I am a crazy cat lady. I have four cats at home, and I feed a feral neighborhood stray. All of my cats are “rescue” cats. They all have complex stories and complex personalities to boot. One of my cats is astonishingly fragile.
My favorite way to make lavender massage oil is to steep fresh flowers in olive or almond oil for three to four weeks. But, fresh lavender flowers aren’t available year-round where I live. Too often, I miss my chance to pick them fresh amidst my crazy summer activities. So, I devised this simple recipe for lavender massage oil that can be made any time of year.
The isopropyl alcohol in this spray acts as a preservative and helps the essential oils evaporate relatively quickly. In dry climates, like the Mojave Desert, you can reduce the amount of isopropyl alcohol considerably because the spray will be less likely to leave your linens damp. Lavender is a strong disinfectant on its own, so if dampness isn’t a concern of yours, you may be able to get away plain water in place of the isopropyl alcohol. Continue Reading
Foot fungus is easy to heal with proactive management. This natural spray is inexpensive to make and easy to use. It combines yarrow with powerful essential oils to dry out the fungus while encouraging our own immune systems to fight against further infection. The vinegar base does wonders to stabilize our natural pH balance. The trick is to make your yarrow vinegar ahead of time to restock your spritzer supplies. Herbal infused vinegars are simple and cheap to make. Check our how-to for directions.
Accidents happen. Most people aren’t lucky enough to go through life without getting at least one shiner. A black eye is basically a bruise around the outside of the eye. Technically known as a periorbital hematoma, it’s basically a facial bruise caused, as are all bruises, by bleeding under the skin.The delicate tissue around the eye socket reacts quickly to protect your eye through swelling and inflammation.
One of the most common on the job injuries is compressed nerves, commonly called “pinched nerves.” It occurs when a nerve or bundle of nerves become caught between narrow spaces such as bone, tendons or ligaments with little tissue to protect them. These injuries are most often noted in the back. Left untreated, a pinched nerve can lead to peripheral neuropathy, carpal tunnel syndrome or tennis elbow.
Athlete’s Foot is a chronic problem in gyms and locker rooms. As a fungus (dermatophytes), it thrives in warm, moist, sheltered environments and feeds on keratin. Keratin is a protein that forms the base for skin, nail and hair production. Rarely, Athlete’s Foot can be caused by yeast but it is treated the same way.
Soaking your feet in a basin of soothing herbal infusion is more than relaxing, it’s potent medicine. There are lots of capillaries ending on the feet that can serve as little highways of health to the rest of the body. All it takes is a few simple tools and a comfy chair in which to enjoy the treatment.
Homemade incense is easy to make. When my son was young, he loved making incense. We learned this technique for making homemade incense sticks using our loose incense from my friend Dawn at Dawn’s Enchanted Garden and have since modified it slightly to accommodate the resins available to us.
One important key to making great coffee is to choose coffee you love. Using the process on this page, the scent and the flavor of your beans will shine, as will any unbalance or flaws. Experiment with the best quality beans you can find. Pay attention to the characteristics you like best and to which varieties satisfy your palate. Ignore any coffee experts who try to tell you what you should or shouldn’t like. Coffee is highly personal.
AKA java, joe, mud, etc. Coffea species
A warm cup of Joe in the morning is not usually sipped with herbal medicine in mind, but no one will tell you it doesn’t have an effect on the body. Coffee is full of stimulants that, when properly placed, provide a remedy for common health problems. The caffeine in coffee can help with more than just getting you out of bed in the morning. It helps ease bronchial conditions, relax migraines, regulates elimination and stimulates the nerves. Properly applied, coffee is just what the doctor ordered. Continue Reading
Sambucus nigra, a. k. a. Black Elderberry, Blue Elderberry
Elder was called the “country people’s medicine chest.” Elder keeps viruses at bay by blocking the virus from entering the cell itself. All flu viruses have trouble with elderberry’s blockades. The symptoms of flus like coughs, sore throats and sinus congestion melt under this herb’s attention.
Pomegranate has an ancient reputation to uphold. This plump, scarlet fruit is filled with exactly 840 tiny seeds individually encased in sweet-tart juicy sacs called arils. (Go ahead and count them for yourself.) The fruit is technically a berry as the single flower produces a cluster of seed drupes. The unusual nature of Pomegranate has attracted the attention of poets and storytellers for centuries.
Best audience for Four-Season Harvest: Organic Vegetables from Your Home Garden All Year Long: Gardeners who want to make the most of their year
Candace said: I love how Coleman has laid out a surprisingly reasonable strategy for gardening all year long. In the area I livein now, the thought isn’t so foreign as it was in my hometown. I wish I’d had Coleman’s book when I lived back in Minnesota. I’m sure a lot of his suggestions would have worked there and would have been reasonable for my budget. In the Pacific Northwest, most of his ideas are golden and, surprisingly inexpensive. I look forward to employing the tips and techniques in Four-Season Harvest in the years to come.
A Kid’s Herbal Book for Children of All Ages by Leslie Tierra
An engaging way to introduce the beauty of herbal medicine to children. This is a book the whole family will enjoy. Buy one for yourself while you’re at it so you can reawaken the wonder of discovery of the green world around us.
Herbs for Pets by Mary L. Wulff and Gregory L. Tilford
Designed for the dedicated animal lover, this book covers natural care for indoor and outdoor pets, including dogs, cats, and horses. Herbs for Pets is sure to be a treasured favorite for years to come.
This year is a good year for mushrooms and the Practical Herbalist team found a gold mine. The prized nuggets we pulled from the good earth were in the form of chanterelles.
Heavy rains soaked our little valley for weeks this fall. This is bad news for grapes and late season tomatoes but excellent news for mushroom hunters. The Practical Herbalist team (Pat, Candace and Sue) piled baskets, tools and mushroom ID guides into the jeep and headed for the hills. The drive was long but the harvest was worth it.
Our very own Sue Sierralupe recently spoke about the state of healthcare in America on Occupy Media. Host David Geitgey Sierraupe, interviewed Sue and Dr. Leigh Saint-Louis on their work with Occupy Medical in Eugene, Oregon, the Affordable Healthcare Act (aka Obamacare), and the structures of healthcare in the United States today on Occupy Radio on September 27, 2013. Tune in to learn more and support Sue and the folks at Occupy Medical.
Do you have a question for The Practical Herbalist? Now there are three ways to communicate with us directly. We have opened up a commenting section on our website which can be viewed at the bottom of each page. We have a Facebook page for conversations about the herbs themselves. You may also speak privately by using the Contact form available at the top right hand corner of every page on The Practical Herbalist website.