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6 Herbal Remedies for Cold and Flu Season

Herbal remedies for cold and flus

It seems like every year the cold and flu season gets more and more intense. And every year, you get the flu shot being shoved in your face harder and harder.

Is anyone else tired of feeling like you have no control over this situation?

I know I am.

So, let’s go over six herbal remedies to help us fight back with confidence and gain control over our own life. Shall we.

I think first and foremost we shall discuss…

Essential oils.

These little bad boys are the foundation to all things in our house. We use them daily. When it comes to an ailment, it’s no doubt that they are the first thing that pops in our heads as a solution. Especially for colds and flus. Let’s break down some oils.

Oregano: This is a must when you start to feel anything come on. Oregano has incredible immune boosting properties that help fight off feelings of colds and flus with in the first symptom if caught early enough. It has a chemical component called carvacrol, which is a monoterpenoid phenol. This phenol contains antioxidant properties that provide your body with an army to help fight off any seasonal threats. 

To use:

You can add 1-2 drops in a veggie capsule, 1-3 times a day. Or if you are feeling brave and want to grow some hair on your chest, you can put those drops right under your tongue. But believe me, from experience, do the veggie capsule. Or you can also put 1-2 drops in a tea. But again, oregano is a powerful oils with a powerful taste. 

Onguard: This oil helps protect against seasonal threats and provides your body’s system with enough strength to stay healthy and stable. This oil is a must have. It is a beautiful blend of Wild Orange Peel, Clove Bud, Cinnamon Leaf, Cinnamon Bark, Eucalyptus Leaf, and Rosemary Leaf/Flower. 

To use:

You can put 1-2 drops in a veggie capsule and take 1-2 times daily. Or simply add to your diffuser, 3-4 drops can be enough to cleanse the air. You can rub on the bottoms of your, or your kids, feet. ***Be sure to use a carrier oil when putting oil directly on your skin. Carrier oils can be, fractionated coconut oil, almond oil, regular coconut oil or even olive oil. You just want another fatty oil to help protect your skin. 

Breathe: Oh mama, this oil will maintain feelings of a healthy clear chest and nasal cavity. This oil contains a delicate blend of Laurel Leaf, Eucalyptus Leaf, Peppermint Plant, Melaleuca Leaf, Lemon Peel, Cardamom Seed, Ravintsara Leaf, Ravensara Leaf. 

To use:

Simply diffuse in your diffuser. You can also rub on your chest, neck, and bottoms of feet. ***Remember to use a carrier oil. ***Do not take this oil internally.

Black seed Oil

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This is not your basic essential oil in traditional form. Black seed oil is derived from Nigella Sativa, a common flower found in parts of Asia. This oil is the mother of all oils. It has such powerful healing properties that it should be taken daily twice a day to maintain overall health. For more details on black seed oil head on over here.

We take this daily, however, we will up the ante if one of us gets any symptoms. I will vouch for this stuff protecting me against the stomach flu. Let me tell y’all a little story…

The last two years, both kids had the stomach flu….AT THE SAME TIME, EACH YEAR. This mama was downing black seed oil like none other. And I never got the stomach flu. This year, however, when my son got it, I followed my same routine and survived. But then my daughter got it a few weeks later and I skipped the black seed oil on the second day of her being sick. Because I was like, “Oh I am sure I’ll be fine.” And…..BAM

I was down for the count in the worst way possible. 

Never again y’all, never again, will I skip out on my black seed oil. I use this stuff when I have stomach issues, heart burn, anxiety… it is absolutely incredible. You can find it on Amazon. 

***Full disclosure, it tastes like diesel oil but I swear you get used to it and it actually starts to taste good, don’t judge me. You can get the capsules, but more times than not, they add stuff to their capsules to keep preserved or it is diluted. We would rather down something that tastes like diesel oil and know it is in its purest form than to question what else is in it. That’s just us.

To use:

Take 2 teaspoons daily for maintenance. Add an extra dose if you feel something coming on or want to avoid a seasonal threat. 

Elderberry

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Again, elderberry is just one of those incredible medicinal herbs that provides your immune system with this insane army to fight off evil. 

Elderberry comes from the European Elder tree. They are these tiny little dark purple berries that NEED to be cooked down to be consumed. ***Elderberries are known to be “possibly unsafe” to eat raw. So be sure when making your own syrup you use caution and knowledge to keep you and your family safe. (1)

This is one of those medicinal herbs that is a powerhouse for ALL sorts of things. From cold and flu to cancer. When taken at the first sign of a symptom, it can cut the duration of a cold or flu by four days. That is insane. 

For more in-depth detail about elderberry join me here my friend. If y’all want to make your own syrup follow me here. Or, wanna make elderberry gummies? And lastly, if making it doesn’t tickle your fancy, no problem homie, this is the brand we use when life gets to busy and we gotta buy it. 

To use:

For adults, take 2 teaspoons daily for maintenance or 2 teaspoons up to 4 times a day when fighting off something. For children, give 1 teaspoon daily for maintenance or 1 teaspoon up to 4 times a day when fighting something. 

Nasal Rinse

Nasal rinses can be extremely beneficial for upper respiratory issues, congestion, colds, allergies. It is used to help support these conditions by cleansing our nasal cavity of unwanted toxins. Nasal rinses can also be used to help protect against sinus infections by using a saline solution with the proper salt concentration of 2-3.5%. (2)

To use:

Buy your self a neti pot or nasal squeeze bottle. Usually these come with a saline that has the proper concentration. We dig on the squeeze bottle, it’s just easier for us to use. Follow the directions on the package for best results. 

Here is a gnarly nasal rinse solution recipe, head on over here and check this one out. This is the mamba of all rinse solutions that works insanely well. 

 

Real Flu Shot

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This is the kind of flu shot y’all want to be taking. It is jam packed with intense, beautiful ingredients that will provide your immune system with a kick in the ass to get back into gear. 

This shot is filled with garlic, ginger, honey, lemon, water, and cayenne pepper.

Did you cringe a little? Don’t…

It is intense but dude, I guarantee that if y’all do this flu shot you’ll thank me in the morning. This bad boy knocks all the bad stuff out of your system because the bad stuff cannot survive with all this goodness in your body.

Head on over here for full recipe.

To use:

Take immediately when you feel a symptom come on up to two times a day.  

Tea

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Doesn’t tea just make everything better?

Especially if it is jam packed with mother natures goodness. This tea is just absolutely beautiful. It contains all sorts of incredible medicinal herbs and the properties they contain help your body relax, giving it the ability to heal itself. 

Head on over here for our tea recipe. 

To use:

Brew up a beautiful batch, cozy up and sip while reading your favorite book. 

That’s it y’all. Use one of these remedies, use them all, it is up to you. We use them all in some sort of fashion, most of the time. It just feels good to arm your body with the proper weapons to help heal itself. 

Are you gonna try a remedy? We’d love to know which one you tried and how it worked for you. Leave a comment below. 

Happy healing!

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Pressure Cooker Beef Stew

Pressure Cooker Beef Stew

Pressure Cooker Beef Stew Recipe

When the slightest bit of cool weather starts to roll in, we get way more excited than we probably should. We live where it is F-ing hot ALL. THE. TIME. Last thanksgiving; you know thanksgiving, a cold holiday that should be filled with sweaters and fireplaces lit, well, we had the air conditioning going. So, needless to say, we get super pumped the moment the temperatures drop to the 70’s.

Anyway, we have been fortunate enough to get a break from the heat. That means, our bellies want comfort food like beef stew and chili.

And tonight we made beef stew. My old recipe called for a cook time of, pretty much, all day. This recipe calls for the same delicious ingredients but a cook time of 45 minutes. How you ask?

Pressure cooker yo!

I’m telling ya, y’all need to get one of these bad boys. They are freaking fantastic. The meat comes out perfect every time.

Y’all ready to do this?

Pressure Cooker Beef Stew Recipe

Pressure Cooker Beef Stew

Don't waste your time in the kitchen cooking stew all day. Throw some goodness in the pressure cooker and it's done in half the time.

Course Main Course
Cuisine American
Keyword Beef Stew, Stew
Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 35 minutes
Depressurize 15 minutes
Total Time 50 minutes
Servings 6 people
Author Krystal Smith

Ingredients

  • 2 lbs Tri Tip
  • 5-6 Carrots
  • 4-5 Celery Sticks
  • 4-5 Red Potatoes
  • 1/2 Sweet Onion
  • 2-3 Zucchini
  • 2-3 Garlic Cloves
  • 4 Cups Beef Stock
  • 2 Tbs Tomato Paste
  • 2 Tbs Flour or Corn Starch
  • Olive Oil
  • Seasoning
  • 2 Bay leaves
  • 2-3 Fresh sprigs of rosemary

Instructions

  1. First thing first, Cut up all your veggies into quarter inch nice size pieces. 

  2. Cut tri tip into about 1/2 inch cubes. Season those bad boys up with all the goodness you can think of. My favorites are porterhouse, TexJoy steak seasoning and Lawry's season salt.

  3. Start the saute button on your pressure cooker. When ready add in your olive oil and brown your onions. Then throw all other veggies in except for the potatoes and cook enough to get the flavors blended together. About 5-7 minutes. 

  4. Next, add in your stock, potatoes, bay leaves and rosemary sprigs.

  5. In a small bowl mix your tomato paste with a small amount of water. Just enough to mix it well. Then add it into your mixture. 

  6. Now, heat a large skillet on high heat. Add some olive oil, bacon grease or butter, whatever tickles your fancy, and brown your meat. This seals in all the flavor and juices so be sure to not skip this part. 

  7. Once brown go ahead and throw them delicious pieces of meat into your even more delicious pot of soon to be stew. 

  8. Last thing, add your flour or corn starch. In a small bowl mix your flour or corn starch with just enough water to mix it. And pour it into your pot.

  9. Slap a lid on this puppy and cook it on high pressure, meat/stew setting for about 35 minutes. Allow the pressure cooker to depressurize naturally. This will add another 15 minutes to the cook time.

  10. Boom son, get ready to enjoy a super delicious bowl of beef stew that will literally melt in your mouth. 

Recipe Notes

Cooking this easy meal on Sunday will allow you to have left overs throughout the week. Making your life so much easier. And if you find yourself not finishing the whole batch even with having left overs, measure out portions and use your Food Saver to package it up and freeze it. On those nights where you can't get your life together, pull a bag or two out of the freezer and heat those bad boys up! Again, making your life so much easier. 

Let me know how this recipe turns out for you. I would love to hear feedback or questions you may have.

Happy stew making!

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On Homesteading While Working 40 Hours a Week

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I thought I would take a second and talk about how my husband and I homestead while working 40 hours a week.

It has taken a long time to get where we are today in our homesteading journey. I remember starting our journey in a little moldy apartment by the beach. We had a little container garden that held our tomatoes and blueberries. We had seedlings growing on a make shift garden window (a shelf that hung between the two cabinets in front of the window, Hey you gotta do what you gotta do right!) I learned how to make deodorant and can strawberry jam. We had no idea what we were doing but knew exactly where we wanted to be. I found a few blogs that I fell in love with and admired. I wondered how in the world did they do all of what they did. I felt there was no way we would ever get to where these bloggers were. I mean how could we, we worked 40 hours a week working.

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Our first garden in our moldy apartment!

As years passed and we gained skills and confidence, my mind set changed from we are never going to be where “they” are, to we are actually doing it.

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Then we were given this to play with!

It is so easy for us to compare. So easy for us to see a small glimpse of someones life and go straight to admiration. But what I’ve learned, is that, it took those that I “admired” years to build what I saw. It took hard work and dedication to this very unique lifestyle.

A lot of the time I get the question, “how do you do all of that?” Don’t get me wrong, it’s hard work man. But we love it. At the end of the day we feel content.

But how do we do it?

We live almost two different lives. We get up and go to work. We follow a routine, we demand from others sometimes what feels like the impossible. We tend to stress out about things that, in the grand scheme of things, don’t really mater.

But then…

We come home and put in more work on our homestead until it is time to go to bed. Whether it is re-strawing the chicken coop, planting a crop, brewing a batch of kombucha or kefir, canning food or brewing new tinctures to sell. We are dedicated to building and living this lifestyle that makes us feel as if we were meant to be here. Makes us feel connected to this one life we were given. This lifestyle makes you stop and feel the energy around you. It allows you to appreciate life rather than question it. Sure we feel lost with a decision at times or a direction that we should go, but it never stops us from feeling the energy in which surrounds us.

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When you think of homesteading many think, land, livestock, acres, country, work from home jobs, homeschooling. But the thing is, the thing I have come to learn is, that homesteading is a lifestyle. A lifestyle where you leave the land you live on better than when you received it. A lifestyle where you are mindful of the where your food comes from. A lifestyle where you are willing to get down and dirty without being a baby! Homesteading is learning what you are capable of. You don’t need acres to do that. You don’t need livestock to teach you where food comes from. You don’t need to homeschool your kids in order to be a “homesteader.” These perceptions are often times what hold people back from moving forward. I talk a lot about what my family does, and I get people who are interested in a lot of it but they always revert back to, “I don’t have land so I can’t have a garden. Or “I am to busy to can my own pinto beans.” Well……

We do not live on land.

We don’t live in the country in the middle of nowhere. We don’t homeschool our kids. The only “livestock” we have are four chickens that if our HOA knew we had, we would get busted. And we definitely don’t work from home.

But….

That doesn’t stop us from living this incredible way of life. We live it because it makes us feel good. No excuses, no distractions. We make time to do what we love.

And we love homesteading.

We have to stop admiring others. We have to stop comparing. We have to realize that where are exactly where we should be in that given moment. Something that is extremely hard to understand.

But….

If you are unhappy, make a change. But once you accept, once you realize that no one is stopping you but you, you live in a place of content.

So whether you live in a little moldy apartment in the city, work full time, consider yourself a bad gardener, the homesteading life is never out of reach.

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This is what we get to enjoy now.

Happy homesteading y’all!

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No Refrigeration Required?!

 

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Let’s talk eggs people! Now I’ve gotten some eyebrows raised when I tell people we keep our eggs out on the counter. Wait, you think we are crazy too? Well listen up y’all, FRESH-OUT-OF-THE-CHICKENS-BUTT EGGS do not have to be refrigerated.

You see when the chicken lays an egg, the egg has a protective antibacterial coating over it, called the “egg bloom”. The bloom closes all the pores on the egg preventing bacteria and oxygen from entering the egg, allowing it to stay fresh longer without refrigeration.

Once the egg is cleaned, the bloom is removed and it must go into refrigeration. We leave our eggs out on the counter for about a week. Yes poop, straw and all because well, what are you gonna do. Now, I know what you are thinking, “HOW GROSS.” But here is the thing, seeing this gorgeous pile of eggs, poop and all, connects us. It connects us to what is real. Real being that, those chickens that we love and take care of worked hard to give us that egg and you see that all over the egg. You appreciate it more. You respect it more. It……connects you.

Now, once a week we wash our eggs and pretty much use most of them right away. What we don’t use, we put in an egg container and put in the refrigerator.

Now at this point you’re probably thinking, “well, now how the hell do I know if my eggs are good or not?”

Ok, I hear ya, I get it. I’ve got a trick though, get a bowl, fill with water and see if that bad boy floats. If it FLOATS, it’s BAD. Ditch it. If it SINKS, it’s GOOD. Whip that sucker up into a plate of deliciousness.

Living naturally means living naturally. What do you think your great great maybe even GREAT grandmother did? Do you think she had this bad ass stainless steel refrigerator that made fancy ice and allowed you to download pandora? F no, she had a basket on her counter that sat there until she used all those gorgeous eggs up. We tend to forget where we came from and what we are actually capable of. As my family and I continue to live this homesteading life we learn more and more that living simply, means to live simply. Let go of that ridged “it needs to happen this way and only this way” mentality. Now don’t get me wrong, I know that mentality very well but I’m working on it………I swear.

Leave your home-raised eggs out on the counter, BE A REBEL. LIVE SIMPLY.

Happy eggs!

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Medicinal Herb Series: 6 Benefits of Lavender

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Medicinal herb series: Lavender

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. It is a hardy plant that makes any space in the garden a beautiful pleasant space to be in.

Growing lavender is also a fantastic way to bring bees into your garden. They love the lavender flowers and the more ways you can bring bees into your space the better…. am I right, or am I right, y’all.  Besides the bee benefits, let’s talk about all the other incredible uses for lavender and why it is a must have for your cabinet.

6 Benefits of lavender

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 a veggies capsule or 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. Visit our shop to purchase our lavender tincture.

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 when using essential oils. 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. Click here to read why we use the brand we use.

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?!

If lavender tickled your fancy, you gotta check out our medicinal herb series on chamomile. 

Happy Lavendering!