Perhaps one positive thing we can say has come out of this pandemic situation is a growing mainstream interest in knowing more about herbal medicines. We have seen and heard from many and sundry people who have only recently discovered the wonders of using medicinal herbs and plants to support their health. It's been amazing!
It reminds us, though, that although the internet is a great resource, it's really important with herbal medicine to be able to access trustworthy and knowledgeable resources and we wanted to share some of those with you today.
1) Books by reputable sources with great beginner information. Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner's Guide by the incredible Rosemary Gladstar is probably the best for learners at the basics level. Materia medica on several plants and lots of information about medicine making and so much more! You pretty much can't do better for a beginner list on western herbalism than Herbal Alchemy's here: https://theherbalacademy.com/herbal-books-for-beginners/
2) Have an herbalist you love and respect either online or in person? Check out their links and recommendations. Most herbalists are very thoughtful about who and what they link on their web page or verbally refer people to, so this is an easy way to find good sources of information and products. I'm a big fan of author and clinical herbalist Maria Noel Groves simply excellent links page here: https://wintergreenbotanicals.com/links/#herbsites
3) Visit/contact your local herb shops and or contact your local herbology instructors. For myself, I know it makes a big difference to have books/websites personally recommended to me and these places are also great sources for excellent books! We here at Moonrise and the wonderful Humboldt Herbals really vet our books for great information to give you all the best sources to learn from. Our book sections may not be exhaustive in every facet and modality of herbalism (that would take a massive library), but they are of great quality. Shop local when you can!
4) For many, there is no better way to learn herbalism than directly from an experienced and knowledgeable instructor. If you are able to do this where you are, we highly recommend this! Not only are you supporting someone who has put in years of study and practice, you are able to ask questions and explore most topics on a deeper level.
Herbs and plant medicines bring so much vitality and joy to life. We hope this "trend" continues so more and more people can find the old ways and paths to health and wellness!