Chris Marano’s HCOCM Foundations and Materia Medica for Chinese Herbal Medicine

Chris Marano is offering custom made courses for HCOCM!


Chris Marano is a highly sought after herbal teacher. This is an amazing opportunity to soak up his herbal methodology and techniques!

Chris Marano draws upon extensive study and training at the Institute of Chung-hwa Chinese and Buddhist Studies as well as formal studies at the Herbal Therapeutics School of Botanical Medicine. Training in Chinese, Western and Native American herbal traditions allows Chris to bridge cultures and age-old wisdom to find patterns and parallels among these three healing paradigms. He accomplishs this incorporation without compromising or diluting the tradition's unique contributions. He is an exceptionally established clinical herbalist, teacher, meditation instructor and author.

2 separate courses are offered over 8 full weekends.

Below REGISTRATION section, See full descriptions of each series.

Class Dates also listed below.


REGISTRATION for both classes:

1. Expanded Foundations of Chinese Herbal Medicine (FOCH+)  

$1,000 for HCOCM members and $1,075 for nonmembers

  • on Saturdays (meeting for 8+hours)
  • ~ 7 contact hours per class, another 1+hour for lunch and breaks.
  • Each class Includes 5 hours of usual FOCH curriculum and
  • an additional ~2 hours each class devoted to kitchen and/or outdoor activities.
  • Must commit to the series as the classes build on each other

Register here for FOCH+

Foundations of Chinese Medicine

2. Essential Chinese Materia Medica (ECMM)

$600 for HCOCM members and $625 for nonmembers

$80 per class for members, $85 for non member per class

  • on Sundays following Sat. for FOCH,
  • 4 contact hours
  • Bring water and a snack
  • Each class covers 7-8 Chinese herbs
  • Classes can be purchased individually
  • Students do not have to commit to the entirety of the ECMM series

Register here for ECMM:

Essential Chinese Materia Medica


Class Dates for 2018:

Sat 3/17 & Sun 3/18

Sat 4/21 & Sun 4/22
Sat  5/12 & Sun 5/13
Sat 6/16 and Sun 6/17
Sat 7/14 & Sun 7/15

Sat 8/11 & Sun 8/12


Sat 9/8 & Sun 9/9

Sat 10/13 & Sun 10/14 (May have potluck)

Sat 11/17 & Sun 11/18 (as makeup if necessary)

Who should take these courses?

Anyone interested in understanding human health, its unceasing flow between balance and imbalance, and how to optimally navigate between them through awareness, lifestyle, nutrition and herbs, the Foundations of Chinese Medicine course is an invaluable foundation for further, deeper exploration.


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Contact if interested asap!


Foundations of Chinese Herbal Medicine (First Course):

Required for Clearpath Herbals Certificate Path students taking the First Level program, “Cultivating the Healer Within.”

One of the oldest and most comprehensive of medical models, Chinese Medicine has remained an unbroken an ever-evolving healing tradition for well over two thousand years. A basic understanding of Chinese Medicine vastly increases our ability to maintain and renew healthy balance for ourselves and others. This in-depth and intensive course explores the foundations of Chinese Herbal Medicine, making it accessible and practical for anyone interested in human health, and providing participants with the foundations necessary to move on to more advanced knowledge in the areas of herbalism and holistic healing. Designed for the serious student, whether new to or familiar with aspects of Chinese Medicine. Classes are both conceptual and experiential in format. Classes are designed for those wanting more tools and knowledge for personal and family health care, as well as for those working toward community and/or clinical herbal certification and a potential career in herbalism.

Chinese philosophy is a rich tapestry interweaving millennia-old wisdom of Taoism, Buddhism and Confucianism. Essentially, this world view permeates every aspect of Chinese life, from the basis of reality itself to the rhythms and energies of Earth to the world of humanity (health, psychology, spirituality, medicine, food, politics, etc.). At its root is the deep-seated understanding of the interconnectedness and interdependence of all things. These concepts are the underpinnings that make the Chinese health model so timeless, powerful, useful, practical, and elegant. This is where we begin: with the foundations that are essential to understanding and effectively utilizing the concepts and tools of Chinese herbal medicine.  This course builds in students a strong core upon which to cultivate their own inner, integrated healer, to develop a solid understanding of herbal medicine, and to lay the foundations for a future health-care practice.  It also includes diverse and effective tools for inward self-investigation and outward resonance, for this is where healing wisdom begins.


Topics Covered:

  • Historical overview
  • Comparison of Chinese Medicine with other healing traditions and paradigms
  • Philosophy and Psychology: Drawn from Taoist and Buddhist principles
  • Four Vital Substances
  • Eight Principles (Yin-Yang theory)
  • Five Evolutionary Phases (Five Element theory)
  • Organ Networks: physiology, health, imbalance, external pernicious influences
  • Diagnostics: tongue, pulses, constitution types
  • Herbs as Medicine: Chinese energetics and uses
  • Food as Medicine: energetics and the Five Tastes
  • Self awareness, sensory awareness skills
  • Communication and pattern recognition skills


Topics are divided into four main areas:

  1. Philosophy and Psychology, including True Suchness,  Qi, Yin-Yang, Resonance, Interdependent Origination/Causes and Conditions,  Karma/Cause and Consequence, Five Skandhas, Relativity/Subjectivity.
  2. Theories and Principles of Human Health: Four Vital Substance, interweaving Eight Principle (Yin/Yang) theory and Five Evolutionary Phases (Elements) theory, Ten Organ Networks (physiology, balance, imbalance, external pernicious influences).
  3. Tools and Principles of Chinese Herbal Medicine: Chinese Diagnostic Techniques (tongue analysis, pulse analysis, constitutional types), Herbs (utilizing knowledge of Chinese energetics and principles to effectively use Chinese and Western herbs), Food as Medicine/Five Tastes (Chinese nutritional theory).
  4. Concepts and Tools for Self Cultivation and Stewardship: Self-investigation skills utilizing awareness, breath and body to explore, understand and integrate body, mind, heart and spirit, drawing upon Chinese philosophy and psychology, including the Eight-fold Path, and practicing energy flow, awareness, mindfulness, sensory, observation, communication, empathy, resonance and communication exercises, as well as guided meditation.


Essential Chinese Materia Medica (2nd Course to be offered)

Medicinal herbal knowledge at the depth & breadth of experienced herbalists

Required part of all levels of the Certificate Program.

Comprehensive exploration of medicinal herbs – both theoretical and practical knowledge -- from around the world, with emphasis on Western (native and introduced) and Asian plants (Chinese, Indian).  An essential component of an herbalist’s toolkit, Materia Medica is a compendium of knowledge of a large number of healing plants.  Traditionally, herbalists and medicine people have had a working knowledge of 150-500 medicinal herbs, wisdom passed down through the millennia of oral and written history. These Materia Medica courses honor the spirit of this ancient tradition, and keeping it alive, passing on the ever-evolving knowledge to interested students. Classes offer clear, concise and thorough information on medicinal herbs, enough data for a sound working knowledge of what a plant can do from the viewpoints of several herbal traditions as well as the direct experience of an herbalist with over twenty years field experience.  Class is open to newcomers, enthusiasts, and to those with an herbal background wishing to deepen their understanding of herbalism and expand their Materia Medica repertoire.

Topics covered include:

  • Plant names: scientific names, common names, aliases, botanical family
  • Parts used and Gathering Times
  • Tastes and Energetics: includes first-hand experience tasting herbs discussed
  • Description and Location
  • Chemical Constituents
  • Medicinal Uses: includes key symptoms, uses of Western, Chinese, and Indigenous traditions
  • Cautions and Contraindications
  • Preparations and Dosages: teas, extracts, oils, and more
  • Scientific, traditional, folkloric uses


Students sample herbal medicines as extracts and/or teas to gain first-hand experience of each plant’s tastes and energetics. Students also get to choose one herb (1-ounce bottle) discussed that evening for further investigation.