Recently, I purchased some beeswax from friends of ours who used to have bees (Cindi and Pete from Rush River Fiber). I had intended to use it to make lotion, and when I was looking for recipes online, I ran across all kinds of interesting and fun looking lotion and lip balm recipes. I tried my hand at it and while I think overall it was a success, the beeswax had a very high honey content and it wound up quite soft for the little twist tubes I had purchased to put it in. BUT… it tastes DELICIOUS! 🙂
So when I ran across this post by Whole-Fed Homestead, I thought – hey, this is the route to go!!! I have not used their method/recipe yet, but the next time I make a batch, I’m going to follow their method. Thanks to Crystal from Whole-Fed Homestead for letting me repost her recipe here to share with you! (her recipe even made it into Mother Earth News Magazine!)
By Wellness Mama
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.
photo credit: 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!
See article below, from Mountain Rose Herbs…
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.
For more information about making herbal vinegar extracts at home, check out Making Plant Medicine by Richo Cech and The Herbal Medicine-Maker’s Handbook by James Green.
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’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)
Rocky Mountain Oils is offering a great Mother’s Day Sale but only for a few days! The sale started on the 3rd, and ends on the 5th. Check out the great oil sets and individual oils on sale here. I just got “Unwind” and love it… it’s a wonderful combination of all my favorite scents, including vanilla.
I’ve recently been drawn to Rocky Mountain Oils after reading up on the company itself, and reading some research done by folks who spent their time researching EO companies, using the same kind of criteria I would have if I had the time and energy to do so! In the end, it seems that RMO and I will be a good match. With that said, I have just ordered a new diffuser for our home, and their “Bug Off” EO for the kids. I also just noticed they have a Kid’s Kit of several oils diluted properly for use in a roller ball dispenser on children, and it’s on sale right now…
There are so many ideas out there for how best to live and eat that it can feel overwhelming. I do believe that over the recent years (from my youth through adulthood), our food choices have left something to be desired. So many preservatives and additives that have been added in order to make food last longer on shelves, or to entice taste buds, especially of young people, simply cannot be good for us, especially in large quantities or over long periods of time, building up in our bodies.
Tracy at Our Simple Homestead had a great post the other day about Living Clean on a Homestead Diet. This is something I aspire to for myself and our family as it seems to me that if we ate more whole foods, the way God gave them to us in the form of plants and animals, we might not have some of the health issues we have.
Check out her post. Are there some ways you are incorporating a “homestead diet”? Do you grow your own food or have animals? Do you have access to a farm or market? Do you like to can or preserve foods?
Image credit: Our Simple Homestead
Cay Gibson of Cajun Cottage Press has her Spring Planner and Book of Days on sale now, through the end of January. If anyone is interested in checking out these lovely planners, click the image or here to go to her Etsy Store. I also have one on order for myself, so if you are near me and want to see one up close, get in touch 🙂
Nice post by Megan of Living Whole for what to keep in your natural “medicine cabinet” as you prepare for winter colds and flu… I’m happy to say we have much of these things on hand already, yay! I’d like to learn more about silver, however. In her post, Megan addresses each of her suggested natural remedies for prevention as well as healing and getting over those nasty viruses, and even gives us links to where to find them.