Chamomile uses, benefit, and growing

Chamomile: Uses and Benefits (plus 10 recipes and why your garden needs it!)



Something awesome is happening in my yard right now! There is chamomile growing, and I didn’t even plant it this year!  This is year two of “back-to-Eden” gardening for me, or as I like to call it “busy-woman-gardening”. If you have never heard of back to Eden gardening, I highly suggest you look into it. Basically, there is no tilling, little to no weeding, much, much less watering and many of your annuals will re-seed themselves leaving you to just sit back and admire nature at work (or if you are like me, do a million other things instead!) Currently, I have my beloved chamomile, as well as calendula, cilantro, parsley, arugula, and mustard greens popping up in my garden in addition to my perennial herbs. All of this with NO work from me this season.  Continue reading “Chamomile: Uses and Benefits (plus 10 recipes and why your garden needs it!)”

Lymphatic System

Your Lymphatic System: Fountain of Youth?



What if your dull skin, and thinning hair, PMS, aching knees, mood swings, forgetfulness, food sensitivities, or those hard-to-lose last 10 pounds are the result of one simple issue? What if it is all caused by a sluggish lymphatic system? In Ayurvedic medicine, a medical system that is at least 5,000 years old, the lymphatic system is generally the first system treated, no matter the symptom. This may seem strange to those of us in the west where the lymph system is rarely even mentioned. Continue reading “Your Lymphatic System: Fountain of Youth?”

Essential Oils for Cleaning

Using Essential Oils for Cleaning (Guest Post!)



I am passionate about using essential oils for cleaning, so I am so excited to have my friend and fellow blogger, Kelly, here for a guest post this week to help convince you to make the switch. Her blog, The Oily life, is a great essential oil resource with information ranging from essential oils for beauty to those for pest control and, of course, for cleaning. Today she is here to explain why you should “ditch” those chemical cleaners and “switch” to using essential oils for cleaning. She is also sharing recipes for an all-purpose cleaner, a glass spray, a tub scrub, and a wood furniture/floor polish. Thanks, Kelly! So, without further ado, here she is: Continue reading “Using Essential Oils for Cleaning (Guest Post!)”

Is your breakfast helping or hurting you? Recipe for My Superfood Smoothie #superfood #smoothie #breakfast #intermittent fasting #health #reclaimingvitality

Is Your Breakfast Helping Or Hurting You? (Plus My Superfood-Filled Breakfast Smoothie Recipe)

I always believed that breakfast is the most important meal of the day. Now I know that this is only true in certain instances. The popular belief that I subscribed to was that eating breakfast gets your metabolism started for the day. In his article “Does Skipping Breakfast Help With Weight Loss”, Chris Kresser, a functional medicine practitioner, addresses the issue of eating or skipping breakfast as related to weight loss, blood sugar, insulin resistance, and also examines the ancestral angle of breakfast. It is extremely enlightening. I highly recommend reading it! I will address more about breakfast timing at the end of the post. Continue reading “Is Your Breakfast Helping Or Hurting You? (Plus My Superfood-Filled Breakfast Smoothie Recipe)”

Homemade Elderberry Syrup: Prevent and Treat Flus and Colds! #naturalremedies #herbalremedies #wellness #reclaimingvitality

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).”

How (and why) to Make Fermented Garlic #fermentedfoods #herbalapothecary #naturalremedies #traditionalfoods #fermentedgarlic #reclaimingvitality

Fermented Garlic: Win the fight against sickness this winter!



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: Win the fight against sickness this winter!”

Holy Basil (aka Tulsi): Lowers stress hormones and boosts energy! #naturalremedies #herbs #wellness #reclaimingvitality

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: Calms anxiety, encourages restful sleep, fights viruses and more! #herbs #herbalremedies #naturalremedies #reclaimingvitality.com

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!”

#naturalremedies #herbalremedies #herbalapothecary #homeremedies #reclaimingvitality

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”