"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


Our Favorite Autumn Idea and Recipe lists {2015}

  There have been some major changes behind the scenes here at A Gypsy Herbal ...but more on that later. Fall is back, and we're so happy! Here are all of our 2013-2014 Fall Round-ups and Autumn posts linked together in one post so you can find old favorite lists and links. Enjoy!

Photo by Kendra T. 

To Cook and Eat

Simple Butternut Soup
Warm & Cozy Fall Foods 15+ links
60+ Warm and Cozy Fall Foods & Recipes

To Drink

Mexican "Red Hot" Tea
More Fall Links: 10 Fall-Time Spices

To Do

Another Awesome Autumn Link List - Links for over 10 Fall Activities!
Autumn Potpourri A DIY Mason Jar Gift Idea
Homemade Candle Info & DIY Candle Instructions Round-up

Share your favorite Fall Time links in the comments!

This post shared on The Art of Home-Making Monday


Bath Salts: 3 Easy Recipes, 3 Easy Steps

A simple basic recipe of bath salts involves a combination of salts, Epsom salts, and whichever other soothing, healing, calming, invigorating ingredients you'd like to add.  We were looking for gentle and versatile; here are the 3 recipes we chose for our June 27th-28th event.

Photo by Kendra T. 

Lavender-Rose Pink Bath Salts

  • 1 cup Pink Himalayan Salt
  • 1/2 cup Rock Sea Salt
  • 1 cup Epsom Salts
  • *Oils: almond oil carrier with lavender essential oil

Peppermint-Green Tea Bath Salts

  • 1/2 Pink Himalayan Salt
  • 1/2 cup Rock Sea Salt
  • 1 cup Epsom Salts
  • 1/8 - 1/2 cup dried Peppermint and Green Tea

Chamomile-Lavender Bath Salts

  • 3/4 cup Pink Himalayan Salt
  •  1/2 cup Rock Sea Salt
  • 1 - 1 1/2 cup Epsom Salts
  • 1/2 cup dried Chamomile and Lavender Flowers
  • optional: lavender oil*


 First scoop your salts into your container. Then add in any dried flowers or teas (optionally, you can put them in a fine cotton bag, if you don't want "floaties" in your bath). Finally, mix in any oils. There you have it; three easy recipes, with three easy steps! Enjoy your bath salts by placing ~1/2 -1 cup in under warm running water as tub fills. 

 For many other ideas and bath salt recipes, see our Bath Salt Round-up post.

How do you like your bath salts? (Loose leaf herbs, or bagged with easy clean up?)

This post shared on Wildcrafting Wednesday


Bath Salts: Recipe Round-up

Soaking in the tub can be a such a relief at the end of a long hot day. Here are some recipes we've gathered up from around the web for you, with a variety of needs and situations in mind.

We'll be sharing more information on bath salts very soon along with our own recipes (3 Easy Recipes, in 3 Easy Steps!) and some photos from our event on June 27-28.   

Bath Salt Recipes

A Gypsy Herbal: Bath Salts; 3 Easy Recipes, 3 Easy Steps
Vintage Remedies: "Unwind" Bath Salts
Strangers and Pilgrims: Make Your Own Luxurious Lavender Bath Salts (with sachet idea and printable label)
Jill's Home Remedies: Warming Cinnamon Salt Bath
Growing Up Herbal: Relaxing Bath Salts that will Help Your Children Sleep
Garden Therapy:  Bath Salts Recipe (lavender with printable labels for canning jars) 
Simply Designing:  Vanilla Rose Petal Bath Salts
Classy Clutter: DIY Warm Cocoa Bath Soak
Adventures in Coupons: DIY Green Tea and Peppermint Bath Soak
The Wonder Forest: Orange Green Tea Bath Salt Recipe
A Pumpkin and a Princess:  Homemade Citrus Bath Salts Recipe
Tidy Mom: Lemon Rosemary Bath Salts
Pioneer Thinking: Lavender Rosemary Scented bath Salts
So... Let's Hang Out:  Homemade Rosemary Bath Salts
Love and Marriage Blog: DIY Sinus Congestion Bath Soak
A Pumpkin and a Princess: Homemade Peppermint Bath Salts
Running with Sisters:  Eucalyptus Bath Salts (with label and bottle decorating idea) 
The Herbal Healing Mama: Mountain Man Herbal Bath Blend
Tipnut: Homemade Bath Salts and Soaks (bunch of recipes)


Bath Salts: at an "Ol' Timey Apothecary"

If you've been by the "Ol' Timey Apothecary" this weekend, you've come to the right place!
I'll put a post or link on this page to the Bath Salts information here soon; please come back again to check it out! :] Thanks so much for stopping by!

If you have a moment, please leave a comment below to let me know you were here.


 *Edited to ad links August 3


Flower Pounding Picture Tutorial ~ part 1

Spring is winding to an end, so before all your flowers fade and give way to summer grasses, we wanted to share with you how we enjoyed a day of Flower Pounding.

Did you read all about how to do your own herbal and flower dying projects?

You, too, can make your own beautiful projects with flower pounding!


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 


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.


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.

This post is shared on: Front Porch Friday  For more homemade toiletry ideas, see our pinboard: Natural Toiletries


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 full post at BHS with 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 


    Forgotten Winter's Flower: Violets

    This was posted a year ago today...what a different winter we were having!

    Seems winter is forgotten around here. The sun streams warm, the flies buzz, and even the fruit trees are budding.

    Even still, the violets didn't forget to bloom!!

    How do you enjoy wonderful winter violets?


    New Page is here: Herbs!

     Hi y'all! As I'm finishing the work on my kitchenette (and surrounding studio),  I hope you'll bear with me with a few less posts over the next month-ish. I've been making plans for the blog later in the year, so there's a lot coming up - Lord willing!

     I did get the Herb Page up though, so you can browse through the alphabetical index, get a hint as to which new post are coming up, look for your favorite herbs, or maybe find a new one! I'd appreciate your input, so please click that Herb button ^ up on the bar at the top (or click here), and leave me a comment about which herbs you'd like to see added, how you use one of those herbs, or just your thoughts! Thanks! :]


    Warm & Spicy Winter: Potpourri Round-up!

    Part 3 in the Warm & Spicy Winter 2014-2015 series.  

    Do the holidays end a little too soon for you? I know I start to miss the festive atmosphere just about as soon as everyone starts talking New Year's, taking down the lights, and packs up the  decorations. I miss the lights, the treats, the music. I miss the scents too! If you'd like to linger over some of the scents with which we began the season, then start clicking - we have a collection of Wintertime Potpourris links just for you. 

    NOTE: As suggested in part 1, store boughten scented candles don't fit in with A Gypsy Herbal's natural and homemade herbal focus. So to, here; often commercially made potpourri is heavily laden with chemical additives. We're going for natural, healthy options within this Warm & Spicy Winter series.  We'll focus on natural homemade versions of warm winter-time herbal potpourri. Take this post from Our Heritage of Health for example: Natural DIY Air Freshener Ideas for the Holidays


    Announcment {and Giveaway} Strengthening the Heart of a Homemaker

    Author and Bogger Kristen Smith has something really fun to share with us today! To help announce the launch her new devotional guide and to share a great giveaway with you, here's to Strengthening the Heart of the Homemaker! (Hurray ~ printables and a giveaway in the same post!) :]

    As homemakers, we can easily get overwhelmed, discouraged, or a little weary with our never ending to do lists. I know that there have been many days when I've made it till bedtime, but feel so utterly drained that I wonder how I'll survive the next day.

    Strengthening the Heart of a Homemaker eBook Launch & Giveaway

    It's normal to get tired with a job that you never leave and that never ends. But we don't have to stay discouraged or weary. There is hope in the Lord!

    I'm practically giddy and way beyond excited to share something with you today. My hope is that you'll find it to be perfect for every Christian homemaker who could use a little boost of strength from time to time, and maybe even perfect for you.

    It's called Strengthening the Heart of a Homemaker: A Devotional Guide for Your Homemaking Journey. Full disclosure: I'm squealing like a little girl on the inside right now as I tell you about this!


    Winter Warmth: A January Day

    Spending the past few days trying to stay dry and keep my toes warm has been interesting. Don't you love it when we have turns in the weather? It's been so pretty and a joy to capture with a camera (or phone, whichever is handy!).

    Ways I like to keep warm

    • Small Space Heater (but might try this!) 
    • Hot Tea or Homemade Cocoa
    • Warm Socks (playing with combinations; wool? cotton/polly?)
    • Electric Throw Blanket
    • Sunshine!
    • Exercise (who knew that Ultimate Frisbee would be the best way to keep warm yesterday?) :]'

    ("Writing" on cars can damage the paint...this car is already done for, so don't try this at home!) :D

    What have you been enjoying this season? Has your weather been changing, or have you had the cold for sometime now? How do you stay warm?