Wood sorrel (oxalis)

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Wood sorrel (oxalis) can be found all throughout woodland areas. Here is what it should look like:

wood sorrel 3

This plant is filled with oxalates and vitamin C. Oxalates is a salt compound that makes things taste sour, rhubarb is another great example of a plant filled with oxalates. Typically the greens are what is eaten. Some native Americans chewed on wood sorrel to alleviate thirst or to cure mouth sores. The roots of sorrel can be eaten but are usually boiled and they have a starchy taste somewhat like a potato. Either way, this is a most Pleasing wild Edible to feast upon while out in Nature.

Wood sorrel 1

 

It also grows quite well in desert regions during the cooler months. Children seem to go gaga over this little plant, cause of the sour taste. My son, just loves eating this plant, although it can upset the tummy if eaten in high quantity.

 

Wood sorrel 2

 

NOTE to the reader: When in the wild do NOT eat any wild foods unlesss you are 100% that you have properly identified the plant.

Catnip, Nepeta cataria

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Catnip, Nepeta cataria

Catnip, Nepeta cataria

Catnip, Nepeta cataria

Everyone knows that catnip is used to get our cats feeling perky, but did you know we humans can use it to? I grow catnip in my garden for all kinds of medicinal uses. Catnip is a member of the mint family and can be used to help with anxiety, tummy issues such as indigestion, cramps or nausea, it can also be used to help with colic, fevers and menstrual cramps. Sometimes I’ll brew a tea for my toddler and give this to him to help him calm down in the evening. Have you used catnip for medicinal uses?

Have you used catnip for medicinal uses? If so leave a comment I’d love to hear what your thoughts, preparations or experience was. And if you are going to grow this in your garden I really recommend keeping it in a pot or in an area where you do not mind if it spreads, because it will take over!

Wild Arizona Passion Flower (Passiflora mexicana)

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I wanted to share this with you all… On my excursion this past weekend to Southern Arizona this was one of my favorite plant finds… I’m excited to be able to share it with you all in the Near Future, along with the rest of my Herbal Remedies created in my Apothecary…

Passion Flower (Passiflora mexicana)

Passion Flower (Passiflora mexicana)

Wildcrafted Passion Flower (Passiflora Mexicana) found thriving in Southern AZ coming soon to Free Spirit & Mind Product Line…

Passion Flower (Passiflora Mexicana)

Pink Passion Flower (Passiflora Mexicana)

Passion Flower (Passionfloar Mexicana)4

Purple Passion Flower (Passiflora Mexicana)

Passion Flower (Passionfloar Mexicana)2

The Beautiful Passion Flower can be found all throughout Southern Arizona, if only you know what to look for…

Passion Flower is such an amazing plant not only is it absolutely beautiful (even though it is some what “smelly”) but it also contains many Medicinal Properties including:

Sedative qualities
Calms the mind from the typical day-day nonsense found/experienced in the “City-Life”
Anti-anxiety
Helps with tachycardia & hypertension
Helps with Insomnia
Soothes ticks from seizures & spastic muscles
Can aid in withdrawal symptoms from substances
Soothes spastic cough
Can help with diarrhea

Herbal baths can be used to help with many ailments including calming the mind, soothing the muscles, helping speed up a sickness, move toxins through & out of the body, exercising demons, baptisms, enlightening your spirit, bonding with plants, meditation & so much more…

Last night I took an Herbal bath using Passion Flower a  magical plant as one of the Herbs… After the bath I was completely relaxed, soothed, peaceful & ready for bed... Used in the bath:

Passion Flower-To sooth the mind, ease the chatter in my mind & to bond with this new plant friend
Pedicularis- To soothe the muscles
Lavendar-For calming
Lemon balm-to relax the nerves, anti-bacterial, anti-viral & to relax the muscles
Eucalyptus-Anti-bacterial, to open up the lungs & soothe the brain
Mint-Refreshing, relaxing & soothing
Sea Salt-To relax the muscles, anti-bacterial, exfoliant & general cleansing 
Have you ever taken an Herbal Bath? When was the last time you took one? If you haven’t taken an Herbal bath I highly recommend that you do. Why… Because you Deserve to have the Experience, you Deserve to be Pampered, you Deserve to enjoy the Heavenly Aroma…
Herbal Baths

Herbal Baths

Until Next time.. Peace be with You

The Story of Kombucha…

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Kombucha (Naturally derived Probiotic drink) is the final product of fermenting a Scobie (symbiotic colony of yeast & bacteria) in a sweetened tea drink for a number of days. Kombucha has been noted to help with warding away sickness, major illness, Cancers & even Longevity! Instead of taking probiotics you can simply sip on kombucha through out the week! Kombucha teas can contain up to .05% alcohol (not nearly enough to drunk off of & safe for children in regulated doses).

Kombucha1

Home brewed “Booch” (Kombucha)…

Kombucha

Variety of Flavors!

To give you a little history on Kombuchas the story goes that a small village Doctor who lived in Russia realized that after many many years of birthing generation after generation, he noticed that hardly any of his villagers were ever stricken with disease, cancers, major illnesses & experience great lengthy lives… So the Doctor decided to go around his village & talk to the Villagers to see if there was something he was missing for he knew in his Doctor schooling that humans should be subjected to greater # of illnesses. So the Doctor went out into the village & talked to the villagers. After some research he concluded that the villagers were all making this fermented beverage from these mushrooms they got off the local trees… it was a simple tea & sugar beverage with the mushroom inside. “Could it be this fermented beverage that is causing the lack of Illness in my Village,” the doctor thought…

The Doctor decided that he would travel to more of Russia & even parts of Asia to see if other villages were making this same drink. After years of traveling, traveling from Village to Village, talking to villagers & other village Doctors, the Doctor concluded that it must be the Kombucha that was keeping his Village so Healthy… Because in his travels the Villages that were not making this fermented beverage were high in sickness, disease & cancers & lived normal or short lives… Yet the Villages that were making the tea beverage we lacking these diseases & not to mention that these Villages who were drinking the Kombucha experienced Longevity.

This is just one story about Kombucha, from my research Kombucha has been around for a while (thousands of years) but the health benefits were not discussed until the early 1800’s. Recently Kombucha has been brought to the states & has been a big hype. Finally people are catching onto this great beverage with Amazing Health capabilities.

I am not stating kombucha will help any major illness, sickness or longevity, I am just sharing a piece of my life with you… In my house we drink Kombucha on a regular basis my son has been drinking Kombucha since he was 1 years of age. Both of us have great health, have never gotten sick from Booch & so we decide to continue implementing the regular usage of, “Booch” in our house. Hardly ever will you not find Kombucha in our fridge… You have the choice to hop on the “Booch” Train or not… in the end the Choice is yours…

Peace Be with you…

Naturally Harvested Medicine to fight infections… Found Locally!

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Natural Medicine harvested locally! What seriously I DO NOT have to use Pharmaceutical Antibiotics!?!

I am not sure about you but I have never been a fan of antibiotics, in fact it seems as though they hardly ever work for me or for my son who is now 4 years old. He was diagnosed with an allergy to the “cillian” family when he was not even a year old. Penicillin is part of a family of antibiotics known as beta lactams & is used to treat many bacterial infections in your body such as ear infections. Time after time the doctor had put my son on antibiotics for one infection or another & time after time the infection just would not go away. When he was one in a half he got an ear infection four times in a row & the doctor insisted on putting him on antibiotics for about a month straight, and I let them (sad face). During the last round my son ended up in the hospital with pneumonia, because the antibiotics had killed his system. Pneumonia can be fatal for small children and I became very concerned… so at that point in time I made the Conscious decision that I would find an alternative remedy for my sweet child! This was when I had discovered GSE grapefruit seed extract.

I have not harvested GSE locally but I have been using it for quote sometime & have learned that it works so well that my family & I do not have to use Pharmaceutical Antibiotics. At every chance I get I recommend GSE to anyone & everyone! I have learned that you get much better results with GSE in a glass bottle than in the white bottle that only contains about 30% GSE, but it seems as though this kind of GSE is getting harder & harder to find. However I am able to find it if I surf the web long enough & sometimes I can find it at Sprouts grocery store. Anyways I have been using GSE in replace of antibiotics for almost 3 years now & I have never had a bad experience with it. And the overall health of my son & I have been GREAT!

This past weekend I was up at Oak Flats (beautiful land that has been used for ceremonial purposes for years & years that has been sold to an Australian mining company to mine copper) harvesting medicinal herbs.

Oak Flats!

Oak Flats!

While I was boulder hoping I managed to get stabbed or impaled by an agave plant, a member of the Yucca family. The spike broke off below my skin, I had to go to the ER, get in lanced & after about 30 minutes of digging the spike was removed. This type of wound has been known to acquire staph infections. The doctors tried to push antibiotics & a tetanus shot, however I declined & decided to go with natural cures.

Yucca wound

Yucca wound

 

  1. Local Black Willow bark & GSE (GSE not locally harvested) made into a tea, drunken as needed throughout day for pain & to fight infection (at least 2-3 times a day up to hourly if needed).
  2. Locally harvested Nicotine leaves made into a tea & applied to would for pain.
  3. Locally harvested Creosote or Chaparral leaves made into a poultice & applied to infected area to fight bacterial infections.
Natural Medicines Wild-crafted Locally!

Natural Medicines Wild-crafted Locally!

 

That’s it! It may be a little more time consuming than popping a pill but if you are as dedicated to natural cures as I am then you will appreciate the time spent to prepare the naturally harvested herbs that can heal you. Pharmaceutical Antibiotics kill your system, working against your body eventually making you resistant to the medications (as proven in my sons case!) so we choose to find something that actually works, that is natural & that can save our immune systems from attacking itself! Not to mention it gives me & my son a fun activity out in nature for the day… My son loves going out into nature to harvest medicinal herbs & so do I! So next time if you are in need of antibiotics maybe you will remember this article & these alternative remedies that can & will assist you on your journey… And hey if these do not work for you then please feel free to cash in that pharmaceutical prescription that was prescribed by the doctor… But why not try something that works, does not hurt your body & can possibly be found in your backyard!

Until Next time… Peace be with You…

Make your own Fluoride-Free, Organic Toothpaste

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Make your own Fluoride-Free, Organic Toothpaste… Make your own toothpaste & know it was made with safe ingredients!

Make your own toothpaste & know it was made with safe ingredients!

1. Simple

1 teaspoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon sea salt, finely ground
1 drop peppermint, clove, or citrus pure essential oil

A few drops of water

Mix ingredients in a small bowl and combine thoroughly until a thick paste is formed. Scoop it on to your toothbrush and brush as usual.

 2. Vegan toothpaste

Many commercial toothpastes include glycerin to help maintain the product’s texture, but unless it is listed specifically as vegetable glycerin, it is of animal origin. If you want a vegan toothpaste that contains glycerin, try this.

2 teaspoons vegetable glycerin

4 tablespoon baking soda

1/2 teaspoon guar gum
8 tablespoons water
5 drops peppermint, clove, or citrus pure essential oil

Place all the ingredients except essential oil in a pot and cook on low heat, stirring frequently, for five minutes or until the mixture achieves a paste-like texture. Cool, add essential oil to taste, and store in a sterile jar at room temperature. Use as usual.

3. Coconut-based toothpaste

This formula swaps out the glycerin and uses coconut oil instead. The coconut flavor and essential oil should mask the subtle taste of the hydrogen peroxide and baking soda, but you can add a few drops of stevia if you prefer a sweeter paste.

6 teaspoon baking soda

1/4 teaspoon hydrogen peroxide

2 tablespoons coconut oil (warm enough to be liquid, which means above 76 degrees F)
10 drops peppermint, clove, or citrus pure essential oil

Homemade, organic & quick & painless!

Homemade, organic & quick & painless!

Put baking soda in a bowl, add the other ingredients and mix until you achieve a proper paste texture. Add a small amount of baking soda if it’s runny; add more coconut oil if it’s too dry. Taste, and add more essential oil if you want a more flavorful paste. Store in an opaque container (required to protect the hydrogen peroxide) and use as usual.

4. Super simple

The most simplified toothpaste recipe ever.

1. Mix Baking soda and coconut oil 50/50

How effective is using baking soda? Baking soda is used for two reasons. First, it’s a mild abrasive that provides a gentle cleansing. Second, it’s alkaline. Being alkaline, baking soda can neutralize acids in your mouth that are often at the root of tooth decay. Baking soda also absorbs odors and helps produce fresh breath.

Coconut oil is the magic ingredient. It is a key ingredient in homemade toothpastes because it’s a powerful, natural antibacterial and antifungal – so it works to kill harmful bacteria in your mouth while you brush. Coconut oil is excellent for your gums and brushing with it regularly can eliminate bleeding, sore gums. The oil kills the bacteria that are responsible for gingivitis – and if you have gingivitis, you might want to massage some coconut oil into your gums regularly, in addition to using it in your toothpaste. Brushing your tongue with the oil helps with thrush, a fungal problem localized in the mouth, and to boot, coconut oil has been found to stop and even reverse some tooth decay.

Coconut oil naturally contains Caprylic acid, a fatty acid that effectively destroys candida. This makes coconut oil one of the best ways to keep Candida levels under control which can be present in the mouth when overgrowth occurs.

Homemade & ready to use!

Homemade & ready to use!

Sources:

sourcesource, source

14 Reasons Why Witch Hazel Should Be In Every Home

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The Witch Hazel Tree

The Witch Hazel Tree

1. Natural Astringent

Probably the most famous way witch hazel is used is as a natural astringent. High concentrations of tannins in witch hazel make it an excellent astringent which means it has the ability to remove excess oil from skin and shrink down pores.  Health-wise, those who are exposed to lots of environmental pollutants may apply witch hazel to the face in order to reduce the amount of contaminants that enter pores and, consequently, the amount and severity of blemishes.  Also, because astringents remove excess oil, regular use of witch hazel may further prevent blemishes, especially black heads which result from dried sebum build-up in pores.

Further Reading: 8 Quick Natural Remedies For Blackheads

2. Fade Bruises and Blemishes

Witch hazel may also be used to treat blemishes already present on the face or other areas of the body.  Apply witch hazel with a cotton ball or cosmetic pad to reduce irritation and appearance of acne or other inflammatory skin conditions.  Witch hazel applied to bruises can also help to fade discoloration and speed up the healing process of any underlying damage.

3. Brighten Around Eyes

The ability of witch hazel to tighten skin and reduce inflammation makes this an ideal natural remedy for treating discoloration and puffiness under and around eyes and is one of the most popular uses for witch hazel.  Just make sure not to get any of this natural astringent on the eyes themselves as it will result in significant pain and lingering discomfort from dryness.

4. Shrink Swollen Veins

Soak soft terry cloth in witch hazel and lay over skin affected by varicose veins to temporarily reduce swelling and pain.  Also, remember to prop up the areas to be treated as high as possible.  This will decrease blood pressure in swollen veins and maximize the effectiveness of your treatment.

Further Reading: 8 Home Remedies For Varicose Veins

5. Stop Bleeding

Witch hazel naturally tightens skin and promotes faster healing.  Apply organic witch hazel  to minor cuts and scrapes to stop bleeding.  Store-bought witch hazel also often contains isoproply alcohol which disinfects, making it a popular choice for cleansing wounds before bandaging.

6. Post Hair-removal

For both men and women, witch hazel is a great follow-up to shaving any part of the body.  Not only will it stop bleeding from nicks or cuts, anti-inflammatory witch hazel can also work to prevent razor burn.  Furthermore, those who employ hot wax treatments for hair-removal may also apply witch hazel as an anti-inflammatory post-waxing or use it to stop bleeding from damaged hair follicles.

7. Hemorrhoid Relief

Witch hazel is great for easing the pain, itching, swelling, and bleeding of hemorrhoids.  In fact, it’s a common ingredient used in many commercial hemorrhoid creams.  Just mix witch hazel with a carrier like Aloe Vera gel and apply to affected areas for fast relief.

8. Ease a Sore Throat

Due to its astringent properties, an herbal tea of witch hazel (not the store-bought kind which almost always contains isopropyl alcohol) can help to ease the discomfort of a sore throat.  Gargle with witch hazel tea to reduce swelling, dry up excess mucus, and ease pain caused by laryngitis, sinusitis, tonsillitis, or other throat maladies.

9. Treat Damaged Gums

A witch hazel mouth rinse (again, don’t use witch hazel that contains isopropyl alcohol) can help to reduce pain and swelling of irritated or infected gums.  Witch hazel can be used stop minor bleeding of the gums and mouth.  Try a teaspoon of witch hazel tea with one drop each clove and myrrh oil to safely relieve teething pain for infants.  The same treatment may also be used to soothe pain caused by emerging wisdom teeth or after oral surgery to reduce discomfort and inflammation.

10. Dry Up Swimmer’s Ear

Otitus externa – commonly known as ‘Swimmer’s Ear’ – is caused by microbial infection of the ear canal.  Use an eye dropper to insert several drops of witch hazel into each ear to dry up pus, clear away excess oil, and break up wax and debris that may be clogging the ear canal.  Allow ears to drain then clean gently with a cotton swab or cosmetic pad.  Follow up with a natural anti-microbial like basil oil, apple cider vinegar, or tea tree oil.

All kinds of creams, tinctures & oils can be made with Witch Hazel!

All kinds of creams, tinctures & oils can be made with Witch Hazel!

11. Soothe Diaper Rash

Anti-inflammatory properties of witch hazel make it an effective and safe remedy for soothing pain from diaper rash.  Regular application will also assist in healing damaged skin faster, further reducing your baby’s discomfort.

12. Cool Down Sunburn

Mix some witch hazel in with your Aloe Vera gel the next time you need to treat a sunburn.  The anti-inflammatory power of this incredible plant extract will aid your skin in healing while it and the Aloe help to cool the burn.  This treatment can also help to prevent skin from peeling in the days following a bad burn.

13. Neutralize Contact Dermatitis

Because of its drying and anti-itch power, witch hazel can also be used to counter the effects of skin-irritating plant compounds like urushiol, the sap oil contained in poison ivy, poison oak, and poison sumac that causes contact dermatitis in about 85% of adults who come in contact with it.

14. Bug Bites and Stings

Just as witch hazel can be used to ease pain and itching from poison ivy and its cousins, the same works for bug bites and stings.  Yet another reason to carry a small bottle of this awesome remedy with you the next time you plan to spend a day outdoors!

Ready to experience this incredible natural remedy for yourself?  Try Humphreys Certified Organic Witch Hazel!

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