Monday, July 17, 2017

HERB LIBRARY- 5 Reasons To Start Your Own

 Herbs are helpful... and they are plentiful in most parts of the world.

In a time when the internet is in great use, WHY do we need to have a "book library" of herb books?

Am I saying that everyone should have one? No, you will have to decide if you want one for your home or not, but in this post, I am giving 5 reasons why it is a good idea to start your own Herb Library.

1.  Identification....

      Herbs can be of great use in our health, but it is important to correctly identify the herb you use. Sometimes there can be plants that look very similar to an herb we want to use, but the other plant can be quite dangerous. Small details can show the difference.

      I like to have a book, or actually several books, that give good illustrations of the herb. A drawing or painting of an herb can be helpful, but I also want actual pictures so that I can compare what they really look like as they grow. I also like to see pictures of the plant, as a whole... and a close up, so that there is no doubt I know what to look for.

 I have quite a large library of herb books... is that necessary for everyone?   Of course not!

I use herbs and enjoy them....  I grow them in my garden and I collect them from the garden and from other places.

I keep learning and becoming a better herbalist as I read and use herbs. I do want to be very careful to have correct information, so I like having a variety of books to compare.

2. Learn New Herbs....

There are some herbs that are quite well known and others that can be useful to get to know. Learning a little at a time can help solidify that knowledge.  In this post, I am showing pictures of the herb Echinacea.  It is a well-known herb and in many places, it grows well. I have much of it in my garden and it is great for pictures.

What other herbs are there? What about plantain? Plantain is wonderful to identify and know how to use. It can work well for bee stings and is readily available to apply to the sting, but where do you find it? How do you use it?

There are so many herbs all around and when you start to look at pictures in the herb books, you may realize that you have seen many of them without realizing they were herbs.

We all know of the dandelion, but there are also so many others. You may have seen chicory on the side of the road in the summer and wondered what those purple flowers were.  Some other simple plants are purslane, lambs ear, yarrow, chamomile, and there are so many others. Learning to see these "weeds" as herbs can expand your knowledge... and your ability to use them.

 Do I use ALL of my books often? No, I don't.

Sometimes, I scan them and other times I compare. Sometimes, they sit on the shelf for long periods of time without being used at all.

Sometimes I find that a certain book just doesn't fit what I need, so I remove it from my library. I have been building my Herb Library for many years and it is helpful to me.

3. Know HOW to use an herb

 Some herbs are quite easy to use... like plantain's helpfulness when it is applied to a wound. Other herbs must be used differently. Sometimes there are cautions.... for instance some herbs are not safe for use during pregnancy.  Others may be helpful in small doses.  It is important to know facts about herbs.

If you have read my blog for very long, you know that I like to experiment... and I do it with herbs also.  I make herbal tinctures, salves, teas, infusions and more. I put herbs in our salads and I try new things, BUT I do not want to make foolish mistakes and endanger my family, so it is important to be wise in how I experiment and my library can help me know what herbs are safer to do that with than others.

An important point is to double check your information! Some books or internet information may blacklist a certain herb as toxic and caution to never use it.... when the reality is that a certain part of the plant can be toxic while others are fine to use.

Caution is good, but to just knock out a whole plant for a small portion seems excessive. I want to know the bad... and the good and then make a wise decision.  For example, cherry twigs are toxic, so do we stop eating cherries because of that? No. Tomatoes are from the dangerous nightshade family, so do we stop eating tomatoes? That was done in the past, but we can still enjoy tomatoes. It is important to know and be careful.

Do I need to spend a lot of money for this Herb Library?  NO!

I am quite frugal and it is rare that I would buy a book like this new and for a large price. I have found it helpful to use a book from the library... to see if it would be helpful to me. Then sometimes, I would order it for my own library.

Some places to check for herb books are garage sales, library book sales, ebay, Amazon, etc.

4.  A personal Herb Library can be a place to highlight information.... to mark pages so you can easily find them... to jot notes that will be helpful to you. 

So many times, I have learned great information.... and later when trying to go back to the source, I sometimes wonder, "Where did I read that?" Maybe it was the internet.. or a book... or I heard it from someone. It is more helpful to have a library to collect that learning... so that I can refer back to it. Sometimes I want to double check the information... or sometimes I found the information so helpful that I want to see what else the person says.

I also find it helpful to build on what I learn and having my own books can help that process.

Do I recommend all of these books? NO... some I don't know enough about them to recommend. Others I like some parts, but not others.

There may be some herb books I would love to add to my library, but cost prevents me from doing that.

My library is still a work in progress and I will keep adding to it.

5. If there's no internet....

I know this is the answer for many... just check the internet... just ask the internet.
What if the internet is out? What if you are where there is no internet? Think it can't happen? It does.... especially when there are storms or large problems, like hurricanes, earthquakes, tornado damage, flooding or other disaster situations.  In a time like that, those herb books could be very important as there may not be access to the nearby emergency room or doctor's office.

Another issue is trust. Is everything on the internet true? No, and books are not always true either, which is another reason to double and triple check your information. When I find a book I feel I can trust, I am still careful with the information, but tend to trust it easier than an unknown website.

Maybe you don't like or use herbs and so none of this post applies to you. That's okay, I am not pushing herbal use.... it's an individual choice.  I know what a blessing my herbal library is to me, so I am sharing why it may be helpful to others also.

Do you have an Herb Library? Even one book can count as the start of a library.... and one book may be all you want or need. I would love to hear in the comments if you have a real book library of herb books... or one book. Are you still adding to it? Do you have other reasons it is helpful to have an Herb Library? Please feel free to share in the comments.

Thank you for visiting. I hope you have a great week!  🙂

Other herb posts you may enjoy:

Quick Healing With Plantain

Are There Any Uses For Columbine?

Allergy Tea-Homemade Herb Tea

Pinecones... Are They Edible? Hmmm...

Shared on:

You're the Star
Over the Moon Link Party
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Simple Saturday
Flaunt It Friday 365
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Friday Photo Journal
Blogger's Pit Stop
Friday at the Fire Station
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Art of Homemaking Monday


  1. As much as I love real books, I don't buy hard books much anymore. I don't have much space for books in my little home, and my hands are developing arthritis. I have a tablet full of ebooks - cookbooks, reference, biography, and of course fiction. I only one or two about gardening - I need to double check about herb books and add one. Thanks!

    1. I am hearing that more and more... no regular books anymore, but I am so thankful for mine. :) So sorry to hear about your arthritis, that would be difficult. I hope you are able to find an herb book (even in ebook form! :) that will work for you. Thank you for visiting... it was nice to have you.

  2. I am slowly adding to my collection of books and the actual herbs. It seems like there is always more to learn! You've taken beautiful pictures.

    1. That's what I have found... I have learned so much, yet I keep learning more and more and realize I still have so much to learn! :) Thank you for your compliment on my pictures... I appreciate that. Thank you for visiting.

  3. What an interesting post and gorgeous photos!! Thanks so much for stopping by!!

  4. I have started a herbal journal but I really need to get started with the library. There is no way I can remember everything so I need to start having a reference library like yours. Great idea!

    1. That is what I have figured out!... There is no way I will remember everything! It is so nice to have a handy place to go to find the info I need. I have done a bit of the herbal journal idea... and I would really like to develop that sometime... when I have time... I think it will be a long time from now! :) Thank you for visiting.

  5. What a stunning blog you have! Visually rich! And you are a very talented photographer! I have one book on herbs, The Herb Bible, a Barnes and Noble publication that was a gift to me. It hasn't received the attention it deserves because it's part of a 250+ collection of cookbooks I use on a regular basis. In case of an internet outage, I'm all set recipe-wise!

    1. Your comment is a treasure to me! Thank you for your sweet and encouraging words! Your book sounds like a good resource and I will have to watch for that one... I think I have used it from the library. You do have an amazing collection of cookbooks! I have many, but no where near that many. You sure wouldn't lack for recipes in a power outage. I have met people who no longer have ANY real cookbooks...they are only on a computer. I have even met people who no longer have a "real" Bible... only an app. Sad.... and I can't imagine being totally without my Bible in a power outage. Thank you for visiting. :)

    2. Delighted to be following you now, too! :)

  6. I do have a few herbal books, and I have found them helpful, too. I agree...we may not always have access to the internet, and everything you read on there cannot be counted on as being absolute. Thank you for sharing such helpful information!! Praying for you. :)

    1. Thank you! So glad you visited, my friend. :) I appreciate the prayers and am also praying for you.

  7. I was considering dejunking my herb book collection, but perhaps not.... Thank you for encouraging me to keep them.

    1. "Gasp" Dejunking the herb book collection?.... "gasp"... just kidding. :) I, too, have to do that from time to time... although I will keep looking for others that will also be helpful. :) I hope you enjoy keeping them... I do like having a good collection of them even though I don't use them every week... I like having them here when I do need them. :) Thank you for visiting.

  8. We have a great herb book in the school library where I teach. I guess when I retire in a few years I'll have to invest in my own! Thanks for sharing at The Blogger's Pit Stop! Roseann from

    1. Working in a library would be fun... and frustrating. :) So many books... so little time at work! :) It is nice to have a copy for when it is needed, but how nice that you have such easy access to one at work now. Thank you for visiting. :)

  9. I have bene thinking about this for a while, and I happened to find a copy of National Geographic's home remedies (herbal) issue, for a start. I do think that herbal remedies are far better than anything Big Pharma puts out there...

    Interesting post! I'm linking over from Sunny Simple Life.

    Ricki Jill

    1. I have found there are many great herbal remedies that can help keep us from getting sick and can help deal with it when we are sick... especially smaller issues. I enjoy my herbs for scenting the house, for teas, for pictures, for season foods, for tinctures and salves... and so many other reasons. :) I am so glad you stopped by for a visit... thank you!

  10. I couldn't agree more. I use herbs every single day ;) I love the idea of an herb library. Thanks for sharing @Vintage Charm!

    1. I don't know what I would do without my herb library. :) Glad to see I am not the only one who enjoys and uses herbs. Thank you for visiting.

  11. I so love reading a book about stuff I enjoy rather than just "trusting" the internet. I try to teach my children everything online is not true or correct. Its much better to check a reliable source such as a book. I want to start my own herb garden.

    1. Oh, I hope you can start your own herb garden... even planting one pot of herbs... putting a few seeds (basil, oregano, etc) in some dirt in a pot is the start of an herb garden. :) I do enjoy having the herbs to use and enjoy. Thank you for your words that really added to this post.

  12. I love my herb garden and have quite a few books on herbs and plants. I love being able to go out to my herb garden (on my deck) and pick fresh herbs to use. WE have lots of fruit trees and other vegetables. Currently working on watermelon. First time here in Florida.
    Thanks for sharing your wonderful posts at Over The Moon Party.
    See you next week.

    1. Those books are a blessing... and so it the herb garden on your deck... love having those fresh herbs to use. Hope your fruit trees, veggies and watermelon do well this year. :) Thank you for visiting.

  13. I have a solid library on herbs I should read the books more often. Thanks for the reminder

    1. Wow, that is great... and unusual. I'm sure I could enjoy some time looking through your herb library! :) So glad you visited.