I've been studying herbs and natural medicine since 1976 and I still consider
myself somewhat of a novice. Yes, it can be overwhelming, especially if you
rely on books alone. One of the best teaching tools I know of is to walk
around a piece of property with someone that can help you with identification
or take a Red Moon course. Ila Hatter, in North Carolina, also has video tapes that are somewhat helpful for beginners. Not quite comprehensive enough for me, but a good place to start and less confusing than photos in books. We humans learn better when we are shown. Good Luck and pass on what you learn, you might help us all.