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Using Alkaloids in Clinical Practice

Always respected and often feared, the alkaloids are among the most pharmacologically active plant constituents. This course will teach you how to use strong herbs respectfully, safely and effectively.
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What we will cover:

  • 12 hours of content
  • 5 x 2 hour recorded videos
  • 2 x 1 hour live Q&As with Chanchal
  • Unlimited access
  • CPD & Certificate of Completion
  • Many poisonous or hallucinogenic herbs are rich in active alkaloids and most of our schedule 20 herbs contain active alkaloids e.g. Atropa, Aconitum, Gelsemium. 
  • They are powerful and very effective medicines and also sometimes scary to use. 
  • This wide ranging review of materia medica will explore a great diversity of medicinal and psychoactive herbs, united in their chemistry and potential toxicities, but very varied in their clinical effects. 
  • These herbs are the ‘effectors’ in a formula, targeted to specific actions and outcomes, they require carefully calibrated dosing schedules and understanding of side effects, contra-indications and drug interactions.
  • Through a deep discussion of the pharmacology, dosing and toxicology, ritual uses and ethnobotanical uses, we will learn how to use strong herbs respectfully, safely and effectively. 
  • This is a practical and informative series, using examples and applications drawn from over 28 years of practice.
  • It is geared towards practitioners and advanced students and is intended to give you tools for your clinical practice. 

You will cover a materia medica of over 19 alkaloids and 50 plants including:


Coffea arabica, Camellia sinensis, Ilex paraguariensis, Paullina cupana, Pausinistyllia yohimbine, Cola acuminata / nitida / vera Theobroma cacao

Pyridine and piperidine alklaloids

Lobelia inflata, Nicotinia tobaccum, Piper betel, Piper methysticum, Piper nigrum, Areca catechu

Pyrrolizidine alkaloids

Borago officinalis, Eupatorium purpureum, Eupatorium perfoliatum, Petasites sp., Symphytum officinalis, Tussilago farfara

Monoterpenoid indoles

Catharanthus rubra, Gelsemium sempervirens, Tabernanthe iboga,  Strychnos nux vomica, Vinca sp., Pausinystila yohimbe, Aspidosperma quebracho blanco                   


Berberis vulgaris, Corydalis ambigua and sp., Hydrastis canadensis, Mahonia aquifolium

Indole alkaloids

Agaricus blazei, Banisteropsis caapi, Passiflora incarnata, Virola viride
Meet your instructor

Chanchal Cabrera MSc, FNIMH, RHT, (RH)AHG

Chanchal is an experienced and respected Herbalist. She has a Msc in Herbal Medicine from University of Wales, as well as holding qualifications in botanical garden management, horticulture and education. She lecturers widely at many CPD herbal medicine events, and holds professional memberships with a number of herbal medicine associations. Chanchal lives on Vancouver Island, British Columbia where she and her husband manage Innisfree Farm and Botanic Garden, a 7 acre internationally registered botanic garden specializing in food and medicine plants, and where they host apprenticeships in sustainable food production and herbal medicine.
Patrick Jones - Course author