What to learn about herbs? Fantastic! The world of herbalism is amazing and inspiring. There’s no right way, or wrong way to start. You have to find a way that’s right for you. Here are the best ways to learn about herbs and herbalism.
How to Learn About Herbs
Start reading, a lot! There are a plethora of great herbal books out there. You can start at the library and read through some of the books there to see which ones you like. I have quite a few personal favorites. I also prefer to buy mine, as I like having a quick resource for recipes, information or even just for inspiration. Starting a great personal library of herbal references will really help you along your herbalism journey!
You can also find some great herbal websites out there. The Herbal Academy blog is packed with great information, how to tutorials and a ton more. Some of my other favorite websites include Growing Up Herbal and Learning Herbs. Start a binder, and print out your favorite articles. Start building your own resource book in a way that fits you.
You can also use the internet to google lots of great information too. Do this with caution though, anyone can throw up anything on a website. Make sure when you are “googling” your information that you are accessing highly credible websites. You want information that is research-based, science-backed or coming directly from a well-respected herbalist. My favorite herbalists include Rosemary Gladstar and Aviva Romm.
Check Out: The Herbs & Essential Oils Super Bundle (This is an awesome resource I’ve found very helpful, loaded with great ebooks & courses to learn about herbs)
There’s no better way to learn than by getting hands on. Especially with herbs! There are so many ways to experience the herbs and gain knowledge from them. (I don’t care how far out there that sounds, it’s true.) My favorite way to learn the properties of an herb is to read about it, study its qualities and uses. Then to get the herb itself and make a tea with it. I like to smell it and taste it, experience it. You can make a few useful preparations with it. It really helps “seal” in the knowledge.
Take a course
The thing with learning about herbs is that herbalism is so vastly different from conventional medicine as most of us know it. There is no plug and play option, or use as a substitute X Herb for Y medication. It’s a completely different way to look at healing the body. This complexity makes it important to understand not just how herbs work individually, but how herbalism works as a whole. This is why I always recommend taking a course. It’s hard to fully comprehend herbalism well without guidance.
I’m currently working my way through the Intermediate Course At The Herbal Academy and I love it. I have a background in conventional medicine in nursing, but this is completely different from anything I learned in school. I love how their courses are set up, and how you truly get a feel for what herbalism is all about. They are very research-based, and the chapters often end with a huge list of resources used to back up the information they have provided. (Which is a huge resource by itself, I love scrolling through the individual articles and reading more.)
They also offer specialized mini-courses such as an herbal fermentation & an herbal self-care for stress management course (This one is new, and officially on my to-do list.) Check out The Herbal Academy Courses and see if they have something that fits your needs.
Learn from an Herbal Mentor
If your lucky, you may live in an area that offers herbal mentorship programs. These programs are usually offered by experience herbalist, who offers to train a person often in an apprenticeship fashion. Training with someone who you can talk to, ask questions, get hands-on with, is probably the ultimate learning experience. The downside is that a mentorship-like this can often be expensive. (Well worth it, but not always feasible financially or even logistically if not in your area.)
Of course, a mentorship doesn’t have to be so expensive. You could find free groups online that have experienced herbalists in them. It’s a great way to find like-minded people in your area of interest to bounce ideas off of, and offer your own experiences with. I’m in a great one that a private group run by Herbalists from the Herbal Academy. It’s a perk for anyone who takes one of their courses. I didn’t really understand the value of Facebook groups until I started interacting with people who were struggling with my same issues.