Matthew Wood Institute of Herbalism
Online Classes with the Matthew Wood Institute of Herbalism
Holistic Pharmacology for Herbalists
Scientific and Spiritual approaches to herbalism complement each other...
And come together in this unique course exploring the connections between herbal energetics and the chemistry and pharmacology of herbs. Together with, Matthew Wood, Seán Pádraig O'Donoghue will help you better understand the molecular language of Living Nature. No background in biochemistry is expected or required. This course is suitable for the Intermediate or ambitious Beginner student. This course will help you:
- See the ways in which the chemistry of a plant is a physical manifestation of its spiritual and energetic properties.
- Understand what the chemistry of a plant can tell you about its energetic properties – and what the scent, taste, and energetic properties of a plant can tell you about its chemistry.
- Understand how herbs affect our brain chemistry to shift consciousness – and how to think about these shifts in terms of both chemistry and energetics.
- Gain the skills and knowledge to evaluate scientific studies and determine whether they are relevant to your practice.
- Better explain the herbs you work with to scientifically-minded clients and other health care practitioners.
Seán Pádraig O'Donoghue is an herbalist specializing in mental, emotional, and spiritual health and an initiated priest in two traditions. He has taught both phytochemistry and herbal energetics to herbalists, nutritionists, and acupuncturists. He will be joined for several classes by renowned herbalist and author Matthew Wood, who has played a central role in the revival and development of Traditional Western Herbalism.
Psychological Herbal Assessment
Clinical skills are the most difficult to develop in herbal medicine and the least available in the educational realm. Two experienced herbalists, Matthew Wood and Seán Pádraig O'Donoghue, are pioneering an online approach to alternative, holistic, and traditional herbal diagnosis and evaluation. Seán has a more emotional, soul-based approach, while Matthew has a more physical, body-based approach. Both believe in the importance of the spirit in medicine and healing, although that is a topic that tends to eclipse the classroom. This class will, therefore, be stimulating for the students and for the teachers – which will make it more stimulating and exciting.
What is an Herbal Tonic?
Turns out it is not that easy to define. Generally it is thought of as a preparation that is more like a food in composition and acts generally and slowly to build up some tissue or organ, rather than having a sharp medicinal activity that changes functions within the organism. The whole herb is used, not the “active constituents.” English-speaking herbalists originally used the word "tonic" to describe astringents, because they give "tone" to tissues. Today, however, the word is more commonly used to describe a remedy that can be safely given to most people at relatively large doses to maintain or improve health. This can include bitter, iron, blood, qi, yin, and yang tonics, as well as tonics for specific systems—brain, immune, spleen, liver, kidneys, heart. Many of these come to us from traditional Chinese medicine; Taoist medicine is largely a tonic-based approach based on building up the “precious substances” of the body. We will discuss the difference between tonics and adaptogens and touch on questions of pharmacology, which are not prominent in this category. We will explore several such remedies, including Rehmannia and Astragalus (sweet tonics), Gotu kola (brain tonic) and for contrast, Gentian (bitter tonic) and how they help the body navigate stress.
Seán Pádraig O'Donoghue is an herbalist specializing in mental, emotional, and spiritual health and an initiated priest in two traditions. He has taught both phytochemistry and herbal energetics to herbalists, nutritionists, and acupuncturists. He is joined by renowned herbalist and author Matthew Wood, who has played a central role in the revival and development of Traditional Western Herbalism.