About This Course

Pulse and Tongue evaluation dates back several thousand years. Practitioners of Ayurveda and Traditional Chinese Medicine use it as a tool to help determine the condition of disease or health of an individual. The tongue and pulse show a person's state of health. It paints a picture of the internal situation a person is dealing with at any given moment. Matthew has been practicing herbalism for 30 years - pulse and tongue evaluation for 25 years. As the author of Traditional Western Herbalism and Pulse Evaluation, co-written by Francis Bonaldo and Phyllis Light, he is one of the foremost experts in translating these practices into tools for the Western herbalist!


The pulse evaluation methods taught are based on both Chinese and Greek antecedents. We focus on the basic, simple, important pulses showing basic tissue states: 

  • high/low
  • fast/slow
  • quick/rare (a Greek pulse)
  • long/short
  • wide/narrow
  • regular/irregular
  • tense/relaxed
  • tight/loose
  • full/empty
  • hard/soft
  • strong/weak
  • choppy/slippery
  • thick blood/thin blood
  • and others


Matthew Wood's tongue evaluation is based on Chinese antecedents with two important additions from Ayurveda: 

  • differentiation of tongue types by tridosha:
    • vata (dry, thin, medium to long)
    • pitta (elongated, pointed, carmine red, muscular)
    • kapha (thick, round, moist, sub-pink)
  • and the differentiation between watery and oily secretions.

Throughout we will refer to specific indications for herbs, mostly Western. 

Note: This class is one of our earliest class offerings and may have been recorded before the Matthew Wood Institute of Herbalism was formally started. In this handful of classes, the video and audio may be sub-par. Nonetheless, we've included them so you can enjoy and gain from the information you otherwise will not find.

Traditional Western Herbalism

& Pulse Evaluation

Matthew Wood, Francis Bonaldo, & Phyllis Light

Recommended reading to get the most out of this course.


  • This class took place at the Minnesota Landscape Arboretum - June 24th and 25th, 2017

  • Class participants gave views of their tongues. They share keen descriptions of what they were sensing and seeing in others. Matthew also shares his input.

  • Includes a solid review of material on Lyme's Disease from a prior class. (See section 1.5)


    1. Welcome Message

    1. P&T 2017 - Day 1.1

    2. P&T 2017 - Day 1.2 - Tongue Evaluation (beginning)

    3. P&T 2017 - Day 1.3

    4. P&T 2017 - Day 1.4 - Pulse (beginning)

    5. P&T 2017 - Day 1.5 - Lyme Disease

    1. P&T 2017 - Day 2.1

    2. P&T 2017 - Day 2.2

    3. P&T 2017 - Day 2.3

    4. P&T 2017 - Day 2.4

    5. P&T 2017 - Day 2.5

    1. Please share your thoughts

About this course

  • Free
  • 12 lessons
  • 11 hours of video content

Pulse, Tongue, & Facial Assessment 2019

Want more? Enjoy three, 3-day weekends of amazing clinical skills in facial assessment, pulse diagnosis, and tongue diagnosis.

Start at any time! Complete the lessons at your own pace.

Certificates designed and signed by Matthew Wood are available for purchase to those who successfully complete all tests with a passing grade of 70% or better. More details regarding herbal course certificates are here.

Tests are multiple-choice, and multiple attempts are permitted.

For those of you seeking clinical hours, we have a list of all classes/courses with corresponding accreditation hours.