Herbal Resources – many ways to learn about herbs!

Herbs are “the peoples’ medicine”. All people should have a basic knowledge of herbs. These are herbal resources I use. I hope you find them useful as well.
herbal resources

Herbal Resources on FarmHomestead

Every time I have to look something up, I write it down. That helps me remember it. But sometimes I am in a hurry and I need to focus on what I am reading, not the etymology of a word. I’ll bet you do to, so I created the herbal glossary page to help you navigate the terms you are sure to hear often… and not so often. 😉 Those are the hardest to remember! I have tried to link many words throughout the site to the glossary. I hope you find this helpful.

Herbal Resources – Herbalists we refer to again and again

Learning Herbalism

You can learn a lot with self-study, and there are a lot of free herbal resources out there that are good – here are some of our favorites!

  • Herbmentor – has radio segments, video segments, things to read and more! If you are enrolled in one of our programs, ask us how to get a free three-month trial!
  • HerbRally is a growing website with monographs, blog articles, and podcasts all produced by various herbalists in the community.
  • Henriette’s Herbal Homepage is a fabulous website with lots of resources – it’s especially good for getting information from historical sources on herbal practice in the Western tradition. Just use her search bar and you’ll get results from many historical texts, along with her own excellent blog and articles. She runs an active email discussion list as well. Dig in, there’s a ton of information here.
  • The Expanded Commission E Monographs hosted by the American Botanical Council are a great resource when you want very conservative, so-called “evidence-based” information.
  • Medical Herbalism – “A Journal for the Clinical Practitioner”, is edited by Paul Bergner. The North American Institute of Medical Herbalism is the site for his distance learning programs – his recorded classes are the best you can get.
  • The Institute for Traditional Medicine is a great resource for info on Traditional Chinese Medicine, as well as Ayurvedic and Western herbalism.
  • Tammi Sweet and Kris Miller run Heartstone Herb School, and they have a blog as well as online classes, in particular some free ones on colds and flu and liver health. Their list of free webinars is constantly growing too, so check it out! We Heartstone!
  • Wonder Botanica is the work of Rebecca Altman. Her prose is enthralling & delightful, and her herbalism is grounded & open-hearted.
  • Sam and Suchil Coffman run Herbal Medics Academy and The Human Path, and they’ve got great online courses in addition to a lot of free videos, podcasts, and now videocasts also!
  • herbcraft.org – heed the advice left to you by the previous students: “Read everything Jim McDonald has ever written. Twice.” He also has a very extensive curated list of the writings of other herbalists on various topics here.
  • The Enchanter’s Green is herbalist Kiva Rose’s website. It includes a lot of content excerpted from Plant Healer Magazine, but even better, it has years of Kiva’s monographs – just search for basically any herb and she’s very likely to have written about it in detail!
  • Northeast School of Botanical Medicine is run by 7Song, and this site includes an abundance of his handouts and class materials. Check out his blog, too!
  • The Southwest School of Botanical Medicine is the late Michael Moore’s website, with tons of useful stuff. (Michael Moore the herbalist, not Michael Moore the filmmaker.)
  • The Physiomedical Dispensatory, William Cook (1869) – This is a particularly useful example of an herbal text from the herbal physicians of the 19th century United States. Know your history!
  • Native American Ethnobotany Database, by Dan Moerman at University of Michigan.
  • Phytochemical and Ethnobotanical Databases, by James Duke at USDA Agricultural Research Service.
  • Ryan Drum is a seaweed man and long-time practitioner. He has a very quixotic selection of interesting writings! If you want to buy seaweed from the Northeast, we recommend Atlantic Holdfast for hand-harvested, high quality seaweed.
  • Rosalee’s herbal blog roll will keep you busy for a good while!
  • The American Herbalists Guild maintains a student email list which anyone can join, and we recommend that you do! No question is too “newbie” so don’t hesitate to ask for help on anything!

Would you like to grow your own herbs?

Should your herbalist be certified?

That’s a very good question. Many believe they should, many do not.

Rosemary Gladstar does not think so, and we agree. This is a quote from the article in Mother Earth News…

Gladstar believes the intentions of the guild are good but questions the paradigm they are adopting for certification. “They are emulating the model used by most of our modern world, and I don’t see that it’s worked very well,” Gladstar notes. “It’s a model that hasn’t benefited the healing community or the people choosing healers. No matter what the intentions of the guild are, once the AHG standards are in place, it will force people to either join the ranks or become renegades.”

As one of the pioneers of the U.S. herbal renaissance that took place in the 1960s, Gladstar was instrumental in bringing herbalists together for gatherings at Oregon’s Breitenbush Hot Springs, where the seeds of the idea for forming a guild of herbalists were first planted. Yet she has resisted becoming a member.

“I never joined AHG, although many of the people involved are among my closest friends,” she says. “My not joining is my way of making a statement that it’s not necessary to join an organization to practice as an herbalist. You can do this work and be effective without being sanctioned by an organization.”

Formal Herbal Education

I highly recommend “formal” herbal education.

What can herbal schools offer?

There are a number of profound herbalists who are self taught, and we praise those who take this route. However, the amount of resources available online and in libraries can be overwhelming to say the least! Studying herbalism with a school can provide a safe and guided learning environment to master your herbal skills. Herbalism schools also offer an opportunity to ask questions of educators and the chance to build community with fellow classmates.

“An ounce of practice is generally worth more than a ton of theory”
– EF Schumacher

The Ready Store
"The doctor of the future will give no medicine, but will interest his patient in the care of the human frame, in diet and in the cause and prevention of disease" ~ Thomas Jefferson