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The Real Flu Shot

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Mother nature gave us these amazing resources to stay healthy. But some how along the way we got side tracked by shiny things. There is a reason why food has so much power. It is made to heal our bodies. Food is what we are meant to metabolize. We are so quick to pop a pill to help head tension or the feeling of a flu or cold coming on. But really, we need to put food, whole food, in our body to give it what it needs to heal itself. Let’s back away from the pills, cold medicines, cough syrups, and nyquil and trust that mother nature gave us all we need to fight off any harmful bugs that enter our body. Ready to fight this flu naturally?

Let’s do this.

This is our version of the flu shot. It actually has multiple parts to it so keep on a reading. It has some power behind it that will knock out what ever is a brewing inside you within a couple days. If caught early, you can even knock it out before it settles in.

Let’s talk a little it about why these ingredients are so important to help your body fight a cold, flu or infection.

Lemon: Is known for its antibacterial properties. It can help protect against throat infections. It can provide relief from fever by increasing perspiration. It can relieve congestion. Lemon is high in vitamin A, vitamin C, magnesium, vitamin B6, riboflavin, folate, zinc and iron, to name a few.

Ginger: Is a powerful anti-inflammatory. It can help lower chances of bacterial infection. The spice of ginger will help relieve congestion. It also helps provide a healthy digestion.

Garlic: Is mother natures antibiotic. It provides the body with the strength to fight against infections. It helps increase a healthy immune function. Garlic is a powerful microbial and anti-inflammatory.

Cayenne: Is a high antioxidant that helps provide support for the immune system. It will also help loosen mucus within the nasal cavity and chest.

Honey: Is a well known antibacterial and antimicrobial. It provides the body with soothing relief of sore throats, coughs and congestion.

*** It is best to use all organic ingredients. When choosing a honey, choose one that is raw and unfiltered. This means that it is in it’s purest form, with more health benefits.

Directions:

  • In a glass you are going to add half a juiced lemon, 1 TBS honey, 1-2 cloves minced garlic, 1-2 TBS grated ginger, a dash or two, depending on how brave you are, of cayenne. Add about 4 oz of water.

Now chug like a gansta.

***Do this about 2-3 times a day when you feel something coming on. If it has already hit, still do it yo! It will decrease the duration of the cold or flu.

Everyone has their variations, it is best to try all and find your groove. You can also add apple cider vinegar to this to kick it up one more notch. Apple cider vinegar has incredible properties to it, that will give your body the strength to fight off anything.

Second part to our flu shot….

We also like to take 2-4 doses of oil of oregano or oregano essential oil, when we feel something coming on. I will put a drop of oregano essential oil in a veggie capsule and take it 2-4 times a day. If I am doing oil of oregano, I will do about 8 drops under the tongue 2-4 times a day.

What is the difference? 

Oil of oregano is dried or fresh herb steeped in a high quality oil such as olive oil that is cold pressed and organic.

Oregano essential oil is oil derived from the plant through distillation.

*** Remember if taking an essential oil internally, please do your homework and find a high quality oil from a company that can provide you with certainty that it is in fact pure essential oil. Please contact me if you would like to hear more about essential oils.

Third part to our flu shot…

Elderberry Syrup! This berry has incredible properties to it that helps keep your body happy and healthy. If you haven’t heard of elderberry check out this post.  and if you want to make it check to this post. On the onset of a cold or flu we take this 4 times a day. If something is going around and we don’t want to get it, we start taking this 2 times a day for an added immune boost.

Lastly…

Black Seed Oil. This is the mother load here. If you haven’t heard of black seed oil check out this post and get yourself some black seed oil. We will take this 2-3 times a day when we feel a cold coming on. We take this daily but increase it by one or two when cold and flu season is around.

That’s it yo!

Our version of the flu shot. It may sound like a crap ton, but I swear by it. My house hold got hit with a nasty flu where the kids had fevers for about 4 days. Then five says later they came down with the stomach flu. I managed to escape both illnesses magically. And I owe it to this regimen above. Screw going to CVS and getting a flu shot filled with who knows what. Use what mother nature gave us, use food to help heal your body.

Happy Healing!

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Our Front Yard Sprucing!

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Well it is time to start sprucing up the front yard. It has been about 5 years now and all our energy has gone to making a food forest in the back yard for our family to enjoy. But now everything is established and pretty much taking care of itself.

So on to the front!

When we first moved in to our home, we made a small little planter in front of the house and to be honest, we were quite proud of ourselves. I mean, it did make a difference in our eyes and that is all that matters, right?! But as we sat and thought about what we wanted for the front yard, we realized we barely made a dent.

We knew what we wanted, but had no idea how to get there. We knew that we were about to embark on a whole new project with fun new challenges but again, didn’t know how to exactly get there.

What we did know was…..

We wanted to create not a food forest like the back yard but a medicinal herb forest for the front.

We went to visit Diane’s herbs in Fallbrook ca, to get all of our herbs and plants and to gain a little inspiration because holy moly is she an incredible lady. I mean, when she talks you just get sucked into her. She is this amazing wealth of knowledge that you just want to absorb like none other. The first time we went we ended up staying two hours just talking with her and picking her brain. She showed us her little “shed” filled with dried herbs hanging from the ceiling, jars and jars of beautiful dried herbs, salves,  and honey sticks. I was in absolute heaven.

For this project she helped us lay out where all theses incredible plants need to live in order to be happy. She just knew exactly where to place every. single. one.

And let me tell ya, these plants are HAPPY!

We now have this beautiful medicinal herb forest filled with varieties of medicinal herbs that will continue to nurture our family, as well as, those around us. These herbs were placed on this earth for a purpose and by golly, we will use them as intended.

A little bit about the process we took to plant these beauties.

As you can see in some of the pictures we had this incredibly big bush as you walked up to our front door. We just got kind of tired of looking at it, so away it went. Not easily, let me tell ya, but it went alright! Then we and by we I mean, solely my husband, dug out the beautiful, thick, healthy grass that was just seeded And we created the new shape of the planter.

Then we, again just husband, laid compost over the whole area. Then we got to planting. The fun part!

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The mixture we used for the planting soil was perlite, sand, and a soil mixture. We mixed that up and placed in the hole where plants were going to go. BUT we also added…IMG_6418This to our mixture as well. Bone meal, garden tone, greensand and ground up egg shells, We used just a small amount of each of the plant foods and a palm size of egg shells in each hole before planting.

 

 

Then we planted all our new friends.

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In Progress!

 

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I mean how can your heart not just fall in love with all these colors. We cannot wait until they all grow in and bloom. Oh did you want to see more, here you go.

 

 

Oh wait and here is more…

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We, (husband), added drip line to all the plants to keep them extra happy and healthy with out us having to go water them by hand.

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When we first bought the house
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Our first planter
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Before our new project, look at that grass!
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After
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Isn’t it just beautiful

I just need to say that none of this would’ve come to life if it weren’t for my better half. He did every single part of this project and I couldn’t be more grateful. First he gave us our food forest in our back yard and now he gave us a medicinal herb forest in our front. Thank you my sweets, it came out absolutely beautiful.

Happy planting!

This post contains affiliate links. That means that if you click on a product that we suggest and purchase through that link, we get a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thank you for your support. 

 

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Why Smudging with White Sage is Incredible for Your Spirit

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The earth has given us incredible resources to maintain a healthy beautiful life. Among these resources there is one particular that just has me drawn to like a fly to honey.

White sage.

This beautiful herb needs to be apart of everyones life. We all have a place inside us that needs to be re-open. A place where pure delicate energy needs to flow through. We all have a place inside of us that needs to be cleansed.

We get wrapped up in the unimportant.

We hold on to more negative energy than good. And unfortunately that negative energy is fed by others way to often. This is a place where we get stuck and can’t seem to find a way out. This is that very place that needs the spiritual smoke of sage to flow through and purify the soul. Our soul takes a toll everyday. Our soul works so hard to stay happy and healthy. It works so hard to keep you going. To keep you open. To keep you awake to the world around you. Your soul is the very thing that makes you who you are. But it gets tired and we need to understand when to stop and nurture that very soul that gives so much to us all day long.

Sage replenishes.

Sage repairs.

Sage purifies the soul, the spirit, the mind, the body.

It has been said that one should never blow out a burning bundle of sage. That the sage will stop smoking and blow out on its own when it feels the energy around it has been cleansed and is pure. A bundle that is burning may last for an hour or five minutes depending on the energy that surround it. The smoke that comes off the bundle will travel to the room or area where it is needed most. Where the energy needs most cleansing.

To smudge

To burn a bundle of sage one must find a bowl or shell that will hold the smoldering bundle safely. Light the end of the bundle and blow it out. Allow the smoke to thrive. Start with an intention. With a prayer. Begin at your heart and allow the smoke to enter into your body, into your soul. Say a prayer. Then move to your head. Say a prayer. Then move down slowly towards your toes and back up to your heart again.

Say a prayer.

This is not a religious act. Or it can be a religious act. Your prayer is your prayer. However, you want to say it, to whom ever you want to say it. The prayer is there to help guide the negative energy out and allow the positive energy to live and thrive within you.

To smudge your space around you. You must hold the bundle over the bowl or shell and move through your space while saying a prayer. Allow the smoke to move through the space, don’t force it. Remember the smoke will travel to where it needs to. As the smoke travels it will leave behind a smell of purity.

Embrace the smell. Allow it to be present. When you inhale. Inhale.

Visualize what it is doing for your being. Visualize it removing the toxins that you carry everyday. Visualize it clearing out unnecessary noise within you.

Visualize it bringing your spirit back to the present moment.

White sage is a powerful herb with more than medicinal properties. It is an herb of healing the mind, body, soul and spirit.

Happy Smudging!

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How To Build An Herb Spiral

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We have been dying to build an herb spiral for about 4 years now. About 3 years ago we got all the bricks we needed for this project but then life happened and our bricks just sat and stared at us. But after being patient, two kids and a puppy later we did it Y’all. We built our muther f-ing herb spiral and it is beautiful.

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Are you wondering what an herb spiral is?

An herb spiral is an incredible way to utilize one space for multiple plants. Not only are you utilizing a circumference space but you are utilizing vertical space as well. An herb spiral is a spiral shaped planter built out of bricks, stone, rocks, whatever tickles your fancy. You build the spiral up, fill it with sticks, compost and straw and then plant your ass off. With an herb spiral you can plant, plants that don’t need a lot of water but a lot of sun at the top of your spiral and plants that love to stay moist and need shade, all in the same area! Let’s dive a little deeper so you know what I am talking about.

First things first, find yourself a crap ton of bricks, stone, or rocks.

Find a spot in your yard that will allow you to build a 3-5 ft. circumference.

Level out the spot as best as you can. Take a 2×4 place over the circumference and use a level to even out the spot.

Lay down cardboard and newspaper. This is going to prevent weeds from growing.

DON’T SKIP THAT STEP!

Now, find your spiral by placing your bricks (or your choice) accordingly. You want to make sure that the opening of the spiral faces north.

In order to build up, you want to count 3 1/2 bricks from the bottom, that’s where you’ll start your next brick layer. Once you’re done with the second layer, again you will count 3 1/2 bricks (from your second layer) and start your next layer. So on until you reach desired height.

As you build your layers some bricks may feel unstable and move, place some straw under the bricks until they become secure.

Once you finish the spiral, fill in the middle with sticks or large rocks. Then fill it in with straw. Wet it all down once filled.

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To plant, just open up a spot by moving the straw, fill it with soil, place the plant inside and cover with straw. Plants that need sun will go towards the top. Plants that like shade will go on the back side of the spiral closer to the north side.

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Boom son, you just built yourself an herbs spiral. Fill that sucker with whatever herbs you choose. Originally we planned on kitchen herbs but our time at this incredible nursery, called Diane’s nursery in Fallbrook Ca, lead us down a medicinal herb path. So we filled our spiral with: Insulin, feverfew, dandelion, lemon balm, dill, chamomile, ashwaganda, rue and lemongrass.

The looks of an herb spiral could feel a little more intimidating than it really it. Just dive in and have fun with it. Once we stopped thinking so hard about how the hell to build the spiral, everything just started flowing.

Happy herb spiraling!

 

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A Journey into the World of Essential Oils

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Essential Oils?

When someone around says, “oh man I’ve got a neck tension.” and your response is, “Oh I have peppermint oil if you’d like.” and they look at you like you’re a crazy weirdo, don’t lose your confidence homie. The more we look like weirdos, the more we spread the word! If you are reading this and you are the one who looked at someone like they were a weirdo for offering you peppermint oil for your neck tension. Keep on a reading yo! Let me please change your mind.

What in the world are essential oils?

Essential oils are volatile aromatic compounds found in seeds, barks, stems, flowers, roots and other parts of plants. What the heck are volatile aromatic compounds? I’m with ya, let me further explain. Volatile aromatic compounds are are small organic molecules that easily change the state they are in, from solid, liquid to gas. For example, let’s say you busted open your new bottle of lavender oil. The second you crack that bad boy open, you immediately smell the aroma. The physical and chemical state of the volatile aromatic compounds allow it to quickly connect to the olfactory sensors in your nose. By inhaling the essential oils, your body can quickly respond and retain the benefits.

Dang, right! And this is only one way essential oils are beneficial. Lets talk about how they actually work.

Wait, how the heck do they work?

Let me break it down easily, our cells including our brain have essentially a layer of fat that surrounds them and protects them from harm. Essential oils are essentially a form of fat. Fat and fat go hand in hand. Kind of like how bacon grease makes everything taste better when you use it to cook! Oh sorry, I got side tracked with bacon! Anyway, essential oils are one of the few things that can actually penetrate that layer of protective fat. Thus allowing all the benefits of that oil to work with your body to heal it. This includes the blood brain barrier, that layer of fat that I mentioned that surrounds your brain. Can you believe it! Essential oils can actually penetrate through that layer giving you incredible results.

Essential oils are a natural substance. Our bodies are designed to metabolize them with little to no effort. Have you ever noticed that when you take a specific medication you notice you’re more tired, nauseous, your stomach may hurt….. whatever it may be, you just don’t feel right sometimes? Essential oils easily pass through our body’s system and allows the body to start healing itself the way it was designed to.

Small example, Ylang Ylang will speed up ones heart rate but is used for maintaining an already healthy blood pressure. I know, you’re like wait what! Wouldn’t your increase if your heart rate speeds up? But in the case of a natural substance like essential oils, no. They allow your body to do exactly what it was meant to do to heal itself.

What in the world!!! Is this for real! Yes, yes it is! Is your mind blown yet, cause mine is!

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A wee bit about quality.

Did you know that essential oils are not regulated by the FDA? What does this mean? This means, companies are legally able to put 100% pure, therapeutic grade or all natural as long as that bottle contains at least 5% actual essential oil. The rest of the bottle is allowed to be filled with synthetic oil, carrier oil or other toxic chemical.

Ever wonder why essential oils say DO NOT INGEST, DO NOT USE WHILE PREGNANT OR NURSING, DO NOT USE ON CHILDREN.

Why? If oils are a natural substance and our bodies are made to metabolize them,  then why can’t we ingest them? I have come to find that many people fear oils for this reasons. They feel like they are toxic in a sense so they tend to stay away from them. Obviously some oils, because of the herb, have their own safety guidelines but could quality be the reason for these warnings. When buying oils you want to buy from a company that has a certified pure seal. This means that each oil has gone through multiple, rigorous testing to ensure that what is in that bottle is actually pure essential oil. When a company is true to their quality, they will provide all third party testing information.

Okay, I’m feeling better about essential oils but how the F do I use them?

You can use essential oils in three different ways, topically, aromatically, and internally.

Topically:

Remember, essential oils are a “volatile” compound meaning it evaporates quickly. To apply topically simply use a carrier oil such as fractionated coconut oil, almond oil, jojoba oil, even olive oil. This allows the essential oil to stay on your skin for a longer period of time, which gives it enough time to enter your pores and begin doing its magic.

Best places to put the oil. Neck, chest, back of neck, wrists, temples and/or bottoms of feet.

Aromatically:

Diffusing oils in a diffuser is a fantastic way to benefit from oils. The oils travel through the air and are absorbed by your smell receptors. You can also place a drop or two on your palm and inhale the oils that way. Using oils aromatically is still allowing the oils to enter your body. It still allows them to penetrate your cells. So using a less quality oil in your diffuser is not the best way to go. Often times I hear that people will use the good stuff on them and their kids then use the crappy stuff from the store in their diffuser. IT’S STILL ENTERING YOUR BODY! Use the good stuff all around.

Internally:

Now, here is why quality is extremely important.

You are not going to just go to the grocery store and pick an oil off the shelf and take it internally. There is a reason why most oils say do not ingest. Quality! So please, please be mindful and purchase from a reputable company that completely provides all quality testing information. A company that stands by their product and puts directly on their bottle: “For internally use take one drop in 4 oz of water”

So, with that said. You can take oils by placing in liquid, or in food to cook with or by placing a drop or two in a veggie capsule.

Sold! But wait, where in the heck do I buy these oils from, since quality is so important?

doTERRA, is the only company I feel 100% confident taking internally, using topically and using on my children. That is a huge plus. When my kids are in need, I reach for oils to help heal. When I am in need, I reach for the oils. When my husband has an issue, first question is, “did you use an oil?” This is our family’s source of health. A natural solution that makes us feel incredible. Quality is what you need in a natural resource and doTERRA gives you just that. The extent they take to ensure each bottle of oil is cared for, is an incredible feeling. They not only take care of the farmers they buy from, they take care of my family and for that, doTERRA is the only company I trust.

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Happy essential oiling!

 

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If you would like advise on where to start in your oil journey, leave a comment below. If you want to know what oil is best for a specific ailment, comment below or email me. If you would like more information on doTERRA, please send me an email or comment below. I would love to help guide you anyway I can. 

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Elderberry Gummies

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I am always seriously shocked when I set out to do something and it actually works! I mean, it doesn’t always work let’s be honest. But I set out to make elderberry gummies for my kiddos and BAM, made some mutha f-ing gummies y’all. I have to say I am still on the search for the perfect gummie consistency, so stay tuned for updates to this post and possibly a new recipe. This here recipe is made with grass fed beef gelatin. I’m thinking a tapioca alternative might give me a more dense gummie. But we shall see. Anyway, back to this recipe. First off, super duper easy to make gummies. If y’all already have your elderberry syrup made up and in the fridge, then you are down right AWESOME and should pat yourself on the back for being one step ahead. If you need to make some syrup, you’re still AWESOME because you’re going to mosey on over here to use this recipe!

Things you’ll need:

Grass fed gelatin

Gummy molds

Elderberry syrup

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Directions:

1. Bring 2 cups of water to a boil.

2. Pour 1/2 cup of cooled elderberry syrup in a bowl or measuring glass.

3. Add 1/2 cup of gelatin and mix generously.

4. While mixing slowly add 1 cup of hot water.

5. Then add 1 1/2 cups more of elderberry syrup. Mix until fully combined.

6. Pour mixture into molds.

7. Place in fridge for 20 minutes.

8. BAM, gummies yo!

A few notes here. The first batch I made didn’t really have to much taste to it. The second batch I made, in place of the 1 1/2 cups more of elderberry syrup, I used an all natural no sugar added strawberry watermelon juice and it came out tasty. If you want a sweeter option without using sugar, you can use xylitol. It’s an all natural sugar that doesn’t stick to the teeth, making ideal for kids.

Some say you need coconut oil to grease the gummy mold but the molds I used worked perfect. No oil needed, those little bad boys just popped right out.

Thats it! Play around with flavors and sweetness. I’ll keep you posted if I find a gelatin free recipe that holds the perfect gummy texture. Until then….

Happy Gummy Making!

This post contains affiliate links, that means if you click the link I provide and make a purchase I get a small commission at no additional cost to you. Thanks yo! 

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Black Seed Oil

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Oh dang, have I got the mother of all mothers here. As usual, I am learning about herbs and all the beautiful things they do and I came across Black Seed Oil. It was like BAM, where have you been my whole life. Black Seed Oil is something that should be apart of your medicinal herb cabinet for sure. This right here folks, is called the mother load.

This is the brand we use and love it so far. It’s a great company. When buying any supplement do a little research to make sure that company is doing good things on this earth.

Okay, let’s talk a little about Black Seed Oil and why it’s considered the mother load.

What is Black Seed Oil:

Black Seed Oil is derived from the Nigella Sativa plant, specifically the seeds from the flower. The seeds are compressed and the oil is extracted. There are many names that Black Seed Oil goes by:

Black Cumin

Black Onion Seed

Nigella Sativa

Black Caraway

Black Sesame

Kalonji Oil

A seed by many name is a seed………..Hmmm I don’t know, it a damn good little seed though. Anyway, on to the phenomenal health benefits. Black Seed Oil is a powerful antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, antibacterial, anti fungal and antiviral. It also contains two highly potent phytochemical compounds, Thymoquinone and Thymohydroquinone. These two compounds have been proven to be directly related to providing relief to and possibly curing many diseases. The third compound, which helps make this oil well rounded is Thymol.

A little bit about Thymoquinone, Thymol and Thymohydroquinone because I know you’re like YES, I’VE GOT TO KNOW WHAT THESE THREE CHEMICALS DO!

I gotcha, I gotcha.

Thymoquinone: Is a compound specifically derived from the Nigella Sativa plant. This phytochemical compound is a high antioxidant, anti-inflammatory and actually has anti-cancerous properties. In many studies, it has been shown to reverse cancerous cells. Thymoquinone has potent regenerative properties, those in which closely resemble chemotherapy treatment. Thymoquinone is high in antioxidants that turns free radicals in the body into harmless molecules. These properties help fight infections within the body, ease pain and reduce inflammation.

Thymohydroquinone: Is a potent acetylcholinesterase (AChE) inhibitor. AChE is an enzyme that actually promotes the breakdown of neurotransmitters in the brain. Neurotransmitters are compounds within the brain that are signal molecules. What these molecules do, is they communicate between nerve cells and muscle cells. This natural chemical is what pharmaceutical companies try to mimic when producing medications for mental disease such as, Alzheimers, Autism, Schizophrenia and many other neurological disorders.

Thymol: Is a natural chemical found in the oil of Thyme. It is a strong antiseptic, anti fungal, and antibacterial. All these compounds are very useful in fighting off infections and other diseases in the body.

All three of these chemical compounds are what make this oil the mother load. So far it is the only oil that contains these properties together. Besides Oregano oil, it is the second highest regarded oil when it comes to improving health.

Medicinal Benefits: It is recommended to consume Black Seed Oil  30 days consecutively to see results. 

Reduced high blood pressure: Taking appropriate dosage daily can help reduce high blood pressure.

Kills cancerous sells: The three chemical compounds mention above contribute to this health benefit.

Fights fungal infections: The anti fungal and antibacterial properties in this oil can help kill of fungal infections within the body. It can be also used topically to help with fungal infections of the skin such as staph infections and ring worm.

Liver and Kidney health: The liver and kidney are constantly flushing out toxins within the body and can become overworked. The antioxidants within Black Seed Oil can help flush those toxins out quicker and allow for your liver and kidney to be repaired by regenerating their cells.

Reduces allergies: Black Seed Oil is an anti-inflammatory, this helps reduce inflammation with in the nasal cavity. Helping reduce allergy symptoms.

Helps acnes: Acne is caused by inflammation, by applying Black Seed Oil to the skin, it can help reduce inflammation and ultimately reducing acne.

Boosts fertility: Some have seen great results in using Black Seed Oil to help reduce the chances if infertility. Black Seed Oil also can increase ones sex drive by reducing inflammation and increasing blood flow and oxygen to the male and females sexual organs.

Fights colds and flus: The anti-inflammatory, antibacterial and antiviral properties within the oil help boost immune system to help fight off cold and flus off faster. Antioxidants in the oil also help to fight off infection, making recovery a lot faster.

Coughs and asthma: Inflammation is the biggest cause of coughs. Since Black Seed Oil is a strong anti-inflammatory it can help reduce inflammation in the chest and lungs, relieving coughs and

Relieves upset stomach: Black Seed Oil helps stimulate the body digestion and helps reduce gas within the intestinal track, helping relieve nausea and upset stomachs.

Relives pain and swelling: When you feel pain or swelling that usually means there is some sort of inflammation within the body. Because Black Seed Oil is such a high anti-inflammatory it can help relive pain and swelling almost immediately by rubbing oil directly on area.

These are to name a few health benefits. Seriously.

How to take Black Seed Oil:

You can ingest Black Seed Oil from straight oil, 1tsp twice a day. I am not going to lie to you, it has an intense taste. But a swig of water right after and you are good-to-go!

You can take it in pill form. We personally have not tried pill form. We take the oil.

You can also rub it on the skin on problem areas like your back, sore muscles or on swelling. This has worked great on back pain.

Now, aren’t you thinking, “where the hell has this been my whole life?”

I told you!

Mother Load!

Happy Black Seed Oiling!

All information provided is for educational use only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, cure or prevent any diseases. Contact professional medical provided for guidance. 

Resources:

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4387230/

https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3068742/

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Homemade Elderberry Syrup

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If you haven’t already read the medicinal herb series post on Elder, I suggest you stop what you are doing and mosey on over there. Elder is incredible stuff especially during cold and flu season. Every year there is huge talk about how this years cold and flu season are the worst they have seen yet. Every year it’s the worst one? Crap, I am scared to see what next year brings. So I plan on stocking up on this stuff to help prevent any nastiness that may come our way. Right now I am putting all my faith into this stuff, well this and a handful of other herbs, my household is battling a stomach bug and I am wishing and hoping it doesn’t find a happy place in my belly. Fingers crossed that 4 doses of elderberry syrup, 4 doses of oregano oil and 3 doses of black seed oil throughout the day helps this mama stay strong. Anyway, back to what we are here for. Elderberry syrup. Let’s do this!

First things first, get your grubby little paws on some dried elderberries. Mountain Rose Herbs is an incredible source, however, they were out when I went to order them. So next best place, Amazon. I bought these and so far, we are rockin!

Ingredients: 

3/4 cup dried elderberries

1 tsp cinnamon powder or 1 stick of cinnamon

1-2 tbsp fresh or powdered ginger

3 cups of filtered water

1 cup of raw unfiltered honey

Directions:

  1. Bring elderberries, cinnamon, and ginger to a boil. Lower to a simmer and cover for 40-45 minutes or until liquid reduces to about half.
  2. Strain liquid into a bowl using a cheese cloth or a metal strainer. Be sure to squeeze excess liquid from berries.
  3. Allow to cool just a bit before adding your honey. You don’t want to kill of the honeys natural properties but warm enough so that the honey melts.
  4. Stir it up!
  5. Pour into a mason jar or a swing top bottle.

Elderberry syrup will last about 2 months in refrigerator.

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Dosage: 

Children: 1 tsp once a day for maintenance. 1 tsp twice a day for maximum health benefit.

Adults: 2 tsp once a day for maintenance. 2 tsp four times a day for maximum health benefit.

Elderberry syrup from the store can cost close to $30 for a bottle. Making this syrup at home will not only save you a ton of money but you’ll feel good knowing you put your love and energy into keeping your family healthy.

Happy Syrup Making!!

The information provided is for educational purposes only. It is not intended to treat, diagnose, prevent or cure any illness or disease. Consult with a health care professional before use.
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Medicinal Herb Series: Elder

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You may have seen it in your local grocery store, you may have come across the name while reading your favorite homesteading blog. You may have commonly dismissed it like most people because you didn’t know its capabilities. But Elder is a name that you want to be familiar with especially in the cold and flu season.

Elder is mostly found in parts of Asia, Africa, Europe and even parts of North America.  The most commonly used is a species called Sambucus Nigra, the European Elder. The elder flowers and berries are used specifically for its medicinal properties. The berries, which are more commonly used, should be cooked down before using them. Raw berries have properties similar to cyanide poison. Please use with caution.

Elder has been known as one of the oldest most powerful medicinal herbs used. It is an antioxidant, laxative, diaphoretic and an anti-inflammatory. The elderberry fruit contains high sources of dietary fibers, vitamins A, C and vitamins in the B group. It is also rich in minerals such as calcium, manganese, zinc, iron and selenium.

Medicinal Benefits:

Colds: Elderberry tea is an effective method to help relieve coughs and sore throats.

Flu: Elder lessons the “virus” ability to negatively affect cells within the body. Specifically the flavonoids contained within the elder plant. Flavonoids are powerful antioxidants that bind themselves to H1N1 influenza viruses as well as H5N1 avian viruses causing the viruses to die back quickly.

Infections: Due to its high antibacterial and antiviral properties, Elder can help fight against infections within the body quite quickly.

Immunity Boost: Since it is high in antioxidants, elder can help reduce the number of free radicals within the body, helping the immune system to stay strong. When taken regularly it has also been known to help improve vision.

Heart: The antioxidants also help reduce cholesterol, helping maintain heart health.

Helps with allergies: Because if its anti-inflammatory properties, elder can help reduce inflammation within the nasal cavity, helping reduce allergy symptoms.

How to used Elder:

Most popular way of consuming elder is by taking elderberry syrup.

It can be made into an infusion

Made into jams and jellies

Made into gummies

Wine

Sprays

Ointments

Really however you’d like.

Safety:

Eating raw elderberries can result in diarrhea and vomiting. Be sure to cook your berries before consuming. Raw elderberries contain properties of cyanide poison. It is also not safe to consume during pregnancy or lactation.

Elder is considered a superfood especially when it comes to the cold and flu season. Be sure to stock your medicinal pantry with this incredible herb. Be sure to check out our post on how to make elderberry syrup. It is super easy and just makes sense to have on hand.

Happy Eldering!

 

All information provided are for educational purposes only. They are not intended to cure, treat or prevent any illness or diseases. Please consult with a medical professional before use. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Making Tea Like a Gangster

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Tea…………how do you feel about tea? Is tea part of your daily routine? Or can you even remember the last time you thought of tea? I was the one who could remember the last time she thought of tea, if I can be honest here. However, these days I’m finding myself salivating over it like a monkey over a banana. Is that a stereotype? Do monkeys even like bananas like we think they do? Anyway, back to tea, it’s freaking delicious when done right. I’m here to share how we enjoy tea time like gangsters. That’s right…….GANGSTERS. On with it shall we.

Lets do a quick break down of tea and why we should drink it. Doing some research we found that white and green tea are the least processed, so we’ve kinda stuck around the green tea variety.

1.Packed with antioxidants which do all sorts of good for your body. Antioxidants help remove free radicals, which tend to be the source of lots of diseases and ailments.

2. Less caffeine than coffee. Great option if you are winging yourself off the black liquid.

3. Helps prevent heart disease.

4. Helps reduce cancerous cells.

5. It literally makes you slow down and enjoy the very moment in which you should be present in. I challenge you to rush through a cup of scorching hot tea. You can’t my friends, you simply can’t.

Now tea by itself is good, but tea like a gangster is even better. Let me share. As we ventured into the world of tea drinking the amount of things that went into the pot have multipled and I honestly can’t say that the list of ingredients I’m about to provide you are it. The sky is literally the limit. Get crazy and have fun with your tea.

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List of ingredients and their benefits:

Ginger: Anti-inflammatory, aid in digestion, soothes nausea, supports respiratory function, fights agains bacterial infection, boosts immunity and helps fight cancer.

Lemon (and rind): detoxifier, aids in digestion, balances alkaline, vitamin C booster, helps fight infections and mood and energy booster.

Fresh Rosemary: Antioxidant, memory and mood booster, detoxifier, soothes nausea, aids in digestion, anti-inflammatory and calms the mind.

Fresh Mint: Decongestant, antioxidant, anti-inflammatory, aids in digestion and soothes stomach aches, supports respiratory function.

Lemon Balm: Protects heart and liver function, calms anxiety, reduces stress, aids in digestion, powerful antibacterial and soothes pms symptoms for women.

Cayanne Pepper: Helps fight cold and flu, aids in digestion, relieves migraines, prevents blood clots and high in vitamins A and C.

Tea: Your choice we have really enjoyed our experience with Green Tea Kombucha by Yogi.

Heres what you do.

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There are no measurements here people, it’s an experiment with your tastebuds. Start little and work your way up.

First, grate your ginger.

Fill a pot with 2-3 cups of filtered water. Add squeezed lemon juice AND rind, mint, rosemary, grated ginger and a dash of cayenne. Bring that sucker to a boil.

Once boiling add your tea bags, we use about 3-4 bags, turn off heat cover and let steep for about 10 minutes.

Strain all that goodness out into a mug, that makes your soul smile, add some honey and enjoy that tea like a gangster.

Its going to burn, the cayenne the ginger, well they are hot so your baby mouth and throat are going to burn but you’re a gangster right! Drink it, it’s good for you!

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Medicinal Herb Series: Lavender

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Oh my, let’s talk lavender for a second shall we. I mean there is nothing quite like it. The fragrance just fills the air with this delicate aroma. The flowers stand tall and proud. The deep purple color just pops against the muted green leaves. It is just a heavenly plant that is filled with medicinal properties that you should not be without. Let’s do it to it.

Growing lavender

Lavender, or lavendula angustifolia, part of the mint family. It is a drought tolerant plant that loves full sun. Allowing for adequate soil drainage can help keep this plant happy and thriving. Lavender is a bush that grows best in zones 5-9.

Medicinal Properties

Sleep Aid: Lavender is a fantastic sleep aid. It helps rest the mind from the daily chatter. It allows the body to fall into a restful sleep, as well as, fall back to sleep easier when awaken.

Reduces anxiety and stress: Lavender helps relax the mind and body during times of high stress and anxiety. Lavender is a grounding herb that allows one to stay centered.

Used for minor cuts and burns: Lavender is an antibacterial, antimicrobial and an antiseptic. Rub some lavender Essential  oil on minor scraps and burns to help relieve the pain almost immediately.

Reduces headaches: Diffusing lavender oil or taking Lavender internally can help decrease headaches.

Anti-depressant: Lavender helps increase the serotonin levels in the brain that give us that “happy feeling.” By diffusing lavender or by taking it internally one can lower the feelings of depression. This is a great go to for mamas that are dealing with baby blues or postpartum.

Skin care: Lavender is used in a lot of skin care products. It helps rebuild the cells within the skin allowing for a beautiful peaceful glow.

How to use lavender

Essential oils are a fantastic way to get all the benefits of lavender. Essential oils can be used topically with a carrier oil if needed. Rubs some on the temples, chest, neck and or bottoms of feet. It can be taken internally by placing a drop in 4oz of water and drinking. Or it can be used aromatically through a diffuser.

Tinctures are our go to. Tinctures are to be taken internally by placing a dropperful under the tongue and holding for 30 seconds. This allows all those beautiful properties of this herb that we just talked about to enter into your blood stream faster.

Lavender salves can be used on the bottoms of feet or on chest to help promote sleep and reduce anxiety.

Lavender tea is a great way to relax the body after a long day or to be sipped on while sick.

Lavender is one of those herbs that can be found everywhere. Please do your research on the product you are using. You want your essential oils to be distilled in the purest form, especially if you are going to take it internally. Remember the FDA does not regulate essential oils, so what you buy from the store may not be lavender. The bottle can read “therapeutic grade, organic, 100% pure” as long as it contains at least 5% essential oil. The remaining 95% can be chemicals, carrier oil, or synthetic oil. So buy from a reputable company that provides third party testing.

Tinctures are available in our shop for purchase. It is one of more popular tinctures and for a good reason. There is not a night that we don’t take a dropperful to help us relax before bed. In fact I took two dropperful today when both the kids were driving me to the point of ripping all my eyelashes out! Hey, you gotta do what you gotta do right?!

Hey, don’t forget to check out our Instagram page, we have a ton of fun stuff on there to!

Happy Lavendering!

 

 

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Medicinal Herb Series: Echinacea

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Photo credit /milkandhoneyacreage

Let’s talk about Echinacea for a second shall we. So we all have most likely heard of this herb. We take it when we are about to get sick, yea yea. But what you probably don’t know is that this little herb is one of the most important herbs that can go into your natural medicine cabinet. It is packed with so many uses and you can grow it in your back yard. Let’s dive into it.

Growing Echinacea 

Echinacea, also known as, coneflower thrive in prairies and open areas. It loves moist soil and full sun. Echinacea has deep tap roots that store water for times of drought. It blooms during summer but stays attractive during fall and winter.

Medicinal properties 

Immune booster: Echinacea can reduce the duration of the common cold by 60%. It boosts the immune system giving your body a fighting chance against colds and flus.

Helps fight cancer: The biological compounds of the plant give it this superpower that helps fight cancerous cells. I encourage you to do deeper research, but the Natural Institute of Health (NIH) put this herb to the test and it came back with tremendous results.

Pain reliever: This herb can be used to relieve pain from, headaches, toothaches, stomach aches, sore throats, herpes or sores and wounds. Just to name a few.

Anti inflammatory: Echinacea is a high anti inflammatory herb, it it suggested that individuals with Rheumatoid Arthritis take it daily to help reduce inflammation. It can help with back pain, caused by inflammation, as well.

Mental health: Echinacea is highly regarded when it comes to mental health. It is one of the first herbs that was used to help treat symptoms of ADD/ADHD. It also helps reduce anxiety, depression and mental stress. It helps clear the mind of clutter.

While echinacea is an herb that you must always have on hand, high doses of echinacea can result in some side effects such as nausea and dizziness. The proper dosage of echinacea is around 20 milligrams a day.

How to use Echinacea 

You can take echinacea daily by capsule, tea, or tinctures. The best form of any herb is a liquid form such as a tincture. A tincture allows the medicinal properties of the herb to enter your blood stream faster, allowing it work more efficiently.

I struggle with ADD and since using this herb on a daily basis, I have found that I become a little more clearer everyday. Sure, I still get so busy that I forget things, but there was one day where I thought to myself, man I can actual keep a thought. Since then I have been sold on this herb.

A higher power put these herbs on the earth for a reason. To help guide us and keep us healthy. Use them!

Happy Echinaceaing!

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Medicinal Herb Series: Rosemary

 

afede30d-5a2b-4181-b45e-8857dd25ecd3Man, it’s been a while since we’ve done a medicinal herb series but hey, we are here now so let’s get down and dirty. Let’s talk about the ever so popular herb ROSEMARY. Everyone has heard of it. Everyone loves it. It grows by the bush along most side walks. It’s everywhere and it is one of the most important herbs out there. We use fresh rosemary in a lot of our dishes. It adds such a beautiful taste without compromising the whole dish. It was not until my husband got sick with a nasty flu that we found just how important this herb is. Let’s discuss why you want this herb in your life.

Rosemary also known as Rosemarinus Officinalis is a woody herb that has small needle like leaves. It grows small purple, pink or white flowers. It is part of the mint family and is native to the Mediterranean region. While any form of rosemary is useful, fresh is by far the best way to utilize it’s fragrance and medicinal properties.

Growing

Rosemary is best grown in zones 8 or higher and will reach 3-5 feet in height. It will grow in zones 7 and lower but the plant will be just smaller in size. If you’re not sure what your growing zone is click here. Start seedlings in the spring and plant 2-3 inches apart. In hotter zones, you can chance planting it in the fall. Plant in full sun. However, ours is not in the sunniest part of our yard and it is just loving life, so pay attention to what makes your plant happy and move it around if necessary. As with any plant, mulch, mulch, mulch. By mulching with something like straw or wood chips, you are allowing the moisture to stay in the soil during summer when it is the hottest. In the winter when it is the coldest, mulch insulates the plants roots and keeps them warm. Can I say it again…..mulch, mulch, mulch.

Medicinal properties 

Rosemary is high in antioxidants. Antioxidants are what rids our bodies of free radicals. Free radicals are Molecules that have an odd number of electrons. So when they enter the body they begin stealing electrons from healthy molecules. Which in turn leaves that molecule with an odd number of electrons. And so the chain reaction begins and soon enough all sorts of bad stuff is accumulating in the body. Antioxidants are so important because they go into the body and essential give electrons to the free radicals. This stabilizes the free radical so that it does not attack good molecules in the body. The more antioxidants you put in your body the better. Free radicals are inevitable. They are in the air, the grass, your car. Give your body the right army. Increase antioxidants.

Rosemary helps strengthen memory. By utilizing rosemary aromatically, one can stimulate cognitive function. Resulting in enhanced memory and focus. There are some indications that rosemary is an alternative supplement to Alzheimer’s disease.

It is known to reduce upset stomachs. Rosemary is also an anti inflammatory which is a huge part of relieving gastrointestinal issues. It can help with bloating, gas, indigestion, cramping and so on.

Rosemary can help reduce pain. It has been widely known to help reduce migraines, headaches and menstrual cramping. You can also apply it topically to minor scrapes to relieve pain.

It can help detoxify the body. Rosemary has diuretic properties which help Flush out nasty toxins from the body mostly through urination. So increase that water intake as well.

Mood stabilizer. When inhaled, consumed or applied topically, rosemary has been known to increase mood, lessen stress and reduce symptoms of depression.

Helps reduce symptoms of ADD/ADHD. Rosemary has so many properties that can have a direct effect on lessening symptoms of ADD/ADHD. It can help reduce stress, increase focus and memory. It’s high antioxidant properties can help remove free radicals within the body that cause harm. It’s diuretic properties help flush out toxins. It’s anti inflammatory properties help reduce inflammation which can cause most symptoms to rise.

How to use rosemary

You can diffuse rosemary using essential oils.

Use rosemary oil in salves. By steeping rosemary dried or fresh in a carrier oil for 6 weeks. Then making a salve.

You can use it as a tincture. My favorite way to utilize any herbs medicinal properties. Also available for purchase in our shop.

Rosemary should be part of your medicinal herb cabinet hands down.

Happy Rosemaring!

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All information provided are for educational purposes only. They are in no way to treat, diagnose or cure any diseases. 

 

 

 

 

 

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Drying Lavender

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Oh man, was today a delightfully pleasant day. A day where the kids just went with the flow and there was no bickering involved with anyone. A day where you just feel like you utilized and appreciated every second.  I’m sure my Arborvitae essential oil and chamomile tincture didn’t hurt the situation either. Oh more to come on that, for sure. But for now let’s do a short post on drying lavender.

Oh lavender, how I love you so. I mean, who doesn’t love the sweet delicate smell of a beautiful lavender bush. I looked out into our back yard and all the flowers were just blooming all over the place. So, time to do a little cutting and make some magic out of these little beauties. Alrighty, grab your scissors and let’s roll.

The best time to cut any flower or herb is in the morning before the sun hits them. You want them to be perky and still full of life. You don’t want any that have died. Cut the dead ones off and throw in your compost.

On any plant there is what you call the node. It is the part where you have two leaves coming out to the sides and a stem in the middle. When cutting your flowers, you want to cut the stem in the middle of the node.

Check us out on YouTube for a quick video.

There you have it, cut away my friends.

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Once you have all the flowers that tickle your fancy, go ahead and bundle them at the stems. Take some twine and tie the bundle up. At the end of your twine you want to make a loop, where you can hang your bundle to dry.

Find a spot that you can hang your lavender for about 4 to 6 weeks. Once you are able to touch the flowers and hear a slight crunch to it, those bad boys are done.

After it is done drying, take a bowl and lay down a piece of cardboard or newspaper, something that can catch all the little flowers that come off on their own. Something I don’t do and regret every time. Now softly just twist at the flowers and they will fall right off. There it is, beautiful smelling home grown lavender.

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You got all this lavender, now what in the world do you do with it? Go ahead and read on here.

And if propagating tickles your fancy and you want more lavender then you know what to do with, read here.

Happy Lavendering!

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Propagating Like A MoFo

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Let’s propagate some stuff up, man. Taking cuttings from plants to make more plants is super duper easy. Did I just say super duper? Yes, yes I did. When you have plants thriving all around you, all you want is more and more to grace your presence. So what do you do? Cut a piece off a plant and make some more. You can literally do this with any plant. Do what exactly? Well, let me show you.

First thing first, find the plant that you would like to propagate. Well, first things first, what does propagate mean? Propagate means to breed specimens of a plant from a parent plant using a natural method. So back to our first things first, pick a parent plant that you would like more of. Here we took passion fruit, goji berry, two different lavenders, Sage and pineapple sage.

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Once you have an idea of what you would like to propagate. Get your trays ready. We took any shallow container that we had on hand and burned little holes in it using a wood burning tool. This way we made drainage holes. Next, fill those little bad boys with sand. Yup you heard me, sand. Damp the sand a bit that way it retains the holes you dig in it. We took a plastic spackle tool and made straight lines through the sand.

You want to make sure the plant you are taking cuttings from has matured and is stable. What you want to do is fine the new growth within the plant. When taking from the passion fruit the new growth was shooting directly out. The leaves were shiny. The leaves were a little smaller then the rest. You can tell right away what new growth was. However, with sage seeing the new growth was a tad bit harder to depict. I had to kind of pull the more mature leaves and stems back and look deeper. The leaves were a deeper green then the rest. The lavendar had a softer stem as opposed to a more hard barky stem. Every plant is going to be different, so make sure you spend some time with the plant and really be mindful of your cuttings.

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When making your cut, you want to cut right below a node. A  node is the area on a plant where the leaves grow. You want to cut a 45 degree angle right below that node.

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Once you have gathered your cuttings, you are going to remove all leaves except for the very top two leaves. Or in the case of the passion fruit, the top little bunch. What this does is allows all the energy to now go to building the roots for this new little plant.

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Dip this little beauty in some water and then dip it in some rooting hormone. And place in your holes. For cuttings like the passion fruit, we took wooden skewers and tied  the cutting to the skewer. That way they were a little more stable.

Place a plastic bag over your cutting and keep a little eye on them. The plastic bag acts like a little green house for the cuttings. Place in a spot that gets some sun but stays mostly shady. Now just let those little bad rides do their thing.

How easy was that. And in a few weeks you have that many more plants to grace your garden or share with a friend. Get crazy and go for it homie.

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I would love to hear about which plants you plan on propagating. Leave a comment below.

Happy Propagating!

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Blooming Garden

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It doesn’t ever seem like we have a winter where we live. We still have flowers blooming, peppers growing, life still in our garden. I took an extra second today to just walk around our yard and saw all this life. I get so busy doing stuff inside the house that I forget to stop and soak in outside. Well today I soaked it in and man, I love what surrounds me. We are hoping to share some exciting gardening posts soon. We are gearing up for baby chicks here over the next couple of weeks. That means reconfiguring our whole garden to make room. Which is super exciting and so overwhelming in the same breath. We have a fence to break down (oh and by we I mean my husband, don’t worry hunny I’m giving you total credit here) planters to move, seeds to buy, and chickens to love. We are planning on getting four hens, two Rhode Island Reds and two Barred Plymouth Rock. We have been waiting so long for this step in our journey, so stay tuned for all that fun stuff. Here I just wanted to share a few things happening in the garden right now. To share pure peace that surrounds us.

a252a118-1612-481b-a634-173760c9c4eeA peach tree with so many beautiful baby buds.

4f086553-24c2-4fcd-ad0e-c9d012f2c25eGoji berry bush thriving.

37923198-326c-467c-82d5-5ea3dbad5216Yellow yarrow blooming delicate flowers already.

ede82a1c-d2b1-4083-ab29-9384a2c4a3b9White yarrow seedling.

ae993635-860c-413f-9b94-d7cf6a09a528Peppermint peaking through.

b1286659-618e-423e-90be-efaac15d5e8cLavender that is just loving life.

e4ec48d8-0812-4928-b642-e2c15b6a2f9bPineapple sage that has the most vibrant red flowers.

df4580b3-28f6-4449-aa44-dae294c97b71Chives

213cc264-ca42-4152-8049-7ee362f554b7Beets that have the most perfect looking leaves.

3c6bece4-f609-441a-b0bc-cdcdc1641ee2Chard that looks like it will melt in your mouth.

2ead92ac-c5d2-4364-b8d4-7412280efbe1Delicate little kale leaves.

9f3def25-c0d9-4e81-9483-7c48d8fb78caBlueberry flowers.

b0f38ea4-3ec0-4fd8-9229-66ffca7ed87cPineapple strawberries that lay untouched.

20346558-fcbc-4ef3-9ab1-edc4b5cde392Beautiful succulent flowers.

There is peace that surrounds you. You just have to take the time to stop and soak it in. Everyday I look out of my windows and see the garden but today I stopped marveled. I marveled at the life and beauty that surrrounds my family. I felt the peace that it exudes. There is nothing better.

Happy Marveling!

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Medicinal Herb Series: Sage

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We are exploring the very interesting world of SAGE. Who would have thought this little plant packed so much punch. For centuries sage has been used in the kitchen, making dinners just a tad bit more delicious. But for centuries it has also been used as a medicinal herb as well. Let’s explore why you should have a ton of sage on hand at all times.

Growing Sage

Best grown in zones 4-8. If you are unsure of what zone you are, literally google it, it will pop right up. Sage loves full sun, warm conditions and well drained soil. I live in zone 9 and it has done great. As the plant matures, it can get leggy and wordy, so be sure to trim it back before spring brings new growth. The parts of the plant used are the leaves.

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Medicinal uses

Sage or Salvias officinalis is related to the rosemary plant and closely related to the mint family. It has been said that the rosemarinic acid within the plant contains many of its invaluable properties. Rosemarinic acid is an antibacterial, antimicrobial and an antioxidant. And has the biggest hand in preventing damage that has been caused by free radicals. Free radicals are atoms that have an odd number of electrons. Once these radicals form in the body, the cells in the body start to break down. Please take some time to look into free radicals. There is way to much science involved for me to fully explain. Free radicals are caused by, well everything,  our food, our beauty products, the sun, viruses…. I mean everything. So to help counter act the inevitable, pack yourself with antioxidants. Antioxidants counteract free radicals and do not allow them to fester in the body. So looping back around to sage, which contains a high amount of rosemarinic acid, which is super high in antioxidants, which will help reduce and prevent free radicals, which cause all the nasty stuff we feel. Whoo. Did you get that? Let’s dive into a little deeper what kinds of goodness sage has.

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First on my list is cognitive support. This is has been shown through studies on individuals who showed results with hours of taking sage. Their memory became more clear and their ability to concentrate enhanced. The neural pathways are stimulated creating the ability to stay focused. It has also been known to help treat AAlzheimer’s disease.

High in Antioxidants. This helps reduce and eliminate free radicals in the body caused by everyday living. Free radicals seem impossible to avoid, so to help the inevitable we must load up on things like antioxidants to help reverse some of that damage.

Digestive support. There is a bitter component to sage that helps increase digestive secretions that help allow the digestive track to flow. This can also be taken as a carminative, which helps relieve flatulence.

Skin Care. Just like any herb, sage can be used in salves, tinctures and teas. For help with acne, blemishes or uneven skin tones, rub a sage salve on your face to help balance out skin issues.

Helps relieve muscle tension. By using as a salve, you can rub on sore or tense muscles to help relieve the pain. There is an anti sporadic compound that helps relieve that tension.

Mucus reducer. Placing some essential oil in a diffuser or humidifier can help relieve mucus that is tight in the chest or sinuses.

Antibacterial, antiseptic, anti inflammatory. Sage can be made into a tea and used to help relieve head colds, sore throats, ulcers, inflamed gums, and indigestion. Just to name a few. The Phenolic Acid in sage has even been known to kill Escherichia Coli, Candida and Salmonella.

Helps reduce sympotoms of menopause. Made into a tea, sage has been known to reduce hot flashes and many other sympotoms of menopause.

Purifying the air. White sage is used to help purify the air and ones spirit. This sage is usually picked by stem and wrapped with twine. It is hung and left to dry. Once dry, you light the end with the leaves and blow out the fire. What is left is smoke. Then you go through your house and say a little prayer, mantra or just have good thoughts and allow the good energy to flow. This is called smudging. We try and do this once a year. We have also smudged our dog when he was not feeling so well. Maybe mind over power but hot damn our 12 year old dog was bouncing around like a puppy the next day.

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Sage has so many fantastic medicinal properties to it and should really be apart of your medicine cabinet. Sage, like all herbs should be used with caution. Sage should NOT be used while PREGNANT or BREASTFEEDING . It has been used to help reduce mothers milk production.

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Sage can be used as a tincture, salve, tea or just eaten directly. There are all sorts of sage varieties that give off different tastes. Let’s dive into a few types of sage.

Most popular in the culinary world is Pineapple Sage. It looks skinnier then the normal sage you see. But smells like pineapple.

Purple sage, which has a spicy aroma.

Green sage, large almost furry like grey green leaves. Used for teas.

Tricolor Sage which has a subtle flavor.

There are many different varieties of sage. These are just to name a few. Sage leaves can be used fresh or ground. Use light until you reach the flavor desired.

Suggested use

Mouth Spray: Great for sore throats or swollen gums. 

2-3 tbls dried herbs

1/4 cup vodka or brandy

1-2 drops peppermint essential oil

Spray bottle

Directions

Boil one cup of water and pour over dried sage. Allow to steep for 30 minutes. Strain and combine with vodka or brandy and peppermint oil. Pour in spray bottle and store for 1-3 months. To use, spray directly in mouth as often as needed.

It has been said that using sage over a long period of time can be somewhat toxic. When dealing with herbs there is always that controversy. I do not claim to be a doctor, or claim that anything listed above will prevent or cure any or all diseases. Nor do I claim it should replace modern medicine. Please use wisely and put forth much more research then just this blog.

Happy Saging!

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Introducing Medicinal Herb Series

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Hey now, I got something fun and exciting coming your way. A medicinal herbs series. Say what? Every two weeks, I will post a new herb that can be utilized in your daily life. We will dive into why going the natural route is always a plus. We will discuss how to use that herb, whether it be through essential oil, tea, salves, tinctures, poultice or aromatically. We will take out the scare factor of using medicinal herbs. When talking to people I find that they are more nervous to give their baby chamomile tea for colic, then they are anti reflux medicine that their Dr. prescribed. Now, I’m with y’all, I still get a little nervous but as with each herb I learn about and incorporate into my life the fear lessens and lessens. I am by no means an expert of any of this. I am not a Dr. or am trying to replace modern medicine. I am learning along  with you. When I post about an herb I will be experiementing  just like you. As I share my findings with you, I would love to hear feedback on how you incorporate medicinal herbs into your lives. I am sure one of you can shed even more light on an herb or two.

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Creating a medicinal herb medicine cabinet can be really intimidating. Natural herbs can be really intimidating. There are so many warning labels on holist medicines. Do not ingest, do not use while pregnant or breastfeeding, do not use on children. The warnings get overwhelming and you tend to just put it back on the shelf and go with much familiar medicines like Tylenol or Mucinex. It does not have to be that way. We need to learn how to trust what mother nature has provided for us. We have to use herbs in moderation and caution until we build our confidence and feel good about it. This is a slow process but that is ok, that is how we build our confidence around it. When exploring the world of essential oils, let go of that fear. When exploring drying herbs, use them and trust that the tea you make with your home grown lavender is going to bring you relaxation. So many times we will trust store bought lavender tea than our own, why, because we do not have the confidence. So let us build that confidence together and build our medicinal herb medicine cabinet.

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Maybe you are thinking why? Why would I care to use tea made from strawberry leaves to help relieve diarrhea. Well because it is about being self-reliant. Why use medicine that is made up of ingredients you cannot even pronounce? Mother nature has provided us with an abundance of resources. We just need to slow our minds down a bit and welcome that resource in to our lives. Let’s do this together and have fun with it. If there is an herb that you are curious about throw it out there. I’ll dive in and share what I find.

So stay tuned and don’t forget to hit the follow button so you do not miss out.

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Comfrey and Lavender Salve Recipe

Lavender Comfrey salve recipe

Let’s make a comfrey lavender salve people.

How do you make a salve?

A salve is an ointment made with healing properties. And as with most things I try and do, this comfrey lavender salve recipe is super duper easy man. You can literally make a salve with any dried herbs or oils. I choose to make a comfrey and lavender salve because well, if you don’t know by now comfrey is just straight up amazing and lavender is just heavenly. So there ya go. Let’s roll shall we.

There are a few ways to make a salve. You can use dried herbs from your garden or Mountain Rose Herbs, which I’ve been super pleased with. Or you can add essential oils to it. When using dried herbs you need to make an infused oil with it. You can cold steep it for ten weeks like my husband is doing with some comfrey, post to come. Or if you’re impatient like I am, you can crock pot it for 3-4 hours. Let the crock potting begin! Let’s get this lavender comfrey salve recipe goin’!

What you’ll need for your lavender comfrey salve:

Dried herbs

Essential oil

Vitamin E oil

Carrier oil of choice

Beeswax: 2 tablespoons for every 1 cup of oil

Glass jar

Step 1: Lavender Comfrey salve recipe

I happen to have a little baby crock pot that came with our crock pot. Feel free to use your regular crock pot or you can use a double broiler as well. A double broiler if you’re unfamiliar, is a pot with water on the bottom and a bowl or another pot that fits on top. This helps heat stuff without putting direct flame on to it.

Step 2: Lavender Comfrey salve recipe

To make the infused oil, place dried herbs in a crock pot and pour enough oil to cover the herbs. So the amount can vary depending on what you have and or need. You can use what ever oil tickles your fancy. I used olive oil here. But avocado oil, apricot oil, almond oil, jojoba oil and fractionated coconut oil are also great options. So, in whatever cooking method you choose, place herbs and oil in and cook for about 3-4 hours. The longer the better but you can still get a nice oil from 3-4 hours.

Step 3: Lavender Comfrey salve recipe

Step 4: Lavender Comfrey salve recipe

Once your oil is done, strain out the liquid into a pot. I used a jar and that was pointless because I made a mess and I had to just transfer it anyway to a pot. So save your self the oily mess and strain in into a pot. Now add your beeswax. Melt down your beeswax but make sure not to bring to a boil. So you are going to have to watch this part carefully. Once your wax is melted turn heat off and add 20-30 drops of your choice of essential oil and 5-10 drops of vitamin E. You’re done homie, pour into a glass container and bam you got yourself some lavender comfrey salve. See now wasn’t that easy peasy. Feel free to use like lotion.

If you’re interested in making a cold infused oil. Place dried herbs in a mason jar or glass container. Pour oil of choice until it covers it. Place a lid on and steep for 6-10 weeks in a dark cool space.

There is also what is called solar infused oil, which are the same steps as above but you place outside or on a sunny window and allow the sun to infuse the oil. Allow to steep for 2-4 weeks. When using either method remember to shake and move around the oil and herbs everyday or a few times a week. I like to send it some good juju while I’m shaking it and just repeat a little prayer, if you will. Whatever I’m making will be used for my family or someone I care about. So sending out that good energy or juju only makes it that much stronger. Enjoy!

Happy salving!

Learn more about the benefits of comfrey here!

Also, check out my step-by-step instructions on how to make a comfrey poultice!

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Chamomile and Lavender Tea for the Bath

 

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So my little poodles, and by poodles I mean my children not actual poodles, are not feeling well. They got a little nasty chest cold happening and it’s really not fun for any of us. When your kids are sick, do you ever not want to inhaling the same air as them? Or when they go to touch your, well anything, you pause for a second and hold your breath and think, “oh man, I’m probably going to get sick!” Or better yet when they look right at you with that sweet poor little sick face and in that moment your guard drops and you just want to cuddle them and then they cough practically in your mouth and then in your head you yell, “damn it, now I’m really going to get sick!”……..anyone?…….. just me?……come on, you know what I’m talking about. Anyway moving on, so my poodles are sick right now and yes while we do give them medication like Tylenol, we still like to help them feel better using natural remedies as well. My go to when they are not feeling well is to make a tea for their bath using lavender and chamomile. These two together smell just heavenly. The strong aroma of the lavender soothes them while the chamomile relaxes their ailments. Let’s dive into both of these herbs.

Chamomile is such an essential herb to have on hand when you have kids. It is one of the safest herbs for children to ingest. When our son was born he was very colicky. When nothing else worked I would make him a very diluted chamomile tea and give it to him in a dropper. It would relax him enough for us to grab a breath before he started up again. I would also make a double strength batch of chamomile tea and pour it in his bath. Man oh man, I discovered the powers of this method. He would go into a little bath sedation. His whole body would relax and you can see him soak in every bit of what was happening. So once I found this, it’s usually my go to when they need help relaxing.

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So chamomile is super helpful for stomach digestion. It helps with colicky babies. It helps relieve diarrhea. It helps relieve stress and anxiety. Chamomile can help relax sore muscles and joint aches. It is super helpful to calm the nervous system. It’s been known to help with menstrual cramping. It can be taken internally, topically, and aromatically. There are a few ways that you can introduce chamomile into your life. By making a tincture, salve, tea or essential oil. Tinctures are amazing. They are usually made by infusing vodka with dried herbs and then taken internally. However, you can also use vegetable glycerin or apple cider vinegar. Salves allows you to apply it topically like a lotion. Teas allow you to ingest it internally and essential can be used topically as well as aromatically.

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Lavender, as we have discussed before, is just amazing. It is an antifungal, antibacterial, it helps calm the nervous system and helps relieve headaches and minor aches and pains. Lavender just smells absolutely divine so by adding this to a bath or honestly any way possible, will only make your soul smile. Lavender can be used the same way as chamomile as a tincture, salve, tea or essential oil or however your little heart desires. Lavender can be ingested. For me when an herb can be ingested I feel pretty confident with it being safe enough for my children.

So let’s make a little ol’ tea for the bath shall we.

if I don’t have any lavender harvested from the garden my favorite place to buy herbs so far is from Mountain Rose Herbs. They are certified organic and I don’t know why but I just dig them. Same with chamomile, we haven’t had any luck, just yet, growing chamomile so I usually buy it from Mountain Rose Herbs.

Now naturally I remembered to take pictures after I had already steeped my tea so bare with me. So, to make a tea for the bath there really are no measurements, let’s eyeball it here people it’s going to be okay. Fill a small pot up with water and bring to a boil. Throw in about ¼ cup of each herbs. Turn off the flame and cover your pot and allow to steep for about 20-30 minutes.

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Once it’s done steeping grab a jar or bowl place a strainer over the top and pour your tea through. You can take a spoon and press all the liquid out. Toss your steeped flowers in your compost.

You’re ready to rock. Toss that tea in a bath and let it do its magic.

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Happy tea making!

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