The letter below was written by an herbalist who studied all these things I’m just passing her great message on to the world.
When I first started learning about herbalism three decades ago, it was slim pickings in the educational arena.
When I first started learning about herbalism three decades ago, it was slim pickings in the educational arena. I could only find a few herbal books at my local bookstore. Perusing the bulletin board at the health food store for herbal classes or conferences proved fruitless. Finding books, teachers, or like-minded plant people was no small chore. You see, there was no Internet. I needed to be creative and enterprising.
I desperately wanted to learn about plant identification—especially medicinals—so naturally, I became a loiterer; a lurker of botanical proportions. I would spend entire afternoons at a botanical garden, visually matching the labels to their plants, committing the herbs to memory in a tactile and tangible sense. The plants came alive! For me, putting a face with the name is still the best way to learn.
Nursery owners would give me odd looks as I spent hours prowling the herbal aisles, picking up pot after pot, reading the tags, and eventually pressing the leaves of sage, catmint, and borage to the recesses of my mind.
Not only did I loiter, but I also excelled at the art of pestering. Armed with long lists of coveted herbal books, I enticed my librarian into masterful schemes involving interlibrary loans and waitlists. I sewed a blue velvet pouch for my oversized botanical flashcards, which I pulled out at every dull turn (no cell phones to pass the time!).
These days, thankfully, it is 576 times easier to learn about medicinals. And there are still lots of free (or super cheap) ways to learn if you’re resourceful and enterprising.
Click the link below for 17 tried and true methods for free herbal learning: