Creating a Herbal Notebook
I want to share with you an exciting tool I’ve put together to wrangle all the new information we are gathering about herbs; a Herb Notebook! I’ll share the benefits & purposes of an herb notebook, break down each category I have included and give ideas for filling each section, post photos of my own notebook in progress, and
best of all, I have included FREE printables of the beautiful title pages I designed for each section for you to start your own notebook.
Why Maintain a Herb Notebook?
Especially since having a baby & being pregnant again, I have begun to operate on the premise that I will forget everything or at least won’t be able to recall it when I need it. Because it feels like I do. Since I don’t want to rely on my memory to give my daughter the right dose of Elderberry Syrup or remember if it was Catnip or Cat’s Claw that soothes colic, I write everything down & keep it where I can find it easily. This is the motivation behind organizing my herbal notebook.
Secondly, I have put together a notebook so that I can keep all my information in one spot.
There is already enough papers coming in and out of the home that when you get some information that you want to save, it’s great to be able to just put it directly where it goes so you can find it again & it doesn’t get scribbled on or used to start a fire in the woodstove (in our house at least!)
Additionally, knowing that you have accurate information that you have researched and are confident about using right at your fingertips is invaluable!
I don’t know about you, but I get so annoyed when there is an issue and I need something NOW but can’t find information that agrees with each other online to save my life! Books that you trust are helpful for this, but many times it seems like they will mention what helps in passing or even give a recipe without giving the dosage. Trying to find a reliable adult dose for a treatment then doing the calculations to convert it for a child while you have a screaming, sick toddler hanging on you is unnecessarily stressful. Save yourself the drama, do the research ahead of time, and keep it organized so you can find it quickly!
Another benefit is having real tangible information that you can take with you
. . . to the kitchen (negated with smart phones, I know,) still have access to it if the power or internet connection goes out, and write recipe alterations down. I find that I very rarely follow a recipe to the letter for anything I cook, and if I just pull it off Pinterest & follow it I have no way of writing my alterations down (and there is NO WAY I’ll remember them until next time!) Being able to take notes on a printed recipe helps me track the changes I have made, and decide whether to follow it the next time or tweak something else for better results. Having something tangible is also helpful if you want access to your herb growing info while you are outside gardening but don’t want to use your phone with dirty fingers.
I’m sure there are plenty more benefits to using a herb notebook, which I hope to enjoy as I build mine, but now let’s move on to . . .
What to include in your herb notebook.
– Recipes! The recipe section can be used for, obviously, individual recipes. You could organize them alphabetically like I have, organize them by type (tincture, tea, salve recipe etc,) or organize them alphabetically by issue (allergies, asthma, cold, diaper rash, flu etc.) You know how your mind works best & what will help the most! You can also includes notes on how you used the recipe, the results, any tweaks you made to the recipe, how to store it etc.
– Herb Spotlight! This is a place to store your notes on specific herbs, the lovely FREE herb profile printables I will be designing and sharing as we learn about more herbs, your experience with the herb (yes it helped, oops I’m allergic to it but it helped the kids, etc.) Adding interesting articles and studies about the herb, things you would like to use it for in the future, whether it works best as a tea, tincture, salve, essential oil, infused oil, etc, and storing your herb catalogs can be helpful too.
-Herbal Cheat Sheets! This is the spot to store directions on making teas, tinctures, oils, salves etc, instructions for adjusting dosages, measurement conversion charts, receipts for orders you may want to save to compare prices, Basically any general reference notes that don’t fit anywhere else but you would want quickly.
-Garden Info! I put this last just because it is not the traditional gardening season, but I may rearrange things come spring. This is a great spot for plant identification and growth profiles (which I will be providing through my email list!), seed & plant receipts you want to save, the tags that come with the plants that inevitably get lost otherwise, garden maps for planning your garden, seed catalogs, records from previous years, photos of your garden to compare year to year (and for fun!) and anything else plant-related you might think of.
Without further ado . . . Here are the links to download PDF printables of the notebook cover and title pages I have designed.
I have more exciting news too!
I am starting an email list that you can subscribe to and receive the information we’ve covered on the blog like recipes, herb profiles, and reference sheets, organized into beautiful straightforward printables that you can add to your notebook.
These resources will only be available through email. To start with, my goal is to post 1 recipe, 1 herb profile, and one miscellaneous article each week, and send out an email at the end of the week with the recipe and herb profile. I promise I will respect your email and will not send any spam! I hate it just as much as you, and I don’t have time to send out a zillion emails anyway. To sign up scroll all the way down below the comments and follow the sign up link!
Also, as a side note, I will be taking off from posting this next week leading up to Christmas, but will be back at it after the holiday with my family. So don’t think I’m telling you my goals then ignoring them, and