This Welcome Unit aims to:
Introduce the contents of the Urban Herbology Crafting Course and outline how learning to craft with herbs can be very empowering. Also, the type of equipment that you will need for this course and the need for a healthy respect for herbs will be introduced. This welcome unit also explains how to work through the Crafting Course.
After reading this unit you should be able to:
- State the main topic areas which this course covers.
- State how your work for this course will be assessed.
- Organise your personal notes and assignments for this course.
- Name two household items which can be used for herbal crafting.
- State a couple of ways in which holistic herbal crafting empowers us.
- List three reasons why herbs should always be treated with respect.
Read through the unit notes.
You may also like to listen to the welcome unit audio.
In the Crafting Course you will learn:
- About the history of herbalism.
- How to source herbs to make preparations.
- About the safely, ethics and legality of making herbal preparations.
- How to create herbal preparations such as infusions, tinctures, oxymels, creams, poultices and lozenges.
- How to create a herbal medicine chest.
- Herbal first aid for common issues.
The Crafting course if organized into 6 modules:
Introducing Herb Crafting
Each module contains a number of units for you to work through. There are 33 units in total.
Assessment of your Crafting work
At the end of each unit in this course, there are tasks to complete. Some of these are optional tasks, which you may like to complete. Others are clearly indicated as Assessed Tasks. Your responses to the Assessed Tasks need to be shared with your tutor for marking and feedback.
There are 4 levels of unit access in this course. This is encourage progression through the units. The levels are called A, B, C, D. Student's starting the course begin with access to all the units at Level A. When they have successfully completed that work and the tutor has marked it, they can move on to the Level B units.
To qualify for your Urban Herbology Herbal Crafting certificate, you need to :
1. Work through each of the Crafting units and successfully complete all of the Assessed Tasks. These must be completed and marked as a pass by your tutor.
2. Submit a summary to your tutor, of how your journey through the Crafting Course has impacted you. Your summary does not need to be very long but it needs to show what you have gained from this course. It can be in several forms (short report, poetry, drawing with annotations etc).
How to share Assessed Tasks
Some of your assessments are shared with your tutor though the Crafting Forum and other assessments will be shared with your tutor via email.
Please ensure that each task states the unit number and name, when you send it through.
We strongly advise you to keep a backup copy of all work which you send to your tutor for marking. Please do not rely on email or the forums as a way to organize your work.
Organizing your notes and tasks
Decide on how you will make and keep personal notes as you work through this course.
You may like to begin a Google doc or purchase a notebook or ring binder to file your work and keep it organised.
There are some worksheets to complete through the course but most of the tasks will be notes sent via email or the Crafting Forum.
Sharing with the UH community
The Crafting Forum and the private Facebook group are great places to ask questions and share your thoughts with your tutor and the other students, about any of your crafting work and experiences. Please feel free to use them.
Many of your assessed tasks will be submitted to the Crafting Forum to allow for discussion with other students, to encourage deeper engagement and learning.
Throughout the Crafting Course, you will only need to use common kitchen materials. There is a full unit regarding herb crafting equipment but you will quickly come to realize that many items in your kitchen can be used in multi-functional ways. This saves time, money and resources.
Three common kitchen items which can be used for the recipes in this course are the small used but cleaned glass jars, a wooden spoon and a small saucepan.
The recipes in the course are designed for use in small spaces, so homes or kitchens with little space and with minimal equipment. A small metro kitchen in an Amsterdam apartment was used to write the recipes and they have since been tested in many another simple homes. The recipes can be scaled up if required.
You will also learn that it is perfectly possible to make many herbal preparations outside.
Healthy respect for herbs
Herbs have an important place in today's healthcare although their misuse can also cause great harm. Anyone using herbs, either self harvested, purchased or prescribed, needs to be sensible and cautious.
Always avoid overuse, only use herbs when necessary and safe, otherwise they may cause unwanted effects.
In the course you will learn that some herbs interact with conventional medicines. For instance St John's Wort, can reduce the effectiveness of the contraceptive pill and interacts with several other medicines.
Be aware that not all herbs are helpful. Some are very strong or poisonous in regular doses.
Also be aware that herbs should be used in a holistic way. This means that rather than looking for a herbal cream as a quick solution for an issue such as eczema, we should look at the whole (holistic) picture. What is the cause of the eczema and how could herbs possibly help to balance the whole system. Could a cleansing tea help? Relaxation? Avoiding toxins? Herbs should not be used as a quick fix, they are better used as part of a holistic approach to health.
Incorporating common, local nourishing herbs into our lives does not mean that we should turn away from modern medicine. Always consult a medical professional before treating yourself with herbs.
Learning how to craft simple, safe and effective preparations with herbs can be incredibly empowering. It can help us to become more involved in managing your own health.
When able to create some helpful preparations, we are better able to help ourselves more often, by using simple nourishing herbs for minor ailments.
Being able to craft our own holistic herbal preparations, makes us active participants in keeping healthy and happy.
Please add any notes which you find useful, to your personal Crafting notes. There are no Assessed Tasks for this Welcome Unit.
Move onto History of Herbalism