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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

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

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 Make Smreka: A Fermented Juniper Berry Drink

I’m always looking to expand my palate and learn new recipes from across the globe. Bonus points if they’re simple, and extra bonus points if they’re fermented. I was beyond delighted to discover a recipe for the Bosnian fermented beverage “smreka” which fits both of those specs. I first learned about this recipe from Sandor Katz’s classic (and must have) book The Art of Fermentation. Fermented foods are known to have a beneficial effect on your gut health, and thus, your overall health. In short, the good bacteria found in fermented food assists in the digestion process. As they say, “You aren’t what you eat, you’re what you digest."

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Posted by Mason

How to Make Elderberry Syrup for Immune System Support

Each year as winter approaches, I reliably find my patients asking me about the best herbal remedies to use during the cold weather months. One of the most common questions I encounter is, “What nutritional preparations can I use to help keep my family strong and healthy throughout the sniffle season?”. There's a wide array of herbs well-suited to addressing specific and general winter wellness goals, but one of my favorite, tried-and-true choices for general immune support is the elderberry.

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Fungus-Fighting Nail Oil with Tea Tree

Nail fungus is a common condition and people who struggle with it know that it is difficult to treat and requires consistency and perseverance to manage. Many medications will seem to clear it up, only to have it come back shortly after. I wish I could say there was a miracle cure. However, since I am obligated to tell the truth here, what I can say is that by committing to some simple daily nail care that involves a good fungus-fighting nail oil, you can make steady progress and, if you stick to your daily care, you can ultimately keep nail fungus at bay. This DIY nail oil recipe brings the fungus-fighting powers of roses and essential oils to the battle and simultaneously delivers vitamins and essential fatty acids to strengthen and moisturize your nails and cuticles.

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Posted by Heidi

Understanding Herbal Actions and How They Support the Microbiome

We now know that microflorae in our gut, which have evolved in a symbiotic relationship with us over time, directly influence—either positively or negatively—every aspect of our health and wellbeing, including our digestion, immune functions, neurological and emotional health, hormonal balance, cardiovascular strength, and more. Attracting beneficial microflorae (the ones that flip the genetic switches toward health and balance) is a matter of making healthy food and lifestyle choices. In other words, what we eat tips the scales towards wellbeing or dis-ease. When we choose to eat an organic plant-based diet high in phytonutrients, antioxidants, and dietary fiber, we attract a much more diverse, healthy, and resilient microbiome, which in turn strengthens our defenses against illness and unhealthy aging. In this line of defense, carminative, nervine, bitter, and demulcent herbs can be leveraged much like secret agents who step in to fend off undesirable effects.

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Building an Herbal Library: Our Favorite Botanical Books

If you ask herbalists, botanists, and body care enthusiasts, most say that building a library of reference and recipe books is one of the most important steps in becoming an expert. Gathering books from professionals who offer their experiences, philosophies, and expertise gives you a strong foundation on which to build your practice.  Here are some of our favorite books on herbal education, aromatherapy, healthy eating, skincare, and growing and foraging plants. 

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Posted by Jessicka

Smoke Cleansing Around the World

Smoke cleansing—burning botanicals, resins, wood, etc. for health and/or spiritual purposes—is an ancient practice that is common in a wide variety of cultures and faiths around the world. For instance, I was introduced to smoke cleansing through the practice of “fire saining,” a Celtic tradition that resonates well with my cultural and personal history. However, the form of smoke cleansing that most people are familiar with today is “smudging.” The commercialization of smudging is unfortunate on multiple fronts—it is cultural appropriation of North American indigenous practices, it has created serious issues around illegal and/or irresponsible wildharvesting of traditional smudging herbs, and it disregards the wealth of other forms of smoke cleansing that are just as ancient and powerful. Many times, looking to our own culture, faith, community, or heritage in our relationship to the botanical world can help us identify herbal allies that are particularly aligned with us as individuals. Our ancestors had personal relationships with these plants; they have been part of our people—our DNA—for time immemorial. Smoke cleansing can be a powerful, renewing, and healing practice for many people, particularly when they are embracing a form that resonates with their genuine self.

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Posted by Heidi

Apple Spice Tea- Now on Sale!

 

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