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Herb School with Guido Mase

Urban Moonshine Herb School

with Herbalist Guido Masé

Please sign up to our Herb School List if you would like to receive information about the 2015 class--
it will start on summer solstice 2015.


Urban Moonshine Herb School with Guido Mase

Our Mission:

Urban Moonshine's main goal is to make herbal medicine more available in the modern world. Our mission in offering a four month training course is to spread herbal knowledge and to help people gain skills to integrate plant medicine into their everday life. We are deeply dedicated to herbal education, and we aim to cultivate a modern herbal movement for the next generation. Herbal medicine is the people's medicine; our herb school is an affordable, accessible way for folks to become a steward for the plants, the earth, and their health.


Join Guido Masé for a 16-week exploration of herbal medicine. This online series serves as a guide for the beginning herbalist: every week students receive a new lesson that includes information on botany, human physiology, medicine making, and basic herbal therapy, along with a video lecture from Guido focused on plant identification, preparation, and key topics. Each week will also feature three or four important medicinal species that we will explore in greater depth, along with materia medica sheets that summarize each plant's actions, energetics, and therapeutic uses.

As we walk together through the seasons, students will receive self-evaluations to assess their own progress, and are expected to document their experiences through whatever medium feels most comfortable: writing, images, song, video. At the end of the season, students will feel confident in using herbal medicine for basic self and family care, and receive a certificate of completion.

Guido Masé Bio:

Guido Masé, RH(AHG) is the chief herbalist at Urban Moonshine. He is a clinical herbalist, herbal educator, and garden steward specializing in holistic Western herbalism, though his approach is eclectic and draws upon many influences. He spent his childhood in Italy, in the central Alps and in a Renaissance town called Ferrara. After traveling the United States, he settled into Vermont where he has been living since 1996. His experience includes founding and operating an herbal extract company focused on local harvesting and production; co-founding and co-directing a non-profit community herbal clinic; teaching herbal medicine to a variety of audiences ranging from the very young to herbal conference attendees, apprentices, and medical students; and working with clients one-on-one to discover ways to support and enhance health using whole plants and whole foods.

Guido’s teaching style focuses on conveying the interconnections within the human organism and between the organism and its surrounding ecology with a constant eye to the amazing beauty such study reveals: at any level, and in many different “languages”, herbs mirror people, the plant and animal kingdoms grew up together as complements. Such a relational awareness provides meaning and context, critical elements to understanding and also to healing.

At home, he spends time with his wife Anne and daughter Uli. He enjoys cooking and eating with family and friends, writing on topics in herbal medicine and human health, playing music, and experimenting with distillates and novel herbal formulae. Time alone is usually spent running on road and trail (often in the very early morning). Occasionally he will race a marathon.

Guido works clinically and teaches as a professional member of the American Herbalists Guild, and is a part of United Plant Savers and the American Botanical Council.

What to Expect:

This is a one-of-a-kind, self-guided learning experience.  There are two ways to approach this course:

1) Follow the lessons through the seasons (each one will be dated) so you can experience the plants alongside us:

One module will be availble per week. You will receive an e-mail reminder when a new module is available every Friday morning, and you can access that module anytime thereafter. Modules will be available sequentially upon completion of the previous one. There will be self-evaluations between each module, so you can assess your own understanding and make sure you have mastered as much as possible.  The workload for each week will include: 4-7 pages of text to read, 3-4 different plant materia medicas to study, and one recorded video lecture by Guido to watch. Students are expected to also take time to practice planting, identifying, harvesting, & processing the plants around them.  There will also be 2 live, interactive chats with Guido throughout the course- one in July and one in September, for any questions or feedback. There will be a required final project at the end of the course, which will be a creative opportunity for you to share what you have learned over the course of the 16 weeks. 

2) Take the course at your own pace, getting samples of the plants from your local herb store.

Students are welcome to start at anytime and to go at their own pace, and will receive a certificate upon their own completion. The workload & materials are the same, and the modules are still sequential. The videos will include fresh, and sometimes dry, plant material, so the class can be taken at anytime, though some of the practical material may be unapplicable (like wild-harvesting, etc) due to seasonality. This method of study allows for late-comers and folks who need a bit more time to finish!


The fee for the entire course is $75--an amazing deal! The proceeds go to a donation to the non-profit of your choice, after covering the cost of materials. Donation options include: Herbalista.orgVermont Center for Integrative HerbalismUnited Plant Savers -follow the links to learn more about these amazing groups and their initiatives!

What You Get:

A comprehensive overview of herbal medicine for an affordable price, unlimited access to in-depth herbal resources & materia medicas, and a certificate of completion. Students who pay the $75 to take the course will receive a copy of Guido's book, The Wild Medicine Solution upon course completion.

How To Register:

Herb School Registration is closed for the remainder of 2014. Please sign up for our newsletter if you would like to receive announcements about the 2015 class--it will start on summer solstice 2015.

Course Outline:

First Month – Modules 1-4

  • Energy theory: Techniques and applications for centering the being and grounding energy. Introduction to the Vital Force.
  • Chemistry: Inorganic (ionic) chemistry; solubility and the dynamics of water and solutions.
  • Biology: Systems theory / Gaia hypothesis and the web of Life.
  • The garden: getting to know cultivated plant species; soil qualities and health; composting; germination and transplantation. Weed management and the “wild” garden.
  • Herbal preparations: harvesting early-season botanicals in the garden. Drying and storing herbs. Introduction to herbal extraction: teas, tinctures, and external preparations; fresh and dry. 

Second Month – Modules 5-8 

  • Energy theory: the Four Elements: Air, Fire, Water, Earth. The relationship of Vital Force (Quintessence) to the elements. Astrology as a language. Introduction to dowsing and divination.
  • Chemistry: Organic chemistry; common phytochemical constituents, kinetics, and extraction techniques.
  • Biology and botany: The parts of a plant. Reproductive cycles of flowering plants. Photosynthesis and the cycle of plant energy. Examining plants in the wild; the use of the “key” system of plant identification; Latin binomial nomenclature.
  • The garden: ongoing harvesting. Side-dressing and other techniques for ensuring fertility (cover crops, rotation, herbal preparations for garden health).
  • Wild-harvesting: applying techniques of dowsing and plant identification. Getting to know our wild plant species. Ecological, ethical, sustainable harvesting techniques for different botanicals.
  • Herbal preparations: mid-season botanicals in the garden, woods, and fields. Intermediate herbal extraction / preparation techniques: alternate menstruums (solvents); hydrosols and distillates; percolations; oil infusions; salves and creams.

 Third Month – Modules 9-12

  • Energy theory: Plant-spirit communication. Building personal alignments with herbal allies. Projective energy techniques (for sensing, healing, manifesting). Creating health magically.
  • Biochemistry: Introduction to human anatomy / physiology. Concepts from Western and Chinese medicine. “Holism” in the organism. Traditional plant actions; botanical energetics.
  • The garden: ongoing harvesting. Companion planting. Gardening for diversity. Bioregionalism. The solar and lunar year-wheels in the garden: timing for all activities (planting, weeding, harvesting, side-dressing). Timing for specific herbs in the context of the Four Elements.
  • Wild-harvesting: communicating with the spirits of nature. “Guided” harvesting. Using peripheral vision; walking “in trance” and remaining receptive.
  • Herbal preparations: mid-season botanicals in the garden, woods and fields. Advanced herbal extraction / preparation techniques: alchemical and spagyric methods; calcinations and the extraction of soluble salts; mercury, sulfur, salt as the “philosophical substances”; flower essence preparation; homeopathic preparations; incorporating energy work into the extraction process.

Fourth Month – Modules 13-16

  • Energy theory: Qi, meridians, and energy flow in the human body. Galenic humors (blood, phlegm, choler, melancholy); Chinese five phases (Wood, Fire, Earth, Metal, Water).
  • Biochemistry: Continuing human anatomy / physiology. The body’s “systems”. Affinities of plants to specific organ / system / energy complexes.
  • Diagnostics: Visual examination. Dowsing. Introduction to pulse diagnosis. Classification based on energetics (hot/cold, excess/deficient, elemental affinities, phases). Modalities. Pulse and tongue diagnosis.
  • Therapeutics: Concepts in herbal healing. Applying holism. The “direction of cure”. Chronic vs. acute conditions. What preparation for what condition? Approaching therapy from an energetic viewpoint; from the viewpoint of traditional plant actions; from the viewpoint of plant / organ affinities. The importance of connection in herbal therapy. Case studies.
  • The garden, wild-harvesting, and herbal preparations: ongoing harvesting and processing of botanical materials, incorporating all the techniques we’ve learned.

Some botanical species we will get to know well:

Arnica (Arnica montana)                                              Astragalus (Astragalus membranaceus)

Betony  (Betonica off.)                                                      Bee Balm (Monarda spp.)

Black Cohosh (Actaea racemosa)                            Blue Vervain (Verbena hastate)

Boneset (Eupatorium perfoliatum)                          Burdock (Arctium lappa)

Calendula (Calendula off.)                                             California Poppy (Eschscholzia californica)

Catnip (Nepeta cataria)                                                   Chamomile (Matricaria chamomilla)

Chaga (Inonotuus obliquus)                                          Coltsfoot (Tussillago farfara)

Comfrey (Symphytum off.)                                               Dandelion (Taraxacum off.)

Echinacea (Echinacea spp.)                                           Elder (Sambucus canadensis)

Elecampane (Inula helenium)                                     Feverfew (Tanacetum parthenium)

Garlic (Allium sativum)                                                      Hops (Humulus lupulus)

Lemon Balm (Melissa off.)                                                Licorice (Glycirrhiza glabra)

Lobelia  (Lobelia inflata)                                                    Marshmallow (Althaea off.)

Meadowsweet (Filipendula ulmaria)                          Motherwort (Leonurus cardiaca)

Mugwort (Artemisia vulgaris)                                         Nettles  (Urtica diotica)

Oak (Quercus rubra)                                                                Oats (Avena sativa)

Peppermint (Mentha x piperita)                                       Red Raspberry (Rubus idaeus)

Red Reishi (Ganoderma lucidum vel tsugae)          Red Clover (Trifolium preatense)

Sage (Salvia off.)                                                                           Scullcap (Scutellaria lateriflora)

Spilanthes (Spilanthes acmella)                                       St. John’s Wort (Hypericum perforatum)

Sweet Annie (Artemisia annua)                                        Thyme (Thymus vulgaris)

Valerian (Valeriana off.)                                                      Yarrow (Achillea millefolium)

Yellowdock (Rumex crispus)

Please direct any questions to