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David Winston’s Materia Medica Series

This is a Pre-Recorded Series

**This content will only be available until May 31, 2024

Throughout this series, David Winston will draw upon his extensive experience studying, practicing, teaching, and researching herbal medicine. His deep understanding of multiple herbal traditions will enrich your learning experience, as he shares practical tips and valuable insights gained from his own journey and 47 years of clinical experience.  Whether you are a seasoned herbalist or a novice exploring the world of plant medicine, this Materia Medica series will expand your knowledge, broaden your perspective, and inspire you to explore the vast potential of herbal allies. Join us on this immersive journey!


Session 1: An Evening with David Winston: Open to All! 

Join us for this incredible opportunity to gain insights into the world of herbalism through the eyes of David Winston. During this interactive session, we will ask David a series of thought-provoking questions that explore his unique perspective on the world of herbs. Explore David's favorite childhood plant memories and stories of how he learned about herbs at a time when herbal medicine was almost extinct in mainstream culture.. Uncover the stories behind these personal connections and learn how they have shaped his profound understanding of medicinal plants. Interested in knowing what a typical day looks like in David Winston's life? Join us for this interview and peek behind the curtain. How did David come to know about the use of Nettle seed as a kidney trophorestorative ?  Does he really talk to plants ? How does he blend multiple herbal traditions and the spirit and science of herbal medicine into a cohesive whole ? We'll also delve into the fascinating topic of David's private herbal library, a treasure trove of knowledge. Moreover, David will offer invaluable advice to today's herbalists, sharing his thoughts on navigating the ever-evolving field of herbal medicine. Whether you are an aspiring herbalist or already immersed in the world of herbalism, his guidance is sure to be enlightening.


Session 2: Uncommon Uses of Common Medical Plants  

In this session, we will delve into the remarkable versatility of commonly used medicinal plants. Our esteemed herbalist, David Winston, will unveil lesser-known applications, revealing a treasure trove of possibilities for aspiring and seasoned herbalists alike. Moving beyond the limitations of attaching soundbites to herbs, David emphasizes the importance of understanding their multifaceted nature. Many herbs offer a multitude of uses that extend far beyond their well-known indications. By exploring these unique applications, we can address various health concerns, expand our repertoire, and enhance our clinical practice.  

Throughout this module, we will examine how some familiar herbs can be utilized in unconventional ways. For instance, we will learn how Milk Thistle, often regarded as "the liver herb,” is also being researched for treating cancer. Similarly, Saw Palmetto, commonly known as "the prostate herb," has surprising benefits for polycystic ovarian syndrome and respiratory inflammation. . Additionally, we will explore the use of Nettle Seed for degenerative kidney disease. While David will touch upon many popular herbs, his primary focus will be on revealing lesser-known uses that even experienced clinicians may not be familiar with. Join us in this module to expand your herbal knowledge! 


Session 3: Twenty-eight Essential Plants for Western Herbalists 

This module is designed to bridge the gap between Western herbalism and the ancient wisdom of Chinese and Ayurvedic traditions. In this class, we will explore 28 essential plants from these rich traditions that all Western herbalists should familiarize themselves with. Just as Skullcap, Hawthorn, Goldenseal, and Echinacea are indispensable herbs for Western herbalists, Chinese Medicine (TCM) and Ayurveda also have their own unique foundational herbs that are crucial for effective health care. These herbs often lack a direct Western equivalent or an equally effective substitute.  

However, one of the challenges with herbs from China or India is ensuring their quality. Many herbs are prone to contamination with heavy metals, pesticide residues, or simply being old or inert. To overcome this, this class aims to address both knowledge gaps and quality concerns. Renowned herbalist David Winston has carefully selected 28 important and clinically useful herbs commonly used in TCM and Ayurveda. These herbs have either naturalized in the US or are easily cultivated, reducing reliance on foreign sources. By covering these herbs, you will gain deeper insights into their properties, applications, and safe usage. 


Session 4: The Medicinal Power of the "Worst Weeds"  

In this final module, we will delve into the often under-appreciated potential of "worst weeds" as effective medicinal plants. Join David Winston as he shares valuable insights on the exceptional healing properties possessed by these commonly overlooked plants. When we examine various herbal medicine systems such as TCM, Ayurveda, Unani-tibb, Eclectic medicine, Tibetan medicine, Kampo, and Physio-medicalism, we find that they boast an extensive materia medica. Exploring these comprehensive collections of therapeutic plants allows skilled practitioners to carefully select the most suitable remedies for each individual. However, in the Western world, we seem to be using a shrinking repertoire of herbs in our practice. There are several reasons for this: scarcity caused by over-harvesting or unavailability of obscure herbs, FDA bans, and the loss of knowledge passed down by our herbal predecessors. 

In this class, David explores the use of common weedy plants that are frequently embraced in other parts of the world but are relatively unknown or underutilized in North America. By doing so, not only will we discover new allies on our healing journey, but we will also contribute to reducing the reliance on scarce native species and impede the spread of aggressive invasive foreign plants. Some of the plants we will explore include Purple Loosestrife, Kudzu, Cogon Grass, Mimosa, Ground Ivy, Ragweed, Japanese Knotweed, and other weeds that you can find in almost unlimited quantities near you.


Instructor Bio:

David Winston is an herbalist and ethnobotanist with 52 years of training in Chinese, Western/Eclectic, and Southeastern herbal traditions. He has been in clinical practice for 45 years and is an herbal consultant to physicians, herbalists and researchers throughout the USA, Europe and Canada. David is the founder/director of the Herbal Therapeutics Research Library and the dean of David Winston’s Center for Herbal Studies, a two-year training program in clinical herbal medicine. He is an internationally known lecturer and frequently teaches at medical schools, professional symposia, and herb conferences. He is the president of Herbalist & Alchemist, Inc. a manufacturer that produces herbal products that blend the art and science of the world’s great herbal traditions.