Happy Herbalist Day! Over the course of this past year I have learned so much about herbs and what it means to be an herbalist. Herbalism isn’t something I pictured myself pursuing, but it has come so naturally to me and I have found such passion in my studies.
I have a family history in gardening and tending to the land. My great grandpa was a farmer and even though I never got to meet him, I ended up growing up in his house and feeling a deep connection to him and his love for the land. I gardened with my dad growing up and he taught me how to grow my own food from seed to harvest.
As I reached my teenage years, I lost my desire to garden and spend hours out in nature. I found myself longing to move to the city and pursue a career in writing. It wasn’t until my last year of college that the desire to be out in nature and garden was rekindled. I ended up getting a job working at my college’s Campus Farm/Garden through the summer and fall of 2015.
I learned so much about sustainable agriculture, organic gardening, identifying plants, and learning about the medicinal properties of herbs at the Liberty University Morris Campus Farm. Ever since then, I have had a desire to learn more about the plants around me.
Last year, I stumbled across the Herbal Academy and ended up enrolling in a free trial for their Herbal Materia Medica Course, and I’ve been enchanted by herbalism ever since!
I love the idea of learning about the plants around me and using them to make teas, tinctures, and healing salves. There is something so romantic and freeing in using the natural resources we have to bring health and healing to our bodies. But when I first embarked on my herbal studies I felt overwhelmed and didn’t think I would ever have the confidence in identifying herbs and making healing concoctions.
For anyone who is curious and wants to dip their toes in the world of natural medicine, I would encourage you to simply start by learning. Go to your local library and see what books they have on herbs, or order some beginner’s books on Amazon. Also, there are sites like Herbal Academy that offer online herb courses that let you work at your own pace. I have taken the Herbal Materia Medica Course and the Introductory Herbal Course and they have both been fantastic. There are also many wonderful and inspiring herbalists on Instagram that I follow and am learning from. It’s a lovely community to be a part of.
I know that I will always continue to learn and grow on my herbal journey throughout my lifetime, but I do have some goals that I would eventually like to reach along my journey.
One of my goals and dreams is to open up my own Etsy shop where I can sell herbal products that are lovingly crafted by hand. I’d also love to write about herbalism in some capacity, whether that’s for an online or a print publication. For now I will continue to learn, grow, make my own herbal products, and blog about my experience.
I want to approach the concept of natural medicine and the art of herbalism through a Christian perspective, meaning that I want to celebrate and worship the Creator of nature and these beautiful plants, not worship the plants themselves. It saddens me that so many people see herbalism as some form of taboo. Practicing natural medicine and using the natural resources around us to make tea blends, salves, and tinctures is not taboo – it’s using the wonderful natural resources that God created for us to help bring healing to our bodies. Of course, we need not lose site of who the Great Healer is – God is the Great Physician. But just as we use western medicine (man-made medicine) when we are severely ill, we can also learn to use and appreciate the natural, holistic, God-given medicine that surrounds us in nature.
My journey to herbalism has been a beautiful, enchanting ride thus far and I look forward to sharing more of my journey here with you on my blog!