Do you have a passion for learning about herbs and herbal remedies? Would you love to help your family, friends and community with your herbal knowledge and skills? Read on to learn how to become an herbalist so you can get started…
Why are you interested in becoming an herbalist?
Do you want to start a business selling herbs or herbal products?
Or perhaps write about herbs and herbal remedies?
Do you want to help your family, friends and community by providing a healthier, cheaper option?
Are you feeling called to the plants?
It’s important to ask yourself all of these questions and more when you are deciding to learn how to become an herbalist.
Because, honestly, being an herbalist is a calling more than a profession. No matter how much money one might make from the “job”.
My Herbal Journey
For me, it’s always there and it’s always been there. I can’t stop it…
I’m the crazy woman at a party picking plantain out of the backyard for a child with a bee sting, while the parents stare at me in confusion…
I’m the one that will suggest you eat some horseradish to clear your sinuses…
Drink raw apple cider vinegar for just about any ailment…
Or pick some random “weed” from the yard and suggest you eat it, while you stare at me in bewilderment.
I’m forever telling my husband that I’m “not of this time”…
And I’m not.
My soul rests in a place that time forgot.
I think that’s true of most people who study herbalism. We’re old souls searching for a link to the past.
And, I’ve been studying and using herbs, to some degree, for as long as I can remember.
My mother was the “have a cup of tea and go to bed if you’re sick” type and I learned early on that you don’t need to rush to the doctor or the hospital every time you have a stuffy nose or a bit of a stomach ache.
I was the kid mixing up more than mud in my mud pies. I’d pick random leaves and berries from the forest behind our house and mix them up in my little makeshift kitchen in the woods. Somehow I always knew which leaves and berries were safe and I never once got into any poisonous flora.
Through my high school years, I worked on an organic vegetable farm, that also grew a great deal of herbs and I was lucky enough to learn a ton about herbal remedies and natural solutions.
But, it wasn’t until a few serious ailments hit my immediate family, in and around 2005, that I really turned to the herbs.
Are you Already an Herbalist?
It was then that I learned I was an already an herbalist…
Perhaps not certified or registered, but still an herbalist.
And maybe you are too and you just don’t know it yet…
What exactly is an Herbalist, anyway?
According to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary, the definition of an herbalist is:
So, are you an herbalist?
Have you studied herbs?
Do you use herbal remedies to soothe your family’s ailments?
Do you grow herbs?
Forage for herbs?
If you answered yes to any of those questions, then…
You, my friend, are already an herbalist.
But, if you feel that you need to become certified or registered to truly call yourself an herbalist, keep reading…
How to Become an Herbalist
I’ve been studying herbs and herbalism for almost 20 years independently. My book shelves are packed full of books focusing on herbal remedies, medicinal plants, natural healing and gardening herbs. And I’ve read every single one of them.
But, it wasn’t until recently that I decided to really buckle down and take a professional course.
After researching courses for months and months, I finally signed up for Rosemary Gladstar’s The Science and Art of Herbalism, in early May.
And, you guys, I’m loving this course!
Maybe, when I finish and receive my certification, I’ll do a full review, but in the meantime…
One of the most important things you need to know is…there is no official certification to become an herbalist in the United States…
The certification you’re receiving only certifies that you have completed the course…it does not provide you with certification as a practicing herbalist.
In fact, despite the fact that around 80% of the developed world uses herbal medicine in practice, herbalists cannot diagnose disease, treat illness or prescribe herbal medications in the USA.
The gist of it is…no matter how many courses you might take and how many books you may read…there is no absolute way to become a practicing herbalist in the United States.
So…what do you do if you want to practice herbalism in your community?
You take a good, quality course…or two…or five…
Read a whole lotta books…
Learn as much as you can…
Practice your craft…
Start with your family and friends…
Share your knowledge with others through word of mouth, writing or video…
Keep practicing your craft…
Continue to learn…
Best Beginner Courses to Expand Your Herbal Knowledge
- Rosemary Gladstar’s The Science and Art of Herbalism
- Introductory Herbal Course from The Herbal Academy
- Herbal Immersion from Chestnut School of Herbal Medicine
My Favorite Herbal Books
- Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide – I’ve had this book for YEARS and I use it regularly, it’s packed full of information and recipes to use in your new herbal practice!
- Medicinal Herbalism by David Hoffman – This book is full of the scientific information required to practice herbalism.
- Herbal Remedies Handbook by Andrew Chevallier – This is the perfect pocket companion to keep in your bag when you’re out and about. There is tons of herbal information, dosage suggestions and more!
- Herbal Medic: A Green Beret’s Guide to Emergency Medical Preparedness and Natural First Aid by Sam Coffman – I just recently picked this book up at Tractor Supply and I’ve got to tell you, it’s quickly become a favorite! Not only does it offer a ton of herbal remedies, but it provides traditional first aid suggestions, too. I highly recommend this one!
I hope you’ve enjoyed reading this post and learning how to become an herbalist…or perhaps, that you already are an herbalist. Like I said at the beginning of this post, it’s more of a calling than a profession and I hope, if you’re feeling the call…you’ll take this journey with me.
You never know when you’ll need to know.
You might also like:
- How to Make Your Own Herbal Tea Mixes at Home
- Lemon Balm Tincture
- How to Make Lilac Infused Oil and Ways to Use It
Have an Awesome Day!
Vanessa Hamlin is the owner and founder of Food Life Design and VLHamlinDesign. With her passion for frugal living and homesteading, Vanessa loves to write about easy recipes, making money, gardening, home remedies and everything else that a good life entails! When she’s not writing for Food Life Design or creating products for VLHamlinDesign, you’ll find Vanessa reading, drawing, gardening, cooking or spending time with her family.