How To Make Healing Salve

healing salve youmakeitsimple.com

You don’t have to be a serious herbalist or witch doctor to make your own healing salve.  It is really very easy to whip up and you won’t ever go back to Neosporin or whatever else you are using for

  • cuts
  • scrapes
  • bug bites
  • diaper rash
  • lip balm
  • dry skin

My family uses this a ton!

healing salve youmakeitsimple.com

We recently ran out of our stock of salve, and its not like you can just run to the store and grab some, so I got out my supplies and whipped up a batch.  I thought I would take a few photos while in the process and share how to make it with you.

SUPPLIES that you will need:

  • oven proof pan for infusing oil
healing salve youmakeitsimple.com
  • cheese cloth
  • double boiler or two sauce pans for melting wax
  • sterile containers (glass baby food jars, empty recycled hair product or face lotion jars work great)
  • labels
  • wooden skewers or spoon

INGREDIENTS:

*Note:  you can alter the types of herbs and essential oils that you put in your salve depending on what your needs are. If you don’t already have these supplies, it may seem like a big investment to make healing salve. However, the oils and vit E will last a very long time, and you’ll be able to use them for other things.

I like this blend because of the amazing properties of these herbs and oils, making it a great GO TO salve for just about anything.

I am one who likes to know the WHY about what ingredients are in the products I am using.  So here is the scoop.

CALENDULA:

Calendula has a long history of use as a wound-healing and skin-soothing botanical.

PLANTAIN:

Plantain is a low growing herb (weed). It is most often used for stings and bites. 

COMFREY:

It is well known to assist healing in any part of the body that is torn or broken..

*If you grow these herbs, dry them and store them in an air tight zip bag so you can make salve anytime.  You can also just buy the herbs at your local health food store or online.  I like Starwest Botanicals

 
TEA TREE Essential OIL:

  • Renowned for its cleansing and rejuvenating
    effect on the skin.
  • Skin irritations

LAVENDER essential OIL:

  • Widely used for its calming and relaxing qualities.
  • Soothes occasional skin irritations.
    You want to make sure you use good quality, pure essential oils when making salves and tinctures.  When making cleaning supplies, it is not as important. If you would like to know where I buy most of my oils, send me note.

 

Let’s get started!

healing salve youmakeitsimple.com

1- Preheat your oven to the lowest setting (150 – 170 degrees)

Measure the dry herbs and put them in an oven proof pan

healing salve youmakeitsimple.com olive oil

2- Cover with 4 cups olive oil and stir.

Place oil and herbs in oven and heat for 4-5 hours. Heating the oil infuses the properties of the herbs into the oil.

3- Place a few layers of cheesecloth over a bowl or pan.

healing salve youmakeitsimple.com straining herbs

When the oil has cooled a bit, pour the herb mixture over the cheesecloth to strain. Squeeze out all the oil.

4- Then I like to strain it again through a piece of 100 % cotton fabric.

healing salve youmakeitsimple.com melting wax

5-  Melt the bees wax.

I have an old pan that I use only for melting my wax in and I keep it wrapped in a plastic bag when not in use. Place that pan in another wider pan with water in it. 

It is VERY important that you don’t get ANY water in the wax, or this will promote spoiling of your salve.

Melt the wax, stirring frequently.  (This smells so yummy)

healing salve youmakeitsimple.com jars

6-  Prepare jars

Make sure jars are clean! You can sterilize them by placing them in a pot of boiling water for a few minutes. I usually just make sure they have been cleaned with hot soapy water and dried thoroughly. 

7-  Add the melted wax to the oil, and mix well.

*By using a wooden skewer to stir with, you will save wasting a bunch of salve that will stick to the spoon.
 
To test the consistency of the salve, take a spoon and dip into the mixture. Take it out and let it cool a few seconds. Test the consistency. This is the time to add more wax if it is too runny.
 

8-  Add the essential oils and vitamin E now and mix well.

MOVE QUICKLY.
healing salve youmakeitsimple.com

9-  Pour the salve into the jars.

You will need to stir in between pourings to keep things mixed up.
 
You may even need to heat it up a bit if it starts to set up. (Just don’t heat very long at all and use a very low setting, so you don’t loose all the properties of the essential oils.)

Don’t you just love the beautiful green color, and it smells FABULOUS!

healing salve youmakeitsimple.com

I love these little travel size tins! 

I always double the batch because there is always someone who wants a jar, and they make great gifts or party favors.

The jars that you are not currently using, store in the refrigerator so they will last longer and not go rancid.

There you have it, a salve that is chuck full off healing goodness.
 
You may also be interested in my natural deodorant recipe and tutorial.
 
Enjoy!

How To Make Healing Salve

healing salve youmakeitsimple.com

An amazing salve for cuts, scrapes, dry skin, and more! 

  • Prep Time5 min
  • Total Time5 min
  • Yield4 Batches
  • Meta LabelLabel Value
    [MEDIAVINE EXAMPLE AD SPACE 1]

    Ingredients

    Supplies List:

      • Oven proof pan for infusing oil
      • cheese cloth
      • Double boiler or two sauce pans for melting wax
      • Sterile containers (glass baby food jars, empty recycled hair product or face lotion jars work great)
      • Labels
      • Wooden skewers or spoon

    Ingredients:

    [MEDIAVINE EXAMPLE AD SPACE 2]

    INSTUCTIONS

    1

    Preheat your oven to the lowest setting (150 – 170 degrees)

    Measure the dry herbs and put them in an oven proof pan

     
    2

    Cover with 4 cups olive oil and stir.

    Place oil and herbs in oven and heat for 4-5 hours. Heating the oil infuses the properties of the herbs into the oil.

    3

    Place a few layers of cheesecloth over a bowl or pan.

    When the oil has cooled a bit, pour the herb mixture over the cheesecloth to strain. Squeeze out all the oil.

    4

    Then I like to strain it again through a piece of 100 % cotton fabric.

    5

    Melt the bees wax.

    I have an old pan that I use only for melting my wax in and I keep it wrapped in a plastic bag when not in use. Place that pan in another wider pan with water in it. 

    It is VERY important that you don’t get ANY water in the wax, or this will promote spoiling of your salve.

    Melt the wax, stirring frequently.  (This smells so yummy)

    6

    Prepare jars

    Make sure jars are clean! You can sterilize them by placing them in a pot of boiling water for a few minutes. I usually just make sure they have been cleaned with hot soapy water and dried thoroughly. 

    7

    Add the melted wax to the oil, and mix well.

    *By using a wooden skewer to stir with, you will save wasting a bunch of salve that will stick to the spoon.

     
    To test the consistency of the salve, take a spoon and dip into the mixture. Take it out and let it cool a few seconds. Test the consistency. This is the time to add more wax if it is too runny.
    8

    Add the essential oils and vitamin E now and mix well.

    MOVE QUICKLY.

    9

    Pour the salve into the jars.

    You will need to stir in between pourings to keep things mixed up.

     

    You may even need to heat it up a bit if it starts to set up. (Just don’t heat very long at all and use a very low setting, so you don’t loose all the properties of the essential oils.)

    Don’t you just love the beautiful green color, and it smells FABULOUS!

    [MEDIAVINE EXAMPLE AD SPACE 3]

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    How To Make Tooth Powder – Easy DIY Recipe

    Why in the world would you want to make your own toothpaste or tooth powder? It’s not like you already have a million things to do! Right?

    Well, trust me, this is well worth your time. This is a simple, cost effective way to care for you and your families teeth!

    Here are 4 SIMPLE reasons why I stopped using commercial toothpaste years ago and started making my own or buying natural stuff.

    1-NON-TOXIC & SAFE
    Have you ever looked into what is in your toothpaste?  Here is a quick little post that is a great read about what is actually in commercial toothpaste.  Makes you think twice about what you put in  your mouth two or three times a day!

    2-SAVES MONEY
    With just 4 simple ingredients, you can make a batch of tooth powder up for under $2.00.
    If you have ever purchased or checked into NATURAL toothpastes, they are not cheap.  Worth it if you can’t make your own, but why not Do It Yourself and save money?
    Tom’s Natural toothpaste runs around $5.00- $6.00.
    Redmond EarthPaste is $7.99 plus shipping.  (good product, but make your own for a lot less).

    3-QUICK AND VERY EASY TO MAKE
    You can whip a batch of this up in only 5 minutes!!!

    4-TASTES GREAT
    This makes your teeth feel squeaky clean, like you have just had your teeth cleaned by the dentist.

    I posted about this back in 2014, so it has been a while. Well, today I ran out of my tooth powder and decided to while I was whipping up a batch I might as well video it to show you how simple it is. So here it is.

    Play Video

    tooth powder ingredients

    • 2 Tablespoons Baking Soda
    • 1/3 cup Redmond Clay or Bentonite Clay
    • 2 teaspoons Redmond Sea Salt or Sea Salt  ( I like Redmond Salt)
    • 10-20 drops of essential oils of your choice

    1/3 cup Redmond or Bentonite Clay

     

    What are the benefits of brushing with tooth powder?

    Bentonite clay has the ability to bind to heavy metals and toxins as well as to provide minerals. Redmond or Bentonite Clay is great to help the body detox and whiten and remineralize teeth. I buy the Redmond Clay bulk in a three-pack. It saves money and I like having a few extra for my pantry. We use it for cooking too. 

    2 Tablespoons Baking Soda

     

    The major benefits of brushing with baking soda are its teeth whitening and plaque removal properties, as well as its affordability relative to other commercially available teeth whiteners. Brushing with baking soda removes plaque deposits from teeth that contribute to tooth decay.

    2 Teaspoons Real Salt or Sea Salt

    Salt is known to soothe inflamed gums and help prevent bacterial growth, which is a big cause of bad breath. We use the REAL salt for cooking as well because it has the minerals left in it.

    Adding Essential Oils

    10-20 Drops Essential Oil
    I like to use a mix of Peppermint oil and Tea Tree Oil (Melaleuca). Tea Tree oil is great to protect against environmental and seasonal threats.
     
    Experiment and try other essential oils. Mix a few oils to make a flavorful blend. Make sure the oils are safe for internal use and good quality therapeutic grade oils. Some other oils you may try are lemon, spearmint, cassia and wild orange.
     
    Mix well using a whisk.
    Using a funnel, pour tooth powder into a glass container.
     

    I like to use a simple, recycled “better than bullion jar”.

    If you have several flavors in the same bathroom, you may want to label them as they will look the same.

    Wet your toothbrush and dip it into the jar of tooth powder. Brush and enjoy the freshness and clean teeth feeling you get after having your teeth cleaned at the dentist.
     
    We make one for each person in the family so we’re not spreading germs and we choose our flavor.
     

    You can find this recipe in my Alternative Remedies for the Body, Mind & Spirit Booklet. This booklet is a great collection of tried and tested alternative remedies that really work!

     
     

    DIY Tooth Powder

    Simple non-toxic ingredients leave your teeth and mouth feeling fresh and clean. This is simple and cost-effective to make!

    • Prep Time10 min
    • Total Time10 min
    • Course
      • household recipe

    Ingredients

      • 2 Tablespoons Baking Soda
      • 1/3 cup Redmond Clay or Bentonite Clay
      • 2 teaspoons Redmond Sea Salt or Sea Salt
      • 10-20 drops essential oil

    INSTRUCTIONS

    1

    Add all ingredients to a small glass bowl

    2

    Mix well using a whisk

    3

    Using a funnel, pour tooth powder into a glass container

    4

    If you have several flavors of tooth powder in the same bathroom, you may want to label them!

    5

    Either dip your toothbrush in a jar of tooth powder or use this spiffy oil & vinegar jar for easy dispensing.

    Cheers to a non-toxic mouth!

     

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    Winter Ready? 8 ways to keep you warm and healthy this season

    Oh, baby it’s cold outside. Are you winter ready? If you are lucky enough to experience a winter season where you live, here are a few tips that will help you stay warm and healthy.

    STAY WARM

    1- Keep your hands warm

    A good pair of mittens is a must! If you like to sew, these upcycled mittens are quite easy to make using an old wool sweater. They are snug, toasty warm, and make great Christmas gifts. The PDF pattern includes adult sizes XS, S, M, L, XL, XXL, and child-size large. It also comes in infant and child sizes.
    A detailed measuring guide comes with a pattern to make sure you sew up the right size! You can get the patterns here in my  Etsy shop

    Pop these little hand warmers in the microwave for 30-40 seconds and place them in your coat pockets and you’re good to go. They are a great thing to send your kids off to school with, or on the ski slope. VERY easy to make! The free sewing tutorial can be found HERE.

    Winter Ready

    2- Keep your feet warm

    If your feet get cold in bed, I have the perfect remedy. Corn or rice-filled therapy bags are the best. Just microwave and throw under your covers. They’ll keep your little tootsie warm for hours. The tutorial and pattern can be found HERE.

    Sweater slippers and sweater slipper boots made from (you guessed it) upcycled wool sweaters are an excellent way to keep your feet nice and toasty. Patterns HERE.

    3-      Keep your insides warm

    Winter Ready

    A nice cup of yarrow tea is sure to keep your insides warm AND keep your immune system in check in case you get sick!

    What is Yarrow good for?

    • ANTISEPTIC and VIRAL INHIBITOR
    • BLOOD PURIFIER
    • CIRCULATION
    • COLDS AND FLU
    • DIGESTION
    • FEVER
    • INFLAMMATION
    • TONIC

    Yarrow tea is a great preventative remedy. If the crud is going around the neighborhood, don’t just sit there waiting for the symptoms to start, drink 1 to 2 cups of yarrow tea a day as a preventive tonic. If you already have symptoms, start flushing it out with 4 to 8 cups of Yarrow tea each day. Get the full yarrow scoop HERE.

    Winter Ready

    There is nothing better than a hot bowl of soup to warm you up inside. Here are a few soup recipes you may like to try.

    4-      Keep your head and ears warm

    Of course, you need to keep your head and ears warm too! Hats, hats, hats, there are all kinds of hats. Beanies, pilot, pixie, and pillbox hat styles can all be made using an upcycled sweater.  The patterns can be found HERE.

    WINTER READY TIPS FOR STAYING HEALTHY

    Staying healthy and well during the winter is a good thing. Here are a few preventative things you can do to help keep your immune system up and running.

    If you were to ask me what I thought the most important thing you could do to promote and maintain a healthy body, mind, and spirit would be……….. MOVEMENT would be at the very top of the list. I am talking about PHYSICAL MOVEMENT, moving the body in some way or another.

    5-    Rebounding

    Winter Ready

    At this time I want to bring to your attention a form of movement that you may not have heard about or considered something of real value, REBOUNDING. Who would have thought that bouncing on a little trampoline could do anything for you? Well, I am here to tell you, by experience, that it can

    Rebounding provides benefits to nearly every body system, from increased flexibility and skin tone to decreased stress. Its up-and-down movement improves circulation and lymphatic flow and gently massages the internal organs for whole-body health.

    In my research, one of the things that intrigued me the most was that jumping on the mini-tramp 10 minutes equals running for 30 minutes for a cardiovascular workout. That is quite amazing!  I think a lot of us have it in our heads that in order to be in the top physical shape we have to RUN marathons to achieve it. Rebounding is so much easier on the joints than running and can get the same results in less time.

    Get the full scoop HERE.

    6-      Skin Brushing

    Winter Ready

    Skin brushing is simple, quick, and very rewarding. This is another one of those things on the top of my “stay healthy” list! Skin brushing has been part of my morning ritual for quite some time. I can tell a big difference in my skin and in the way that I feel. Here are just a few of the benefits of skin brushing.

    • Stimulates blood and lymph flow
    • Helps eliminate toxins from the body
    • Removes dead skin cells
    • Encourages cells to regenerate
    • Helps combat cellulite
    • Results in smooth glowing skin
    • Anti-aging through cell regeneration
    • Strengthened immune system
    • Stimulated nervous system, toned muscles, and tightened skin
    • Stimulated both the sweat and sebaceous glands (contributing to the restoration of moist and supple skin)

    You can learn how to do it HERE.

    Although preventative measures are the best to keep you healthy, there still may be times you come down with that nasty cold or flu. Here are a few things you can do naturally to get you back on your feet.

    7-      Sore throat remedy that REALLY works!

    Winter Ready

    If you are experiencing a sore throat, don’t jump in the car and run to the clinic just yet. I am going to share with you 4 simple alternative remedies for a sore throat that really work! Many of the ingredients you probably already have in your home.

    •  HONEY, CAYENNE AND GARLIC
    •  ORANGE JUICE AND CAYENNE PEPPER
    •  SALT WATER
    •  LYMPH MASSAGE

    Go HERE to find the details and recipes

    8-    Thyme Bath

    Winter Ready

    If you have the aches, chest congestion, and a lingering cough, this thyme bath is the perfect thing to get you going onto a QUICK recovery.

    When my kids were small, they would ask for a thyme bath whenever they weren’t feeling well. My youngest son is now 24 and had the flu a few weeks ago. He came home for a thyme bath because the place he lives doesn’t have a bathtub, only a shower. Can you see how this has been ingrained in their heads as something that WORKS!

    The thyme bath is not real labor-intensive and most likely you may have everything you need right there in your home. If not, you can get dried thyme at your local health food store or use Thyme essential oil.

    You can learn the whole process HERE.

    So, there you have it, 8 different ways to get ready for the cold WINTER ahead. It’s going to be a good one!

    I am Wishing you a warm cozy and healthy winter season.

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    Plantain – Healing Herb Growing Right Under Your Feet

    plantain
    plantain long leaf

    It has been a while since I’ve posted anything on herbs. So at the close of the summer season I thought it would be appropriate to chat about a common weed (herb) that is often unrecognized, but oh so powerful. It’s called plantain.

    Plantain leaf is considered a common and noxious weed by some and a miracle plant by others. I personally consider it a miracle plant. You can find plantain growing in lawns, driveways, parks, playgrounds, and even in the cracks of sidewalks.

    What is plantain and how do you identify it?

    Plantain leaf has a long history of being used as food plants and healing herbs in many diverse cultures around the world. The Native Americans used it to heal wounds, cure fever, and to draw out toxins from stings and bites, including snakebites.

    plantain

    There are two types of plantain. The plant with broad, oval leaves are called Plantago major and the narrow-leaved type P. lanceolata. You can identify this plant by the 5-9 parallel veins running the length of each leaf. (Most leaves have a central vein with smaller ones branching out from it.)

    You can use either one for healing purposes, depending on what’s available, but most herbalists seem to prefer the broad leaf plantain with larger, but softer, edible leaves. I have both growing in my yard.

    I have included a picture of this plant so you will know what to look for. If you don’t already have it growing in your yard somewhere, go out along the road or in the mountains and find some and replant them in your garden.

    What are the benefits and uses of Plantain?

    I use this herb all the time. During the summer while it is growing in my yard, I pick it, crush it and apply it to stings, and mosquito bites. I also dry it so I will have access to it during the winter months. It is one of the key ingredients in my healing salve, (which is very easy to make). You can find the tutorial here.

    plantain

    Externally

    • Antiseptic properties
    • Anti-inflammatory: Reduces pain caused by poison ivy and bite stings.
    • Extracts of the plant have antibacterial activity
    • Effective treatment to stop bleeding
    • Encourages the repair of damaged tissue, promotes healing without scars

    Because of its drawing properties, it will pull small foreign objects like stingers or slivers out of the skin. It is quite incredible.

    Internally

    • diuretic
    • expectorant, and decongestant
    • gastritis
    • peptic ulcers
    • diarrhea
    • dysentery
    • irritable bowel syndrome
    • respiratory congestion
    • loss of voice and urinary tract bleeding

    You can purchase plantain for internal use in fluid extract, tincture, decoction, infusion and dried powder form and the fresh and dried leaves can be consumed as a tea.

    *Although plantain leaf is generally considered safe, it is always best to consult with your health-care practitioner before starting any new herbal product.

    How to use plantain externally

    Poultice

    You can make a poultice by bruising the plant, chopping finely or heating to make a thick paste.

    You can make a poultice and apply it to wounds, skin inflammations, cuts, stings and swellings. It is the juice from the leaf that speeds up the healing process.

    Pick a few leafs, crush it or chew it well and put it on the bite or wound. “Like magic” the pain, heat, and swelling — even allergic reactions — disappear, fast! You can dry plantain leaves and carry them in your first aid kit. Chew like you would fresh leaves and apply it.

    I was with a youth group up in the mountains hiking when one of the boys went down into a ravine and came upon a bunch of bees, he was stung multiple times. Luckily, I knew what plantain looked like and had been taught what to do with it. Well, I looked down and there growing alongside the trail was PLANTAIN, all over the place.

    My husband and I grabbed some plantain and we started mashing it between two rocks to make a poultice. The boy took his shirt off and we dabbed it all over him. He did not swell and did great. This was a teaching moment for the youth there. The plants that God created do have a purpose. I don’t think it was a coincidence that day for us to be right there where plantain was growing, and for someone there to know what to do with it.

    fomentation

    A fomentation is similar to a poultice, however you use a concentrated tea of the herb instead of the plant itself. To apply a fomentation you soak a clean cotton cloth in the concentrated tea and apply it to the wound and wrap with cellophane.

    how to use plantain internally

    tea

    You can make an herbal tea by placing one teaspoon of dried herb to one cup water. Pour boiling water over the herb, cover tightly and steep for 20 minutes and strain. I love this single serve tea maker!  We use it all the time, in fact, we each have our own.

    This is a good resource for dried plantain. This is what I use for teas and to make salve.

    tincture

    Tinctures are herbal concentrate most often prepared in an alcohol, glycerin or vinegar base. You can make them, but it is much easier just to buy them.


    I absolutely love, love, love this reference book on herbs. This author explains all the basic on herbs, herbal preparations and uses in a clear, easy to follow way.


    If you would like more details of ALL the benefits of this plant, I will refer you to Dr. Christopher’s website that is chuck full of herbal information.

    Are there any potential Side Effects of Plantain?

    Plantain is considered a very safe herb to use, therefore you can use it both externally and internally.

    Women who are breastfeeding or pregnant should avoid using plantain until research confirms that the herb is not harmful in any way.

    So there you have it, an herbal remedy that is probably growing right under your feet. Go take a look around your yard or at the park and see if you can find any.

    Alternative Remedy Handbook

    For a quick, go-to reference of other tried and tested herbal remedies, I have compiled a booklet with lots of great resources and information. It’s kinda nice to know that you can alleviate everyday complaints without always turning to your medicine chest, or to your doctor. I have it for sale here on my site.

    Let me know if you have any questions.

    plantain pin

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    Soothing Thyme Bath Soak – How to relieve chest congestion & cough naturally

    Thyme bath

    Have you been under the weather with the aches, chest congestion and a lingering cough? Well it’s THYME to do something about it! This thyme bath is the perfect thing to get you going onto a QUICK recovery.

    This past few weeks I was knocked to my knees with the flu bug that is going around EVERYWHERE!  I usually do not get the crud when it’s going around, but since my immune system has been compromised, I got it good. I have experienced so much stress the past month in combination with tapering off the hydrocortisone that I have been taking for years, my immune system didn’t stand a chance at fighting off this wicked bug.

    It had been a few days into this illness when I realized I hadn’t even thought of the famous “thyme bath”. What wasn’t I thinking? This natural herbal remedy has been a standby, go to procedure when anyone in the family caught a cold.

    When my kids were small, they would ask for a thyme bath whenever they weren’t feeling well. My youngest son is now 22 and had the flu a few weeks ago. He came home for a thyme bath because the place he lives doesn’t have a bathtub, only a shower. So see how this has been ingrained in their heads as something that WORKS! It has been such a long time since any of us have had to deal with it, I forgot about it, but apparently he didn’t.

    So glad he reminded me about it! I was trying everything else, with not much luck. This would have been really nice to have done when I was in the thick of the aches, better late than never. I still had bad chest congestion and cough, so I got to it.

    The thyme bath is not real labor intensive and most likely you may have everything you need right there in your home. If not, you can get dried thyme at your local health food store.

    This is one herb that I would recommend having in your garden!

    Soothing Thyme Bath Soak

    Benefits of growing THYME

    • A great flavoring for many recipes
    • Beautiful landscaping plant in the garden (cute tight little green leaves)
    Soothing Thyme Bath Soak
    • Accessible even during the winter months
    Soothing Thyme Bath Soak
    • Preserves easily by drying
    Soothing Thyme Bath Soak
    • Easy to grow inside and out
    • Has many medicinal properties

    The flowers, leaves, and oil of thyme have been used to treat bedwetting, diarrhea, stomach ache, arthritis, colic, sore throat, cough, including whooping cough, bronchitis, flatulence, and as a diuretic, to increase urination. Thyme is thought to have antifungal, antibacterial, insecticidal, and possibly antifungal properties. Medical News Today

    Let’s get to the thyme bath, shall we?

    Here is what you will need to gather

    • A couple handfuls of fresh thyme, or ½ – 1 cup of dried herb will work as well. If you don’t have any herb, but have thyme essential oil, just use that (20 drops)
    • Epsom salt (1 cup)
    • 10 drops Thyme essential oil (optional)

    What to do

    • If you have thyme growing in your garden, go out and cut a couple handfuls of the herb. I have gone out in the middle of winter and uncovered the thyme from the snow and clipped off the plant. It winters very well, even under snow cover.

    • If you don’t have fresh herb, you can use dried herbs.
    • Remove any stray leaves from other plants and rinse off.
    • Fill a big sauce pan or soup pan with water and bring to a boil.
    • Once it is boiling, turn it down and simmer for 20-30 minutes with a lid on it on low heat.
    Soothing Thyme Bath Soak
    • Add 10 drops of thyme essential oil to 1 cup Epsom salts.
    Soothing Thyme Bath Soak

    Why is so great about Epsom Salt?

    Because of the high magnesium level, Epsom salt is a natural anti-inflammatory remedy that can be used to treat muscle aches and sore muscles. Many people use it to soak in after a hard work out, because it is so soothing to the muscles.  This feels so good for those aches when you have the flu.

    Epsom salt is very easy to find at your local drug store or online here. This is something good to have on hand in your homes!

    Soothing Thyme Bath Soak
    • Pour the water into the bath while straining out the herb. Be careful, it is nice to have someone help you strain in it so you don’t burn yourself.  Add enough hot water, as hot as you can stand it, but that will not burn you!

    Yes, it will look brown and yucky, but don’t let that keep you from stepping in and enjoying some soothing herbal aromatherapy! Yes, your house is going to smell like an herbal kitchen, but so worth it!

    • Shut the bathroom door and pull the shower curtain closed to trap in the steam.  Soak and breathe in the steam.
    • Stay there as long as the water stays hot, or add more hot water if it cools quickly. I personally do not like to take baths, but this is one exception. It really does feel great!  You will find it help relieve the cough right away. You may need to do this a few times a day or for a few nights until the cough has subdued.

    Another herbal remedy that I must remind you of is Yarrow.

    This is another one of our families favorite herbs. Yarrow tea is more of a preventative measure, and helps fight many ill.  It seriously rocks at helping you stay well. I was drinking a ton of it before I finally succumbed to the flu, but like I said my immune system was greatly compromised. The others in the family start getting it, and start drinking this stuff.

    You can read more about it in this post.

    I hope you will keep this in mind and give it a try when, you or someone you care about gets the CRUD!

    For other alternative remedies that REALLY work, check out my book HERE.

    Stay well my friends!

    jan3

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    Sore Throat: 4 Alternative Remedies That Work

    If you are experiencing a sore throat, don’t jump in the car and run to the clinic just yet. I am going to share with you 4 simple alternative remedies for a sore throat that really work! Many of the ingredients you probably already have in your home.

    Honey, Cayenne and Garlic:

    This is one of Dr. Christopher’s remedies I learned about many years ago and it is VERY effective in treating sore throats and even strep throat. When I get a sore throat I don’t even bother with a strep test because even if it is or isn’t strep, this will take care of it.

    How long does it take to get over strep throat with the standard medical procedure? 10 days on an antibiotic. This herbal remedy will generally get you over strep throat in 24 hours, and you won’t have to deal with all the side effects of antibiotics.

    • Put 1 tablespoon of honey in a small bowl (use raw unprocessed honey)
    • Add 1/4 teaspoon of cayenne pepper
    • Add 4 cloves of minced garlic (yep, your breath is going to smell fabulous) Trust me it is worth it.
    • Mix well
    • Cover and use as indicated below.

    Take ½ teaspoon to one teaspoon of the formula every 30-60 minutes. Don’t wash it down – let the honey coat the throat, then the cayenne will bring blood into the area, and then your immune system will be stimulated with the garlic. Garlic is anti-bacterial, anti-fungal, and anti-viral, so anything that may be causing the sore throat, is toast! It is quite soothing to your throat!

    Orange Juice and Cayenne Pepper:

    If it isn’t strep, this is great option for a mild sore throat.

    • Pour a little orange juice in a cup
    • Add 2-4 shakes of cayenne pepper.
    • Mix well and drink quickly.

    It does burn, but just for a few seconds. This brings more circulation to the area so the body can start fighting whatever is causing the sore throat.

    3   Salt Water:

    Another very simple option for a mild sore throat is to simply gargle with salt water. This is good to do as soon as you feel a sore throat coming on.

    • Mix a teaspoon of salt in eight ounces of warm water.
    • Gargle the whole mixture several times a day.

    This will increase the blood supply to the area by washing away mucus and dilating capillaries, thereby enabling better circulation of infection-fighting antibodies. The salt draws out some of the fluid in the throat that causes the swelling and inflammation. If this doesn’t bring comfort, you may want to opt out to some of the other options.

    Sore Throat

    Lymph Massage

    Lymph massage is a good thing to do whenever you are sick, especially when you have a sore throat or ear infection.  Adding this blend of essential oils to the neck and armpit area will help the body move congestion in the lymphatic system. If you do not have all the essential oils listed below, you can still use what you have combined with olive oil or coconut oil.

    • 20 drops Melaleuca
    • 5 drops Lemon
    • 5 drops Cinnamon
    • 2 drops Wintergreen
    • 13 drops Lavender
    • 9 drops Clove
    • 8 drops Thyme
    • 8 drops Eucalyptus

    In a 2 oz. dark colored glass jar, combine essential oils and fill with fractionated coconut oil or pure virgin olive oil. If using olive oil, you may want to store this in the refrigerator to keep the oil from going rancid.Place the lid on the bottle and shake well.

    Apply the oil around the neck area, especially below and behind the ears. With a soft massaging motion drag your hand down the neck towards the sternum area and around the ear. Go easy because this area may be very tender. The essential oils will penetrate the skin and enter the bloodstream to help fight infection. Apply the oil blend to the bottoms of the feet as well.

    I hope you found this information helpful.

     

    jan3

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    HOLISTIC LIVING: Healthy Travel Tips

    holistic living

    I went on a little vacation this week, and as I was gathering all my goods, I thought it would be a fun idea to show you some things I do and some things I take along with me. Here are some healthy tips and tricks that I do to maintain SOME holistic living while traveling.

    holistic living

    Notice that I said “some”.  When you are out of your routine and in a different place it can be challenging to do all the things you normally like to do to maintain a healthy lifestyle.  I suggest you back off a little and do the BEST YOU CAN and enjoy yourself.  Don’t freak out because maybe you had to resort to eating a little “fast food” or that you didn’t get your daily run in.

    Know and trust that your body is very resilient and it will bounce back quickly once you get back to your normal routine. I say this like I don’t worry about this stuff, well I still do somewhat but have learned to not let it ruin my vacation.

    I bring with me and implement the things I can, and then enjoy myself.  Yes, you will have to adapt a little, but that is good for you!

    Here are a few tips & tricks:

    Medications, Supplements and Tinctures

    holistic living

    Make sure you have all your needed medications and supplements! I learned this the hard way. The last trip I went on I ended up getting food poisoning. Without going into too much detail, because of a particular condition I experience, I am supposed to up my dose of hydrocortisone significantly if I experience any kind of illness or food poisoning. My doctor had given me some shots with cortisone in them in case this ever happens. (I ended up in the emergency room when I had food poisoning before, pretty much because I couldn’t keep the cortisone pill down).

    Anyway, I forgot to pack the shots this trip. DANG, I was sooooooo sick. I would rather go through child birth than this. Not fun being that sick in a hotel room.

    Healthy Travel Tips holistic living

    If you have a “daily” supplement container, it is a good idea to tape it closed like I have done here in the photo. I have had it open up and spill all over my purse way too many times before I learned to just tape it closed. I use painters tape.

    Don’t forget any NEEDED medications, supplements or tinctures. To save room I get the small snack zip bags, label them and put the capsules in there. If I think I may need the whole jar, I will just take the whole thing. Put them all in a BIG zip bag.

    Healthy Snacks

    holistic living

    Throw a few snacks in a little zip lock bag for those times at the airport or in the car when you sugar level is dropping and you need something to eat. If you have something handy, you will be less tempted to buy junk food, and save some money.

    Healthy Travel Tips holistic living

    If your hotel room has a fridge in it, go to a grocery store and buy a few healthy snacks to have on hand. I like to get some string cheese, rice crackers, apples, nut & seed mix, carrot & celery pre-cut mix, bottled water and grapefruit.  Yep, that is sauerkraut in there. I got that for a little extra probiotic action for my gut this week. It was a small bag so even though I didn’t finish it, the little I had served me well.

    Even if the place you are staying has breakfast available, it is nice to have some of your own alternatives. (The snacks you bought at the store are probably better for you than the instant pancakes, powdered eggs or sweet rolls they have available). Now, it there is no other option, do the best you can. They will usually have oatmeal packets or yogurt and perhaps some fruit if you are lucky.

    If you are really feeling vigilant, I know some who take their blenders with them. I really don’t want to be hauling my Blendtec on the plane. Although I did consider taking my son’s Magic Bullet. Oh how a nice a green smoothie would taste on vacation!

    Grapefruit

    Healthy Travel Tips holistic living

    What about grapefruit? When traveling, most likely you will be eating out more frequently than normal, and perhaps eating foods that are a little more heavy, rich and fatty. Grapefruit is a good source of fiber, and it contains both soluble and insoluble fiber both of which can help improve digestion and constipation. Who wants to be constipated while traveling?

    After eating a heavy dinner, I like to come back to the hotel and have some grapefruit. I peel it just like an orange. You are going to love the aroma as you peel it. Now some of you may never have eaten a grapefruit like this, but trust me, it grows on you and is quite a yummy snack. There are VERY good properties in the pith (white stuff around the grapefruit) so don’t pull it all off, eat it. When I eat a grapefruit, I don’t get the bloating, indigestion and I feel much lighter.

    Water

    Healthy Travel Tips holistic living

    It is so important to stay hydrated and so easy to forget to drink water while you are traveling. I bring along my own water bottle and pack it empty, so when I get to the hotel I can fill it up and have handy. It helps me to remember to drink water if I have my water bottle there.

    If you don’t want to pack your own, make sure you at least by some bottles of water to have handy. I buy a few gallons of water and bring them back to the hotel. Most likely you don’t want to be drinking the water from the bathroom tap!

    Movement

    Healthy Travel Tips holistic living

    Although you may not be able to attend your favorite yoga class or go for a bike ride, there are some ways you can still move your body while traveling or while on vacation.

    • Skip the elevator and take the stairs
    • If the hotel you are staying at has a gym, use it
    • Go for a walk and do a little exploring
    • Take an online yoga class in your hotel room

    It can be so easy to go several days without exercising while on vacation. It doesn’t have to be a serious workout, just move your body in some way. You will regret it if you don’t.

    Herbal Teas

    Healthy Travel Tips holistic living

    This is another thing I bring with me. I always take some Yarrow tea with me. This is one of my “go tos” when it comes to any kind of illness. Also good to help detox.

    When I travel I take a little zip package of a blend of herbal teas that I like, usually Yarrow, Peppermint and Raspberry leaf. I know it looks like I am smuggling some drugs or doing crazy stuff, nope just herbs.

    Healthy Travel Tips holistic living

    Sometimes, the hotel will have some herbal teas, but not always. What I do is go down to the lobby and get some hot water where they have it for coffee, and fill up a cup. I take it back to my room, put in about a teaspoon of dried herbs and let it steep for a few minutes. Then I get out my trusty stainless steel straw that filters out the herbs and viola, a nice cup of tea.

    Essential Oils

    Healthy Travel Tips holistic living

    I saved the best for very last. As some of you may already know, I LOVE ESSENTIAL OILS and I don’t travel without them. I have a little mini case that I have in my purse at all times, but that is not enough. I like to take as many as I can, AND my diffuser.

    There is nothing like being cramped up in a hotel room that is stuffy. Why not diffuse your favorite oils to make it feel and smell a little more like home. I have a small travel diffuser  that I pack.

    When packing my oils, I have a difficult time deciding which ones to bring. I take the most essential ones and pray I won’t need any of the others. Trust me; these oils have come in handy. On this trip I was so glad I brought the big bottle of lavender because I got a little too much sun on my back and was able to have my husband apply some on my back. Works wonders.  You never know when there will be a need for them physically or emotionally. LOVE EM!

    Hopefully this will be helpful for those of you who want to maintain some kind of healthy balance when on vacation.

    What is a tip you have learned and do to stay healthy on vacation? I would love to hear about it!

    Cheers,

    jan

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    PEPPERMINT: How To Grow, Use and Enjoy

    Peppermint is one of my favorite herbs to have growing in the garden. Here are a few tips on how to grow, use and enjoy this simple herb.

    How To Grow

    Peppermint is very easy to grow.  In fact, it grows so aggressively that most garden books advise you to enclose the roots of peppermint in a pot to prevent it from taking over your garden bed. I have mine planted in an old fashioned tin bath tub.

    Peppermint is part of the mint family, in which there are many varieties. It will hybridize easily. So if you grow several mint plants side by side, over time their flavors will mingle and they will lose their distinctive tastes. Chocolate mint, pear mint, spearmint, and even apple mint varieties are available.

    Peppermint is easy to find in most plant nurseries and even in common variety stores where plants are sold. Herbs seem to sell out quickly in the spring, so don’t hesitate in purchasing early. It is easier to grow from a start or cutting than to grow by seed. If you know someone with a peppermint plant, you can take a cutting or divide the plant to start you own patch.

    Peppermint likes water, so plant it where you will remember to water it. It will begin to droop if it becomes thirsty. To keep the plant growing all summer, keep it trimmed. This will inhibit the plant from forming blossoms. Once it forms flowers, the plant will slow down. You may have to do this once a week or so.

    Divide already established plants in spring or fall, or take cuttings during the growing season and root them in water.

    Peppermint roots easily from cuttings. Take a 4 inch cutting and strip the last inch of its leaves. Soak it overnight in water and then just place it in a growing medium. It will root in two weeks and start sending up new growth.

    How To Harvest

    • Cut: If you are going to use the peppermint for teas or other uses, you will want to cut down before it flowers. Cut the stems down to 4-5 inches from the ground. Don’t worry, it will grow back very quickly.
    • Wash: Run the stems under running water to remove any dust or dirt.
    • Dry: Take the stems and either place them in a dehydrator, tie with twine and hang to dry, or if you live in a hot, dry climate like I do, you can simply lay them on the counter top or table for a few days.
    • Strip leaves: To remove the dried leaves from the center stem, pull your fingers from the top of the stem down. Do this over a big bowl. Your house is going to smell fabulous! By storing the leaves whole and crushing them right before use, you retain the volatile oils in the leaves, until you need them.
    • Store: Store the dried herb in glass mason jars with a tight fitting lid. It will stay strong and fragrant for at least a year if protected from heat, light, air, and moisture.

    How To Use

    What do you do with it? Peppermint has many benefits, whether you use it fresh, dried or as an essential oil.

    • Analgesic
    • Anti-parasitic
    • Antiseptic
    • Digestive
    • Expectorant
    • Insecticidal
    • Sedative
    • Stimulant
    • Stomachic
    • Vasoconstrictor

    Peppermint is most famed for its use in relieving stomach problems. Peppermint can help disorders of the digestive system including gas, bloating, nausea, indigestion and cramps.

    peppermint

    One of my favorite ways to use dried peppermint is to make an infusion, a TEA. It can be very soothing to the stomach, give you a little energy boost, (without the caffeine) and add flavor to other teas that are not so tasty. I usually throw a little peppermint in with my yarrow tea to make it more palatable.

    To make a tea:

    1. Add 1-2 teaspoons of dried herb to your mug. You can use a tea bag, a tea straw, or I LOVE my Teavana perfectea maker!!!! This makes steeping a mug of tea a SNAP! Everyone in my family has their own.
    2. Pour boiling water over the tea, cover and infuse for 1- 3 minutes. Covering the tea while steeping will keep the delicate oils from evaporating.
    3.  Enjoy!

    Another way to get the benefits of peppermint is to use the essential oil.

    • Use a drop of Peppermint with Lemon in water for a healthy, refreshing mouth rinse.
    • Take one to two drops in a Veggie Capsule to alleviate occasional stomach upset.
    • Add two to three drops to your favorite smoothie recipe for a refreshing twist.
    • Place one drop in palm of your hand and inhale for a mid-day pick-me-up.

    Add a sprig of peppermint to desserts, smoothies, or drinks as a garnish.

    If you don’t have a patch or bucket of peppermint growing in your garden yet, I hope you will. Not only is it useful, smells, divine, it is a beautiful addition to any garden.

    What is your favorite way to use peppermint?

    jan3

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    Skin Brushing, Positive Affirmations and Mirror Work: The Perfect Combination

    Skin Brushing affirmations

    You know how passionate I am about dry skin brushing, and I am also a huge fan of positive affirmations and mirror work. ( Louise Hay is to thank for inspiring me all these years). This stuff really works, and I have been doing it for a long time.

    I want to share with you how skin brushing, positive affirmations and mirror work are really the perfect combination. This is part of my morning ritual right before I get in the shower.

    As much I would rather not place myself in front of a video recorder, I made a little video for you to demonstrate how I do it. I teach this in my yoga classes and stress how important it is with my clients, and I want to pass it on to you. I think it is good stuff for everyone to know. Skin brushing is so simple, doesn’t take a lot of time and cost only the amount of a simple dry skin brush. What are you waiting for? I hope you enjoy this lovely video, ha, ha.  Send me a note if you have any questions.

    Play Video

    Some of the physical benefits of dry skin brushing

    You can find more information and get the link to print out your own skin brushing chart here.

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    The Benefits Of Using An Eye Pillow

    Yep, simple as that! Simple, but challenging. Challenging because most of us think that just sitting and doing NOTHING is a waste of time and non-productive. When it is actually the best thing we can do.  Isn’t it funny that the things that could help us the most we dismiss because it seems too easy. Many of us have these inner beliefs that things have to be difficult, cost a lot of money, or take a lot of time for them to be effective. Well, taking a few minutes to cover your eyes with a soothing eye pillow is easy. It doesn’t cost a lot of money, and only takes a few minutes.

     
    Eye Pillow
    An eye pillow is just a little fabric pouch filled with flax seeds, rice or buckwheat that is applied over the forehead and on top of the eyes.

    I will admit that sitting or lying still for 10-20 minutes thinking about nothing can be challenging. I remember years ago when I attended my first yoga class and the teacher had us get on the floor and lay down in “corpse pose” close our eyes, and just do nothing. My mind went crazy. It took me some time to be able to calm the inner chatter and relax.

    But now, in my yoga practice when I start to wind down, my body and nervous system gets so excited. It knows it gets to just check out and chill in shavasana for 10 minutes. I tell my students, shavasana (final relaxation) is the most important part of the yoga practice, and sometimes the most challenging, but not to skip it. If you only have a few minutes, at the end of your practice or even if you are not practicing yoga, take time to be still. Better yet, cover your eyes.

     
    Eye Pillow

    For those of you who sew, these eye pillows are a snap to make.  All you need is:

    • Small piece of muslin for the inner bag
    Eye Pillow
    • Small piece of fabric (flannel, cotton, silk or an upcycled cashmere sweater is nice) for the outer lining.  Having an outer covering like this makes it nice so you can wash it!
    Eye Pillow
    • You can fill the pillow with rice, buckwheat, or flax seeds. I prefer flax seeds because they have the least smell to them.
    Eye Pillow

    I sell the pattern in a my Etsy shop or my Craftsy shop. The eye pillow pattern is included in a wonderful therapy bag set. In the set there are patterns and instructions to make hand warmers, neck & shoulder therapy bag, foot warmer and a large therapy bag.

    If you don’t sew or just want to buy the eye pillows already made,

    you can purchase them in my Authentic U esty shop

    Eye Pillow

    An eye pillow is a no-brainer accessory for your yoga bag. 

    Eye Pillow

    So whether you are going to a yoga class, want to take a power nap, want some help relaxing or need some relief from a nagging headache, get out your eye pillow and chill.

    jan3

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