Upcoming Classes

Herbs to Support the Heart & Cardiovascular System

Matthew Wood, MS & Phyllis D. Light, MA

From heart attacks to strokes, the cardiovascular system has long been a system of the body that has gotten our attention! The recent pandemic has also brought concerns to the fore.

How can we, as holistic practitioners, help balance the state of the body; or better yet, help the body to come back to homeostasis?
heart and cardiovascular system

Season of Thanks & Giving

Diverticulitis: Health & Recovery

Learn why curbing one's is not only good for the waistline, but also how it can save you from pain or even a trip to the ER. Tap into 75+ years of herbalist expertise and from personal experiences in naturally alleviating diverticulitis symptoms.
Diverticulitis: Health & Recovery

FREE SET of Materia Media Cards

For a limited time, we are GIVING AWAY the WHOLE set of 50+ Materia Medica Cards. Previously only available in the ​Library​ and to The Vital Herbalist Year one Students, we want to offer you a chance to have access to this great resource as a downloadable document (for a limited time).
FREE SET of Materia Media Cards

Animal Spirit Medicine Infographs

Enjoy these free infographs!

This set will be a total of 5 cards; all you have to do is sign up. We will add them to the site as they are released on social media.
FREE SET of Animal Spirit Medicine Cards

POTS & other Cardiovascular Issues

POTS (Postural orthostatic tachycardia syndrome) and other cardiovascular conditions seem to have become more common since the pandemic. Discover the herbal energetics of these conditions and the herbs that have traditionally helped.
POTS & Cardio Issues

Doctrine of Signatures

Enjoy exploratory and interactive classes as Leigh guides us in discovering the signatures of new herbs; encouraging and helping students to see the plant world through new eyes. At the end of each month, Leigh will present a LIVE online summary of what the online groups discovered, along with her studies and insights.

It's FREE! Anyone can join in the discussion on the Doctrine of Signatures Facebook Group or MWIH Community. This is the main form of interaction BEFORE the live class. The live class is available on-demand for 1 week.

You can also purchase access to enjoy the archive of all previous Doctrine of Signature Classes.

Doctrine of Signatures solomons seal

Get on the List

Materia Medica Flashcard Deck

Sold Out. Get on the list for the next round.

(Still available in digital form in the Library.)

  • 57 cards: Year 1 Curriculum
  • High-quality cards made to last!
  • Large 5" x 7" cards: bigger, easier to read!
  • UV-protected glossy finish: feels better, lasts longer
  • On a ring: cards stay in one place!
  • Designed and Printed locally (in Matt's 'neck of the woods') in Minnesota.
materia medica cards

Forage Fun

Sold Out. Get on the list for the next round.

A game created to introduce families and friends to the world of herbalism through foraging and fun! This is a terrific stocking stuffer and an affordable gift.

  • 2 sets of 14 different herb cards
  • 2 sets of 12 apothecary cards
  • 2 wild cards

*Cards only. No outer box

forage fun

It's Here! 

The Vital Herbalist - Year One

We are thrilled to announce the launch of our brand-new program, The Vital Herbalist - Year One! This comprehensive and enriching journey is your opportunity to learn herbalism directly from one of the trailblazers who revived and popularized the heritage of Traditional Western Herbalism - Matthew Wood and specially chosen co-teachers.

  • Take part in guided, herbal education!
  • New website with user-friendly features
  • Noteworthy features like searchable transcripts and Closed Captions
  • Core curriculum, Materia Medica, and Elective sections are designed to provide essential knowledge while allowing room for personal exploration.
  • Real people to help with teachers and knowledgeable staff

Classes for All Levels

Community or Clinical Herbalism Options

Not sure which classes to take for your professional or family-and-friends herbal practice? See the GUIDE for suggestions.

Unique Online Herbal Education 

taught and curated by 

World-Renowned Herbalist & Author 

Matthew Wood

Grow your herbal education by leaps and bounds with online herbal education from the Matthew Wood Institute of Herbalism.

Other benefits include: 

  1. Herbal Study Programs with the  freedom to explore
  2. Options to study at your own pace
  3. Live, online, and recorded classes (all classes are recorded!)
  4. Learn from a variety of knowledgeable & experienced instructors
  5. Affordable payment options
  6. Online help from herbalism teachers
  7. Free, lifetime access to a private, online herbal community
  8. Certificates designed and signed by Matthew are available

 Recent Blog Posts

matthew wood

"...medicine, to be holistic and curative, must include 
mythic elements to 
satisfy the soul and spirit."
- Matthew Wood

Mission Statement

Matthew Wood Institute of Herbalism

The focus of Matthew Wood Institute of Herbalism is on a spiritual practice of herbalism, healing, and medicine.  The main points in this approach are an overall emphasis on Nature as a Living Being, acknowledging the body, soul, and spirit, the four directions or elements, the seven lessons of the medicine path (described below), and the plants themselves.  This is undertaken from a vitalist, holistic, natural, and traditional perspective. 

The Living Nature (anima mundi) is experienced through the heart, both as a loving presence and as a fountain of wisdom.  In order to practice herbalism, healing, and medicine in a sacred way we need to understand the basic principles by which Nature regulates her creatures.  The traditional name for this knowledge is natura sophia (Nature Wisdom).

The Living Nature encompasses the mineral, plant, animal, and human worlds.  As an herbal program, our emphasis is on the plant world, which provides so many of our great healing remedies.  However, the animal world is also of great importance because it is the source of our animal vitality (vital force or qi), senses, instincts, emotions, and dreams.  We sleep and dream only because we are warm-blooded animals.  Internal exploration shows that the dream world is the spirit world; this is an age-old teaching of shamanism, Native spirituality, and the Nature Wisdom tradition.  The human adds just self-consciousness and self-determination (a two-edged sword). 

So we also need to study the animal world. This includes the vital forcewhich is also equivalent to the animal self (the double with which we co-walk during life in the body), the so-called etheric body, light-body, or energy body.  It is the actualization of the animal self in dreamtime that allows us to have eyes and ears in the spirit world, for the animal world is the source of sensory awareness.  The animal carries the human into the spirit world.  This is why the eternal symbol of the shaman is the Human/Animal.  This is known as the Old, Old Path, innate to the Living Nature.  This is not a religion but an experience.  

The mineral world adds the physical Earth, which we need to learn to approach in a sacred manner, with regard to our growing, picking, and selection of herbal medicines, and our living upon the surface.  

Thus, Nature Wisdom encompasses the four elements (earth, water, air, and fire), also the fifth (spirit, inspiration).  It also teaches us that the medicine of Nature is based on natural laws.  These include the law of action and reaction (“karma”), manifesting as the great therapeutic laws of similars (like to like) and contraries (hot to cold).  Healing proceeds from the “touch of the essence,” through similarity or opposition, then continues through the healing principle of the law of direction of cure and the law of the healing crisis.  These three constitute the basic directives for healing from an innately spiritual perspective, in alignment with the Living Nature.  There are, however, a total of seven laws, the higher four constituting therapeutic letting go, therapeutic sight, therapeutic grabbing hold, and therapeutic authority and responsibility.    

These seven principles also correspond to the organizational themes of spiritual life, the seven levels or rungs on the shamanic ladder (“Jacob’s ladder”), which led us to self-knowledge and the opening of spiritual vision.  For this reason, therefore, our curriculum also offers material on the spiritual journey through life.   

These are the principles of Nature Wisdom and the way our school of herbal medicine is organized.  A secondary mission will be to collect and offer materials relating to the history of herbalism and herbal practitioners in the last several generations.       


Matthew Wood, MSC (Herbal Medicine), Registered Herbalist (AHG)
Lowgap, North Carolina
9:35 am, Jan. 30, 2019


by J. H.

I am loving the courses offered at the Matthew Wood Institute. Thank you so much for the relatable stories that help with remembering the information. Real-world uses and a great atmosphere. I value the information with clear explanations with a solid understanding of the herbs and why each one is used for what purpose. Thank you.


I am so grateful for all the fantastic medicinal uses of herbs and being able to learn them here. The combination of the Herbs A-Z, Herbal Medicine Making, and Plant Walks plus The Library courses I'm enrolled in are wonderful. I am learning every day; TY TY TY!


This website is extraordinary in all ways - packed with incredible info, easy to use and so exciting! Bless you for all the upfront hard work you did to make this happen for us learners. I’m truly impressed and super excited to get going with all of this. Please forward my profound thanks to Matthew!!! A VERY BIG wow!!!

Annette W.

...a huge thanks to Matthew for sharing his wisdom (and the many freebie offers, too!). I have all of his books and use them so often as a reference. Especially the Book of Herbal Wisdom is my favorite even after reading and rereading for 5+ years. Many herbalist programs miss the history, acknowledging the native peoples and nature´s spiritual side. I am so glad I found your programs which include all of them - a truly holistic view on herbs.


These classes are the best herbal education I could have hoped for! All my gratitude for this fantastic platform; every teacher is so excellent!!
untied plant savers