What is a materia medica, you may ask? Before I started my herbal studies I had never even heard of the term. Materia medica is Latin for “medical material” and is typically tied to pharmaceuticals and other drugs used in the practice of medicine. In the case of herbal medicine, it is tied to plant medicine and lists the constituents, activities, and preparation of herbal medicine. I also added energetic (when available) and growing and harvesting information of the plants in my materia medica.
Medicine & More
There are lots of herbal books that teach you how to make herbal extracts, teas, creams, salves, and more. I occasionally share experiences on making medicine in this space, as well as help with identifying plants, and information on human biology.
Want to learn more? Below are some of my favorite herbalists and herbal references.
Sage Mountain – this is Rosemary Gladstar’s herbal correspondence course. This is the course I took to learn herbalism.
Botanicwise – an herbal community for connecting and learning. They hosted a great COVID-19 webinar series.
Herbal Academy – has classes and a great blog. I subscribe to their Herbarium.
Learning Herbs – lots of good stuff on this site. I bought their Wildcraft! board game for kids and my grandson loved it. So did I! At one point they had a podcast that I loved. I think it might be part of their subscription program now.
A Modern Herbal – this is a 2-volume reference I bought, before I realized it is available online. It is a very thorough plant reference.
Henriette’s Herbal Homepage – a lot of great references on this site, including a forum that I’ve heard herbalists reference in their talks.
These are the books I reference most often when doing my materia medica or when someone asks me “what herb is good for….”
Stephen Harrod Buhner
David Winston, FNIMH, AHG