Learning about how to use herbs and wild plants for herbal remedies can seem really intimidating. Figuring out what plant does what and how to properly use them can seem very overwhelming. But it doesn’t have to be. Plants have been used for thousands of years to treat health conditions safely and effectively. All it takes is the desire to learn and the right resources.
I started learning about the uses of plants for health a long time ago and I’m still learning something new every day. When I was a kid in Alaska I used to gather flowers and plants and make concoctions in my backyard. I guess you could say I always had a passion for mixing natural remedies. Of course, I didn’t consume them, I was just playing. But as an adult, I learned how the wild plants around my home could be used as really powerful remedies and my passion just grew from there.
Why You Should Consider Learning About Herbalism
There are many reasons why you should consider learning more about wild plants and herbs and the herbal remedies you can create from them. Below I have listed just a few of the reasons I got started learning more about herbalism.
- Herbs and wild plants are cheaper than most commercial medications and more readily available.
- Natural remedies tend to treat the root of the problem not just the symptoms.
- It creates a sense of self-reliance when it comes to your health.
- Doctors aren’t always available (I think we’ve seen this in the last 2 years)
- You know your and your family’s health needs best
- It will connect you more with God’s creation
What Resources for Herbal Remedies Should You Trust?
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As I said early, I have been learning about herbal remedies for well over 20 years and have amassed quite a reliable list of resources that I trust.
- HerbMentor: Your Online Herbal Village and Learning Companion (learningherbs.com)
- Herbal Academy
- Heart of Herbs Herbalism School
Herbal Remedies Books
Check out my book list below for all the books I highly recommend for getting started with herbal remedies and wild plant crafting.
- LearningHerbs: Free Home Remedies & Learning Experiences
- Rosemary Gladstar’s Science & Art of Herbalism (scienceandartofherbalism.com)
- Herbs – Amy K Fewell | The Fewell Homestead
Sourcing Your Herbs
It is extremely important when you want to get started with making herbal remedies that you have a reliable source of herbs. I always say the best option is to grow your own. But if that is something you can’t do, I have a list of trustworthy shops that I like to use.
- Southern Seed Exchange: Not only are they a great source of organic dried herbs but they also sell seeds for tons of different plants to get your herbal garden going!
- Starwest Botanicals: My go-to shop when I need something I can’t grow my own. Great selection of organic herbs at a great price.
- Bulk Apothecary: Great prices and a HUGE selection.
- Frontier Co-op: They are one of the top suppliers of dried herbs for co-ops. I have used their products for years and the quality can’t be beaten.
Steps to Get Started Learning About Herbalism
- Decide why you want to use herbal remedies. Are you looking to treat a specific condition, or simply interested in incorporating herbs into your overall wellness routine? Having a clear goal in mind can help guide your research.
- Research herbs. Start by learning about the properties of various herbs and the conditions they can help treat. Consider speaking with a licensed herbalist or taking one of the courses I linked above.
- Learn about drug interactions. Some herbs can interact with prescription medications, so it’s important to inform your doctor if you’re using herbal remedies.
- Determine the appropriate dosage. The recommended dosages for herbal remedies can vary based on factors such as your age, weight, and medical conditions. It’s important to carefully follow the dosage instructions provided with the herbs or consult with a medical professional.
- Decide on a method of delivery. Herbs can be used in a variety of ways for medicinal purposes, such as drinking tea, taking supplements, or applying topical creams or ointments. Make sure you understand how each method works and the appropriate dosage for each form of delivery.
- Consult with a healthcare professional. Before starting any new treatment regimen, especially when using herbal remedies, it’s important to consult with a healthcare professional to ensure that it is safe and appropriate for you.
- Keep records. Document your experience with herbal remedies, including any side effects, the dosage used, and the results you’ve achieved. This can help you make informed decisions about your use of herbal remedies in the future.
Important Precautions When Using Herbal Remedies
Herbal remedies can be just as dangerous as commercial medicines if used incorrectly, which is why it’s important to exercise caution when using them. Here are some important things to keep in mind:
Adverse Effects and Drug Interactions
One of the biggest risks of using herbal remedies is adverse effects, which can range from mild side effects like an upset stomach to severe reactions like anaphylaxis. Additionally, some herbs can interact with prescription medications, so it’s important to inform your doctor if you’re using herbal remedies.
Learning Proper Dosage for Age and Weight
Herbs can be very potent and the correct dosage is crucial to ensure that you are getting the desired effect. The recommended dosages for herbal remedies can vary based on factors such as your age, weight, and medical conditions. It’s important to carefully follow the dosage instructions provided with the herbs or consult with a medical professional.
Learn About the Herb Thoroughly Before Use
Before using any herbal remedy, it’s important to research and learn about the herb, its properties, and any potential side effects. Make sure you understand how the herb works and what conditions it can help treat. Consider speaking with a licensed herbalist or healthcare professional for guidance.
Ways to Use Herbs for Medicine
Herbs can be used in a variety of ways for medicinal purposes. Some common methods include drinking tea, taking supplements, or applying topical creams or ointments. When using herbs for medicine, it’s important to understand how each method works and the appropriate dosage for each form of delivery.
The Joy of Learning Herbalism
Herbal remedies can be a safe and effective alternative to commercial medicines, but it’s important to use them with caution. By researching the herb, learning the proper dosage, and understanding any potential drug interactions, you can feel confident in your use of herbal remedies. Whether you’re looking to treat a specific condition or simply maintain your overall health, incorporating herbs into your wellness routine can be a great place to start. Herbalism can also give you a wonderful sense of empowerment in providing for your family’s well-being.