Course Title: Herbs and Natural Supplements

Part A: Course Overview

Course Title: Herbs and Natural Supplements

Credit Points: 12.00


Course Code

Campus

Career

School

Learning Mode

Teaching Period(s)

OHTH2139

Bundoora Campus

Postgraduate

150H Health Sciences

Internet

Sem 1 2009,
Sem 2 2009,
Sem 1 2010,
Sem 2 2010,
Sem 1 2011,
Sem 2 2011,
Sem 1 2012,
Sem 2 2012,
Sem 1 2013,
Sem 2 2013

Course Coordinator: Susan Dean

Course Coordinator Phone: +61 3 5333 7227

Course Coordinator Email: susan.dean@rmit.edu.au


Pre-requisite Courses and Assumed Knowledge and Capabilities

None


Course Description

Students with an interest in over-the-counter herbal medicines and natural supplements will gain an overview of the use and safety of a range of commonly used supplements. You will also gain a general overview of the philosophy and scientific evidence supporting the use of different products. Topic areas include herbal medicine; clinical nutrition; evidence based medicine; safety and quality issues; rationale for and appropriate use of natural supplements and the regulatory environment for therapeutic products.


Objectives/Learning Outcomes/Capability Development

This course will provide you with the skills required to search for reliable information about herbal medicines and natural supplements, understand basic concepts in evidence-based complementary medicine, and provide general information which promotes the safe and appropriate use of herbal medicines and natural supplements. Please note that Herbs and Natural Supplements is an overview only and will not provide you with the skills to practise herbal medicine, clinical nutrition or naturopathy.


This elective course is designed to provide graduates with the skill to understand and apply evidence-based information regarding the rationale for and appropriate use of natural supplements. You will be able to discuss a broad range of over-the-counter herbal medicines and natural supplements and how these can be utilised to enhance health and wellbeing. You will become aware of the implications of nutritional deficiencies, sub-optimal nutrition and nutritional excess for the individual and society. You will be able to discuss the regulatory environment for therapeutic goods and general safety and quality issues surrounding the use of therapeutic products. Graduates will also possess the skills required to make informed choices about their personal use of over-the-counter supplements as well as guide future self-directed learning in this field of study.

Learning Outcomes

On successful completion of the course you will be able to:

  • Apply the terminology, principles and philosophies of clinical nutrition and herbal medicine to discussions about health care
  • Critically evaluate the concepts of nutritional deficiency, sub-optimal nutrition and Recommended Daily Intakes (RDIs)
  • Explain the issues that impact on a product’s quality and safety
  • Interpret and explain the information on product labels
  • Discuss the complexities around regulation of complementary medicines
  • Locate and evaluate information and evidence about herbal medicines and natural supplements
  • Demonstrate problem-solving skills to determine the appropriate use of herbs and supplements for common health conditions, based on an evaluation of potential risks and benefits
  • Make judgements about the appropriate use of commonly used herbs and supplements to achieve personal health goals


Overview of Learning Activities

The learning activities and resources included in this course are:

  • Online lessons delivered through myRMIT Studies where syllabus material will be presented, explained and discussed.
  • Private study and activities, working through the course materials as presented in myRMIT Studies. 
  • Online discussion groups and peer-reviewed online group activities and tasks.
  • To help you meet the assessment requirements, interactive online activities, tests and discussions will provide opportunities for self-assessment and feedback from staff and/or other students.


Overview of Learning Resources

Students will be able to access course information and learning materials through myRMIT Studies. Lists of relevant reference texts, resources in the library and freely accessible Internet sites will be provided. Weblinks are provided throughout the Learning Package so that you can directly access these readings.


Overview of Assessment

The interactive online and group activities will provide opportunities for self-assessment and feedback from staff and/or students on a regular basis.

Assessment for this course includes contribution to directed online discussions, a literature review and an essay.
The assessment is designed to ensure that students can demonstrate knowledge and the application of knowledge to promote the safe and appropriate use of commonly used over-the-counter herbal medicines and natural supplements. It is also designed to ensure you can locate and assess valid information about complementary medicines.