Meet Mullein. If you were to go buy some cut up mullein leaves in bulk, you might be surprised at how light and fluffy they are. But stored inside those nice, soft, friendly-looking leaves is a powerhouse of nutrients for your lungs. As far back as Civil War times, when soldiers ran out of conventional medical supplies, they turned to mullein.
Here are some interesting aspects of this velvet leaf:
Mullein assists the body in soothing inflamed tissues.
Mullein helps strengthen sinuses and supports free breathing.
Mullein may assist the body in clearing the lungs and calming spasms.
Mullein supports general respiratory health.
Mullein supports healthy lymphatic flow.
Mullein assists the body in nourishing healthy nerves, especially those agitated by coughs or spasms.
Mullein helps the body move mucus out.
Mullein assists the body in protecting mucous surfaces and may help inhibit the absorption of allergens through mucous membranes.
Oil of Mullein helps the body in dealing with symptoms associated with ear infections.
As the cold months approach, this is a great herb to have on hand. Taking it as a tea is the most soothing method. Drink up, stay warm, and breathe right!
Well, just like the name suggests, it’s a broth, but one that is incredibly nutritious and helpful to the body. Made from boiling bones of healthy animals along with vegetables and herbs, bone broth is packed with minerals (like calcium, phosphorus, magnesium, and potassium) in forms that your body can easily absorb. The nutrition within can help the body improve joint and ligament health, digestive health, as well as assist the body in fighting inflammation and cellulite. You’ll notice that when it cools it usually gels. That’s because of the pure gelatin that is leached out of the collagen from the animal bones. This helps support the body with healthy hair, skin, and nails and who doesn’t love that?
Now that you’re mouth is watering, here’s the recipe:
Several Pounds of Grass-fed Beef Bones (Suggested is 5-8 lbs)
A freezer bag full of vegetable scraps (carrot peelings, onion tops, celery leaves etc.)
Fresh, filtered water
2 Tbsp Cider Vinegar
2-3 Bay Leafs
Rinse and clean the bones under clean water. Pat them dry.
Roast the bones at 400 ° F for about an hour until the bones are well-browned and fragrant. Roasting the bones ensures a good flavor in the resulting beef stock. Failure to do so may lend a sour or off-taste to the end product.
Once the bones are browned, drain off any fat.
Add the bones to a big pot along with any vegetable scraps you might have. **Important tip: Avoid using brassicas (cabbage, broccoli, turnips, Brussels sprouts etc.) as these vegetables will lend a bitter flavor to your stock. Instead: garlic, leeks, mushrooms, onions, carrots and celery add great flavor.**
Add filtered water to cover and bring to a boil. Once you’ve brought the water to a boil, add the vinegar and bay leafs.
Turn down the heat and continue to simmer for several hours. it is recommended to let it simmer for about 24 hours.
Throughout the cooking process, skim off any foam and add water as needed.
When the stock is finished simmering, filter through a fine mesh sieve and bottle in mason jars. The stock should set just like gelatin, and the fat should rise to the top.
Pick off the fat and reserve it for cooking, then scoop out the gelled stock and reheat to serve as soup. Note that it’s wise to serve this stock very hot as it gels again once it cools.
It’s yellow. It’s bright and cheery. It can evolve into puffballs and grant wishes. But, to the ordinary gardener, it’s just a pesky weed. Well, time to rethink this common weed and look at its great potential. Apart from possibly granting wishes, it’s super nourishing to the body, especially for the kidneys and the liver.
According to the How To Herb Book, Dandelion:
· is one of the best blood purifiers and blood builders available
· is high in vitamins and minerals, especially calcium
· contains all the nutritive salts for the blood. Dandelion helps the body restore and balance the blood, so anemia, which is caused by deficiencies of these blood salts, can disappear
· assists the body in lowering blood pressure and helps build energy and endurance
· is good for overweight people trying to lose weight. When losing weight, the body can become overly acidic. Dandelion helps the body rid itself of these acids
· is one of the best liver cleansers; it helps increase the activity of the liver and the flow of bile into the intestines
· is great for helping the body fight symptoms associated with hepatitis
· is helpful in increasing the activity of the pancreas and the spleen
· is good for the female organs
· can help open urinary passages
· is often used to help treat skin diseases
So, next time you see a dandelion come to a beautiful puffball, go ahead and blow those seeds across the garden. You’ll want them for later!
Let’s go back in time to see how the pioneers used to find beehives for all their honey needs…
It’s a beautiful spring morning with a gentle breeze over the wild field grasses. A little pioneer girl prepares her “bee box”. First, she sprinkles a little flour in the bottom of the box, slides the false bottom through the middle, then gently sets a few freshly picked wildflowers on the false bottom of the box. Now it’s time for a fun adventure!
Our little heroine finds a nice spot to set her box. She finds a place close to a flower patch that is growing on a small hillside. With the lid open and the fragrant flowers beckoning, she sits a few paces away and waits.
Soon a little bee friend finds her box and revels in the flowery treat inside. Our heroine quietly walks to the box and closes the lid, holding the bee inside, then slips the false bottom out. With one turn of the box, the wee bee friend is covered in flour!
The young pioneer lass then sets the box back in the exact spot it was, opens the lid and quietly waits for the bee, dusted in flour, to take flight. She is off to the most exciting journey of this adventure! The flour slows our bee down just enough so she can follow him to his hive.
Honey has been called “one of nature’s most beneficial foods.” It has been prized for ages, not only for its delicious sweetness, but for its medicinal properties as well. Just like our pioneer friend, we think honey is worth the hunt!
Sometimes the beauty of an herbal remedy is its simplicity. Here’s another dose of something easy that you can file under the category of “Kitchen Medicine.”
This citrus is known for its high amount of Vitamin C and antiseptic properties, but did you also know that it is great for cleansing the body? When we say “cleanse”, we mean it can help the body digest better and more effectively. Who wouldn’t want that? Here’s a morning routine that many herbalists have tried and tested that we think you’re going to love:
Every morning, after you brush your teeth and before you eat anything, squeeze one or two lemons (start with one) in a glass with a little bit of room temperature or slightly warm water. Drink the liquid with a straw so that the acid does not affect your teeth. Wait 15-20 minutes before eating.
This protocol will help kick start your digestion because lemons help stimulate bile flow and support the liver. And, since you are helping that liver, this means you are also helping your body purify your blood. This daily practice is a gentle cleanse that can take you on the road to healthier bowels. Enjoy!
How would you like a Wart Recipe? Now there’s a question you don’t hear very often!
When you think of the word “Wart,” other words that come to mind are “nuisance,” “embarrassing,” or just “eeew.”
If you come across a wart anytime soon, just remember 2 words: Myrrh & Apple Cider Vinegar. Myrrh is an herb that helps the body fight viruses, while Raw Apple Cider Vinegar helps with nourishing the skin. This is one successful combo you might want to consider in your arsenal!
Using powdered Myrrh and Raw Apple Cider Vinegar, make a paste (peanut butter consistency) and apply to the warts daily. Also, take capsulated Myrrh internally.
Within time, watch to see if the warts scab over and fall off. Then you’ll have 2 more allies to thank for your confidently clearer skin!
Someone once said: “ Forgive the mess, we are making memories.”
We fully realize that with family and friends, life can get messy. But often with the mess comes greater joys and happiness than we realize possible. We hope you will take a minute to reflect on what you have gained from your relationships and the memories you have made. And just to add a little more power to keep those memories fresh in your mind, here are some herbs that feed your brain and support your memory.
Ginkgo Biloba – supports blood circulation to the brain’s central nervous system.
Gotu Kola – is a “brain food” which aids the body in memory recall and energizes the cells of the brain.
Rosemary – was used by the ancient Greeks to support memory. Students would wear sprigs of it in their hair while they studied, making this special herb a symbol of remembrance.
It is our hope that you have built wonderful memories that will last you a lifetime, and you are eating those herbs which support your brain.
You already know that olive oil supports heart health. That’s why you cook with it instead of vegetable oil. What you probably did not know is that the health benefits of olive oil go way beyond what it can do for your heart. In fact, olive oil is one of the seven healers of the world and has been used medicinally for thousands of years. Olive oil works with the immune system in strengthening the body.
Bear in mind, though, that just as in cooking, the quality of olive oil that you use to support your body’s systems is important. All olive oil is not created equal. Extra virgin olive oil (or raw oil) is more effective for health issues by up to 80%. And just because you use olive oil in your cooking, you shouldn’t think that consuming it in cooked food will give you the same health benefits that using it therapeutically will. In fact, heating olive oil reduces its effectiveness by 80%. It’s still a great product, but it won’t have the effect that you probably want from it.
Just think: a good quality extra virgin olive oil can fight free radicals and lubricate and nourish many of your body’s key systems. How many other items in your pantry can make those claims?
Today is National I Want You to Be Happy Day, and in honor of that, we would like to share a story with you of the wisdom of a child in making sunshine out of rain:
A busy mom drove frantically to pick her daughter up from school in the pouring rain, concerned that her daughter would be spooked by the thunder and lightning. Our heroine spotted her daughter a few blocks from home and was amazed to find a happy little girl, skipping and stopping to smile widely every time lightning flashed through the sky.
When she got in the car, the mom asked why the little girl was so happy in the frightful storm. The girl replied, “I just imagined that every time the lightning came, it was God taking my picture!”
Did you know that smiling can literally make you happy? It’s true. When we smile, a message is sent to our brain to make serotonin which is the “happy” chemical our bodies make naturally.
There are also herbs that you could use to help you fight off the blues and support happy, healthy brain chemical activity. Next time you are in need of a pick-me-up, explore:
St. John’s Wort
So, when you feel a rainstorm coming into your life, use the example of the sweet little girl and try smiling at each proverbial flash of lightning.
Your pancreas: it’s a little organ with a big job. It helps the body with digestion by releasing enzymes that are essential for breaking down our food into nutrients our body can absorb. It may arguably be one of the most important digestive organs in the body. And of course, the pancreas also regulates blood sugar by releasing insulin to lower blood sugar, and glucagon to raise it.
With such important duties to perform, how can we keep our pancreas in tip-top shape? As herbalists, we would suggest herbs, of course! Here are a few pancreas-supporting herbs to get you started.
Yarrow: It originated in the Middle East and has been used there by traditional healers to treat blood sugar issues. Yarrow promotes the removal of toxins from the blood and moves them through the digestive system. It improves digestive evacuation by supporting and regulating liver and pancreas functions and secretions.
Stevia: Not only is Stevia a sweet substitute for sugar, it has been shown in studies to improve glucose metabolism which in turn lowers blood glucose levels. This is especially important for people experiencing symptoms of insulin resistance.
Cinnamon: Another delicious herb with great benefits! Studies have shown that Cinnamon lowers fasting blood sugar levels over time when taken daily.
Finally, there are some delicious raw fruits that naturally contain digestive enzymes. These include pineapples, papayas, mangoes, and avocados. Adding one of these amazing foods to your meals will give your pancreas a much-needed break from digestion duties! Enjoy!
In honor of Tortilla Chip Day, what goes better with Chips than Salsa? One of the key ingredients of salsa is also one of the Seven Healers — Garlic! Not only can you enjoy garlic in salsa, but some of you intrepid souls might endeavor to celebrate the day with, you guessed it, Garlic Shooters!
Before you balk, let’s sing garlic’s praises:
One is that it is antibacterial and antiviral. That’s right, it can help boost your immune system. So, as the winter season ends, consider this recipe to fight off any lingering colds or flues.
Freshly squeezed juice of ½ Lemon
1-2 Tablespoons Water (optional)
1 clove Garlic, freshly minced or crushed
Put the lemon juice and water into a cup. Add a freshly crushed garlic clove. Immediately swirl cup to achieve a circling motion and drink in one gulp.
Note: Once the garlic is crushed it should be used within ten minutes for best potency.
What’s that you say? Odor? Well the solution is simple. Have everyone around you take a garlic shooter as well! This keeps everyone’s immune system strong, everyone’s noses not so sensitive, and bonds friendship! What better way to celebrate bonding with garlic? Ole’!
February 17th is “Random Acts of Kindness Day”! In honor of this life-affirming holiday, we’d like to give you three ways you can help your body raise your serotonin levels naturally, a random act of kindness to yourself. When we are happy we are more prone to doing random acts of kindness for others.
1. St. John’s Wort
With a long history of being used in ancient Greece, St. John’s Wort helps with a range of issues, not the least of which is to assist with various “nervous disorders”. To soothe our nerves and stimulate our happy-for-no-reason hormones, check out the benefits of this sunny yellow flower:
Helps those dealing with anxiety, nervous tension, and depression by helping raise serotonin levels, especially for those experiencing mental burnout.
Has been reported to have antibacterial & antiviral properties.
Shows promise in studies as possessing anti-inflammatory properties, a great help to the skin when dealing with wounds or burns.
Studies have shown that it has been helpful to people dealing with SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder) during the winter months.
Assists women dealing with physical and emotional symptoms associated with PMS.
St. John’s Wort can be taken in capsules, in tincture, and as a great additive to salves. Consider adding it to your arsenal when dealing with sicknesses — not solely for helping fight the sickness, but for helping boost your mood while cooped up and recovering. Sometimes just helping your attitude can make all the difference in the world.
2. Smile as big as you can for 10 seconds
This is amazingly simple and free. Smiling is clinically reported to physiologically stimulate positive mood receptors in the left temporal lobe of the brain and to help recover baseline cardiovascular levels when in mourning.
3. Perform a random act of kindness
A study was done where brain waves were monitored for the serotonin levels of two groups of people. One group performed acts of service, the other group was the recipient of the service. The scientists were pleasantly surprised to find that the serotonin levels were raised in both the people who performed the service as well as those that received the kindness.
Random acts of kindness really, truly, and physically can help us become happier people. Arm yourself with a beatific smile & some St. John’s Wort, and share your wonderful self randomly today. It will come back to you in spades!
If you talk to a pet owner, chances are you will find someone who thinks the world of their pet. You may even hear “Fido is my best friend” or “Fifi is just like my child.” We believe that all animals are amazing and deserve as great a quality of life as their human companions. We would like to introduce you to a few wonderful herbs to help your 4-legged & feathered friends perform at their best.
Animal bodies work a lot like ours do. If you feed them the right nutrients, their bodies will respond favorably and they will be able to fulfill their missions on this earth…even if that means supporting us by having someone to cuddle, or chirping us a beautiful song.
Let’s face it, much of our pet friends’ store-bought food supply is just not up to the nutrient level it should be. So what can we do for them? Good wholesome herbs are the ticket!
Here are a few you can feed your pets to boost their supportive “super powers”:
Barley Grass Juice – chock-full of vitamins
Pure White Coral – great source of soluble calcium
Damiana – balances their hormones
We know you love your pets and want the best for them. Baby your babies by feeding them wholesome herbs and watch them baby you back in their unique loving ways.
Mix with enough water to make a paste (toothpaste consistency). Paint onto muslin or other material (our family always used pillowcases) in a wide teardrop shape, about the size of your chest & neck area. If using a pillowcase, apply on one side of the pillowcase, then fold the other side over it. Apply directly on chest and neck, then put a blanket on you to hold in the heat.
It WILL “burn like the dickens” (Grandma’s expression) and your chest will turn red & itch. Keep it on there until it’s not hot anymore, about 20 minutes.
Any lung stuff. I’ve personally used it for symptoms associated with pneumonia, croup and asthma
The above remedy was contributed by one of our apprentices, Ginger Warner.
There’s a similar folk remedy, in “Chicken Soup & Other Folk Remedies” for cold/flu-like symptoms, which states:
“Mix the white of one raw egg with four teaspoonful of prepared mustard and rub it on the chest. Take a (preferably white) towel and dip it in hot water, then wring it out and place it on top of the mixture already on the chest. As soon as the towel is cool, re-dip it in hot water, wring it out and again, put it back on the chest. Reapply the towel four or five times. After the last application of the towel, wash off the chest, dry thoroughly, bundle up and go to bed.”
Mustard powder and seeds have been known to lend supportive aid to canker sores, hemorrhoids, toothaches, help prevent gas, and even “bring on a period”.
It’s amazing how folk remedies have been around for so long and yet continue to evolve through our family’s generations. Thanks for sharing!
“The skin is a true symbol of our health because it’s the last place to get nutrition, and if you can drive all those nutrients all the way through to the skin, then you know it’s gotten everywhere else too, and that’s something that we all recognize.” – David Wolfe, Nutritionist
Too often we look at problems on our skin and start thinking that the only solution is something that can be applied externally. However, whatever is going on with our largest organ (remember, our skin is our largest organ) can be helped with nourishment from the inside first. Taking herbs that support the liver, kidneys, and the digestive system will show through on our skin. Herbs such as Milk Thistle, Juniper Berries, and Aloe Vera are a great start.
Find what works for you by doing some research, take some herbs, and make the changes necessary to help and nourish your skin from within.
Aloe Vera naturally brings vitality and beauty to the skin without any harmful side effects. After all, haven’t you ever used a skin cream with a warning that it may cause some stinging or burning? Has a cream ever turned your skin red? Surely you’ve noticed that nearly all skin creams caution to keep away from the eye area. Not only is Aloe Vera safe to use around the eyes, some people actually use it in their eyes! That’s right: they use pure Aloe Vera gel, the same gel that the Ancient Egyptians used as part of their beauty regimen, as an eye drop to improve circulation and eyesight.
Be careful, though! You don’t want to use Aloe Vera with chemical-laced creams or lotions. The Aloe Vera goes 7 or 8 layers deep into your skin, and it can take the toxins in the skin creams with it, which can lower your immune system. Make sure that you are supporting your skin with Aloe Vera alone and not a chemical cocktail.
helps promote collagen production which supports healthy joints as well as glowing skin.
assists the body in absorbing minerals,such as iron from plants
helps fight free radicals
supports healthy cells and body tissue
supports healthy blood vessels
assists the body in boosting the immune system
It’s no wonder that Vitamin C is one of the most popular supplements on the market. But rather than turning to synthetic supplements here are some incredible herbs that you can use to boost your vitamin C intake and your body is just going to love:
Amla Berry: Is a highly regarded Ayurvedic herb also known as Indian Gooseberry that contains unusually high levels of vitamin C. It may also assist the body in supporting healthy blood sugar levels, healthy digestion, healthy eyes, and a healthy liver.
Camu Camu: Is another vitamin C powerhouse that comes from the rainforests of the Amazon. In fact it is considered THE vitamin C powerhouse as there is no other food on the planet with the same Vitamin C concentration. In addition, Camu Camu has anti-inflammatory and anti-viral properties, supports a healthy nervous system, especially with the brain and eyes, and nourishes the liver.
Other herbs that are uniquely high in Vitamin C are Rose Hips and Acerola Cherries. Go check it out!
These herbs can be made into a tea or put in a capsule, but here is a unique way to have your power-packed Vitamin C herbs:
Vitamin C Honey Balls
1 Tbsp Amla Berry powder
1 Tbsp Camu Camu powder
1 Tbsp Rose Hips powder
1 Tbsp Acerola powder
Take slightly warmed honey and pour enough over the herbs – while stirring – to make them stick.
Form into small balls (pea size or slightly bigger) then roll in powdered orange peel.
Store in an airtight container. Take 1-3 a day (depending on the size).
Change the combination to your liking or add another herb. Let us know what you come up with! Enjoy!
This regal plant with its crown of beautiful plumage crowns what we need to say about herbs and where herbs need to go. You cannot take Echinacea and take it the way, fresh or dried properly or take enough of it and not say, wow I feel a difference. I notice this. It stands up and helps you notice it, but in a more gentle way.
Let’s talk about fungus. No, not the smelly fungus that grows on your son’s football cleats. We mean mushrooms. Specifically, medicinal mushrooms that have been used in Eastern medicine for thousands of years. You don’t eat these fungal friends. They are meant to be taken in powdered form, as an additive to a smoothie or in a capsule. Let’s introduce you to a few of them.
Turkey Tail: Most medicinal mushrooms exhibit anticancer properties, but Turkey Tail takes it up a notch. This mushroom contains a compound called polysaccharide-K (PSK) that stimulates the immune system. PSK is so potent that it is an approved anticancer prescription drug in Japan. Turkey Tail has been shown to improve the survival rate of people with certain cancers, fight leukemia cells, and improve the immune system of people receiving chemotherapy.
Lion’s Mane: A fluffy mushroom that looks like a pom-pom, Lion’s mane is packed with antioxidants and strengthens the immune system, but this fungal friend is famous for the brain boost it gives you. Lion’s Mane promotes the production of the bioprotein nerve growth factor (NGF) and myelin (the insulation around our nerves). NGF and myelin are essential to brain health. Studies have shown that Lion’s Mane improves cognition, increases concentration, and can help alleviate anxiety and irritability.
Reishi: This medicinal mushroom is one of the most popular for good reason. It exhibits unique calming properties because it contains a compound called triterpene. Triterpene may be useful in alleviating anxiety, easing depression and promoting better sleep. People also use Reishi for sharper brain focus, immune system health and it may even help with weight loss.
Try adding one of these medicinal mushrooms to your herbal arsenal. Then go out and buy your son some new football cleats!
Migraines can be a symptom of a variety of issues: from an overloaded liver to a hormone imbalance. Many people deal with these issues. The trick is finding the cause so you know how to nourish the body properly. Here is one solution that may help:
Take a glass with 1 cup of warm water and the juice of 1 fresh squeezed lemon juice with a high concentration (1-2 teaspoons) of Himalayan salt crystals and drink it.
High quality salt like Himalayan Salt is an excellent source of minerals, electrolytes and elements. Replenishing the body with these much needed minerals can help strengthen the body’s muscle tissue and immune system. It may help with increased energy levels and even assist the body in balancing serotonin levels in the bloodstream. It can also help bring back proper overall alkaline and electrolyte balance.
Lemons are a great stimulant for the liver and help move things along in the bowels. They are also alkalizing for the body and help kill intestinal worms. Additionally, because of their high vitamin C content, lemons helps to neutralize free radicals in the body.
Like we said, migraines have a variety of reasons, but this combo is a great way to nourish and gently cleanse.
Did you know that Alfalfa can help your social life? Stop looking for the strongest deodorant available at the grocery store…instead, look to Alfalfa. Not only is it packed with nutrients (Seriously! Packed! Look it up!), but its benefits will make you clean through and through.
For starters it contains chlorophyll. Chlorophyll is one molecule away from the chemical makeup of human blood. It absorbs easily into the body and assists in cleansing blood. Because of this, it can help with digestion, nourishing cells, tissues, and organs and helps the body rid itself of toxins, bacteria, and acid.
Do you know what this means? Since it’s cleaning out toxins it is basically acting like an internal deodorant. Bad breath? Alfalfa helps. Stinky feet? Alfalfa helps. Body odor? Alfalfa helps. Stinky athletic teenagers hanging around your house after practice? Make them take alfalfa. Seriously, try it!
Is there an herb for organization? Yes: Yerba Mate (pronounced mä’-tay). How does this herb help you organize? Just read on, friends.
I spent a short time in Argentina and saw this herb everywhere. Just like the British have tea time, Argentina has “Mate”. People would have get-togethers and always bring their hot water thermoses and Mate. They would carry it with them when riding their scooters, walking through town, and meeting together at churches. They’d gather ’round, put the herb in a wooden cup or carved out gourd, add hot water and sugar, and then drink it through a special straw called a bombilla. Then they’d pass it around the group, each taking a turn. It was a beautiful cultural ritual that symbolized togetherness and community. It was a way for people to sit, relax, and enjoy family and friendship.
Other than having the power to bring people together, Yerba Mate has some incredible health benefits:
It helps enhance your ability to focus (yes, even when you need to organize). The vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, amino acids, and polyphenols have been reported to help balance out the caffeine also found in Yerba Mate. Some users report having increased mental energy, clarity, and focus without experiencing headaches or jitters associated with synthetic caffeine.
It is packed with antioxidants. In fact, it has 90% more than green tea. This helps boost the immune system and assist in slowing the aging process.
Enhances physical endurance and aids in weight-loss. It helps the body use carbohydrates more efficiently, meaning your body will store less fat and you’ll have more energy for daily activities, especially workouts.
Aids in digestion and helps the colon eliminate more effectively.
Supports cardiovascular health. All those amino acids and antioxidants support the arteries and bloodstream.
Our hope is that you will have all the energy you need to accomplish your goals and dreams. Yerba Mate is one that will support your body as you live, work, and play. So, give it a shot, with our blessing of health and happiness!
I once heard a fellow herbalist take a very different approach as she talked about herbs that were principally meant for boosting libido. One thing she noticed in her personal use was that in addition to helping with those specific physical aspects, the herbs also seemed to give her a new zest for life. She felt a heightened passion in her existence, for her interests, for her surroundings. I thought that this holistic result was interesting. So let’s look at one herb known for its passionate effects:
This herb is native to Mexico and parts of Central America and it is very well known for boosting libido. With a Latin name like Turnera aphrodisiaca, what else will people think? The use of this herb dates back to the Mayans and Aztecs and modern-day Mexico considers it a national treasure. So, all blushing aside, we know that it can assist the body in promoting a healthy libido and in balancing the hormones. But if you do your research, you may see that it is nourishing to the reproductive system and sexual glands all around. It may help the body in dealing with impotence or infertility. It may assist the female body in promoting a healthy menstrual cycle as well as provide nourishing support during menopause. The list goes on in this area.
But in other aspects of passion, Damiana may also be of assistance.
It has been used as a mild emotional uplift
It may help the body in dealing with symptoms associated with depression
It may also nourish the nervous system and work as a calming tonic
The Mayans used it to help support the lungs
It can help the digestive tract of children and work as a laxative
It can assist those dealing with symptoms associated with a headache
Try Damiana in a tincture, capsules, or in a tea. Try coupling it with other soothing herbs such as chamomile, passionflower, or lemongrass.
It’s nice to feel good and passionate about life. As we tackle our new year and want to make changes, perhaps adding a bit of passion to our herbal regimen may be just what we need for an extra boost!
We could call it the wise man of the immune system. Studies have shown that Elderberry helps the body fight symptoms associated with influenza. It has anti-viral properties, is high in vitamins A & C, and other antioxidants. It is also anti-inflammatory.
One thing that is great to have on hand during the winter months is Elderberry Syrup. Here is a great (and easy) recipe to make some of your own:
Elderberry Syrup – Ingredients
2 cups fresh elderberries OR 1 cup dried elderberries
4 cups water
6 whole cloves
2 tbsp fresh grated ginger
2 cinnamon sticks
2 cups raw honey
Place all ingredients except for the honey in a saucepan. Bring the mixture to a boil and simmer for 30 minutes.
Strain the mixture. Place a piece of cheese cloth inside a fine mesh strainer and squeeze as much juice as you can from the cheesecloth.
Add the honey to the juice and stir until mixed well. Step 4: Place syrup in a glass jar and refrigerate to use daily. You may also can or freeze the syrup for later use.
Dosage: As a preventative, 1 tbsp per day for an adult and 1 tsp per day for a child.
When feeling sick, 1 tbsp per hour for an adult, 1 tsp per hour for a child.
Note: It is not recommended to give honey to children under the age of one year. You can substitute another natural sweetener like Grade B maple syrup instead of using honey.
There is wisdom in the Elderberry. Look it up, try out it out, and see what this old geezer has to offer. Just kidding. Respect your Elderberries.
In the past, we’ve talked about all the versatile uses of raw Apple Cider Vinegar, but let’s highlight one of our favorite features:
Raw Apple Cider Vinegar contains powerful enzymes that help promote digestion in the body. Because of its low acidity, it promotes a healthy PH balance which, in turn, may help the body maintain healthy levels of good bacteria and deter things like candida or parasites. It may also help the body cleanse the blood and purge itself of toxins.
So what does this all mean?
These are all components that may contribute to maintaining your healthy body weight. Some herbalists, as well as your great grandmother, have used raw Apple Cider Vinegar on a daily basis as a gentle tonic. But when trying to improve weight loss, some herbalists have taken it as much as three times a day. This practice may help the body in dealing with toxins and weight loss as well as assisting the body to suppress the appetite. This can be done with 1-3 teaspoons of vinegar and can be diluted with water to reduce the strength of the vinegar. This is an age-old practice, however, we thought we’d spice things up and share a variation on an old classic. Here is a recipe that can amp up your detox as well as improve the taste of vinegar:
In a glass of 8-12 oz of water add the following:
1-2 Tbs. Raw Apple Cider Vinegar
1-2 Tbs. Lemon Juice
½ – 1 tsp Cinnamon
1 dash of Cayenne pepper or powdered Ginger Root
Honey or Stevia to taste
Blend together and drink
This combination of herbs may seem strong, especially in taste, so use wisdom and follow your body. But just check out all the great features of this drink: While the Apple Cider Vinegar and Lemon Juice work together to help the body detox, Cinnamon, with its high antioxidants, also helps the body in achieving healthy levels of blood sugar. The Cayenne or Ginger (whichever you choose), are both known as catalyst herbs, meaning they help improve the efficacy of the herbs they are paired with. But they are also great in helping the body with digestion and detoxification of the blood.
As you work toward your goals, remember the great tools Mother Nature provides to sustain a healthy lifestyle.
Give this detox drink a shot, and tell us what you think!
Here’s a great salve to help pamper your body after all those New Year’s resolution workouts (and to all those who haven’t written down your goals yet, this is not a guilt trip. It’ll be fun to make the salve and have it ready for when you do decide to do those workouts). Celebrate health and wellness this week and make yourself this awesome (and super easy) recipe!
Cayenne and St. John’s Wort Salve Ingredients:
4 oz olive oil
1/2 oz St. John’s Wort powder
1/2 oz Cayenne powder
1/4 ounce beeswax
Using a crockpot*, combine olive oil, St. John’s Wort, and Cayenne on the “Warm” setting. Let infuse for 24 hours.
The next day, strain oil through cheesecloth or muslin cloth to remove excess powder.
Place herbal infused oil and beeswax into the crockpot and gently warm until the beeswax melts.
Quickly pour into a small jar and allow it to cool completely.
Salves should be stored in a cool location where they will remain semi-solid.
* If you don’t own a crockpot, but do have a double boiler, you can combine the ingredients, heat until boiling, turn it off, and let the herbs infuse for 24 hours.
Today we give time to our delightful Fluffy Flighted Friends who provide the world such beauty, song, entertainment, and eggs!
Variety is the spice of life, for animals as well as humans. Here is a list of herbs to pamper your aerial ally:
· Parsley is high in vitamins A and C and can provide fun for birds to shred, and equal fun for us to watch.
· Aloe Vera applied topically via liquid spray bottle, can curb a bird that is chewing & plucking its feathers. Aloe Vera also soothes irritated skin.
· Chamomile’s tiny yet fragrant flowers can provide a calming effect, either given fresh or dried.
· Dandelion flowers and greens can be as cleansing & mineralizing to birds as they are to people.
Aromatic herbs can do double duty by providing aromatherapy, such as:
If you are looking for something to help you hit the ground running, we’d like to introduce you to Cordyceps.
Cordyceps Sinensis is a mushroom that is found high up in the Himalayas and Tibetan plains attached to and growing on the bodies of insects, mostly caterpillars. It’s not your typical grocery store mushroom! This adaptogenic fungus has so many incredible benefits:
Helps increase energy and stamina
Promotes better oxygen efficiency
Helps reduce fatigue and muscle soreness
Has anti-aging properties
Helps improve the immune system
Nourishes the cardiovascular system
And the list goes on…..
This herb has been used by top athletes in world competitions. It’s also been used by multi-tasking stay-at-home moms! This herb is for anybody who wants to perform at their best. So, if you are looking at a “New Year, New You”, think of adding Cordyceps to your herb cabinet and try it out!
It’s been called a miracle tree and is known to be fast-growing and drought tolerant. Every part of the tree can be used, from the leaves to the seeds, to the roots, and even the flowers. Moringa is seriously amazing. In fact, many times when we write these inspirations for you, we remind ourselves of how great a certain herb is. But this herb is so inspiring, so amazing, that the writer had to get up from her seat to go take some Moringa right now! Here’s something to whet your appetite, but you’ll definitely want to go learn more after you read this…
Ounce for ounce, Moringa has:
more protein and calcium than milk
more vitamin A than carrots
more potassium than bananas
more vitamin C than oranges
and more iron than spinach
Additionally, this amazing plant:
is high in antioxidants such as Vitamin C, beta carotene, quercetin, and chlorogenic acid
has compounds that help the body lower blood sugar
has anti-inflammatory properties
supports healthy cholesterol levels
is the best plant source for the amino acid tryptophan, which helps the body deal with insomnia and anxiety
nourishes the body in such a way that it supports healthy levels of thyroid hormones
supports healthy hair, skin, and nails
helps the body fight bacteria and parasites
has been studied in Africa to help with symptoms associated with AIDS
has been used by researchers to purify water
Amazing, right? But look it up, check it out, and try some. Let us know what you think!
It’s everywhere! Break rooms at the office, Aunt Mabel’s kitchen, your neighbors may even hunt you down with a plate full of it. You can run from all this sugar, but it’s very hard to hide. And while some people can handle it just fine, there are others whose bodies can’t handle the sugar. So, meet Green Stevia.
You may have heard of Stevia, the refined product that is used as a sweetener. It’s a great natural sweetener. Take a look at this light green plant and see how it helps and nourishes the body.
· Helps the body naturally balance blood sugar levels
· Nourishes the pancreas and adrenals
· Helps curb food cravings
· Assists in dealing with weight reduction
· And here’s a bonus – helps those dealing with tobacco cravings
All this sugar is definitely not good for us, but let’s face it, we’re human. When coworkers, Aunt Mabel, and the neighbors insist on sharing their yummy goods, it’s nice to know that we have an herb that will help give us the right nutrients to bounce back. Armed with Green Stevia, you have a fighting chance!
We know this herb was so special 2,000 years ago that Wise Men felt it was worthy of a valuable gift. We can probably speculate why they did so, but here are five reasons why Myrrh still holds value to the modern-day herbalist:
1. Myrrh is an antiseptic, which makes it good for sores and wounds.
2. It is especially nourishing to the mouth and can help the body with throat or mouth sores. Use as a gargle or mouthwash.
3. It assists the body in fighting candida or thrush.
4. It helps the body fight infections and is especially helpful to the body when dealing with chest afflictions.
5. Where Goldenseal cannot be used because of hypoglycemia or pregnancy, Myrrh is an excellent replacement. Or, used together with Goldenseal, it makes an excellent antiseptic salve.
However you decide to use it, we are sure you will come to see that Myrrh truly is a treasure!
There’s nothing more house warming than the smell of Clove in the air. You may see it on a ham or in a yummy spiced Wassail. And who doesn’t remember sticking a hundred tiny cloves into an orange in elementary school?
But did you know….
Back in the day, Grandma used to chew on the whole cloves to promote fresh breath and help the body with healthier teeth.
Dentists once used it to numb the gums as well as to help disinfect because of the ingredient Eugenol. Some people still use Cloves to assist the body in dealing with symptoms associated with a toothache.
Cloves help the body fight parasites.
They promote healthy digestion.
Many people use Clove essential oil to help the body fight off athlete’s foot because of its antifungal properties. Because of its strength, some people need to use it with a carrier oil.
Clove essential oil has also been used by many to help pull heavy metals from the body. It is recommended to apply it to the feet every night for 30 days.
We hope you will enjoy these comforting benefits of this aromatic herb!
Known for its antioxidant properties, its phytoestrogens that help balance hormone levels, and its high levels of omega-3 fatty acids, flaxseed is simply one of the easiest things you can add to your diet to gain tremendous health benefits. Here are 6 more things to know about this amazing plant:
The SPROUTS are edible and have a slightly spicy flavor.
The TEA can help soothe the discomfort of a queasy stomach and support the integrity of mucous membranes in the lining of the respiratory tract. To make the tea, mix a teaspoon of ground flaxseed meal in a hot cup of water or juice and drink it three times daily.
Flaxseed OIL is highly nutritious and can be used for its laxative properties. It can help strengthen the kidneys so they can perform their proper function.
Making it into a POULTICE is even helpful to the body. You can do this by stirring 1-2 Tbsp. of flaxseed powder into 2-4 oz. hot water. Let it soak until a slimy gel forms. At this point, you can add other herbs to enhance the supportive properties, such as goldenseal root, comfrey, or slippery elm bark. Spread the gel on a small piece of cloth or directly on the skin and cover with a clean cloth. This is great for irritations of the skin.
The body doesn’t digest the WHOLE seed thoroughly but it can still help the body pull toxins. Meanwhile, the GROUND seeds are susceptible to insects and rancidity, so keep the ground meal in a covered container in the refrigerator. Do not eat flax seeds that smell rancid or foul.
Do not use BOILED flaxseed oil for medicinal or nutritional purposes. Heat causes a chemical change in the flax that is unfavorable to the body. In industry, flaxseed oil is heated and processed and then used as a binder in paints, varnishes, stains, furniture polish, and other things that have absolutely nothing to do with your body. So don’t boil your flaxseed oil unless you are trying to make some of these things!
You’ve always known Flaxseed was great and now you know 6 important facts about this nutritious seed. Now, go celebrate this new found knowledge and have some in a smoothie!
Have you ever wondered why Gold, Frankincense, and Myrrh were considered gifts precious enough for a King? Many have given their interpretations of the meaning and significance of these three gifts, but we want to give you an Herbie’s perspective:
Gold – For buying the herbs, of course! Ho, ho, ho!
Frankincense – Supports the limbic system of the brain (emotional center), as well as the hormones. It also helps the body deal with inflammation.
Myrrh – Stimulates the body to help get rid of mucus. It helps support the immune system and promotes healthy oral hygiene (aka “the herbal breath freshener”). The powdered herb has also been used on umbilical cords after birth.
As you give gifts to your loved ones this year, remember the first three gifts of Christmas!
Fatigue. Foggy thinking. Brittle nails. Pale skin. These are just some of the issues associated with low iron in the blood. It’s not fun and many times gets overlooked because the issues can be so subtle. Iron is important because it assists the red blood cells in transporting oxygen to the body. If the body is low in iron then it has to work harder, leaving you low in energy or having a hard time focusing.
This is where we introduce Yellow Dock. This is an herb that is usually considered a pesky weed that, once established, is hard to get rid of. That is probably because it can contain as much as 40 percent iron compounds. It’s tough in nature, but the good news is that it’s so easy on your body. Taking a tablespoon of Yellow Dock decoction can assist the body in replenishing healthy iron levels. Also, because it supports the liver and assists the body in stimulating bile flow, Yellow Dock is great for the digestive system and does not constipate the body.
Try this recipe for Yellow Dock Decoction:
2 ounces Yellow Dock root, cut
1 quart Distilled Water
2 Tbsp. Honey, if desired
Put yellow dock root into a glass quart jar and cover with boiling distilled water. Let sit overnight.
Next day, empty into pan and heat on the stove on low, uncovered. Reduce to about 1-1/2 cups.
Strain and squeeze through prepared broad cloth (pre-rinse broad cloth in hot water to get rid of the stiffening agent).
Add 2 Tablespoons of honey, if desired.
Take 1 Tablespoon per day; 2 Tablespoons if symptoms are severe.
Wintertime & Christmas are often related to the fresh scent of Pine. This beautiful evergreen tree that covers many forests has a special place in our homes for the holidays. Decorated or not, the strong aroma of pine in the air is one of those memories most of us will take with us throughout our lives… and for good reason. Here are a few ways pine has been used throughout history.
Hippocrates studied it for its support of the respiratory system.
Native Americans stuffed mattresses with pine needles to repel lice and fleas.
Others have used pine essential oil in massaging stressed muscles and joints.
So whether you see this beautiful evergreen in the forest or all lit up and decorated in your home for the holidays, inhale deeply and enjoy the benefits this plant brings to the world.
The Cranberry. It’s a part of our American History. The early settlers used it for scurvy, digestion, appetite, and blood disorders. Native Americans used it for caring for wounds. And within the last 70 years or so, scientists started studying its medicinal properties.
This week, as you think about this fruit in a delicious, tart side dish, here are two major qualities of the cranberry that you may be thankful for:
Cranberries are loaded with antioxidants. Antioxidants seek out free radicals and assist in healthy cell growth. The antioxidants in cranberries may help the body in achieving healthy cholesterol levels and a healthy heart. They also may support the body in fighting infections and in dealing with cancer prevention. In short, they promote general health and wellness in the body.
Cranberries are also well known for helping the body fight urinary tract infections (UTIs). The reason for this is that scientists have found a quality in the berry where it actually inhibits bacteria, such as E. Coli, from adhering to the lining of the bladder and urethra. Cranberries also may help support the kidneys in helping the body rid itself of toxins. These are important when it comes to dealing with the symptoms associated with UTIs.
Though we’ve given you just two great things to be grateful for in the cranberry, we invite you to see what else it has to offer. Then, count all the blessings you can as you dine on this delicious berry.
When we think of cinnamon, it is usually coupled with sugar and butter, and like Pavlov’s dog, people start drooling. But long before our modern-day society decided to leave cinnamon in the pastry world, many other cultures had been using it for centuries. The Romans paid high prices for it. Chinese medicine has it listed in their recorded history since 659 AD. Egyptians used it in their embalming. Cinnamon was highly valued and even inspired world exploration. This simple spice in your cupboard isn’t so simple.
Here are just a few of the health benefits:
· Cinnamon helps calm stomach issues and improves digestion.
· It has anti-fungal and antibacterial properties and can help the body fight microorganisms that cause Botulism and Staphylococcus Aureus.
· It helps the body suppress E. coli and Candida Albicans.
· Putting 1/2 tsp of cinnamon in 1 cup hot water to drink as a tea helps support the body while dealing with menstrual cramps.
· Studies report that cinnamon helps the body balance blood sugar.
· Because of the way cinnamon helps the body process sugar and fat, it has a way of indirectly helping the body lower LDL cholesterol and triglycerides.
· Cinnamon can help the body decrease inflammation.
· The list goes on…
Try taking cinnamon and see what it does for you. 1 tsp a day (in capsules, in a tea, or spread it on your toast) is a reasonable amount, but as we always say, follow your body and use wisdom.
Oh, and that cinnamon that was in your cinnamon roll still doesn’t count as a healthy option 😉
Info taken from: Traditional Home Remedies by Martha White The Little Herb Encyclopedia by Jack Ritchason N.D.
This adorable herb is actually shaped like a star! Think about making it the star of your cupboard. It helps with digestion and nourishes the lungs. It also has anti-fungal properties and helps the body fight candida. It has antibacterial and antioxidant properties and it boosts the immune system.
But the thing we might love the most about Star Anise is that it helps the body with coughs. Even Hippocrates used it for just that.
In modern times, scientists have discovered the compound shikimic acid, a plant-based compound that has been used in labs to create oseltamivir, which is advertised in popular cough medications. Since we are looking for the whole food solution, it’s nice to know that Star Anise holds this compound naturally, in high concentrations. While you do your usual immune boosting routine over the following weeks, consider adding Star Anise.
OK, now I’m going to speak to you simply as a mother. When I have a sick child and I mean business, this is what I do:
I get out the orange juice, mix in some powdered greens, throw in the goldenseal and echinacea tincture (or sometimes myrrh and echinacea), put in a dollup of Elderberry syrup, and then, to top it off, I stir in a spoonful of Star Anise.
Sounds, uh, thick, doesn’t it? Well, yes, it is quite the concoction and I definitely get funny looks. But when they’re sick, they know at that point I’m not concerned about the taste. “Drink up,” I say. They grimace. They get that “Are you serious?” look on their face. But in the end they do it, because they know that every time they do, it helps them feel better. It gets those nutrients in immediately to start working in their bodies and it helps them deal with those yucky coughs.
You’ll notice I didn’t give measurements. If it helps, you could consider doing a teaspoon of each but the point is just getting the right herbs for the right issue and following your maternal (or paternal, or brotherly, or sisterly) instincts. Whatever you choose to do, consider Star Anise. And maybe you can come up with a tastier way of taking it!
There is nothing better than a juicy pear. Did you know that this delicious fruit is also very nourishing to the lungs? It is well known that pears are a great digestive aid and help the body normalize bowel function, but interestingly enough, they can also support the lungs and throat, especially when dry. Pears help the body clear the lungs and assist in eliminating phlegm. Because they moisten the lungs and throat, pears can help the body rid itself of dry, hacking coughs.
So, treat yourself, especially in the Fall when they are good and ripe, your lungs will help you shout for joy!
“The medicinal properties of the herb do not change with time, methods of preparation, or the philosophy of the user.
What works, works – even for the skeptical!”
– from ‘The Herbal Medicine-Maker’s Handbook, a Home Manual’ – by James Green, Herbalist.
Here’s a simple, easy to make recipe for a sanitizing spray:
Essential Oils – (Only 1-2 drops each of Clove and Cinnamon) Eucalyptus, Lavender, Lemon, Tea Tree (Melaleuca) – Total of 20 drops
All of these essential oils have antiseptic and antibacterial properties. May be used instead of disinfecting wipes or gels. Use as an air disinfectant, insect repellent, or to sanitize door knobs, as well as your computer keyboard and mouse.
If you get a whiff of this herb while you’re cooking, and your mouth starts to water, dwell on all these amazing uses of Sage and be grateful:
Sage has estrogenic hormonal properties that may assist women in a few different ways. For one, it can be regulatory to the female reproductive tract. This may range from helping with regular, healthy menstruation to assisting with the body’s adaptation to hormonal changes during menopause.
For lactating moms who are in the weaning process, two cups of Sage tea a day for seven days may assist the body in halting milk production.
Some people swear by Sage tea to assist in restoring natural color to greying hair. Spraying an infusion of Sage on the hair, while taking a daily dose of the tea has been one approach by many. While results may vary, it is worth a try.
Burning Sage has been a practice for thousands of years, especially in Native American cultures. Some use it for cleansing their home or environment. In some historical accounts, it had been used in hospitals. Recent studies over the past few years have found that burning Sage helps reduce bacteria within a confined space.
These are just a few of the wide variety of uses of Sage. Additionally, it is known to assist the body in nourishing the respiratory system, the nervous system, and the digestive tract. Amazing. So, while you savor this delicious spice, remember all its incredible uses as an herb.
Your hormones are the system that helps everything in your body communicate; they help your toes talk to your nose! Herbs like Black Cohosh are great for keeping your hormones balanced so they can do important jobs like keeping your bones strong.
This video snippet was taken from our Black Cohosh class, found in our Top 40 Herbs of North America course. If you are a member, you can view it here.
Onions are not only fun to use if you want to pretend you are crying, they are also one of those great foods that have tons of uses. One of our favorites is the age-old practice of making a poultice. This method helps the body pull congestion out of the lungs and the ears.
Chop 1 onion and sweat it in a pan.
Wrap it in muslin (or even a pillowcase).
For symptoms associated with chest congestion, set it on your chest for about 20 minutes.
For symptoms associated with ear aches, set it on your ear for about 20 minutes.
The same onion can be used twice, just sweat again and apply as before.
**If it is too hot, you may need to place a dry towel between the poultice and your skin.
Sweating an Onion with no Sweat
After you slice the onion, heat some oil in a pan to medium-low heat.
Add the onion.
Stir/shake to prevent sticking or burning.
The onion will get soft, then translucent, and it will give up liquid (“sweat”).
Take the onion out of the pan and use it at this point.
Let’s thank our pungent friend for his healing gifts, so his reputation no longer precedes him!
Ginger is another herb with so many great uses, it could make your head spin. It is known to help pregnant women, little girls, and all the ladies around them in so many different ways. But specifically, here is something we should all share with our girlfriends. If you, your best friend, daughter, aunt, or whoever, is dealing with difficult menstrual periods, here is a tea that includes ginger, which can help the body deal with the uncomfortable symptoms (from The Top 40 Herbs of North America by Angela Harris):
“Make a warm infusion of equal parts squaw vine, red raspberry leaves, blessed thistle, and ginger. Use one teaspoonful of the combined herbs for each cup of water. Take one cup three times a day for difficult menstrual periods.”
Whether you want to text, tweet, email or chat in person, tell your best friends about this amazing herb.
In honor of our Grandparents, one of our herbalists would like to share a memory with you:
“One of my favorite things as a little girl was to go pick pomegranates at Grandma’s house. We’d fill bucket after bucket as she would tell us stories about when she was a little girl. Then we would go inside to enjoy our very own pickings … all by ourselves.
My little sister always wanted to eat them one at a time as she picked each tiny piece out of the skin. I would wait and gather them until I could put a huge spoonful in my mouth. I loved the juicy, tart, crunch with each bite. As a bonus, if some deep red juice squirted out of my mouth, it made eating them just that much more fun for a kid!
Those days with my Grandma are long gone, but little did I know Grandma was passing down more to me than memories. What a power punch these tiny fruit seeds carry!
One way that blood lipids become “atherogenic,” or disease-promoting, is through oxidation. Pomegranates can help the body reduce this oxidative stress in the blood, thus supporting healthy blood cells, arteries, and heart. They work with the body to decrease inflammation throughout the cardiovascular system too.
So, go ahead and dive into that juicy red goodness; because with this heart supporting food, you can keep your own loving memories in your heart forever.”
Here’s a recipe that you and your skin will just love! We’ve learned how awesome aloe is for the skin, how it goes deep into the skin, and how it helps the skin heal so well. But rose petals are also a refreshing herb for the skin. Did you know they have anti-bacterial and anti-inflammatory properties? Rose petals are also high in vitamin C which can help the body protect skin cells from damage. Lastly, rose petals are moisturizing, because of the natural oils, and they work as a natural astringent, helping the body tighten the pores and toning the skin.
Aloe Rose Skin Soother
1/3 cup aloe vera gel (100%, all natural)
1/3 cup rose petals (tightly packed in)
Place the aloe vera gel and the rose petals in a blender or mini food processor. Blend together thoroughly. It gets frothy, but that is not a problem.
After blending, strain it through a mesh sieve or something similar. Press and squeeze it through so you get every last drop out of it. It will be pink and lovely!
Store it in the refrigerator where it will stay fresh for a week. Or, to make it last longer, store it in the freezer in ice cube trays and use it when needed.
Witch Hazel is one of the most common home remedies in the United States. She is found in beauty and personal care products in drug stores everywhere. Now let’s talk about what she can really do for the body:
Known to help nourish, tone, and strengthen the venous system; helpful to those dealing with varicose veins and hemorrhoids.
She has a strong astringent effect making her an excellent first aid, assisting with minor bleeding such as scratches, bruises, and nosebleeds.
Excellent for the skin and can be used in skin cleansing, body lotion, aftershave, massage lotion, and even in formulas for the scalp. She also contributes to soothing insect bites and sunburns.
She is beneficial internally as well. Making a brew with the leaves and/or bark and drinking as a tea can support prolonged menstruation and irritated mucous membranes.
Yes, Witch Hazel is incredibly versatile & shape-shifts beautifully. She easily transforms and performs as a poultice, a fomentation, a tincture, a capsule, or a tea. She’s also bewitching for beauty and regular first aid. So which witch do you know who works good magic on both your insides and out? The Good Witch Hazel, that’s who!
From pumpkin bread to pumpkin ravioli, you can find this seasonal squash just about everywhere. So, besides turning them into jack-o-lanterns, consider these reasons to incorporate this nutrient-rich food into your daily diet:
Pumpkins help support the colon to create a balanced environment (at a micro-level).
Since it is a high-fiber food, it can help the intestines perform at their optimal function (one cup of pumpkin puree provides 7.1 grams of dietary fiber).
We’ve talked about how the seeds are great for helping the body rid itself of parasites, but did you know that pumpkins seeds also help support a healthy heart?
The seeds are also an excellent source of zinc
Pumpkins are high in antioxidants that boost the immune system and help the body fight disease.
They assist the body in fighting inflammation.
They are high in iron and also potassium, making them great for athletes (or anyone, really) to consume.
Pumpkins help nourish the skin.
Nowadays we see that pumpkins are not just for your mama’s Thanksgiving pie. It’s another one of “Mama Nature’s” gifts that nourishes your body and helps it in so many different ways.
We’d like to introduce you to the herbal dream pillow. The practice of placing herbs under one’s pillow dates back centuries, but in modern times it can be a great way to share the fragrance of herbs with friends or family while also promoting a good night sleep for those same loved ones. Herbal dream pillows can be made with any leftover fabric (preferably cotton or muslin), decorated in any way you want, and filled with any herbs you choose. It makes a great gift (or is wonderful for some self-pampering) and can last for months when stored in a night stand or drawer.
Here is a recipe for an herbal dream pillow taken from the book Organic Body Care Recipes.
¼ cup chamomile flowers
¼ cup lavender buds
¼ cup lemon balm leaves
¼ cup rose petals
¼ cup hops
2-3 drops lavender, Roman chamomile, geranium or neroli essential oil
1 3×5-inch muslin drawstring bag or decorative soft fabric pouch
Place all the herbs together and blend them in a bowl.
Add the essential oil of your choice and blend some more.
Loosely stuff your pouch with the herb mixture and tie or sew it tight. Store away from heat and light.
The herb amounts suggested are a close approximation of what you’ll need for a small pillow, but results can vary depending on your bag size. Just be sure not to stuff it so tight that the herbs can’t breathe or move.
This herb combination is great for relaxation, but be sure to look up some others. Some combinations work in different ways together (i.e. Rosemary and Mugwort mixed together have been known to promote vivid dreams while Chamomile is something that just relaxes). Have fun with it and see what you like.
Many people have asked the question, “What’s the difference between regular honey and raw honey?” It comes down to this: nutrients! Most processed honey has been heated, depleting its nutritional value. Raw honey, however, is chock-full of essential vitamins and minerals. Just check it out:
Vitamin A, C, D, E, & K
All the B-complex vitamins
Minerals & trace elements such as magnesium, sulfur, phosphorus, iron, calcium, potassium, iodine, sodium, copper, manganese
Proteins, amino acids, & carbohydrates
Antimicrobial & antibacterial factors
Additionally, the live enzyme content of raw honey is one of the highest of all foods. It helps support healthy digestion and assimilation of other foods. Find some in your area and it may assist the body in fighting your body’s response to allergies.
Here are some additional uses for raw honey:
Include it in homemade, all-natural cough syrup.
Honey has been around for centuries as an ingredient that may help soothe an irritated throat.
Include it in your beauty regimen. Many women use it in a face mask because of its moisturizing qualities. Combining it with coconut oil or olive oil may assist the body in fading scars.
Taking it daily with raw apple cider vinegar is a great nutritional supplement that may assist the body in supporting healthy joints, digestion, weight loss, balanced PH levels, inflammation, and more.
Go look up raw honey and see what nature’s candy can do for you!
How are those feet of yours? Better yet, how about that stress level?
Here’s a great way to relax those tired tootsies and help calm your frayed nerves at the same time.
Add about ¼ cup of Himalayan salt to a large bowl of water that is heated as hot as you like. Soak your feet for 20-30 minutes. While your feet are soaking, drink a cup of your favorite relaxing tea, such as Chamomile, Valerian, or Catnip, to name a few.
Sit down, relax, and give yourself a treat to restore your twinkle toes & sparkly spirit!