Skill Set: An expanded knowledge of 150 herbs, and ways to combine them in unique individualized formulas for patients.
The study of herbal materia medica, the plants that we use in practice, is a life-long process. We may originally learn a few facts about an herb, and begin to use it. But our education is never complete. It may even be that the study of a single herb could require many months or even years to learn everything useful about it. I learned this principle from one of my mentors, Dr John Bastyr ND, who now has a university named after him, He was in the habit of reading and studying materia medica every evening before going to bed, over a career of more than 50 years. In this course sequence you will deepen your knowledge of materia medica, herbal actions, methods of combining herbs, and the safety aspects of herbs, essential oils, and more.
Any combination of two herbs will convey the actions of each of the herbs, but may also produce a synergy so as to create an entirely new medicine. The study of pairing and simple combinations is the foundatiion of effective and flexible formulation. This course begins by simplifying and clarifying the concepts of herbal actions, which today are a cacophany of terms which resembles the state of language after the fall of the Tower of Babel. You will then learn the principles of moving from simple herb, to pair or triplet, and ultimately to complex patient-tailored formula.
Three veteran medical herbalists, with a combined clinical experience of more than 75 years, were given the task to “start talking about the herbs where everyone else stops” over four days of an advanced seminar. You will learn special uses of herbs, new categories, humoral and energetic considerations, differentials between similar herbs, and other practical experience-based information.
Although harm caused by herbal medicines is uncommon, any herb strong enough to act as a medicine may also have an adverse effect if given for the wrong condition, the wrong patient, in the wrong dose, or at the wrong time. In the modern era, even an otherwise harmless herb may cause harmful interaction with a prescription or over-the-counter drug. In this course you will learn the principles of herbal toxicity and drug-herb interactions, the possible side effects or harms caused by 35 of the most important medicinal herbs, and the toxicology of essential oils. Also included is a section on “the fragile patient” and the need to use gentler herbs in lower doses for elders, children, or patients who are weak.