Creating a Herbal Notebook

dsc_1054Creating 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?

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Fennel: Benefits, Uses, & Concerns

fennelFennel. Delicious, aromatic, soothing, and a Godsend to anyone with a colicky baby.

Fennel seeds have been described as one of the best herbs to use for digestive issues. It is safe enough to use for cranky babies yet gently effective enough to be described as nature’s Pepto Bismal. It is an antacid that neutralizes excessive amounts of acid in the stomach. (Herbs for Children’s Health) The seeds can be ground and made into a tea, infused into an oil to rub on irritated tummies, or taken as a tincture.

What do these little licorice scented seeds do? Prepare to be amazed . . .

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Using Herbs for Babies & Kids

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Using herbs for kids can be incredibly beneficial, but also rather nerve-wracking. Sometimes it seems easier to just head to the pediatrician for some professional advice on your little munchkins’ earache or cough. Now I want to make it clear that  I definitely believe conventional medicine has it’s place. However I also want to encourage you to educate yourself enough to be able to confidently treat the everyday issues that crop up like colic and colds, as well as provide complementary treatment for more serious issues that you decide to treat more conventionally.

Discussing EVERYTHING pertaining to using herbs with children or EVERY herb to use/avoid would be outside the realm of one blog post. That said, I do want to share some basic principles regarding using herbs for kids that can help guide your treatment. I also want to share a short list of go-to herbs that are considered very safe for babies & children. Continue reading

New Week New Recipe: Elderberry Syrup

elderberry-syrup-recipeMonday is a day for fresh beginnings, tackling everything you ignored to spend time with your family on the weekend, and making new plans. My plan, especially as the cold sets in and winter is officially upon us, is to figure out how to prevent my family and myself from getting the flu bugs and colds that are going around. That means trying a new recipe!

Cue the Elderberry Syrup!

What is Elderberry Syrup, you ask? Continue reading

Herbal Tea; Infusions & Decoctions

herbal-tea-infusions-and-decoctionsTeas, Tinctures, Infusions, Decoctions, Oils, Salves, Capsules, etc. The number of different ways to prepare herbs can set your mind spinning! Not to mention the extra ingredients needed such as glycerin or alcohol for tinctures or beeswax for salves.

With so many choices at hand, I decided to stop stalling and begin with the most straightforward; teas.

After all, what could be more simple than putting some crumbly dry herbs in a jar of hot water? Turns out there are many nuances that need to be considered, Continue reading

Stocking Up the Herb Cabinet

stocking-up-herbsThis will be a memorable Thanksgiving holiday for a number of reasons including watching my toddler eat Thanksgiving dinner for the first time! As it relates to my study of herbs, it will be remembered as the weekend when I finally jumped in and actually bought some herbs to begin my apothecary with! I love gaining knowledge and would constantly be looking up recipes saying, “Yes, I need that on hand for colds, or teething, or backaches, etc.” but I would not have any of the necessary ingredients on hand.

So, while my husband was outside freezing in his tree stand while deer hunting, I was warm & cozy in bed doing my Black Friday shopping on my phone. Because I hate shopping in person, and where to you go to buy herbs in person anyway?

Herbs for Children’s Health by Rosemary Gladstar and Meagan’s “Start Here” page on her blog Growing up Herbal were huge helps in deciding what to buy to have on hand. Meagan has seven different articles of lists of herbs that you should start with, have on hand for babies, have for newborns, have for winter immune support, for coughs, for fevers, etc. I browsed through her suggestions to help me finalize my decisions on which herbs to begin with.

I settled on ordering the following and have included in brief why I purchased them, Continue reading

How to Buy Herbs?

buying-herbs

Knowledge of what to do with herbs will only go so far if you don’t have access to herbs with which to experiment. My goal is to grow my herb collection slowly as I learn how to use the herb/essential oil/etc. effectively. There are numerous places to purchase herbs in bulk, in pill form, as essential oils, and as plants. I’ll just highlight a few places that I have been happy purchasing from and will update this post as I grow my collection.

What to look for?

When looking for herb/health companies to support I generally look for Continue reading

My Herbal Book Collection

Anyone who has found my blog has probably experienced the black hole of information overload that can be the internet. For reasons of efficiency, convenience, and just in case the power were to go out, I like to have a real physical library of information at my fingertips to quickly consult. I recommend gathering at least one book on each of the following topics; medical reference, herbal reference (materia medica) plant identification, growing herbs, and the basics of using herbs. I would also suggest starting with a book about a specific topic or ailment that concerns you. Being a woman of childbearing age (who is currently pregnant) I chose a book about women’s health by Rosemary Gladstar.

So far my library includes . . . Continue reading