Holistic Pharmacology for Herbalists

Science - Plants - Spirit

An enjoyable combination of Scientific and Spiritual approaches to herbalism.
"...gems of information that pop up from Matt and Sean's discussions are priceless." 
"...combination of technical biochemical explanation, folk use, and case histories..." 
"...in depth into the phytochemistry and energetics of plants."

Explore the dance between science and spirit in herbalism

The synergy of scientific and spiritual perspectives in herbalism is evident in this distinctive course, which delves into the intricate relationship between herbal energetics and the chemistry and pharmacology of herbs. Seán Pádraig O'Donoghue, alongside Matthew Wood, guides participants in deciphering the molecular language of Living Nature. No prior knowledge of biochemistry is necessary or assumed, making this course suitable for intermediate or enthusiastic beginner students.

A unique course unraveling the secrets of herbal energetics and plant chemistry.

Animal Medicines, Plant Medicines

In these Classes we Explore:
Class 1 - Introduction to Holistic Pharmacology: Plant chemistries and human biology and the useful and not-so-useful fictions we use to talk about phytochemistry and herbal pharmacology.

Class 2 - Families of Constituents
: the major families of herbal constituents,  where they are found, and how they interact with human bodies. Matthew contributes how the families fit into the Six Tissues States, herbs, and their actions.

Class 3 - Taste and Pharmacology
: what taste and scent can tell us about the energetics and the pharmacology of plants.

Class 4 - Warming Plants
: the pharmacology of warming and stimulating plants, and their use to address the depressed and stagnant tissue states.

Class 5 - Cooling Plants
: the pharmacology of cooling and sedating plants, and their use to address the excited tissue state.

Class 6 - Moistening Plants
: the pharmacology of moistening and nourishing plants and their use in addressing the tissue state of atrophy.

Class 7 - Astringent Plants
: the pharmacology of astringent plants and their use to address the lax tissue state.

Class 8 - Relaxing Plants
: the pharmacology of plants that relax tension and their use to address the constricted and stagnant tissue states.

Class 9 - Bitters
: the pharmacology of bitter medicines and their use to address the stagnant and constricted tissue states

Class 10 - Adaptogens
: the pharmacology  of adaptogens and how they help the body navigate stress

Class 11 - Modern Additions to Pharmacology
: Essential fatty acids, protease inhibitors, and hormones.

Class 12 - Herbs and Neurotransmitters
: Dopamine and Norepinephrine

Class 13 - Herbs and Neurotransmitters
: Serotonin and DMT: the nature of serotonin and DMT and the herbs that effect their levels and function in the human body.


Class 14 - Tonics
: the pharmacology of tonic herbs and how they help the body navigate stress

Class 15 - Cannabinoids and the Endocannabinoid system
: CBD? CBG? THC? Making sense of the alphabet soup of constituents in the Cannabis plant and explore how they interact with the human body.


Support Materials

Handouts for each class from Sean and bonus material from Matthew

Support Materials

Free intro. to Holistic Pharmacology for Herbalists


37 hours of teaching


Certificate included
(see more below)

Pay Once = One Year Access

1 year to view and review content, ask questions and discuss

This is for you if you...

want to discover how the scientific and spiritual dimensions of herbalism blend seamlessly, empowering you to appreciate plants both chemically and energetically.
want to take a dive into biochemistry but have no prior knowledge
want to learn the chemical meaning of the taste or sensation of plant.

Upon completion, you will...

uncover the profound relationship between a plant's chemistry and its spiritual and energetic attributes, gaining a deeper understanding of how the plants do what they do.
have a better understanding of how plants can affect how we feel, physically and emotionally.
equip yourself to articulate the properties of the herbs you work with, catering to scientifically-minded clients and fellow healthcare practitioners.


Matthew Wood, MS

Matthew Wood has been a practicing herbalist for over forty years. He is an internationally known
teacher and author with more than ten books to his credit, including The Book of Herbal Wisdom, 
The Earthwise Herbals, Holistic Medicine and the Extracellular Matrix, and A Shamanic Herbal 
(July 2024). Matthew has an MSc in herbal medicine from the Scottish School of Herbal Medicine 
(accredited, U. of Wales). He lives in the Midwest. 

Seán Pádraig O’Donoghue

Seán is an herbalist, writer, teacher, and Priest in two traditions. His approach to healing weaves together the insights of traditional Western herbalism and contemporary science. He regards physical, spiritual, and emotional healing as deeply intertwined.

Certificate Included

  • How to Get a Certificate

    • Complete course materials
    • Pass the test with a grade of 70% or better
    • Save or print your certificate!

    Available with subscription and individual course purchases.

  • Accreditation hours

    This course is a total of 47 accredited hours
    • 8 hours Materia Medica
    • 8 hours Basic Human Sciences
    • 31 hours Pharmacy, Pharmacognosy, and Dispensing

    *Please check with your accrediting agency whether they will accept accredited hours or certificates from the Matthew Wood Institute of Herbalism
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Holistic Pharmacology for Herbalists

Explore the secrets of herbal energetics and plant chemistry.

Check out our certificate courses!