Tuesday, February 10th, 2015
Cayenne Tinctures: Christopher’s and HerbPharm
I have been using cayenne tincture quite a bit this year. I find it more interesting than just ground cayenne pepper, especially when adding it to water since the tincture effortlessly goes right in the water without needing any stirring.
The sh*t is hot! I can’t help but dance like I have a few ants in my pants after I have some. Yowza.
I’m not quite sure how I came upon cayenne tinctures but I suppose it was on Amazon. I was probably looking for something related and Amazon beckoned me with “Hey, maybe you’ll like this, too.” I must admit, this has been a way for me to find some really interesting things I didn’t even know I needed. Trusty ol’ Amazon looking out for my best interests.
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Saturday, November 1st, 2014
Dried fruits and herbs for Beautiful Berry Nourishing Heart Tea #HerbalMedicine
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.
Organic Herbal Teas (tisanes)
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.
Organic Essential Oils and tinctures for robust health and to help fight illness.
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).
“Classic” Sampler of Essential Oils
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.
Bulk herbs and spices for herbal medicine.
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.)
Herbal Organic Beauty and First Aid
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.
Wednesday, September 10th, 2014
Organic grated turmeric and ginger for a tincture. #HerbalMedicine
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.
Turmeric n Ginger Tincture
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.
Medicinal Herbs n Health Chart
In my last post I shared how you can easily make your own herbal tinctures and why you want to do that (health, vitality, immune protection, optimal performance, enhanced energy, better dreams, sublime relaxation, fertility benefits, brain and memory boosting, to name a few). Today, I share with you some popular herbs and how they might benefit you when you make your next cup of tea or herbal tincture.
With herbs, sometimes the effect is immediate and sometimes it takes a few weeks to feel the benefits. Therefore, if you’re working on your hormones for example, and you’re a woman, you might notice improvements over the following 2 to 3 menstrual cycles if you’re using herbs (teas, tinctures, capsules, etc) on a pretty regular basis. If you’re looking for some relaxation because you’re stressed out or have a headache, then a single cup of (strong) herbal tea or a few squirts of tincture throughout the day can do the trick.
I’m having a blast making my own herbal tinctures and part of the fun comes from mixing up various herbs based on my own health goals. In order to do that I read books, articles, and blogs to determine which organic herbs to buy when making my herbal tinctures (and drinking as teas or taking in the form of syrups). I consider myself a bit of an herb collector now, and I even bought a special herb bookshelf to store my herbs (pictured below). These herbs are used in various ways, especially in my home pharmacy and travel pharmacy first aid (I’ll share that with you in the future).
It took a lot of time to compile my list, which by the way is always changing as I learn more. I decided to share my labor of love. I have not tried every herb listed, and there are many great herbs that are not on here simply because I selected ones that made sense for my family. Some I put on the list because I want to research them more before trying.
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Wednesday, May 28th, 2014
My first tinctures with organic herbs. #FirstAid
I’ve entered the tincture making world and for good reason. Tinctures offer health, vitality, immune protection, enhanced energy, better dreams, sublime relaxation, fertility benefits, brain and memory boosting, and more.
Now, I’ve always been a fan of herbal teas and supplements but I never thought to make my own tinctures. Why? Honestly, because I felt intimidated. I would hear stories of people making them like it’s easy-peasy, but it was always a bit too mysterious to me. I thought you needed to study herbs and be very well versed in order to make them. So, I pretty much wrote them off. I didn’t make them. I didn’t even buy them pre-made.
Big mistake. Tinctures are amazing little gems for maintaining a healthy robust body (both chronic and acute situations), and they’re easy to make. Think of tinctures as basically herbal tea on steroids. You get a strong dose of the healing powers of plants in a tiny (convenient) amount (some say that two droppersful of tincture equals an 8 ounce cup of herbal tea). Tinctures are highly assimilable especially if you can stand to put them, straight, under your tongue for a few moments. Tinctures made using alcohol preserve active plant constituents. Another big selling point is that alcohol based tinctures last for years (pretty much indefinitely so long as they’re stored in a cool dark place. No refrigeration is necessary for alcohol based tinctures). Bonus #1: They’re convenient for travel. Bonus #2: Homemade tinctures make great gifts.
What prompted me to make the leap into tinctures? I decided it was imperative to create a home pharmacy for my family and tinctures kept coming up as an effective asset for that. They offer potency, effectiveness, and convenience. Over the past 4 months I’ve been building my home pharmacy (as well as my travel pharmacy first aid kit) and I’ll share all the juicy deets about those in future posts because you’ll want to know what I’m including, and maybe more importantly what I’m not including. For the sake of this blog post on tinctures, however, I keep tinctures in my home pharmacy.
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