pine pitch drawing salve

Pine Resin Drawing Salve

In the winter months there is nothing quite like the smell of conifers.  As the light of spring and summer shifts to the darker, dormant months, so does our need to focus on these fragrant and readily available resources.  The evergreen nature of conifers gives us a bounty of medicine in their greenery, bark and even their inner resin.  Some refer to this as “sap” but technically pitch and resin are the two correct descriptors.  Needles of several pine varieties make a tasty tea that is high in vitamin C and is useful as an immune system booster and cold fighter, but the inner resin, or pitch, is the real wonder medicine of the conifer.  One our favorite uses for the resin is as a salve.  This salve has a warming, stimulating/moving action that does wonders for drawing out splinters and it’s warming, stimulating nature makes it a sought after Read More

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Ginger & Turmeric – Grow Your Own Continual Source

Grow your own Ginger Root Turmeric Root

Growing your own Ginger and Turmeric is actually quite easy.  We’ve been growing and replanting “child” sprouts from our ONE original Ginger root for about 5 years now and this year decided to give Turmeric a try.  Ginger and Turmeric have such a wide array of uses, both medicinal and culinary, we felt like they were something we didn’t want to have to do without or depend on the grocery store for.  It’s so easy that I’ve just laid out the quick and dirty for you below, nothing fancy.  There are probably a billion other methods, but this is the way we do it, and with very good success. Read More

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Natural Pain Relief Herbal Pain Relief

Willow Bark Tea – Natural Pain Relief

Before there were store bought medicines, our ancestors knew which plants grew around them and how to use them to remedy their ailments. One big example of this is Willow Bark, which can be used for many types of pain including headaches, menstrual discomfort, muscle pain and arthritis. The active ingredient, salicin, found in the bark of Willow trees, also acts as an anti-inflammatory and is present in varying Read More

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Herbal Blends For Anxiety, Insomnia And More

Often, the things I write about are driven by our own needs and experiences out here.  This one is no exception.  Many years ago, Passionflower tea became one of my favorite herbal allies.   I suffered from what I came to refer to as my nightly 3am conference call in my head.  I would wake between 2 and 3am Read More

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First Aid – Yarrow Styptic Powder

Beautiful Yarrow – Achillea millefolium – is good for so many things and one of them is as a styptic powder to stop bleeding.  Yarrow styptic powder is safe for both humans and animals and can be used on everything from skin cuts to nails accidentally cut or torn down to the “quick”.  I recently gouged a chunk out of my index finger while tapping one of our maple trees and pressure alone wasn’t enough to stop the bleeding.  The yarrow stopped it almost immediately. I’ve also used it on our dog when I clipped one of her toenails too short.  It does a great job and isn’t toxic when they decide to start licking it, which they will!  (I didn’t lick mine… just for the record…) Simply dry the herb, grind it in a mortar and pestle or coffee/seed mill and store it in a lidded jar for when you need it in an emergency.  If you’re putting together an herbal first aid kit, this is definitely one to include.  The preferred Read More

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4 “Weeds” To Have On Hand for Cold & Flu Season

Poke Bush

Poke Bush

Technically, not all of these are weeds, but of the five home remedies listed below, four are considered just that by most people.  One of my all time favorite quotes is by A.A. Milne: “Weeds are flowers, too, once you get to know them.” This is true for plants as medicine also. Always make sure you’ve correctly identified what you’re using from the wild and then get ready for an eye opening experience.  There are lots of other herbs that can be used for the same purposes that I’ve outlined below, but we try to focus on the plants that are native or naturalized to our area. That way, we’re not dependent on ordering from an online source. If we have to order our herbs that we need for medicine, we might as well just go to the CVS pharmacy down the street, we’re not self-sufficient.

Ok, here is the “thing” that needs to be said: herbal medicine Read More

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