Here are some sample continuing education articles and study sessions. Our online library is available to all students and non-students who desire to learn more about Christian natural health care and herbs.
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Q: Who founded the Christian Natural Health Network?
A: The Christian Natural Health Network and Academy was founded by Pastor Louis Garnica.
Lou is a graduate of the U.S. Army's Academy of Health Sciences where he served for several years in the 8th Infantry and 1st Calvary divisions as an army expert field medic (EFMB). Lou completed additional training and health care education at City College of Chicago and Fresno City College. Lou also graduated from the paramedic program at Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut, California (dean's list). Lou served as a paramedic and senior emergency medical services coordinator for the county of Fresno for over 10 years.
Lou is also a graduate of the Dominion Herbal College of Vancouver, Canada and has studied Christian medicinal herbology for over twenty-five years. He is currently the pastor of Valley Life Free Church in Fresno, California where he enjoys spending time in fellowship with his extended Christian family studying, sharing, and applying the gift of Christian eternal life and medicinal herbology with others.
Lou is currently completing additional seminary work at Luther Rice University and Seminary.
Q: What is a Christian herbalist?
A: Christian herbalists are Bible believing Christians called to a natural health and healing ministry. Unlike other herbalists, Christian herbalists rely on God's Word and evidence based medicinal herbs to help heal self and others. The three health care priorities of every Christian herbalist are: Spiritual Health, Emotional (Soul) Health, and Body Health (1 Thes 5:23).
Q: How do I become a Christian herbalist?
A: Like any other Christian ministry, the study and practice of Christian herbal medicine starts with a call and a vision. If you are called to be a Christian herbalist, the place to start is in God's Word. You must learn and understand the true Biblical meaning of whole health and healing. Next, you must study and understand human anatomy and physiology, medicinal herbs, herbal preparations, contraindications, side effects, and use. And you must learn how to organize and practice your natural health care ministry safely and effectively. To become a Christian herbalist takes time, patience, and a life time study commitment. If you are serious about becoming a certified Christian herbalist, we offer Christian Herbalist certification courses and Christian natural health care library subscriptions.
Q: Why do I need to be certified?
A: Certification from a reputable source confirms your sincere calling as a professional Christian herbalist. The Christian Natural Health Network has been providing Christian herbal studies since 1998. We are a reliable source of evidence based Christian herbal medicine education and certification. When you earn your certification through us, you join a team of sincere Christian herbalists committed to maintaining the value of their hard earned certification through continuing education and the life long joy, study, and practice of Christian based herbal medicine.
Q: Do you have any testimonials about your program?
A: Yes, we have many. Here are a few:
"I have started the course ... and am loving it." - J. Pierce
"I was blown away when I found your site." - Pastor D. Abaldo
"Before I started your course I was enrolled in another course (supposedly Christian). I am finishing up chapter three and all I can do is weep and rejoice! Even though I almost skipped this course because PayPal was the only payment method I see now why God allowed me to have a peace about it! This is amazing and God is working in me! Thank you thank you thank you! I can not wait to progress through the whole course!" - R. Tyndall
"Love the website ... excited to read information from a Christian worldview!" - C. Ness
"Really enjoying the course, blessings." - J. Young
"I have been looking for a while now at completing a Herbalist certification program, much to my delight I stumbled upon your website and your Christian certification. My experience was wonderful ... I am so grateful that I completed the course. I feel much more equipped to use what God has already provided to help keep myself and my family healthy. I would highly recommend this certificate to anyone who is interested in herbal medicine and especially from a Christian viewpoint. I haven't found another system quite like this one!" - C. Powers
"This is a wonderful site. It is so nice to see herbal lessons from a Christian perspective. Thank you for this ministry." - B. Adams
"Stumbled across your site and comforted to discover that christian herbalsit exist. I'm just discovering this wonderful gift and would like to learn more safely." - O. Maurer
"If I may say, I am very impressed by the vision statement, integrity, and commitment to serving Christ through complementary medicine. I find it very encouraging." - J. Cotter
"Thank you for putting this course together. As I said when I signed up, there is nothing out there this good for Christians wishing to learn more about herbs. I had wanted to learn more but did not want to sit through lectures and classes with metaphysical and witchcraft themes. What a relief it was to find CNH Network." - M. Bishop
Q: Are there real jobs available as a certified Christian herbalist or is this just something to share with friends and family?
A: Like many things in life - it is what we make it. There are many non-Christian (in some cases, anti-Christian) herbal clinics throughout the country that are very successful (some have been in business for many years). But what we need are more Christian based herbal clinics and ministries owned and operated by certified Christian herbalists. The blessing of medicinal herbs originated from the living God of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob ... so why aren't more of His people taking this wonderful career in Christian herbal medicine more seriously? There are real jobs in Christian herbal practice and ministry if we just get out there and start practicing what we love, learn, and preach.
Q: What are some suggested opportunities for certified Christian herbalists?
A: Here is a short list of suggestions:
- Start a Christian herbal clinic at church or in a store front.
- Work from home as an on-call Christian herbalist.
- Make and sell Christian based herbal remedies and health care products.
- Start an herbal teaching ministry at church.
- Start an herbal healing ministry for the poor.
- Start an online blog about natural health, herbs, and the Bible.
- Pray about some new ways to use your certification to bless others!
Q: How much does it cost?
A: Christian Herbalist Certification Course tuition is only $59.95 per course. There are nine required courses that must be successfully completed. You can purchase one course at a time or you can save money (15%) by purchasing the Full Course Bundle that includes all the required courses needed for certification.
We also offer a continuing education library subscription. The library is open to all students and anyone else interested in Christian herbal medicine and natural health care (you do not need to be a student to access the library).
Q: What prerequisites are required for Christian Herbalist Certification?
A: The Christian Herbalist Certification Program will prepare you to serve as a Certified Christian Herbalist (CCH) at the intermediate level. Due to the intermediate level of the coursework, Christian Herbalist students must have a high school diploma or equivalent. And in order to help ensure the Christian integrity of our ministry and certifications, all students must acknowledge and agree with each of the following Academy Faith and Commitment Statements*:
✓ I acknowledge that I believe in Jesus Christ and in His resurrection from the dead.
✓ I acknowledge that I have received Jesus Christ as my personal Lord and Savior.
✓ I acknowledge that I have been baptized in a Christ-centered Bible believing church.
✓ I acknowledge that I am a committed member of a local Christ-centered Bible believing church.
✓ I acknowledge that I feel strongly called to a health and healing Christian ministry.
✓ I acknowledge that I will serve as a Christian herbalist within the parameters and limitations of my personal knowledge, experience, and training.
✓ I acknowledge that I will research, understand, and obey all local, state, and federal laws and regulations as they apply to my Christian herbalist ministry.
✓ I acknowledge that I will do no harm as I serve my church and community as a certified Christian herbalist.
*Please contact us if you have any questions regarding our Faith and Commitment Statements or if you live in an area without a local church body to attend. We will work with all brothers and sisters in Christ that are sincere in their pursuit of Christian herbal medicine education.
Q: What is the process to Christian Herbalist Certification?
A: Here are the steps to certification:
1) Read, understand, and agree to the answers given in our Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) page (you are reading them now).
2) Decide if you will be taking and paying for one course at a time or if you will be purchasing the discounted Full Course Bundle. Once you decide, place your order via the secure PayPal payment service. You do not need a PayPal account to purchase course lessons and you can use any valid bank, debit, or credit card.
3) Once you pay for your course order, you will receive an email with your student username, password, and download link to your course document(s) and test(s). The course documents are PDF files so that you will have full control over where and how you view and study your course lessons (online, offline, mobile device, printed on paper, etc.). You can only download each course PDF file three times. So once you download your course PDF file, please save it in a safe place. If you lose your course PDF file, you can log on to your student account and download it two more times.
4) Once you have downloaded your course document(s), you can begin studying each course lesson at your own pace. Each course that you purchase comes with a test link for that course. You MUST take notes during your study time because you will be able to use your notes to take each course test. You must receive a test score of 70% or better to pass. Each course test will remain available to you until you pass the test.
5) Once you pass all the tests to the nine required certification courses, your online student account will display a link that will provide you access to the final exam. You must receive a final exam score of 70% or better to pass.
6) Once you successfully pass the final exam, you will receive online access to your Certificate of Completion document (that you can print and save) certifying you as a Certified Christian Herbalist (CCH)!
Q: Is everything I need to complete the course included in the certification program?
A: Yes, everything you need is included online: course materials, tests, and your final exam. There are no extra fees or extra books to buy.
Q: How long will it take me to complete the whole course?
A: There is no set completion time for this course. You will work at your own pace. The course completion time depends on your own personal study time habits, commitment, and your test results. Some students may finish in 6 months while others may take a year or so to study and pass all the nine required courses and the final exam.
Q: What if I am already a health care professional?
A: If you are already a health care professional (EMT, paramedic, nurse, physician, etc.) and can provide proof of your coursework certification or licensure, you may bypass the human anatomy and physiology coursework requirement (but all other courses are still required for final certification). If you are already a health care professional and interested in our certification program, please let us know by using the contact form that is available on this website.
Q: What is your refund policy?
A: Since we provide ample information about our certification program, including answers to questions, sample lessons, testimonials, etc., we do not provide refunds unless a refund is requested in writing within 72 hours of purchase and all downloaded course files are returned via an email attachment.
Please research our FAQ and the lesson samples and pray about your commitment to our program before ordering any courses. We are not a "fly by night" diploma mill type of program. Our courses are intensive and comprehensive. You will need to study and work hard to earn your Christian Herbalist Certification. If you have any questions, please use the Contact page to send us your questions and comments.
Q: What about accreditation?
A: The Academy is committed to providing you with a quality online education in Christian natural health care and ministry. And as a Christian ministry, we do not provide or seek out accreditation for our educational program. Our courses are prepared with a committed effort to assist you in retaining the information that you need to successfully complete each program of study with the skills, knowledge, and confidence to apply what you learn after you graduate.
Learning is a two way street. We have the responsibility to provide you with a quality education and the learning resources that you need to succeed and prosper in your ministry vocation. And you have the responsibility to read, study, and learn each lesson with the passion and commitment required of any serious educational endeavour. The quality of your education here at the Academy is dependent upon your level of commitment, study time, and passion to learn and complete your studies with the highest possible effort. No level of accreditation can guarantee the level of your success or progress. What matters most is your personal level of effort, study, and commitment to become the best at what you have been called to be.
Q: Are herbs safe?
A: The medicinal herbs studied at the Academy are safer than pharmaceutical drugs. But just because herbs are considered "natural" does not make them all completely safe. While many herbs are effective and safe to use, some herbs contain substances that can cause acute poisoning or organ damage if used over an extended period of time. Some herbs do not mix well with certain prescribed or over the counter medications and some herbs are dangerous to take prior to certain surgical procedures. Allergic reactions (although rare) may also be a concern for some people. Herbs are safe and effective if used with common sense and for the right reason, in the right dose, and over the right amount of time.
Q: Do herbs really work?
A: Yes ... if it is the right herb, for the right reason, in the right dose, over the right amount of time. Many people take herbs in the wrong dose over the wrong period of time solely based on a news story, marketing pitch, or advertisement. Millions of dollars are wasted each year using the wrong herb, for the wrong reason, in the wrong dose, over the wrong amount of time!
The local drug stores, supermarkets, and pharmacies have shelves full of popular herbal "supplements" and sugar loaded "herbal" drinks and teas. But to properly, safely, and effectively use herbs, you must spend time researching, studying, and comparing all the available and trustworthy information that you can find. Our Academy certification program and library subscription will help you do that.
Remember - if you use the wrong herb, for the wrong reason, in the wrong dose, over the wrong amount of time ... you will not get the health promoting results that you desire and you may even cause bodily harm. That is why it is important to study hard and understand each medicinal herb before you use it or recommend to others.
Q: What evidence is there that herbs really do work?
A: First of all - we have the confidence in God's Word that herbs were created for medicinal purposes (this is the best proof of all that herbs really do work):
"And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all trees for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed: it shall bring forth new fruit according to his months, because their waters they issued out of the sanctuary: and the fruit thereof shall be for meat, and the leaf thereof for medicine." (Ezekiel 47:12)
"For Isaiah had said, Let them take a lump of figs, and lay it for a plaister upon the boil, and he shall recover." (Isaiah 38:21)
"Then Isaiah said, 'Bring a lump of pressed figs.' So they brought it and applied it to his infected skin, and he recovered." (2 Kings 20:7)
"He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth; And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth man's heart." (Psalms 104:14-15)
"But the olive tree said to them, 'Should I stop giving my oil that honors both God and man, and rule over the trees?'" (Judges 9:9)
"Is there no balm in Gilead; is there no physician there? why then is not the health of the daughter of my people recovered?" (Jeremiah 8:22)
"Eat honey, my son, for it is good, and the honeycomb is sweet to your palate." (Proverbs 24:13)
"And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him." (Luke 10:34)
"Don't continue drinking only water, but use a little wine because of your stomach and your frequent illnesses." (1 Timothy 5:23)
"For the earth which drinks in the rain that often comes upon it, and bears herbs useful for those by whom it is cultivated, receives blessing from God." (Heb 6:7)
"In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations." (Revelation 22:2)
Some may say that Ezekiel 47:12 and Revelation 22:2 are prophetic or symbolic descriptions of herbal medicine. While these two verses may pertain to a future time or place ... there is no doubt that herbs and other natural substances are Biblically recommended for injury and illness and were used by God's people in therapeutic ways (figs, grapes, wine, honey, olive oil, balm of Gilead, bread, wheat, barley, etc). We also have the Biblical record of the natural health care laws that were given to and used by Moses (Leviticus). In addition, according to Jewish tradition, Solomon, Ezra, and Nehemiah were very well versed in the virtues of herbs and the qualities of roots. Solomon is considered as having taught how to cure diseases by natural means, and tradition ascribes to him "the Sepher Refuoth," or book of healing diseases.
Secondly, we have the value of successful herbal use in historical/traditional records. Time and history are great teachers. If an herb has been used over the centuries (especially for the same health condition) - it is wise to pay attention. Although anecdotal (personal reports or observations) are not as reliable as controlled scientific studies -- anecdotal evidence that is consistent over time in many different parts of the world for the same health condition(s) has some clinical value and should not be ignored.
Thirdly, when historical and traditional (anecdotal) herb use is confirmed by modern clinical studies, the anti-herbal critics must finally admit defeat. We see this happening today. More and more clinical studies are confirming the medicinal value of certain herbs. When God says He made the herbs to serve man as medicine and the historical anecdotal "story" is confirmed by science -- Christians should be joyful and confident to use the natural medicine created by the Greatest Physician in the universe! In fact, many of the templates of modern medicines were created directly or indirectly using medicinal herbs (aspirin, digitalis, atropine, morphine, and many others).
Q: Do you support the use of Cannabis?
A: While we agree that Cannabis sativa (marijuana) does have some medicinal value, the potential for "high" addiction or abuse outweighs its use in a Christian clinical setting. Other "non-high" herbs can be used to help with pain, nausea, and the other symptoms that are relieved with Cannabis use.
We believe that in the beginning, God created everything to be good (including Cannabis). But, unfortunately, man rejected God and caused the earth to become corrupted. Lions are an awesome creation of God and, in the beginning, they did not eat you in the Garden of Eden - but now they will attack and kill you. Bees are a beautiful creation of God and they did not sting you in the Garden of Eden - but now they will sting you if you are not careful. Cannabis was created by God too - but it will also now "sting" you if you are not careful.
We believe that Cannabis was corrupted by the fall of man and now has an obvious strong potential for abuse or even idol worship (some people worship the creation (plant) rather than the Creator). Mind altering plants have the potential to weaken our spiritual defenses and may open the door to the reality of demon influence and spiritual, emotional, and physical danger.
In addition, the word of God clearly tells us to not be drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, we are to be filled with the Holy Spirit (Eph. 5:18). Any kind of "drunkenness" can ruin our lives - be it drunk with wine or buzzing on weed. As Christians, we need to always be alert with a sound and clear mind (1 Peter 4:7, 1 Peter 5:8) because Jesus is coming back soon and the devil knows it.
With Cannabis sativa - we believe that the spiritual risks outweigh the medicinal benefits. And even if it becomes "legal" - the Christian Natural Health Network will never include or support the use of Cannabis sativa.
Q: What is complimentary health care?
A: Complimentary health care incorporates natural health and healing measures taken along side licensed medical care. For example, some people under the care of a licensed physician also take herbs with their prescribed medicines or are also under the care of a massage therapist or Certified Christian Herbalist (CCH). This mixing of traditional and/or natural health care options compliments the care provided to you by a licensed health care provider.
The Christian Natural Health Network recommends that you combine your health care resources to take advantage of the benefits of modern medicine and the beauty and effectiveness of God's medicinal herbs and other natural health care options. The best complimentary health care options emphasize the importance of preventive health care and the value of our own internal God given healing abilities (faith in Christ, attitude, immune system, and other internal mechanisms).
Complimentary health care is not "alternative" health care. Alternative health care completely replaces modern medical science with traditional and/or natural health care alternatives. For example, a person replaces all of his prescribed medication with herbs. The Christian Natural Health Network believes that herbs can eventually replace some medicines but only under the supervision and guidance of your physician and an experienced Christian herbalist. It is unwise, foolish, and dangerous to replace all modern health care procedures and medicines with herbs or other natural health care alternatives without the supervision and guidance of a professional health care team.