Herbs For Very Beginners

Back in that who are you thread, a few of you asked about herbs. What to do if you are at the very, very begining. This is not a good time to be at the very begining, because things are not exactly green and growing in most of the world. That said, here is a multi-pathed begining. I suppose you could do all of these, or any of them, or most of them, or whatever appeals to you.

1. Go outside. Get yourself a Peterson’s guide to edible plants (or check to see if there are local field guides available), and start identifying plants and their actions.

2. Click on the Mountain Rose Herbs logo over there —> and order yourself some Oatstraw, Nettles, Comfrey, Clover, and Red Raspberry Leaf. Every night before bed put a big scoop of one of these in a quart jar, cover with hot water, and put a lid on it. In the morning, drink it (this is called an infusion). Pay a lot of attention to how these plants feel in your body, and soon your body will crave them when they’re needed. This is the Susan Weed approach to things, so if it appeals to you order her Healing Wise (linked, again, over there —>) to read much more about these plants.

3. As you accumulate herbs, the local things that you gather or more exotic things that you read about and order from afar, keep track of them and keep in touch with them by having a cup of tea every night. After dinner ask yourself, “how do I feel? Am I out of balance? What do I need?” Then drink a cup of tea made with that nights herb(s) of choice.

4. Play Wildcraft! Seriously, this is the best board game I’ve ever played. It’s fun even for grown ups! On that note, the creators of Wildcraft offer several home learning kits that get rave reviews. You can order Wildcraft, sign up for the free newsletter, and check out the learning kits by clicking on the banner below.


  1. And if you’re in the general Seattle vicinity, you can take classes by the Wildcraft creator also. He teaches edible and medicinal plants at Wilderness Awareness School. I think there’s a class coming up this spring. You can check it out at http://www.wildernessawareness.org. The teacher’s name is John Gallagher, and he’s amazingly knowledgeable and quite a character.

  2. Good advice (no surprise) from one who is so in tune.

    As one who strayed from plants for a bit
    I add
    for the beginner
    walk in nature with a photo illustrated book of herbs.

    or just walk in nature and listen.

    and start admiring the dandelions- instead steam the leaves, eat em with lemon, olive oil, S&P
    and roast their roots for infusion.

  3. I’ve been reading your blog for a while now, and I just wanted to tell you that I think you’re an amazing person. I hope the road spirits continue to provide you with safety and fortune for you and yours. Live shamelessly.

  4. There’s lots of green, growing things here at the moment ;-P

    Going outside with a field guide is such a great way to learn.

  5. I’ve not visited for a little while, so I’m playing catch up–but I couldn’t have read this post at a better time! The new Mountain Rose Herbs catalogue arrived a few days ago, and I’ve been itching to buy some bulk herbs…thanks for the list!! I’m so psyched.

  6. Oh! And I received Susun Weed’s catalogue a couple of weeks ago, and I am definitely going to attend a workshop this year, if not two. I’m also saving for the ABCs of Herbalism home-study course. Wee! Look at all the good things you’re doing, lady.

    Can you receive oranges yet? 😀

  7. Pingback: Plant Love

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