3 Fall Remedies To Have On Hand

 
It’s been feeling like fall here in the Midwest and I have those awkward days of wondering whether I should wear my flip flops or boots. These are the only two things I wear on my feet for the most part – because they are easy to wear and it gives me less choices I have to make when I start my day. Yes, I am in that season of life where anything that makes life easier is necessary. ūüėČ
 
In thinking of fall lately, I’m sharing my 3 favorite DIY home remedy recipes that I try to have on hand for the coming fall and winter months. Now is the time to prepare so that if a sickness arises, I have what I need on hand and ready to use!
****Be sure to enter a giveaway at the bottom of this post too!***
 
 
Recipe #1: Homemade Cough Syrup
 
Ingredients:
 
2 large onions
Raw honey
2 TBS. Licorice root 
2 TBS. Wild Cherry Bark
 
Directions:
 
  • Cut 2 large onions and place in double boiler (if you have one).
  • Cover with raw honey at least 1/2 inch above the onions.
  • Add 2 TBS. licorice root and 2 TBS. wild cherry bark.
  • Simmer on very low heat until the onions become translucent.¬† If you don’t have a double boiler, you can simmer it very gently in a pan for about 20 minutes.¬† A double boiler is better because the pan being directly on the heat will take more of the beneficial properties from the raw honey.
  • Strain the onions and herbs out and store in a jar in the refrigerator up to 3 months.
  • Adults can take 1 Tbs. and children 1 tsp. of the syrup up to every 15 mins as needed. Allow the syrup to slowly trickle down the throat as you take it. If you don’t have the licorice or wild cherry bark, you can use this same recipe with just the onions and raw honey for a very effective syrup! You can also make a cough syrup out of just the wild cherry bark and licorice, but that is a different recipe.
    If you’re concerned about the taste of using onions, even my pickiest daughter can take this syrup just fine. Some secrets to help your children willingly take it: make sure you add enough honey, and don’t tell your children that it’s made from onions – sometimes the thought of something affects the taste! ūüôā
    This syrup is good for about 3 months in the fridge. I would heat a little bit very gently before using for a cough as that will help soothe.

Here are 3 favorite DIY home remedy recipes that I try to have on hand for the fall and winter months.

Recipe #2: Elderberry Syrup

Ingredients:

2 cups dried elderberries 
4 cups water
3 cups raw honey
 
Directions:
  • Bring berries and water to a boil and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  • Mash berries and strain through a cheesecloth or a fine strainer.
  • Stir in vinegar and honey and pour into jar.
  • Keeps in the refrigerator for 6 months.

Dosage suggestion:

Child – 1 tsp. daily
Adults – 1 tbsp. daily
(Or hourly if sick, or every 15 minutes if very sick!)
 

Recipe #3: Echinacea Glycerite

Ingredients:

Dried Echinacea
Jar
Food Grade Vegetable Glycerin

Instructions: 

  • Fill jar half way with dried herbs {or all the way with fresh herb}.
  • Cover dried herbs with boiling water just to the top of the herbs {to help extract properties from the dried herbs}.¬†
  • Fill the jar with glycerin.¬†
  • Place a towel in the bottom of a crockpot. Place the jar on top of the towel. Fill crockpot halfway with hot water. “Cook” in the crockpot on warm setting for 3 days.¬† Strain the herbs.
  • Use 1/2 tsp. 3-5 times a day for children. Use 1 tsp. 3-5 times a day for adults.¬† I administer for about a week. If the sickness is bad enough, you can even give a dose every hour until improvement.
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Now it’s time for a giveaway! I have teamed up with some awesome bloggers and companies to offer ONE winner a great bundle of natural living gift cards. Included are gift cards from MadeOn Skin Care ($50), Earthley herbal remedies ($25), and Seeds for Generations heirloom seeds ($25) for your gardening project. Enter now to win this bundle of nature’s best before the cold weather hits.
Make sure you go through all the entries to maximize your chance of winning. Share it with your friends to get lots and lots of entries!
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This post is updated from it’s original posting of September 25, 2012

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5 Herbs To Use For Babies and Children

When we are using herbs and have little ones in the house, our first question is, “Is this herb safe for babies and children?”

It can make a parent nervous to administer herbs to children that they are not familiar with – and you should be careful. Just as you watch your child closely when you introduce each new food {one of my girls was allergic to green beans but has not had any reactions to herbs I’ve given her} to make sure there is no reaction, you should watch your child for reactions to herbs as well.

But herbs are foods, and can be a great choice for medicine as well. If your child has a rash after consuming an herb or does not tolerate an herb well, then you know to avoid that herb. There are definitely herbs that babies and children should never have, so I encourage you to research which herbs are safe that can greatly benefit your young one’s health when they are needed, and which ones need to wait until the child is older.

While these 5 herbs below are not in the least the only ones you can give to little ones, they are a good start to have on hand.

 5 Herbs To Use For Babies and Children

Chamomile Flowers

chamomil-flower-update

Chamomile is one of the safest herbs to use. The flowers are great for nervous conditions and have a mild sedative effect.  They help relieve menstrual cramps, intestinal cramps, digestive upsets and gas pains. For babies, they are a choice remedy for teething and colic.

To make chamomile tea for colic or stomach aches:

  • Steep 1-2 tsp. of chamomile flowers in a cup of boiling water for 5 minutes.
  • Remove the pan from the burner while steeping and cover with a lid. ¬†Strain the flowers from the liquid.
  • Cool tea to room temperature
  • Give babies 1-2 ounces, children 2-4 ounces, and adults 1 cup as needed. Giving the tea warm will make a big difference in it being effective for colic and aches.

Using chamomile for teething:

  • Make a strong tea of chamomile when you want to use it for teething.
  • Steep the flowers in the tea for 30 minutes to an hour.
  • You can either freeze the tea in popsicle molds or soak a rag in the tea and freeze the rag for the baby to chew on! These methods will offer great relief for those aching gums.

Catnip

Catnip

Catnip is very gentle and highly prized in treating children’s ailments. It is excellent for colds, flus, and fevers.

To use catnip as a fever reducer:

Combine equal amounts of…

…in a container and mix. Make a tea using the instructions above. If you don’t have the elderflower and spearmint, just make a tea with catnip. For children 3 and older, give 1/4 cup every 2 hours until the fever subsides. For children under 3, give 1 tsp of the tea every 2 hours. {Source}

Olive Leaf

WebOlive-leaf

Olive leaf is a natural antibiotic and something I would turn to for viral or bacterial infections…and it’s safe enough for children and babies. Like most herbs, it can be administered in tea or tincture form.

Elderberries

elderberries

Elderberries are a great immune booster and well known for their flu-fighting properties. Dried elderberries can be added to foods, but my favorite way to consume them is by making syrup out of them. Read here how I make elderberry syrup. If making syrup for babies under 1, use vegetable glycerin instead of honey.

Echinacea

Echinacea

Echinacea has been said by some to be used with caution for babies.My naturopathic doctor recommends echinacea for babies over 1, and I believe it is much safer than antibiotics and steroids prescribed for infants all the time. Echinacea is a powerful natural antibiotic and infection fighter.

Before I started making my own medicines, I bought an immune booster for infants and children called Sweet Echinacea that has echinacea as its main herb.

My babies and now children have all responded very well to this herb and it has saved us many doctors visits. I do know of one person that has had an adverse reaction to this herb, but this is very rare. It’s comparable to someone who is severely allergic to peanuts and knows to never eat them again, but most other people can tolerate them fine. ¬†

Again, echinacea can be used in tea and tincture form, or you can buy this Infant Immune-Booster that contains both echinacea and elderberries!

If you make the olive leaf or echinacea into a tincture form yourself, here are suggested dosage amounts from Mountain Meadow Herbs:

Suggested Dosage Use for Babies and Children

Under 2 years old – 1 to 3 times a day as needed

  • 5-10 drops

2-11 years old – 1 to 3 times a day as needed

  • 1/8 tsp.

12 years and older – 1 to 3 times a day as needed

  • 1/4 tsp.

Intervention Use: Use suggested dosage every 4 hours.

Maintenance Use: Use suggested dosage 6 days on, one day off for 2 weeks.

Do you use herbs for your babies? Which are your favorites, or which ones would you like to try?

Sources:

Gallagher, K. (n.d.). Teething Relief. Retrieved April 23, 2015, from http://learningherbs.com/remedies-recipes/teething-relief/
Weaver, R., & Weaver, C. (2010). Be your own doctor: 101 stories : Natural remedies for the health of your family. Reinholds, PA (240 Mohns Hill Rd., Reinholds, PA 17569): Share-A-Care Publications.
Gladstar, R. (2012).¬†Rosemary Gladstar’s medicinal herbs: A beginner’s guide. North Adams, MA: Storey Pub.
Bulk Herb Store. (n.d.). Retrieved April 23, 2015, from http://www.bulkherbstore.com/
Disclaimer: This post is for educational purposes only and is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent disease.

The Two Organs You Must Not Forget To Detox

It's important to detox those toxins out, and there are 2 organs you must not forget to detox!

Each year, detoxing is one of the first things on my list. As I make my list, I have learned the hard way that there are 2 organs that are essential to remember. Let me tell you why.

Organ #1: Liver

Looking at myself in the mirror this winter is not the same image I saw 10 years ago. In the winter of 2010/2011, I had dry, red skin around my eyes. This was nothing new due to the fact that my eye skin had been dry for several winters for some unknown reason to me.

But about a month into this particular winter season, the dryness and sensitivity around my eyes got much worse, even so bad that I didn’t want to leave the house. The skin around my eyes would peel and reveal raw skin. And wearing makeup or washing the skin? Those simple tasks made me look like a strange creature to behold. The skin would then become so irritated that it advanced to open oozing sores all around my eyes, which would scab over, leaving thick, scaly scabs all around my eyes. Can anyone say crocodile?

Needless to say, I learned not to leave the house without sunglasses in those days. Everywhere I went, whether it be church or the store, I had to keep my eyes covered, so as not to frighten some child along the way.

Thankfully I came across¬†Shoshanna’s YouTube video¬†about detoxing the liver and made a connection. I was now certain that my eye issues were related to my liver. I ordered her herbal mix, made my own tincture, and began following her suggested dosage.

Imagine my joy when the next winter rolled around and my eyes were fine! This was the first winter in several ye ars that I did not deal with dry, itchy skin around my eyes. These herbs were amazing healers!

We may not be able to see our liver, but it is a very vital organ to keep healthy. It is our blood cleaning filter, receiving 1 1/2 quarts of blood a minute, and cleaning our blood 24/7. Anything that you eat or breathe is filtered through the liver, detoxing your whole system.

It's important to detox those toxins out, and there are 2 organs you must not forget to detox!

Some other important jobs of the liver are:

  • Regulates protein metabolism
  • Regulates carbohydrate metabolism
  • Modifies fats
  • Produces bile
  • Stores vitamins, minerals, and iron
  • Converts ammonia to urea, which is converted to urine by the kidneys

Those are some very important functions! When the liver is not working properly, it can cause poor digestion, headaches, acne, depression, mood swings, skin problems, foggy thinking, IBS, weight gain, reflux, constipation, poor digestion, and more! The liver assists the body when the rest of the body is being cleansed. If the liver is not working right, cleansing the other areas of your body may not be as successful.

The detox I used was the Liver Cleanse Tincture from the Bulk Herb Store.  You can find the simple instructions on making it, and the suggested dosage on the package.

Organ #2: Kidneys

Finding myself at the emergency room at 2 a.m. in terrible pain was a lesson I will not forget. After tests and a lot of money spent, I was diagnosed with kidney stones. I had been having such success with healing my liver, had cleansed my blood and colon, was ridding my body of parasites, but had neglected my kidneys!

The kidneys regulate the alkaline/acid balance of the body. Every day the kidneys process 200 quarts of blood and filters about 2 quarts of waste products in the form of urine. It is important to keep them cleansed and healthy.

One of the best things you can do to help kidney health is to drink plenty of water. The color and odor of your urine will tell you a lot about your kidney health. Your urine will become darker and stronger smelling if you fail to drink enough healthy liquids.

Lack of water is really hard on the kidneys and can lead to kidney stones, bacterial growth, and bladder infections. Many nutritionists recommend drinking 8 glasses of water a day, but make sure you are drinking enough to keep your urine a light yellow.

To help determine what the color of your urine means, refer to this chart here.

It's important to detox those toxins out, and there are 2 organs you must not forget to detox!

One way to clean out the kidneys is with a kidney flush.

To flush the kidneys:

  • Combine 2 oz. of olive oil and 2 oz. of lemon juice.
  • Stir and drink down.
  • Follow with a large glass of water.

This remedy does a great job of cleansing and rejuvenating the kidneys! You can also purchase a kidney cleanse and follow the directions on the bottle.

What do you do to keep your liver and kidneys healthy?