As herbalism becomes more and more popular, it is clear that people are looking for natural remedies to implement into their lives.
I became increasingly more interested in the body's natural abilities to heal back in early 2010 and discovered herbalism when I was working with an acupuncturist who incorporated herbal medicine into her practice. I was soon enrolled as a student of herbalism in 2012, and have been sharing my knowledge and wisdom ever since.
In today's post, I thought it was important to begin at step zero, at the starting point of how exactly to begin using plants as medicine, and share some of my helpful resources with you.
PLEASE NOTE: I am not a doctor and I am speaking purely on my own personal experience and journey towards healing naturally with all-natural wellness practices. If you have any questions about what might work best for you, please make sure you consult with a doctor before trying alternative remedies and therapies mentioned here or in any of my other blogs.
For starters, let's get a clear definition of herbal remedies: medicine made by a plant or plants.
Plants have been used to heal for centuries, and while some medicinal preparations can be very extensive, some can be super simple and easy, which is what I will focus on for this post.
So the easiest way to begin using herbal remedies is in your food.
Food is medicine should you choose to fuel your body properly, and when you incorporate plants into your cooking and meals, you have built-in remedies without any extra work!
Some examples of how you can easily incorporate more plants into your diet are:
add fresh chopped herbs into your salad- try dill or thyme for a nice dash of flavor!
mix in fresh herbs to your fave dips, soups, dressings, or morning eggs!
top off your baked potatoes, mix in with your roasted veggies, or infuse into your olive oil!
Keep it simple. Work with what you know, and build off of that. If you want to start with the common herbs, like oregano, basil, rosemary, etc., start there, and then build up your knowledge with more plants that you would like to try and work with!
Another super easy way to begin using herbal remedies is with herbal tea.
I love this method because you not only get to enjoy this medicine as a warm beverage, but the entire process of tea making can also be healing in and of itself.
For instance, if you grab a calming herbal tea like chamomile, a great herbal remedy for anxiety, the process of getting the kettle filled with water, turning on the heat to boil the water, picking out your fave mug to enjoy the tea in, the pouring of the hot water inside the mug, letting it steep inside the hot water, getting cozy somewhere to enjoy the tea...is all part of the medicine that this tea will bring, helping to ALLEVIATE that unwanted anxiety that we all experience.
The next way to begin using herbal medicine is a preferred method of mine- tinctures.
Now don't get intimidated if you don't know what tinctures are...tinctures are simply a concentrated liquid of plant matter (made from leaves, roots, bark, berries, or a combo of sorts), usually soaked in grain alcohol, for many weeks to extract the active, healing constituents of the plant(s).
Tinctures come in glass bottles with droppers and are taken orally under the tongue, making this an incredibly easy way to begin with plant medicine.
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One of my most FAVORITE herbal remedies for anxiety is a CBD blended tincture, that helps to keep my life calm and mellow, especially at bedtime. I am a proud affiliate of this company and cannot say enough great things about their CBD herbal medicine! To shop their CBD and CBD blended tinctures, click here...and save yourself 15% just by using my code, 'PLANTLOVER' at checkout.
These next two methods include absorbing herbal remedies through our LARGEST organ of the body- the skin. Absorption of medicine through the skin is a highly effective way of healing with plants, so let's talk about how.
First, you can absorb herbal remedies through baths/soaks. Carve out some self-care time and begin infusing plants into your baths, which again can be healing just with the ritual and process itself.
You can get creative and use the petals of plants, the leaves of plants, or a popular extraction of plants, essential oils. Don't rule out foot soaks, which can be easily implemented into your day to absorb medicine by the skin while relaxing and hydrating your feet.
Next would be topical absorption through balms, creams, salves, and lotions. Plants that are infused into topicals can be greatly effective when targeting specific symptoms, like headaches, muscle aches, soreness, and rashes. Lots of nontoxic beauty products enlist the help of plants for their rejuvenating effects, so don't rule out this category of herbal remedies!
Now that we've talked about WHAT kind of herbal remedies are available, let's talk about WHERE you can get these herbal medicines.
Most health food stores will have a section dedicated to herbal remedies and herbal medicine, like Whole Foods. They'll carry the whole plant and the prepared plant medicine, like tinctures, bath soaks, and topicals.
If you do not have a health food store near you, I have teamed up with my most FAVORITE bulk herb and spice shop, Mountain Rose Herbs, to deliver you a trusted source for ALL of your herbal remedy needs. Shop loose plants, prepared herbal medicine and teas, discover new recipes, and become inspired to start using more plants as medicine. As an affiliate for Mountain Rose Herbs and a loyal and satisfied customer since 2012, you can trust you are in good hands with their plants. Check out their incredible online shop here.
So there you have it, friends! A few simple and easy ways to begin using herbal remedies, with a trusted source to begin shopping your fave plants! I encourage you to dabble with different plants and different methods, to see which remedies work best for you and your lifestyle.
Plants are such wonderful allies that are so powerful when it comes to holistic healing and holistic health in general, so here's to many more herbal remedies in your future!
PS- to see some of my own herbal remedies and my own herbal medicine recipes, click here.
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