Herbalism or Herbology is a passion of mine.
I am currently studying to be an Herbalist with the Herbal Healer Academy.
For me, Herbalism is a calling. I've learned so much about the world, my body, medicine, sustainable living, my health and the health of my family since I started studying herbs, their properties, and how to use them. Its an on-going study that can be started at so many different directions - local herbs, herbs for women, herbs for family, herbal first-aid, herbs for prevention or treatment of dis-ease and cancer, herbs for children, cooking, cleaning, relaxing, colds, flus, viruses, headaches...the list goes on and on. And learning about it can be strangely addictive, making my own herbal remedies is wholly gratifying, and being able to have an herbal remedy on hand when a friend or the child of a friend has a problem makes me feel like I've done something useful and am truly on the right path in life.
Herbalism in witchcraft?
For some this is a fine line. The creation of a lavender infused balm for the sun burns on my nieces and nephews can look a lot like the witch of old stirring magical ingredients collected from mountain and glen to give to those who dare to ask for a remedy.
For me, what makes the difference is faith and belief and desire. I can make a simple tea to relieve stress or I could call upon the soothing blessing of Mother Goddess or cast a cleansing circle as I blend the herbs, heat the water, create the infusion and chant before I take the first sip. The first, simply making tea, isn't witchcraft...so what's the difference? The ritual, the spellcraft, the intent, the actions taken in the creation.
Even still, herbalism walks well on the path of witchery. Witches have long used herbs and natural medicines in their works. Herbs are Mother Nature's children just as much as we are and we can work very well together.