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Incredibly Easy DIY Fruit Roll Ups

Kombucha Style.

So, you have made a crap ton of kombucha and now you have found yourself with a crap ton of SCOBYs. 

Don’t you worry homie, I’ve got a fun super easy solution to this “problem.” If we can even call it a problem because I mean, come on, SCOBYs are your friend. We want them around but not a crap ton, right?!

Am I right!

Today we are making some fruit roll ups, Kombucha style. This is a perfect way to put all those SCOBYs to work, all the while putting a smile on your kid’s face. 

Or yours, I am not here to judge.

Y’all ready to make some deliciousness?

What y’all need:

2 cups Kombucha SCOBY

1 cup Kombucha tea

3 cups organic frozen or fresh fruit

1/4 organic cane sugar

Parchment paper

dehydrator or an oven, whatever

What y’all want to do is:

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Take your SCOBY out, using gloves or extremely clean hands. We don’t want to taint all of those beautiful SCOBYs left behind. Cut it up into chunks and throw in a blender.

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Add your tea to the blender. And blend like a mofo.

Once you got that all nice a smooth. In a sauce pan add your fruit and sugar. Heat just enough to release those natural sugars and until a little liquid appears.

Next, throw your fruit in the blender with your SCOBY puree and puree your little heart out again.

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Take your parchment paper and spread a nice layer of your SCOBY/fruit puree. If you spread to thin, your roll up will be brittle. If you spread to thick, your roll up will not roll like it should! Like I said, a nice layer! An 1/8 of an inch, if you will. 

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Place your parchment paper on your dehydrator racks and let dehydrate for about 12-18 hours. Or until your roll ups are nice and tacky but not gooey. 

I know, I am extremely precise. 

If y’all are using an oven, same concept. Turn your oven on the lowest setting and allow to bake until you achieve that tacky not gooey texture. 

Now, how easy was that?! 

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Oh, and if you have some left over but not enough to make another layer, make some popsicles with it. Another delicious treat for the kiddos. I got these popsicle molds from amazon and love them. They are small, the perfect size for an after dinner treat for the kids.

Don’t let those SCOBYs go to waste y’all. 

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And……they LOVED them!!

Happy fruit roll up making!

If you have no idea what Kombucha is and want to check it out, head on over here. And if you want to get started with a SCOBY to start making your own Kombucha tea, we’ve got you covered there too. 

Got questions? We want to hear them! Leave a comment below.

 

 

 

 

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Preserving Purple Pole Beans

The time finally came.

We canned our beautiful purple pole beans y’all.

And they came out perfect.

Purple pole beans are so much fun to grow. They are these perfect little beans that are the most gorgeous shade of purple. Give them an upright fence to grow on and boom son, no huge planter space taken up. This year, we planted them along this old ladder we had just sitting on the side of the house. We plopped the ladder in the middle of the garden and planted seeds that we harvested last year and we couldn’t believe how happy these little plants were.

This whole gardening thing is pretty incredible. Especially when you have the pleasure of utilizing your very own harvest to replenish the garden over and over again.

My husband and I have a deal. He grows our food and I make sure it gets to our table in some form or another.

He grew us some beautiful purple pole beans. And so….

I canned those beautiful purple pole beans.

Here is how I did it.

Well first off, lets talk about a few important things. When canning foods that have little to no acidity, you need to use a pressure canner to can. This ensures that all bacteria that can cause severe illnesses are killed in the process and what you have left over is safe pure food.

Beans fall into the little to no acidity category. So, for this adventure we are using our All American Pressure Canner. Wanna take a side note with me?

Ahhh I knew you’d say yes….

Which canner to use.

I did a ton of research on pressure canners before I made this investment. I landed on the All American Canner  because of a few reasons.

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  • These canners do not require gaskets. So there is nothing you have to continuously purchase. Only requirement is that you lube the edge of the lid with coconut or olive oil before each canning session.
  • These canners are built in the USA and are made to LAST, your great grand-kids could benefit from this investment.
  • They offer multiple sizes for your canning needs. Making it incredibly efficient if canning is your main source of storing food or if you just want to occasionally can at times. I invested in the middle of the road canner, model number 921. On the website I states that it holds 19 pint size jars and 7 quart size jars. What I have found is that I am only able to can 12 pint size jars. Or 6 quarts. It does state under the specs that quantity of jars may vary depending on jar brand.

I gotta to say that this last batch of canning I did, I wanted to make it count so, I canned 12 quart size pinto beans and 6 pint size black beans and I was really wishing I have invested in the bigger size available.

BUT…. I made it work and I’m still in love with my canner. Every time I bring it out, I have this feeling of confidence. This feeling of self-sufficiency. This feeling of, F-yea!

Lastly, I also love the weight on this pressure canner as well. It is incredibly easy to use and it gives you full control over your pounds per pressure.

So if you have been going back and forth on what canner to how with, I highly suggest you research the All American Canner and take the plunge.

Small disclosure, I am not affiliated with Pleasant Hill Grain, the company who makes this canner. I just have experienced their superior product and don’t mind dancing on roof tops and yelling, “I LOVE THIS CANNER…….” Because I LOVE THIS CANNER! I am, however, affiliated with amazon and that is the link I provided you. So, if you decide to take the plunge, would you be so kind as to purchase through the link I provided. There is no additional cost to you and it helps us out tremendously.

Ok….

Back to canning beans? You got it!

Oh, if you are new to the whole canning food thing, head on over here to read about all the equipment you need to get started.

And, if you want to check out the quick reference list before you get started, head on over here.

Canning Pole Beans

What y’all want to do is:

First off, get all your equipment and utensils ready. Use your quick reference list I gave you. And then get a cutie to help you pick those beautiful beans from the garden.

Canning purple pole beans

  • Fill your pressure canner up with about 2-3 inches of hot water. Using hot water helps heat the water when on the stove.
  • While your canner is heating up, fill a big pot with filtered water, enough to fill all jars. ***Heat more water than you think, the last thing you want is to not have enough water in the middle of your session.
  • While both pots are reaching their boil. Rinse your pole beans. Break the ends off if necessary. Then break into half inch pieces. Place in a bowl.
  • If you used your quick reference list, you should already have a bowl set aside with your lids in it. If this is true, you just earned yourself a star, yo! If it’s not and you just had to scrabble around to get yourself a bowl, I say, USE YOUR LIST! It’s time to fill your bowl with some hot water from your pot. This step is important, it heats up the seal on the lid allowing it to properly seal onto the jars during the canning process.
  • Fill up desired size jars with your beans.

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  • Add 1/4 teaspoon of salt, this step is completely optional. It only adds to the taste.

Canning Purple Pole Beans

  • Using your funnel, fill jars up with boiling water. Leave about a 1/4 inch of head space at the top of your jar. Use your “knife” utensil and remove any air bubbles that may be present.
  • Use your paper towel dip it in some clean water, or vinegar and wipe the rim of each jar. This is also important because it removes any debris that may have gotten onto the lid. If debris is left on the rim and you put your lid on, there is a great chance that your lid won’t seal properly.
  • Using your magnetic lid lifter, place lids onto your jars. Place the rings on top of the lid and only tighten finger tight. Don’t over tighten. Air still needs to be able to escape.
  • Use your tongs and place jars into canner. *** I am not gonna lie homie, sometimes you’ll come across a jar that will break the moment you place inside your canner. Or even during the canning process. Sometimes you just have a faulty jar. So just be prepared.
  • Place your canner lid on and tighten knobs. Tighten knobs opposite of each other. This ensures that the lid is evenly tightened.
  • DON’T PUT YOUR WEIGHT ON YET. Allow the canner to reach the proper temperature. You will know it’s time to put the weight on when you hear steam releasing from the steam valve for a stead FULL 10 minutes.

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  • Once you allowed steam to release for 10 minutes, place your weight with the correct pounds, usually 10 pounds. Unless your altitude is insane. Now allow the canner to build pressure to the amount of pounds you have on your weight. Once you hit your pounds, turn heat down just a tad. I mean, just a tad. And start your timer. 40 minutes for quart size jars. 20 minutes for pint size jars.
  • Once done, just turn off your canner and set an hour timer. This allows all the pressure to naturally release from the canner. Once the hour is up I usually take my weight off and the last bit of pressure will release. I then wait for about 10 more minutes before I attempt to open the lid. ***Always unscrew the knobs opposite of each other. And open the lid away from your face.
  • Using your tongs, take jars out of canner and place on your towel that you already had prepared because you used your quick reference list!
  • Leave jars alone for a full 24 hours.

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  • I only hope you get to hear the sweet sound of the PING. That sound tells you,  spending all day in the kitchen like a 50’s house wife, was all worth it!

Canning purple pole beans

  • After 24 hours, remove rings from jars. I like to hold my jar by the lid, gently, just to make sure all my lids are actually sealed. ***You may notice some water spots, no biggy, just spray some vinegar on a paper towel and wipe clean. Don’t forget to label and date!

That is it my friends. It may seem like a lot but in reality it takes about 15 minutes to prep. The time consuming part is waiting for your canner to reach pressure and then decrease in pressure. The best part is that you get to fill your pantry with your own green beans that taste like heaven.

How to use your canned green beans

I love to heat up some oil in a cast iron pan. (We use bacon grease from high quality bacon to cook with.) 

Slice up some sweet onion and throw them in the pan. I like to caramelize the onions before throwing the green beans in. The green beans only need to be heated, not cooked so they take about 5 minutes in the pan. I usually make this side dish at the very end.

Add some salt and pepper.

And the best part, take a few pieces of cooked bacon and cut it up into pieces and sprinkle on top of your green beans.

Y’all, its heaven!

Happy canning! AND eating!

Questions? I wanna to hear ’em! Leave a comment or question down below! Oh and hey, wanna free eBook with some awesome recipes utilizing herbs? Subscribe to our email list yo!

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Diffuser Care: How to Clean Your Diffuser Properly

 

It is extremely important to take care of our diffusers. For one, they are an investment. And two, they are incredibly beneficial to our health and well being.

There are different types of diffusers. Some use a candle to heat the oil in a small dish that sits above it. There are necklace and bracelet diffusers. Nebulizer diffusers. Ultrasonic diffusers. But for this post we will be talking about an ultrasonic diffuser.

I know what you are thinking right now. What is the difference between nebulizer diffuser and an ultrasonic diffuser? Here we go.

Nebulizer diffusers, allow you to put water and oil in a small reservoir and it pumps cool air through a chamber. This creates a fine mist to be pushed through an opening, which then, allows the oil molecules to be dispersed through the air more evenly. Nebulizer diffusers are beneficial because they do not heat the oil, making the oil last a lot longer.

Nebulizer diffusers are a great choice for a larger room that has high ceilings and where sound is not so much a factor. These diffusers tend to be have a bit more humming and more of a loud vibration.

Ultrasonic diffusers, is pretty much the same thing as a nebulizer diffuser in terms of how they work, however, it is extremely quite. Making ultrasonic diffusers a perfect choice when it comes to the bedroom. These diffusers work best in 400 square feet or smaller spaces. They only require a few drops of oil in order to make an impact on the room and you health. Ultrasonic diffusers tend to come with a dull night light, which makes them ideal for kids rooms.

Two birds, one stone? Umm, I think so y’all.

Now, because we use water in these diffusers, it is extremely important to clean them properly and regularly.

But why?

When regularly using anything that contains water, mold and bad bacteria have chances to grow. And let’s think about this for a minute, diffusers allow us to pump beneficial oils into the air right?! Well, they can also be pumping not so beneficial molds and bacterias into the air as well.

Umm yuck!

So let’s stick to pumping beautiful oils like, siberian fir and onguard into the air and not mold and bacteria, okay?! Let’s get to cleaning your diffuser yo!

Now full disclosure, I am pulling all these steps on how to properly clean your diffuser from the book, Aroma, from doTERRA. Which is an incredible diffuser book that has all kinds of recipes for ALL kinds of moods, months of the year and occasions.

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Y’all ready? Let’s roll!

First thing y’all want to do before we get deep into this mess, is know how to take apart your diffuser. There tends to be a cover that is on the underside of your diffusers lid, that can pop off. This tends to build up pink mold, usually associated with water. So, be sure to remove that cover and wash with soap and water.

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The middle piece clicks onto the underside of my diffuser lid.

Regularly Clean:

  • First, drain all the water from your diffuser.
  • Rinse water reservoir with clean water.
  • Take a dry towel and wipe entire reservoir.
  • Allow to air dry until next use.

Deep Clean:

  • Fill water reservoir half way with clean water.
  • Add 10 drops of white vinegar to water reservoir.
  • Turn on diffuser and allow to run for three to five minutes.
  • Drain water completely from reservoir.
  • Dip a Q-tip in vinegar and wipe small areas with Q-tip, as well as, the mist chip.
  • Rinse water reservoir with clean water.
  • Wipe entire reservoir with a dry towel.
  • Allow to air dry until next use.

This process is incredibly easy and incredibly necessary. I never realized how important this maintenance was until recently. We have diffusers in all rooms. They are an added benefit to my family’s health. And they need to be clean and pure, not only for our health but so that they do these amazing oils justice.

You can find diffusers on amazon. And they are good and all. But if y’all want this little bad boy that is pictures above. Head on over here. This little diffuser is fantastic. It is extremely small in size and perfect for any room including bedrooms. It has a delicate little mist that comes from it and it can fill the room with beautiful oils like no other. It is an ultrasonic diffuser so you barely hear anything from it. Which is super helpful when putting in the kids room.

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Now go clean that diffuser of yours yo!

Happy cleaning! AND Happy diffusing!

 

 

 

 

 

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How to Harvest Lemongrass

 

Ahhh lemongrass, how you smell so fresh and lively.

If you have never experienced lemongrass, I highly suggest you run right out and find yourself some and take a big fat inhale.

You will immediately feel ten pounds lighter in energy. Lemongrass has this incredibly clean, bright uplifting smell that can change your mood from crappy to dancing on roof tops within seconds.

Seriously.

Let’s talk about growing and harvesting lemongrass shall we.

Growing Lemongrass

Lemongrass, Cymbopogon Citrates, is incredibly easy to grow. It is a sub tropical plant, so it thrives in full sun and in warmer climates. If you can’t find yourself some already established plants, you can head on over to the grocery store (usually specialty stores) buy yourself some lemongrass, put it in some water and let it root on its own. Once roots appear, you can transplant it and….

BOOM SON, lemongrass be growin’.

Lemongrass is a huge fan of well drained soil. It grows to be tall grass like bushes, so be sure to give it some room to spread out. We planted our lemongrass at the top of our herb spiral and it just loved every ounce of life. If you are wondering what the F an herb spiral is, head on over here my friends.

Harvesting Lemongrass

Harvesting lemongrass is super easy. You want to make sure you allow the plant to grow at least 12 inches high before you harvest. Try and harvest lemongrass before the leaves turn brown. But you know what, life gets busy and I am here to tell you, it is going to be alright yo, if you have a few brown leaves just throw them back into the compost.

The cycle continues, right.

Anyway, there are a couple ways to cut the leaves to harvest. One way, the way we did, is to cut right above the stalk part of the plant. You know right before it gets thick toward the bottom. This method allows you to wrap the leaves easily. The second method is to cut the leaves all the way, leaving about 2 inches of plant left above the soil. This gives you a large portion of the stalk, which you can use for cooking, (stews, stir fry….) and with this method it would be best to hang dry.

Shall we go over both drying methods? I think so too.

Lemongrass wraps

Now let’s talk wrapping these mofo’s. Wrapping is super convenient for making tea. We discovered this method from Big City Gardener. You simply just take a little wrap out, place it in a mug, pour hot water and BAM….

Delicious lemongrass tea.

Ok. Let’s do this. First you want to harvest your herbs in mid day when they have had time to dry up from the morning dew. Always give your lemongrass enough time to grow, so allowing it to at least reach 12 inches high is best.

Cut your leaves above the stalk. Remove all brown leaves.

Rinse and allow to air dry completely before wrapping them.

Now take a small handful maybe about 10-15 leaves….Oh, and gloves might be a wise choice. Lemongrass is a bit sharp.

Wrap the leaves around your hand and twist the leaves so they bind together.

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Make a fist and hold the beginning of the wrap in your hand and simply twist the leaves and thread them through the loop you made with your hand. Twisting the leaves just allows the leaves to stay together and thread a bit easier.

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Continue to twist and loop through until all your leaves tighten into a wrap.

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Don’t worry about the loose leaves that refuse to twist and wrap. Just consider them rebels and still appreciate what they are going to do for your soul!

Place these wraps on a screen and allow to air dry anywhere from 2-6 weeks.

Once dried place in an air tight jar or bag, label, date and enjoy!

Loose Leaf Lemongrass 

The second method is incredible easy as well. Simply cut your lemongrass down to the stalk. Make little bunches and tie the stalk end with twine. Hang in a cool dark place for 2-6 weeks.

When done drying, you can throw the bunches in a food processor or high power blender and grind just enough util it gives you a loose leaf tea consistency.

You can use by placing a spoonful or two in a tea steeper and enjoying.

That is it y’all. Incredibly easy to grow and harvest lemongrass.

How do you enjoy lemongrass?

Happy harvesting!

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Herbal Remedies for Anxiety

 

Who doesn’t suffer from anxiety.

I mean, it is so unbelievably common these days. When you step back, if you can step back, and look around there are so many factors that heighten anxiety ALL. DAY. LONG. We live in a world of go go go and it never stops. We constantly feel like we have to keep up to survive. But in reality none of the things we dwell on matter. And yet we are so consumed with that feeling of tightness and tension that it becomes our reality.

I suffer from anxiety. 

I allow my mind to become consumed with unrealistic expectations. I get caught up in seeing on social media all the greatness others are doing and I get devoured by the awful feeling of “failure,” whatever that means. I allow unnecessary conversations to take place in my mind. But I tend to bring myself back to what is important. Sometimes it takes me longer than I’d like to admit but I usually find my center again. And believe me…

It’s hard.

It’s hard to realize that you’ve been living in that state of mind. It’s hard to see the beauty around you when that heaviness is upon you. It’s hard to breathe. It’s hard to appreciate. It’s even harder to pull yourself out of this state of mind.

But you can. Especially if you have the help of Mother Nature. She has strategically placed specific herbs on this earth for us to utilize. She has provided us with what we need to help keep us our optimal selves. And you know what…..

These herbs work. 

Here are a few ways I help deal with anxiety and living in an ugly state of mind. There is no one answer here though. You have to find what works for you, honestly. You have to put in the work to conquer it.

Herbal Remedies for Anxiety

  1. Yoga. I know, I know you’re probably thinking “oh goodness of course she said yoga.” But seriously yo, yoga is one of the only things that keeps me centered. It keeps me connected. It allows me to be open and accepting. Which in turn helps my body accept the help from Mother Nature and all she has to offer. Yoga teaches you how to be present. It teaches you what you are capable of, physically, mentally and spiritually.

Many will say to me, “I hate yoga, it just makes me more angry.” Doesn’t that tell you something? If yoga, one of the most peaceful practices in the world, makes you angry what are you really holding on to? Yoga is literally the connection of your breath to the movement of your body. The two things in this world that are truly yours. How can that make you angry?

What I have learned is that those who become angry during the practice are entering the practice with the wrong motive. There is ego present. Ego is telling you, you need to be better than the video you are watching or the person who is practicing next to you in class. But in reality, when you step onto that mat, it is just you and your breath. And when you learn how to connect your breath with the movement of your body…

You begin to see the beauty that surrounds you.

When I lose my balance, it is usually a direct result from losing the discipline of my daily practice. And that is when I become devoured by anxiety.

Along with yoga, I need….

2. Essential oils. Again, I know. It is such a hippie thing to say, but essential oils are Mother Nature’s powerhouses. Essential oils give you the opportunity to reap the benefits of herbs in such a small powerful dose. Essential oils are one of the only things that actually penetrate the blood brain barrier, providing you with incredible benefits in a timely manner. My go-to oils for anxiety are:

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Lavender, I mean that is a given, right?!? Lavender is such a beautiful oil that helps supports  your central nervous system. It allows your mind to reach a relaxed, more clearer state.

Balance, this is a grounding oil which is a delicate blend of oils that work cohesively to provide your mind and body the support it needs to overcome tense emotions.

Siberian Fir, which is heavenly to inhale. It can “help promote feelings of easy breathing, while calming the emotions and providing a grounding effect.”

Arborvitaemade from the tree of life. It is known to be a “powerful cleansing and purifying agent.” I use this during meditation as well. It is an incredible grounding oil.

Vetiver, is an incredible oil for anxiety and ADHD. According to Dr. Eric Z,

For Anxiety…

“The direct effects of aromatherapy inhalation on the limbic system (responsible for reason and choices, among other things) make it a perfectly suited remedy and tool for conditions like ADHD and anxiety, which can be a trigger for ADHD and like concerns.

A 2015 in vitro study compared the effects of vetiver oil with diazepam, a commonly used anxiety prescription. Again, these preliminary results show vetiver to be quite effective.”

For ADHD…

“While we often think of lavender as a calming oil, one study weighed the effects of lavender, cedarwood, and vetiver oils on children with ADHD. The study was small but the results were clear: vetiver was the strongest choice.

This simply study only asked parents to help their children smell the oil right from the bottle a few times each day. Off the record because it wasn’t part of the design, parents reported better attention and behavior from their children during the study period.”

These oils, I use topically in a roller bottle. And let me tell you, I roll that sh!t on me ALL. DAY. LONG. Another thing that has saved me on multiple occasions is wearing a diffuser necklace. I get laughed at all day because when crap is hitting the fan at work, I will mindlessly grab my necklace while I am talking with someone or thinking about my next move and I will just INHALE as if it were crack! I highly recommend a diffuser necklace or bracelet. I must tell you though, I do not wear bracelets, but I provided you a link to them to get you started but I have not purchased that specific product. The two necklaces that I provided links for, I have purchased and absolutely love.

Another way I use essential oils are internally. But I CANNOT STRESS THIS ENOUGH….Please, please use a high quality oil that is certified pure and can back its testing up. Oils are not FDA regulated and that means they can literally put anything in that little bottle and still be able to slap a “therapeutic grade, 100% pure” on it and call it a day. So please do your research and pick a company that you trust with your life because you literally are putting your life at risk when you put something into your body. Me and my family trust doTERRA. Click here to read why and make your own decision.

I simply place one drop of each oil in a capsule and take it one to two times a day. Here are the oils I am currently using.

Copaiba, “can help soothe anxious feelings and it can be applied to the skin to promote a clear, smooth complexion. Taken internally, Copaiba essential oil supports the health of the cardiovascular, immune, digestive, nervous, and respiratory systems.”

Vetiver, has calming and grounding effects. It also has been known to help support ADHD.

Lavender, well because lavender is just a beautiful medicinal herb and calms my soul nicely.

3. I use tinctures. Man oh man, these tinctures save me. They go straight to work the moment I take them and I am so thankful for their healing properties. I use…

Bring Me Peace, which is a beautiful blend of lavender, chamomile, feverfew and lemon balm. All herbs that make the mind more restful and focused.

Rosemary, which is an incredible herb for the brain. It helps with memory, focus, depression and so much more.

All other tinctures available in our shop are used daily for various things but for the sake of anxiety, along with everything else mentioned above, I use these two every morning. And if you are new to tinctures grab our Complete Guide to Tinctures eBook to help you feel a little more confident.

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4. Smudging. When I feel like I just need a little extra something, I will smudge myself with sage. White sage has spiritual healing properties that will cleanse your soul of all that is negative. It is such an incredible experience but you have to be open and willing to accept its healing powers.

Anxiety is a part of everyones daily life. Mother Nature has provided us with all we need to keep our selves healthy. Allow yourself to be open. Allow yourself to feel what you feel then release that energy as best as possible.

We need to help guide each other out. If you found this post to be helpful, we would love to hear your feedback. If you have any suggestions and want to share how you help your anxiety, please leave a comment below. You can potentially be helping another readers tremendously.

Happy living in peace!

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