Archive for the ‘Natural Health’ Category
Posted by|04 March 2014
Our post on Sipping Vinegars was so popular that we thought a detailed how-to on a traditional medicinal vinegar preparation would be helpful too…
I had no idea what this word meant when I first heard it, but after a little bit of research, I realized this age old recipe is much more familiar than I thought. Oxymel – from the Latin oxymeli meaning “acid and honey” has been made and used in many ways throughout the ages and it’s a recipe that can be adapted to suit your health and herbal needs.
Traditionally, an Oxymel recipe would be used to administer herbs that might not be so pleasant to take on their own. Additionally, some of the more pleasant herbs can become even more delightful after a bath in honey and vinegar! After you try your hand at making an Oxymel, you might find that it will go nicely in some bubbly water on a warm day, on top of freshly-made pancakes, on a bed of fresh greens from your garden, by itself, or with some warm water to help keep your spirits and throat happy during a heavy cough. You can change the combination of herbs to aid you in whichever way you like.
Who doesn’t love apple cider vinegar and honey? Apple cider vinegar and honey alone are a soothing treat to an exhausted throat, but throw in some of your favorite immune boosters and we have a medicinal friend: Oxymel! (Somewhere along the path of herbal history, Rosemary Gladstar whipped up a version using classic ingredients like ginger, garlic, cayenne, and horseradish and called it fire cider.)
I hope this guide helps you find a version that suits you!
What you will need:
- organic apple cider vinegar
- raw local honey
- organic medicinal herbs of your choice (see below)
- pint jar
- pan to decoct
- jar for storage (some nice options here)
Raw apple cider vinegar is a great way to make an alcohol free extract.
Local Honey – I like wildflower honey. I can’t help but get excited about the thought of all of the hard working bees blending together the pollen of hundreds of flowers. I appreciate the different taste nuances I get depending on valley and season. If you want something more consistent and neutral, try a clover honey.
Organic herb possibilities for a throat soothing immune boost:
(These are just a few examples of herbs, but the possibilities are endless!)
There are a few ways you can prepare an Oxymel: I’ve outlined the two ways I’ve used and one additional option, which, I have not tried, but certainly will in the future.
Generally speaking, you want a ratio of 1:3 – 1:4 . That is to say 1 part dried herb to 3 or 4 parts vinegar and honey. You can easily measure by filling a pint jar less than 1/4 of the way with herbs and then topping with equal parts honey and equal parts vinegar. I’ve noticed the older techniques prefer more honey, up to 5 parts honey to 1 parts vinegar, and the newer recipes call for more apple cider vinegar, as much as 3 parts vinegar to one part honey. I prefer half and half. You can find a ratio that suits you! For storage, I prefer a glass jar with a cork top, like the ones found here.
Method 1: Stir, Shake, and Sit
Good method for a variety of herbs!
Place desired herbs into pint jar (1/4 – 1/5 of the way full), cover with apple cider vinegar and honey. You can stir before sealing the jar, or seal the jar and shake until well mixed. Now let your jar sit somewhere cool and dark and shake a couple of times a week. After two weeks, strain and pour into a glass jar for storage.
Method 2: Vinegar Reduction
Great for non-delicate herbs and hearty roots!
If you’re in a pinch and need an Oxymel quickly, you can always experiment with a vinegar reduction. I would not use this method for especially aromatic or floral herbs, as it may be too harsh of an extraction process with heat causing the aromatics to dissipate. In my recipe, it worked well, bringing out the aroma of all herbs perfectly evenly! Apple cider vinegar steam can be very intense, so be careful not to put your face and eyes over the pot while it is simmering (it will not feel good if you do!) You will want to use twice as much vinegar as you need in the end, since this is a reduction and you will loose half of it in the process to evaporation. Reduce for 30-40 minutes on low heat. Once you are done, let cool and strain, mix herbal decocted vinegar with equal parts honey until well mixed and store in an airtight bottle.
Method 3: Infusing Honey and Apple Cider Vinegar Seperately
Nice option for especially delicate herbs.
This is a very easy way to make an Oxymel if you already have infused honey and infused apple cider vinegar, or one or the other. If you have previously infused apple cider vinegar or honey you simply get to mix them together using a ratio that suits you and enjoy! If you regularly cook with herbal infused honeys and vinegars and have some of your favorites sitting around, this can be a great way to turn your culinary spice into a soothing treat!
Posted by|28 February 2014
These tasty Herbal Honey Spreads from our friends at Mockingbird Meadows are back in stock!
Allergency with raw Honey, organic Nettle, Pollen, Wild Yam, organic Eleuthero, and organic Orange peel.
Immuni-Bee with raw Honey, organic Elder berry, organic Astragalus, organic Echinacea, and organic Shiitake.
Inflamma-Bee with raw Honey, organic Meadowsweet, organic Cinnamon, organic Black Cohosh, organic Turmeric, organic Celery seed, and organic Anise.
Honey ZZZ with raw Honey, Hops, organic Skullcap, and organic Passionflower.
Posted by|11 February 2014
I was driving along the Nantahala in late fall. The fog was thick, muting the sunset mauve colors of Oaks and Maples as they shed their leaves to prepare for the cold months. When I’d stopped for a walk I could pick out the lingering Sassafras leaves, grey panicles of the Hydrangea, and mammoth Muscadine vines growing towards the canopy. I spotted the barren branches and glowing fruit of the wild Persimmons, one of my favorite wild fruits. After a few moments of rooting around under the tree I was back on the road with a few fistfuls of the most ripe fruit I could find.
I grew up in the southern Appalachian Mountains. The mountains and valleys of our eastern deciduous forests are rich in some of our most valued botanicals. Plants like goldenseal, ginseng, black cohosh, and many others have played important ecological roles in our forests since ancient times. The long traditions of using these plants for good health continue to influence our modern approaches to herbalism and our relationship with these forests.
I visited Appalachia to talk with our wild-harvesters and ask what we can do to help manage and plan for our woodland harvests. With the growing interest of incorporating more of our woodland plants into our lives for health and food we need to continue to be engaged with where and how these plants are harvested and what we can do to ensure healthy future stands.
Non-timber forest products also provide growing business for rural economies. On a large organic forest farm we work with in Kentucky the signs of former industry are visible across the landscape. From the hills that had been clear cut and were growing back thick with Slippery Elm, to the rusted hulk of machinery used to make bricks from the clay that was quarried from the area, it is awesome to watch the family who’d lived on this land for generations move towards a more active stewardship of the property.
Working with the land to learn how to manage our forests for an indefinite harvest of these plants, we can also ensure the people who do this work have good livelihoods. As more people return to the forest for healing, it becomes our responsibility to ensure that we’re taking care of the plants and the people that these forests support. Intentionally growing and managing stands of medicinal, edible, and beautiful plants in forests is what we’re working towards.
Wild Cherry and Slippery Elm are two trees that I have been using for a long time. Several years ago some friends and I were clearing trees from a driveway out on wooded land in central Alabama. We cut down some black cherry trees and I spent the next couple days with a draw knife peeling back the fragrant bark. I gave most away and used enough for some tincture we’d all call “Throat Tickle” for it’s effectiveness in warming, soothing, autumn teas. I dried and cured the wood and used them to make walking sticks for me and my father and used the end cuts for a cutting board for my partner.
Wild Cherry pairs well with another tree that lives between the forest and the fields, Slippery Elm. For timber forest management Slippery Elm, or Red Elm, is usually considered an uneconomically important tree. It’s branching habit and quick growth doesn’t lend it to a lot of woodworking applications, but for many herbalists it’s an invaluable resource as one of our most excellent mucilaginous demulcents.
Slippery Elm is threatened by two diseases: Dutch Elm Disease and Elm Yellows Disease. These diseases are spreading through our Appalachian forests threatening our elm stands. For the cottage-scale herbalist harvesting the spongy cambium only from windfall branches after a storm or making friends with a local saw mill to gather the bark after a cut seems to be the most ethical option. Often many small saw mills will give you or sell you the wood inexpensively just to take it away because it is considered not worth the effort to handle. It makes okay fire wood as well. However, cutting small strips from a tree can open up a large wound that could be infected by disease, spreading these threats through our forests. These useful trees take a few decades to grow to a harvestable size, so helping the forest industry recognize our use and value of them is important.
Mountain Rose is working with our forest farms to figure out the best strategies for continuing the harvest of these trees. These trees highlight some of the challenges of working with forest management of our older medicinal plants. For a general mucilaginous demulcent, many people have turned to marshmallow root. If you’d like to wild-harvest your slime-plants, here in the Pacific Northwest, I like to use our native weedy Malvaceae Sidalcea, often grown as a native ornamental, or the introduced Malva neglecta leaves. Some native or introduced Malvaceae can be found across the country. Where I’m from in the Deep South, hibiscus and okra grow very well. I also love Sassafras leaves in the Lauraceae family as a good aromatic mucilage, traditionally used to thicken gumbo.
Stopping at different natural and historic places throughout the South reminded me of the culture I come from and the long traditions of plants and an engagement with nature that shaped those cultures. I feel honored to work with our forest-harvesters to connect people with the most ethical and honest botanicals we can.
Brian’s Dirty South Throat Tickle Soother
1 quart of pleasantly warm to hot organic slippery elm or marshmallow root tea
Raw local honey to taste
fresh organic grated ginger, garlic, or another warming aromatic to taste
3-4 droppers of organic cherry bark tincture
2-3 droppers of organic sassafras root tincture or some fresh fall sassafras twigs in the tea, excellent warm lemony flavor (optional) or organic lemon juice to taste (optional)
2-3 dropper organic echinacea root, teaberry leaf, or birch bark tincture (optional)
Bourbon to taste (very optional)
Mix all ingredients together and sip as needed!
Posted by|03 February 2014
Spring is on the way and love is in the air!
This time of year we celebrate the return of light and renewal of life after a long cold winter. This change of seasons is the perfect time to honor the special sweetheart in your life with a little herbal pampering and we want to help spread the love.
Are you crafting something fabulous for your Valentine this year? Herbal cordials, aphrodisiac truffles, or a special meal? Share your ideas with us for a chance to win these gorgeous gifts…
Prize #1 - Herbal Romance Package
This collection includes some of our favorite bliss inspiring products. Light a candle and soak in a warm therapeutic bath. Then give your sweetie a soothing massage with all natural botanical-infused oil. Set the mood with a little aromatic spritz, dab on some flower-kissed perfume, and take a taste of mood boosting tincture for a night to cherish!
Prize #2 – Lovers Essential Oil Kit
Our beautiful Lovers Essential Oil Sampler was created specifically to incite feelings of love, passion, and attraction. This collection of sensuous and arousing aromas is sure to kindle flames! Try them individually or combine to create your own aromas. It comes packaged in a lovely gift box with printed usage guidelines on the back of the liner tray. Contains a 1/8 ounce vial of organic Clary Sage, organic Ylang Ylang, organic Palmarosa, organic Sandalwood, organic Patchouli, and a 1/24 ounce of our Rose (Chinese).
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 herbal love inspiration!
1. Leave a comment here on the blog telling us what herbal treat you’ll be making for your honey this year.
2. Post a link or share our Herbal Romance Giveaway on your Facebook page and leave a comment here to let us know you’ve posted. Follow us on Facebook!
3. Pin our Herbal Romance Giveaway on Pinterest with a link back to this post. Then leave a comment here to let us know it’s been pinned. Follow us on Pinterest!
4. Tweet about our Herbal Romance 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!
You have until Wednesday, February 5th at 9:00am PST to enter. We will pick two winners at random on the morning of Wednesday, February 5th. We ship blog prizes to US addresses only!
Looking for more aphrodisiac gift ideas and DIY projects?
Posted by|31 January 2014
Exciting news! We’ve just added some new extracts that are lovingly crafted right here in the Pacific Northwest to our line of Herbal Extracts and Tinctures.
Extracted from the dried root of Lepidium mayenii, maca is a unique tuber with usage dating back to the mid-15th century. This root is a highly nutritious staple food, rich in carbohydrates, protein, and a variety of essential minerals. It is often used in its dried powder form, but is quickly becoming popular as an herbal extract and capsule.
Umckaloabo comes to us from the dried root of Pelargonium sidoides. This member of the geranium family is also referred to as South African Geranium, but should not be confused with the aromatic species Pelargonium graveolens. Umckaloabo is used to support a healthy respiratory tract, particularly during times of need. The herb can also support a healthy immune system.
Extracted from the dried bark of Corynanthe yohimbe. Yohimbe is a small evergreen tree native to central Africa. Yohimbine is the active constituent in this extract, and accounts for its stimulant and aphrodisiac properties.
Visit our website to view the full line of single and combination Herbal Extracts that we carry.
Posted by|20 January 2014
Here in the Pacific Northwest, our winters are spent under thick pillowy blankets of clouds that shower us with misty rains. These clouds diffuse the sun’s bright light into a glowy haze that casts gray hues over our world for months at a time.
While some of us revel in its beauty, sun lovers and out-of-towners often find this combination of dark, wet, and cold to be really difficult, bringing out feelings of hopelessness that the sun will ever shine again! Of course it will return to warm us up, but in the meantime, going for hikes or doing yoga, keeping an eye on Vitamin D levels, using full spectrum lighting, and getting plenty of sleep can help us continue to feel our best.
Herbs can also be helpful to us! This formula is really nice to have on hand because it blends warming, uplifting, and relaxing herbs that can help alleviate the occasional winter blues we all feel from time to time.
Winter Mood Boost Extract
½ part organic Lemon Balm tincture
½ part organic Hawthorn tincture
½ part organic Kava Kava tincture
¼ part organic Ginger tincture
Mix all tinctures together in a bottle and shake well. I like to take about 30 drops 1 to 2 times a day for up to 1 week, or less as needed. It’s always a good idea to take a small amount first, sit in silence, and feel how the herbs effect your body. It just might bring a little sunshine to your gloomy gray days!
Posted by|16 January 2014
We had a lovely time talking beer, kombucha, kraut, pickling, salting, brining, and more at Fun with Fermentation last weekend. We brought a bowl full of beautiful organic hops to share, along with other ingredients like caraway seed, salts, and tea blends, often used in home fermentation projects.
To see the rest of our album from this truly fun community event, head on over to Facebook!
Posted by|09 January 2014
All of us here at Mountain Rose are so happy to be able to support the important healing work herbalists like 7Song bring to communities around the country. A few days ago, he sent us this photo along with a sweet message of thanks for our donation of herbs and supplies to the Ithaca Free Clinic…
“As many of you know, I work as an herbalist (and the fancier title of Director of Holistic Medicine) at the Ithaca Free Clinic. I write about it fairly often as I am very appreciative to be working there along with many other caring individuals. It is a mix modality clinic with doctors, herbalist, nurses, acupuncturists and others offering their services for free.
While the consultations and herbal preparations are free for the patients, there are of course costs from my side. Alcohol and other menstruums for herbal preparations, the time to gather and process plants, jars, scales, labeling gear, equipment and other expenses. I am not complaining, I feel very fortunate to be working there and it has added immeasurably to my skills as an herbalist.
Okay, enough about me, what I want to say in my usual long-winded fashion is Thank You Mountain Rose Herbs! who have been very generous with their donations to the clinic. And while I am loathe to endorse companies, I really want folks to know how they are helping keep my patients with their herbal medicines. This photo is the most recent shipment of supplies, which has made me want to give this public appreciation for all they offer for the Ithaca Free Clinic. So once again, thank you all at Mountain Rose Herbs.” ~7Song
Thank you, 7Song!
Posted by|24 December 2013
In this video, our herbalist friend jim mcdonald shares some of the more unusual ways of incorporating Hawthorn into your life. He also discusses using the plant for the physical heart, as well as the emotional or spiritual heart. This is the 2nd plant walk video with jim in a series recorded at our Rootstalk Festival in September 2011.
Posted by|20 December 2013
We are thrilled to announce that all of our extracts and tinctures are now Kosher Certified through Earth Kosher! Inspections are preformed throughout the year under the supervision of Rabbi Zushe Blech and Rabbi Zecharyah Tzvi Goldman. These inspections include our facilities, processing and handling methods, product packaging and labeling, and point of origin for our kosher materials. We are proud to offer one of the nation’s largest lines of kosher herbs, spices, teas, and oils and we are honored to be affiliated with Earth Kosher who share our philosophies concerning organic quality and the planet we all share.
Click Here to view more information on our Kosher Program and to view our Kosher Certificate.
Posted by|09 December 2013
Making your own gifts this year? Need a little last-minute inspiration?
We’ve collected some of our favorite recipes for all sorts of homemade goodies from sweet treats to natural bodycare formulas and medicinal staples to help you share the herbal love with friends and family. Most of these recipes can be made in just one day and none of them take longer than a week. There’s still time to craft all of these delights!
Did you know that most perfumes are manufactured using synthetic chemicals, even petroleum? Many of these ingredients don’t have 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 using natural ingredients. Here are three of our favorites.
This blend 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.
Cocoa Calm Lip Balm
Taking some cues from aromatherapy for this silky lip balm recipe, we decided to try a relaxing combination of lavender and clary sage. Both of these sweet and floral essential oils are associated with calming properties that also uplift one’s mood. It turned out to be a wonderful blend! Of course, you can always experiment with your favorite essential oils to create a custom fragrance, or leave them out completely and allow the cocoa butter and coconut oil scents to shine through. This is a great basic formula that is easily transformable!
1 Tbsp organic unrefined Coconut Oil
1 Tbsp organic Cocoa Butter or 4 organic Cocoa Butter Wafers
2 Tbsp organic Sunflower Oil
1 Tbsp plus 1 teaspoon grated Beeswax or Beeswax Pastilles
10 drops organic Lavender Essential Oil
5 drops organic Clary Sage Essential Oil
a few drops of Vitamin E Oil (optional, but recommended)
Place chopped beeswax and oils in a small pot or glass Pyrex measuring cup and gently heat in the top of a double boiler until the beeswax has melted. Once melted, remove from the stove top and stir in the essential oils and Vitamin E oil. Immediately pour the mixture into lip balm containers. Allow your balm to cool completely before capping the containers. Makes enough to fill 10 lip balm tubes or three 1/2 oz tins. Enjoy!
Rose & Geranium Bath Bombs
This is such a fun project! These wonderfully rosy smelling bath bombs are fizzy and all-natural.
Combine dry ingredients together in a large bowl. Slowly drizzle in Olive Oil and essential oil while stirring to prevent fizzing. Slowly spritz with hydrosol while stirring constantly until the mixture begins to clump together. The blend should be just moist enough to hold when pressed together with your hands, be careful not to add too much moisture. Add rose petals, press into molds, and allow to dry 2-3 hours before unmolding. Let bath bombs cure for one week before using them, then store in an airtight container. You can shape your bath bombs by using a melon baller, ice, candy or soap molds, clear plastic two-sided Christmas ornaments, egg cartons, or anything else you have on hand.
Chai Spice Oatmeal Cookies
On the hunt for the perfect seasonal cookie, we spiced up oatmeal cookies with some very special homemade chai powder. These cookies are crunchy, sweet, salty, warming, spicy, aromatic deliciousness. Go ahead and make a double batch if you plan to share these at a gathering – they go fast!
1 cup organic all-purpose flour
3/4 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon baking soda
1/3 teaspoon sea salt
1 3/4 sticks softened organic butter
1 cup organic sugar
1/4 cup packed organic light brown sugar
1 large organic free-range egg
1 teaspoon organic vanilla extract
2 1/2 cups organic old-fashioned rolled oats
Powdered Chai Spice Mix
1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
2. Whisk flour, baking powder, baking soda, powdered spice mix, and sea salt together.
3. In another bowl, beat butter and sugars until fluffy and creamy. Add egg and vanilla to the butter and sugar mixture and beat until combined. Scrape bowl with spatula.
4. Gradually add flour mixture to the butter mixture and stir until it just becomes smooth.
5. Gradually add oats and mix until well combined.
6. Roll 2 tablespoons of dough into balls with your hands. Place on parchment lined baking sheets about 2 1/2 inches apart. Gently press down each ball to about 3/4-inch thickness using fingertips.
7. Bake until cookies are golden brown, about 13 to 16 minutes, rotating baking sheet halfway through. Transfer baking sheet to wire rack to cool. Makes 22-24 amazingly delicious chai cookies!
Making mustard from scratch is so easy! It’s also wonderfully versatile since you can spice it up, experiment with different vinegars, or mix it into all sorts of other recipes. They look lovely as a set in glass jars with pretty labels and twine.
Brandied Honey Mustard Recipe
Combine mustard seeds, 1/3 cup water, brandy, and vinegar in a bowl and stir well to completely submerge the seeds. Cover and allow to soak at room temperature for 3 days. I like to swirl the bowl around a little each day to see the transformation. After 3 days, pour the mixture into a blender, add honey and salt, and blend until smooth. Store in a sealed jar and refrigerate. I recommend using a plastic lid or using some kind of barrier to keep the vinegar from corroding the metal.
For variations, follow these tips:
- Add 1 tsp to 1 tbsp of aromatic seeds during the soaking process.
- Dried fruit should be added during the soaking process.
- Add dried herbs, seasoning powders, or fresh fruit just before blending.
- For less sweet mustards, cut the sweetener by half.
Hoppy Ginger Brew
This homemade sparkling soda is a delightful non-alcoholic option for hop lovers! Refreshingly gingery and floral, this pop makes a wonderful treat when served ice cold. Feel free to experiment with this concoction as a mixer for cocktails too. It goes beautifully with bourbon or rum. The recipe below makes one 16oz bottle of soda, but you can quadruple it (at least) to make a larger batch. You can also swap out the hops for another herb that you enjoy or even chai!
1 ounce fresh organic ginger juice
2 ounces fresh organic lemon juice, finely strained
1.5 ounces organic hop flower simple syrup
1.5 ounces unflavored simple syrup
10 ounces warm water
25 granules of dry champagne yeast
You can use bottled ginger juice or grate and squeeze the juice from fresh ginger root pulp using cheesecloth. I always fresh squeeze my ginger and the result is definitely worth the extra labor. Pour the ingredients into a 16oz bottle, cap tightly, and shake well to mix. Store the mixture in a warm, dark place for exactly 48 hours. After 48 hours, refrigerate immediately to stop the fermentation process and enjoy chilled.
To make Hop Simple Syrup, bring 1 cup of organic white sugar, 2 cups water, and 2 cups of dried organic hops just to a boil and stir. Remove from heat, allow to cool, strain into a jar and store in the refrigerator. To make unflavored simple syrup, follow the same directions but leave out the hops.
Berry Rooty Syrup
Keep your loved ones well this year! Our good old friend elderberry syrup is a definite go-to when we feel our immune systems weaken, but with the addition of adaptogenic schisandra berries and eleuthero root, along with more immune support from echinacea, this formula packs a big punch. You can also modify the recipe a bit by leaving out the echinacea for a delicious pancake, waffle, ice cream drizzling syrup!
3 cups cold water
¾ cup organic elderberries
¼ cup organic schisandra berries
¼ cup organic eleuthero root
¼ cup organic echinacea root
1 organic cinnamon stick
¾ to 1 cup raw local honey
1.5 ounces brandy (optional)
1 tsp fresh grated ginger root (optional)
Combine herbs with cold water in a pot and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and allow herbs to simmer for 30 to 40 minutes. Remove from heat and mash the berries in the liquid mixture. Strain the herbs through cheesecloth and squeeze out the juice. Measure the liquid and add an equal amount of honey. Gently heat the honey and juice for a few minutes until well combined. Do not boil! Stir in brandy and bottle in sterilized glass. Label and keep refrigerated for up to 6 months.
Mama and Baby’s Massage Oil
Any new mamas or babies in your life? Selecting the best products and ingredients for skincare can be daunting, and baby’s skin is even more delicate and sensitive. Many commercial baby care products even include toxic ingredients that have been linked to allergies, cancer, developmental problems, and organ dysfunction, in addition to many other harmful side effects. No thanks! This soothing and gentle massage oil is perfect for nurturing mama’s and baby’s sensitive skin. Apply after bathing for massages, cradle cap, or anytime that skin feels dry. You can also pour a small amount into bathwater for a luxurious pampering bath.
Organic Sunflower or Sweet Almond Oil
2 parts Organic Lavender flowers
2 parts Organic Calendula flowers
1 part Organic Rose petals or buds
1 part Organic Chamomile flowers
1 part Organic Comfrey leaf
Vitamin E Oil
Fill a glass jar ¼ – ½ full with the herb mixture, then fill to the top with Sunflower or Sweet Almond oil. Pour into a crock-pot, double boiler, or electric yogurt maker, and make sure there is at least an inch or two of oil above the herbs. Gently heat the herbs over very low heat (preferably between 100 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit) for 1-5 hours until the oil takes on the color and scent of the herbs. Some texts recommend heating the oil 48-72 hours at a controlled temperature of 100 degrees Fahrenheit. Turn off heat and allow to cool. Once the oil is ready, strain using cheesecloth, and bottle into dry and sterilized amber bottles for storage. Store in a dark and cool place. Vitamin E Oil may also be added to prolong the shelf life.
Happy Holiday Crafting!
Posted by|02 December 2013
The holiday season can be a hectic time with feasts and gatherings and traveling, but it also offers a special opportunity to reflect on all of the precious things that bring joy and comfort to our lives. A hot cup of tea, a spoonful of elderberry syrup, a bowl of delicious curried soup, or a dab of homemade perfume on the wrist are all small reminders of how herbs enhance our everyday experiences.
In celebration of all that we’re thankful for, we decided to give away tokens of our gratitude. For the next 10 weekdays, we will be offering up our favorite herbal goodies to help support your health and wellbeing - because what we are most grateful for is you! We are so thankful for this passionate, creative, and conscientious community of people who truly care about protecting our natural treasures and sharing the tradition of herbal healing. You all inspire hope in the world. Thank you!
Today is Day 1 and we’re giving away one of our Classic Essential Oil Samplers!