Creating Your Own Herbal Medicine Book
By Chelsea Fox
Herbs have a captivating nature, and they naturally draw us in through their fragrances, textures and beauty. Utilizing their benefits can be a little intimidating to the newcomer, and this is why my favorite part about crafting herbal teas is educating people about them.
At markets and festivals, I chat with hundreds of people interested in the medicinal properties of herbs. When I share my passion with others, I am often asked, “How do you remember all of this information?” My simple answer, for starters, is time. A personal practice involving many years of making herbal teas, salves and other items has helped me to distill a vast territory of information. The thing that helped me the most was creating my own master herbal medicine book. I had been collecting herbal books from thrift shops and garden centers, but I couldn’t remember which book had the material I needed when I wanted to reference an herb. This led me to creating my own well-organized book from several sources and the decision to include bullet points.
With my simple plan, you can do the same. Time spent compiling your go-to guide will also help root the information into memory. Creating your own book will help you streamline information into an organized way that is recognizable to you. Building your own herbal resource with plant information, recipes and more will give you confidence to use botanical remedies in your home and everyday life.
First Things First
Find the perfect book for you—a journal, notebook or a binder for loose pages. Be sure that it is appealing and inspires you to write in it.
What to write and where to start
Begin close to home with what you already have around you. For me, I started with twelve herbs growing in my garden. I watered and cared for the plants, but I did not know very much about them. For you, it might be simply learning more about the parsley, oregano, basil and rosemary in your spice cabinet.
Here is a short list of herbs to get you started:
Be sure to not overwhelm yourself and do not be concerned about adhering to the ‘right way’ of writing things down. Consider including photos from magazines or printed from online sources.
You can get fancy and make a Canva page for each herb and print it out to fill a three-ring binder. If simplicity is your jam, listed notes are just fine. Be creative but try not to overthink it. It is your book, so create it to your own liking.
What to put into your herbal medicine book
After you have had time to collect information on herbs, put your resources into practice.
If you blend a great tea recipe, write it down in your medicine book. If you develop an interest in making your own lotions or salves, store your recipes in your book. The process of wildcrafting—gathering herbs grown in the wild—is another vital component to include. Log what time of year you harvested the plants and how you dried and stored them for the best longevity. Keep notes on where the best patches of wildflowers grow.
Go find your perfect notebook, brew a cup of tea and get started! Here’s a recipe you might wish to try:
1 tsp. lavender flowers
1 tsp. chamomile flowers
1 tsp. mint leaves
1 tbsp. honey
Boil water to a temperature of 190° F. Combine all herbal ingredients into a teapot or a brew-in mug basket. Next, add hot water and let it steep for 3 minutes. Lastly, add honey and enjoy.
For more information contact Indigo Vibes Apothecary at 989-424-1099 or online at IndigoVibesApothecary.com.