I think we’re finally getting close to having a rhythm again.  We are settling in to this as our home.

As everything around us blossoms and comes into fullness, so do we.

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Healing Herbal Liniment

For me, the word “liniment” conjures up images of a very old-timey medicine cabinet.  But that certainly doesn’t mean that this old-time remedy won’t work well!  The fact that liniments have been around for so long just speaks to their effectiveness.

So what are liniments? Liniments are healing external applications that can be used for a variety of issues, depending on what herbs are included in the mixture.  Liniments can be used as a disinfectant for cuts and wounds, while they can also help to soothe sore and inflamed muscles and joints.  Some liniments are formulated for helping with circulation problems, arthritis, rheumatism, sprains, strains, and bruises. Continue reading

Be Well Tea for Cold & Flu

It seems that colds and flu are really starting to affect people this winter.  I’m hearing stories left and right about people who are ill.

The first step to prevent illness is always to eat a balanced diet, get enough sleep, and to avoid unnecessary stress.  And even if you are exposed to germs or are living the busy go-go-go life, you can often still prevent illness by enhancing your white blood cell count with echinacea, or by using the healing and preventative power of honey and onions.

Unfortunately, there is still a risk that we or our loved ones will come down with a full-fledged illness.

On the bright side, there are many herbal remedies that have been passed down for centuries to help us get better more quickly.

One is this “Be Well” tea that helps to aid in relaxation, hydration, and in producing a mild perspiration that can assist in reducing a fever.  Continue reading

A Light Footsteps Year

Although the 31st of December is somewhat of an arbitrary date in a calendar that was implemented in 1582 by Pope Gregory XIII, it is the calendar we have used throughout our lives, and therefore today serves as a useful day for reflection before the beginning of a new calendar year. Continue reading

“After Dinner Ahh” Tea Blend

I had such a peaceful time on the coast last week.  However, peace isn’t something that should just be felt while on vacation – we need moments to take a break and experience serenity in our everyday lives.

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Healing Plantain Salve

Awhile back, I posted about the medicinal benefits of the common “weed” plantain (Plantago spp.) and described the process of infusing it in olive oil.  (Read about it here!)  Continue reading

Learning to Love Weeds – Plantain

You’ve probably seen it growing in lawns, along the sidewalk, and in vacant lots, but have you ever realized how beneficial plantain can be?  (And no, we’re not talking about the banana-like fruit.)

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Get Your Red Clover Before the Season’s Over

Ah, red clover. A versatile plant that helps with so many things — amusing young children in an attempt to find 4 leaves; food for grazing animals; medicine; and fixing nitrogen into the soil, to name a few.

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Remember to Take Your Pine Needles for Good Health!

Did you know that pine needles can provide you with more vitamin C than orange juice? And that they can help to heal your body from respiratory ailments, colds, and the flu?

Some say that the Native Americans taught the early settlers about drinking pine needle tea to help prevent death from scurvy!

Pine needle tea is easy to make, but what are some other things that can be done with pine needles?

They can be infused into a variety of menstrums (liquids used to extract the nutritional or medicinal properties of plants) other than water.  For example, tonight I got a nice dose of vitamin C by using vinegar infused with pine needles in my salad dressing.  White pine needle vinegar (the type I made) tastes similar to balsamic vinegar.

First, you’ll need to gather some needles. I collected a bunch from a white pine.

White pine needles

Pick through them to ensure the best ones are being added to glass jars. I also tore these up as I was adding them.

Fill the jar!

And then cover with the menstrum. In this case, it’s apple cider vinegar.  I get large jugs of the raw kind so I boiled some first to ‘pasteurize’ it before making this vinegar (and I was able to boil enough extra for future use). Make sure to completely cover the needles — poke them down so that they’re an inch below the liquid line.

Let the finished product sit for 4-6 weeks before using.  Also, use a plastic lid or put a piece of wax paper on top because vinegar will eat away at the lid.

White Pine Vinegar ready to be strained!

What’s another use for the pine needles?  Infuse them in olive oil!  The oil can then be used as a relaxing massage oil or as a chest rub to help with respiratory issues.

Cover a jar full of pine needles with the oil and let sit for 4-6 weeks.

When you’re ready to use the oil, strain the needles out.

And you’re left with pine needle infused olive oil!

The oil can also be turned into a salve that can help to remove splinters (although it seems that the actual sap of a pine tree might be best at this!), or it can be put on small wounds to help them heal.  I’ve also been having a fun time using it as a lip balm!

To make a salve, create an easy double boiler by putting a measuring cup into a pot of boiling water.

Add 2 Tablespoons of beeswax (I just guessed at the amount when I made this…) to the measuring cup and let melt.

After it has melted, add 2 ounces (1/4 cup) of the oil infused with pine.  Stir with a chopstick until you reach an even consistency.  Test to see if you’re done by putting a drop on your counter. It will allow you to quickly see if the salve is firm enough or too runny.  Too runny? Add more beeswax. Too firm? Add more oil.

When the mixture is consistent, pour it into a reused container and let sit to become a salve!  Use and enjoy knowing exactly what went into your product!



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