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How To Start Using Medicinal Herbs

Getting started with medicinal herbs is much more straightforward than you might think. You just have to go for it and start! Herbs can solve many simple medical issues, as well as more serious issues.

Jars of dried herbs on a counter.

You may not realize that medicinal herbs can even save your life in an emergency

Doc Jones, a licensed naturopath and veterinarian, is very passionate about using herbs. He encourages people to simply pick a few herbs and get started!

Our bodies have been created to use natural plants, and aside from a few contraindications (listed below), you don’t need to fear getting started with medicinal herbs.

Read more about the medicinal herbs I’m growing in my cottage garden, how to design a cottage garden and the herbs that can be used on both farm animals and pets.

Why Doc Jones Is So “Herb” Passionate

Doc Jones feels that over 95% of all medical issues can be solved with herbs. When he toured my herb garden, he called it a “medical paradise.” 

He shares that nearly every human ailment can be remedied with ten or less herbs (30 or less for animals)

Don’t be scared or overwhelmed to start. Pick one plant, read about it, plant it, then learn how to dehydrate herbs and turn them into salves, powders, or teas.

A great resource to start learning more about herbs is Doc Jones’ book, The Homegrown Herbalist.

A woman's hand putting dried herbs into a mortar.

It’s important to note that I am not a certified medical practitioner or an accredited veterinarian. This post is not intended to diagnose or treat but is for informational purposes only. Please contact your healthcare or animal care professional before introducing new herbal remedies into your wellness routine.

Safety Questions

Doc Jones uses the adage, “Early, often and after.” 

For example, if you think you’re coming down with a cold, at the first signs of symptoms start taking elderberry syrup, then continue taking it a few times throughout the day, and for a few days following once your symptoms have passed. Evidence supports the claim that elderberries can help shorten a cold or flu. (Source)(Source)

You do need to be careful if using herbs during pregnancy, lactation, or when combined with certain medications, so talk with a naturopath or your healthcare provider. Learn more about how to use herb medicine safely here.

Peppermint plants

Herbs to Start With

Choosing an herb shouldn’t be what holds you back from simply starting with herbal medicine. 

Try something as simple as using peppermint for tea, making an immune-boosting tea, or using this easy remedy for seasonal allergies.

Growing hops and catnip are other great options. They’re both very calming and make great teas. (Source) Grab my hops tea recipe here to help you wind down in the evening. (Source)

A woman reaching for herbal oils in a cupboard.

Dosing and Dosages

There are many ways to use herbs, whether as a tea, powder, or tincture. Some methods may be more effective, but the point is to get herbs into your body. 

You can even put some catnip straight into your mouth and chew it for a calming effect. Far too often, we complicate the process which paralyzes us from even beginning. You can learn how to dry herbs here.

  • Tea – place your fresh or dried herbs in a tea bag or a strainer and steep in hot water.
  • Powder – dry your fresh herbs, then grind them into a powder to be used.
  • Tincture – steep your fresh herbs in alcohol, strain them, then use as needed.

It can be that simple. The rule of thumb for actual dosing is to use one teaspoon of a powdered herb and twice as much for a fresh herb.

Jars of dried herbs on a counter.

Where to Buy Herbs and Tinctures

If you’re not already growing them yourself, you can purchase herbs and tinctures directly from Doc Jones’ website, Homegrown Herbalist.

This is a great way to get started, learn about the herbs, and build up your herbal medicine cabinet. Then, start implementing and growing those specific herbs you reach for time and time again in your own garden.

Growing herbs is, in my opinion, one of the best ways to learn about herbs and actually start using them.

Where to Find Doc Jones

For more information on Doc Jones or the School of Botanical Medicine, visit the links below.

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