Tis the season… for a cold. Darn. Thankfully it’s just a little sniffle but I’m going to finally make the elderberry syrup that I’ve had the ingredients to make for a while now… I have a couple of recipes at my fingertips, but this is the one I’m going to work from today from Wellness Mama.
Another great article from Mountain Rose Herbs on how to make herb infused vinegar. I didn’t realize it but according to their article here, using vinegar instead of alcohol does also work for creating tinctures for health benefits!
Chop or grind your dried herb to a coarse powder. You can also find many powdered herbs available on our website. Fill 1/5 of your sterilized jar with the herb. Pour organic apple cider vinegar over the herb until the jar is filled to the top. Cover tightly and allow to extract for 14 days in a cool, dark place. Be sure to shake the jar daily.
After 2 weeks, strain the herb through cheesecloth. Set the strained liquid in a capped jar on a shelf and allow the sediment to settle overnight. Decant the clear liquid layer into another sterilized jar using a strainer. Cap tightly, label, and store for up to 6 months in a cool, dark place.
If you are infusing the vinegar with roots or barks, there is one more step you might want to take. Once the mixture has extracted for 2 weeks and the herbs have been strained out, heat the infusion just short of boiling and filter through cloth while hot. The heat will help congeal albumin in the solution that can then be removed when straining. Excess albumin can encourage your extract to spoil quickly.
As a general guide, take 1 tbsp of the vinegar extract up to 5 times a day when needed, unless you are working with potent low/drop dosage herbs. Due to the acid content in vinegar, be sure to avoid direct contact with your teeth. You may want to mix each dose of vinegar with water or tea to dilute the acidity.
Mountain Rose Herbs has a good post about how to make your own herbal infused oils. I’m harvesting the abundance of mint, lemon balm, basil, rosemary, thyme and oregano that we have growing here and am figuring out the best ways to preserve them right now… going to try making some infused vinegars and oils to be later used for cleaning, cooking or on our bodies as ointments. I am also referencing this great book called Alchemy of Herbs which has been very helpful for looking up all the herbs I have growing and how to use them. It’s exciting!!! (the photo above also includes a bowl of beans and lettuce from our garden today… those items are photo bombing and will be eaten later today…)
An easy way to make herb infused oils that I’m going to try. From their website post here.
Use the sun to naturally infuse oil with the goodness of herbs!
We always recommend using dried herbs. If you desire fresh herbs, wilt them first for 12 hours to remove the moisture (too much water will cause your oil to go rancid), cut into small pieces, and crush with a mortar and pestle before adding to the jar.
Place herbs in a clean, dry quart jar.
Fill remaining space in jar with oil of choice, making sure to cover herbs by at least 1 inch. If your herbs soak up all of the oil, then pour more oil on top to ensure the herbs are well covered.
Stir well and cap jar tightly.
Place jar in a sunny, warm windowsill and shake once or more per day. You can also cover the jar with a brown paper bag if you prefer that to direct sunlight.
After 2-3 weeks, strain the herbs out of the oil using cheesecloth or a mesh strainer. Make sure and squeeze out every precious drop of oil!
Pour into glass bottles and store in a cool dark place. The oil should keep for at least a year. Vitamin E Oil may also be added to prolong shelf life.
I just got an email from Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds, talking about planting soon for fall and winter harvests… I have never actually thought about this before, but always admired friends who had hoop houses and green houses and were able to pull carrots out of the ground in January… it seems Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds might have some suggestions I could actually consider here in their blog and on their website… Might be fun to start thinking about how to extend the growing season on our property!
I am not affiliated with Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds; I simply love their seeds and gorgeous catalogs and like to share…!
photos and content credit: Baker Creek Heirloom Seeds/Rareseeds.com
Recently I was given the opportunity to try out a piece of essential oil jewelry from Essential Charms, a company that sells products to help you experience the benefits of wearing essential oils on your body through pieces of jewelry.
I selected the necklace called “fragrant blooms” as it was simple and pretty. It came with my choice of lava stone, which basically soaks up the essential oil and then sits inside the little silver “case” around it.
I had seen these kinds of things for years and a lot of times they were not of a design that I was attracted to… they looked a little gaudy or were of some kind of pattern I did not really care for. But when I browsed through Essential Charms’ selection of jewelry, I found that I was attracted to most everything they offered. I’m always on the lookout too for the integrity of the company I purchase things from, or promote. I was happy to learn that Essential Charms is a husband and wife owned company, based in the US. The small company designs all the jewelry themselves.
I’ve been wearing my necklace now on and off for a couple of months and have finally gotten around to writing about it. I have found that I like the style of the necklace very much and not only do I like having the gentle scent of my favorite oil on me throughout the day, but my kids will come up and smell it and enjoy it as well. So far I’ve only used things like Sweet Oasis or Lavender from my favorite oil company Rocky Mountain Oils, but I am planning to also use my necklace to ward off mosquitoes and gnats with their Bug Away, Cedarwood or Geranium. I think this will be another great use for this type of jewelry!
Do you wear your EOs on any type of jewelry? I was originally drawn to the necklace, but I am now quite interested in the earrings because they are pretty cute, plus, if I put some of the oils that repel gnats and mosquitoes on the earrings, I would imagine that would be a great way to deter them from my neck and face! I think I just talked myself into a new piece of jewelry! Thanks to Essential Charms for this opportunity to try something new!
Ok, um. This is delicious. And since we’re in the middle of an “elimination diet” where we’re not having dairy, gluten, or eggs, a treat like this tastes especially good! The nutritionist where we saw our functional medicine doctor shared this recipe with me, which came from Golden Barrel. Looks like there are all kinds of great recipes over there that I’m going to have to explore! If you like fudge, and want to make it healthy, give this a try! DELICIOUS. Yes.
I’ve been intrigued by tumeric lately as it seems to be a great herb for many immune system related issues. I recently tried a tumeric latte, which was delicious, and today saw this post by The Simple Times for a “Immune Boosting Ginger Tumeric Lemon Shot.” Head over to their site to see the very simple recipe, and be well!
(photo credit: The Simple Times)
Starting to prep for the fall and winter “sickie seasons” by restocking some of my favorite oils from Rocky Mountain Oils. One of the top oil blends I like is Immune Strength, which we use on the kids’ feet and diffused in the air if we start getting ill.
They have some new fall scents out that sound like they would smell wonderful running through our diffuser at home. Check them out here!