Herbalism starts with First Aid.
A personal journey into herbalism can start in many ways, some search out help with chronic conditions, some grow up in a home that use herbs for health. My journey started at my mother's best friend's house and first aid. This house was always full of children and home cooked meals from the garden! It was also filled with adventures and accidents!
This is how I first discovered the power of plants. Many a cut and cold where healed through the use of the plants growing all around us. It wasn't until adulthood, that I realized plants can do so much more than just heal an accidental wound.
Without a first aid beginning, I may never have fallen in love with herbs as I have.
How did you stumble upon using herbs as medicine? Are you still struggling to figure out how to incorporate herbs into your everyday life? Do you forget that you have an herb for that? In the kitchen or out in nature, with or without your first aid kit, there are many ways to deal with first aid needs using herbs. This is also a wonderful way to begin a relationship with herbs.
We like instant gratification in today's world. When dealing with chronic illnesses you rarely see automatic relief whether using herbs or pharmaceuticals. This can be defeating to someone new to herbs. But if you slap a piece of comfrey on a fresh bruise, boy howdy, you'll believe in the power of plants!
ALL THE SITUATIONS AND OCCASIONS!
There are different levels of situations out there that require care and in most of these situations herbs can be used. It's just a matter of knowing what to use, having it on hand and remembering to use it. In some situations you can take the time do do some research but in others immediate care is needed.
For instance, if your child has ear pain, you have a little bit of time to do some research on ways to treat it. You have a bit of time to mix up some garlic oil and then you can use it.
If you get stung by a wasp you don't want to have to look that up, you want something to stop the sting now!
If you're dealing with a chronic illness you need to spend a lot of time researching and trying things out, discussing the process with your health care provider and working through all the steps.
If you're dealing with the common cold you have options! You can take time to do a little research. While there are many remedies you can whip up rather quickly, there are also some powerful remedies that take some time to brew and you'll be happy once you have them on hand in a pinch.
THE CARE IS ABOUT MORE THAN JUST THE HERBS!
In all of the above situations and many other first aid occasions, the care you will take is about more than just the herbs. It's about the steps you take before and after applying the herbs. Basic first aid skills are important. Herbs just help pack a little extra punch or give you options beyond over the counter solutions. Because of the house I was raised in and my profession, many of these come natural to me, then again sometimes I freeze.
When you are hit with pain, shock and other feelings that come with an accident, it is so easy to forget all you know if you are not well practiced in the situation.
SO WHAT DO YOU DO?
You educate yourself! You learn the basics. You practice. No you don't have to have an injured person to practice! If you set up a system that works well for you and you remind yourself of it often you'll remember it in a situation where you have to think quickly.
Hang some helpful tips on your refrigerator where you can see them. Glance at it often to remind yourself it's there.
When something comes up (that isn't emergent) and you're thinking about getting lost in Google land, remind yourself you've already got references at your finger tips. Take some time to make a remedy ahead of time for instances like cold and flu season or bug bite season (also known as summer.) You'll be so excited to try the remedies you'll be begging to hear a sneeze.
Look around when you're in the kitchen or outdoors. Observe the herbs that are literally at your finger tips and remind yourself what they can be used for.
Get excited about how amazing herbs are and just keep learning!
THIS IS JUST A STEPPING STONE!
I stumbled in to herbalism one scratch at a time. As my children have grown and as I've aged, herbs have become a huge part of our health. I am still free of chronic conditions but we rarely miss a cold and flu season. My parents are also ever ready guinea pigs, not to mention the rest of our surrounding community. Learning the basics and finding trust worthy sources to learn (and purchase) from, has made using herbalism beyond just first aid much easier.
When you trust what you are doing you are more willing to stick with the process until you achieve success.
Seeing is believing and using herbs in first aid allows you to really see and trust their power.
YOUR FIRST STONE!
I've created a resource for you! I believe if I had not seen herbs work in first aid, I would not have jumped in. That's just the person I was... me of little faith. But because I have seen them work in this manner and I've learned when in the process of first aid care to use the herbs, I'm able to use them to the best of their ability.
The book "Common Herbal First Aid" that I have created, walks you through common first aid accidents that can happen at home or away. We discuss cold and flu season along with cuts and burns and much more.
I walk you through the steps of how to care for the ailments and when to implement the herbal remedies and for how long. I give tips on where to find the herbs if you are without your first aid kit. And as a bonus there is a printable portion that you can hang on your fridge and place in a travel first aid kit.
I created this because I want others to see the power of plants in the way I have. I want you to get excited about using herbs. I want you to feel confident in your ability to handle basic first aid accidents at home. And hopefully this will lead you to a deeper journey into herbalism!