Growing up on a daily feast of knowledge, both my parents teachers, two of my grandparents teachers as well, I learned the satisfaction in 'giving' knowledge to others.
William Butler Yeats said it well: “Education is not filling a bucket, but lighting a fire.”
Much like the satisfaction of watching a candle catch flame, offering welcome knowledge is a reward in itself. "Welcome' knowledge is the key. There are so many wonderful things to know in this world, when someone dearly wants herbal knowledge, where do we start?
It really depends on how they best learn, and how they will use the information.
Herbalists love our books and magazines.
Essential Herbal Magazine
Offers six issues per year contain in-depth articles, recipes, crafting instructions, wildcrafting information and herbal lore. I write for this publication from time to time, and whether you are new to herbs or an "old hand", you'll find lots to enjoy. Subscribe to Essential Herbal Magazine
Food As Medicine: The Theory and Practice of Food by Todd Caldecott, medical herbalist
This book is beyond food-fads, and a valuable resource that causes us to think for ourselves and reintroduces food as traditional art and medicine. Exploring what there is to eat, when and how to eat it and preparation tools, the guidance in this book helps us to bring about health and wholeness. It's also a scholarly feast of information and an excellent addition for the libraries of physicians, naturopaths, nutritionists, herbalists and students of these disciplines. Purchase Food As Medicine directly from the author here.
Herbal Constituents: Foundations of Phytochemistry is an excellent book by herbalist Lisa Ganora.
Fully illustrated, this is a textbook covering all of the major classes and subclasses of phytochemicals important to botanical medicine. Lisa earned a Bachelor's degree in Biology with studies in botany and chemistry, Summa cum laude, with Distinction as a University Scholar, and Distinction in Biology from the University of North Carolina, so the scholarship in this book is excellent. The author is a fascinating person, so it's manageable reading as well. It includes material on the basics of phytochemistry, solubility and extraction, synergistic interactions between phytochemicals, and an extensive glossary. If the herbalist in your life wants to go deep into the topic, this book is sure to satisfy. Purchase Herbal Constituents from the author right here.
If your herbalist is younger, or just young at heart they will surely love Medicinal Plants of North America: A Flora DelaterreTM Coloring Book by Beth Judy.
Plant sleuth Flora Delaterre has informed public radio listeners across the country about medicinal plants on the weekly program The Plant Detective produced by Montana Public Radio for years. Now, Flora presents a coloring book of black and white drawings of 14 plants by botanical illustrator DD Dowden, plus information about past and current medicinal uses of the plants; fascinating facts (from tidbits of lore to conservation status and dangerous side effects); and coloring tips for the drawings. A light, fun and informative romp with Flora herself appearing throughout the pages as she investigates the plants of the book.
If your herbalist is ready for a guide, maybe I can be of service in my distance learning program: Village Herbalist Independent Herbal Study Course. This is an 18 lesson course complete with booklets, audio CD's and personal guidance with each lesson. A hands-on course, it's designed to weave herbalism into your kitchen, garden, laundry and bath. This is intensive study of traditional and practical Herbalism, nutrition, health-promoting lifestyles, healing and aromatherapy. Although those with a background in herbalism gain much from the course, no prior herbal experience is required to enroll.
Even though there is much to learn, Antoine de Saint-Exupéry in The Little Prince cautioned on how much knowledge to offer at any one time: "Do not try to satisfy your vanity by teaching a great many things. It is enough to light a spark, if there is some good flammable stuff, it will burn."
Happy learning along the path to you and yours