Sunnyfield Herb Farm



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Matthew Wood Classes, Second Half of 2015 Ongoing:


Register Now for the 2015 Health Freedom Congress!


Intuition Class

For improved Personal and Professional Performance

With Master Herbalist Matthew Wood & Jon & Tara Baklund, will each share their methods
From working as a Wellness Practitioner, to running a Multi Million Dollar business; Intuition is a skill that can be developed with measurable results. This training will include an introduction to Remote Viewing.

Date: Oct. 31st and Nov. 1st
Location: Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

Early Bird Special -Details Here


Tongue and Pulse Diagnosis

Based on Master Herbalist Matthew Wood's and co-authors' new book "Traditional Western Herbalism and Pulse Evaluation: A Conversation"

Matthew Wood & Co-taught by Jon and Tara Baklund.

A weekend workshop available as Saturday only or Saturday & Sunday.

Date: Oct. 10th and 11th
Location: Minnesota Landscape Arboretum

Early Bird Special - Details



June 18, July 2, 9, 23, August 20, September 24, October 15, 29.

Ongoing: An Introduction to Traditional and Modern WESTERN HERBAL MEDICINE for my Neighbors and Friends

At my house in Martell, Wisconsin, 20 min east of Hudson

Matthew Wood, MS (Herbal Medicine), Registered Herbalist (American Herbalist Guild), “World Famous Herbalitst and Author” living in tiny Martell, WI.

Herbalism from the beginning, starting with simple first aid and wound healing, going on to more complicated topics (folks: bring your questions), and punctuated by short herb walks when there are things to see. Herbal treatment of fever using diaphoretics (sweating) rather than antibiotics, specific

$150 paid in advance (or by arrangement---I don’t want people coming and going from the class but committed!)

$180 after June 15.

Single evening, non-pre-registration, $30.

Matthew Wood is a world famous herbal writer, teacher, and practitioner. He lives in homey Martell, WI, 9 miles south of the Balwin/Ellsworth exit (highway 63).

Cross the Rush River bridge, turn left or south on 535th St., two blocks to the next bridge, look for the ancient Log Cabin home across from the river at N7874. 952-657-8999.


Week Retreat in Saarland, Germany Contact: 

Contact: Swanie Simon

Sat. 1 August. 1:30-5:30pm. Nature is Alive! Living in the Soul of Nature, Understanding from the Light of Nature. This day serves as a general introduction to our theme, which combines the tradition of Nature Wisdom taught by Paracelsus, similar themes from the teachings of the North American Indian people, worldwide shamanism, and thirty years of herbal practice, learning, and teaching.

Sun. 2 August. Morning: The Doctrine of Signatures. Nature does not waste anything, and therefore every shape, color, and scent is significant. These means that the old “doctrine of signatures” is valid, despite scientific animosity. Form does equal function. The appearance of the plant is as much a product of the nature of the plant as the medicinal constituents. How could it be otherwise? Therefore, we look to the appearance, color, environmental niche, to tell us about the medicinal properties of the plant. This helps us understand the plant as a whole, a view which is often missed when we only look at the pieces, the constituents.

Afternoon: Herb Walk. In the afternoon we illustrate the doctrine of signatures with a walk in the herb garden in Saarland. Students are invited to let their own imagination and intuition led them to discover new uses or better understand old uses of plants. We will compare notes.

During the week we will take herb walks around the farm to learn, stretch our legs, and enjoy Nature.

Mo. 3 August. Herbal Energetics. It is important that we open up and train our intuition to see patterns. In the herbal world this approach is known as “energetics.” Nature changes and flows in simple patterns that we all recognize, such as hot and cold, damp and dry, light and dark, tense and relaxed, excess and deficiency. The same is true for the body, and our health, and these are the same influences that plants must meet and survive. Therefore, the plant has taken into the “poison,” the excess heat or cold, for instance, survived, and carried that power as a medicinal property. We must learn to see patterns in Nature, the human body, and the plant properties. Fortunately, the plant taste usually resembles the plant “energetic” properties. In this class we will discuss the six tissue states (heat/excitation, cold/depression, dry/atrophy, damp/stagnation, tension and relaxation).

Tu. 4 August. Animal Medicines, Plant Medicines I. In the medicine teachings of the American Indian people plants and medicine powers are classified by animal, as well as by natural phenomena. The great animals are “archetypal” in story and in human life: Wolf, Bear, Lion or Cat, Dog, Bird, Eagle, Hawk, Water Bird, Fish, Buffalo, Elephant, Turtle, Snake. There are also natural powers: Sun, Moon, Cloud, Mist, Wind. There are also a few universal mythological beings: Little People, Fish People, Giant Fish, etc. Many of these “medicine powers” are associated with plants and explain their properties. They can also be associated with types of knowledge, clans or societies, families, and individuals.

Wednesday. 5 August. Morning. Herbal Alchemy, Theory. Paracelsus divided the plant and mineral into three kingdoms: body, soul, and spirit. In chemical terms, these are the equivalent of “that which burns (soul), that which goes up in the smoke or vaporized (spirit), and that which remains in the ash (body). These three parts are more easily isolated in plants. Modern pharmacy and pharmacology grew out of these insights. The spirit is the source of the distillable fraction, which usually contains the medicinal part, the soul contains the burnable fixed oils (like flaxseed oil), and the body contains the carbon ash and the minerals. By burning and grinding the carbon is removed to end up with the minerals. The volatile oils are associated with the spirit, though they too are oils – fixed oils do not evaporate, volatile oils do.

Afternoon: Herbal Alchemy in Practice. Making medicines with Swanie Simon.

Thursday. 6 August. Animal Medicines, Plant Medicines II. This class will continue the one on Monday. In addition to more on the animal medicine and plant teachings we will learn about the animal self. Each of us has our own personal animal spirit, which is the center of our “animal” way of looking at the world and our survival instincts. We need to actualize and merge our human self with our animal self in order to become a complete person. This opens up our dream self or spirit. This is why the symbol of the shaman is half human/half animal and why shamanism is associated with dreamtime. When the animal self is actualized, the dream self also becomes actual because we gain “eyes and ears” in the dream world.

Friday. 7 August. Seven Herbs, Plants As Teachers. We will return to my first book, and my first teachings on the medicine path: the Seven Guideposts on the spiritual path and the Seven Herbs.



Matthew Wood in Australia, August and September

The Extracellular Matrix

Friday, August 28th, 7:00-9:00pm.

New research is showing how the cellular level functions as a complete unit, not as individual cells. Matthew will talk about the repercussions for herbalism, remedies we can use to support the matrix, including connective tissue remedies. Chickweed, echinacea, marshmallow root, horsetail, red clover, cleavers.

Six Tissue States and Remedy Profiles by Tissue State

Saturday, Aug. 29th; 10:00am-4:00pm,

Sunday, Aug. 30th; 9:30pm-5:00pm.

To think holistically we must think intuitively, or in patterns. All traditional, ancient, and natural schools of herbalism and medicine look for patterns, the most basic being fire and water. These give us the four qualities of Greek medicine: hot and cold, damp and dry. Also the basics of Chinese medicine: yang and yin in deficiency and excess. In addition, we look for tension and relaxation. In short, we have six tissue states, corresponding to the most basic imbalances in the organism: hot or over stimulation, cold or under stimulation, dry or atrophy, damp or stagnation, tension and relaxation. This helps us to understand the basic categories of Western herbalism: sedative, stimulant, aromatic, nutritive, mucilage, alterative, laxative, relaxant, astringent, etc. We will study both the system and many basic remedies so that the class will be practical and useful. The six tissue states were the brainchild of nineteenth century herbalists and explain the properties of herbs profoundly. We will study: (heat/excitation): rose, peach leaf, wild cherry bark, hawthorn, yellow dock root, melissa, and yarrow; (cold/depression): echinacea, calendula, rosemary, thyme, cayenne, angelica; (dry/atrophy): marshmallow root, slippery elm, anise seed, mullein, fenugreek, burdock, sage; (damp/stagnation/alternatives): dandelion root, burdock, nettle, red clover, Oregon grape root, barberry; tension: agrimony, vervain, lobelia, catnip, valerian, chamomile, peppermint; relaxation (the astringents): raspberry leaf, lady’s mantle, oak bark, sumach, bayberry bark, horse chestnut – etc.

Evening talk : “Seven Herbs, Plants as Teachers”

Friday Evening, Sept. 4th, 7:00-9:00pm: 

A return to the first of my books: seven great herbs (how much more I understand about them now), seven guideposts on the path of life, use of the herbs as seven meditative guides.

“Shamanic Herbalism: Animal Medicines, Plant Medicines”

Saturday and Sunday, September 5-6th

Closeness to Nature, animals, plants, and dreamtime are characteristics most frequently associated with the shamanic path. In this class we will learn about our animal self and how it is the passage to dreamtime. We will study medicine animals in general – the animals serve as the spokespersons of our natural world and of our inner person. As we do this we will study the corresponding medicine plants, because the most powerful plants are associated with animals. A few examples: bear (burdock, angelica, spikenard), elk and deer (wild bergamot and many mints, sumach, cleavers, dogwood---despite the name), rabbit (rabbit tobacco, nettle, wild yam), turtle (gravel root, boneset, oak, black walnut), wolf (agrimony, cinquefoil, true solomon’s seal), panther (valerian, catnip, chamomile, cramp bark), underwater panther/catfish (white water lily, blue flag, true and false solomon’s seal, marshmallow root, slippery elm, mucilages). “These are mostly North American; my teachings reflect the Native American medicine that I have learned over many years,” says Matthew.

Introduction to Pulse and Tongue Diagnosis for Western Herbalists
Pulse and tongue diagnosis allow for better understanding of the energetics of the condition and more specificity in application of remedies.  Tongue diagnosis is a little easier to learn and master (ten years of study versus forty), but pulse evaluation gives more specificity.  The tongue pictures the condition of tissues while the pulse pictures the qualities of the imbalance: hot/cold, inside/outside, fast/slow, tense/relaxed, etc. We will go over the basics and, if we have volunteers, do a few evaluations. Immediate to Advanced  

Treating Adrenal Burnout 
Adrenal burnout was first described by a medical doctor in 1956, but has since lapsed into "folk medicine" and is not billable for insurance and therefore "doesn't exist."  It occurs when the adrenal medulla keeps firing adrenalin/epinephrin due to "stress" or nervousness.  This wears out the other side of the adrenals – the cortex, so that the body cannot rebuild and defend itself.  So we must sedate one side of the adrenals and build the other.  We will also discuss the opposite condition, when the adrenal cortex is dominant.  Herbs: Eleuthero, Borage, and other nerviness; adrenal cortical tonics like Burdock, Angelica, and Spikenard; regulators like Life Everlasting and the EFAs. 


Midwest's Finest Herbal Gathering

September 18th, 19th, and 20th, 2015
Whitewater State Park, Altura, MN.

With Remarkable Teachers:
Karyn Sanders, Matthew Wood, Sarah Holmes, Nicholas Schnell

The Extracellular Matrix and Muscular/Skeletal System
Exciting new research shows that the extracellular matrix (ECM), origin of the connective tissues and the skeletal side of the M/S system, is the regulatory system for the cells.  The matrix units them into a single functional unit, controls cell migration, replication, feeding, and waste removal and justifies the use of local treatment – poultice, salve, cupping, acupuncture – not only for local problems but for the cellular organism everywhere throughout the body.  Treatment of the part is treatment of the whole. The connective tissues, in the form of cartilage, rise out of the ECM like a continent rising out of the ocean, and from this primal structural tissue evolves tendon, ligament, fascia, and bone.  This holistic and unified view of the matrix and connective tissue should be the basis for our treatment of conditions of the M/S system – especially the skeletal side.  Remedies for the matrix: chickweed, echinacea, marshmallow root, slippery elm, comfrey, glucosamine sulphate (calf trachea cartilage).  

Treatment of Connective Tissue Injury, Aging, and Disease
Based upon our holistic view of the ECM, the rise of cartilage, serous fluids and membranes, and synovia out of the great internal ocean of the matrix, and then, with the addition of vascularization, the evolution of tendon, ligament, and bone, we can see how to treat the connective tissue system or structures in a comprehensive and holistic fashion.  Discussion of the great and lesser herbs for the muscular and skeletal system: solomon's seal (true and false), boneset, gravel root, ginger, wild ginger, lobelia, black cohosh, teasel, goldenseal, blue vervain, California bay laurel nut, hemlock tree, and homeopathic: bryonia, rhus tox., and arnica.

Six Tissue States and the Nervous System
The nerve is stimulated, contracts, and relaxes.  The sensitive nerve convey signals and the irritable nerves move. This physiological fact, discovered by Albert Haller in the eighteenth century, is the basis of neuroscience.  It is also the basis of the energetics of nineteenth century Western herbalism.  Understand nervous stimulation, depression, tension, relaxation, atrophy, and the effects of stagnation through the herbs: melissa, peach leaf, wild cherry, hawthorn, linden, rosemary, sage, prickly ash, agrimony, blue vervain, California bay laurel, lobelia, gelsemium 
(homeopathic), black cohosh, lycopus, skullcap, motherwort, wood betony, cleavers, St. John's wort, etc.  This class is not about injury and pain as much as chronic overuse, stress, and chronic disease.  

Register at


10th Annual Minnesota Herbal Education Festival

Sunday, September 27, 2015.

Matthew Wood, Lise Wolff, Erin Poirier, Trilby Sedlacek & others.

Since 2006 The Holistic Health and Herbal Education Festival has been an an opportunity for holistic health and herbal medicine practitioners, students and enthusiasts from the Upper Midwest to learn from regional teachers in our own backyard. The 2015 festival will take place at Prairie Oaks Institute a retreat center on a beautiful farm in Belle Plaine, MInnesota just 45 minutes from the Twin  Cities. Instructors and participants come from all over Minnesota, Wisconsin and Iowa. The festival is organized like a conference.

The days consists of four different sessions with participants choosing from among 3 or 4 workshops offered at each session.  We offer diverse workshops with offerings suitable for beginners as well as intermediate/advanced workshops.  The bulk of our workshops cover different aspects of herbal medicine such as  plant identification, medicine making, hands-on  kitchen herbalism or cosmetics, clinical or diagnostic topics in herbalism.  We also offer workshops from instructors from other modalities. Past years have included classes in homeopathy, nutrition, flower essences, Ayurvedic medicine, Traditional Chinese Medicine, Qi Gong and more. The festival includes a leisurely lunch period that features our famous dessert buffet including (gluten free and vegan options) and a plant walk for those who want to learn even more. Most years a local beekeeper is available at lunch selling raw, wildflower honey and beeswax and the festival includes several vendors of handmade herbal or wildcrafted products.

Event Details Here




“By magically changing our lives, our green friends restore physical health, psychological happiness, and spiritual purpose. A little miracle occurs and the magical level clicks in, in fact, whenever an herb cures in a real and radical way. This is a sign that something great and new has come in from a different world to enrich and develop our lives to their fullest and most beautiful potential.”
--Matthew Wood