Saturday, October 12, 2013

Pear Spiced Bitters ~ Taste of Herbs




Stay tuned for course details...


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What's Going on in Your Herbal Kitchen?

Good Morning!  It's a crisp Fall morning here in Central PA!  
The majority of leaves have already come down and are blanketing our lawn with their tapestry of color.  I'm not really sure why folks are in such a hurry to rake this splash of color to the curb.

Its feels like a Chai kinda morning so I'm heading to the kitchen to make a batch of Chai or maybe I'll just cheat and mix up some Oregon Chai and relax for a bit before starting my day.
Have you seen the new Oregon Chai tea bags?  Love them!



Today in The Woodwife's Kitchen

After my errands this morning, I'm thinking of preparing to make a couple batches of soap.  I'm really pleased with the Lemon Poppy Seed that I made last month.  It's really refreshing, clarifying and leaves a squeaky clean feeling.  The poppy seeds are exfoliating but I think they're a little rough for anything besides cleaning dirty hands.  We're working around it in the shower so if you see a little speck in our hair, it's probably a poppy seed.  Still, it's great at the kitchen sink because the lemon neutralizes odors, too.


What scents shall I work on today?
Rosemary/Sage Shampoo bars?
Wintermint?
Something new?

Here are some of the scents I've made before...


Yesterday, I made a double batch of First Aid Salve, a double batch of Pain Sticks and the first batch of the season of Clear Head Vapor Balm.  We're going to a Craft Sale in a few weeks and I'm planning to make some Vapor Salts to go with the Balm.

Here are the things I made for the last sale...


Many thanks to my friend, Kelly, who took these great photos of my "bakery" display!

It was so much fun pulling together vintage baking pans, etc.from my stash.  I used an old bread box, some bread pans, a square angel food cake pan, a fruit cake mold and an industrial multiloaf bread baking pan, along with other pieces that worked well.  This method also made set up and tear down easier because I could "load" the pieces at home, set them in a box and go!  Here's hoping it all works as well next time!
It's great when I can incorporate my junkin' with my other jobs!

What herbal projects are you working on, today?


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Thursday, October 10, 2013

Chinese Five Spice Blend ~ Taste of Herbs





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Cramp Bark Chai ~Taste of Herbs






















Sharing this post with the folks @ Wildcrafting Wednesday #108

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Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Wildcrafting Wednesday #108

Welcome to the 108th edition of 
Wildcrafting Wednesday!

Wildcrafting Wednesday is hosted by:
While traditional wildcrafting refers to gathering herbs and plants in the wild to use for food and medicine, Wildcrafting Wednesday is a weekly blog hop for sharing self-sufficiency and homesteading tips, tried and true home-remedies, and your favorite herbal uses.

It's a place to gather information on ways to incorporate old fashioned wisdom in our day-to-day life.

It is anything and everything herbal - from crafts to cleaning to tinctures to cooking.

It is remedies and natural cures made at home from natural ingredients.

It is self-sufficient living, homesteading, and back-to-basics tips to save food, money, and resources.

If it involves herbs or traditional methods of homemaking and home healing then we want to read about it!

In other words, Wildcrafting Wednesday is a "one stop shop" for the past weeks best tips and simple steps to become more healthy and more self-reliant! Please join us! :)

Featured Posts from Our Last Blog Hop

Each week, we get some incredible posts submitted by amazing bloggers. 
The following posts are our featured posts as determined by our readers.

Recipes for Bath & Body Care 
.
Teas, Infusions, and Decoctions 
Hey! that's me!  Thank you so much for voting for my post!
.
Why You Should Eat More Cashews 

Thank you to every one of our bloggers who linked up and to all of our readers for helping us pick our featured posts!


Guidelines for Participation:

1. Please link up your blog post using the Linky widget below. If you are posting a recipe, only real food recipes are permitted please. This means no processed, packaged, or refined food ingredients!

2. Please link the URL of your actual blog post and not your blogs home page. That allows future readers who find this post and go to your link to be able to find what they're looking for.

3. Please place a link back to this edition of the blog hop in your post. That way your readers can benefit from all the ideas too. This also helps out the other participants who are hoping to get more traffic to their blogs. If you're new to blogging here's what you do: Copy the URL of Wildcrafting Wednesday from your browser address bar. Then edit your post by adding something like, "This post was shared on Wildcrafting Wednesday" at the end of your post. Then highlight "Wildcrafting Wednesday", click the "link" button on your blogging tool bar, and paste the URL into that line. That's it! If you prefer, you can grab the button below and insert it at the end of your blog post. Either way is acceptable! :)

4. Please only link posts that fit the blog hop description. Old and archived posts are welcome as long as you post a link back as described above. Please don't link to giveaways or promotions for affiliates or sponsors. That keeps our links valuable in the future since a link to a giveaway three months old isn't going to be worth browsing in three months time, but a link to an herbal tip will be.

5. Family friendly posts only.

6. Please leave a comment. :)






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Tuesday, October 8, 2013

Herbal Medicine Chest ~ Pain stick


Pain!  Unbearable or annoying, from arthritis or over exertion, and anywhere in between, can be the cause of lost sleep, irritability, loss of opportunity, or just make you miserable!  Pain...muscle pain...joint pain...we've all had it at one time or another.  My husband and youngest daughter were in a head-on collision about 7 years ago.  Both suffered neck trauma that has resulted in repeated visits to  physical therapists and chiropractors after being told by doctors that it is pain they will both have to live with.  So the decision they have to make is whether or not the pain they have is enough to keep them from enjoying life.  As my daughter, now 16, says, "Mom, I have the pain whether I'm moving or still.  I may as well do things I enjoy."    My husband, on the other hand, doesn't really have a choice about working so it makes his life a bit harder because once he's dealt with the pain all day, he's exhausted and mostly doesn't have the energy to devote to strenuous activity around the house with chores which only makes things worse!

Photobucket

Now I'm not a doctor, but I do have a bit of herbal knowledge so I thought maybe I could come up with some sort of homemade remedy that would help both of them deal with the discomfort of always being in pain.  As a result, I'm happy to report that my creation has helped my family as well as friends, my daughter's soccer team and others to handle and/or heal all sorts of muscle/joint pain resulting from injuries to arthritis.  I can't make any medical claims but all the ingredients were chosen based on research and empirical evidence. It's worked for everyone who's tried it with rave reviews.

At a recent craft fair at our church, I sold some to a gal who works with horses.  After reading the label, she asked if I thought it could help ease the pain from her injured knee.  She bought a small travel size and took my card.  A few hours later, a friend was passing her table and heard her exclaim to her friend, "I bought this pain stick from that girl over there and put it on my knee.  It's helping already!"  Shortly after that, she came back and bought 3 large tubes!  The proof of its efficacy is in the repeat business!

Much as I'd love to keep this all to myself and sell it to supplement our income (contact me if you'd like to buy a Pain Stick), I feel like there are folks who may want to make their own.  You can find the basic recipe for a salve or balm Here.

As I mentioned, the firmer texture needed to use this recipe in a twist up tube that makes application easier, requires a little more beeswax than an ointment or salve.

Pain Stick

To make your own pain stick, you can order empty twist up deodorant style tubes or save your old ones.  Be sure to clean and sterilize before reuse.

(You'll need the following ingredients which you can purchase from Mountain Rose Herbs by clicking the affiliate link at the end of this post.  Thank you for supporting my work here by using this link.)

3/4 cup Castor Oil (Palma Christi or Hand of Christ, please use USP) You can read more about Castor oil's healing benefits here.
1/4 cup Grapeseed Oil (Castor oil is a very healing oil with a higher viscosity.  I've added Grapeseed oil to the recipe because it is healing as well as easily absorbed to help carry the relief to the problem faster)

1/4 cup Unrefined beeswax

1 tsp each of the following essential oils
fir needle
peppermint
eucalyptus
rosemary

1/2 tsp camphor

1/2 tsp cayenne powder

1 tsp emu oil

1 Tbsp menthol

Follow the instructions listed here.
Pour into tubes and allow to cool.  Be sure to label for future identification.

Do you have a favorite remedy for pain?
Please share it below.


I'm sharing this post with Wildcrafting Wednesday #108

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Preparing small batch natural, additive free products for beauty, health and home right here in our kitchen since 1991 from herbs grown organically in our garden, wild crafted in nearby meadows and woodlands or purchased from reputable, like-minded companies. Dried everlasting wreaths, arrangements and potpourri. Herbal salves, tinctures, soaps, teas and more.