IF I ONLY KNEW THEN WHAT I KNOW NOW! HOW I SERIOUSLY OVER DID MY FIRST MEDICINAL HERBAL PLANT SHOPPING TRIP! AND MY MORE THAN 20 ITEM LIST FOR MY HERBAL GARDEN.
As you all will come to know, herbal plants as medicine have been in my life a long time. So it was no surprise that when I finally had space to start my own herb garden it was on! I found 20 billion medicinal herbal plant lists and their uses online. I bought a few books. I compiled a list of all the possible ailments I could need a plant for.
And then I made the shopping list!
This list had more than 20 medicinal herbal plants on it. This list had the common name and the scientific name on it. It may have had the description of some of the plants, I’m not really sure. It had tips on whether it was best to buy as a plant or if I could grow it from seed, along with whether it grew well in pots or if it was better in the ground.
It was a very informative list. When it was complete, I folded it up and tucked it in my pocket book and kept it with me always!
I referred to it any time I found plants for sale. I also found a site that sold herbal seeds and purchased what I could from them.
I remember the day I decided to explore the small farm advertised by a huge sign just outside of town stating Herbs and Vegetables for sale!
I had just recently moved back home and had never seen this sign before. I was ecstatic, to say the least. Doing a little dance in my seat, as I drove down the dirt road to explore these plants for sale!
By this time I had checked most the plants off of my list. I was in search for some rare herbs at this point. I wondered through her many greenhouses. Passing tomatoes an cucumber plants in an excited search for these herbs with very little luck!
Set way back on the edge of her property was a small green house. As I walked in I just knew I’d check off the rest of my list in this hidden gem.
I was wrong. I did find a few plants, at least one of them was on the top of my needs list, but I had reached the end of the line. Despite the 20 or more herb plants I had gathered I was still missing so many!
THIS WAS JUST THE ROCKY, BUT EXCITING BEGINNING TO MY MEDICINAL HERB GARDEN AND LOOKING BACK I LEARNED SO MUCH FROM THIS EARLY SPRING SHOPPING SPREE!
I ended up spending a lot of money and time searching for plants that I did not need.
I also did not have the time to care for, let alone learn to use most of these herbs.
In fact I really only focused on about three of the herbal plants I had purchased.
Growing certain herbs from seed is really hard, others are really easy.
I also spent a decent amount of time and money on creating a seed heating mat set up. It worked really well but I really didn’t have the time to get the seeds beyond the mat. Timing seems to be everything. Also, it’s best to buy seeds and even plants in the winter if you are ordering from a magazine or online source. Again Timing is everything. More on this in a different post.
Growing herbs in pots can be very easy but if you have a place in the ground for them you can grow a bigger supply or plant!
Choosing plants because of ailments is not the way to go about it.
Just because a book says a plant is good for a certain ailment, as you study herbs you’ll realize that using an herb is not like using a pill. One plant may have many uses and do a great job in all areas. Then there are other herbs that have only a few uses and there are other plants that can do a better job.
Also you’ll grow to learn using herbs is about more than just treating a specific ailment. But instead using herbs is about strengthening and healing the whole body.
Just picking random lists of suggested herbs from random websites is not a good way to start a plant list to study.
I ended up with a rue plant (pre-hunger games.) I’m not even sure what I thought I’d use this plant for but I learned quickly I wouldn’t be using it for much. Some people are highly sensitive to the rue plant and I happen to be one of them. While harvesting it the first time, it stung my skin and my eyes (when I accidentally rubbed them after touching the plant.) Not a fun experience.
Now this is not to say this plant may not have worked for someone else. But it helps to do your research before blowing a ton of money on a ton of plants. As I’ve moved on in my studies Rue has rarely popped up as a plant I should try out. Then again, sometimes it’s just live and learn.
Now (more years later than I realized till I did the math) very few of the plants on that list still reside in my garden,
But those that do have proven to be wonderful and will always have a place in my herbal heart! My herbal garden has also grown little by little each year. This has allowed me to get to know the plants and use them well.
I have also learned that some of the most wonderful, useful herbs don’t cost a thing!
They grow in my yard and out in the pastures and if I time it right I can bring in a wonderful harvest without any cost!
Does my story resonate with you? Is this how you started out with herbal medicine? Are you in the process of writing out or marking off your check list right now?
Chime in and let me know how your herbal journey began or how you are starting out now?
And stay tuned. Next post I’ll be giving you some guidance and tips on how to efficiently start your herbal garden and your herbal studies.
For a list of tools and resources to start cooking your herbal remedies check out below!