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Homemade Fruit Compote with Warming Herbs and Spices

Fruit compote might be the most flexible and versatile digestive support you’ll make this fall. It’s a mishmash of all sorts of delicious things and there aren’t many rules—all you need is some fruit you can cook and make squishy--and it’s the perfect vehicle for all sorts of herbs and spices.

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Posted by Bevin

DIY Herb-Infused Witch Hazel

When Europeans arrived on the east coast of what was to become the United States, they found that the indigenous people regularly made an astringent decoction by boiling the leaves and twigs of a particular deciduous, flowering shrub. These Native Americans were making the decoction from Hamamelis virginiana, or American witch hazel, and they used it extensively for a wide variety of health supporting applications and skin irritations. Today, high-quality witch hazel, distilled as an extract, is still beloved as a gentle skin toner and astringent. It is a key ingredient the best DIY and over the counter toners, cleansers, makeup removers, after sun sprays, etc. Additionally, the extract’s naturally low pH helps balance the typically high pH of soap, so it makes a wonderful after-wash refresher that is suitable for most skin types and can be used alone or incorporated with other ingredients. And, best of all, because witch hazel takes on the properties of whatever herbs you infuse it with, you can customize it for your skin’s specific needs!

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Posted by Heidi

Babassu Oil: A Coconut Oil Substitute in DIY Skincare Recipes

You may have noticed that many DIY skincare recipes include coconut oil. While the moisturizing benefits of coconut oil are a great option for many, it is problematic for those who are allergic to coconut*. In addition to coconut allergies, some find coconut oil to exacerbate acne. In this case, a suitable substitute is necessary. 

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Posted by Stacy

Summer Cookout Menu: Recipes & Inspiration

When the thermometer starts to register in the 80s and 90s, my mind takes up residence in the shade of my patio, situated near the grill and not too far from the drinks’ cooler. For foodies like the folks in my family, backyard cookouts mean long lazy days brushing a perfect protein with a tangy sauce over a slow fire. It means tossing together colorful, herby appetizers and barbecue side dishes, imbibing in a newly invented icy drink, and whipping up a batch of homemade ice cream to go with pie. Other than a loose plan of when we want to eat, we let the day guide itself. We just sink into the mindful, soul nurturing process of preparing a meal to eat outside. I think of this time as some of the very best summer medicine.

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Posted by Heidi

Mint Chocolate Body Butter

With the dog days of summer stretching out before us, it’s time to think more seriously about hydration. Every organ, tissue, and cell in our bodies requires water—it is essential for us to keep a steady temperature, to lubricate our joints, to eliminate waste, etc. Because we lose water through sweating, digesting, and even breathing, it’s important to regularly rehydrate, particularly when it gets hot and we’re doing more physical activity outside. And while you’re responsibly drinking plenty of fluids to rehydrate your internal organs, tissues, and cells, don’t forget about the largest organ in your body: your skin. Now is the perfect time to whip up a super-hydrating, cooling body butter!

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Posted by Heidi

Homemade Immune-Supporting Root Beer

Who doesn’t love a frosty, foamy root beer on a hot day? From drive in burger joints to movie theaters, root beer is the classic American drink. However, the corporate world has turned root beer into a cheap artificial drink full of high fructose corn syrup and other artificial flavors. Real homemade root beer is full of healthful and flavorful herbs.

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Posted by Dr. Glen Nagel

Herbal Elixir Recipe for Stress Relief

Most herbalists will tell you that they became interested in herbs because they had some condition that they wanted to find a better way to address. For me, it was more about learning to be in charge of my emotions. It’s not that they were out of control, but I studied psychology in college, and this interest has never left me. Strong emotions can be uncomfortable and do considerable damage to various bodily systems.

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Posted by Tina

Flavored Coconut Whipped Cream

When sharing treats with my family and friends, I love to hide herbs and spices that they may not know about or know how to use. Adding fun twists to classic preparations is an exciting pastime of mine. One classic dessert that I find to be endlessly entertaining is fluffy, creamy whipped cream. Not only is the flavor of fresh whipped topping better than store-bought, but you can infuse flavors to tailor it to whatever you are serving it with. And if that isn’t enough to make you want to make your own, it’s a much more ecofriendly alternative, as it does not come in a single-use container.

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Posted by Jessicka

DIY Hydrating Foaming Hand and Body Soap

“Soap and water and common sense are the best disinfectants.” So said Sir William Osler (one of the founders of the renowned John Hopkins Hospital). Today, of course we know he was exactly right; the act of scrubbing our hands for 20 seconds with soap and water is proven to prevent the spread of germs: protecting us, our loved ones, and the other citizens in our communities. But we also know that one of the side effects of using so much soap or hand sanitizer is that it can be drying to the skin. Fortunately, our herbal allies give us ways to create an effective hand and body soap that is also incredibly hydrating, because obviously we want to be safe while keeping our skin happy and supple.

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Posted by Jessicka

Herbal Doggie Popsicle Recipes

While in the dog days of summer, it’s important to consider the comfort of our beloved furry friends. My St. Bernard did a great job at reminding me of this fact. Wanting to give my spoiled boy anything that made him happy, I decided to try ready-made puppy ice cream that I found at the grocery store. But between the hefty price tag and knowing it wasn’t the most healthful option to cool him down, it wasn’t a sustainable option for my household. I knew I could make frozen dog treats that were just as refreshing, and which also contained ingredients that would support my dog’s overall wellbeing.

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Posted by Jessicka

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