kid approved fire cider

Kid-Approved Fire Cider

Kid-Approved Fire Cider

If you've ever had a traditional fire cider, it can be a little spicy, a little vinegar-y. Not something that's easy to compete with bright purple, bubblegum flavored mainstream medicine when it comes to convincing your kid to take a swig. This kid-approved fire cider adds a great bit of raw honey to soothe those intense flavors.

Getting your kids involved in making the fire cider may also encourage them to want to try it! Still a no? Try adding a few tablespoons to some warm tea. Have a tea party. 

Either way, this fire cider is antimicrobial, antibacterial, and antiviral, making it a perfect choice for fighting off any sickness. 

This recipe is simple, measure with the heart. Add a lot of raw local honey to sweeten it up. 

Kid-Approved Fire Cider Recipe

  1. Large glass jar with a lid
  2. Orange slices
  3. Lemon slices
  4. Fresh Ginger Slices
  5. Garlic Slices
  6. Raw Honey
  7. Apple Cider Vinegar
  • Add orange, lemon, ginger, and garlic to your jar to fill, leaving 2-3 inches of space at the top. 
  • Muddle/smash ingredients down for a minute or two to release juices and flavors
  • Add 1/2 cup or more of raw honey 
  • Top off with apple cider vinegar
  • Screw on the lid and give it a good shake
  • Leave it on the counter for 3 days
  • Strain
  • Compost scraps and store liquid in the jar in the fridge. 
  • At signs of cold symptoms, take a few tablespoons a day. 

 


how to make an herbal tincture

How to Make an Herbal Tincture

How to Make Herbal Tincture

An herbal tincture is essentially herb-infused alcohol. While herbs and oil will eventually get you essential oils, herbs and alcohol will get you tinctures.

Herbal tinctures are an excellent way to benefit from medicinal herbs. They are easy to put together and are shelf-stable for years. The easiest way to make an herbal tincture is through the process of maceration. Maceration is the process of soaking herbs in liquid (water or alcohol) for several weeks; it is the go-to tincture method for at-home herbalists. 

What is Menstrum?

Menstrum is the liquid portion of a tincture. The menstrum will extract the properties from the herb. It can be water, alcohol, vinegar, or, sometimes, glycerine. Most folks use vodka or everclear. 

Calculating the amount and ratio of menstrum to herb can be as easy or as complicated as you'd like to make it. However, most herbalists use a 50% water and 50% alcohol as their menstrum and that will get you an effective tincture with no issues.

While there are plenty of resources for getting very specific with your menstrum ratios depending on the types of herbs and accounting for loss, we are going to keep it simple in this guide and use dependable ratios to get us a solid product each time. 

Menstrum to Herb Ratio

Most herbalists will use the following ratios: 

  • Fresh Plant Tinctures 1:2 ratio, with 95% ABV menstrum
  • Dry Plant Tinctures 1:5 ratio, with 50-65% ABV mentrum

When making fresh plant tinctures, each 1 gram of fresh herb is macerated (soaked) in 2 milliliters of almost pure alcohol (Everclear) for optimal extraction.

For tinctures made from dry plant materials, each 1 gram of herb is macerated in 5 milliliters of menstruum with an alcohol content of between 50 and 65% (double-proof vodka).

Herb Preparation

Dried Herbs

Chop your dried herbs into small pieces, they do not need to be powdered.

Kitchen shears are the best tool for this. When using barks, roots, berries, or mushrooms that are difficult to cut with shears, put them into the blender for a few seconds, just enough to break them up. 

Fresh Herbs

Typically, you'll only need the leaves. Be sure to wash and dry them before use. Roughly chop the herbs. Refer to ratios above. 

How to Make an Herbal Tincture - Lemon Balm

In this guide we will make a lemon balm tincture. Lemon balm is incredibly easy to grow, as it is in the mint family. It calms anxiety, promotes sleep, and aids in digestion. 

Lemon balm is an incredible tincture to have on hand postpartum. It eases the night-scaries and mild anxious feelings and belly discomfort that come with postpartum. Lord knows we need help with in the sleep department, too. 

how to make an herbal tincture

How to Make an Herbal Tincture

Ingredients

  • Half pint jar with lid
  • Measuring cups
  • Metal strainer
  • Cheesecloth
  • 1/2 cup fresh lemon balm leaves, roughly chopped
  • 1 cup everclear

Instructions

  1. Fill jar with herbs
  2. Pour in everclear, be sure alcohol is covering herbs completely
  3. That's it, put the lid on.
  4. Put in a cool dark place for four weeks, give a gentle shake once a week.
  5. Place cheesecloth inside metal strainer on top of a clean empty jar and strain out herb leaves.
  6. Label clearly and take one dropper as needed.

Disclaimer: This information is intended only as education and is not a replacement for professional health advice. 

 


homemade magnesium spray

Homemade Magnesium Spray

Homemade Magnesium Spray

Magnesium is a staple for relaxation. While folks usually go for a bath or foot bath, this homemade magnesium spray is easy to absorb and apply when you're in a pinch. Magnesium has been shown to reduce stress and enhance sleep. It's also shown to support hormone function and provide energy support. These magnesium chloride bath flakes are the best.

During pregnancy, my feet (along with the rest of me) were very swollen during the third trimester, IYKYK. I was also sleeping terribly, as expected. Magnesium foot baths gave my feet incredible relief, helped set up a relaxing environment, and I slept as good as someone good when they have a pumpkin-sized gymnast attached to them. 

Once the baby came, I definitely needed all the support I could get with hormones, sleep, and reduced stress. Between the cluster-feeding and contact naps, I didn't have the time to continue with my evening foot soaks. Sure, I could steal away for a bath every now and then, but I felt like I needed support each night. That's where this homemade magnesium spray really came in handy. Now, I use it on myself and my one-year old during out bedtime routine. 

Homemade Magnesium Spray Recipe

homemade magnesium spray

Homemade Magnesium Spray

Ingredients

  • 3/4 cup water
  • 1/3 cup magnesium flakes
  • Spray bottle

Instructions

  1. Boil water
  2. Add Magnesium flakes
  3. Stir until fully dissolved
  4. Wait until cooled
  5. Pour into spray bottle

Apply 2-3 sprays on the soles of your feet before bed. 


hormone latte

Hormone Healing Chamomile Latte

Hormone Healing Chamomile Latte

Looking to heal those hormones and reduce your caffeine intake, but don't want to lose out on your five minutes of morning peace with your coffee? This hormone healing chamomile latte is the perfect alternative if you're trying to go caffeine-free with a creamy, dreamy latte. 

Maca powder will add hormone support and healing since it is an adaptogenic herb. Try making your own vanilla extract it's so easy! 

By cutting out caffeine you can dramatically reduce the stress on your body and reduce the amount of time your body spends in a parasympathetic state. 

I started to notice that in the mornings, when I was working from home, before the nanny my stress was high. Very high. I felt panicked, I was irritable, and it started my day off so poorly. It is a stressful situation to try to get yourself ready for the day, a baby ready, breakfast, coffee, fire up the laptop for work, get through a few emails. I'm already pretty high-strung. The absolute last thing I need is caffeine. 

I switched to organic swiss water process decaf coffee at first. Having that hot mug in my hands while I distract my babe with scrambled eggs and smushed blueberries is just blissI needed something. Then I decided I wanted to support my body with my morning drink, that's when I switched to these hormone healing chamomile lattes. Still creamy and delicious just like my coffee, but supports my body instead of depleting it. 

hormone latte

Hormone Healing Chamomile Latte

Ingredients

  • Chamomile tea bag
  • 1 pinch Sea salt
  • 1/2 tablespoon of butter
  • 1/2 tablespoon Vanilla Extract
  • 2 tablespoons milk, or more to your liking
  • 1 tablespoon maca powder (optional)

Instructions

  1. Prepare one cup of chamomile tea
  2. In a blender combine the tea and remaining ingredients.
  3. Blend for a few seconds.
  4. Pour into cup and enjoy

humidify your home

Low Cost Ways to Humidify Your Home

Low Cost Ways to Humidify Your Home

Using a few of these simple, low-cost tricks, you can easily add moisture to your interior air every day and humidify your home without expensive humidifiers.

During the dry winter days, humidity in your home can drop significantly. When indoor humidity drops below 30 percent, people are likely to experience chapped skin and irritated, sinuses, eyes and nose. When indoor humidity is low and then you mix in cool dry air and wind, our bodies can react with dry skin and lips.

Using heat sources, you'll be able to transfer water vapor into the air easily without an expensive humidifier. While humidifiers are extremely useful, they are often expensive. Especially so if you chose one that doesn't have internal valves, as humidifiers are notorious for getting moldy. 

Benefits of Increasing Humidity in Your Home

Not only will increasing the humidity in your home keep your chapped lips and dry skin at bay, but it will also help prevent illnesses. Keeping the mucus membranes moise in your eyes, nose, and throat create a natural barrier to prevent infection from seeping in.  

Bowls of Water

Place bowls of water on surfaces around your home to increase humidity in each room. Putting these bowls on window sills is ideal, as the sun coming in will help evaporate the air faster. Be sure to keep these bowls away from high traffic areas and keep them up high so children and pets cannot reach them and cause accidental spills. See, now all of those cups of water by your bed are actually for good use. 

Use Your Radiators or Vents

If you have built-in radiators in your home instead of central heating, use these radiant heat sources by placing your bowls of water on top of the unit to humidify the rooms in your home. Be careful, as bowls may get hot. If you do have central heat, place bowls near the vents in your home so that the air can blow the additional moisture around the room. Be sure that these are safely away from electrical outlets or an area where they will be spilled. 

Boil Water on Your Stove

Boiling water on your stove quickly evaporates water to boost humidity in your home. You can even add a few essential oils if you'd like. Be sure that you keep an eye on the pot and never leave it unattended. Set a timer in case you are doing a few things around the house, so that you don't forget. 

Leave the Bathroom Door Open

While you take a shower, leave the bathroom door open to let the humidity flow throughout the home. If you prefer to take baths, don't drain the water immediately. Instead, leave it in the tub until it cools and then drain it. 

 


winter blues

8 Ways to Help your Winter Blues

8 Ways to Help your Winter Blues

The days are shorter, it's dark, gloomy, and cold. You don't need many more excuses to stay inside, cancel plans, and curl up on the couch in front of your phone, laptop, and TV all at once. While decreasing our screen time is huge for kicking those winter blues and getting better sleep, it isn't always realistic for many of us. Between work, friends, and your side hustle, plus keeping up with current events, it's hard to get off of your screens. Even though we know that we should. Here are some tips, besides reducing screen time, to help you fight off those Winter Blues and boost your mood. 

Get Outside

Strive to get outside to help regulate your circadian rhythm, calm your mind, and boost serotonin. While morning sun, prior to 10 AM is best for regulating your circadian rhythm, aim for any amount of time outdoors. Prioritize getting outside, even if it's just for a few minutes. Take the dog for a walk, take some deep breaths as you get the mail, look up, face the sun, listen to the world around you. Even if it's cloudy! 

Maintain a Sleep Schedule

While getting enough sleep is very important, albeit difficult, going to bed and waking up around the same time every day is very helpful to the body. A wonky, inconsistent sleep schedule disrupts our circadian rhythm. This disruption impacts cortisol and hormone production. 

Consider a Vitamin D Supplement

Not medical advice, speak with your doctor before adding supplements. Consider adding a Vitamin D supplement if you are not getting enough Vitamin D through your diet or sunlight. While vitamins are a great tool, there is nothing more effective or free than getting out in the sun. 

Seek Out Light

Open up those blinds! Crack them open if the weather is mild enough. Even if you are indoors, natural light will help keep your mood up. Fresh air is always good and needed during winter months when homes are often closed up tight and air quality goes down. 

Engage Your Support System

Peel yourself off the couch and schedule a coffee date with a friend or dinner with a family member. Kill two birds with one stone and go to the park or on a hike. Spending time with those we care about can boost our mood. 

Eat Well

What we eat matters. Our gut and brain are very intertwined and what we consume has an impact on our mood. That's not to say you can't enjoy your favorite treat, if that's what makes you happy. Just be mindful of how you are fueling, or depleting, your body. This is especially important this time of year as most folks tend to get sick. Supporting your body with your diet is key. Food is medicine. 

Move Your Body

Do this in whatever way feels good for you! Have a dance party with your kids, wrestle and play fetch with the dog, breathe and stretch, go for a run. There's no denying that exercise boosts our mood. 

Aromatherapy

Our sense of smell is directly connected to the emotional parts of our brain. You know how a smell can take you back to your childhood? Like that! Diffuse essential oils to calm the nervous system and create a relaxing environment in your home. Be sure that the oils you are using are high-quality and from a good source - like Young Living

 


herbs to grow

5 Medicinal Herbs to Grow in Your Garden

5 Medicinal Herbs to Grow in Your Garden

Here are some incredibly medicinal flowers and herbs to grow in your garden this spring to stock your home apothecary. This is a short list of five power house herbs that I'm growing in my garden this spring. One season of planting can provide years of benefits when turned into oils or tinctures. 

Echinacea

Echinacea is a well-known medicinal herb that is an immunity powerhouse. Grab this to prevent and treat colds and flus. Echinacea helps rebuild white blood cells and protect the body from infection. It can also relieve upper-respiratory issues and assist with lung health. 

Chamomile 

Reach for the chamomile to treat any bruises or swelling. To use topically, it can be made into a balm or salve. If I'm in a pinch, I will take a chamomile tea and use the tea bag on the bruise or add the tea and bag to a foot soak to reduce swelling. This medicinal herb can help with sore throat and cold symptoms. It also soothes toothaches. Chamomile is incredibly easy to grow in your garden! 

Hyssap

Hyssap is another medicinal herb that can help with lung health. Use it for a multitude of respiratory issues and as another overall immune booster. Aids in digestion and can be used topically to help with bruise discoloration. 

Borage

Great anti-inflammatory properties, making it great for swelling or an allergic reaction. Borage protects against oxidative cell damage and can even help treat asthma. Another immune booster that is packed with nutrients. Use borage topically in a balm or salve to help insect bites, eczema, and skin irritation. 

Yarrow

Reduces scars, helps the skin prevent infection. Yarrow has antiseptic and antispasmodic properties, meaning it can help with stomach cramping and aid in digestion. Make a tea to cleanse the skin and prevent any infections. Yarrow is an anti-inflammatory and antioxidant for the skin. 

Turn these herbs and flowers into a tea, tincture, oil, balm, or salve after harvesting them from your garden. You could even try a bath bomb after making any of these into an oil. 


bone broth

Herbal Bone Broth

Nourish your body with this delicious nutrient-dense bone broth. All of that gelatinous goodness will fuel your body. Warm bone broth in a large coffee mug was my go-to during those early postpartum months to get my mineral stores back in a good place and re-hydrate. After pregnancy, birth, and nursing - your minerals really take a hit. 

Sourcing quality products is what you'll want to focus on when making bone broth. This version is a little extra. Feel free to add or subtract what you have on hand. My best bone broth hack is to add vegetable and bone scraps to a bag in my freezer for a few weeks as I use them for dinners. Once the bag is full, it's time to make broth. 

Try fire cider for another option to boost that immunity. 

bone broth

Herbal Bone Broth

Ingredients

  • 2lbs bones
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 3 carrots, chopped
  • 2 stalks of celery, chopped
  • 1 tablespoon sea salt
  • 1 lemon
  • 1 sheet of seaweed
  • 1 tablespoon of ghee or butter
  • 1 tablespoon of ginger
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1 tablespoon oregano
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar

Instructions

1. Roast bones on 375 degrees F for 30 minutes.

2. Simmer in a large pot with water overnight, or for eight hours.

3. Add the remaining ingredients. Simmer for six more hours.

4. Let cool.

5. Pour into jars to process or store flat in freezer bags (see note)

Notes

While using plastic freezer bags isn't ideal, this is often the easiest and best option for some. Once broth has completely cooled, measure desired amount into bag. Remove air and seal bag, lay bag flat on baking sheet. Label with marker. Stack multiple bags on top of baking sheet and place in freezer. When frozen, take bags off baking sheet for storage. I recommend storing in 2-4 cup increments.


fire cider

Homemade Fire Cider

Homemade Fire Cider

If you've never heard of fire cider before, it is a spicy tonic that is used to fight colds and flus and boost the immune system. It's a mixture of fruits, vegetables, and herbs all topped with vinegar. After steeping for a few weeks, all of these beneficial ingredients are strained out and the liquid is used to add to soups, stews, sauces, marinades - but I most often use it as a tea or as a shot. 

Use a variety of ingredients in your fire cider, whatever you have on hand or prefer. Common additions are ginger, honey, lemon, oranges, red onion, elderberry, garlic, horseradish, turmeric, and cayenne. Other beneficial ingredients that can be used are black pepper, jalapeno, echinacea, cinnamon, rosemary, oregano, thyme, rosehips, pomegranate, and limes. 

A large glass 64-70 ounce jar is best. Apple cider vinegar is going to be the best tasting and beneficial vinegar to use. As always, use high quality ingredients. 

fire cider

Homemade Fire Cider

Prep Time: 20 minutes
Additional Time: 1 month
Total Time: 1 month 20 minutes

Ingredients

  • 64 oz jar with lid, sterilized
  • 2.5 cups of apple cider vinegar
  • 1 pomegranate
  • 1 orange
  • 1 jalapeno
  • 1 red onion
  • 1/2 cup horseradish
  • 1 lime
  • 1 lemon
  • 2 inch knob of ginger
  • 2 inch fresh turmeric root
  • 2 TBS rose hips
  • 2 TBS elderberries (boil these in water for 10 min and strain, first)
  • 1-2 sprigs of thyme
  • 1 sprig of rosemary
  • 8 cloves of garlic
  • 1 pinch black pepper
  • 1.5 cups of honey

Instructions

  1. Chop onion, jalapeno, garlic into large rough chunks
  2. Grate turmeric, horseradish, ginger
  3. Slice lemon, lime, and orange
  4. Add all ingredients to jar, except apple cider vinegar. While adding, smash ingredients with a muddler.
  5. Pour apple cider vinegar over ingredients to cover.
  6. Shake well
  7. Cover and set on counter for 4-6 weeks.
  8. Strain through a cheesecloth lined strainer
  9. Store liquid in glass bottle
  10. Drink 1-2 tablespoons a day alone, add to tea, soups, stews, etc.

starbucks medicine ball

Homemade Starbucks Medicine Ball Recipe

Homemade Starbucks Medicine Ball Drink

Let's make this popular order - the Starbucks Medicine Ball - into a drink that is actually nourishing for the body. Kick your winter cold with this homemade version.

The Starbucks version has 30g of sugar. There is honey in the Starbucks version, but it is not up to the standards you would want to provide a medicinal benefit. It contains potassium sorbate (a preservative), gums, and "natural flavors" (can be a unknown variety of lab-made flavorings). Nothing about those ingredients set your body up healing. 

Let's stick to the good stuff that will actually support our bodies. That's the whole reason we would order the Starbucks Medicine Ball over your usual double-pump, cold foam, latte-blah-blah triple espresso, right? 

Ginger, honey, lemon, and peppermint are the ultimate tried and true threat for cough, cold, flu, congestion, and overall funkiness. Take a drink if you feel something coming on or if you need a little immunity boost. 

I like to swap out the tea depending on how I'm feeling or what I have on hand. Ginger, honey, and lemon - you really can't go wrong adding it to any tea blend. I prefer loose leaf tea. You can typically find it for much cheaper than bagged tea, plus you avoid chemicals and bleach that are used in most tea bags. My favorite tea balls are durable and reusable. Plus, you can mix and match single varieties of tea to make your own custom blend, depending on your needs. 

starbucks medicine ball

Homemade Starbucks Medicine Ball Recipe

Ingredients

  • 1 ginger root, chopped into small sections. Peel, if preferred.
  • 3 lemons, peeled
  • 3 tablespoons raw honey, preferably local
  • plash of water
  • High quality peppermint tea

Instructions

  1. Blend the ginger, lemons, honey, and water
  2. Pour into an ice cube tray
  3. Freeze until solid
  4. Add a cube or two to your hot peppermint tea