A Gift Guide for the Aspiring Herbalist (Or Anyone Interested in Herbal Medicine and Natural Living)
I remember back when I first began learning about creating my own plant medicines and taking my very first classes in herbalism. I was overwhelmed with all there was to learn and also a little scared. What if this tincture I just created wouldn't work? Or worse...what if it was actually harmful?
But, OH, was it fun! And satisfying! And empowering! The more I experimented and learned and experienced successes, the more passionate I became about learning everything I could about herbalism. That hasn't changed, even years later.
It's my hope that my articles and posts will inspire you to start or continue your journey to natural health using herbal medicines you make yourself! I can think of very few skills more worth your time to learn in this modern day and age. Or, perhaps you know a friend who would love to start their herbal journey. I'm sharing my favorite herbal things with you, in case you'd like to consider any of these wonders gifts for a friend...or yourself!
Here are some resources pertaining to being or becoming an herbalist that have helped me immensely. These are things from the large to the small, and no matter where you are on your herbal path, you'll find at least some of these useful! Enjoy!
Note: There are affiliate links scattered here and there in this post. If you click through and make any kind of purchase, I may receive a small commission at no extra cost to you.
Herbal Items Every Aspiring Herbalist (or Practicing Herbalist) Should Consider...Many Make Great Gifts!
Herbal Education: Books and Courses
Unless you are one of the fortunate ones who grew up with an elder who educated you about herbal remedies, home cures, and how to identify, forage, and use native plants, you will need to find some classes and books to help you start you on your herbal path.
My Favorite Herbal Books
The very first book I ever read about how to use herbs as medicine was Rosemary Gladstar's Herbal Medicine: A Beginner's Guide. Even though I've taken many courses over the years and read many herbal books, this is THE best one book I recommend for the beginning herbalist---and for experienced herbalists as well. I still find myself turning to this well-written, easy to read book about herbs, herbal preparations, and Rosemary's herbal experiences from well over forty years!
Another book I highly recommend for the newbie to plant medicine is Richo Cech's book, Making Plant Medicine. He clearly discusses methods for using a variety of plants, as well as dosing information.
Other favorite books include Medicinal Plants of the Mountain West and Medicinal Plants of the Desert & Canyon West, both my Michael Moore (and he has other books specific to various regions--these have been SUPER helpful); Herbal Antibiotics, Herbal Antivirals, and Sacred & Herbal Healing Beers, all by Stephan Buhner; Herbal Recipes for Vibrant Health by Rosemary Gladstar, Volume 2 of The Earthwise Herbal by Matthew Wood (I like Volume 1, as well); and the Way of Herbs by Michael Tierra.
There are so many more, too, but these are some of my favorites in my herbal library of over 50 books!
Based on my experiences with HANE (Herbal Academy of New England), I can recommend the integrity, education, combination of both art and science to provide a well-rounded herbal education.
Also, for this month only, the Herbal Academy is having a great sale on the cost of their courses! This doesn't happen often, so I hope you'll go check them out! Something just might be perfect for you or a friend or both!
Another great course, in fact the first one I ever took, was the Science and Art of Herbal Medicine, taught by Rosemary Gladstar herself, with a wonderful support team. You can take the course in print, online, or both, and I think it's a great beginning course.
Another great option is to buy a bundle of eBooks. In the Herbs & Oils Super Bundle, you can find over $800 worth of eBooks and eCourses for just $47. The Ultimate Bundles Company goes above and beyond to find excellent eBooks for their bundles, and you or an interested friend won't be disappointed! It's really the perfect way to start your natural health journey without spending a fortune.
Herbal Starter Kit from HANE
This kit provides a wonderful way to get started with herbs. The Herbal Academy has kindly packaged up all the bulk herbs beginning herbalists commonly use in this Herbal Starter Kit. It's convenient and I think it would be a great gift for the beginning herbalist!
Also, for this month, the Herbal Academy is giving away an Herbal Starter Kit! So click on over to check out the details!
Supplies (bottles, tins, Mason Jars, large jars)
If the Herbal Starter Kit is not what you're looking for, how about packaging up some supplies and bulk herbs of your choice in a cute basket? Here are some of the supplies herbalists commonly use and are great for the beginner:
Bulk herbs are another possibility for the beginning herbalist. It's fun to experiment with safe and commonly used herbs to make tea blends, tinctures, and more. To find out more about how to make an herbal tincture or how to make herbal tea blends, visit these links.
Some bulk herbs to consider are Chamomile, Lavender, Rose Petals, Nettle, Dandelion, Astragalus, Holy Basil, Elderberry, and so many more! You could bundle these in some useful and reusable cotton Muslin Bags to make them even more special!
The links in the above paragraph are all for Amazon. My favorite bulk herb store to purchase from, though, is Starwest Botanicals. They have a wide selection of different quantities you can buy, have excellent quality products, and fast shipping.
Tea Blends and Tea Supplies
It's super fun getting ready-made herbal tea blends! For a gift guide specifically for the Tea Lover in your life, click for my article.
You can buy tea blends for many medicinal purposes or just for enjoyment at Starwest Botanicals, along with accessories for making tea!
Carrier Oils for Herbal Salves
Or perhaps a homemade kit for making herbal salves? You just need some good carrier oils, organic beeswax, containers, and herbs for infusing. To find out how to make herbal infused oils, you can visit my article.
There are quite a few recipes for herbal salves on my website, such as:
How to Make Homemade Vapor Rub, for resources and more information about how to make herbal salves.
And for a great book about making lots of things using beeswax, I just love Chris Dalziel's book, The Beeswax Workshop. You can read my article for a full book review, but you might get more gift ideas here! Beeswax is wonderful!
Final Thoughts about Gifts for Aspiring Herbalists
Looking back on the above list, I realize it's fairly overwhelming. And I was actually going to add more categories, too! Honestly, if you are finding a gift for the very very beginning herbalist, I would go with one of the courses or the pre-packaged Herbal Starter Kit from HANE. It's the best way to go.
If that is not affordable (and education is expensive, I know very well), then creating a basket with a combination of Rosemary Gladstar's Medicinal Herbs, some loose leaf tea or bulk herbs, maybe a carrier oil, and supplies for tincturing, along with a pretty basket, of course would be a great alternative!
Have I left anything out? I'd love to know if you can think of something else I need to include here. Or, if you have questions about anything? Or any other ideas---I love to hear from you guys!
You might also enjoy these articles on the blog:
Hugs, Health, & Self-Reliance,
P.S. I hope you'll sign up for the newsletter if you haven't done so already! You'll never miss a thing, and you’ll get immediate access to the free Resource Library! It’s filled with eBooks, guides, checklists, and lots more and is updated weekly! Enjoy!