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Benefits and History of Slippery Elm Bark + Tea Recipe

Slippery elm (Ulmus rubra) is one of the best known medicinal tree barks. It has a history of use that goes back thousands of years—North American First Nations people utilized slippery elm for a variety of health issues and introduced it to European colonists, who quickly incorporated it into their pharmacopoeia. As cited in Henry H. Gibson’s American Forest Trees, published in 1913, it became a household remedy which most families in the country provided and kept in store along with catnip, mandrake, sage, dogwood blossoms, and other rural remedies which were depended upon to rout diseases in the days when physicians were few..... Today, when physicians are more plentiful, it continues to be a profoundly effective mucilaginous demulcent that is a standard in western herbalism. Let’s take a moment to talk about this ancient ally. 

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Posted by Heidi

Forgotten Cookie Recipe With Yaupon Tea

“Forgotten cookies” are an American classic and a perfect vehicle for America’s “forgotten” tea. If you’ve been reading along with my blogs here at Mountain Rose Herbs, you know I got seriously into yaupon tea this year. As a bonafide history nerd, I first became fascinated with the story of America's only native tea plant and then, of course, I had to try it. I’ll spare you the history lesson, but yaupon is an excellent caffeinated tea choice for me because it isn’t bitter, it can be re-steeped more than once without a change in flavor, and it provides a gentle caffeine boost and increased focus without the jitteriness I sometimes get from coffee or Camellia sinensis based teas. It’s also loaded with theophylline, theobromine, and a plethora of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, etc. I’ve been experimenting with multiple ways to bring it into my diet to replace other caffeine. This summer I brewed it with cooling hibiscus, sweetened it with a little honey, and kept it in the refrigerator to have delicious hibiscus-yaupon iced tea on hand. And then, one evening when I was in a cookie baking mood and perusing some of my favorite recipes, I thought of forgotten cookies and had the quintessential lightbulb moment: forgotten cookies + forgotten tea = pure joy.

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Posted by Heidi

DIY Cutting Board Oil: Maintain Your Cutting Boards & Wooden Utensils

I am a wooden utensil and cast iron kind of cook. These reliable, wonderful tools don’t require electricity and they last a remarkably long time if cared for correctly. I especially love the butcher block, cutting boards, and wooden spoons my husband has made over the years, and it’s important to me to take care of them so they last. My dilemma for a long time was how to condition them. Vegetable oils like olive oil, grapeseed oil, etc. are wonderful, but are not shelf-stable and can experience “rancidification” over time, which can make wood smell funky and leave a bad flavor on chopped foods. The standard go-to oil is food-safe mineral oil, sometimes called liquid paraffin. But mineral oil is generally a petroleum product and I don’t care how “food-safe” it is; I don’t want to cut my home-grown vegetables on a board coated with a petroleum-based oil. So, obviously, I had to figure out a DIY way to get around this dilemma and take proper care of my wooden kitchen utensils.

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Posted by Heidi

How to Make Scented Wax Melts + DIY Pumpkin Spice Air Freshener Blend

If you’ve ever tried to make candles before, you know it can sometimes be a messy and frustrating process. Getting the wick to stand just right requires a bit of practice and patience. This is one of many reasons I prefer making wax melts. Not only are they more forgiving to make, they are less expensive than candles, and you can make customized scents, shapes, and sizes to suit your preferences. It’s also easier to make smaller batches of different blends so you have more options to choose from as various moods and situations arise. 

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Posted by Jessicka

DIY Herbal Dog Treat Recipe

Pets, like other family members, sometimes need herbal remedies to feel their best. That’s why we offer Natural Pet Care products. We want to keep our furry friends healthy, happy and relaxed. Just like when we see a family member stressed out, we do everything we can to calm them down. And oh my, has my pup been stressed.

Those of us who have been working from home recently know that our pets have been on cloud nine, getting extra snuggles, loads of attention, and maybe even a walk at lunch. My pup has been happy and super chill having me home. Now that I’m getting back to the office and away from home more, it’s been especially tough on her. Homemade dog treats coupled with good exercise are a DIY approach to helping her feel calm and safe.

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Posted by Alyssa

A Promise of Permanence

We are living in unpredictable times. This sounds like an obvious statement when the entire world is reeling from two years of pandemic and social and political unrest, and it seems as if everything is spinning out of our control. We are indeed living through precarious times, but what I am referring to specifically in this blog is the nature of business and industry. The herbal products industry has changed enormously over the last few years, and in my opinion, it’s not been for the best. Most of the herbal companies that we have worked with, that we have known and admired for decades, have now been acquired by private equity firms, investment holdings, and venture capitalists. I have never witnessed anything like this in the 22 years I have been at Mountain Rose Herbs. Our community has grown significantly smaller, and the industry is pushing hard towards a profit-driven business model that is the antithesis of everything I believe in. This disturbing reality has made me think a lot about permanence: permanence, and predictability, and being a brand that people can trust.

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Posted by Shawn

How to Make a Warming Herbal Cocktail with Tinctures

I notice winter first when the leaves begin to dry, fade, and fall. I imagine the life force of the tree receding back into its trunk and underground roots. I feel a bit melancholic at first—not wanting to have to follow nature’s lead in hunkering down and going in. But I’ve come to love Fall as a season as full as any other, with its own flavors, rhythms, and herbal remedies.

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Posted by Rachelle Robinett

How to Make a Mushroom Double Extraction

As more and more people discover the benefits of adding mushrooms to their herbal practice and culinary explorations, they are increasingly interested in how to best prepare and consume these fascinating fungi. Some mushrooms, like shiitakes, are well known and widely used in both cooking and herbalism. Others, like reishichaga and maitake, may be new to you. Some are wonderful culinary additions, while others have amazing health benefits, but less-than-amazing flavor. Making a decoction with some of these mushrooms is often preferable. However, to get all of the beneficial constituents from mushrooms, a “double extraction” is the way to go.

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Posted by Mason

How to Use TCM Herbs for Nourishing Soups

As the days shorten, plants send their energy to their roots and go to seed, while deciduous trees shed their leaves. We cozy up in warmer clothes, stack firewood, and start storing up our food and energy reserves for the winter. In autumn, we transition from the more active yang seasons of spring and summer into the more restful yin seasons of autumn and winter. We too send our energies underground, sleeping and eating more, and moving and doing less. In autumn, we bundle, store, and prepare for the more fallow winter season ahead, when the world rests.

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DIY Herbal Bath for Babies

Baby bath time can be a wonderful bonding experience that offers both parent and child the opportunity to relax and focus on the circle of love between them. Adding gentle, skin-nourishing herbs to baby’s bathwater is a beautiful way to bring not just the soothing comfort of warm hydrotherapy to bath time but can also add scents that your child will come to associate with safety and peace. Organic calendula and chamomile are gentle and skin-nourishing, and when combined with the aromatics of soothing, calming lavender or roses, they make a perfect herbal bath for your precious child.

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Posted by Heidi

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