herbalist in training
i don’t know what it is about herbalism that initially appealed to me. maybe it was the resourcefulness, learning about the plants already growing around you, what medicinal properties they have, how plants can help heal your body. maybe it’s that i didn’t have a garden and the idea of wildcrafting and foraging seemed really accessible (also, free!!!). i think a combination of all these things, but when a friend referred me to some local herbalism workshops, i got really into them.
so much so that i decided to enroll in my first herbalism course, which i took online from the herbal academy over the past year and have just recently earned my introductory certificate last month. i never grew up with anyone teaching me about gardening, cooking, plants, or anything like that (however, i do know how to knit a scarf and sew my own clothes, so there’s that!). self-sufficiency, frugality and resourcefulness are all topics that heavily call to me… and i like a challenge.
so even if i have to teach myself, i am on the road to herbal and plant knowledge. courses are also a great way to test the waters; just see how it goes and if it sparks anything deeper inside.
going to the workshops was a great companion and meeting my other “herbie homies” in the area.
an important area of my studies was creating a materia medica: essentially, a plant journal with extensive notes on each species to record my experiences with a plant as i get to know it more. i love that this sort of thing is so much a journey.
when you study herbs and plant life, you notice that when you go out on walks in the countryside, your eyes which used to be looking around you are now glued to the ground! but it’s made walks so much more fun. like a treasure hunt every time.
i’ve made some cool crafts so far – one tincture, two healing salves (with assistance) which i use all the time, several tea blends (sort of my jam), several infused oils, lots of dandelion leaf salads and nettle infusions. it’s amazing the healthful plants you can find just growing out in the wild that you can gather (respectfully) instead of buy. that is something i absolutely love.
my newest creation – this spring weedy tea blend contains all sorts of healthful herbs that is perfect for this time of year – very detoxifying and also helps with spring allergies thanks to the stinging nettle leaf and its antihistamine properties. this is my second herbal tea blend i’ve made, but already i feel like this may be my calling/side project. what do you think? would you ever considering purchasing tea (from moi) containing wild herbs from the czech countryside? (love how the red clover petals add a bit of color to the otherwise several shades of green mix)
but now, a new leaf has turned over (pun sort of intended) for my plant journey as this spring, i have use of my very own garden plot, as i mentioned in the last post. i told myself that, if i make it through all the visa stress from last year unscathed and get to continue to live here, i want to get an allotment or plot of some kind. although allotment hasn’t worked out yet (‘cause boy, those things are in large demand!), i’ve got my own little space nearby that i can go to and work on whenever i want. that is huge for me! after years and years of mostly unsuccessful container gardening (no thanks to a lack of sunlight and aphids), i’m in the slightly bigger leagues now.
we’ll see how that pans out! after all, i have a lot to learn, but the best way to learn is simply to do it. no one learned anything just talking about it from the comfort of an armchair.
do you do any planting or gardening? would you like to see more content about herbs and plants on adventurings?