The past two months, I've been lucky enough to be a part of these beautiful gatherings of local folks coming together to learn, an...

DIY Community Herbal Hour

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The past two months, I've been lucky enough to be a part of these beautiful gatherings of local folks coming together to learn, and creating community in the process. 

"It's amazing how much more we learn together, than if each of us was doing this research separately!" said one of the last Herbal Hour's community members.

Several of you have told me how much you wished you could be here for Herbal Hour, but you live too far away. I feel like it's such a great learning tool, I want to share with you how you can start your own. It totally goes along with my mission to help you empower yourself with your own healthcare.

We've decided to have Herbal Hour once per month on a weeknight from 6:30-8:30. I pick one herb every time. This allows us to learn that one plant pretty intimately. It's great to pick an herb that is currently available to wildcraft for show and tell. (It's amazing how many are still around during winter, especially roots, twigs, and hardy weeds.) We all introduce ourselves and tell what our current favorite herb or plant is. That really helps to inspire community. 

Next, I offer a short teaching on the botany of the particular herb we're talking about. If you don't have anyone in your group who can talk about this, it can be something you can research together. The book "Botany in a Day," is my current favorite botany book and great for this purpose. Then, the basic gist is for everyone to research a different resource. If no one in your group has these resources, you could research online or go to a library and use their resources. If you're looking to add to your library, you can find some of my favorite books at the bottom of the pages of my website.

In our group, we taste each herb. For the previous two herbs, pine and sassafras, I made tea out of each, either infused (steeped) and/or decocted (simmered) for different amounts of time. Then, we tasted both and talked about which was our preference and why, and the different qualities we tasted in the tea. That gives us hints about how they work.

We wrote down what we found in our Herbal Materia Medica form that I created and printed out for everyone. I'll be including mine as a free download in the next blog post, or you can make your own. The most important part: we made sure we left enough time at the end of the gathering to come back together and share our research, so each of us got the benefit of all of the resources. Make sure to record which resources you used, in case you want to come back to them later. 

I hope this inspires you to start your own Community Herbal Hour. It's a great way to support each other in our learning and make awesome new plant-loving friends. Leave a comment and let me know how yours goes and any questions you have about starting your group.


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