"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


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 


If you love me...

This post isn't an herby post...but it is what's on my heart for the day.

On My Heart for the Day

When I wrote about giving gifts as thanks to someone who's sacrificed for you, I had this on my mind. When I think about sharing my life with younger ladies, and encouraging them with what is most important in life, this is on my mind. When I think about many aspects of life and how I want to approach them, this comes up. ...


Happy Hair Tea: How-To @ BHS

Photo by: Lauren @ BHS

    Today I'm sharing a recipe from Shaaron Lavy. This simple herbal tea with a good base of alfalfa and nettles is Shaaron's daily drink for "happy hair."

    Herbs in Happy Hair Tea

    NOTE: As you may have read in our Herbal A-Z on Alfalfa, because of alfalfa [and red clover's] estrogenic effects on the body, this tea is not recommended for pregnant women. Also avoid using while taking blood thinning agents.

    "You can also use this tea -well, almost all of those herbs are good for blood-cleansing, as well as helpful to liver and kidneys, and gingko is good for your brain. Green tea is full of anti-oxidants - so hey, you'll look younger! It has all your vitamins, so this is a good daily vita-mix. Or you can make it as a tincture; either way works great!" -Shaaron

    Click here to read all the details; get the neat recipe card, instructions, and info on why each herb is included!

    P. S. One last thing before you leave! I'm making on mini natural hair-care series for later in the year; If you'd be so kind, share something here on A Gypsy Herbal - we'd love to have your input and would like to include some of your ideas that month!  :]

    How do you care for your hair? We're working on little natural hair series, so share your ideas below! (We'd love to be able to include some of your experience & wisdom!)


    This post is shared on: Wellness Wednesday, The Art of Home-Making Monday