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Thanks for Joining our Herbal Walks!

​To guide you into your own foraging or herbalist journey, here you will find a page full of tips for books, websites, videos, and must-reads if you also want to learn more about herbs and foraging.

It's mainly Dutch oriented.

So take a look and have fun!

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Start your own Herbal Journey
with these tips!

Step 1

What plant is this? 

If a plant (or more) draws your attention, you probably want to know what it is. You start to wonder: "what is it, is it edible, what can I do with it, is it beneficial for my health? " These days the internet offers much relief! You will want to use your smartphone for this!

 

I use a plant identification app "Pl@ntNet" and back the findings with some research in Google on the names it returns to me. You simply upload a picture and check the top hits for agreement. I sometimes also use Google Lens on my pictures. Especially with mushrooms! Also, when interested in really knowing the fine details of physical appearances of a plant, I will use one specific website "Flora van Nederland".

Tips Summary:

  1. PlantNet

  2. Google Search Engine on names

  3. Google Lens - Google Photo's offers me the option when I'm looking at a picture on my phone

  4. Flora van Nederland

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Step 2

What is it used for? Can I eat it?

Now we know we got excited from a plant AND we know what's it called and how we can identify it... We want to know what to do with it. My main question is usually: "Can I eat it?" Yours might differ of course. We're all human, we're all unique.

The first thing I do is search the web if the website "Mens en Gezondheid" has some information on my plant. I get so enthousiastic, that I can't wait to get home and open one of two books. So that's why I name these online options first. This website is very clear and thorough in their information, giving you insights in historical uses, edibility, medicinal uses and health benefits (win!!). They also name their resources well, which does the trick for me as a science graduate. I'm also very much interested in the known magical and spiritual properties of a plant. Not so much the witchy superstitious knowledge (however, always nice to know), but really the experiences people have had both physically, mentally, emotionally, energetically and spiritually. For this, I find the website "Plantaardigheden" really nice. For the more practical uses and a large density of experiences I find the YouTube Channel of "Kruidengeheimen" (and also their website) very helpful! They offer a lot of knowledge and you'll learn all kinds of benefits and recipes there.

Tips Summary:

  1. Mens en Gezondheid

  2. Plantaardigheden

  3. Kruidengeheimen or their Youtube

Step 3

Diversity is key! Use multiple sources, such as books.

You might now feel like a herbal king or queen! Ahaa.

However, I've noticed throughout my herbalist journey

that many sources say many different things about a certain plant, as well as that they also provide similar information. Especially when you want to be sure if the plant is safe to eat and how it can be confused with a more toxic plant, I advice you to get a feeling with finding your own reliable resources. For example, the book "Van Boven in het wild" made me super excited on pesto from the foliage of cow parsley (fluitenkruid in Dutch) and wild carrot. There was not mentioned any dangerous look-a-like species. However, other sources name 3 very similar species that are in various degrees toxic. This is a "pro-plant" as I call it. You'd have to train yourself to be good at identifying the differences.

The most concise and helpful books to me are "Eetbare Wilde Planten", "Wild Plukken", "Van Boven in het wild" and "Groot Handboek Geneeskrachtige Planten". They offer a variety in their knowledge. Some are more helpful in identifying, inspiration for a tasty recipe, or more on the science and uses on the medicinal side. I'll link to the books I own. The links are not sponsored in any way.

Tips Summary:

  1. Eetbare Wilde Planten - Steffen Guido Fleischhauer en anderen

  2. Groot Handboek Geneeskrachtige Planten - Geert Verhelst

  3. Kruid en Mens - Marlies Engels

  4. Wild Plukken - Leoniek Bontje

  5. Van Boven in het Wild - Yvette van Boven

  6. De Natuurlijke Apotheek - Christine Iverson

  7. De Tuin Apotheek - Christine Iverson

  8. Bijvoet - Tanja Hilgers

  9. The Foragers Kitchen Handbook - Fiona Bird

  10. Magie van Kruiden - Aurora Kane

  11. Kruidentaal Tijdschrift

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Step 4

Daily Inspiration - Podcasts, Youtube Channels, Instagram Accounts

For on the go, podcasts and YouTube video's are really nice, insightful and educational too. In Instagram I find a lot of inspiration and knowledge too. Therefore, these tips often contain multiple channels through which you can gather a lot of free information. That is very nice about the world of plants and herbs at the moment. Most of the tips have a website with paid courses, as well as a free blog and many also have their own podcast. Sometimes also a valuable newsletter and a lot of knowledge is shared via Instagram, Facebook and YouTube. I don't want to triple everything, so I'll just mention the tip with the channel that is most useful to me. The former are the ones that my work most closely relates to.

Oona Nijland - Green Goddess

I got to know her through a free 4-day event she organises once every six months. I also enjoy listening to her podcast. Sometimes she covers an herb or a body function in it. She lives and breathes naturopathy and more. She takes you into the embodiment of herbs and discusses with in-depth knowledge a wide range of topics, including the energy and "voice" of herbs. She also runs an interesting year-long Holistic Herbalism training and is co-teacher for a 4-year training programme in Naturopathy.

Wildekruidenvrouw

She is hugely creative and always makes something fun, beautiful, edible. She stands for collaborating with and listening to the voice of plants. She does not take without giving first. She breathes herbs in everything she does. She has done a lot of training while also apprenticing with Oona. I did with her a paid annual course Living with the Power of Nature and a Wild Herbs Cosmetics course (which I had won, super fun and méga valuable!). In it, I learnt more about making my own herbal products and growing more my self-confidence in this. Her Instagram and Podcast are super informative and valuable.

Amanda Nicole - Alchemillas Plant Medicine - Liriodendress

She teaches people to listen to the voice of plants. I found her through her podcast, in which she shares beautiful insights she gained through contact with plants. Some of her messages are immensely valuable and touch the soul. I also sometimes enjoy reading her newsletter.

Evolutionary Herbalism

A school and, for me, above all a beautifully informative Instagram account. They offer many insights into various herbs, especially on medicinal applications and the connection of the plants with astrology.

De Wilde School

This organisation has a website packed with blog articles written by various bloggers (including myself). They have paid courses. What I like best is their Instagram with the insta wild foraging walks (check out the highlights). In it, Marin walks through her food forest once every few weeks/months and takes shots of various wild herbs. She is an avid wild food picker and lives with nature. She also runs the account the @dewildeouder about family life in collaboration with nature.

Then there are a huge number of sources that share their knowledge (for free) with such pleasure and expertise. I name the channel I like to use, and I suggest you look for yourself for the other channels they offer if you're interested.

Tips Summary:

  1. Oona Nijland - Green Goddess Podcast & @oona_greengoddess

  2. Wildekruidenvrouw Podcast & @wildekruidenvrouw

  3. Amanda Nicole - Whispers: Plant Spirit Medicine Podcast 

  4. @evolutionary_herbalism

  5. De Wilde School Blog Pagina- @dewildeschool

Extra Tips:

  1. @herbalacademy & Herbal Academy Blog

  2. @chesnutschoolherbs & Chesnut School of Herbal Medicine - Juliet Blankespoor - with loads of free content

  3. Kruidenheksen YouTube

  4. Kruidengeheimen YouTube

  5. Het Kruidenhuisje & @hetkruidenhuisje
    & Het Kruiden Orakel oracle cards (very clear and pure messages)

  6. Tanja Hilgers

  7. @growforagecookferment - Colleen Codekas

  8. @zie_mone

  9. The Northwest School of Aromatic Medicine

Step 5

Doing the thing with the thing!

Yeah, so now you know LOADS of stuff. And you know what to do with it. And your hands are starting to itch! Also, your internal feelings are conflicting. Still it's very scary to start doing the thing your hands are itching for. Maybe you want to discover what this plant is whispering to you? Or you would like to eat it, but not sure how to pluck, what to make of it and in what quantity? Also, where to start?

Some words of encouragement

When you start this thing for real, it can be totally scary. We're raised to feel scared about wild plants. Also, it's our fear of the unknown. So how about not making it yourself so difficult. Ever seen a dandelion? Also, known it since childhood? You could start with that. Start with brewing a little tea. You can pluck 1 or 2 leaves, leave it in the hot water as long as you feel comfortable with and take as many sips as you feel comfortable with. Making a pesto with the leaves is also a great option. I'd recommend doing it in early spring, while the plant does not express the heavy bitters yet.

When you feel weird plucking in the wild, just start in your own garden, or that of your family members (maybe while they don't watch). And keep it to yourself for a while. It's okay to feel weird and awkward about it. I notice strangers asking me questions. Many of them actually start a really nice and interesting conversation. However, in the beginning I really did not want anyone talking to me, because I felt a certain shame. It goes away with practice.

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