Let me tell you, studying Chinese herbal medicine is not for the faint of heart! I am currently taking the last Materia Medica course that completes the three-course series of individual herbs. This series covers the foundational concepts of the functions of herbs, the five tastes, what channels the herbs enter, as well as preparation, toxicity, side effects and much more.
The number of herbs covered in the class can feel overwhelming, so make sure to leave lots of time to study. Pretty quickly I sought out the advice of students further along in the program, graduates and seasoned practitioners. What I gathered is that learning Chinese herbal medicine is a long process, it may take 10’s of years before you are comfortable and competent. So basically, you cannot cheat or rush the process.
This isn’t what I wanted to hear, but it is what I needed to hear. I must remind myself that Traditional Chinese Herbal Medicine is a compilation of thousands of years of knowledge. The herbal formulas are from generations of documented and observed cause and effect (research), so it will take time to fully understand what is going on. So, my advice is to bring your patience (all of it, every ounce of it), because this is the first step in a very long journey!