How To Add Herbs to Your Life (Step by Step)

First Things First

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So, you have decided to look into natural remedies. Good for you!

The first thing you need to do is talk to your medical professional.

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I’m not saying you need to get permission to use herbal remedies. Anyone who wants to try a more natural route is making a courageous decision to take responsibility for their well-being. I applaud this, but precautions need to be taken to ensure a smooth transition.

Although herbal remedies are generally safe when used properly, they can interact with over the counter (OTC) or pharmaceutical medications you may be taking.

If your goal is to minimize your chemical intake, you must
make your doctor aware and plan accordingly. For long-term conditions, quitting your medication cold turkey could cause you more problems. I recommend a measured step down, lowering your prescription intake while gradually increasing your herbal intake.

If you simply want to add herbal remedies to your wellness regimen, you still need to know if the herbs you want to take will benefit and compliment your current drug protocol.

Do some thorough research on herbs you can use for your specific situation. Unlike mainstream drugs, herbs can be tailored to you. Weight, diet, and lifestyle all factor in when creating an herbal regimen and preparation.

Find an Expert!

Seek out a naturopath (ND) or an herbal consultant. It is not against the rules to interview these people and keep looking. Check them out. Most of us have some level of online presence. Look into credentials and client* reviews.

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*Herbalist do not have “patients” as we are not medical doctors and cannot make any such claims. We cannot prescribe medications, but we can educate and advise you on preparations that might be of use to you.

Depending on your conditions, health history, current health status, diet, mental and emotional status and a number of other factors, your herbal options can be narrowed down to create a protocol that should benefit your quest for balance and wellness.

Herbalists will ask you a lot of questions that may not make sense. We will dive into your life and have a look around. This is because we as herbal practitioners do not prescribe a one-size pill.

We will gather as much data on you from you as we can so that we can create an herbal protocol specific to you. Mainstream medicine will do something similar, but their treatments are designed around and limited to available drugs.

They may put you on a special diet for your condition, but this is also a cookie cutter solution.

When an herbalist puts you on a protocol, we may start you with small changes. Use olive oil instead of corn oil. Use apple cider vinegar or lemon juice to help burn fat. Use rock salt or Himalayan salt instead of table salt.

Instead of coffee have a cup of mint tea. Instead of sleeping pills drink some chamomile or take a bit of Valerian root. Chew some ginger or horseradish for a sinus infection, toothache or headache. Rinse your mouth with witch hazel and tea tree oil for sore gums. Gargle apple cider vinegar for a sore throat.

Herbalists may suggest adding certain vegetables to your diet as well as spices. I say suggest because our advice does not carry the weight of a medical professional.

We’re Not In It For The Money

There is no hardcore certification for herbalists and the closest we can come to having a degree is an ND (Naturopathic Doctor) or an RH (Registered Therapist). There is also certification for Master Herbalist, but as you see, it’s not a Ph.D. There are no scholarships for studying herbs.

We do what we do because we love it. You will very rarely meet a filthy rich, millionaire herbalist. We don’t drive BMWs and live in mansions, generally speaking.

We spend our money on herbs and tools and continued training. If we travel around the world, it is so we can learn more about our craft or share information with like-minded folk.

Herbalists believe that supporting and enhancing your well being to keep your body in balance is the optimal path to continued health. We want to prevent you from getting sick in the first place.

We don’t want to make our fortune on your misfortune. Not saying that doctors do but how many MDs do you see shopping the clearance racks?

Our goal is to educate you and help you regain your balance and maintain it.

See For Yourself!

Anyway, I have spent about half my life learning about and using herbs. I am continuing my studies because no one can know it all.

At the moment I am studying at The Herbal Academy. The main reason I came here is multifold.

  • The lessons are affordable. You can pay a lump sum or break it up into monthly payments.
  • The information is gorgeously presented in an easy to follow format. I genuinely enjoy going through each one.
  • They call upon experts in herbal medicine to create a thorough, cohesive learning environment.

They do not only have lessons. They have an area called The Herbarium, which is full of herbal resources for the novice and the advanced herbalist. Besides books, they have monographs. These are individual identification pages for herbs.

Access to The Herbarium is only $45 a year. You can afford that by skipping just one dinner out.

There are also Workshops and a Store to purchase accessories for your learning journey as well as tools to forward your craft.

In addition to this, I am taking classes at Everglades University Online with the goal of earning a Bachelors in Complementary & Alternative Medicine.

I took a break, but I am heading back, and I hope to be finished and accredited by 2021 or 2022.

Another tip for the aspiring herbalist is READ.

To the right, you will see a few books I have collected and regularly study.

As I said, no one knows it all. Herbs have been in use since before humans graduated to Homo sapiens status. Some of that knowledge has been lost to modern medicine and science. People like those at The Herbal Academy are making great strides to preserve and recover this wealth of natural healing information.

Currently, there are three major schools of herbal thought and practice. The oldest is Ayurvedic medicine, which comes from India. Next is Chinese medicine, which has gained a much wider footing across the world in recent years. The last is Western medicine, originating in Europe and North America.

Other schools include Folk or Native medicine, and Eclectic medicine.

Folk medicine is based on generations of natural remedies among native peoples all over the world. Eclectic medicine is what I practice. If I believe an Ayurvedic herb combined with a Chinese herb with a dash of a Native American one could be beneficial, I’ll discuss it with you.

 

 

Many herbalists focus on just one school because there is a vast amount of knowledge in each. My life goal is to study under at least one expert in every school. I want to know as much as I can about natural healing, and this seems to be the way to achieve that.

Just One More Thing…

I am NOT a medical practitioner.

I am an Herbalist.

Everything I share here is drawn from my studies, my beliefs and my own personal experience. This is NOT a Gospel. Nothing here should be considered “medical” advice. I make no claims that I can or will treat or cure any specific disease or condition.

My goal is to educate and empower you in managing your well-being.

If you chose to explore natural remedies, do your research. Discuss your options with your physician before beginning any herbal regimen.

Until next time,

Blessings

Gwendolyn J

6 thoughts on “How To Add Herbs to Your Life (Step by Step)

  1. That’s a very interesting article, and my partner has been twisting my arm on the subject of herbs for quite some time now. I’m also pretty glad that you mentioned the dangers linked to taking herbs with over the counter options – something I wouldn’t have thought about on my own. 

    I actually take blood thinners daily for a condition, and I have done for about 4 years now. Do you know of any herbs that can supplement this process? (of course I’ll check with my doctor first!).

    1. Chris,

      In order to give a good answer, I would need to know what condition you’re taking the thinners for, which one you’re taking, and the dosage. What other medications are you taking? Have you had any side effects from your meds that are bothersome? 

      Are you allergic to anything?

      I would also need to know more about your lifestyle. Are you active? Do you watch your diet? Are you in a high-stress job? Any relationships that cause you emotional upset? 

      There are so many herbs and herbal combinations out there for heart & blood health. I would strongly suggest you schedule a consultation with a local ND or Herbal Consultant. I will warn you, this will not be like a doctor’s office visit. You may be there for a few hours, & not just waiting. 

      Your herbalist will want to know everything  have asked you and more. Be prepared to lay it all out there if you seriously want to get off the blood thinners. 

      You can get information from your doctor that would help the herbalist find a good protocol for you. 

      Thank you so much for stopping by and take care of yourself.

      Gwendolyn J

  2. Interestingly, my neighbors talked for many years about that I did not know how to help them. But here I have forwarded your site today and it means a lot to them to read. They say that you have helped them a lot and are grateful to you. Thank you, for this.

    1. Bojan,

      Thank you, and it is my pleasure. 

      It warms my heart to know this information is valuable to someone. ANd I am flattered that you passed it along to them.

      I hope they find a local herbalist who can help. If not, I will be delighted to consult with them and offer what further help I can.

      Thank you for stopping by, and take care of yourself.

      Gwendolyn J

  3. Hi Gwendolyn! I appreciate your advice to talk to our medical professional first. I first didn’t get it, “Why if herbal remedies are generally safe?” But you have stated that we need to know if the herbs we want to take will benefit and compliment our current prescription intake. And I’ll do exactly that. Thank you very much for this post!

    1. Henry,

      Excellent! The first questions I ask anyone seeking my advice is “Are you under a doctor’s care? Do they know you’re thinking of using herbal remedies?” 

      If they answer yes, I ask them what they’re taking & for what. If they don’t know, I send them back to their doctor to find out. I cannot do anything for anyone until I know what has already been done. 

      Thanks for stopping by, and take care of yourself.

      Gwendolyn J

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