Herbs are much more than just "weak drugs".

Their activity is not reducible to a single "active constituent".

Frequently, though, that is the unchallenged assumption about how they work. That conceptual model breaks down in a number of ways when you try and apply it to herbs, and it's important for herbalists to understand those. Fortunately, it's not too difficult, either!

Understanding a few basic ideas around things like synergy and variability within herbs and formulas, compatibility between different types of constituents and extraction media, and how to train your senses to become more phytochemically discerning, will allow you to formulate much more successfully and to better apply herbs to specific situations.

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Course curriculum

  • 1
    Philosophy of Phytochemistry (78:33)
    • Welcome to Phytochemistry!
    • How to use this platform
    • How to use the Discussions feature
    • Prior Phytochemistry Discussion
    • Introduction to Phytochemistry
    • Introduction to Phytochemistry [audio]
    • Taxonomy
    • Taxonomy [audio]
    • Phytochemical Taxonomy [printable]
    • Where's Katja?
    • Where's Katja? [audio]
    • Phytochemistry from the Plant's Perspective
    • Phytochemistry from the Plant's Perspective [audio]
    • Phytochemistry on the Macro Scale
    • Phytochemistry on the Macro Scale [audio]
    • Journal Prompt: Soil Quality
    • Resource: The Metabolic Plant Feedback Hypothesis
    • Related Resources
  • 2
    Organoleptics: How the Senses Reveal Chemistry (146:46)
    • Color and Chemistry
    • Color and Chemistry [audio]
    • Taste: An Overview
    • Taste: An Overview [audio]
    • Tastes: Salty
    • Tastes: Salty [audio]
    • Tastes: Sweet
    • Tastes: Sweet [audio]
    • Tastes: Demulcent / Mucilaginous
    • Tastes: Demulcent/Mucilaginous [audio]
    • Mucilage & Demulcency reference chart [printable]
    • Tastes (and Smell!): Aromatics
    • Tastes (and Smell!): Aromatics [audio]
    • Journal Prompt: Aromatics
    • Tastes: Pungent
    • Tastes: Pungent [audio]
    • Journal Prompt: Pungent
    • Tastes: Diffusive
    • Tastes: Diffusive [audio]
    • Tastes: Bitters
    • Tastes: Bitters [audio]
    • Tastes: Sour
    • Tastes: Sour [audio]
    • Journal Prompt: Sour
    • Tastes: Astringency
    • Tastes: Astringency [audio]
    • Journal Prompt: Organoleptic Experimentation
    • Tastes: Acrid
    • Tastes: Acrid [audio]
    • Experiments in Organoleptics
    • Experiments in Organoleptics [audio]
  • 3
    Characteristics of Constituents (160:26)
    • Characteristics of Constituents
    • Characteristics of Constituents [audio]
    • Molecular Weight
    • Molecular Weight [audio]
    • Resource: Tisserand on Frankincense Essential Oil
    • Solubility
    • Solubility [audio]
    • Solubility Notes [printable]
    • Journal Prompt: Solubility
    • Compatibility
    • Compatibility [audio]
    • Variability
    • Variability [audio]
    • Resource: Ginseng and Gut Flora
    • Synergy
    • Synergy [audio]
    • Common Misconceptions
    • Common Misconceptions [audio]
    • Desirable Details About Constituents
    • Desirable Details About Constituents [audio]
    • Desirable Details About Constituents [printable]
  • 4
    Major Constituent Groups (272:58)
    • Constituent Groups Introduction
    • Constituent Groups Introduction [audio]
    • Diagrams Ahoy!
    • Carbohydrates
    • Carbohydrates [audio]
    • Lipids
    • Lipids [audio]
    • Amino Acids & Derivatives
    • Amino Acids & Derivatives [audio]
    • Phenolics 1
    • Phenolics 1 [audio]
    • Phenolics 2
    • Phenolics 2 [audio]
    • Phenolics 3
    • Phenolics 3 [audio]
    • Terpenes
    • Terpenes [audio]
    • Alkaloids
    • Alkaloids [audio]
  • 5
    Phytochemical Monographs (62:07)
    • Salicylates
    • Salicylates [audio]
    • Salicylates Monograph [printable]

Course Tuition

  • Tuition for this course is $120.
  • Your access never expires, and when we add new material to your course, you get it at no additional charge!
  • With our zero-risk return policy, you get 14 days to try it out after signing up. If at any point within those two weeks you decide it’s not right for you, just let us know and we’ll issue a refund, no questions asked.
Start now!

Your Teacher

  • Ryn Midura

    Co-Founder

    Ryn Midura

    Ryn has been a practicing herbalist since 2010. He came to herbalism by way of martial arts, where his first experiences with herbs were focused on getting back into the game and becoming more flexible, adaptable, and resilient. Passing that experience on to others is what keeps him motivated every day.

Find out how understanding basic phytochemistry can help you be a better herbalist!

Get started now

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