerations for midwives who are interested in integrating herbal healing into their clinical practices, and offers examples of how to incorporate herbal medicine into midwifery care. Resources for practitioners including books, newsletters, journals, courses, computer sites, and databases are presented. The author offers guidance for creating an herbal practice manual for the midwifery office as well as the hospital setting and for documenting herbal healing in the medical record. Collegial support, barriers to practice, liability, and insurance issues are discussed. A clinical applications section includes specific herbal formulas for preconception health, pregnancy-induced hypertension, gestational diabetes, and postdates pregnancy.