Podcast 102: How To Learn A New Herb
As a brand new student of herbalism, you might think there are a lot of herbs to learn. As an experienced herbalist with decades of practice under your belt, you’ll DEFINITELY KNOW there are A LOT OF HERBS to learn!! That’s one of the things we like best about herbalism – there’s always more to explore, a whole world full of plant potential. Having a strategy for how to learn a new herb is helpful at every stage of your herbal journey.
We advise a multi-directional approach to this. Rather than looking for “the best” book, website, or teacher, we urge all our students to seek out multiple sources of information about every plant they study. That doesn’t just mean multiple books, it means multiple forms of knowledge, too. Direct experience with an herb – taking it daily and consistently, in lots of different forms – is just as valuable as reading a shelf of books. When you do both, you’re in a much stronger place!
Resources we mentioned in this episode:
- Henriette’s Herbal Homepage – One of the oldest & best herbalism websites on the internet.
- Practical Herbs & Practical Herbs 2 – Henriette’s books.
- A Modern Herbal by Maud Grieve – The lightly abridged free online version of this classic herbal. (Get print versions here & here.)
- The Encyclopedia of Herbal Medicine by Andrew Chevallier – A friendly beginner’s herbal with lots of pictures and lots of plants succinctly indexed.
- The Energetics of Western Herbs, vol 1 and vol 2 by Peter Holmes – Monographs with herbs sorted according to TCM energetics, but understandable to anyone with a background in energetics and the basic qualities of hot/cold, moist/dry, tense/lax.
- herb email discussion list, maintained by Henriette and low-traffic but often good quality discussions.
- American Herbalist Guild Student Group, another email discussion list worth joining.
If you’re looking to expand and deepen your knowledge of herbs, our Holistic Herbalism Materia Medica course is for you!
It includes 89 video plant profiles, along with printable monographs and quizzes to check your learning.
Dive in and get to know these herbs personally!
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Our theme music is “Wings” by Nicolai Heidlas.
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