Clearpath Herbals

Materia Medica in June: Three Classes of In-depth Herbal Medicine Knowledge

Materia Medica class has been a central component to Clearpath School of Herbal Medicine since its beginnings in 1999. The term describes a body of knowledge on a large number of medicinal plants. Traditionally, herbalists and healers from around the world have had a working knowledge of 150-500 medicinal herbs, old wisdom and new discoveries passed down across the generations. Clearpath’s Materia Medica class honors this tradition, passing on ever-evolving medicinal plant knowledge to this and future generations. Classes offer clear, concise and thorough information on healing herbs, enough data for a sound working knowledge of what a plant can do from the viewpoints of several herbal traditions, as well as my direct experience as an herbalist with over twenty years field experience.

Herbal Materia Medica Components:

Every year I teach four units — each unit consists of three 3-hour classes — of in depth herbal information, rotating through approximately 300 herbs from around the world. Each week I cover five plants, for a total of fifteen over the length of a single unit. Areas covered include:

Plant Names: scientific names, common names, aliases, botanical family;
Parts Used and Gathering Times;
Tastes and Energetics: includes first-hand experience tasting herbs (tincture, tea);
Description and Location;
Chemical Constituents;
Medicinal Uses: includes key symptoms, and in depth uses from Western, Chinese, and Native American perspectives as well as personal experience;
Cautions and Contraindications;
Preparations and Dosages: teas, extracts, oils, etc.;
Scientific, traditional, folkloric uses

Lately, I have changed the way I choose the herbs, letting a random number generator do the selecting via plant scientific names. It seemed most democratic. Still, it is interesting to see themes and patterns naturally arise from the herbs that are randomly chosen. Case in point: next week’s plants have a common thread running through them. The five plants — artichoke (leaf), cleavers (herb), clove (bud), couchgrass (rhizome), epimedium (leaf) – are each in their own way considered herbs for kidney health. (link to the other article).











Last Indoor Class until September

Class is open to newcomers and to those with an herbal background wishing to deepen and widen their herbal repertoire. Students sample herbal medicines as extracts and/or teas to gain first-hand experience of each plant’s tastes and energetics. and they get to choose one herb (1-ounce bottle) discussed that evening to take home for further investigation.

If comprehensive exploration of medicinal herbs from around the world — with emphasis on Western (native and introduced) and Asian plants (Chinese, Indian) — is the kind of information that intrigues you, then Clearpath School of Herbal Medicine’s Materia Medica class is right up your alley.

This is the last unit (June 8, June 5, June 22) until September. I try not to teach indoor, sit-down classes during the summer. Act soon, June 8 is right around the corner. And if you do miss, you can always take the classes separately, to better meet the demands of people’s schedules, and also to see if this is what you are seeking.

To register, contact Clearpath Herbals.