Course Description The Materia Medica course is designed to build your knowledge of specific herbs, focusing on mostly plants from North America and Europe, be them wild, naturalized, or cultivated. You will learn medicinal actions, native origin, habitat and growing conditions, botanical characteristics, traditional uses, therapeutic preparations, harvesting, processing, storing, and contraindications. Throughout the course, you will have an “Herb of the Week,” that you will get to know both academically and experientially. Over the 12-month course, you will experience each of these 30 plants for at least one week at a time. You will be assigned 10 herbs per trimester, and so you can space them out accordingly.
Note: If you do not want to -or can't- find a local source of these 30 herbs, we can ship all of them to you (you will receive 1 ounce of each of them, totally 30 ounces of plant material that you'll store and use throughout the course). See the payment option for this when you enroll, or you can purchase this package deal at a later time. Required Reading Herb of the Week Handouts Recommended Reading Research each herb of the week in your personal herbal reference books, including but not limited to the Holistic Herbal. Explore the herbal medicine section at your local library or research online, but be careful to find a reputable sources online. Each herb is very complex with a multitude of uses and there is no way we can cover absolutely everything in our handouts.
Course Objectives 1) To become familiar with 30 plants in depth and be able to use them therapeutically and nutritionally in your life with confidence. 2) To bring awareness to specific details regarding each plant that will help you use, grow and find them in the wild. 3) To understand the medicinal uses of each plant and how it may be prepared for therapeutic application.
Major Assignment: Herb of the Week Journal 1) Weekly journal entries recording your experience as you use the Herb of the Week throughout a week period, experimenting with different ways of preparing and using the herb. (Note: This is another journal in addition to your field plant journal).
2) Mind's eye drawing of the Herb of the Week: Study a picture of the herb closely in a field guide, on the internet, or other reference book for 5 minutes. Note the botanical characteristics: Does the plant have alternate or opposite leaves? Are the leaves simple or compound? Is the flower regular or irregular? How many petals? etc... Now close your eyes. Picture the plant in your mind. Open your eyes and draw it from memory. Practicing this will enhance your awareness and observation skills, making it easier to pick out plants in the field.
3) Create a recipe (e.g. tea blend, tincture blend, topical product, food, elixir, honey, etc.) from each herb and include it at the end of each journal entry.
**You will email us photos of your journal at the end of each trimester for grading.