Sunday, May 20, 2012

Who is The Essential Herbal?

520 covers

If you’ve been reading this blog, you might be a subscriber to The Essential Herbal Magazine (thank you), but there’s a good chance that you aren’t aware that there is a magazine attached to the blog. 
Over the past year or so, I’ve been inundated with offers to write for “your website” or requests for me to highlight products on “your website”.  There is a website, but this is not it.  Here on the blog we publish past articles and highlight our advertisers on occasion.  That’s the whole point, isn’t it? 

So then, perhaps it might be a good idea to re-introduce ourselves to our blog readers.  It’s been over 7 years for the blog and 10 for the magazine, after all.
The Essential Herbal Magazine started out as a 16 page newsletter full of all kinds of ways to use and get to know herbs. We now stick to 32 pages, and they contain so much usable information for the typical individual wishing to learn about herbs, that it seems like much more.  It is written by herbalists, herb enthusiasts, and those who are deeply in love with the world of plants.  We all share our knowledge, experience, recipes, ideas, and sometimes our mistakes.  The pages of the magazine are often described as feeling like a long letter from old friends, talking about the things we all enjoy.  It’s an honest-to-goodness print magazine that mails out 6 times a year. At the start of 2012, we began to offer a PDF version to our customers who requested that option (and that is the only version available outside the US now), but that is exactly the same as the print version. No gimmicks, come-ons, or secret content, just the magazine. The entire staff is comprised of 1.5 people, so our main goal is to continue doing what we do as well as possible.

From all over the country (and sometimes the world), we receive articles that are filled with the joy of discovery.  Along the way, our readers learn to identify plants that they can use for first-aid, disease prevention, and self-limiting illness.  They learn to make all kinds of herbal preparations like tinctures, balms and salves, blended herbal teas, soaps, bath crafts, and scrumptious herbal dishes,  We’ve published books in segments, carried a full series of herbs of the zodiac, and are currently covering a historic woman herbalist in each issue.  We have subscribers who have been with us the entire 10+ years of publication, and some writers who never fail to come up with something fascinating for each issue.  We never know how an issue will shake out until the deadline arrives.  It is thrilling work, and our readers tell us it is just as much fun for them.  I’m pretty sure you’d enjoy it.

Me?  I’m Tina Sams, the founder, editor, and head nag (just ask our writers).  After 10 years of co-owning an herb shop and retail/wholesale handmade soap company, my sister and I got tired.  We sold the shop, she continued the wholesale soap business, and I thought it would be fun to start an herbal newsletter.  After years behind the sales counter at the shop, I wanted to answer all the questions that people asked everyday.  It felt like people were far too intimidated and distanced from the plants growing around them, and it would become my new vocation to attempt to lift that veil and share the intense satisfaction that one gets from knowing how to work with herbs.

There is rarely an issue without a typo or two.  The inside pages are all black and white.  No frills, just great articles that will encourage you to try something you’ve never tried in each issue. 
If you enjoy the blog, I bet you’d love the magazine.  On our website, we have the covers and tables of contents posted for the last few year.  There are also a lot of other interesting herbal books and products.  Check us out!

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