Outline for Herbal Monographs

Whether you are studied or new in botanical medicine, creating your own materia medica is one of my favorite ways to learn about the herbs.

Deciding what to put in your herb monograph is as individual as the herbalist writing it but I thought I would share here what my outline typically looks like.

Start with the common name you are familiar with, followed by the botanical name.

Other common names - plants will often have more than one, or if there are many with the same genus (like Viola), you can include them here with their species as well (like V. sororia)

Pinyin name (from the Botanical Safety Handbook, not all plants have this)

TCM name

Ayurvedic name


Element Association (you may have to look at magick blogs to find this but it is important for me)

Parts used

Native to:


Key constituents

Energetics (hot/cool, drying/moistening) and to what degree (western herbal energetics)

Tissue state


Properties - things like alterative, diuretic, vulnerary etc.

Key uses - conditions indicated for use

Pregnancy/lactation - is there any concerns for this

Herb/drug interactions - especially important in working with others

Other concerns 

Preparations and doses

Sources (both book and online)

My thoughts/feelings/experiences (I find this important as well, it encourages you to have a relationship with the plant)

I find that handwriting the monograph before typing helps the information to stick in my brain a lot better. Its also why I prefer physical books to ebooks.

If you like learning about the individual plants, I think you will be very excited for my project launching on Beltane. Be sure to sign up for the newsletter and connect with me on Facebook.