The Simpler’s Method

A simpler way to measure.

Today’s post isn’t very long, but in my opinion it is very useful. It comes straight from Rosemary Gladstar’s Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide.

The Simpler’s Method is exactly what the name describes. It is a simpler method of measuring that can be done without legit measuring equipment. The term is old, referring to herbalists of old who only worked with one or two plants at a time. It is still used today, even with mixtures that include more than two plants, for the simple fact that is it “simple”. It uses parts, or ratios instead of actual measurements, making it very easy to make more or less without doing a bunch of math.

The chart below shows how Rosemary’s book compares parts to tablespoons to teaspoons:

3 parts Chamomile3 tbsp. Chamomile3 tsp. Chamomile
2 parts Oats2 tbsp. Oats2 tsp. Oats
1 part Lemon Balm1 tbsp. Lemon Balm1 tsp. Lemon Balm
The simpler’s formula defines the relationship among ingredients, rather than exact amounts, making it easy to tweak if you want to double or half the recipe you have.

The “part” is whatever measurement you want to use, you just have to apply it consistently throughout the recipe. You can decide to use teaspoons, making 1 part=1 teaspoon. Same works with any other measurement, even if it is larger amounts like cups. If 1 cup=1 part, the chamomile listed above would be 3 cups, the oats at 2 cups, and lemon balm at 1 cup.

NOTE: Whatever part measurement you choose, it is best to use either all dry or all fresh herbs to maintain the ratio of your recipe.

The Simpler’s Method goes along with “a pinch of this and a dab of that” that I am sure you have heard your grandmother talk about when cooking. It isn’t a scientific approach to measurement, but when you are using non-toxic plants, it is a great easy way to measure your remedies out. You don’t even have to use actual measurements. If you have a little tea cup your grandmother used to measure out things with, you can make that equal to 1 part and continue from there and come out with the same results if using a tablespoon or measuring cup, which is most likely exactly what she used it for, even if she didn’t have a name for it.


I am not sponsored by anyone, I just thoroughly enjoy Rosemary’s books. I highly encourage you to invest in your own books. I believe hard copy over digital is the best to invest your money in, even if it is a little more expensive. If the grid ever goes down, you will still have knowledge at your fingertips with physical copies of books. It may not be as easy to search for things like Google makes it, but hard copies are priceless if shit hits the fan.

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Many blessings,
Emma Lee Joy


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