As part of this guide you will be creating a reference binder. The basic reference binder will include creating a Materia Medica.
Each lesson will include a select number of herbs for you to research and study on your own. It is suggested that you use at least 3 reference guides (see list here) to research the herbs. Based on this research you are going to create a Materia Medica. The Materia Medica you create will be your own personal reference guide on the herbs you have studied; you will record pertinent information on the herb which will help you identify if the herb is right to use in your situation. The following information is necessary to include in your reference file on each herb:
1. Botanical Name
2. Common Name(s)
3. Habitat and Growing Conditions
4. Pertinent Information on the Plant
5. Your Personal Experience with the Plant
6. Sources - The Reference Books Used, Author, and Page
I also highly suggest including the following in your Materia Medica as well:
1. Part of the Plant Used
3. Medicinal Actions
8. Description and Uses
10. How to Prepare
11. Suggested Dosage
I do not think it is necessary to fill all this out at once. Many reference books do not list all this information on each herb. Just add the information to your Materia Medica as you find it.
I have created a blank Materia Medica form for you to print and fill out as you study and learn about each herb:
One of the most important aspects of your research is for you to purchase (or harvest) a small amount of each of the herbs in your Materia Medica and try it. You will want to record your experience such as taste, feelings, any emotions, and personal experience. For this research purpose, purchase or harvest ½ to 1 ounce of each herb.
The Materia Medica (and its accompany research) will be the most important part of your reference binder. As I, personally, research and study, I am also going to include other sections in my reference binder.
This is how I personally am organizing my herbal binder:
Section 1: Materia Medica (in Alphabetical Order)
Section 2: Body Systems
(a) The Nervous System
(b) The Liver
(c) Respiratory System
(d) Urinary System
(e) Female Reproductive System
(f) Male Reproductive System
(g) The Digestive System
(h) The Immune System
Section 3: Problems (In Alphabetical Order) (examples: headache, earache, cough, etc)
Section 4: Favorite Recipes
Section 5: How To Make (Tinctures, oils, salves, etc).
I created a printable binder cover and tabs for you to use to create your binder.
I hope this all makes sense to everyone following along. If you need any clarification or have any questions, feel free to leave a comment.
To view the main page of our Herbal Learning Guide, including the link to other pages, please click here.