When first getting started with herbs and teas, many people come to the apothecary feeling overwhelmed with all of the different herbs and not knowing where to start. In my experience, not knowing where to begin is the best place to start because there is so much potential to learn, explore, and try new herbs to see what works best for you.
Like exercise, there is not just one activity that suits all as there is not just one herb that helps with one symptom. My greatest advice to anyone wanting to start exploring the world of herbs is to begin with 3 that you intuitively feel called to. You would be amazed by how much integrating just 3 herbs to your daily intake will shape and influence your life experiences. When first working with herbs, like some of the best relationships, it takes time and patience to foster a bond and truly appreciate the connection.
The first 3 herbs I started working with were Burdock, Gingko, and Tumeric. After coming off hormonal birth control after ten years, my body spiraled and I had severe acne that constantly left me feeling insecure about my skin and wanting to cover it up with makeup (in essence, more makeup just made my skin more irritated). And in the beginning of my herbal journey, since I was not aware of the HUGE impact that hormones, stress (cortisol) and emotional suppression had on the skin and bodily functions, I began researching herbs to help with my surface level symptoms. I discovered my longtime friend, Burdock. Burdock root is a blood cleanser, actually one of the BEST blood cleansing herbs, and it also helps with the digestive tract, kidneys, and liver- all of which I was not consciously aware of were actually poorly functioning in my body and later found out through intuitive readings. When first implementing burdock in my morning tea, I usually steeped the root into a softer tea blend like chamomile and citrus herbs so it was easier to drink, because this root is very bitter and pungent.
Gingko was discovered during my research for herbs to help ease brain fog and increase my mental functions. I came across gingko in a tincture blend at a local health food store that was called “Brain & Memory.” This blend had other amazing brain supporting herbs like gotu kola, rosemary, and skullcap, and it was easy to take. A tincture is an alcohol derived liquid tonic that is easily added to a drink or water through a dropper, and is a more desirable option for intaking herbs because it requires less effort (tea brewing) and can be mixed into any beverage of your desire! If you aren’t keen on the taste of alcohol, some brands sell vegetable glycerin versions as well, which can be great for kids!
Turmeric, a flowering plant that is a part of the ginger family, is an amazing spice to be implementing in many diets as it is full of antioxidants and anti-inflammatory properties. This spice is my favorite to add to potato dishes, golden milks teas, and the most popular version... curry! I have even used this herb as an additive to toothpaste as it helps with oral health, but i must warn you, this yellow/orange herb STAINS. I advise anyone working with turmeric to be mindful of their clothes and kitchen bowls, spoons, and more.
So, as you can see these were 3 simple ways that I began implementing herbs into my lifestyle, one being a tea, one as a tincture, and one as a spice to add in meals! With that being said, you can incorporate any 3 herbs to start, and I always encourage anyone to do their own research, find holistic herbal books to get them started, or connect with a certified herbalist! Stay tuned for next week's blog on my Herbal Love Affair…