Herbal Materia Medica Course

Herbal Materia Medica Course

From: $55.00

One of our favorite ways to keep the spark of excitement for our herbal studies is by working on our materia medica. By studying plants one herb at a time, we have the opportunity to connect with individual herbs at a meaningful level through in-depth study. The Herbal Materia Medica Course will teach you this simple––yet powerful––study process and help you organize what you are learning into plant monographs for future reference. We’ll teach you what a materia medica is (if you don’t already know) and guide you through the research process, equipping you with the tools you need to study herbs on your own.

Get ready to inspire and deepen your herbal knowledge! For beginners and advanced herbalists alike, the Herbal Materia Medica Course is here to help you create (or add to) your own materia medica. Anyone and everyone is welcome to take this course––no prior experience or education required!

**This online program is $55. You can also choose to upgrade your registration with the Materia Medica Journal ($34), designed as a companion to our Herbal Materia Medica Course.


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Your teachers at the Herbal Academy have created this Herbal Materia Medica Course to guide you through the process of studying, researching, and observing plants in order to create an herbal materia medica. Designed for herbalists in the making, seasoned herbalists, and those of you not yet sure if this is the right path for you, this program will walk you through the process of studying one herb at a time, teaching you how to create (or add to) your materia medica.

Herbal Academy Herbal Materia Medica Course - studying herbalism for beginners
Herbal Academy Herbal Materia Medica Course
Herbal Academy Herbal materia medica journal

Your materia medica, which will consist of multiple monographs on the plants that are of interest to you, will serve as one of the foundational resources for you as an herbalist. In it you will compile information from both historical and modern resources, from books and articles to scientific journals and personal accounts. You will rely not only on what you learn in books, but also your own understanding and experiencehow you observe a plant in nature and how you experience a plant by spending time with it or taking it into your bodyto tell the story of your plant.

By the end of this course:

  • You will know how to study a plant, how to find resources to support your studies, how to interact with a plant to gain first-hand experience with some of its characteristics, and how to evaluate scientific research on plants.
  • You will learn how to research a plant’s names, botany, growing conditions, harvesting guidelines, active constituents, actions, uses, taste and energetics, safety, and herb-drug interactions.
  • You will learn what a plant’s history, habitat, and growing requirements are, informing your understanding of what a plant needs and how you can become a caretaker, even if you aren’t growing the plant yourself.
  • You will gain an introduction to integrating a plant into your life to support wellness by learning about its properties and characteristics.
  • You will have a list of many resourcesour favorite books and websitesfor your further study of plants and development of your materia medica.
  • You will have several pages completed in your materia medica using our beautiful downloadable pages or our bound Materia Medica Journal!

We’ll walk you through creating a materia medica, answering these questions about your plant:

  • What is your plant’s name?
  • Where is its native range?
  • Where does the plant grow now?
  • How do you harvest the plant?
  • Does it have special considerations regarding sustainability?
  • What does your plant look like?
  • What are its chemical constituents?
  • What does it taste like, and what are its energetic qualities?
  • Does your herb have a particular personality?
  • What are the herb’s actions in the human body, and how is it used as an herbal remedy?
  • How can you use your plant safely?

We will discuss each of these topics with you throughout the six lessons in the Herbal Materia Medica Course. You will learn where to look for quality herbal information and how to research. You’ll receive an extensive list of references––from books to online websites and databases––to help get you get started in your journey. By the end of this course, you will know how to research your plant and create a plant monograph, and will be well on your way to creating your materia medica!

Upgrade your registration with our Materia Medica Journal

As a companion offering of this program, we have designed our herbalist’s Materia Medica Journal in which to compile all of the information you gather throughout your plant studies. With the ability to accommodate 50 botanical monographs with room for additional notes, it also contains many of the useful reference charts from the Herbal Materia Medica Course including those on plant identification, herbal safety, and researching tips and tricks. The Herbal Materia Medica Course will include some of the materia medica pages from this journal for printing at home, and you will also have the option to upgrade your registration to include the Materia Medica Journal so you have a beautiful bound book in which to record your studies and enjoy as a lasting treasure.

Herbal Academy Herbal Materia Medica Course - the materia medica journal



Thoughtful lessons that will walk you through your own materia medica


This program is structured as a six week course, but you will get Lifetime Access* to your online program!


Free journal pages or an upgrade option to purchase our beautiful spiral-bound journal


A handy step-by-step guide to completing your personal materia medica


Helpful study aids, tools, and charts are available for download


An extensive list of books and online resources


Get access to your teachers via email anytime with questions


All lessons are available for download and print for your continued use


Receive a badge in your Student Dashboard with your course completion

The Herbal Materia Medica Course Outline

Herbal Academy Herbal Materia Medica Course - studying one herb at a time


Introduction to the Herbal Materia Medica Course, Studying One Plant at a Time, Choosing Your Herbs, Gathering Your Supplies, Building Your Herbal Library, Naming Your Herb, Referencing

In the introduction, you will learn the benefits of studying one herb at a time and choose the herb (or herbs) to include in your materia medica as you work through the course. You will begin researching the first categories for your materia medica pages.

Herbal Academy Herbal Materia Medica Course - studying one herb at a time


Native Range, Geographic Distribution, Botanical Description, Plant Parts Uses, Harvesting Guidelines, Sustainability Concerns, The Plant Portrait

You will explore the next categories for your monograph, including a mini botany lesson and how to write a botanical description of your plant, how to research which parts of your herb are used, and learning when they are harvested.

Herbal Academy Herbal Materia Medica Course - studying one herb at a time


Finding Quality Research, Types of Scientific Research, Types of Research Resources, Constituents, Actions, Uses

This lesson discusses types of modern scientific literature that can be used as a resource when you research your plant, and also examines herbal actions and uses from both traditional and modern perspectives. We will have a beginners look into the chemistry of herbs with a sampling of botanical constituents like alkaloids, saccharides, and terpenes.

Tea meditation Herbal Academy Herbal Materia Medica Course - studying one herb at a time


Herbal Preparations, Taste, Energetics, Tea Meditation, Plant Flashcards, Apothecary Labels

Herbalists use a language that is all their own when describing how herbs behave and what makes them useful in supporting health. This lesson takes a good look at how taste can give you clues into the nature of an herb, and the unique vocabulary herbalists use to categorize herbs.

Herbal Academy Herbal Materia Medica Course-07


Herb Safety, Dosage, Timeline for Use, Herb Safety Continuum Scale

In this lesson, we will explore several safety considerations in more depth and examine the resources that can help you research these important topics so you can add this information to your materia medica.

Herbal materia medica journal


Creating Your Materia Medica Document, Your Herbal Journey

Now that you have completed your first plant monograph, you are well on your way to deepening your knowledge of individual plants and building your materia medica! We’ll have a look at several ways to create a materia medica and continue on the herbal journey.

Herbal Academy Herbal Materia Medica Course-16

The Herbal Materia Medica Course is your online guide to creating your own materia medica!

We are connected as an herbal community in many ways, but perhaps most of all by our mutual appreciation of plants. We welcome them in our food and as support for our wellness, we lean on them in times of emotional tumult, we tend them in our gardens, and we make clothing, shelter, and art with them. Our lives and our ecosystems are made more vibrant and functional by their presence. What can we offer in return?

We can celebrate them and acknowledge the gifts they share with us. We can practice gratitude for their role in our lives. And most importantly, we can study and observe their characteristics, open our hearts to their energy and personality, and come to understand their needs and the ways in which we can care for and steward them.

We’ve designed our Herbal Materia Medica Course as an offering to help our readers and students deepen your knowledge of and connection with plants. No prerequisites are required to begin this journey, and you are welcome to join us no matter if you are brand new to herbalism or an experienced herbalist. There is no better teacher than direct study with the plants that inspire the tradition of herbalism. We’re delighted to guide you in your herbal studies by helping you study the plants and create your herbal materia medica. Welcome to the journey!

Herbal Academy Herbal Materia Medica Course

Testimonials From Students

I really loved this program! I am so excited to have started my first Materia Medica! This course really helped me to understand all the parts of the herbal monograph, and helped me to make a deep connection with the herbs I was researching. This is going to be so essential to my ongoing herbal studies! Thank you!”
– R Lovell
“My favorite part was how this course served as a guide for self teaching. This method of learning really encouraged me to get in depth with my herb of choice.”
– Kayla, student
“I have taken the introductory class, and am currently in the intermediate class. This was a super compliment to go with the program. I enjoyed the research… It is my down time with a cup of tea, surrounded by books and herbs. I also enjoy the group. I like that everyone is understating and tries to help each other out in our search for herbal resources. Thanks again for the wonderful resource.”
– Sandra G., Family Herbalist Student
“This course is a super informative collection of information while it introduces the beginner herbalist to methods of gathering evidence-based information. It is easily read yet not over simplified. This allows even the experienced herbalist to learn new information as well as the novice person.”
– Charlotte K Patterson, LMT, M A and future Herbal Nutrition Expert

“This class really helped me to get more information on herbs. It also helped me to better understand how to put all that info into a well organized book or journal. I will definitely be better equipped to find the information I need faster.”
– TP, Student
“I love the interactiveness of the course! It is a very hands-on approach that allows the student to build something so meaningful and lasting.”
– Herbal Materia Medica Course Graduate
“My favorite part of this program had to be the printable downloads that come with the course, as well as the websites given to help you do your research properly.”
– AEK, Student
“There was so much information… I was ecstatic when I really started and realized that everything I had been looking for was in one easy to understand place and that I could keep learning in the direction I had wanted. Also, I was so surprised and so happy that you included energetics! Much of the online stuff I’ve found ignores that side… Thank you so much for the whole course! It was so helpful!”
-VM, Student
“As an Herbalist I found your program fantastic for a beginner. Although I took some college courses and continue my studies I feel your approach to connecting to each plant is a must for every budding herbalist. I dove into books, hands on, preparations etc. through my schooling and interns but none had a layout to connect with the plants energies as well as other educational views like yours does. I would have loved to have started here to connect with plants first before the advance lessons. I feel this lesson should encourage each student to continue their connections as well as learn deeper ones along their path as an Herbalist. Thanks deeply,”
– Shannon, Student
“I’ve been interested in wildcrafting and herbs for many years. Being self-taught I slowly moved forward one plant at a time. My progress was erratic and unfocused. This course focused my attention with structured, fun lesson plans. The PDF printable charts, flashcards, information sheets, and herb note pages are beautiful, easy to use and make studying plants a joy. The teaching materials and lessons at the Herbal Academy have expanded my basic knowledge tremendously. I will absolutely register for the next course.”
– Laura Levesque, Student
“My favorite part of the program is how it encourages people to not only study plants from information found in books, BUT to also physically study the plants.”
– N.B., Student

Interested in getting started in class? 
Click here to register!



* Lifetime Access is access to the course that you purchased for as long as the particular course is offered by the Herbal Academy. View Terms & Conditions for more detail.

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Course With Journal, Course Without Journal