I never knew much about herbs. Sometimes my mom had me take St. John’s Wort when I was feeling down, but I never understood why, or could tell if it made any kind of difference. Then I found out while pregnant with my third child I was severely anemic and if I didn’t get my iron levels up I was going to be at risk of hemorrhage. The crazy thing was, I knew my iron was low at the beginning and I had been taking iron supplements for months! I switched to a different brand, then retested. No difference.
At this point I was seriously worried. My midwife suggested drinking an infusion of herbs that included nettles, red raspberry leaves, and dandelion. I chugged that stuff all. day. long. for a few weeks and had my levels tested again. They were up! It was crazy how much better my body was absorbing the herb based iron instead of the traditional pills. Ever since then I’ve started learning more and more about herbs and how they can support our well being.
Here are five reasons why you need to start learning about herbs and how to use them:
Herbs can help your body cope with and adapt to stress. Sometimes our lives can get crazy busy. We may not take the best care of ourselves, and our bodies do their best to support us. We need to give our bodies the substances and support they need so that we can continue to thrive in our busy world.
Herbs contain large amounts of necessary nutrients and minerals. Nutritional deficiencies aren’t always as dramatic as my rush to get my iron up, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t important. Some foods are more dense in nutrition than others. Herbs frequently are some of the most valuable nutritionally.
Herbs help your body fight infections. Antibiotics are an awesome aspect of modern live, but we want them to continue to be useful for years to come. This means in order to avoid antibiotic resistance we should use them wisely. Before needing to use an antibiotic, you can use herbs to support your body’s natural ability to fight infections.
Herbs can ease cold symptoms. When you are feeling sick or under the weather, drinking teas or syrups made from plants you have grown and preserved yourself can help ease the unpleasant symptoms without needing to run to a drug store.
Herbs may be the only medicine you have in an emergency situation. If you grow your own herb garden and know how to use the medicinal herbs you grow, you can help protect and care for yourself and loved ones even if there are rising healthcare costs, a lack of insurance, medicine shortages, or any kind of delivery system interruptions. If you know how to forage for herbs that grow in your area you can feel confident in knowing how to handle emergencies no matter where you are.
Where to Learn About Herbs
If you are interested in herbs or herbal medicine or have thought about learning more about it, or have considered becoming interested in herbs the Herbal Academy of New England recently launched a new resource. (I’ve been an affiliate of their for a while now and LOVE their site. It’s just so beautiful to look at AND super informative.) Their newest addition is the Herbarium. When I first heard about it I didn’t know that a herbarium is traditionally referring to a collection of dried plants used as a reference, but this is like a virtual reference guide for herbalists. There is SO much information here, it’s awesome. There are three main sections to the Herbarium, the monographs, library, and forum.
When I first logged in the very first section I went to was the monograph section and I was super excited about the different ways to search. I could sort the monographs by action, taste, ways to use, energy, or just alphabetically. I have to admit, my knowledge of herbs is so basic that I was a little overwhelmed. There’s so much information available! One of the first things I did was search for dandelions, because I’ve done some reading about them. Each monograph is full of information, uses, descriptions, even safety issues and link to scientific studies regarding the herb.
Another awesome feature of the Hebarium is the forum. The awesome thing about forums, is they give you a place to talk with people who are passionate about the things you are! That doesn’t always happen in real life. As I start learning about herbs, my family will soon be as tired of hearing me talk about them as they are my chickens. Problem solved! Go visit the Herbarium forum!
The Herbarium is a subscription service, kind of like a magazine. Every month content such as videos and articles are added into the library section.
I received a complimentary membership to the Herbarium and am an affiliate because I want to share this great resource with you. This is an excellent resource for anyone regardless of how much they know about herbalism. Even if you’ve been studying herbs for years this would make an excellent reference. It’s also a great way to connect with other herbalists. At first glance this could seem overwhelming. Even if you just browse and look at the beautiful photographs you can’t help but learn a little. If you are considering buying, it is well worth the price.
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