Herbalism Learning Models

Ways of Learning about Herbalism
(From Paul Bergner)

NORTH= tradition
EAST= science
SOUTH= personal experience
WEST= intuition

Understanding Herbalism
1. Plants
              - botany
              - how/ when/ what part to harvest
              - medicine making
              - materia medica
2. People
              - constitution
              - condition
                            - roots---> branches/ symptoms
                            - internal causes (constitution); external causes
3. Matching Plants and People
              - clinical skills
                            - external (communication)
                            - internal (distillation; differential diagnosis)
              - The Medicine
                            - protocol
                                          - formulation
                                          - dosage
                                          - working with the person; patient compliance
(Note: different traditions/ approaches to all of the above!)

Plants/ People/ Dis-ease Differentiation
- Quality (energetic)
- Appropriation (location in the body)
- Property (action)

Doshas (from Ayurvedic constitutional analysis)
Vata (air and fire)
Pitta (fire)
Kapha (earth and water)

Treatment strategies
“Law of Similars” (ie. Alchemical medicine, homeopathy)
“Law of Contraries” (ie. Galenic, Chinese Medicine, Ayurveda)

Plants’ Profile
(What to note, when creating your own materia medica)

- Taste (sour, sweet, bitter, pungent, salty)
- Tissue state (hot/ cold, moist/ dry, tense/ lax)
- Indications/ body systems/ medicinal use
- Preparations/ dosage
- Cautions/ contraindications
- Name(s): scientific name (genus, species, family), common name(s), species list
- Appearance
- Habitat
- How to collect
- Ecologic status
- Primary constituents
- Preparations
- Medicinal use
- Cultivation

The Earthwise Herbal, by Matthew Wood
Michael Moore