How Did You Get Interested in Herbal Medicines?

andrea745 Posts: 89 ✭✭✭
edited November 2020 in Making Herbal Medicine

Dear Community, I wanted to start this discussion because many of us get interested in herbal medicines after experiencing some health issues ourselves and being frustrated with the standard western allopathic treatment. I for one, had many health challenges in the last 40 years starting with panic attacks and anxiety, then moving into gut issues, hormonal issues and chronic pain. My empowering story started with yoga 30 years ago, advanced into nutrition, eventually into essential oils, trauma release practices and now herbal medicines. I did not love every minute of my journey, but am so thankful for my health issues for leading me to such beautiful ways of empowering myself and others to health. I would love to hear some of your stories on how you got involved. I am just beginning my understanding of herbs, so I am looking forward to learning from so many in this community. Namaste, Andrea Trank


  • Nicoleburba
    Nicoleburba Posts: 58 ✭✭✭

    I received Marjory's email offering Herbal Medicine course online. I loved the course. Started making nurishing herbal infusions, tinctures which surprisingly worked. Now, I am taking all the herbal medicine courses on grownetwork. Basically, once you start, it is impossible to stop. When outside, I notice medicinal herbs growing around. I never paid attention to them before.

  • annebeloncik
    annebeloncik Posts: 62 ✭✭✭

    Kind of a next logical step for me... I have endometriosis and went gluten free in 2009 when prescription ibuprofen and naproxen stopped controlling the pain. Lots of GF folks are of course also into natural foods and non-conventional medicine, so I became curious and open even then. My mom got me into essential oils about 5 years ago, and the overwhelming majority of oils and supplements I use are for anxiety, sleep, and issues related to my endo/ovarian cysts/general effed-up hormones. I also have been really hoping to get off BP meds and have read a lot about herbs to help regulate blood pressure (I have come to seriously adore hibiscus tea!).

  • JodieDownUnder
    JodieDownUnder Posts: 1,483 admin

    @andrea745 I'm not sure why I've always had an alternative slant on health. When I was in my early 20's, I suffered a severe bout of tennis elbow. Went to my GP, he suggested a steroid injection. My reaction was NO WAY. I ended up going to an acupuncture provider and in 2 treatments was cured, much to my delight. That was in the early 80's in country Australia. From then on I was convinced, alternative medicine was a positive option. Chiropractic/acupuncture treatment, lead me to pain relief without pharmaceutical intervention or surgery. In more recent times, my alternative thoughts have lead me to a more plant based diet and then to herbal therapies. I now try to grow what I can to supplement my diet and produce my own medicines. I have never felt better. Thankyou for starting this wonderful discussion.

  • herbantherapy
    herbantherapy Posts: 453 ✭✭✭✭

    I started being interested in herbal medicine in 3 rd grade when I began reading The Little House on the Prairie series. I was fascinated that these pioneers could care for themselves without stores or doctors (usually). Then in 8th grade while recovering from spinal surgery I read the Clan of the Cave Bear series and was completely hooked. I began reading every Native American fiction or fact book I could find and memorized folklore and Celtic spells with herbs. At 22 I was a fitness instructor teaching nutrition classes and a Doula who was trying desperately to get pregnant. I was never successful at that but I learned a lot about the body and herbs to support the body in my journey. Then I became a manager for an herb shop ran by an herbalist and had so much fun learning and teaching and applying all the herbs!!! After that I got my degree in horticulture and moved into the garden.

    Now I make medicines for my mom, sister, husband and myself. I grow 90% of the herbs I need for these medicines.

  • ltwickey
    ltwickey Posts: 369 ✭✭✭

    I became a registered nurse over 20 years ago and a Nurse Practitioner over 15 years ago. While I love, love, love my profession, I found some things lacking. Having a strong native american background, I turned to my elders and starting asking a lot of questions.

    What I learned turned my life and my practice around! Using the glorious gifts our earth has to offer to heal and protect ourselves is astonishing!

    I started with teas and moved into actual medicinal products like ointments/tinctures/poultices/etc.

    Can't imagine my life without these products now! I use my homemade products on friends and family and in my practice I have educational discussions with my patients and introduce them to herbal teas!

  • andrea745
    andrea745 Posts: 89 ✭✭✭

    This is such a wonderful way to learn about you all. I love all of your reasons and resonate with so many of them. I became very disappointed in western medicine and in our food industry. I am so glad there are more and more of us who are embracing this more natural healing way of life. It is so good for us and our beautiful planet. A funny story @herbantherapy I loved the show Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman and kind of feel like her these days lol. Keep this great conversation going. X0X0

  • Desiree
    Desiree Posts: 255 ✭✭✭

    My deeper dive into herbal medicine came about mainly because of a dislike for pharmaceuticals with ungodly sounding side effects (they really shouldn't be advertising on TV).

    I have always been a little weird about medicine/doctors in general as far back as I can remember. I am generally healthy and only seek a doctor when it is absolutely necessary. I remember having to get stitches when I was about 11 and then my dad taught me about butterfly bandages and wound cleaning/care. Most lacerations I take care of myself unless it is too big/deep or there is the potential for a broken bone involved that I cannot see. Now that I have been taught more about the herbal poultices, infections are a thing of the past.

    My very first plant ally was plantain and discovered after stepping on a bumble bee. My plant book led me to it when I was looking for help. I love plantain! I have learned to add plants into my diet as well. I think as a child I learned what I could eat wild, but lost it for a while as I grew up.

    Over the years I have made many new friends in my environment that seem to make themselves known just as I am discovering I need them. This year it is yarrow. I have more yarrow than I have ever seen so I will be finding what I need it for soon I am sure. Some recent reading has me intrigued on it's bountiful properties.

    I try my best to use what I can find right at hand because just as this pandemic has shown us, we can't rely on being able to get an herbal shipment. An herbalist I was listening to recently said that the plants in your environment are there to answer the needs of your environment. While the exotics are nice and I may occasionally purchase an herb I cannot grow/find, I want the core of my medicine chest to be plants I know I can get when I need them. Seasons come and go and each one has it's time for harvest. Being in tune and in touch with their cycles is medicine in and of itself.

  • lmrebert
    lmrebert Posts: 363 ✭✭✭✭

    Great topic! Love reading all the ways people come to natural side of health!

    As a nurse, I started to take note of how people don't really get "well" in modern medicine. Drugs, chemo, no true nutritional advise, no real connection to patients, rushed 10 minute time slots and band aids. I also began to question the obvious push to mass va$$inate children and the elderly, and the effects that has had on these patients. Then they began to inquire and push employees through discomfort, peer pressure, and alienation to also be va$$inated. I've watched health decline and paternalism become the norm. We are pretty good at emergency medicine. If you're in a big old car accident we do pretty good at saving lives, but for all else, no not so much.

    I started educating myself on medications like Motrin and statins etc finding that we are creating more problems than we already deal with.

    The first real ah ha moment was when my daughter whom wanted 12 children found herself having issues getting and sustaining pregnancies. After a visit to the doctors, she found her thyroid was "slightly" low, the the doc's response was "its not low enough to put you on meds, and that's not why you lost your pregnancy or are having trouble getting pregnant". That really got me thinking, are they just waiting until it IS bad enough, so then what? they're just going to put her on meds? She and I did research, she supplemented and got pregnant and sustained the pregnancy. Her thyroid is now functioning normal again.

    I started to think about what we used to do correctly and what changed and how can we get back to that now?

    I also watched the truth about cancer series and that was a real eye opener, which confirmed all that I had thought and felt about the industry I work in.

    My father was a great example to me that if someone else can make or do something, I can learn how to do it too. I started planting food and herbs/medicinals and making my own medicines and personal care products and have never looked back!

  • stephanie447
    stephanie447 Posts: 404 ✭✭✭

    I started learning about herbalism in my Ayurveda training. I had used herbs before - some Chinese herbs from various acupuncturists - but actually didn't have a great experience with them after an acute illness hit me a few years ago that damaged my nervous system. My system was very sensitive and at first I wasn't getting a good response from herbs. Then I started working with an Ayurvedic Practitioner and got a better response. I feel more comfortable taking herbs now and have seen results in recommending them to clients.

  • andrea745
    andrea745 Posts: 89 ✭✭✭

    I am doing some Ayurvedic training as well. I have been a yoga teacher for awhile. I would love to chat more with you @stephanie447 if you would like to connect.

  • andrea745
    andrea745 Posts: 89 ✭✭✭

    I am doing some Ayurvedic training as well. I have been a yoga teacher for awhile. I would love to chat more with you @stephanie447 if you would like to connect.