Archive for December, 2011

A Green Tea Resolution

Posted by Christine|30 December 2011

Are you a fan of New Year’s resolutions? Many of us vow each January to take better care of ourselves in some way. In 2012, I’m resolving to drink more green tea!

High in antioxidants and other healthful properties, green tea is believed by many to be one of the most beneficial beverages one can drink. Its rich history and wide use in China and Japan demonstrate its status as a beloved and revered brew, not only as a delicious drink, but also as a traditional treatment for a wide range of illnesses. I like to think of it as preventive medicine in a mug!

Delicious and refreshing, this versatile beverage can be prepared hot or iced, sweetened or unsweetened, with nut or dairy milk—there are so many tasty ways to enjoy it! Mountain Rose Herbs offers a plethora of green tea varieties—including my personal favorite, Jasmine Green.

Happy New Year!
–Jessie

Photo Thursday!

Posted by Erin|29 December 2011

It’s that time of year again when we are grabbing our favorite homemade herbal pastilles from the shelf. Perfect for sore, dry, and scratchy throats, we can’t let winter go by without making a batch of these strongly medicinal lozenges.

This recipe comes to us from Steven, our beloved Lab Manager and instructor at the Columbines School of Botanical Studies. He uses osha root to make these, but you can also try them with elecampane root powder.

 Find the recipe here!

Meet the Herbalist

Posted by Erin|28 December 2011

River Kennedy is a Eugene-based herbalist specializing in the intuitive art of formulations. When we decided to make our own line of handcrafted combination tinctures here at Mountain Rose, we were honored to have River come on as our extract formulator. She is the owner of Terra Firma Botanicals, as well as a certified mediator, a certified practitioner of NLP (Neuro Linguistic Programming), a health & wellness counselor, and the mother of two. She has been a practicing herbalist and medicine maker since 1982.

We hope you enjoy this interview with River!

1. Can you recall the moment when you realized that herbalism would be your path?

I was 16 and living in New York back in the 1970’s when herbalism and healthy eating were almost an unknown. I was passionate about organic foods, living and health, so when our local college offered an herbal beauty class by the author Dian Dincin Buchman, I jumped at the chance to learn anything that I could about herbs. I was hooked!

2. Did you have special teachers or mentors?

I mentioned Dian already and she was my propulsion into the wonders of herbs. I am for the most part self-taught. I read Back to Eden, Hygieia and Culpepper’s books and practiced on myself, friends, and family for many years.

3. What was the most influential herb book you read and why?

 

I found this book, Hearts-Ease by Mrs. C.F. Leyel in a used book store and was intrigued and completely absorbed by the knowledge and descriptions from this book from the 40’s. She deeply delves into herbs for the heart, glands, viscera, nerves, brain and alterative herbs.

4. What herbs do you take regularly and why?

I use Turmeric for inflammation, Milk Thistle for liver health. I mostly use my formulated combination tinctures for bladder health, circulation, systemic candida, adrenals, cold & flu. The list is endless!

5. What do you consider to be the most important aspect of making plant medicine?

I believe that plant medicine should be made only when one is in a loving and healing place. These gifts from our Earth should always be made with reverence and with good intentions of healing. Of course, using high quality herbs and making tinctures (extracts) as potent as possible is also very important. These ideals, to me, are by far the most important aspect of making plant medicine.

6. With all of the tumult surrounding herbs and herbalism in the world today, what would you like to see for the future of herbalism?

I would love for herbalism to go back to its roots, but in lieu of that, I would hope that integrity and human compassion remain more important than the massive streams of paperwork that we are now required to fill out.

7. Who are some of your favorite herbalists (past or present)?

Nicholas Culpepper, Mrs. C.F. Leyel, Jethro Kloss, David Hoffman, Michael Moore, Colette Gardiner.

8. Do you have any tips to share with budding herbalists?

Make sure you that you have properly identified the plant and its uses before dispensing to friends, family and the public.

This sounds cliché but really … Do it for the love and not for the money!

9. Are there any exciting projects that you are currently working on and would like to share?

We are expanding our syrup and elixir line to include some fair trade dark chocolate herbal elixirs. First one out is called River’s Rhapsody and is a blend of Orange-infused honey, fresh Hawaiian Kava, Maqui Berry and Chocolate.

10. Is there one herb that you feel especially connected to, and if so, in what way?

Borage is my absolute favorite herb as it brings courage to me and others in these tumultuous times. It helps dispel sorrow and grief and is amazing at strengthening the adrenals. You really can’t ask for more!

Best Recipes of 2011 Giveaway!

Posted by Erin|27 December 2011

It feels so good to be back after a wonderfully loooong weekend celebrating with friends and family. We hope your holiday season has been beautiful too!

Speaking of celebrations…

Guess what?

It’s week 3 of our DIY HOLIDAY GIVEAWAY series!

As a big thank you to our readers, we’re revisiting the best recipes from our blog in 2011 and giving away a huge package of organic ingredients each week to the lucky winners so they can make these herbal goodies at home!

 

Week 3 ~ Homemade Hemp Milk

This delicious recipe came from Customer Service email-guru Rebecca! She’s a world traveling mama who has worked at organic farms and studied herbal medicine across India and Africa. So, when we saw her concocting this creamy drink, we knew it had to be some kind of magically tasty treat. With one sip, we were hooked and you will be too!

Creamy Cacao Hemp Milk Recipe

 

Ingredients

1 cup Hemp Seeds, hulled
2 tsp sugar (or honey to taste)
1.5 tsp Acacia Gum Powder
2 tsp Cacao Powder
1 tsp Vanilla Bean Powder
4 cups water

Directions

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!

The Giveaway!

The prize this week is as healthful as it is delicious!

The winner will be in hemp milk making bliss! With these organic ingredients, you will be able to enjoy cacao, vanilla, and chai hemp milk at home. Plus, you can sip your creations from one of our sturdy ceramic Make Tea Not War mugs paired with a tumbled Italian marble tile Passionflower coaster!

Here’s this week’s big prize…

1lb Organic Hemp Seeds
8oz Organic Acacia Powder
1lb Organic Cacao Powder 
1oz Organic Vanilla Bean Powder
3oz Organic Firefly Chai
Make Tea Not War Mug
Passionflower Coaster Tile

 How to Enter

There are several ways to enter. You can submit up to 5 entries for a chance to win this amazing collection of ingredients!

1. Leave a comment here telling us about your favorite herbal drink to sip during cold winter months.

2. Post a link to our Hemp Milk giveaway on your Facebook page and leave a comment here to let us know you’ve posted. Follow us on Facebook !

3. Tweet about our Hemp Milk giveaway on Twitter using the tag #herbalgiveaway and leave a comment here to let us know that you’ve tweeted. Be sure to follow us on Twitter!

4. Blog about our giveaway with a link back to this post. Then leave a comment here with a link back to your blog post so we can check it out.

5. Subscribe to our awesome YouTube channel or recipe-packed newsletter and leave a comment here to let us know!

You have until Monday, January 2nd at 11:59pm PST to enter. We will pick one winner at random on Tuesday, January 3rd. We can ship blog prizes to US addresses only!

Good luck!!!

Relax and Recharge!

Posted by Christine|23 December 2011

If you celebrate Christmas or Chanukah, then these days are the culmination of weeks of decorating, baking, gift shopping/creating, and more. If all that preparation has left you a bit exhausted amidst all the festive joy, I hope your post-holiday schedule includes at least a day to relax, unwind and recharge. You deserve it! Here are a few of my favorite ways to take some time out:

• A long, hot bath with therapeutic bath salts. Relaxing is our most popular blend, but Woodland and Midsummer are also divine!

• The cozy glow of a natural wax candle. Whether it’s a tea light, a votive or a pillar candle, there’s just something about a bright flame that calms the soul.

• Diffusing essential oils can be an instant soother or recharger. Some of my favorites are soothing Lavender, refreshing Peppermint, and warming Cinnamon.

• Perhaps the most quintessential way to relax is with a hot cup of herbal tea. For daytime relaxation and contemplation, Peace Tea is the perfect blend with calming herbs like Chamomile, Rose, and Lavender. In preparation for a long winter’s nap, my tea of choice is Fidnemed Nighttime—the sleep-inducing herbs including Hops, Valerian and Skullcap are the perfect way to say “good night”!

Many holiday cheers, and to all a good night!
–Jessie

Photo Thursday!

Posted by Erin|22 December 2011

This is our Food Donation Station here at Mountain Rose Herbs!

Now is the perfect time for us to remember those in our community who struggle to put food on the table year-round. High unemployment, low wages, a shortage of affordable housing, high medical costs or the absence of health insurance are major factors that put people at risk of hunger.

Through our employee food drive this year, we are collecting much needed items for FOOD for Lane County in support of their mission to alleviate hunger by creating easier access to food.

For more information about FOOD for Lane County, visit their website.

Herb Infused Spirits

Posted by Erin|21 December 2011

There’s no time more perfect to snuggle up with a spicy, handcrafted cocktail than on a moonlit winter night. The art of mixology is inspiring bartenders and boozehounds everywhere to create original sipping concoctions or to revive old classics. But you don’t need to stock the cabinet with a fortune’s worth of pretty liquor bottles to enjoy these delights. Infusing your own spirits at home is an easy way to build ingredients for your home bar and allows you to dream up customized flavors.  You only need a few staples, some glass jars, and whole dried herbs.

A basic infusion-ready bar includes vodka, gin, whiskey, rum, brandy, and tequila. Any of these liquors can be transformed with herbs. Since you’ll be drinking infusions for pleasure, be sure to start with high quality spirits. They don’t have to be top shelf, but after that first taste you’ll really appreciate spending a few extra dollars on the good stuff. Please, no plastic bottles!

 

 

As a general guideline, I like to experiment with small batches first. Making pints is a great way to test flavor development without using an entire bottle. Spoon 1 teaspoon to 2 tablespoons of your herb or herb mixture into a glass pint jar and top with the liquor of your choice. The amount of herb to use will depend on which plant parts you choose and their aromatic strength. You can always add more, so it’s smart to go light. Label the jar with the herbs used, the measurement, liquor, and date. Shake the infusion everyday for a week and taste test on day 7 to gauge flavor intensity.

You’ll have some choices to make at this point. If the flavor is too light, you can add another tablespoon of herb and allow the infusion to go another week, or you can just give the flavors another week or two to develop before adding more herbs. After a month, the alcohol will have extracted about as much flavor from the herbs as it can. Keep tasting throughout the infusion time though and strain out the herbs when the spirit has the flavor you desire.

Here are a few of my favorite combinations, but let your imagination fly free when formulating. I love to make gift sets that include a variety of infusions in 2oz bottles with handwritten labels and cocktail recipes. Unique, delicious, and always a big hit!

Chai Spiced Rum

1 pint of gold rum
2 tbsp Firefly Chai

Roasted Cacao and Vanilla Bean Brandy

1 pint of brandy
1 tbsp roasted cacao nibs
1 vanilla bean, split lengthwise

Smoked Peppercorn Vodka

1 pint of vodka
2 tbsp smoked black peppercorns

Lavender Gin

1 pint of gin
1 tsp lavender flowers

 Cheers!

Best Recipes of 2011 Giveaway!

Posted by Erin|20 December 2011

It’s week 2 of our DIY HOLIDAY GIVEAWAY series!

We’re revisiting the best recipes from our blog in 2011 and giving away a huge package of organic ingredients each week to the lucky winners so they can make these herbal goodies at home!

Week 2 ~ Amazing Maca Bars

This week we are dreaming of Julie’s Amazing Maca Bars!

Maca is a Peruvian tuber of the Brassicaceae family. It grows at high elevations of 12,000 feet and higher! Used as early as 1600 BC for mental acuity, physical vitality, endurance, and stamina, Maca is also an aphrodisiac tonic that enhances sexual desire, performance, and fertility in men, women, and animals.

It’s a highly nutritious food too, containing carbohydrates, protein, calcium, fiber, lipids, iodine, and other beneficial compounds similar to broccoli and cabbage. This power packed root is known to have an especially positive effect on people who are overworked, overstressed, or nutritionally unfulfilled. (Thanks a lot office cookie swap!)

Julie is our wonderful Production Manager and Master Tea Formulator here at Mountain Rose, famous for her delicious creations and sweet smiles. Julie has been tweaking the maca bar recipe a bit for all of the vegan, gluten-free, and sugar-free folks out there. You can find the delicious original recipe here, and the reformulated version of the recipe below:

Vegan, Sugar-Free, Gluten-Free

Maca Bars

2 cups organic rolled oats
1/2 cup organic almonds, sliced
1/4 cup organic maca powder
1/4 cup organic hemp seeds
Pinch of Himalayan Pink Salt
2/3 cup organic apple sauce or mashed banana
2/3 cup almond butter

Combine oats, almonds, maca, hemp seeds, and salt in a large bowl.
In a small bowl, mix apple sauce or banana with almond butter until well blended.
Scrape the almond butter mix into the oat mixture and blend well.
Pat into an 11 x 7 baking dish and bake at 300 degrees for about 35 minutes.
Score with a knife while warm and then cut into bars when cool.

The Giveaway!

The prize this week is a treat just waiting to happen!

The winner will be able to create either version of the recipe using this collection of organic ingredients. Plus, we’re throwing in a copy of Kami McBride’s book The Herbal Kitchen which is a wonderful resource with over 250 recipes for using herbs to enhance the health benefits and digestibility of your food!

Here’s this week’s big prize…

32oz Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
1lb Organic Maca Powder
1lb Organic Arrowroot Powder
8oz Organic Hemp Seeds
2oz Organic Vanilla Flavor Extract
1lb Himalayan Pink Salt
The Herbal Kitchen by Kami McBride

How to Enter

There are several ways to enter and you can submit up to 5 entries for a chance to win this amazing collection of ingredients!

1. Leave a comment here telling us about your favorite herbal treat for the holidays!

2. Post a link to our Amazing Maca Bar giveaway on your Facebook page and leave a comment here to let us know you’ve posted. Follow us on Facebook here!

3. Tweet about our Amazing Maca Bar giveaway on Twitter using the tag #herbalgiveaway and leave a comment here to let us know that you’ve tweeted. Be sure to follow us on Twitter!

4. Blog about our giveaway with a link back to this post. Then leave a comment here with a link back to your blog post so we can check it out.

5. Sign up for our recipe packed Newsletter and leave a comment to let us know you’re a reader.

You have until Monday, December 26th at 11:59pm PST to enter. We will pick one winner at random on Tuesday, December 27th! We can ship blog prizes to US addresses only.

Good luck and Happy Holidays!

Blog News ~ MailChimp

Posted by Erin|19 December 2011

As you may have noticed, we’ve been doing some behind the scenes tech updates to help the blog run more smoothly. This is just a quick note to let all of our email subscribers know that we’re switching over to the MailChimp service.

You should receive a message in your email inbox asking to confirm your subscription. If you click “confirm” you will continue to receive emails from the Mountain Rose Blog, including notifications of new posts and contests. If you’d rather not receive these notices, simply delete the email and you are good to go!

Please let us know if you have any questions and happy reading!

 

 

Peppermint Cheer!

Posted by Christine|16 December 2011

Something about this time of year always makes me crave the refreshing, invigorating natural flavor and scent of Peppermint. Fortunately for me, there are much healthier options than the ubiquitous candy canes to be found here at Mountain Rose Herbs!




Peppermint Leaf makes a wonderfully refreshing herbal tea all by itself—just brew and enjoy! Its tummy-soothing properties make it especially helpful after a large, rich holiday meal.

Peppermint Flavor Extract adds a lively zip of certified organic peppermint flavor to homemade candy, baked goods, beverages, and anything else you can think of (Peppermint hot chocolate, anyone?).

Peppermint Hydrosol makes a yummy-smelling, natural and organic body or room spray, and can also be incorporated into body care or food recipes.

Peppermint Essential Oil has traditionally been used for a wide range of complaints from nausea to headaches to colds to skin issues. It’s also a popular ingredient in many natural body care products.




Organic Peppermint Soap from Oregon Soap Company brings the lively scent of peppermint into the bath or shower, and features peppermint essential oil AND dried leaf.

• Grow your own peppermint with Peppermint Seeds from Horizon Herbs.

Here’s one of our favorite lip balm recipes featuring Peppermint essential oil. The luscious oils and cocoa butter will keep your lips soft and protected.

Peppermint Cocoa Lip Balm
(This recipe will fill 8-9 lip balm tubes)

1 Tablespoon Cocoa Butter
2 Tablespoons Sweet Almond Oil
1 Tablespoon Olive Oil
1 Tablespoon & 1 teaspoon Beeswax
5-10 drops Peppermint essential oil

Coarsely chop or grate beeswax (vegans may use Carnauba or Candelilla Wax as an alternative). Place wax, butter, and oil in a double boiler, and melt gently over low-medium heat. Once that the beeswax/oil mixture has melted, remove from burner, and add essential oils. Immediately pour the mixture into lip balm containers. Allow to cool completely before placing the caps onto your lip balm containers.

Minty-fresh Cheers!
–Jessie

Photo Thursday!

Posted by Erin|15 December 2011

A beautiful pot of flowering tea has been calling my name during this chilly last week of autumn. There may not be blossoms in the garden, but there’s a bouquet in my tea pot!

Best Recipes of 2011 Giveaway!

Posted by Erin|13 December 2011

What better way to celebrate the coming new year than with a look back at some of our favorite recipes of 2011?

Well, how about 4 weeks of amazing DIY GIVEAWAYS!

As a big thank you to our herb loving blog readers, we’ll be revisiting the best recipes of the year and giving away a huge package of organic ingredients each week so our lucky winners can make the goodies at home! Pretty sweet, right?

Week 1

 

It’s been cold and dry in Eugene this week. Really, really, really cold and dry! With (almost) winter weather like this, we’ve all been reaching for Irene’s luscious herbal lip balms. These lip balm recipes smell fantastic, are wonderfully moisturizing, and super easy to make. Looking for a holiday gift to make for friends and family? Look no further!

You can find her post with the recipes here!

 

The Giveaway!

The prize this week is truly incredible. See all that good stuff up there? That includes everything you need to concoct up to 26 lip balms…with plenty of ingredients to spare for more projects!

Here’s what the lucky winner will receive…

4oz Mango Butter, CWC
4oz Organic Cocoa Butter
16oz Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil
16oz Organic Sunflower Oil
32oz Organic Virgin Coconut Oil
16oz Organic Avocado Oil
1lb Beeswax Pastilles
2oz Vitamin E Oil
1/2oz Organic Lime Peel Essential Oil
1/2oz Organic Mandarin Essential Oil
1/2oz Organic Nutmeg Essential Oil
1/2oz Organic Peppermint Essential Oil
20 x Clear Lip Balm Tubes
6 x 1/2oz Tins 

How to Enter

There are several ways to enter and you can submit up to 5 entries for a chance to win this amazing collection of ingredients!

1. Leave a comment here telling us about your favorite winter essentials for healthy skin.

2. Post a link to our Lip Balm Kit giveaway on your Facebook page and leave a comment here to let us know you’ve posted. Follow us on Facebook here!

3. Tweet about our Lip Balm Kit giveaway on Twitter using the tag #herbalgiveaway and leave a comment here to let us know that you’ve tweeted. Be sure to follow us on Twitter!

4. Blog about our giveaway with a link back to this post, and leave a comment here with a link back to your blog post.

5. Sign up for our recipe packed Newsletter and leave a comment to let us know you’re a reader.

You have until Monday, December 19th at 11:59pm PST to enter. We will pick one winner at random on Tuesday, December 20th. We can ship blog prizes to US addresses only!

Good luck to you!

____________________________________

UPDATE ~ 12/20

Announcing the Winner!

We’ve collected all of the entries from the blog comments and Facebook (thanks to our tech issues earlier this week) and a winner has been chosen. Congratulations to xbonesgirl! You are the winner of our week 1 giveaway! You should receive an email shortly with more information.

Thanks to everyone for participating this week! We’ve got another exciting giveaway coming up, so stay tuned…

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Meet Us

  • ErinErin (328)
    Erin is the Marketing Manager at Mountain Rose and studied herbalism, botany, and ethical wildcrafting at the Columbines School of Botanical Studies. She spends her days making botanical illustrations, playing in the garden, creating culinary gems, and formulating medicine in the magnificent Oregon Cascades.
    ChristineChristine (120)
    Christine is our Product Manager here at Mountain Rose Herbs and our Certified Aromatherapist on staff. She's a longtime Mountain Roser with nearly a decade under her belt and assists with selecting new and exciting herbal and herb-related products. She also makes sure our current products are the best they can be!
    IreneIrene (53)
    Irene Wolansky is the Customer Experience Director at Mountain Rose Herbs. Born and raised on the Oregon coast, her interests include crafting body care products and herbal medicine, harvesting mushrooms, gardening, brewing herbal mead, fermentation, and exploring wild areas.
    FriendsFriends (40)
    An array of voices from around Mountain Rose Herbs and beyond share their wisdoms, inspirations, and exciting stories from the herbal world.
    KoriKori (28)
    Kori is our Public and Media Relations Coordinator! A West Coast native, Kori is a seasoned nonprofit activist and community organizer. Having launched six adult kids, she spends her free time in her burgeoning organic and very urban “farm”—taming Heritage chickens, building top-bar beehives from reclaimed materials, baking, brewing, and preserving.
    AlyssaAlyssa (21)
    Alyssa is the Director of Sustainability at Mountain Rose Herbs and an expert social butterfly. When not fluttering between community and non-profit events, she enjoys hiking, gardening, playing with her chickens, and organizing potlucks.
    ShawnShawn (14)
    Shawn is the Operations Manager at Mountain Rose Herbs, which means he has his hands in just about everything here, but he is most passionate about advancing the company's ecological platforms for sustainable business practices. In his spare time, he can be found deep in Oregon’s designated wilderness areas or fly fishing (strictly catch and release) with his furry friends Abigail and Maggie.
    AlietaAlieta (12)
    Alieta is our Marketing Assistant! An Oregon native, she studied philosophy, Spanish and graphic design at Portland State University and has a natural affinity for the natural foods industry. She spends her time outside of work playing her 54 key Rhodes piano, hanging out with her cat Penelope, and cooking delicious gluten-free and dairy-free meals to share with friends.
    BrianBrian (6)
    Brian is our Domestic Farms Representative! He was born and raised in the Appalachian foothills of Alabama and has worked with plants for over a decade across the country. He studied advanced botany and herbalism at Columbines School of Botanical Studies. Brian loves working with our farmers and wildcrafters to provide the highest quality and most ethically gathered plants around.
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