Herbalism has been a part of this world ever since its advent. People have been running after the remedies, testing, and approving the herbs to find relief from particular diseases. Due to wild harvesting and other ethical issues in the herbal industry, masses have begun to dive back into personal farming ventures to grow their own chemical-free herbs.
Herbalism is a prestigious study that involves the practice of growing and using medicinal plants to seek their therapeutic effects. It is also known as ‘complementary and alternative medicine’ and includes:
- Chinese/Oriental Medicine
- Clinical Western Herbal medicine
Getting started with herbalism can be a little daunting but once you have your toes dipped into the realm of herbalism, its vastness would engulf your existence and nourish the stagnated channels by sowing the seed of exploration in your heart.
Once you have your seat belts buckled and are all ready to embark on this journey, either by self-study or any herbal course, there are a few things you would like to avoid to ensure a smooth learning journey full of excitement, adventure, and discoveries.
Try to Learn Everything at Once
It is not impossible to learn everything at once but long gone are your school days and the world of herbalism is far more vast than it seems. We recommend taking a single herb as a project to study its features. Go into the fields and try to identify it. You can also harvest it and bring it home to study its features. Have a good long look at its features and try to make sketches to retain a sound memory of its physical appearance.
Honestly, herbalism has no bounds and can be studied for a lifetime, so it is good to take things slow to avoid mashing knowledge in your brain.
Not Understanding Herbal Preparations
Every herbal preparation has its own strength and must be used accordingly to avoid hazardous reactions. The tincture, for example, is way far stronger than teas and syrups and must be used in moderation to avoid any adverse effects.
The same goes for topical preparations, including balms, salves, infused oils, and ointments. They must be formulated in a way that the excipients should not, in any case, react with the active ingredients or try to modify the role of the active as this may change the course of pharmacologic actions, and in some cases, nullify the therapeutic efficacy.
With sound knowledge of the features of the herbs, a good herbalist must have practical skills and experience with the formulations too.
Not Picking a Plant Alley Each Year
As mentioned before, taking things slow can help you gather a good amount of knowledge. It is definitely okay to start with just one herb. Take your time to get to know all the aspects of the herbs, such as:
- Growth pattern
- Leaf arrangement
- Floral arrangement
- Blooming season
- Growing zones
- Harvest season
- Medicinal benefits
- Herbal preparations
- Side effects
Once you think you have spent enough time with the herb of your choice, you can take a deep breath and take a step ahead to move on to your second herb.
Not Finding a Mentor
Self-study is a great way of learning but every once in a while the person needs the motivation to accept the challenges and avoid the easy way out. It is good to have a torchbearer to help you navigate through the path you have to cross.
A local herbalist, an online program, or even a community group can all be great places to find someone else to learn through.
Getting all of your Information from the Internet?
The Internet is undeniably an epic source of knowledge that has helped millions of people achieve the information they wanted. But there is a little gap due to which books excel past the internet. They are held as a more reliable source of knowledge because a whole team of publishers is sitting to review the contents of the books before publishing them.
Our two all-time favorite books ‘The Gift of Healing Herbs: Plant Medicines and Home Remedies for a Vibrantly Healthy Life’, by Robin Rose Bennett and ‘The Herb Book: The Most Complete Catalog of Herbs Ever Published (Dover Cookbooks), by John Lust helped us a lot in our journey of herbalism.
We hope these tips would help pave a safe path in your herbalism journey to keep you motivated and inspired. Stay confident and enjoy your learning and practice!