Herbal pills have come under scrutiny for having no active ingredients and unhealthy additives. Pills are usually filled with dried up and ground herbs, which oxidize and weaken herbal effectiveness as essential oil content and other constituents degrade.
Are NOT as bioavailable as liquid, meaning that they don’t absorb as well or
as fast into the body as liquid forms such as tinctures
Cannot be tasted, which impairs results
Pills are not easy to swallow. They are hard to digest and contain unhealthy binders
Most herbal pill casings are not vegetarian, because they contain gelatin which is from an
animal source most of the time, because it is cheaper.
Most casings and binders are not kosher
Improper drying and over processed preparations may cause essential oils
and other constituents to degrade and herbs to dissipate, and may contain
Tinctures absorb better, are more effective and cheaper. If you make them yourself then you have quality control.
Learn how to make your own tinctures here > http://earthelixir.ca/herbs/diy-herbal-tinctures/
Originally posted on Bentley Botanicals:
Anyone who can make a tincture also possesses the ability to turn that tincture into an elixir. Elixirs are modified tinctures that have most of the alcohol evaporated from the solution. This can be done a number of ways by matter of preference, and there’s advantages to each of them. If you’re unfamiliar with the tincturing process please read my instructional post and come back. As always, feel free to leave comments if something needs clarified. Today, I will explain how to make an elixir using hot water.
Elixirs are made by evaporating alcohol from a tincture and replacing the lost volume with honey or some type of herbal syrup. A tincture will retain potency for around 2-3 years. Though a tincture will never go rancid, the organic chemicals slowly degrade over time even in regular tinctures. Vitamin E oil is commonly used as a natural preservative…
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The summer of 2014 feels as though it was forever ago, but now we have reached February the temperatures are starting to rise and we are starting to get longer days and evenings. As the frost starts to recede and your garden begins to recover, it won’t be long until gardens start to come into full bloom once more. But, how do you change your garden into a 24 hour place to enjoy? This post aims to find out.
Creating a Pleasant Place to Sit… And Enjoy
If you want to enjoy your garden, then you need to make it a pleasant retreat; a place to be that’s away from the children, the noise and the hustle and bustle of family life; somewhere that you can sit back, relax and enjoy.
This can be done fairly easily, and at a relatively low cost, too. Increasingly, we’ve seen a number of people add patios to their garden, but there is obviously a large cost attached to this. If you’re after a cheaper option, then a small paved area is great. If you’re looking to reconnect with nature in a natural setting, this will arguably be better, as it will appear more natural and less man-made. If you add a dining set then you’ll even have a place where you can relax and eat outside; as well as somewhere to rest your wine and book.
In order to create a 24 hour garden, you have to create a place you actually want to be 24/7.
Lighting the Way
To make a 24 hour garden you need artificial light for when the natural light fades. Sadly, even in the summer, light can fade relatively early even when it is warm. To make the most of this natural heat and to enjoy dusk in your garden, you can add outdoor wall lamps to provide a suitable level of lighting for your needs. This can either be localised or cover the whole garden depending on exactly what you require.
Setting the Mood
Finally, consider the ambiance of the garden. Something like a water feature can make a lovely sound and convert your garden into a relaxing area to unwind after a long day at the office, or a place to sit and enjoy a morning coffee as you wake up to the world. Much like with patio areas, there’s no need for your water feature to be too extravagant, so you can even create a great look on a budget.
Follow these simple steps to make sure your garden is a place you can enjoy morning, noon and night.
Bee-balm or Monarda which is the Latin name, is a beautiful wildflower native to North east North America. It is known for the popular beverage Natives call Oswego tea, and is also cooked in stews, and used to flavour salads. Being aromatic the essential oil makes great perfume and keeps insects and flies away.
Monarda fistulosa has beautiful tubular lavender-purple pinkish flowers. The common name is known as Wild Bergamot, not to be confused with the citrus bergamot orange – Citrus bergamia L. used in EARL GREY tea, but it smells similar and is now sometimes combined. English Settlers that came to North America named it that, because they thought it smelled just like earl grey tea, and introduced it to England in 1744. Having a high geraniol content, it smells like geranium flowers mixed with citrus and mint.
Monarda didyma has showy red flowers that smell like citrus and mint. The leaves make a wonderful tea dried or fresh. The common name is Bee-balm because it attracts bees, along with hummingbirds and butterflies. It is also called Scarlet bee-balm because of the colour of the flowers. The M. didyma species has a higher thymol content that makes it smell more like citrus thyme.
The stems are square like some mints, with paired grey green leaves that is rough on both sides. It prefers moist, light soil. Being a mint family member it likes some shade from the hot afternoon sun. Use all Monarda species the same way. The essential oil has a very pleasant fragrance and is used for coughs and colds. Enjoy in a tea, tincture or in a culinary masterpiece!
|Common Name||Bee balm/ Wild Bergamot|
|Latin Name||Monarda didyma (Bee balm) Monarda fistulosa (Wild Bergamot)|
|Family||Lamiaceae (Mint Family)|
|Parts Used||Perennial- pick herb from spring until it flowers in July-August|
|Target Organs||circulatory, digestion, respiratory, nerves, lymphatic, skin, urinary, reproductive|
|Common Uses||Respiratory: infections, colds, flu, nasal congestion, coughs, fever, swollen lymph
Digestion: digestive catarrh, indigestion, constipation, gas, bloating,
Urinary: UTI, incontinence, infection
Female reproductive: spasms, cramps, PMS, balancing
Nervous system: relaxant, stress, depression
External: wounds, inflammation,
|Properties||antimicrobial, antibacterial, anticatarrhal, antidepressant, antifungal, anti-inflammatory, antispasmodic (digestive, general, respiratory, uterine,) antiviral, anxiolytic, appetite stimulant, astringent, warming carminative, cholagogue, circulatory stimulant, decongestant, diaphoretic, diuretic, digestive stimulant, stimulating emmenagogue, relaxing, secretolytic, stimulating expectorant, febrifuge, nervine, rubefacient, relaxant, stomachic, tranquilizer, uterine relaxant, (neural, peripheral vasodilator), vulnerary|
|Constituents||Essential Oil Yield: 0.4%-0.6%
Monoterpene alcohols: geraniol 90%
Phenol: thymol(found in M. didyma)50%
|Cautions||Mild remedy. Do not use during pregnancy or consult with a professional.|
|Dosage||Tincture: 2-4ml Tea: 2 tsp. infuse|
White pine aka Weymouth Pine and Northern White Pine, is a tree native to Canada, and is favoured for woodwork carvings and furniture construction.
This soft pine is the provincial tree of Ontario, Canada and is one of the most commercially valuable trees for eastern North America.
The tall straight trunks made excellent naval ship masts, and some of the largest trees were reserved for the Navy. This made Eastern Canada the world centre for wood harvesting in the 19th century, that is until the Giant Pines became extinct from over harvesting.
The Native Iroquois considered this tree a symbol of their strength and endurance. The tree tips were boiled to make a nutritious tea.
Scots pine aka Scotch Pine is used in the same way as White Pine and grows world wide, but doesn’t grow very well in North America. It is not used in the lumber industry, but it makes a good Christmas tree. Different Pine species are used medicinally in the same way.
Both Pine needle Essential oil and Pine needle Tincture treat coughs and colds. Pine opens up breathing passages and resolves congestion created by phlegm, mucus and catarrh. It opens the chest, relieves wheezing and is good to use for respiratory infections, inflammation and pain.
Pine is a cardiovascular and adrenal tonic, which makes it good to use to restore strength and alleviate fatigue.
Use the essential oil externally in steam inhalations for sinusitis or upper respiratory conditions like catarrh. Mix with base oils like hemp, coconut oil for chest or body rubs, or mix in the bath with carrier or in an Epsom salt, baking soda scrub.
Use the Pine needle tincture or cough syrup internally at acute dosages for coughs, colds and infections.
Caution is advised when using the essential oil in massage, it can irritate skin in large doses, because it is very drying. Do not use during pregnancy.
Pine should not be confused with Turpentine essential oil, which is made from the resinous pitch of fir and pine, and sometimes other trees like spruce, it is a medium strength remedy.
|Common Name||Pine needles herb|
|Latin Name|| Pinus strobus (White Pine)
Pinus sylvestris (Scots Pine) spp.
|Family||Pinaceae (Pine Family)|
|Parts Used||Perennial tree pick young twig tips of evergreen tree needles|
|Target Organs||Digestion, lungs, liver, urogenital, respiratory, adrenals, cardiovascular,|
|Common Uses||Respiratory: relieves phlegm, opens sinuses,
coughs, colds, flu, congested sinus with headache, infection, dry and damp lung phlegm, bronchitis, tight chest, upper respiratory catarrh
Adrenal: Tonic to adrenals and uterus
Cardiovascular: Tonic to vascular system
Digestion: gas, spasms infection, catarrh,
Immune: infections, arthritis, gout, inflammation, pain,
Deodorant, foot perspiration, hygiene,
|Properties||Adrenal tonic, antibacterial, anticonvulsant, antidepressant, inflammatory- general local, antioxidant, antispasmodic(digestive, respiratory, general), antiviral, astringent, bronchodilator, carminative, decongestant, diaphoretic, diuretic, drying, relaxing/stimulating expectorant, haemostatic, nervine, relaxant, vascular tonic, vasodilator, uterine tonic|
Monoterpenes up to 80% content, a+b pinene, limonene, borneol, bornyl acetate, cardimene, phellandrenes, pumilone, Pinicrin,
Esters: bornyl acetate
Monoterpene alcohol: borneol 2%
Other: Vitamin C, glucose, galactose, resin, tannin
|Cautions||mild remedy do not take during pregnancy.|
Tea: 1-2 tsp. infuse
Trees of Ontario – Linda Kershaw. Lone Pine publishing, 2001
The Energetics of Western Herbs- Peter Holmes.
When choosing a house, one of the non-negotiable priorities for many buyers is that it must have a garden. There’s something about having that patch of lawn bordered by flower beds, or that useful patio, littered with pretty flowerpots, that we just can’t do without. And even when it’s the size of a postage stamp, we cherish it. So how can you appreciate your garden even more?
Having a solid wall between you and your slice of outdoors will never do. And whereas most people opt for a set of French or patio doors, this won’t invite the garden in like a bi or tri-fold sliding door. The beauty of this type of door is that it’s possible to have wall-to-wall glass, which then slides open and neatly folds out of the way.
With this type of door, you’re truly extending your kitchen or living area into the garden. Even when shut, you can see your garden unimpeded, plus the extra light brought in is a real bonus.
An interesting way of extending into the garden, is to have the same flooring going from room to patio. This ‘infinity’ look can be quite effective. Solid oak flooring is suitable for both inside and out, and together with the sliding, folding doors, will create a large, combined living space. If you’re not into the wood look, then limestone tiles would work equally well or some frost-proof porcelain tiles. If there is a step down, then you may want to consider raising the patio so that it’s on the same level.
By choosing varieties that are equally happy indoors as out, you can have mirrored plants. Get matching containers and pot them up with the same plants. Then place one just outside the door and its twin on the inside. This further confuses where the garden starts and the house ends. If you think flowering plants might require too much maintenance, why not choose some robust succulents, which include cacti and sedum.
To blur those lines even further, particularly if the room in question is a conservatory or living area, you may wish to consider all-weather furniture, both inside and out. There are some very attractive and comfortable sofas and chairs available, such as a mock rattan design.
With a little ingenuity, and by making relatively small changes, it’s very possible to give the illusion of bringing the garden into your home, for maximum enjoyment.
Originally posted on Wild Foodism:
Let’s imagine you’re walking through the forest. I like birch and hemlock forests, so let’s go there.
You’ve got a field guide in your backpack, a foraging basket, and several freshly-harvested oyster mushrooms to occupy the basket. As you’re strolling down the path, you fail to notice a low-lying birch root along the ground. Another step forward and your minimalist shoe catches the root, propelling not only your body into the air, but your prized oysters as well. Never mind the oysters for now… let’s inspect that nice-looking wound on your knee (thanks, rock).
It’s a small wound … nothing serious. You wash it, bandage it, and continue your trek through the forest. At home, calendula ointment and honey take care of the rest.
That seems like a wise strategy … something I would surely do. In fact, there are several remedies that…
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