Materia Medica I

Western Materica Medica I builds on your herbal foundation following the body systems approach in Herbology 101 & Herbology Advanced. Learn 50+ herbs in-depth that support each body system, tying together all the pieces of learning herbs and their applications.

50+ Herbs
11 Lessons
11 Quizzes
Final Exam
1 year full access
3 Month Access to Herbal Village
Mobile and desktop compatible
Certificate of Completion


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Western Materia Medica I and II covers the broad diversity of medicinal and healing plants used by Western Herbalists. This includes medicinal plants and fungi from all over the world with the exception of China and India, which is covered in Traditional Chinese Materia Medica (TCMM) and Traditional Ayurvedic Materia Medica (TAMM). We start by exploring physiomedical theory and vibrational aspects of medicine. You then continue on with the systems approach, learning 6 or more major botanicals used for various disorders and diseases for each body system, starting with the Digestive System and ending with the Nervous System.

WMMI and WMM II can be seen as the “tying it all together” courses in the area of herbs used by Western practitioners for the betterment of their patients and themselves, learning to assess the person in front of them and how to create custom herbal formulations for someone using the herbs in the materia medica.

Is Western Materia Medica I For Me?

Students will be expected to be familiar with many herbs already, such as those learned in Herbology I as well as have at least an introductory background in pharmacognosy as learned in Herbology Advanced. Western Materia Medica I & II are bundled into (and prerequisites for graduating from) the Practical Herbalist Diploma program. They may also be taken on their own following Herbology 101 & Advanced (or equivalent).

Lesson 1 – Introduction to Physiomedicalism

1.1 History of Physiomedicalism
1.2 Physiomedical Theory
1.3 Conclusion

Lesson 2 – Vibration Aspects of Materia Medica

2.1 The Dimensions of Vibration Medicine
2.2 Plant Alchemy
2.3 Doctrine of Signatures
2.4 Herbs as Teachers
2.5 Hypericum perforatum (St. Johns’s Wort)
2.6 Ceanothus americanus (Red Root)

Lesson 3 – The Digestive Tract

3.1 Botanicals used in diseases of the digestive tract
3.2 Rhamnus purshiana (Cascara sagrada)
3.3 Lobelia inflata (Lobelia)
3.4 Gentiana lutea (Yellow gentian)
3.5 Foeniculum vulgare (Fennel)
3.6 Filipendula ulmaria (Meadowsweet)
3.7 Ulmus fulva (Slippery elm)

Lesson 4 – The Liver

4.1 Liver Botanicals
4.2 Silybum marianum (Milk thistle)
4.3 Cynara scolymus (Artichoke)
4.4 Taraxacum officinale (Dandelion)
4.5 Chelidonium majus (Celandine)
4.6 Berberis vulgaris (Barberry)
4.7 Raphanus sativa nigra (Black radish)

Lesson 5 – The Cardiovascular System

5.1 Botanicals used in diseases of the cardiovascular system
5.2 Aesculus hippocastanum (Horse chestnut)
5.3 Capsicum annum var. minimum (Cayenne)
5.4 Convallaria majalis (Lily of the Valley)
5.5 Crataegus oxyacanthoides (Hawthorn)
5.6 Cytisus scoparius (Scotch broom)
5.7 Zanthoxylum americanum (Prickly ash)

Lesson 6 – The Integumentary System

6.1 The Skin
6.2 Arctium lappa (Burdock)
6.3 Larrea divaricata (Chaparral)
6.4 Viola tricolor (Heartsease)
6.5 Iris versicolor (Blue flag)
6.6 Smilax spp. (Sarsaparilla)
6.7 Achillea millefolium (Yarrow)

Lesson 7 – The Musculoskeletal System

7.1 Botanicals used in muscle and joint disease
7.2 Actaea racemosa (Black cohosh)
7.3 Piper methysticum (Kava kava)
7.4 Salix alba (White willow)
7.5 Harpagophytum procumbens (Devil’s claw)
7.6 Urtica dioica (Stinging nettle)

Lesson 8 – The Respiratory System

8.1 Outline of function
8.2 Verbascum thapsus (Mullein)
8.3 Inula helenium (Elecampane)
8.4 Myrica cerifera (Bayberry)
8.5 Prunus serotina, P. virginiana (Wild Cherry)
8.6 Althaea officinalis (Marshmallow)
8.7 Ephedra sinica (Ma huang)
8.8 Tussilago farfara (Coltsfoot)

Lesson 9 – The Urinary System

9.1 Botanicals used in diseases of the urinary system
9.2  Arctostaphylos uva-ursi (Bearberry)
9.3 Agropyron repens (Couch grass)
9.4 Chimaphila umbellata (Pipsissewa)
9.5 Equisetum arvense (Horsetail)
9.6 Eupatorium purpureum (Gravel root)
9.7 Juniperus communis (Juniper)

Lesson 10 – The Reproductive System

10.1 Outline Of Function

  • The Male System
  • The Female System

10.2 Serenoa repens, S. serrulata (Saw palmetto)
10.3 Angelica sinensis (Dong quai)
10.4 Vitex agnus-castus (Chasteberry)
10.5 Rubus idaeus,R. strigosus (Raspberry)
10.6 Chamaelirium luteum (False unicorn)
10.7 Trifolium pratense (Red clover)

Lesson 11 – The Nervous System

11.1 Botanicals used in diseases of the nervous system
11.2 Valeriana officinalis (Valerian)
11.3 Turnera diffusa (Damiana)
11.4 Eschscholzia californica (California poppy)
11.5 Avena sativa (Milky oats)
11.6 Scutellaria lateriflora (Skullcap)

Once you’ve completed Western Materia Medica 1, you will have learned 55 herbs in-depth to support 9 systems of the body.

There is a clinical focus here influenced by Vitalist principles and the Physiomedical approach, and Amercian Herbalist Michael Moore’s approach of Excess vs. Deficient states.

You will learn the 5 principles to consider before developing a herbal protocol: reviewing eliminative systems of the body, balance/imbalance of the vascular system, balance within autonomic nervous system, assessing the body for any organ weaknesses or deficiencies, and assessing the energy reserves of the vital force of the body.

You will understand and have detailed plant monographs to refer to regarding the nuance, organ and tissue specificity of the herbs in your materia medica, along with research, history of use, dosages, indications, cautions & contraindications.

Western Materia Medica I

Meet Your Instructors

Meet your instructors & course creators for Materia Medica I:  Dr. Terry Willard, PhD, Cl.H. & Todd Caldecott, Medical Herbalist & Ayurvedic Practitioner.

Dr. Terry Willard founded Wild Rose College in 1979 and has been in private clinical practice for almost 40 years. Todd Caldecott is an herbalist and educator and deeply immersed in working in the Ayurvedic healing model.


Dr. Terry Willard, PhD

Dr. Terry Willard PhD, Cl.H. is the founder & former director of Wild Rose Herbal College, and has been in clinical practice for almost 40 years.

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Todd Caldecott Featured Image within post 1 1

Todd Caldecott, MH

Todd Caldecott, Medical Herbalist is a renowned Ayurvedic practitioner and instructor. He's been in clinical practice for 25 years.

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