Herbalism 101: How to Grow Herbs, Learn About Holistic Health, and Become a Herbalist From A to Z

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The study of herbal usage as medicine has been in every culture for millennia, as a solution to just about every ailment. Plants and herbs are our allies to a healthy lifestyle. They infuse universal and ancient wisdom into our daily lives. The study and subsequent practice of herbalism can be an invaluable tool in taking control of your health and becoming closer to the biodynamics of earth.

To begin your own herbalism journey, it is important to grow your own herbs and discover how your body interacts with them. The goal is to begin a journey of becoming holistically health- minded through herbalism. That is, using herbs as an ally to not only create balance, harmony, and peace within our mind, body, and soul but to do so ethically and sustainable for the earth. Herbalism is not just a physical practice but a meditation and connection to the pantheism of nature. It is a part of a dynamic health, one that incorporates moving parts and philosophies to optimize our living and happiness through biodynamics and an individual relationship with your herbs.

If you think back far enough, you probably remember yourself picking off a honeysuckle from its bush, pulling out the long stem, and drinking the single drop of honey that each flower holds. Or maybe you remember taking a bite of a tangy wood sorrel clover found in your lawn or perhaps dodging the large, tough, and pungent bay leaf in your mom’s homemade chicken soup? If you have experienced mingling with the plant world, to some degree, you have experienced the art of herbalism.

To start your own journey, follow these steps:

  1. Learn about your herbs by discovering your herbs:

Scientific name, herbal family, folk name

Look and Recognition

Geography, history, and culture

Herbal Actions, Contraindications, and uses

Herb Constituents and Parts

Planting and growth patterns, timing, and requirements

Harvesting techniques

Companion plants and herbal pairings

  • Plan for your own garden with these tips:                                                                          

Start simple- start with one to a handful of herbs and get to know them

Think space- What’s your garden going to look like? How much sun will it get? What are native plants in your area?

Get tools before you begin- Tools for your garden may include: garden hoe, rain collector, shovel, top soil, manure, compost bin, and seeds

  • Gather herb plants and seeds by:

Thinking of your purpose, unique flavor, and companion planting when choosing your herbs

  • Grow your garden through:                                                       

Researching how to best care for your plants via soil, sun, and water recommendations

Adjusting your strategies based on plant health

Appreciating and Watch your plants grow!

Ensuring clean water and compost as feed

Deadheading often

Employing natural pesticides, as needed, such as: Garlic, Coffee grinds, Chili pepper, Tomato leaf spray

  •  Harvesting in a healthy manner entails:

Making sure to pick in a V fashion so that the top growers continue to thrive.

Being careful not to over harvest

  • Creating herbalism goodies advice:       

Gather herbal menstruums- 80+ proof alcohol, vinegar, clean water, carrier oils

Gather tools- Herbal Packaging tools: tincture droppers, paper bags, mason jars, muslin cloth, natural twine

Pair based on tastes and actions

  • Sustainability through these techniques:                                                                            

Principles of biodynamics and permaculture

Safe and ethical wildcrafting

Enjoy your journey and expand your vision on what health and holism truly means- once you expanded, I guarantee herbalism will open up and reveal more about yourself and the earth than you ever thought possible.

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