History of Us

Since the 1970s in Japan, European culinary herbs have been introduced as a lifestyle of European culture. This gained popularity in the areas of home cooking and gardening. However, as medical herbs were not properly introduced, accessibility to herbal remedies was quite limited.

In 1999, several medical professionals, academic experts, and industry participants got together to found the Medical Herb Information Center (MHIC), a predecessor to the current association.

In 2007, MHIC was registered as a Non Profit Organization and changed its name to Japan Medical Herb Association (JAMHA). Till today, we have continuously expanded our activity (6,325 members as of Oct 2011), based on our mission of :

- Providing members with correct information about medical herbs; and
- Promoting healthy and legitimate medical herb uses.

Definition of Medical Herb

We define the term, “Medical Herb” as aromatic plants that can be used for improvement of health and beauty in daily life. Medical Herb includes certain part/s of the plants such as leaves, flowers, or rhizomes, from any geographic area of the world. We use the term, “Medical Herb” as a synonym of “Medicinal Herb”.

Activities of JAMHA

Based on our mission, JAMHA offers the following regular activities:

  1. Research and study of medical herbs.
  2. Facilitation of safety and functionality information to our members.
  3. Educational programs to train herbal experts.
  4. Accreditation of Medical Herbalist qualifications (Herbal Therapist, Herbal Practitioner, and Holistic Herbal Practitioner).
  5. Accreditation of Herbal Coordinator.
  6. Organizing seminars and symposiums.
  7. Collaborations with other domestic/international organizations.


1.“Botanical Safety Handbook (Japanese Edition)”

We have more opportunities to see herbal teas and herbal supplements in the market where we live. It is very important for both consumers and suppliers to know about the safety issues of herbal medicines. With that in mind, therefore, JAMHA translated and published “Botanical Safety Handbook”, which was originally written by AHPA (American Herbal Product Association) in order to provide correct information about Medical Herbs. This book takes the position NEITHER to accept the concept of “all natural herbs are safe”, NOR to accept “poisonous” for specific herbs without having relevant data. Therefore it is well accepted worldwide, and The Ministry of Welfare and Labor in Japan used this book as a reference when it reviewed the division between medicines and foods.


JAMHA publishes varieties of textbooks for herbalists. They are all issued in the Japanese language and are not for sale.

3. “Relevant regulations for Medical Herbs”

Although JAMHA provides educational and certification programs for herbalists, Japanese law does not allow them to practice as either doctors or pharmacists. We have briefly explained the regulations in Japan to those who use them for commercial purpose. They are issued in the Japanese language and are not for sale.


Japan Medical Herb Association
2F Kudan-Kangyo Bldg.
1-10-1 Kudan-Kita, Chiyoda-ku, Tokyo, 102-0073 Japan
tel : +81-3-3230-4182 / fax : +81-3-3230-4184
email : info (at) medicalherb.or.jp (for international)

Copyright (c) Japan Medical Herb Association.All Rights Reserved.