So, being the crazy person that I am (and being absolutely obsessed with learning) I've decided to embark on another learning adventure. Thankfully this will be nowhere near as expensive as my MBA was.
I am going to start Sage Mountain's home study course (found here). It was designed by Rosemary Gladstar who is one of the co-founders of Traditional Medicinals. I did a bit of research on the different home study/correspondence courses and I liked both Rosemary's personality and way of approaching herbalism and the price of her course. I realize that she is mostly retired at this point, but knowing that she designed the course and it's being run by those she has taught is good enough for me.
I started by buying the first lesson to see how I liked it. I have to say, I am very very impressed by the course. I think I may end up putting more effort into this than I did any of my MBA courses. There is graded homework at the end of every lesson and it actually take some thinking and requires going out and working with the plants. She has you put together a book (or binder) of herbs you research and you are required to try every one. I love this as I agree with her that you can only really get to know the personality of a herb by trying it yourself. Too bad drugs are too dangerous for doctors to be required to do the same!
I ordered my resource books and they are really great. My favorite hands down is the two volume A Modern Herbal. Back to Eden is pretty out there and the herb section is a little small, but still informative. I asked my darling husband for Weeds of the Northeast for mother's day because I'm a huge dork, and because it's the best book for vegetative ID of a wide variety of "commercially significant weeds" (read: agricultural pests).
I have not had practically any time to work on my homework for the course so far. I have started a first draft of my introductory letter but can't decide what part of my life to focus on. I have written up the first two herbs for my notebook, but haven't finished either because I need to ask what I herbs I can try while nursing and which I should avoid. I did, however, purchase the herbs I need to try; so, I guess that's something.
I've also recently started drinking nourishing herbal infusions every day. I decided to start with Nettle since it's supposed to help increase your daily stamina and that's something no mother of two young children can ever have enough of. Today was my third day drinking nettle which I have decided tastes a bit like what I imagine gym socks worn by fish might taste like. I absolutely love nettle soup, so I'm pretty sure it's just the strength of the infusion that's putting me off. It's also much better iced but I don't think honey helps at all.
Once I've done six days of nettle I'll do one of Linden (as a treat) and then six days of oatstraw. I'm hoping that the oatstraw with it's higher silica content will help my joints, but we'll have to wait and see. After three days I have not noticed an increase in energy from the nettle, but it really hasn't been nearly long enough to notice a change and I also have not managed to kick my coffee habit and that will make it harder to determine nettle's effect on my energy levels. On a positive note, the herbal coffee I ordered from Mountain Rose Herbs tastes like chocolate peanut butter to me. I think they were trying for a coffeeish flavor, but yay chocolate peanut butter!
Well I think that's a fairly substantial post even though I didn't manage to add any pictures. Maybe if I'm feeling up to it tomorrow I'll do a step-by-step of making an herbal infusion or something. Right now I just really need sleep.