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You’re already feeling a bit in over your head.

I mean, things escalated pretty quickly once you decided to start making herbal remedies.

The Pinterest boards. The supply lists. The herbs.

Oh my gosh, the herbs! How are there SO many?! Your wishlist is already over a dozen and that’s just the herbs that start with the letter “A”.

It’s starting to feel like it would be better to just leave this to the “real” herbalists. You know, those wise women in the flowy dresses with botanical hair pieces that can make a healing tea out of sawdust and grass clippings.

After all, they’re much more qualified and this kind of thing is second nature to them.

The thing is, you want it to be second nature to you, too.

And, you have a sneaking suspicion that if you felt like you knew where to start, you’d probably feel comfortable making herbal remedies very quickly. If you could just figure out where to start …

Those “real” herbalists started off with the same feelings of trepidation, though. They just kept moving forward. They learned the basics. And they overcame the 3 most common mistakes beginning herbalists make:

1. Overstocking

Have you visited an online herb store yet? Or better yet, a real one? They’re wonderful, aren’t they?

But. There’s a lot of inventory.

You’ve got herbs, essential oils, carrier oils, butters, tinctures, extracts, oh my! It’s easy, and tempting, to buy as much as you possibly can.

Surely there’s an herbal concoction for buyer’s remorse and anxiety-inducing overwhelm? I haven’t found one yet, but I have found a good solution:

Buy less.

It turns out, you really don’t need all that much to begin making herbal remedies. In fact, there are just 12 essentials for building your tiny apothecary.

When you have the right herbs and supplies, you can mix and match and make the best use out of all their properties to create some incredibly effective remedies.

2. Information overload

Pinterest is a wonderful place. You can find recipes, inspiration and tutorials for just about anything, including herbal remedies. But have you noticed something?

You can pin and pin and pin all day, but when you go back to try something it’s a bit overwhelming.

Before long, you feel frustrated because it’s hard to find what you’re looking for. Or, if you’re anything like me, you forget what you were doing after about 30 seconds and are soon pinning home design inspiration from the Apartment Therapy blog.

And it doesn’t just happen with Pinterest. Information overload is real everywhere online (and offline). And when it comes to herbal remedies, you’ll find no shortage of ideas.

This is ancient wisdom, and there’s a lot to learn. But you really don’t need to do learn it all at once (that’s impossible anyway).

So what do you do?

Learn the basics – a few simple herbal preparations, the best herbs to start with (ideally less than 10) and their properties – and then practice.

To keep it organized, I suggest you:

  1. Create a Pinterest board with just a few recipes on it and maybe one or two herbal spotlights that you want to study now and that’s it.
  2. Create a separate one for future studies.
  3. Once you’ve tried the recipes and studied the herbs, move those pins to a “tried it” board and add a few more to the present projects board.
  4. Repeat.

3. Doing too much at once

In your zeal it may be tempting to get in the kitchen and start whipping up those dozen or so remedies you’ve been dying to try. Resist. The. Urge.

The problem with this approach is:

Waste: Does this sound familiar? You go to the grocery store and start putting different fruits and veggies in your cart that look tasty. “I’m sure we’ll use these right up!,” you think to yourself. Only, a week later, you look in your fridge only to find that a good chunk of it is still there and has started to go bad. This will also happen with your herbal remedies, which is especially frustrating if you’re doing this to save money.

Overwhelm: What causes overwhelm? When we are faced with too much, be it decisions, clutter, commitments, etc. In this case, when you attempt to make too many remedies at once, you’ll likely soon find yourself overwhelmed with the giant task you’ve taken on. Just say no to overwhelm and do less from the start.

Redundancy: The truth is, you’ll likely end up making individual remedies like cough syrup, a throat soother and an immune booster. Then, later, after you’ve dabbled with this a bit more and gotten more comfortable with herbs, you’ll realize that the cough syrup actually did all three and you ended up with remedies you didn’t even need.

Whats the solution? Be picky about what you’re going to make.

Create a list with the top 3-5 concerns you want to address with herbal remedies. If there are more, put them on another list for later. Once you have the top concerns figured out, pick just two or three to focus on right now and find one remedy for each.

That’s it. Again, resist the urge to do more. It’s just not necessary.

Want to keep this simple? Be sure to sign up for the 12 essentials for building your tiny apothecary.

You don’t need to do it all. Stick to the basics.

You’ve got this.