I am very interested in herbalism, but I really don't have the money for an herbalism class, so I was wondering if anybody knows of any really good books that I could get to teach me as much as possible about herbalism. I am interested in learning what all of the different herbs are used for, what herbs are good for different ailments of the body as well as the mind and spiritually. I am also interested in learning about which herbs can cleanse the chakras and help your emotions. I also would like for the book to have different recipes for these things as well as how to use them. I have found many interesting recipes and articles online about which herbs are good for some of these things, but they do not tell how to use them, for example burning the herbs around the person that needs the healing or having the person sprinkle some of this herb on food and actually eating the herb, etc. I know many herbs are poisonous, and I wouldn't want to use something that would poisen me or someone else. Any help would be greatly appreciated. Thanks in advance.


-Lady Sapphire

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Herbalism is a really wide umbrella. It's hard to find a single book to cover the whole thing. I would say that a good start is Scott Cunningham books. He has Magical Herbalism and The Complete Book of Incense, Oils & Brews . Another good one is Jude's Herbal Home Remedies. I also have two books titled, "Mastering Herbalism" by two different authors. Also, gardening books, whether magical gardening or not are great! I also have a couple books that surround this subject, Garden Witchery and Sacred Land . I list so many because it would be hard to find a single book that covers it all: what to grow, how to grow it, how to harvest it, how to treat it/use it, what plant is good for what purposes (magical and non), how to store them, and recipes. I really wish I could remember the title of a book I had that was about how to create using plants, like extracting oils, and making lotions and tinctures...argh.

You might also want to consider where you live. There are usually books about local plant life as well. Some thing will grow naturally (or invasively) all over the place and easily. Other plants might not like your climate. If you don't know any groups locally, maybe check your closest library. I also go to events that are held by the town that has vendors, 'cause sometimes the people who write these books or use them will be there.
Anything from Scott Cunningham (he does alot of herbal type things), Rosemary Gladstar is an herbalist and is awesome so her books are right on too, Ellen Dugan, GREAT author but I don't know if she is an offical herbalist, Gosh there are so many I couldn't tell you. I have heard Back to Eden is an awesome book.

Witch school Classes.
Ill go into the WSI class system and see what is offered there. I know Aromatherapy is offered.
Classes that WSI offer:
Animal Herbalism (though for animals it will help you learn individual herbs and properties).
Introduction Aromatherapy (smells)
Introduction to The Healing Arts Healing techniques
Basic Aromatherapy

Currently there is not an herbal teacher here. They are working on this. Hopefully Order of Herbal Studies will be back soon (working on this).

I have always loved herbs and things. I created an Herbal BOS that I handwrote all the herbs in them. I come across herbs and I write about them then put them in my book. Its a three ring binder. I have some forms that I use if you would like to get them that is fine with me. Just let me know.

I have a couple of good books: "The real witches kitchen" by Kate West, "The ultimate book of herbs - the definitive A-Z of herbs and how to grow and use them", this is a readers digest book but their consultant is Deni Bown. Another good one: "The complete book of incense, oils and brews" by Scott Cunningham :) Hope these help - I dont think any were really expensive, and they are by far my favs ;) between them they cover all the bits you are looking for I believe - Cunningham lets you know what you can and cant eat too if you fancied giving different mixes a try :) I think the readers digest is actually my fav though as it has so much detail on a huge list of herbs, and it incorporates them into food, medicinal, beauty and craft/decorative stuff too :)

Jade )0(
I have a Readers Digest one but some of the folklore properties are not accurate but it is a nice book. I would love to get my hands on the Ultimate book of herbs. I have one that is really awesome, its not a pagan book but its really thorough, I had actually forgot about it. this one is very expensive so far I have found. The Herb Society of America, New Encyclopedia of Herbs & their uses. Brown, Deni. I have to get my hands on the New Cunningham book (fairly new, I think its his personal BOS.)
Hopefully a basic class will be introduced soon. Its in the making.
I got the Ultimate Book of Herbs,while its okay I have noticed that its information on the herbs are not in great detail. It has some good information.

Now off to find The Master Book of Herbalism by Paul Beyerl

I also recommend that you get this book. The Master Book of Herbalism by Paul Beyerl.  I just got it from amazon.com and it is a fantastic book.

ISBN 0-91345-53-0

This info was helpful for me too. Thank you all :)
Witch School has a basic herbs class and will have basic herbs 102 in about 1 month..

It will be helpful and is a free class.
Cunningham's Magical Herbalism is where I started. He's more interested in the magical properties of herbs rather than medicinal. He talks a lot about preparations and has a few warnings for herbs that have toxic properties.

The only warning i can remember of the top of my head is to be cafeful with rue. a lot of recipes call for it in ointments or purification baths but it can cause rashes. Id take a bit of it and rub it in a small patch of skin in a sensitive place like the skin of your arm, just above your arm pit. if you don't react, you should be ok. I'd do that for anyone you're making a rue bath/ointment for.

My advice would be to research any herb thoroughly before you use it. Often, herbs are good in multiple uses. If the herb's normally used for cooking, chances are good that it's aright to put in someone's food. For example, I wouldn't bother making parsley incense. A lot of common edible herbs have wonderful magical and medicinal properties. I'd start there. A lot of them can be found fresh in your grocer's produce isle. I'd try to get fresh herbs, but spices, things like Cinnamon or pepper that aren't actually leafy, you can get dried.
you are correct. There are some herbs that we need to be aware of. I always use subsitutes when working with herbs that can cause rashes (if applied to the skin). Now if I am working with herbs that never touch the skin I use what it calls for.
Also,, when in doubt, you can simply make satchets (herbs wrapped in cloth). They are very simple, one of the first spells I ever performed. Chose a colored cloth that corresponds to your need and fill it with the herbs you want. Sew it up or simply tie it with ribbon. You can hang them above a bed, tuck them under a pillow, or if they are small enough, carry them with you.




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