The world commemorates Herbalist Day on April 17 every year to honor herbalists and the important role they have played in our modern lives. Plants and herbs have been used to help humans since the dawn of time. The many benefits of plants that we have thus unlocked, from their medicinal uses and healing properties to nutrition, are primarily the contribution of herbalists everywhere. On this special day, we recognize the vital role and contributions of herbalists.
History of Herbalist Day
Herbalism is the study of plants and herbs, usually for their medicinal purposes. Throughout history, herbalists were mainly focused on studying plants and selling solutions and plants to be used for their healing properties. As much as this field of study developed during the last few decades, herbalists are now able to prepare medicinal plants in a variety of ways and sell them in pharmacies or online herbal stores.
Although the practice dates back to the lives of early humans, the profession of an herbalist became a specialty during the medieval period. This profession saw particular growth during the 12th century. As of the 17th and 18th centuries, several universities across Europe had specialized courses and degrees for herbalists and several institutions dedicated to this profession.
Herbalists are still recognized in many countries, though there are far fewer specialized university courses on the subject. The study of herbs became more specialized in the late 20th century, becoming a part of pharmacy and medicine. Even though herbalism is now part of several scientific disciplines, there are still courses devoted to it.
Today, the practice of herbalists is still very common, as we constantly rely on herbs for several purposes. The difference, however, is that the profession is significantly different from what it was several centuries ago. In recent years, several initiatives and cooperative programs have been organized in several countries to renew herbalism.
Herbalist Day timeline
Pedanius Dioscorides compiles “De Materia Medica,” the first-ever pharmacopeia.
France becomes one of the earliest countries to recognize the herbalist profession officially.
“Grete Herball” is one of the earliest books on herbalism and its medicinal uses to be published in English.
The Vichy government ends the issuance of official herbalist state-recognized diplomas in France.
Herbalist Day FAQs
What does an herbalist do?
An herbalist can study plants for their medicinal properties or prepare them for sale. Throughout the centuries, the particular tasks of herbalists kept developing into varying specialties
What is another name for a herbalist?
Herbalists have been known throughout history by different names. Herb doctors and naturopaths are among the names used to refer to herbalists.
What should an herbalist know?
Herbalists should first be familiar with botanical sciences and biology. Depending on the type of herbalism one practices, a medicinal approach would require additional skills.
Herbalist Day Activities
Thank an herbalist
Herbalists deserve to be recognized for their contributions and the assistance they continue to provide us with even today. Although this profession is not as common as it once was, thanking an herbalist will always make them happy.
Take part in events
Many professional associations, charities, and community organizations would organize small events and activities during this special day. Make sure to join in paying homage to herbalists in every community.
Read about plants
You can honor herbalists by paying tribute to their craft. Reading and learning about plants and herbs and their properties can be a fun and engaging experience.
5 Interesting Facts About Herbs
Herbs can be used in many ways
Throughout history, herbs have served multiple purposes, accompanied human life, and were used in several ways, including as dried herbs added to food and medicinal preparations.
Earliest form of medicine
Before doctors could operate and perform surgeries, diagnoses were rudimentary and the role of a physician was limited to prescribing plants and herbs that would make the patient feel better.
Many herbs have symbolic meanings
Across cultures, humans have consistently cherished the secret meanings of many herbs; for example, flowers symbolize love and some leaves are tokens of good luck.
Herbalism dates back to 4000 B.C.
Ayurveda is a type of herbal medicine that was commonly used in India, and its use can be traced back to 4000 B.C.
Many herbs have gone extinct throughout history
Many plants that existed for centuries are only history to us; for example, the silphium plant, commonly used in Ancient Rome for cooking, contraception, and perfumes, is now extinct.
Why We Love Herbalist Day
Herbs are essential to human life
Herbs have not only been necessary to human life, but they have also protected it from disease and provided food. Herbs are, without a doubt, nature's greatest gift to humans.
Herbalism is one of the oldest professions
For as long as there was human life, we needed to maintain our health and heal our sick to survive. In fact, many of our needs could be fulfilled with herbs and plants, which somehow accelerated the development of this profession.
Study of herbs is still important
Regardless of how advanced scientific research has become, the discovery and study of nature continue to be highly valued. Herbalism is by far the most crucial aspect of studying nature because herbs and plants are the sources of many of the materials and compounds we now know.
Herbalist Day dates