When I was asked as a young adult what I wanted to do with my life, I confidently replied, “I don’t know what I want to do, but I certainly know what I don’t want to do…be a teacher or go into the medical field!”
And here I sit, some 20 years later, a homeschooling mother and an herbalist. Sometimes the journey we are on takes an unexpected turn in the road and we find ourselves in a place we never dreamed of being. While I still wouldn’t want to teach in a school or practice medicine in a hospital, the Lord has brought me on a path of both teaching and healing that could have only been found in Him.
I became interested in herbs almost 10 years ago when a friend suggested I use garlic capsules to treat one of my children’s minor illness. After experiencing positive results, I was drawn to the wonder of herbs. I began to study and research and be continually amazed at how awe-inspiring the plant world truly is.
God has provided through His creation, plants that can be used to heal and nourish our bodies. He has given us plants to ease our pain, plants to bind up wounds, and plants to calm our nerves. Until we leave this world and experience true healing, He has given us a gift to ease the burdens on our earthly bodies.
Over the years, I have continued to study and learn more about herbs and their uses (*see below for my herbal education). Learning herbal medicine is both an art and a science. It can be tempting to read the herbals and the data, plug in the patient information, and pick out the remedy. Thankfully, herbalism is so much more than that.
Yes, the scientific side can be validating to those that feel they need validation. We can marvel at how perfectly the Lord orchestrated each detail in the plant to perfectly align with the needs of mankind.
The the art of herbalism, however, is where we can experience the fullness of this gift. Herbs delight our senses as we look on their beauty, take in the sweet aroma, feel their texture, and taste their goodness. We can put our hands into the soil and cultivate their growth. We can drink in the steaming teas and we are aware of their actions on our body.
Becoming an herbalist is more than just reading a book and learning which herbs fix which problem. If that were the case, we would be little more than allopathic doctors, exchanging synthetic drugs for their botanical counterparts. And honestly, this does happen.
Herbalism and Other Worldviews
But herbalism has so much more to offer. Even the process of growing and harvesting the plants and preparing the herb medicine has great therapeutic benefits. Herbal medicine is a holistic approach to stewarding the body.
Several years ago, I was a member of an herbal membership site and I enjoyed the learning immensely. Many prominent herbalist taught lessons on the site and the information was always very deep and very thorough.
However, there was one aspect of the site that always bothered me. Most of the teachers and members on the site were not Christians. Many of their views of herbalism was based on evolutionary processes and pagan spiritualism.
I had to weed through each lesson trying to decipher which worldview it was based on and if it lined up with my Christian worldview or not. And if not, was there anything salvageable that I could take with me from the lesson?
It was during this time that I longed to create a site that would provide deep, meaningful herbal education with a Christian worldview and fellowship. I wanted a place to share herbal knowledge with other like-minded brothers and sisters. I wanted to create a forum where we could discuss herbalism from a distinctly Christian perspective.
Above all, I wanted to create a site that would glorify the Creator with an attitude of deep appreciation for the gifts He has bestowed upon us.
It is my prayer that The Christian Herbal will be that place.
The Christian Herbal is here to provide a Christian herbal education to everyone who has a desire to learn: from the young mom just getting started to the wiser woman that has been studying for years. We are here to encourage one another on our path to herbal learning. We are here to learn how to be the hands and feet of Jesus in a hurt and dying world. Above all, we are here to bring glory to the Creator of all!
After being asked countless times about my herbal education, I have decided to include it here. I have taken several herbal classes, but I have gained just as much herbal knowledge from studying on my own. If you are new to herbalism and aren’t able to take a class, please don’t discount studying on your own. There is a ton of great herbal information online or through books.
Classes I have taken:
Herbal Medicine for Women, Clinical Herbalist Course by Aviva Romm
Naturally Healthy, Community Herbalist Course by Shonda Parker
Anatomy and Physiology for Herbalists, by Tammi Sweet
Herbal Constituents, by Lisa Ganora
Herbmentor classes by Heather Nic an Fhleisdeir, Rosalee de la Foret, Jim McDonald, 7Song