Becoming Friends with Herbs
Plants and herbs are such givers. They give us our food, medicine, building material, and oxygen to name just a few of their many gifts. We as herbalists are fostering a relationship with the plants. Your herbal practice will be exponentially improved if you approach the herbs as friends or allies. Each plant has therapeutic properties, much like the skills and talents that people possess. If you understand an herb’s skills and talents, you will be better able to utilize it in your formula.
When you are buying herbs, please buy organic. Yes, they cost a little bit more, but your investment in high-quality herbs will not only improve the efficacy of your remedies, but also the condition of the soil in which the herbs were grown. Every time you buy organic, you are making a consumer decision to improve our environment and the herbal industry. There are several online herb stores, I prefer going to my local natural foods store so I can see, touch, smell and taste the herbs before I buy them.
Another consideration when purchasing your herbs is to make sure you do not buy too much so they don’t go to waste. But on the other hand, you want enough on hand so that when you need them, they are there. I recommend starting with 2-3 ounces of each herb that you are working with.
Storage and Labeling
Storage is a consideration as well. Store your herbs in a child-safe place so that young children cannot get into them. You want to place your herbs in an airtight glass jar away from direct sunlight. The sunlight will bleach them and they will lose their potency. Plastic may leach carcinogens into your herbs and you don’t want that, either.
Labeling your herbs is an absolute must. It is impossible to remember what’s inside all those jars! On the label, include the name of the herb and the date you purchased it.
Accurate record keeping is essential to a successful herb study. Soon you will be crafting and creating herbal products for your own herbal apothecary. Whether you are creating a remedy for the first time or making it again for the tenth time, keep track of it in your herb journal. Writing down your herbal ideas, products and recipes will give you a valuable reference tool. Proper record-keeping of all your products will ensure that you are able to repeat your most-loved remedies without repeating all the mistakes.
* This information is for educational purposes only. This is not intended to treat, diagnose, or cure any illness or disease. If you are concerned about your child's health seek medical care.