When I decided to start using herbs in my home, I was totally overwhelmed and had no idea where to start.
Which is funny because I come from a long line of natural healers and my dad has been running an organic herb farm since I was 5-years-old … (I have to come to things in my own time, ok?)
Anyhow, as I was in my kitchen whipping up some herb-infused lip balm, I thought about what tips I wish I would have known at the beginning. Tips that, had I considered them, would have made the process much simpler (and saved me a lot of money).
I can’t go back in time and tell myself, but I can share what I’ve learned with you. So here are a few tips I’ve learned along the way:
1. Know your why
Why do you want to start using herbs? Is it so you can make a few remedies here and there or do you want to completely change up how you approach health? Of course, many people will fall somewhere in between.
It just helps to know why you’re doing this so you know what you’ll want to learn and where to start.
Depending on your why, you need to learn about how to use herbs. If you’re in it for a few simple remedies, a basic guide will give you the rundown on a handful of herbs, tell you how to prepare them and give some recipes.
3. Keep it simple
Don’t go crazy buying every herb out there. It’s tempting, I know. Especially when you’re dad runs a wholesale herb company …
Instead, I recommend choosing a few herbs to get started with. Which ones? Well, if you have a resource you’re using, you’ll probably see a few herbs mentioned several times in recipes. Start with those.
Over the last few years, I’ve really simplified which herbs I use in my house. Here’s what’s in my medicine cabinet.
Start making the basics. Teas, infusions, poultices. These are all very easy ways to get your feet wet, so to speak. Once you’re comfortable with how to prepare herbs, start experimenting.
5. Make remedies
Choose a few remedies to start with and get in the kitchen. I recommend starting with an infusion if you’re feeling a bit intimidated – they’re super easy. Simple balms are a great place to start, too.
This infused lip balm is easy and if you want to kick it up a notch, try this multipurpose healing ointment. Want more ideas? My ebook, DIY natural remedies, has lots of recipes to help you get started.
Herbal Academy of New England
One of my favorites is the Herbal Academy of New England. They have two courses, an herbal introductory course and an intermediate course (which I’ll be enrolling in soon) to help you on your journey.
If you’re not quite ready for a course, their Herbarium has a plethora of herbal resources to help you get started.
I encourage you to check out their website. In addition to the courses, they have several helpful blog posts.
Do you have any tips for budding herbalists?