Herbalism 101: How to Get Started with Natural Remedies

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Stepping into the world of herbalism can be such an exciting adventure, especially when it's broken down into easy, digestible steps. Whether you're a mom looking to introduce natural remedies into your family's life or you're just starting to explore the benefits of plants, you're in the right place.

What is Herbalism?

At its heart, herbalism is the time-honored art of using plants for their therapeutic qualities. It's a practice steeped in the wisdom of nature, offering a community that values the simplicity and potency of the earth's offerings. As you dive into herbalism, you're joining a lineage of botanical healers.

Herbs to Begin With

Begin your herbal journey with a few trusted herbs that are celebrated for their ease of use and gentle nature. Chamomile, with its soothing properties, is perfect for a relaxing cup of tea before bed. Peppermint is excellent for digestive support and can be enjoyed in a variety of ways, from a refreshing tea to a cooling rub. Lavender, with its serene scent, is a go-to for promoting relaxation and restful sleep.

Building Your Herbal Collection

As you grow more comfortable with herbal remedies, you'll start to build a personal collection of herbs that resonate with your health goals. Herbalism is a deeply personal journey, encouraging you to experiment and find what works best for you and your loved ones.

The following five herbs are great for beginners that are new to home remedies:

Lavender: Known for its calming properties, lavender can be used to make soothing teas, relaxing bath soaks, and aromatic sachets.

Peppermint: Peppermint is excellent for alleviating digestive discomfort and can be used to make refreshing teas or infused into oils for topical application.

Chamomile: This gentle herb is often used to promote relaxation and improve sleep quality. It can be brewed into a calming tea or used in homemade skincare products.

Echinacea: Echinacea is commonly used to support the immune system and can be brewed into a tea or taken as a supplement to help fend off colds and flu.

Calendula: With its anti-inflammatory and skin-soothing properties, calendula is great for making healing salves, creams, and ointments for minor skin irritations.

Sourcing Herbal Ingredients

Sourcing herbal ingredients is a crucial aspect of herbalism, as the quality of the ingredients directly impacts the effectiveness of herbal remedies. When sourcing herbs, it's important to prioritize organic and ethically harvested or cultivated plants to ensure purity and potency. Many herbalists prefer to grow their own herbs to have full control over the cultivation process, while others establish relationships with reputable suppliers who prioritize sustainable and ethical practices. Additionally, understanding the geographical origins of herbs and their traditional uses can provide valuable insights into their quality and potential therapeutic benefits. By prioritizing responsible sourcing practices, herbalists can ensure that the herbs they use are of the highest quality and have a positive impact on both health and the environment.

Sources for herbal supplies:

  • Mountian Rose Herbs – a wonderful (and large) collection of herbal ingredients, pre-made herbal preparations and teas, and natural body care supplies!
  • Amazon is good for some herbal supplies, but not all. See my herbal storefront for recommendations.

Planting Your Herbal Garden

There's something truly rewarding about nurturing your own herbs. It ensures the quality of your remedies and connects you to the lifecycle of these healing plants. Start with something simple like basil or mint, and enjoy the journey from seed to salve. If you are new to gardening, you might find pla nting in a container to do the best way to begin.

Resources for herbal gardening:

Organic herbs – 10-pack

Herb Gardening Made Simple (book)

The Homesteader's Herbal Companion: The Ultimate Guide to Growing, Preserving, and Using Herbs (book)

Growing 101 Herbs That Heal: Gardening Techniques, Recipes, and Remedies (book)


Herbal Preparations

There's a whole world of ways to prepare herbs, from simple teas to powerful tinctures. If you're new to this, teas are a fantastic starting point—they're easy to make, gentle on the system, and a lovely way to experience herbal benefits. As you become more adventurous, you might explore tinctures, which are concentrated herbal extracts taken in small amounts.

Herbal Preparations to DIY:

A wonderful course to learn the basics of making herbal preparations is Herbal Academy's Making Herbal Preparations 101 Mini-Course.

Herbal Preparations to Buy:

Earthley Wellness offers a variety of herbal products that are just like homemade. I especially like the Elderberry Elixir. It is a great alternative to homemade elderberry syrup. It's concentrated and shelf-stable (homemade syrup only lasts a few weeks). It's also easy to use, just add a few drops to a glass of water or juice.

Read more about Earthly Wellness in my review here.

Mountain Rose Herbs offers a wide variety of herbal supports via tinctures, teas, syrups, capsules, and single herbs you can use to create your own supplements and herbal preparations.

Learn More!

How to Create an Herbal Apothecary
at Home

Transform your home into a haven of well-being with your very own herbal apothecary! Experience the joy of crafting natural remedies, from choosing the ideal location to gathering essential herbs and tools, discover all you need to foster a wholesome lifestyle right at your fingertips. Explore the realm of homemade, eco-friendly solutions and step into a life of wellness without the overwhelm.

Seeking Expert Advice

While many herbs are safe for general use, it's always wise to consult with a healthcare provider for specific conditions. They can guide you on the right herbs and dosages for your unique needs.

One way to find an herbalist practitioner is to go through the American Herbalist Guild's Member Directory.

The American Herbalist Guild's Registered Herbalist Directory is a valuable resource for individuals seeking professional herbalists. The directory includes information about registered herbalists who have met the organization's rigorous standards for education, training, and experience in herbal medicine. It serves as a tool for individuals to find qualified herbalists who adhere to ethical and professional standards while providing herbal healthcare services. which has a member directory that anyone can use to search out Registered Herbalists in their area.

You may also find success performing a google search with “herbalist (and the name of your area/town).”

I am currently training for clinical practice and look forward to serving in this way. That said, as a Nutritional Therapy Practitioner, who is also an herbalist, I can provide some guidance. If you are interested in my 1:1 Nutritional Therapy Service, check those out here.

Further Your Herbal Education

There are many wonderful books, courses, and workshops that aid in herbal learning! I have been through many courses myself (and taken part in developing content for a few!), and my book is loaded with herbal books that I reference often.

Herbal Courses for Beginners

While you can find many wonderful herbal courses online, I have the most experience with courses from the Herbal Academy, so those are what I can speak to the most. These are the ones I recommend for beginners:

Introductory Herbal Course

Dive into the basics of herbalism with the Introductory Herbal Course. Perfect for beginners, this course lays the foundation for natural wellness, covering herbal preparations, body systems, and the holistic approach to health.

Intermediate Herbal Course

Ready to take your herbal knowledge up a notch? The Intermediate Herbal Course builds upon the basics, introducing more complex concepts and hands-on herbal practices for those who are no strangers to herbal remedies.

The Family Herbalist Path Package

This comprehensive package is designed with beginners in mind, offering a seamless introduction to the world of herbalism. It includes the Introductory Herbal Course and the Intermediate Herbal Course at an affordable rate, making it perfect for those starting their path to natural living. With over 250 herbal recipes and a self-paced structure that provides lifetime access, you can learn at your own rhythm and bring the power of healing herbs into your family's daily life. Whether you're looking to address common health concerns or simply enrich your lifestyle with the wisdom of herbalism, this package is your gateway to a healthier, more empowered existence.

Enrolling in the path package lays a clear path for your herbal learning while also providing a discount on your purchase!

Click here to learn more and enroll in the Family Herbalist Path Package.

This is only a taste of the courses offered by the Herbal Academy. They offer an abundant selection of in-depth, foundational, and short courses. Learn more about Herbal Academy courses here.

Herbal Books for Beginners

Herbal books are a great place to start for those new to herbalism as they are affordable and fairly easy to access. As you grown in your knowledge, you'll love having herbal books around for reference!

Read more about my favorite herbal books in my blog post: Herbal Books for Beginners

My Favorite Herbal Books for Beginners

These are four of my favorite herbal books. Each one has a special place on my bookshelf and is referenced often.

Click the images to read more about them on Amazon. (Note: I receive a commission from your purchase)

Joining the Herbal Community

Immerse yourself in the herbalism community to tap into a wealth of knowledge and friendship. Don't hesitate to join discussions, participate in groups, or attend workshops to deepen your understanding and connect with fellow herbal enthusiasts.

The Herbal Academy has a wonderful student group that includes instructor-led discussions. It is a weather of information and a great place to ask questions.

Parting Words

Delving into herbalism is an empowering step toward taking control of your health in a natural, effortless way. So, take that first step with confidence, and remember, we're here to support you on this wonderful journey to wellness. Here's to your herbal health!

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