Make Your Own Supplement Journal

Why You Should Keep a Supplement Diary

This supplement diary can help you keep track of the herbs and supplements you're taking. Make a photocopy for your doctor and other health care providers so they have this information in your chart. Keeping them up-to-date with this supplement diary may help prevent drug interactions and potentially harmful reactions.

What You Need for Your Supplement Diary

  • You will need to have all of your herb, supplement, vitamin, and mineral bottles on a table in front of you.
  • You will also need a printer and paper. I have designed the supplement diary page you need, which you will find on the last page of this article. There is room for four supplements per page--you may need to print several copies, depending on how many supplements you are taking.

See the links below for all the steps involved in making a supplement diary.

What is the Product Name and Brand Name?

Supplement Label

The first step is to write down the product name and brand name of the supplement on the first line, "Name (including brand)".

For example, the product name on the label of fish oil simply says "Fish Oil". So you would write this down.

Write the brand name down next to the product name "Fish Oil".

If the company lists a website name on the bottle, write that down as well. Your health care provider may have additional questions after looking at your supplement diary, and knowing the website can help him or her find information quickly.

Why Are You Using It?

On the "Used For" line of the supplement diary, write down why you are taking the herb or supplement.

Is it for high blood pressure? Acne? PMS? For general health? Whatever the reason, note why you are taking the supplement on this line.

What are the Ingredients?

Supplement Facts

Most of the information can be found in the "Supplement Facts" box on the label.

Write down what constitutes a serving size. In this example, one serving size is 2 softgels. So I would write down "Serving size = 2 softgels"

The information in the "Supplement Facts" box is the amount per serving, not per capsule.

Now list all the ingredients and the amount per serving. You do not have to include the % Daily Value, which is also listed on the label.

If the list of ingredients is long, feel free to write outside the lines on the blank space. You will need more room for multivitamins.

How Much Do You Take?

Now that you have listed the all the ingredients, you need to record how much you are taking.

Is it two capsules two times a day? Or are you taking one capsule three times a day? If it is a liquid supplement, are you taking one tablespoon once a day? Or do you take the supplement occasionally as needed?

How Long Have You Been Taking It?

When did you start taking the supplement? Did you start in January of last year, or has it only been a week?

You may not be able to remember specific dates (another reason why a supplement diary is necessary), but please try to be as precise as you can.

Who Recommended It?

Did you start taking the supplement after consulting with a naturopathic doctor? A herbalist? An acupuncturist? Your medical doctor? A health food store clerk? This information is really helpful for your health care providers. People at the health food store don't have your complete health history, so shoppers often end up with supplements that aren't appropriate for them.

If you're considering using supplements for any health purpose, it's essential that you consult your primary care provider first. It's also important to note that self-treating a condition and avoiding or delaying standard care may have serious consequences. 

Additional Notes

You can record any additional information or instructions about the product that was given to you when the supplement was recommended to you.

Or write down any other information you might think is relevant.

Print Your Supplement Diary Pages

Now you are ready to start keeping your own supplement diary.

You can find the Supplement Diary page here. Hit the "Print" button at the top of the screen to print the page.

Disclaimer: The information contained on this site is intended for educational purposes only and is not a substitute for advice, diagnosis or treatment by a licensed physician. It is not meant to cover all possible precautions, drug interactions, circumstances or adverse effects. You should seek prompt medical care for any health issues and consult your doctor before using alternative medicine or making a change to your regimen.

Continue Reading