Archive for October, 2011
Posted by|27 October 2011
It’s become more important than ever for consumers to demand the right to make informed decisions when it comes to genetically engineered (GE) food. Today, experimental GE food can be found on supermarket shelves all around the country without a single warning as we stroll the aisles.
Mountain Rose Herbs began campaigning for mandatory labeling of genetically modified food in 1999 and we will continue to petition all of the agencies involved in labeling law until GMO’s are clearly identified. If the American public knew what we were buying, we could easily cast our vote at the register.
So, what can we do today?
The Just Label It! campaign provides a simple way to submit comments to the FDA in support of the GE labeling petition. Their site also offers educational tools to become informed about GE foods, the benefits of labeling foods, and ways to stay engaged.
Millions of consumers are already behind this initiative along with hundreds of partner organizations representing food and farming organizations, the healthcare community, farmers, concerned parents, environmentalists, and businesses.
It’s easy to take action right now.
Posted by|26 October 2011
Mary Woodruff is the Domestic Farms Representative here at Mountain Rose Herbs. She works closely with our small organic farmers and wildcrafters in the US to source, grow, and harvest the most beautifully vibrant herbs here in our own backyard. Mary was raised in Eugene where she also lived and worked on a sustainable off-the-grid farm raising goats, growing fresh produce, canning, and making goat cheese. She just returned from a trip to our organic hop farm with a story to share…
Emerging from the freeway onto a winding country road the air is warm, the sun shining, and a beautiful curved roof barn comes into view. Just past this, I see rows and rows of cascading hops—the mature cones dripping down. Our organic hop farmer stepped out from the house that’s been in his family for generations to greet us with a warm smile.
As I wandered around the Mountain Rose Hop Farm, the vines spread up around me into the sky. Growing up in Eugene, I have always been familiar with the prickly wandering plant. It takes training and coaxing for the vines to appear as I see them —so much work. Listening to the farmer muse about the intricacies of this year’s growing season, I can see the pride in his exhausted face. This plant has been the life source of his family for many decades and he knows its complexities well.
We examined the new crop together and he taught me how to determine ripeness. The pollen should be bright yellow and sticky when torn open with a distinctive smell of Alpha acids which create the different levels of bitterness between varieties of hops. We toured the breeding greenhouse, where he’s been experimenting with crossing the plants’ genealogies. Our crop for this year was so full, green, and vibrant. Hundreds of pounds and almost a dozen acres of lovely organic Fugguls, Cascades, and more!
After we opened and smelled dozens of mature cones, a peaceful sensation filled my body and I was very much at ease. Medicinally, hops are a wonderfully bitter sedative. The Alpha content is what determines the bitterness. There are varieties with a lower alpha-content that are perfect to use before sleep. Mountain Rose teas and formulas usually contain these hops.
I feel very lucky to be the Domestic Farms Representative for Mountain Rose Herbs. I have met amazingly goodhearted people that are out working with the earth to grow high quality herbs for our customers. We know that plants are beneficial to our health, but I truly believe that the energy we put into them while they are alive and growing has an enormous impact on the end product – our food and medicine. Farmers harvest a culmination of their hard work. We take pride in having this connectedness and loving energy in all of the herbs we offer to our customers. Close relationships with our farmers enables us to guarantee this.
Try some of the only certified organic hops out there grown by people who care!
Posted by|17 October 2011
Clouds have sailed in on cool breezes here in Eugene bringing a final farewell to summer weather. Chilly air also brings those undeniable cravings for deliciously warming soup! This recipe totally satisfies with sautéed garlic, fresh grated ginger, and golden curry swirled into creamy coconut milk and baked sweet potato puree. It’s an irresistible combination of spicy and sweet, so be sure to make enough to share. Perfect for potlucks and autumn picnics, your friends will come around for a second helping!
Curried Sweet Potato Coconut Soup
- 1 ½ lb organic sweet potato, baked and puréed
- 2 organic yellow onions, diced
- 4 organic cloves of garlic, diced
- 1/4 cup fresh organic ginger, finely grated
- 2 tbsp organic Sesame oil
- 1 tbsp organic curry powder
- 1 tsp organic cinnamon powder
- 1 tsp organic turmeric powder
- 1 tsp organic coriander powder
- 1/2 tsp organic cumin powder
- 6 cups organic vegetable stock
- 1 can organic coconut milk
- 1 tbsp organic maple syrup
- Pink Himalayan Salt to taste
- organic Rainbow Peppercorns, ground to taste
1. Heat oil in a pot and sauté onion, garlic, and ginger until onions are golden brown.
2. Add spices.
3. Cook for another minute.
4. Mix in the pureed sweet potatoes.
5. Add stock and bring to a gentle boil.
6. Lower the heat to warm, cover, and cook to let the flavors develop for 10-15 minutes.
7. Puree with a blender. I like to use a handheld immersion blender.
8. Stir in coconut milk, maple syrup, and heat on low.
9. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
10. Add a few tablespoons of water to thin if needed.
Eat and enjoy!
Posted by|14 October 2011
Want to try our pure, delicious, organic unrefined virgin coconut oil, but a little daunted by the prospect of purchasing an entire gallon (or 5)? We have great news for you! We now offer a 32 ounce size, perfect for your cupboard shelf. Just think of all the yummy ways you can use this super-healthy and tasty oil. I love to substitute it for butter or other oils in all my baked goods recipes!
Happy baking, cooking, and formulating!
Posted by|11 October 2011
Did you have your photo taken in the Wildlands Masquerade Ball Photo Booth? If so, click the link below to visit the gallery and find your beautiful, hilarious, and sweet festival photos. You can download them for free, order prints, and share by email or Facebook.Thanks to everyone for coming out to Oregon and making this beautiful dream come true with us!
And don’t miss the fun video montage we put together from this magical night…
Enjoy the keepsakes!
Posted by|07 October 2011
This blog entry is a “choose your own adventure” post! If you are familiar with neti pots and nasal cleaning, skip to the last paragraph. If you are asking yourself “what’s that funny looking teapot thing?”, start with the next paragraph.
I was first introduced to the ancient practice of nasal cleaning several years ago by a friend of mine who swore by her neti (or nasal cleaning) pot. She explained how she would fill the pot with a warm saline solution, then pour the solution through her nose until her sinuses were cleared and refreshed. I politely nodded and smiled, thinking, “pour salt water in my nose? No thanks!”.
Six months or so later, I got a whopper of a cold—the kind that sends you to bed with hot soup, tissues and a very stuffy nose. As I was getting ready to leave work in the middle of the day, my friend reminded me about nasal cleaning. “Try it,” she said. “I’m serious.”
I stopped on the way home and stumbled into a natural foods store in a congested, foggy haze. I found a plain white neti pot and took it home. Standing in front of the kitchen sink, I carefully read the instructions, still thinking how weird this seemed. I mixed the prescribed solution of warm water and pure sea salt in the pot, leaned over the sink, put the spout in my nose, and poured.
Amazingly, the sensation was not at all uncomfortable, though slightly odd. The warm salt water soothed my nasal passages as it flowed through. I’ll spare you the details, but let’s just say the process definitely cleared out most of the gunk and made it waaay easier to breathe. From that day on, I’ve been a nasal cleaning devotee. It’s not only useful during cold season, but also when you’ve been in a dusty environment, when there is a lot of pollen in the air, or just every week for general sinus health. Some people practice nasal cleaning every day!
Mountain Rose Herbs has offered a serviceable white neti pot for several years now. While the white pot is a useful and functional item, we are excited to offer an additional nasal cleaning pot that is also a lovely, handcrafted work of art! This lead-free, non-toxic and durable stoneware ceramic neti pot from Baraka is handmade in California and glazed a beautiful shade of jade green. Besides helping to keep your sinuses clear and healthy, this vessel will make a handsome addition to the décor of any room!
Posted by|06 October 2011
If you shoot us an email with questions regarding your order, there’s a good chance the wonderful Rebecca will be there to help. She’s one of our email gurus in Customer Service, as well as a world traveling mama!
Rebecca worked with an organic farm in India that provides education for girls and supports women’s microfinance groups. Vegetables from the farm are grown and harvested to feed girls at the school, and women from the community sell the rest of the fresh produce at local markets. During her time in India, Rebecca also studied Ayurveda and had the amazing opportunity to visit tea plantations, spice, and herb gardens in the mountains. Rebecca then journeyed to Africa where she apprenticed with a traditional doctor to learn about illness prevention and healing practices using plant medicines.
When we saw her concocting a deliciously creamy frothy drink in the break room last week, we knew it would be some kind of magically tasty treat. One sip and we were hooked!
Many, many thanks to Rebecca for sharing this super simple and incredibly yummy recipe for making divine vanilla hemp milk!
Creamy Cacao Hemp Milk Recipe
Add 1 cup warm water to a blender and start blending. Add sugar, hemp seeds, cacao powder, and vanilla powder. Add acacia gum powder. Add the rest of the water until the desired consistency is reached. You might also like to try a Hemp Milk Chai! You can do this by brewing a batch of Firefly Chai or Oregon Chai and substitute this spicy tea for water in the recipe. We promise you will crave this velvety delight!
Enjoy the goodness of hemp!
Posted by|05 October 2011
Did you know that most perfumes and colognes are manufactured using synthetic chemicals, even petroleum? Many of these ingredients do not need to be listed on the labels, but are known allergens, hormone disruptors, and irritants. The majority have never even been studied for cosmetic use! This is pretty scary, but the good news is that we can easily create our own perfumes and colognes from natural ingredients. Not only are they safer, but many botanicals also have therapeutic properties that are grounding, energizing, relaxing, stimulating, uplifting, and balancing. True, these fragrances will need to be reapplied more often than their chemical counterparts, but they are much better for our minds and bodies. If in need of a little sprucing up during the day, carry a small bottle of your favorite aroma in your purse. You can even make special formulas like a relaxing blend for stressful situations or something energizing for afternoons that drag. The options are endless! Below are several blends that I have played around with, but feel free to concoct your own special recipes.
Orange Spice Cologne
A warming, spicy, and exotic blend that will lift spirits, invigorate senses, alleviate stress, mental fatigue, and tension. The aroma is delightfully reminiscent of Chai tea.
- 1 organic Cinnamon Stick
- 25 organic whole Cardamom Pods
- 15 organic Cloves
- 1 organic Vanilla Bean – cut into small pieces
- 1 fresh organic Orange peel – zest only
- 8 oz Vodka
Crush spices in a mortar and pestle. Combine with Vanilla Bean pieces, Orange peel zest, and vodka in a glass mason jar. Cap tightly and shake once or more per day. After 2-6 weeks, strain the spices and pour the infused liquid into a glass bottle with a mister top. Simply add more spices if you desire a stronger cologne.
A fresh citrus scent with herbal notes, this uplifting aroma is stimulating and revitalizing.
- 1 fresh organic Lemon peel – zest only
- 1 fresh organic Grapefruit peel – zest only
- Organic essential oil of choice, examples: Basil, Chamomile, Lavender, or Peppermint
- 8 oz Vodka
Combine Lemon and Grapefruit peel zest in a glass mason jar and add vodka until the liquid rises above the peel zest by at least 1”. Cap tightly and shake once or more per day. After 2-6 weeks, strain out the citrus peels and pour the resulting cologne into a glass bottle with a mister top. Add 2 drops of essential oil for each tablespoon of finished cologne. Add more essential oil if you desire a stronger cologne.
Fresh Floral Cologne
This relaxing cologne can be made with fresh blossoms straight from the garden! The flowers help ease depression, anxiety, stress, insomnia, hyperactivity, irritability, tension, and exhaustion.
- Fresh or dried organic Rose Petals
- Fresh or dried organic Chamomile flowers
- Fresh or dried organic Lavender flowers
Combine all ingredients in a glass mason jar and add vodka until the liquid rises above the flowers by at least 1”. Cap tightly and shake once or more per day. After 2-6 weeks, strain the flowers and pour the resulting cologne into a glass bottle with a mister top.
I love this blend! It truly smells like the forest. Uplifting, grounding, meditative, and comforting.
- 4 drops Spruce essential oil
- 2 drops organic Fir Needle essential oil
- 2 drops organic Cedarwood essential oil
- 1 drop organic Vetiver essential oil
- 1 drop organic Bergamot essential oil
- 1 tsp organic Jojoba Oil
Drip all essential oils into a glass bottle and roll between palms to evenly mix the oils. Add Jojoba oil, and roll again. Add additional essential oils if you desire a stronger perfume.
Sweet Summer Perfume
A relaxing and warming blend reminiscent of summer, with a lightly floral aroma complemented by hints of spice and cedar. Especially useful during times of stress, anxiety, irritability, or depression. A great lift-me-up during the cold and dark winter months!
- 10 drops organic Lavender essential oil
- 5 drops organic Chamomile essential oil
- 4 drops organic Cardamom essential oil
- 1 drop organic Cedarwood essential oil
- 1 drop organic Geranium (Rose) essential oil
- 1 tsp organic Jojoba Oil
Drip all essential oils into a glass bottle, and roll between palms to evenly mix the oils. Add Jojoba oil and roll again. Add additional essential oils if you desire a stronger perfume.
Rejuvenating, uplifting, energizing, and stimulating. This blend is good for mental clarity, lack of focus, and fatigue.
- 13 drops organic Peppermint essential oil
- 13 drops organic Rosemary essential oil
- 5 drops organic Lemon essential oil
- 5 drops organic Sage essential oil
- 5 drops organic Juniper Berry essential oil
- 1 tsp organic Jojoba Oil
Drip all essential oils into a glass bottle and roll between palms to evenly mix the oils. Add Jojoba oil and roll again. Add additional essential oils if you desire a stronger perfume.
Please leave a comment to share your own perfume and cologne recipes, we’d love to hear about them!