Living in the desert I get my share of sinus headaches (and I suspect anyone who experiences a dry winter climate does, too). I’ve learned of two very effective ways to deal with them. One is with this freakin’ great Panasonic nano facial steamer (unlike any other steamer I’ve used… expensive but worth it) and the following recipe for Sinus Kicker. (I’ll share more on how I use the steamer in a later post… it upgraded my oil cleansing routine.)
In my effort to spend a little less time in the kitchen some days, I’ve come up with a nice, easy, nourishing meal that I’m calling Souped Up Soup. I take a really decent organic boxed soup and I add a bunch of stuff to it to amp up the nutrition. It’s really easy and makes a fast dinner (or lunch) when I just need to get something on the table.
Over the past few months I’ve been researching the topic of herbal antivirals and herbal antibacterials. I’ve learned a lot to say the least. My family’s supply of immune boosting tonics, tinctures, herbs, etc is damn impressive, and if our house ever caught on fire, I’d probably grab as much of those as I could instead of my laptop, etc. Ha! Seriously though, I feel empowered to kick anything’s ass that comes my family’s way.
Entered into our home: the flu.
We had the flu in our house with our little one recently, and in my determination to heal her in record speed (which she did), and preventing my husband and me from getting it, I created this crazy wonderful drink, Golden Immunity. It’s filled with everything the body needs to nip the flu virus in the bud or help you prevent getting it, if you’re around people with influenza.
I made the drink on the spicy edge so I didn’t give it to Kamea. For Kamea, I did a number of other things from probiotics to lyposome encapsulated vitamin C plus vitamin D3/K2 drops, various tinctures like this Cherry Bark, this Astragalus, and this Dr. Christopher’s Echinacea Angustifolia, and homemade elderberry syrup (plus more) multiple times a day. (If you don’t make your elderberry syrup you can buy it here.)
Making Golden Immunity is a 3 step process to make it, but beyond worth it. There are no amounts listed in my rough outlined recipe, but I made a batch with 3 cups which Greg and I shared. Just eyeball everything because as long as you’re getting the following ingredients in, it’s immensely beneficial.
It’s not a surprise anymore that I love herbal medicine. I’ve been writing a lot about it the past months. I wanted to share some pictures of things I’ve been buying recently for herbal medicine and beauty. Everything is from Mountain Rose Herbs which is where I’m an affiliate and source almost everything (unless they’re sold out of something). They offer such great prices on their stuff and the staff is extremely friendly and knowledgeable.
These teas are remarkable blends that I love drinking. My daughter loves them, too. I use my big bad-ass french press to brew a big ol’ batch of herbal medicinal tea. (Read more here.) I’m particularly fond of the Dream Tea (it really works), the Vita-Blend Tea, Lemon Tea, and the Moon Ease Tea really works, too.
You know I love tinctures (I teach you how to easily make your own here). I buy some blends and I make some of my own. Since the tincture making experience, easy as it is, takes time to process, I sometimes buy pre-made blends if I don’t have something ready of my own. Or, if there’s a single herb tincture that I don’t feel like making myself, I buy it. For example, I always buy Mountain Rose Herbs’ Ashwaganda Tincture and Astragalus Root Tincture.
I’ll also never be without Black Cumin Seed oil for its crazy ridiculous benefits… it’s from a powerful medicinal plant which enjoys a robust reputation for healing a lot of things. It has a long history (especially in Egypt) of being used for many ailments from headache to toothache to sick stomachs to beauty (and a ton more).
I also source a lot of essential oils from Mountain Rose Herbs (I also love Living Libations but they’re usually more expensive, but oh so amazing. Their lemon oil was life-changing for me with Wild-Caught Salmon Roe). I use essential oils daily in our home vaporizers / aroma diffusers (I haven’t tried this one, but it’s on my Amazon wish list). I like to have one in the bedroom, office, kitchen, and family room. They work miracles for energizing when I use peppermint and rosemary … or calming when I use lavender … or disinfecting at flu time when I use eucalyptus, tea tree, and thyme. I also use essential oils for a plethora of other things. I have an epic blog post coming soon on how I use essential oils. I like the small vials (pictured above) in Mountain Rose Herbs’ Classic Sampler for my first aid kit.
Here are a few great choices for soups, tinctures, and teas. I use the rose hips in many of my tinctures to add a beautiful boost of Vitamin C.
I use Schizandra berries in my longevity and beauty tinctures. I read something interesting about Shizandra. According to the little gem of a book, Herbs for Long Lasting Health (by Rosemary Gladstar, my favorite author on herbal medicine), “Schizandra is often associated with the sexual organs, as it’s known to increase the staying power of men and to revitalize women’s sexual experience. When taken over a period of three to four weeks, it’s said to give a warm, tingling feeling to the vagina.” Um… OK!
And, astragalus root? That’s a potent longevity root that I will never be without. It has a stellar reputation for building immune strength and energizing the body. I use it in soups and stews primarily, like my Longevity Bone Broth (recipe here). I simply drop some slices into any simmering stew or tea and let it enhance my creations with longevity vigor. I aim to be a centenarian, after all. (Strain it out before consuming the soup, stew, or tea.)
Last, but not least, beauty (and first aid). I buy a mix of their oils so I can create my own blends for oil cleansing and healing (I have a post coming about a new twist I’ve added to my oil cleansing routine that upgraded it significantly — spoiler alert: this thing).
Mountain Rose Herbs also has awesome hydrosols (basically herbal water sprays for face and body… some are edible for food too, I think). These products are great for anti-aging, hydration, and just making me feel good. One of my favorite hydrosols is the rose water. I buy it, by the big size, and transfer it into smaller bottles, one of which that I carry in my purse at all times. I spritz it on my face to freshen up my makeup, give me a bit of hydration, and calm my senses with the smell.
I admit, 6 months ago I wouldn’t have had the courage to cook wild-caught salmon whole, but, today, I do. And, guess what? It’s wonderfully easy. Easy. Easy. Easy.
Plus, bonus, buying a whole wild-caught sockeye (or king) salmon is cheaper than buying it in pieces. I buy my wild-caught sockeye (and king) salmons from Vital Choice. I opt for the boneless with skin-on. They have an amazing product and fabulous customer service. I called them recently to ask them what to do with the prawns I bought from them. The gal on the phone told me step by step. Awesomeness.
This recipe doesn’t require much work at all. The hearty crisp romaine lettuce is tossed in a delectable creamy avocado dressing that is both sweet and savory, which pairs well with the salmon, having it’s own sweet and spicy elements. My 4-year old loved it. My husband loved it. I loved it. Say no more.
I never thought of pesto as herbal medicine, but indeed it is.
Pesto has earned a spot in my diet (and my freezer), fairly regularly as a result. I mean, think of it, it’s chock-full of herbs. Herbs are medicine. Pesto = Powerful Herbal Medicine.
The thing about pesto, for me at least, is that I don’t relish the making of it. I have to lug out my food processor and wash lots of herbs (I like to keep them varied for optimal nutrition). The other issue is that sometimes you don’t want a lot of pesto… you want just a little. Well, that’s not a problem when you’re smart and make pesto ahead of time.
When you realize you want (or need) some pesto, it’s great to have it on hand. It requires thawing, but I find that I usually know if I’ll need pesto a day in advance so I put it in the fridge to thaw overnight. I like to make a good sized batch and freeze it in jars of different sizes as shown in the pictures. I especially like these baby food storage jars because the amount frozen is perfect for adding a little of pesto flavor to any dish where you want herbal flare but not a pesto-heavy result.
When I go to the farmers’ market, I see what lovely fresh herbs the farmer has, and I buy a lot. I go home and get to making some pesto straight away so I can be done with it. It feels good to have a freezer stocked of different things that can quickly be thawed for food. If you haven’t seen my post on Real Food Fast Food, please check it out. I share lots of ways to make really fast meals that qualify as Real Food (healthy stuff).
Pesto goes wonderfully served over a grass-fed steak, grass-fed burgers (I buy from Alderspring), pasture-raised chicken (I buy from Good Earth Farms), wild-caught salmon (I buy from Vital Choice). It’s also delectable slathered over some fermented organic sourdough bread, drizzled over mochi, dumped on top of gluten-free pasta, and stirred into organic goat cheese for the best goat cheese ever. You can also add a spoonful of it to the next dressing you make. Holy moly, you’ll be licking the bowl and begging for more salad when you do.
See? Many ways to enjoy pesto, when you have it on hand. Don’t forget…
Pesto = Powerful Herbal Medicine.
Pesto is pretty easy to make even if it’s not my favorite thing to do. However, I am not going to give you much of a pesto recipe because it’s so forgiving. You only need fresh herbs and a couple of other ingredients. I list many herbs below and you can use one or a combination of many. I also prefer hemp seeds instead of other nuts because they’re nice and small, soft, and offer some better nutrition than many other nuts.
- Fresh Organic Herbs: basil, oregano, dill, thyme, cilantro, parsley, rosemary, mint, dandelion, arugula
- sea salt (to taste, but don’t be shy)
- a few pressed cloves of garlic (more if you’re Italian) I love the Joseph Rocker Garlic Crusher
- 1/2 to 1-cup hemp seeds
- hard raw cheese like parmesan (if vegan, omit the cheese and add extra hemp seeds)
- 1/2 to 1-cup quality organic raw olive oil (or a mix of olive oil and Upgraded MCT oil for a brain boost)
Place the herbs in a food processor, like this one I have, fitted with the “S” blade, along with sea salt, garlic, hemp seeds, and cheese. Pulse it a bit until it’s nicely chopped. Turn on the food processor and add the olive oil in a steady stream until it’s incorporated. Set some aside to eat, if desired. Transfer the rest into glass storage cups of different sizes to be frozen. Be sure to label them with “Pesto” and the date.
Making tinctures is so easy it’s ridiculous. Jar. Herbs. Alcohol. Label. Wait. Strain. Ingest. For more detailed instructions see my How To on Tinctures here.
Today, I’m sharing a quickie mixture I made that can help so many things: brain health, digestion, inflammation, longevity, and more. I was at the farmers’ market and they had organic turmeric. I couldn’t resist. I bought a bunch and decided to make some awesome tinctures from it (and Longevity Bone Broth).
Turmeric n Ginger Tincture
- Fresh organic turmeric root, grated
- Fresh organic ginger root, grated
- 80 to 100 proof alcohol
Place the ingredients in a glass mason jar. I’d say you’ll end up filling the jar no more than halfway with the turmeric and ginger. Add alcohol and fill to the top. Place a lid on it. Place a label on it with the ingredients and the date. Set it on your counter for 6 to 8 weeks, shaking it daily.
Strain off the liquid and toss the ginger and turmeric. Store the liquid elixir in glass tincture bottles (you can buy them here), or any bottle or jar, in a dark cool cupboard. These last for years.
I’m having a lot of fun learning about herbal medicine. And, I’ve learned that one of the easiest ways to administer herbal medicine is via tea. Every one likes a nice cuppa tea, eh?
Herbal teas are also known as infusions or decoctions, but there is a difference in how they’re prepared. An infusion is hot water infused with the loose leaf teas, and can be made with a french press like the one pictured. A decoction is made by simmering the parts over heat. Simmering is proper for roots and tougher herbs and stems to get a nice extraction of nutrients and flavor. Today, I’m talking infusions which is what most people experience when they drink a cup of tea.
Herbal teas (tisanes) are something I drink daily. One way to make it extra easy is to simply brew a large batch, which I can enjoy all day long. That means no fussing in the kitchen more than once a day for tea.
Enter: My new big, bad-ass French Press.
The french press, I’ve learned (through trying different methods), is the simplest way to make herbal tea. The loose herbs are free to float and steep, while covered which is important. Then, you press them down via the plunger, and pour the tea into your favorite cup, all without messing with the loose tea and a separate strainer.
When I found myself making multiple batches of tea throughout the day with my small french press, I knew I needed something bigger. As usual, on Amazon.com, I found what I was looking for… The Gorsche Madrid French Press Tea and Coffee Maker makes a whopping 1.5 liters (1500 ml) of tea or coffee. Nice.
The fall weather is approaching.
It’s time to get serious and prep our bodies with nourishing foods to get through flu season with ease. Bone broth (i.e., stock) is essential to help prevent getting sick, and to help you heal in record speed, if you do get sick. My family consumes homemade bone broth (on a very regular basis) delivered by mug, soup, stew, sauce (I make demi-glace from it which serves as the bases for many unbelievable sauces), and rice pilaf. We also rely on herbal medicine to keep our immune systems in the best shape possible. See posts here and here for herbal medicine. Oh and this post with a delicious(!) berry tea recipe, great for helping you fight and prevent colds and flu.
In case you haven’t read it yet, I wrote an epic blog post showing you many variations to making your own homemade bone broth (i.e., stock). Today, I’m quickly sharing a groovy longevity twist I have been making: Longevity Bone Broth.
I am naming it Longevity Bone Broth because I’ve added a number of longevity supporting ingredients such as:
- fresh organic ginger root
- fresh organic turmeric root
- dried astragalus root slices
- fresh lemongrass
Bone broth is a pretty bad-ass longevity food on its own, but this version takes it to new levels.
- I Got Slow Cookers Coming Out The Wazoo – I Have My Reasons
- A Simple Chicken Soup “Dinner” Made Before I Finish My 1st Cup of Morning Coffee
- Paleo Recipe: Minimalist (aka Easiest) Slow Cooker Chicken
- Recipe Tomato Beef (or Bison) Slow Cooker Stew
- How to Cook Eye of the Round Roast in Sous Vide (Gluten Free)
I love cooking on the spot, where you take a look at what’s in the kitchen and throw things together. That’s what I did today when I made this Minted Mango Salad.
I recently bought a few potted herb plants so that I can always have fresh herbs whenever I need. I bought rosemary, basil, and mint. I saw the mint this morning and was drawn to it. It was breakfast time so maybe that was the attraction… something minty. I was also in the mood for the mango and avocado I had in the fridge.