"He causeth the grass to grow for food, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth; And wine that maketh glad the heart of man, and oil to make his face to shine, and bread which strengtheneth a man's heart." ~Psalm 104: 14-15


Herbal Sweets Recipe Round-up!

Today my post on Herbal Honeys, Candies, and Syrups is over at Bulk Herb Store Blog with basic instructions for each of the three preparations as well as nearly 50 links for other recipes and ideas!

If you're coming from that post, please leave me a comment to let me know you stopped by. :]

For even more recipes and links, check out my pin boards: Sweet Preparations, and Candy Remedies!


Wildcrafting Wednesday Featured Blogger 

This post has been share with the following link-ups/blog hops:
Wildcrafting Wednesday,
The Art of Home-Making Mondays 


My Favorite (online) Herbal School

*Sorry, here's the required disclaimer: There are affiliate links mentioned in this post; purchases made through the links to the UHLB contribute to the continued operations of the lovely blog run by my friend over at Nourishing Simplicity.   

Vintage Remedies.

Have you heard of Vintage Remedies?  The name rang a bell for me, when I first heard of this online school. I realized that I'd gotten a (e-book version of0 their Handbook of Vintage Remedies.   (Thanks Nikki! I didn't realize at the time just how amazing of a resource that little freebie would be!)

How Vintage Remedies Has Helped Me

Well, a year or three have gone by, and Vintage Remedies has become one of the most useful, helpful, and reliable sources I've been going to for all things health, healing and herbal over the past nine months. What happened nine months ago? I signed up for Vintage Remedies course Family Herbalist. I've had the benefits of the course itself, instructor input, the course materials (books, PDFs, audio info, etc), as well as access to the entire student library of videos and audio messages.

The student library is where I got facts on EBOLA, when the world around me -at least online- seemed to be in a panic; where I found  on ingesting EOs, to pass on to a pregnant friend who was just getting started with EOs; how to more effectively and safely share about herbs and health information; and many other helpful, relevant bits of information - and scientific studies and their results - that I could apply to my life right where I'm at, or pass on to others.

Through Vintage Remedies, I've been able to learn what exactly it is about sugar that makes it a negative thing to health - I've read and read some on this before, but they broke it down so simply in the first day of their (free) 8 Weeks of Real Food email series that started out the year. (It also included  step-by step actions to take so you could integrate the ideas from each week into you daily life, so it was very practical and not just more information to get bogged down with.) With what I've learned from Vintage Remedies I've been able to reevaluate what I write about on my blog, and be more conscientious about sharing wider range of information (contraindications and reasons someone may need to avoid specific remedies or herbs), rather than just basics of things I've been learning on my own for my own use.

As I mentioned, I'm enrolled in their Family Herbalist Course. It's an intensive 27 unit course which I have a year to complete. In the first unit alone I learned enough scientific/historical information that when my grandpa was watching a documentary about health, I knew more facts than they presented about what professors, scientist, and doctors (such as Pasteur, Bernard, Koch, Cannon, and Pettenkofer) have discovered in the past couple hundred years. That was pretty exciting! And from the next couple units, I was able to adapt my daily eating habits to include a more informed and varied healthy range of nutrients.

As you can see, they teach on quite a variety of health subjects! You can take a e-course Herbalism 101 mini-course (with one-month of free access!), a three-month e-course on Essential Oils & Natural Health, or The Healthy Home, or a six month course called Foundations of Herbalism. You can take an intermediate course exclusively covering hydrosols, or aromatherapy, or healing foods.  There's even one as vast and deep as Master Herbalist (one of their 2 year courses).  There's a free series on their blog called Intro to Herbalism: 8 Weeks of Herbalism.

 There are recipes on the blog for everything from lollipops that help during a cold, to counter-top sanitizer, healthier doughnuts, and bath salts to help you unwind. So much to glean from! 

They have books, which I've utilized and been complimented on. (Hey ladies from the retreat - this is the book I was talking about, the Healthy Snack Bars you loved came from Vintage Remedies for Tweens! It has other gems, like this super simple Mixed Berry Sorbet.)

All this, I've added to my knowledge just since last July. Just since joining one course from Vintage Remedies. They also have a student facebook group which has been source to much learning and discussion. They occasionally have a sale, and I was so excited last time they included an e-course in the Ultimate Bundle which coincided with one of their sale dates, that I made a video (it's partly outdated now, but thought I'd just show you what I meant) to tell my facebook followers all about it!

The Natural Health Research Course is another new course which gets right to the heart of what VR is all about. It "helps you to master the advanced tools used by epidemiologists and health researchers for a rational approach to health related events and decisions" - with no experience or background in health research required.

The Healthy Home Course

Did you click on that link for the Healthy Home Course? It's one of their newest, and I've been interested in it since it came out! Here's why:
This course covers…
  • which popular healthy living claims are simply sensationalism and which uses are rooted in modern scientific evidence.
  • how to find the balance between natural living and needless stress.
  • how basic lifestyle changes can result in significant health benefits.
  • 15 botanical ingredients, including scientific evidence, proper applications, and precautions for each herb or essential oil.
  • the role of sustainability in a healthy home.
  • safe and effective protocols for natural prevention methods for babies and children.
  • over 45 formulas for toxin-free products you can make at home for your family’s homemaking needs.
Registration includes 3 months of access to our online learning center where you’ll receive:
  • a personal course instructor to walk you through the material, offer feedback on your progress, and guide you through the process
  • over 3 hours of audio lectures with the latest scientific evidence about naturally healthy living
  • video demonstrations and over 45 household formulas to download
  • reviews of scientific studies, outlining which lifestyle changes are truly effective
  • downloadable pdf handouts with outlines to use for your family’s health, formulas you can reproduce in your home, and notes for future reference
  • 25% discounts on Vintage Remedies resources and Mountain Rose Herbs bulk herbs and ingredients, and 10% off From Nature with Love
  • a $45 upgrade certificate valid towards any Intermediate or Advanced course we provide valid for one full year from course completion

Wonderful Opportunity *thru April 27th*

OK, so with all that wonderfulness in mind, I wanted to tell you, there's another similar opportunity available now. It's a sale of a "bundle" of tons of online resources. (Many books for your kindle or e-reader, but a bunch of other things as well.) The reason I'm so excited about it is, if you scroll down past all the plethora of e-books included in the bundle, you'll pass a section on printables as well, and then you'll come to the e-Courses. That is where you'll find the gem of treasure, The Healthy Home Course from Vintage Remedies (Jessie Hawkins)! This is a $95 course, the one we mentioned just above, the Healthy Home Course. A code for that $95 credit is included in this bundle, so you can dig right into a foundations course, or you an invest more and upgrade to one of the intermediate or advanced classes. If you have any questions about them, they are amazing with customer service and would gladly talk with you if you give them a ring!

Last day to get the sale is today!! Get your bundle now. :D Click here.


Spicy Chocolate Headache Paste

This post is written by dear friend and former fellow dorm mother, Katie Mae Stanley. She has been a great source of insperation to me, as well as a teacher, helping me find the ideal homemade solutions to many formerly hazy subjects. A couple years ago she came up to a solution to a troubling headache of mine, today she shares the recipe with us!   

Do you suffer from headaches? Yes? Me too. I have been there more times than I can count.

When we get headaches it is a natural response to pop a pill and move on with the day. Unfortunately pain pills are horrible for your body. If you are anything like me you can't continue on with the day without treating a headache which could quickly become a migraine.

A couple of summers ago I visited Finaorlena when she was a teacher at the school run by mutual friends of ours in Sinaloa, Mexcio. She had a throbbing headache that would not go away. There were classes to teach, lice to pick, errands to run and a tea party to bake for. Her headache staying around was not an option. Plus she needed to hang out with me, right?

I decided to whip up a batch of my "spicy chocolate" that I had been making since that past spring to treat my own headaches.

This post contains affiliate links; that means if you buy something we've recommended we could get a small commission with no cost difference to you. :]

This simple spicy chocolate headache paste is a tasty, yet somewhat spicy way to ease the pain. What is the key ingredient you ask? Cayenne pepper. This vibrant red pepper (caspcium) increases blood circulation and equalizes blood pressure, reliving the headache. I first learned about using cayenne to treat headaches from Jill's Home Remedies.

Even though I LOVE spicy food I couldn't quite stomach cayenne in just water like Jill suggests. I was ecstatic to try it, which is why I decided to create a spicy chocolate - because who doesn't like chocolate? (There are a few of you out there and I'll just say it now: I do not understand. It's a tragedy. Moving on...)

Cayenne is the best natural pain reliever that I have come across. I use it in this paste, spicy " lemonade" and in capsule form.

This paste can be eaten by the teaspoon till the headache starts to ease. Another way I have started taking my spicy headache paste is to make spicy hot cocoa. I add a tablespoon or two of the paste to warm milk let the cayenne do it's work while I sip on a tasty drink.

Spicy Chocolate Headache Paste

1/3 cup raw honey
1/4 cup cocoa powder
2 tsp cayenne pepper
1 tsp vanilla extract
1/4 tsp real salt

Add all the ingredients to a bowl. Stir together until smooth.

Store in an a glass, air tight container for up to a week on the counter or one month in the fridge.

What are you best tips for naturally easing headaches?

This post is shared at Wildcrafting Wednesday's 175th edition  


My Migraine Made Me Cry {and how I got some sleep}

Let me tell you a story...

I was way down south, far from home. My job was teaching Deaf children, and our "off hours" were filled with Spanish speaking children, house chores, and sometimes a bit of fun. It was one of those evening when the children were in bed and the staff had some time to visit in the kitchen. Some of my favorite times were spent just that way. Then, out of nowhere, I realized a massive headache was crawling up and about to take over. Oh no. Even with a migraine I usually wouldn't notice it coming on so quickly; this was scary. Reluctantly - and rapidly - I parted, saying I could feel a nasty headache coming on. I practically ran for it, taking shelter in a dark room, pulling a blanket up, and cried. It was that bad, that fast. I've had headaches too bad to let me sleep, and so on top of the pain of it, I had the worry that I'd be awake all night too. Ugh. What about class? What about my friend visiting? Bad enough to miss the evening with the staff and my friend, but then there was the upcoming special Tea [affiliate link] we were going to bake for, and...all the rest of my ordinary chores would fall to another already busy staffer. Oh dear.

Then, oh gloriously, my friend Katie Mae came to the rescue! Praise the Lord for herbs and knowledge, and the research she'd been doing! She brought me this concoctions, and a glass of water. I asked her what the spoonful of goo was, and when she told me it had honey, cocoa and other things I'd like, I was sure I wouldn't need the drink. Wrong. She assured me I'd want it at hand, since the main active ingredient was very spicy! Gladly, I accepted. I got both down - and she was right, I definitely wanted something to wash it down with! - and then, to my amaze and delight, was able to drift off to sleep. Instead of a week of achy head and missing my responsibilities, I had an early evening, and a dull ache for a say or so. Sooo grateful for her quick thinking and concocting!

I later asked her what the formula was, and she had to do some testing! My tolerance for spicy is wayyy lower than hers (for example, I wouldn't even taste her spicy avocado hummus!), so she kept that in mind when she worked it out for me. Even still, if you should try this spicy paste, don't forget: it's spicy! :D

See tomorrow's post for Katie Mae's recipe:
 Spicy Chocolate Headache Paste!


Homemade Facial Moisturizer

I can tell [when it's winter time] because my skin dries out and feels rough. I was therefore glad to look into this topic and see what I could add to my little collection of homemade toiletries. I started researching and digging around for something simple, yet effective (including reading through an entire skin section in the Organic Body Care Recipes book). I found some ideas, and with a few adjustments, came up with the following recipe. Who knew it would be so easy to add a natural, refreshing moisturizer to your daily routine? If you are experiencing Winter's harsh effects on your delicate facial skin, keep reading; it couldn't be much more simple.

See the rest of this post at Little House Living.


February, Roses and DIY Ideas

Roses, roses, roses! Whenever I can, I'll save old roses. Letting them dry on the stem (sometimes actually hung upside down in dark place, more often left in an empty jar/vase until they're completely dry), or gathering falling petals, pinching the whole head off a tired limp rose, or even pressing them! Especially with petals, I'll add them to a basket of dried roses; first laying them out in an empty flat air basket so they can dry, later putting them together with the rest of my collection.

Musky, sweet, nostalgic...I love the scent of old roses! As delightful as fresh roses smell, somehow the fragrance enhances as they dry and age - at least my nose thinks so! 

Have you ever saved your bouquets? I've been saving mine since I was a girl. Sometimes I've bought them (from Bulk Herb Store or Mountain Rose Herbs), so I could be sure to have a good clean and organic source for something edible or in my homemade remedies.

Here are some ways I've used roses:

Herbal Rose Remedies

Soothing Rose Hand Cream
Stimulating/Soothing Rose Lip Balm
Soothing Flower Bug-Bite Salve

Other Dried Rose Uses

Homemade Winter Potpourri - my favorite use for home-dried roses!
3 Ways to Have Fun With Herbal Dye!
4 More Ways: How to Make Good Use of those Leftover Rose Petals
Over a Dozen ways for using - instead of discarding- old rose petals: Roses 

For those special petals, if you happen to see (or have!) any roses that could be saved for a second use...

 What is your favorite way to use roses?

 This post is shared with: The Art of Home-Making Mondays