Take a Hike! Local Flora and a Little History Too!

Today’s focus may seem a little off topic, since we don’t all live in the same areas of the world, but I hope it will inspire you to get outside and learn what resources, herbs, and local attractions are near you!  You never know whbig-sagebrush-detail3en you’re going to need that kind of information.  It’s a good opportunity to discover and hopefully make use of the things that are within your reach. Continue reading

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Making a Strong Yarrow Salve

yarrow-flowerOne of the best herbs to have on hand is the lowly yarrow. From mid-summer to early fall, yarrow is in bloom, with its….well… less than beautiful fragrance….in fact, it reminds me of the kitty litter box sometimes. What I do love is the amazing healing properties that it holds in store!

Last year as I was cutting yarrow with my knife, harvesting for the year to come, not paying much attention to what I was doing, like I should have, I looked down to see the blood dripping, rather quickly from a very deep cut. Continue reading

How Much Alcohol Is Really In A Tincture? And Why I Choose To Use Them

I have to admit, this is a subject I’ve had to do a lot of soul searching on, before I was comfortable with a tincture medically.  After years of  curious and questioning acquaintances, co-workers and friends, the choice on whether or not to uCaliforniaPoppy Tincture.pngse a tincture boils down to one of two things generally.  Either there is a religious restriction on alcohol, or they are ordinary men and women, who just don’t want alcohol in their lives.  Both of those thing apply in my own life.  I get it.  So why do I tincture my herbs?

Lets start with the most obvious question, first.  How much alcohol is in a dose of tincture?  I generally fill a 00 size capsule with my concoctions, resulting in a liquid dose of  roughly .03% of a single ounce (about 1/4 teaspoon), half of which is likely water.  To give you an understanding of  that number, a ripe banana contains roughly .08%, or less than 1% of an ounce of alcohol, as does a small glass of orange juice.  And again to keep a true perspective, most people recognize that the cold medicine Ny-Quil has alcohol; it does at 10%.  But did you know,  a teaspoon of vanilla contains 35% alcohol?   It’s use is ubiquitous, and everywhere!  So a medical dose of tincture contains a minute amount of alcohol.  But is the alcohol necessary? Continue reading

How About Some Winter Iced Herbal Teas?

Peppermint

Nothing is better on a hot summer’s day than Peppermint Tea, right?  What you might not think about is that it’s a tea that was made for the depths of wintertime!  Here’s why…

table-napkins-cups-lemon-peppermint-tea-iced-tea-drink-misted-glassWintertime is often painful, whether it’s small aches and pains that come with age, or chronic conditions like Fibromyalgia, Lupus, MS, or a myriad of other painful conditions, Peppermint tea can reduce the pain  caused by inflammation, as well as releasing tight muscles. The oil in Peppermint tea seems to reduce spasms in the digestive tract, and clears your respiratory tract.  Let it boost your overall health by improving digestion, relaxing your body and mind, curing bad breath, and after the holidays, aiding in in weight loss.  Best of all it boosts your immune system!

Iced Peppermint Herbal Tea

Makes 32 oz

  • 5 mint teabags (During Summertime you can replace dry leaves with 30 fresh leaves)
  • 4 cups scalding water (just before it boils, remember boiling water can make any tea bitter)
  • (Optional) Honey and lemon to taste
  • Add Ice and Enjoy

Rose Petals

Rose Tea is one of those amazing drinks that you never knew existed, but once you do, it’s a life-long love affair!  And again, it’s perfect for wintertime illness.

Rose Tea has in 1 cup of fresh leaves enough Vitamin C to equal 60 Oranges!  It has traditionally been used to relieve sore rose-ice-teathroat, runny noses and clear bronchial tubes.

It fights infections related to pneumonia, colds and flu, as well as establishing equilibrium in intestinal bacteria.  It acts as a diuretic, to eliminate excess water in the body, and speeds up the removal of waste and toxins in the kidneys.  It is a great laxative, so go easy on it, because the taste is going to make you want more than a glass!  It cleanses the liver, and helps ease the pain of heavy periods.  Finally, it’s a marvel for lifting your mood, relieving insomnia, and easing fatigue associated with stress and depression.

Iced Rose Petal Herbal Tea

Makes 24 oz

  • 1 cup Dried Rose Petals (During Summertime you can replace dry leaves with the petals from 3 large roses)
  • 3 cups scalding water (just before it boils, remember boiling water can make any tea bitter)
  • 1/2 teaspoon Lemon Juice
  • (Optional) Any other floral tea such as Chamomile, or any of the Mint Family
  • (Optional) Honey to taste
  • Add Ice and Enjoy!

What’s your favorite herbal iced tea?  Let me know how these worked for you!

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Any statements or claims about the possible health benefits conferred by any foods or supplements have not been evaluated by the Food & Drug Administration, healthcare professional, or even the town gossip.

They are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease. Herbs and Wildcrafting is for educational purposes only.

Homemade Gifts for the Season? Now Is the Time to Start! Simple DIY Gifts

fb003e4b425e5071_photo-75.jpg.xxxlargeIt’s that time of the year when I start thinking about Christmas and other holidays gifts.  I always have to plan ahead, because while I do simple things, they always seem to need a lot of time to turn into what I am giving!

The first gifts I prepare are the ones that take the longest, so I thought I’d post several of my  favorites! Continue reading

The Miracle of Cayenne-Don’t Leave Home Without It!

I can still see my oldest daughter running into the kitchen with blood dripping down her arm.  Elbow to wri022st, and it was bad.  Six or seven deep lacerations from putting her arm right through the glass on the screen door.  She was 14 at the time, and never happy to let me “doctor” her.

The nearest Dr. at the time was nearly 50 minutes away, and there was no way she was going to willingly submit to stitches by me.

Luckily for her, the Cayenne Pepper, my tried and true frbldiend was once again called to the rescue. Continue reading

Jalapeno Powder, a Simple Tutorial for a Powerful Herb and Spice!

Growing up in Utah, my family being Dairy and Cattle Farmers, we ate a lot of steak!  Unbelievably, I used to pray we’d have something else for dinner…anything else…but like the rest of theUoG251394 country, you eat what’s local and what available. (Boy!  I’d like some of those wonderful steaks now!)

It wasn’t until my husband joined the military and we took off for parts unknown (that exotic land of Texas…:) that I got my first taste of Tex-Mex food.  My taste 87714824_XSbuds were pretty uneducated, and it took time, but I came to love that spicy food!

Now, every year, when the August/September harvest rolls around, and I can feel fall starting to creep into the nights, I know it’s time to begin serious work on my winter spices.  One of those is the lovely Jalapeno! Continue reading