I'm not sure when I fell in love with plants. It was early on in my life, I know. Because by the time I was 11 or so there was a small grove of decorative olive bushes next to our house where I would play and those olive trees were my dear, dear friends. My dad was big on survival skills in a low key prepper way, so he taught me plant identification starting very young. Not just identifying things and showing them to me, but getting Audobon Society books and teaching me the systemic way to evaluate plant characteristics and check them against the handbook. I still remember the first time I found a gooseberry bush on my own, it was like I had run into an old friend. I still feel that way whenever I see a plant I know, whether it's in someone's garden or tucked into the background of a shot in a TV show.

Herbalism was a natural next step. Learning to make things with plants, learning the chemistry inside the different plants and why they produce the chemicals they do is fascinating. The periods in the development of western medicine where doctors are working purely based on gross observations is fascinating. We're talking 2 c BCE up until the Victorian era. When the methods of processing medicines were done by hand, technically anyone could be an apothecary, but only some people cared to learn how. During the majority of the time period medicine was closely tied in with food and in many ways overlapping. The humorial theory meant that influences were everywhere and all of them needed to be taken into account and kept in balance. As such it usually fell to the woman of the house to supervise the formulation of medical recipes prescribed by a doctor. Economical ladies usually recorded such recipes in a family 'Book of Secrets' that could be passed down through a maternal line. With the advent of the printing press many old houses that had fallen on hard times sold their families' books to one of the numerous publishing concerns that popped up almost overnight.

Over the years I've developed some recipes of my own that I plan to compile here along with some safety and philosophies of practice that I think are worth sharing. Instead of leaving them scattered across 5 different notebooks I'm going to attempt to get them all up here.