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Yaupon: Rediscovering America’s Forgotten Tea

Sooner or later, everything old is new again. This saying has been sneaking into our day-to-day a lot over the last couple of years as people are rediscovering “old” methods of being more self-sufficient and resilient in these challenging times. One of our favorite old-new “discoveries” is yaupon tea. When our Mountain Rose Herbs tea team was introduced to yaupon, we—like most Americans—had no idea that there was a naturally caffeinated tea plant native to North America. This fact is astounding when you consider that yaupon tea was the drink of choice for literally thousands of years. This delicious tea is supremely sippable and, thanks to plentiful theophylline and theobromine (as well as a host of vitamins, minerals, amino acids, etc.), provides a smooth caffeine boost and focus without the jitteriness that can come from coffee.

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Posted by Heidi

A Story of Alternative Commute Incentives Propelling Change

Before I moved to Eugene in March of 2010, I drove a car every day, everywhere. Living in the suburbs of Boston, it was necessary. I didn’t know anyone who didn’t drive to work, to the grocery store, or even to the gym. When I arrived, I brought my mindset with me and drove everywhere: to work (ten blocks from home), to the grocery store (twelve blocks), and the gym (just over a mile). In my first three months here, I clocked fewer than a hundred miles and made three car payments—clearly not an economical way to get around! I sold my car that June and bought a used bicycle.

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Posted by Julia

Herbal Gin Fizz Recipe

By now, if you’ve been following along with my seasonal cocktail recipes here on the Mountain Rose Herbs blog, you know I have a passion and something of a reputation for making herb-infused spirits. This year on the Spring Equinox, I started thinking about what I wanted to create to celebrate the end of winter. Something fun and fresh, with herbal goodness. Also, I happened to have a couple bottles of my favorite artisan gins hanging about, Desert Juniper from Bendistillery and another from Thinking Tree. So: spring, gin, relief after a long winter. Obviously, my version of an herbal gin fizz was in order.

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Posted by Shawn

Welcome Spring by Moving Liver Qi

As we welcome spring into our worlds and bodies, we also welcome the energies of the Wood Element, and its associated emotion of anger. Anger manifests in many forms. It’s a natural and powerful energy that rises up from our values and our sense of self. We can choose to express our healthy anger clearly, calmly, and with integrity. We allow anger’s upward moving energy to move through and out of our bodies, initiating the powerful changes needed in our lives and worlds. Exercise, fresh foods, nervines, aromatics, and bitters can help support this natural movement.

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Homemade Sweet Basil Lip Scrub


Of all of the DIY skin and body care products I love to make, share, and write about, lip care products are easily my favorite. It sounds trivial, and it might be, but I have a lip balm recipe for just about every season, mood, and occasion. It’s something that I use so often, it brings me great joy to create new, unique ways of delivering it. And since lip products are so easy to make in bulk, they are always great gifts to share with family members or friends.

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Posted by Jessicka

Hemp Milk Recipe + Chocolate and Strawberry Flavor Variations

Whether you are lactose intolerant or not, learning to make different non-dairy “milks” is a fun way to vary up the nutrients you’re getting in your diet. For instance, hemp seeds contain magnesium and a host of other minerals, as well as a nice profile of omega-3 and omega-6 fatty acids. Out of all the nut milks I’ve tried, hemp milk is easily my favorite. It’s got an unparalleled nuttiness that I enjoy quite a bit. I’d be remiss if I didn’t also mention the sustainability of hemp production. Hemp production requires less water than dairy farming, is beneficial to the soil, and can be easily grown organically. 

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Posted by Mason

Bitter Melon: Herb, Food, and Bitter Ally

Bitter melon (Momordica charantia), also known as bitter gourd, has a long history of use in the herbal tradition of Ayurveda. As its common name suggests, this member of the Cucurbitaceae (cucumber family) is very bitter, unlike its many relatives that so commonly grace our dinner table! Even with its strong bitter flavor, bitter melon is utilized in cuisine and herbalism from many areas of the globe, including East Asia, India, South America, and the Caribbean, and it is one of those special plants that straddles the line between herb and food.

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How to Make an Herbal Electuary

Electuary: just saying it is fun. And after a bit of research, I found out that the word likely comes from the Greek word “ekleikhein”, which means “to lick up.” Or perhaps that’s just one of those constantly regurgitated bits of info that gets passed down from blog to blog. Nonetheless, it’s still a fun factoid worth mentioning. I’ve worked in the herbal industry for a decade now, and over time it’s been fun to see what goes in and out of fashion. Just the other day, my herbalist friend Erika Galentin with Sovereignty Herbs posted on social media about her ginseng leaf electuaries (amazing). I’ve seen a few others post about this ancient herbal tradition over the past few months as well. It occurred to me that after attending countless herbal conferences and taking two herbalism apprenticeships, I’ve managed to never have made one of the simplest of recipes: the electuary. As I explained to one of our photographers here at Mountain Rose Herbs, “It’s basically just powdered herbs mixed with honey.”

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Posted by Mason

Essential Oil Starter Kits and Gift Sets

It’s wonderful to see more and more people using aromatherapy to support healthy mood, memory, and overall wellness. We regularly hear from customers who want to begin diffusing essential oils at home, or who are interested in learning more about how to incorporate them into their body care recipes. The common dilemma is where to begin. There are wonderful books and educators to guide you but picking out the right oils can be a dilemma. With that in mind, we are excited to introduce our expanded line of essential oil kits. Whether you are looking for the highest quality classic oils, pure ingredient blends, oils for cleaning or harmony in the home (the list goes on), these kits provide the perfect collections to get you started. As with all Mountain Rose Herbs hand-crafted products, the oils in these kits have undergone strenuous quality control testing to ensure you receive the most effective, safe, pure experience.

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Posted by Christine

Mama’s Homemade Belly Butter

Pregnancy is obviously a profoundly life- and body-changing event. Particularly as we move into the second and third trimester, when our babies are growing at super-speed, our bodies make remarkable changes to accommodate the little people who set up house in our wombs. Our joints, muscles, and organs all have to sacrifice space or need to stretch in challenging ways. The most obvious of these changes is what happens to our bellies. Our stomach skin must expand tremendously and can end up feeling stretched to its limits, with skin that is tight, dry, and itchy. And then once that precious child is born, our skin must reverse course, which takes time and has its own set of discomforts. Happily, a good balm helps a lot! Homemade belly butter made with soothing, organic butters and skin-loving herbal oils relieves discomfort and redness and helps the skin maintain its elasticity during and after pregnancy. Best of all, this balm for hard working mamas is easy and economical to make, so you can always have it on hand when you need it.

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Posted by Heidi

New Essential Oil Kits for the Aromatherapy Explorer

 

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