The Solstice Within & Without

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“The winter solstice happens in nature around us.  But it also happens inside of us, in our souls. […]   In the dark place of our soul, we carry secret wishes, pains, frustrations, loneliness, fears, regrets, worries.  Darkness is not something to be afraid of.  Sometimes we go to the dark place of our soul, where we can find safety and comfort.  In the the dark place in our soul we can find rest and rejuvenation.  In the dark place of our soul we can find balance.  And when we have rested, and been comforted, and restored, we can return from the dark place in our soul to the world of light and new possibilities.”  – John Halstead
FullSizeRender-25I finished my holiday gift gathering last week.

This week, I rested.  Continue reading

Immuni-Tea: Herbal Immune Support (that’s Delicious!)

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Although we’re getting closer to the end of winter (I think…I can’t tell by looking out my windows today!), it’s still as good a time as any to talk about a tea that was formulated to help prevent the last of the winter (or beginning of spring) bugs that might still be going around.

This tea is very simple to make and it tastes DELICIOUS!

Previously, I’ve provided recipes for a honey and onion syrup to help with coughs, colds, and more, and I have also provided instructions for making an echinacea tincture.  The honey and onion syrup how-to actually remains my most popular post to this day.  Given that, I thought I’d also share this brew that has nipped this family’s winter bugs in the bud.

This tea is composed of three ingredients: echinacea (Echinacea spp.), pau d’arco (Tabebuia spp.), and an herb to flavor the blend (cinnamon, orange peel, licorice root, etc.). I like to use cinnamon — yum! Continue reading

As the wheel turns…(Imbolc Intentions)

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Here we are at another turn of the wheel of the year.

Today marks the halfway point between the winter solstice and the spring equinox.  Many who celebrate the seasons of the Earth call this day Imbolc, although it is also known as Candlemas to some and Bride’s Eve to others.

This is the time when winter may start to feel long, gray, and drawn out, but the spirit of this holiday reminds us to keep searching.  Just beneath the snow are the rumblings of spring.  Just as we look out to another gray sky, we also see the days growing longer and new buds on the trees. Continue reading

Healing Herbal Liniment

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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

What is Balance?

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As we move closer to the Spring Equinox and many struggle to feel content and whole in the last days of winter’s grasp, I would like to share a guest post by De’Anna L’am. Continue reading

Embracing Winter While Finding the Spirit of Spring

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I hear a lot of people bemoan winter weather, but I try to avoid complaining about it.  Winter is just another season, the wheel of the year will turn again just as quickly as it always does.

I find it better to embrace the gifts of winter.   I allow myself to sleep a bit more knowing that in the days before electricity people were certainly getting a lot more dreaming in this time of year.  Why did we decide that we always have to go, go, go?  The colder, darker days also allow me to find joy in the ample time to read, sew, journal, and dream of plans for the future.  This extra inward-focused time will quickly pass when spring comes! Continue reading

“Heart Your Heart” Herbal Sprinkles

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Food is medicine.

It’s true.  What we put into our bodies will have consequences for our energy levels, ability to ward off diseases, and maintain homeostasis in our body’s systems.  We know this immediately if we pay attention to how we feel after eating poorly or well — we are either drained or renewed, weighed down or weightless.  And of course, there are new studies added almost every day that link poor diet to the diseases we see so frequently in our culture that often revolve around a cluster of symptoms we call metabolic syndrome.

Adding herbs to our diets is an easy way to benefit from their protective and healing properties.  They can also taste delicious! Continue reading

Be Well Tea for Cold & Flu

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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

Dreamy Days and Dream Pillows

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The week following the Solstice has been filled with the promise of returning light through the gathering of family, the giving of special gifts, and time spent reflecting in nature.

Out the window the morning of the 25th.

Out the window the morning of the 25th.

Continue reading

Honey-Onion Syrup for Colds, Coughs and More

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Recently, I’ve found myself in the midst of a situation that makes me feel a little uncomfortable — the dreaded “cough zone”.

Do you know what I’m talking about?

It’s the time when you’re peacefully going about your business and then you hear: “COUGH, COUGH, COUGH”, and upon further investigation you realize that all the people around you are clutching boxes of Kleenex as though they’re best friends.  Continue reading