I’ve been fascinated by plants since infancy (ask my poor mother), and have studied herbalism since childhood, but I didn’t really begin to explore clinical work in an in-depth way until I moved to New Mexico over 13 years ago. It wasn’t long after I arrived in the Canyon, completely enamored of the unfamiliar and diverse flora of the Gila, that Wolf gave me his copy of Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West. Wolf and Michael were friends from way back, and Michael was and is one of the most influential herbalists of not only the Southwest, but all of the English speaking world. It’s certainly not an overstatement to say that book changed my life.
I now own multiple copies of all of Michael’s hard copy books, all of his digital books, have scoured the internet for all his writings, and taken both of his courses through the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine. I can quote you Michael Moorisms (of which there are many, most of them hilarious) backwards and forwards. His continuous emphasis on common sense, clinical experience, bioregionalism, sustainability, constitutional patterns, and deep respect for the origins of his knowledge have profoundly influenced the way I practice and perceive herbalism. I’m only sorry that we weren’t able to get the conference going while he was still alive and well enough to teach there.
From the very first Traditions in Western Herbalism Conference nearly a decade ago, the gathering has been a tribute to Michael’s work and legacy. Through all of its transformations and changes into its current form as The Good Medicine Confluence, we have continued to honor the foundations on which he built his school and writings. This past June in Durango, Michael’s partner, Donna Chesner, was in attendance at the conference and let me know that she was making enrollment in his courses absolutely free!
There’s no catch, and I don’t get anything for spreading the word except the satisfaction of seeing Michael’s wealth of wisdom passed on to a new generation of emerging herbalists, in a more accessible package than ever before. You can enroll right here: http://www.swsbm.com/school/index.php?ID=5
The Constitutional and Therapeutics course and the Materia Medica course represent the last class taught by Michael Moore at the Southwest School of Botanical Medicine, in the spring of 2006. Each course may be viewed immediately by direct streaming or downloaded to create your own DVD. Note that while the courses are free, enrollment is required.
And here are descriptions of the courses offered:
Herbal Therapeutics and Constitutional Evaluation
Each organ system of the body is dealt with in physiologic terms, therapeutic and treatment methods, and constitutional aspects. The specific tonic herbs for each organ system or stress type are presented and explored in depth. The Constitutional Workbook and school manuals, patient record forms, work sheets and intake forms are supplied, as well as specific reference material referred to in the lectures . There are 140 hours of lectures and 12 Lessons.
Michael’s lectures cover the botanical nature of the plants, their habitat, distribution, constituents, what they should look and taste like in commerce, how to grow or gather them, parts used, preferred form of preparation and dosages, therapeutic uses and their stature as remedies. Lectures may be 90 minutes for the Echinaceas, 15 minutes for the Verbenas, 5 minutes for Condurango Root. Video is interspersed with film clips, photographs, distribution maps, etc. (the same way Michael lectured). The number of DVDs is 58 and adjunct CDs is 5. The video lessons add up to 115 hours, the audio portions covering secondary plants total about 100 hours. There are 10 lesson sections. Each lesson has a plant guide that outlines preparations, formulas they are commonly used within, and formula preparation methods.
This is really an incredible opportunity for anyone wishing to study herbalism, and even moreso for those of us living and practicing in the American Southwest! I hope that some of you will be able to benefit from the great generosity of Donna and SWSBM and help to preserve and pass on the ingenious insights, profound love of the plants, and practical skills that makes up Michael’s legacy.