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!)”
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).”
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)”
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 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”
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. Continue reading “Dandelion: A Super Food?”
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.
Did you know that you are most likely magnesium deficient? Over 80% of us are, so unless you eat a perfect diet that excludes sugar, caffeine, and alcohol, are not stressed, and haven’t been sick recently, you probably are deficient. Continue reading “DIY Magnesium Oil Roller for Better Sleep”
These essential oil roll-ons are some of our favorite tools we have around the house for keeping healthy or recovering 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 “Homemade Essential Oil Roll-ons”
What is Kraut juice?
Kraut juice is probably the cheapest and most probiotic-packed beverage that you can make for yourself at home. It only takes a few minutes, and it is a great way to get started making fermented foods. We drink this regularly at our house and we also give it away any time our friends or neighbors have tummy bugs. The probiotics help tip the balance in favor of the “good guys” in your belly. It isn’t always easy to eat when you are sick, but it is important to stay hydrated. Just sip on it throughout the day until you start to feel better. It works great! Continue reading “Kraut Juice: A Probiotic-filled Beverage.”