Thursday, October 30, 2014

Studying Stinging Nettles

My plant ally for the next three months is Stinging Nettles (Urtica dioica).  I decided that I would try to discover and learn as much as I could about this herb, since I use it all the time.  Currently, I make my daily nourishing infusion with Nettles mostly.  Nettles are medicinally coveted for their vitamins, iron, and chlorophyll.  They are natural blood purifiers and supports the liver and kidneys.

Many people drink nettles tea, or eat them plain, some even steam them and use them in place of spinach.
Some individuals dealing with arthritis, even will use the stingers on the plant as part of their treatment.

Personally, I love the taste of drinking nettles tea and infusions.  One thing I have experienced is that it is a great diuretic and depurative, totally cleanses the system. I think in the future, I may add some marsh mallow to the infusions, to balance the drying effect of nettles.

I'll be posting more about Nettles in the coming weeks, as I learn more about this wondrous herb!

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Herbal Tea Infusions and Flu Season

It's important to stay healthy and to prevent your immune system from becoming weak and susceptible to illness.  I often wonder if any of us would get sick if no one ever mentioned "Winter cold and flu season".  I was feeling fine until I heard someone mention flu shots and drinking theraflu (yuk!) and being miserable.

Luckily, there are a number of herbal remedies that can support your immune system and nourish your body, mind and spirit.
Tea Infusions are one of my favorite ways to ingest herbs, and they are probably the most enjoyable, too.

I was looking around online, and found a chart that makes recommendations for a multi-vitamin tea infusion.

Here is the chart:

This chart is from

I think this is a very helpful recipe chart, and very similar to the method I use to make my own tea infusions. This morning, I am infusing catnip, lemon balm, and spearmint leaves.

Catnip and lemon balm calm my nerves and alleviate anxiety.
Spearmint is one of my favorite aromatic flavors, not to mention, it is incredibly uplifting!

What are your favorite tea infusions?

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Trying new recipes!

I began researching traditional Dit Da Jow recipes.  Dit Da Jow is a popular Chinese liniment sold to heal external damage such as bruises or sore muscles.  Mainly used by people who practice martial arts.  Dit Da Jow translates into "Fall Hit Wine", people use these remedies after competitions, work outs, or anytime they have some soreness.
There are so many different recipes, and many of them require Chinese herbs or herbal compounds that I do not have access to at the moment. I will continue to research, but for now, I decided to try making some Tiger Balm...

It is so pungent and very potent! It rubbed on nicely, and warmed my skin within a minute.  I decided to call this my Wild Tigress Balm.  Here is the recipe if you are interested:

1/4 cup coconut oil
1/4 cup olive oil
1/2 ounce beeswax
40 drops camphor eo
40 drops peppermint eo
30 drops eucalyptus eo
30 drops cinnamon eo
20 drops clove eo

Melt the beeswax inside a double boiler, once melted, add the coconut and olive oils. Remove from heat once mixed, then add each essential oil before the mixture solidifies. Divide into your dry glass containers / jars.  This makes a little over 4 ounces.  For external use only, avoid eye contact.

Happy rubbing!

Mixing Herbs

Ask a person who works with herbs for healing purposes, whether or not combining herbs is a good idea.  You will get everything from "No way!" to "The more, the better."  I recently made a salve which included a number of healing herbs, roots, and flowers.  The purpose of this salve was to help heal skin irritations ranging from sunburn to itchiness, while moisturizing and relieving pain at the same time.  While some herbalists believe that sticking to one treatment that addresses solely one complaint at a time is the best route to take, others say, that combining herbs can alleviate problems more efficiently.

I think that I am stuck in the middle of this somewhere, myself.  I can see the benefit on both sides.  Especially when you have a client who may have an adverse reaction to the compound salve - how do you know which ingredient in the bunch they are allergic to?

Most people who come seeking herbal alternatives for health, are in a position where they may have tried every medication or treatment in the allopathic arsenal. And, sometimes, I feel they are looking for the miracle cure, the "hidden gem" they have not been able to find all this time. It's almost like they want to try everything, to see if it will help them feel better.  What do you do if a client pressures you into the "More is better" method to healing, they want it all - the tinctures, salves, tonics, nourishing treatment formulations, and teas, etc. At this time, do you step back and say "Hold on there!" or do you leave it to their discretion?

Ethics plays a role, I think.  What do you think?