Elderberry Syrup

Elderberry Syrup: Why My Family Takes it in Lieu of a Flu Shot Every Year (and How to Make your Own).

Elderberry syrup is one of the most important tools in my home apothecary for keeping my family healthy when there are colds and flus flying around. We take it almost daily during the sickness season and completely forgo the flu shot. Let me outline a comparison between elderberry syrup and the flu shot to illustrate why we do this. At the bottom of this post is a printable recipe so that you can make your own Elderberry syrup. Continue reading “Elderberry Syrup: Why My Family Takes it in Lieu of a Flu Shot Every Year (and How to Make your Own).”

Fermented Garlic

Fermented Garlic: Your Dragon Glass for this Winter’s War

Ok. I truly hate to be the one to bring this up while we are all enjoying a beautiful summer, but…Winter Is Coming! We need a stockpile of “dragon glass” (aka fermented garlic) to win the war against colds, sinus infections, flus, bronchitis, and stomach bugs this sickness season. (If you’re not a Game Of Thrones fan, I apologize, but I just couldn’t resist.) Even though I believe a crucial part of being healthy is being present in the moment, this, of course, has to be balanced with preparation for the future, something I failed at last year because “winter” came early.  Continue reading “Fermented Garlic: Your Dragon Glass for this Winter’s War”

Holy Basil

Lower Stress Hormones and Boost Energy with Holy Basil (aka Tulsi)

Holy Basil tea has been a part of my evening ritual again for the past few weeks. I discovered it last summer and drank a lot of it, but then I couldn’t find it in loose leaf form for about 6 months and so I got out of the habit of drinking it. Finally, I found it again, but I decided that I needed to start growing it so that I would always have a secure supply on hand. It is THAT good. Luckily it is very easy to grow. (You can find seeds here if you decide to grow it.) The pictures are from my Holy Basil plants that are just starting to flower. If you’re still reading, you are probably wondering just what is so awesome about this Holy Basil plant, right? Well, I am just thrilled to answer you! Read on, my friend. Continue reading “Lower Stress Hormones and Boost Energy with Holy Basil (aka Tulsi)”

Lemon Balm

Lemon Balm: Calms Anxiety, Encourages Restful Sleep, Fights Viruses and More!

Meet the lovely lemon balm! This relative to mint is so easy to grow; you can basically put it in the ground and forget about it. If you don’t have garden space, you can easily grow it in a container.

Lemon balm is a miracle worker for us humans and a favorite of the bees. It is completely safe for adults and children. In fact, it used to be a combined with chamomile and dill as common colic remedy for fussy babies. Made as a tea, it is so tasty! If you are interested in learning more about herbal remedies, Rosemary Gladstar has an excellent introductory book called Medicinal Herbs: A Beginner’s Guide. I highly recommend it!  Read on to find out what you can use lemon balm for. Continue reading “Lemon Balm: Calms Anxiety, Encourages Restful Sleep, Fights Viruses and More!”

Homemade Tincture

Homemade Tinctures: How and Why to Make them

Homemade tinctures are as easy to make as putting herbs and alcohol in a glass jar and waiting! Should I back up and remind you what a tincture is first? A tincture is a highly concentrated extract of herbs. Tinctures provides a concentrated dose of the herb which can be taken by the dropper and mixed into water or juice.

Why use a tincture?

There are a few reasons to take a tincture. First, a tincture is good for herbs that are not very tasty and you would not be able to suffer through a cup of tea made from them. Second, it is good for roots and barks that are harder to get the active constituents out by hot water steeping. Third, you can use a tincture to simply save time. Maybe you would need to drink 3 cups of an herbal tea (also called a tisane) but instead can take a dropper full of the tincture in juice or water three times a day. They can especially be good for children who may not want to drink a whole cup of tea. Third, tinctures are good for acute situations, such as the onset of the flu or a cold sore, where you want to get a lot of an herb into your body quickly. Read on to learn how to make your own tinctures. Continue reading “Homemade Tinctures: How and Why to Make them”

Dandelion

Dandelion: A Super Food?

Oh, the lowly dandelion! This “weed” is actually anything but lowly, and now that it is spring, it is the perfect time to bring to mind their benefits before you start your war with them (if you do). Please allow me break down the benefits of consuming the different parts of dandelions for you.

Dandelion Root:

  • Helps with digestion
  • improves liver function and increases production of superoxide dismutase (the body’s primary antioxidant)
  • Contains resistant starch which balances your microbiome)
  • Full of anti-cancer phytonutrients and antioxidants
  • Regulates blood sugar and insulin
  • Improves cholesterol ratios
  • Reduces inflammation
  • Improves gall bladder function by increasing bile production
  • Boosts immune function
  • Regulates blood pressure

The roots are most often made into tea. There are many brands sold at Amazon and even your local grocery store. Dandy Blend is a brand of dandelion “coffee” that contains beetroot and chicory as well (both have health promoting properties). It is tasty and you can control the strength easily. I drink it at more of a tea strength, but your can just add more and have “espresso”. It is instant and dissolves in hot or cold water.

To Make  dandelion tea or coffee from the roots:

Continue reading “Dandelion: A Super Food?”

Decoction of marshmallow root, slippery elm bark. and licorice root

Decoction of Marshmallow Root and Slippery Elm Bark to Heal and Seal your Gut

Decoction of Slippery Elm Bark and Marshmallow Root

What is a Decoction?

A decoction is simply a very strong tea made from the chopped, sturdier parts of herbs (roots, barks, etc). In this decoction, we use chopped Slippery Elm bark and chopped Marshmallow root. Both are demulcents. A demulcent relieves irritation and inflammation and forms a film over your  mucous membranes to soothe Them. This decoction is great for anyone with leaky gut (go here to find out if that is you) or someone dealing with diarrhea or constipation. For mild cases, you can simply take a tablespoon upon waking, about 15 minutes before each meal, and before bed. For extreme cases of leaky gut, you can take a tablespoon every two hours or so. This can be done for a month, or even two if your leaky gut is really bad. For my decoction, I add a little bit of Licorice root. Let me break down the individual ingredients for you. The printable version will be at the bottom of the post.

Continue reading “Decoction of Marshmallow Root and Slippery Elm Bark to Heal and Seal your Gut”

Homemade Essential Oil Roll-ons

Essential Oil Roll-ons (Homemade)

These essential oil roll-ons are some of our favorite tools we have around the house for keeping healthy or recoverving from illness quickly. We also put essential oils in diffusers throughout the house, but the rollers are particularly when handy away from home and our diffusers. Essential oil roll-ons are convenient because the essential oils are already diluted to the appropriate amount with a carrier oil. Some oils are considered “hot” which means you should not apply them directly to the skin without first diluting them. When you have a roller made up, all you have to do is give a light shake and apply whenever they are needed. Continue reading “Essential Oil Roll-ons (Homemade)”